LAR 15 Pistol legal accessories for a newbie.


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BrotherWill
January 2, 2009, 10:18 PM
Hello all.

I recently saw the new LAR 15 Pistols and am considering purchasing one. This will be my first firearm purchase and I am buying it purely for target shooting out at the range. I will be getting the .223 version (havent decided between 7" or 10" barrels yet) and had some questions about the legality of some accessories (butt stocks, large capacity mags, laser sights, dot sights, etc). Is there some easy way for me to find out exactly what legal and whats not? I tried the ATF website and it was like trying to read Japanese stereo instructions.

I have 14 years experience in the US Army, so I dont really have any technical questions, however, I am totally new to firearms in the civilian world. I have no clue as to what the laws are. I live in Michigan if that makes a difference as well. I really want to get into a gun club in my local area, and I certainly dont want to break any laws as well. Help please?

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Jorg Nysgerrig
January 2, 2009, 10:24 PM
For federal law, you can't put a buttstock on it (if you do, you've just created a SBR) or attach a forward grips (makes it an AOW). Magazines, lasers, and dot sights are all fine under federal, but your state and local laws may vary. Unfortunately, there's not a single government page which tells you what is legal or not as many things come from ATF rulings.

MisterPX
January 2, 2009, 10:34 PM
Jorg is correct

Fleetwood_Captain
January 2, 2009, 10:54 PM
Well I know you don't want to install a buttstock. That would most certainly cause the weapon to be considered a short-barreled rifle under NFA. Installing a vertical "Kelly" grip to a handgun will also classify the weapon as AOW (any other weapon) under NFA as well.

As far as optics are concerned, you should check your local and state laws. I know that scopes and red dots are legal on handguns in Illinois, but I'm not sure about Michigan.

Also remember, you could lessen the resale value if you do anything too crazy with a nice gun like this.

xx7grant7x
January 2, 2009, 11:21 PM
You could always file the papers and make it an SBR or if you don't care about the buttstock and AOW is a cheaper stamp, but SBR you could do both. Provided in your state SBR's are legal mine they are not :-(

shotgunjoel
January 2, 2009, 11:34 PM
Um, i don't want to tell you what to buy, but I think that a LAR 15 isn't a good first gun. Get a .22lr or a pump shotgun. An AR15 type firearm wouldn't be my suggestion.

Jorg Nysgerrig
January 2, 2009, 11:41 PM
shotgunjoel, his original post says he was in the Army for 14 years, he might have fired an AR15 type firearm a few times. ;)

benEzra
January 2, 2009, 11:52 PM
I think an AR is OK as a first firearm (my first rifle was a semiauto .223, and I turned out OK), but I would highly recommend one with a buttstock. On a LAR-15 pistol, you cannot legally install a buttstock OR a forward handgrip (felony), making it very difficult to shoot. An AR-15 pistol is one of the more difficult firearms to hit anything with, plus the super-short barrel makes the .223 absolutely deafening.

If you like the LAR-15, you might want to consider a short-as-possible LAR-15 carbine (with a buttstock) instead of the pistol version. It will be MUCH easier to shoot if you're looking at it as a range gun, and will be more practical for defensive purposes as well. Not only is the carbine easier to shoot accurately, but .223 performs far better out of a carbine-length barrel than it does out of a pistol-length barrel.

Perhaps something like this:

http://www.rockriverarms.com/images/products/entry09.gif

If you have your heart set on the pistol model, go for it, but just be aware of what you're getting--a rather temperamental beast that sounds like a concussion grenade when you shoot it and which is challenging for even an expert to shoot effectively.

http://www.rockriverarms.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_id=219

Zoogster
January 3, 2009, 12:39 AM
I know that scopes and red dots are legal on handguns in Illinois, but I'm not sure about Michigan.
Is there any state in the nation where such things are not legal on handguns?
Why would you mention such things?

Such things make handguns bulkier and generaly would make criminal applications requiring concealment more difficult. Ironsights give better longer range use than red dot sights, and I cannot think of a single crime commited with a scoped pistol. Pulling the average scoped pistol out of a waistband or pocket would be much more difficult.
I imagine most criminals would remove such a thing from a pistol to reduce the bulk as they usualy conceal thier weapons and intend them for close range use.

So I cannot really see the logic of such a restriction, though many gun laws have limited logic. Where do you get the idea of such things being restricted anywhere?


Well I know you don't want to install a buttstock. That would most certainly cause the weapon to be considered a short-barreled rifle under NFA. Installing a vertical "Kelly" grip to a handgun will also classify the weapon as AOW (any other weapon) under NFA as well.
Yep. According to the ATF. (Many gun "laws" as noted are not actual laws but rather numerous "interpretations" of existing laws the ATF determines as they are the agency tasked with enforcing existing statutes. They decide something applies under ____ law and then thier interpretation is enforced as law.


