MechTech's answer in regards to R>P>R


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BURN
January 20, 2010, 02:40 PM
A few people were asking about mechtech conversions and the legality of going from pistol to rifle and back to pistol...I asked mechtech what their response was to the ATF narrow viewing of the T/C Case here is the Reply...

Our interpretation is that you , the owner of a pistol ( which can be recognized by its specific serial no.) are simply adding fully legal accessories to that pistol. You can add a 16 inch barrel to any pistol legally. It is also legal to add a stock to a pistol to make it a shoulder fired weapon as long as it has a 16 inch or longer barrel. So what you have is actually a shoulder fired pistol. This interpretation is confirmed by the fact that Mech Tech Systems has been distributing this product for 9 years and over 25000 units. Thanks for your interest. Franklyn Jones General manager.

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N003k
January 20, 2010, 02:46 PM
Well, that really doesn't say overly much to me unless they're willing to put up your legal fees if the ATF decides to make an example out of you.

Until the ATF gives it the go ahead in general, it's still done at your own risk.

testosterone
January 20, 2010, 02:48 PM
Agree with N003k.

I am constantly intrigued by those units, but without a statement from ATF saying "yeah, it's cool" I won't be bothering.

Sam1911
January 20, 2010, 02:49 PM
AAAAARGH!

But they didn't actually say you are allowed to convert it back. They stopped JUST short of answering the question.

It certainly IS legal to add a 16" barrel to a pistol. No question. Same if you THEN add a stock. Fine. That's not breaking any new ground.

And their statement that it IS a pistol directly contradicts the ATF's statement that it BECOMES a rifle if you configure it as a rifle. According to the ATF, a "shoulder fired pistol" is either a SBR, or a rifle. And you can't create a firearm with a barrel shorter than 16" "from" a rifle.

Their "confirmation" based on sales only confirms that it is legal to add the parts. Which it is. But it DOESN'T actually speak to the legality of converting back.

What a load of double-speak. From that response, it's quite obvious that their lawyers are well aware of the situation and have made quite sure they're keeping their toes just this side of the line. Leaving the owner to inferr that the answer is "yes" when the answer really is "we're not going to say."

That guy's good. Maddening, but good.

-Sam

BURN
January 20, 2010, 02:57 PM
so far thats how I see it too guys....

Sam1911
January 20, 2010, 03:12 PM
What kills me is that he understands fully that his sales are amost entirely due to the ability of users to switch back and forth. And he fully understands that if he tells folks that they're on extremely shaky ground if they do this, his sales would drop by 90%, more than likely. So he's not going to tell folks anything that would scare off sales, and he's counting on the fact that the ATF hasn't really brought the hammer down on a lot of folks for this ... yet.

Shady...real shady.

-Sam

TexasRifleman
January 20, 2010, 03:21 PM
But they didn't actually say you are allowed to convert it back. They stopped JUST short of answering the question.

It certainly IS legal to add a 16" barrel to a pistol. No question. Same if you THEN add a stock. Fine. That's not breaking any new ground.

That's pretty much it. Still sounds like a one way trip. Nothing new.

But, I quibble with one thing in their statement, same as Sam did.

So what you have is actually a shoulder fired pistol.

Well, no you don't. You have a rifle. Once you put a 16" barrel and a stock on it you no longer HAVE a pistol, that's ATF's whole point.

Shoulder fired pistols are NFA weapons, short barreled rifles, except for a few C&R things.

DMK
January 20, 2010, 03:29 PM
Shady...real shady.I don't agree with that at all.

Mech-Tech has no legal authority to interpret law. All they can do is give you their opinion, which is what they did:

Our interpretation is...

BURN
January 20, 2010, 03:32 PM
I don't agree with that at all.

Mech-Tech has no legal authority to interpret law. All they can do is give you their opinion, which is what they did:
true...but they are selling a product...and almost being misleading about said product legality

Sam1911
January 20, 2010, 03:41 PM
How can you say they don't have the authority to interpret the law and then post a quote from them that starts with, "Our interpretation is...?" LOL! :D

I say it's shady because they are offering what I consider to be a misleading and disingenuous answer. The OP perhaps SHOULD have asked a direct question like, "Can I legally convert this back?" and then maybe Mr. Jones would have had to say, "According to the ATF, no." Instead he said a lot about what IS legal, but left hanging an actual answer to the question.