You could always file the papers and make it an SBR or if you don't care about the buttstock and AOW is a cheaper stamp, but SBR you could do both. Provided in your state SBR's are legal mine they are not :-(
Yes you could if the state allows it. However it is not simply done at that point. To legaly cross state lines with that firearm requires prior permission from the government. Some people cross state lines regularly and such a requirement could prove quite annoying. Checking in with the nanny state. Being found in possession of, or traveling with such a firearm outside of the registered state at any time without prior permission would be a violation of federal law. You must file a 5320.20 for such things. They expire.


It is also of course official and legal registration. Something the federal government is forbidden to do under the FOPA for non NFA items. So legaly it is the only federal registration allowed.
The most serious gun nuts are registered federaly. ;)


So if you are attempting to purchase an AR handgun that you can use as a legal M4, it will not work. Attaching a buttstock to a firearm with a barrel less than 16 inches (or overall length less than 26 inches) is creation of an illegal SBR without going through the NFA steps.
As BenEzra notes it is also not the best first firearm. It is more difficult to master. It is very loud, and much of the flash and boom is wasted energy not imparted to the bullet because the round's powder is designed for rifle length barrels. That means a giant fireball of powder burning outside the barrel.
Impressive looking, but many standard loads are worse ballisticly than many pistol rounds which use faster pistol powders meant for short barrels.
So the stopping power of the rifle round from a short pistol barrel is actualy less than that of many pistol rounds from pistol barrels.

BrotherWill
January 3, 2009, 05:35 AM
Excellent suggestions and info guys. As far as the AR 15 type weapon, that is what I am going to go with as its my first purchase of a firearm and I figure its best to go with something I am completely familiar with, although I would stray a bit (ie, the pistol version) as its really only different in performance. Maintenance and familiarity wouldnt really be an issue.

That being said, I see your point about the carbine version, and I am going to take that under consideration, as I dont want to take it to the range and hate it. So, a follow up question, what can I legally attach to the carbine version that was posted? I like gadgets and this is purely for fun. Money isnt really too much of an issue, and I dont intend to buy everything outright. Buy an accessory today, save a couple months, get another, you know the deal.

MrCleanOK
January 3, 2009, 10:24 AM
You can put darned near anything you want on a rifle. Some things that come to mind are. . .

Vertical fore grip
Bipod
Light
Laser
Optics
Iron sights
Sling attachments
Night vision
Sound suppressor **NFA rules apply
Short Barrel **NFA rules apply
Different handguards/rails
Different grips
Different butt stocks
Extended charging handle latches
Ambidexterous safety, mag release
Gas block / front sight post

And the list goes on. . .

The only thing on that list you can't put on a pistol is the VFG and butt stock. You may want that bipod if you bolt enough crap to it to end up with a 10 pound pistol.

expvideo
January 3, 2009, 11:23 AM
If you get a $5 AOW tax stamp from the ATF, you can attach a vertical forward grip, and if get a $200 SBR tax stamp from the ATF, you can attach a stock (depending on your state laws, some states don't allow SBRs).

You can also replace the barrel with a 16" barrel and attach a stock without the stamp, but that's going to be a little more work than it's worth with an AR.

As for any other accessories, they are fair game. Just remember that they all add to the weight of the gun, so if you have a light, laser, optic, bayonette, rubber chicken all attached to it, it might get heavy.

One of the main benefits of an AR pistol, asside from the obvious compactness, is the ability (in some states) to keep it loaded in a vehicle. In WA for example, you can't have a loaded rifle in your vehicle per state law. You can have a loaded pistol. This way, you are allowed to keep a rifle caliber weapon loaded in the car, without going to jail. I guess to a lot of people that does not matter, but for some it's a nice benefit.

I would recommend a rifle for your first gun, and eventually get the AR pistol, but it's your money.

MisterPX
January 3, 2009, 01:11 PM
If he's making the AOW himself, it's still a $200 stamp.

Jorg Nysgerrig
January 3, 2009, 02:46 PM
If you get a $5 AOW tax stamp from the ATF, you can attach a vertical forward grip

$5 is the transfer stamp. The manufacturing stamp is still $200, as MisterPX said.

expvideo
January 3, 2009, 03:33 PM
My mistake. I'll have to look further into that.

BrotherWill
January 3, 2009, 05:53 PM
Very nice, looks like I found the right place then for the knowledge I needed. After some further consideration, I am leaning towards the carbine more. With the looser restrictions on the accessories and all it sounds like I will go that route. Now, I just need to figure out exactly the documentation I will need, but Im sure the gun shop will be more than happy to help me out with that. Thanks for all your replies and info, you've been a tremendous help.

WardenWolf
January 3, 2009, 08:05 PM
Here's the problem I see with having an AR-15 pistol: if you also have a standard AR-15, the ATF could charge you with having an SBR because you have the ability to create one by swapping the uppers. Effectively, if you have a pistol AR it better be your only AR or you can get yourself in a lot of trouble, particularly if you buy spare parts for either gun.

shotgunjoel
January 3, 2009, 10:30 PM
Mike the Wolf, wouldn't getting in trouble for being able to make them into a SBR like getting a speeding ticket because your car CAN go that fast? What about possessing a shotgun while also having a hack saw, well you COULD make a SBS. This is all just a big mess and a lot of BS.

MisterPX
January 3, 2009, 10:56 PM
They can't show constructive intent with Mike's scenario.
However, if said person had an AR rifle, and a short barreled upper, without a pistol lower, then there's trouble.

WardenWolf
January 3, 2009, 11:34 PM
Let's see:

You buy a vertical foregrip but don't install it immediately. ATF charges you with intent to assemble an AOW since you have the pistol and loose parts that would fit on the pistol.

You have your lower off your pistol for maintenance and the upper is laying loose. You are charged with intent to assemble an SBR since the lower will fit on your rifle AR-15.

Much of such ATF "intent to assemble" prosecutions are based very little on fact and very much on thuggery. And for almost every aspect of ATF regulations, they will tell you "possession equals intent" (the one known exception being 922(r) and possession of parts that could render it non-compliant). Unless you know the ATF's playbook and realize that they view mere possession as intent, and that their word is law, you can wind up spending a long time in jail for doing absolutely nothing wrong. They don't have to prove anything, other than that you possess it. If you get charged with "intent to assemble", you're toast, because by their laws possession equals intent. There's almost no getting out of it.

Bottom line: if you have parts for your AR rifle that are NOT installed yet (or that you have simply replaced with something you like better) that would be illegal to install on a pistol, you can get nailed. It's a minefield to have both.

Davandron
January 3, 2009, 11:39 PM
Here's the problem I see with having an AR-15 pistol: if you also have a standard AR-15, the ATF could charge you with having an SBR because you have the ability to create one by swapping the uppers.

Hey guys, while I understand it's easy to interpret the wording literally, that's not what "Constructive Possession" actually means. I think its been covered a lot here in legal, but here is a quick link (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=3992720&post3992720).

If a search is executed against your firearms, and you have an AR-15 rifle with a 16" upper attached, plus an AR-15 pistol with a 7" upper attached, you are not breaking any of the ATF / NFA laws.

WardenWolf
January 3, 2009, 11:47 PM
Read my new post and why it's still a minefield to have both.

Davandron
January 4, 2009, 12:29 PM
Read my new post and why it's still a minefield to have both...
You have your lower off your pistol for maintenance and the upper is laying loose. You are charged with intent to assemble an SBR since the lower will fit on your rifle AR-15.

Mike, I think there might be some confusion here. With machine guns and destructive devices, the parts to make those things are the same as the thing itself, and there have been court cases because people possessed the parts (even in an unassembled state). Short barreled devices are handled differently; it's only a short barreled device if it is assembled as such.

I'm familiar with the language in the various federal laws, and no where am I able to find "intent to assemble." Can you cite a ruling or charge that demonstrates this? As far as I've seen, this concern is not based on fact or court cases, but on fear and conjecture.

(Edit: found two court rulings that readily assembled is the same as assembled. In both cases, there was no readily-assembled, non-infringing use of the parts.)

BrotherWill: I think perhaps you're no longer looking at a pistol version, but if you were there is a lot of information at the AR-15 forums and on the quarterbore website. A websearch should turn up links to both of those sites.

WardenWolf
January 4, 2009, 02:18 PM
Again, as I said, the ATF has engaged in a lot of thuggery in the past that's not based on real fact. The core of the matter is, an ATF agent could make your life very difficult if he wanted to. Where the ATF is concerned, most facts don't matter other than that you possessed the parts.

NHCraigT
January 4, 2009, 02:26 PM
Much discussion about AR 15 Pistols and similar variant pistols and their legality questions/discussions, may be found here:

http://www.ar15.com/forums/forum.html?b=3&f=122

Davandron
January 5, 2009, 10:42 AM
I stand corrected on one of my statements; there is a court opinion finding that something which can be readily assembled is the same as assembled.

http://www.quarterbore.net/forums/showthread.php?t=170

In that case, an individual possessed one lower receiver, and two uppers, one of which was a short-barrel. The jury agreed with the government that there was no way to use the short upper except as a short-barreled rifle.
We recognize that Kent argues he had the short-barreled upper receiver unit to use for its parts. However, the Government introduced sufficient evidence to raise an issue for the jury about whether Kent's intent was to use the short-barreled upper receiver unit only for parts or to use the short- barreled upper receiver unit with the lower receiver unit as an AR-15 rifle...In addition, there was no other lower receiver unit found in Kent's apartment to which the short-barreled upper receiver unit could be attached and used to create a legal weapon for purposes of the NFA. Moreover, Kent has never contended that there was a pistol grip or any other piece that he could use to make a legal weapon from this short- barreled upper receiver unit.

BrotherWill
January 5, 2009, 05:32 PM
In that case...

Theres more.

http://cases.justia.com/us-court-of-appeals/F3/175/870/637212/

To me, I think intent was sufficient, but if he wasnt being charged with 5 other crimes and it was only count 3, I dont think it would go very far.

Fleetwood_Captain
January 6, 2009, 10:15 PM
Where do you get the idea of such things being restricted anywhere?

Well Zoogster, seeing that Michigan is a handgun registration state, it wouldn't suprise me if they had other asinine regulations as well. You have to admit, there are some pretty dopey laws that vary from state to state.

An example of such could be how it's illegal to hunt ANY game using a rifle or handgun in Illinois. The use of Buckshot is also illegal. Considering how many deer are taken with rifles, many people in other states likely have no idea their rifle is restricted for hunting here.

My point was that it doesn't hurt to ask if you don't know.

BrotherWill
January 7, 2009, 05:03 AM
Sorry for late response, as I just noticed the question about "why I think such things are restricted". However, to answer the question, its based off me trying to get info from friends who are avid hunters or collect firearms. Here in Michigan its difficult to find ranges that will allow you to shoot assault style weapons. Sure, you can shoot .223 out of a bolt action or semi-auto rifle if it looks like a hunting rifle, but its hard to find ones that will let you fire the exact same round if it looks like an assault rifle.

The good news is that theres an outdoor range that belongs to a local gun club about a mile from my house that allows it. I didnt want to purchase the weapon if I wasnt going to be able to fire it.

Also, judging by the replies here, there are indeed restrictions. For example, the forward grip and the buttstock. You must get an additional stamp to be able to put one on. That by definiton is a restriction. Its not illegal, but they make it more expensive and therefore more difficult.

BrotherWill
January 7, 2009, 05:19 AM
To follow up on my last post, heres an excerpt of Michigan firearms laws I found on the Michgian DNR website (Department of Natural Resources).

750.224 Weapons; manufacture, sale, or possession as felony; exceptions; “muffler” or “silencer” defined.
Sec. 224. (1) A person shall not manufacture, sell, offer for sale, or possess any of the following:
(a) A machine gun or firearm that shoots or is designed to shoot automatically more than 1 shot without manual reloading,
by a single function of the trigger.
(b) A muffler or silencer.
(c) A bomb or bombshell.
(d) A blackjack, slungshot, billy, metallic knuckles, sand club, sand bag, or bludgeon.
(e) A device, weapon, cartridge, container, or contrivance designed to render a person temporarily or permanently disabled
by the ejection, release, or emission of a gas or other substance.
(2) A person who violates subsection (1) is guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or a
fine of not more than $2,500.00, or both.
(3) Subsection (1) does not apply to any of the following:
(a) A self-defense spray device as defined in section 224d.
(b) A person manufacturing firearms, explosives, or munitions of war by virtue of a contract with a department of the government
of the United States.
(c) A person licensed by the secretary of the treasury of the United States or the secretary’s delegate to manufacture, sell, or
possess a machine gun, or a device, weapon, cartridge, container, or contrivance described in subsection (1).
(4) As used in this chapter, “muffler” or “silencer” means 1 or more of the following:
(a) A device for muffling, silencing, or deadening the report of a firearm.
(b) A combination of parts, designed or redesigned, and intended for use in assembling or fabricating a muffler or silencer.
(c) A part, designed or redesigned, and intended only for use in assembling or fabricating a muffler or silencer.
History: 1931, Act 328, Eff. Sept. 18, 1931;—CL 1948, 750.224;—Am. 1959, Act 175, Eff. Mar. 19, 1960;—Am. 1978, Act 564, Imd. Eff. Dec. 29,
1978;—Am. 1980, Act 346, Eff. Mar. 31, 1981;—Am. 1990, Act 321, Eff. Mar. 28, 1991;—Am. 1991, Act 33, Imd. Eff. June 10, 1991.
Constitutionality: The Michigan supreme court held that the statute was not unconstitutionally vague as applied to the defendant in People v. Lynch,
410 Mich. 343, 301 N.W.2d 796 (1981).
Former law: See section 3 of Act 372 of 1927, being CL 1929, § 16751; and Act 206 of 1929.

I mention this because I've seen on this forum people who own silencers in particular, and it was mentioned that its legal for them to use them. Here in Michigan, its a felony. :(

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