Reading his answer as a lay person, all I'm hearing is, "yes, go ahead." Understanding the issue a little bit deeper than the average owner (I'm guessing) I see exactly how he managed to aviod the actual answer.

Kind of like asking, "Is it legal to drive my car 100 miles an hour?" And being told, "Yes, it is perfectly legal to drive your car, to the store, down the street, and even in reverse! We know it is because we sell a lot of cars! Thank you for your interest. Sincerely..."

What they do not have any authority to do, and what I feel they've come very close to doing, is to say, "We disagree with the AFT's interpretation so go ahead." That would probably come back to bite them. But, he didn't actually SAY it, he just implied it. He's got good lawyers reading his responses before he sends them.

-Sam

BURN
January 20, 2010, 03:43 PM
How can you say they don't have the authority to interpret the law and then post a quote from them that starts with, "Our interpretation is...?" LOL! :D

I say it's shady because they are offering what I consider to be a misleading and disingenuous answer. The OP perhaps SHOULD have asked a direct question like, "Can I legally convert this back?" and then maybe Mr. Jones would have had to say, "According to the ATF, no." Instead he said a lot about what IS legal, but left hanging an actual answer to the question.

Reading his answer as a lay person, all I'm hearing is, "yes, go ahead." Understanding the issue a little bit deeper than the average owner (I'm guessing) I see exactly how he managed to aviod the actual answer.

Kind of like asking, "Is it legal to drive my car 100 miles an hour?" And being told, "Yes, it is perfectly legal to drive your car, to the store, down the street, and even in reverse! We know it is because we sell a lot of cars! Thank you for your interest. Sincerely..."

What they do not have any authority to do, and what I feel they've come very close to doing, is to say, "We disagree with the AFT's interpretation so go ahead." That would probably come back to bite them. But, he didn't actually SAY it, he just implied it. He's got good lawyers reading his responses before he sends them.

-Sam
My question to them was direct and to the point...I did ask if I could convert it back...or if I had to leave it as a rifle...the above post was the answer I got un-edited

highorder
January 20, 2010, 04:01 PM
Someone needs to ask Mech-Tech one question:

"Is it legal to remove a Mech-Tech conversion and reinstall the OEM parts?"

They will decline to answer, because the answer is NO.

Acknowledging that would kill their sales.

Sam1911
January 20, 2010, 04:22 PM
My question to them was direct and to the point...I did ask if I could convert it back...or if I had to leave it as a rifle...the above post was the answer I got un-edited

Oh, sorry. I though you'd just asked them to "interpret" the ATF's letter.

That they did answer your direct question in this manner is even less above-board than I'd though.

Yikes.

-Sam

BURN
January 20, 2010, 04:53 PM
Someone needs to ask Mech-Tech one question:

"Is it legal to remove a Mech-Tech conversion and reinstall the OEM parts?"

They will decline to answer, because the answer is NO.

Acknowledging that would kill their sales.
it was asked...I think the wording I used was....

once I use your product can I legally remove it and use my firearm as a pistol...or something like that...

Quiet
January 20, 2010, 07:27 PM
Our interpretation is that you , the owner of a pistol ( which can be recognized by its specific serial no.) are simply adding fully legal accessories to that pistol. You can add a 16 inch barrel to any pistol legally. It is also legal to add a stock to a pistol to make it a shoulder fired weapon as long as it has a 16 inch or longer barrel. So what you have is actually a shoulder fired pistol. This interpretation is confirmed by the fact that Mech Tech Systems has been distributing this product for 9 years and over 25000 units. Thanks for your interest. Franklyn Jones General manager.

The BATFE even says it's legal to make a handgun into a rifle.

Someone needs to ask Mech-Tech one question:

"Is it legal to remove a Mech-Tech conversion and reinstall the OEM parts?"

They will decline to answer, because the answer is NO.

Acknowledging that would kill their sales.

What he said.

Mech-Tech refuses to anwser this question.

Walkalong
January 20, 2010, 07:38 PM
Hmmm. I don't have an upper for the frame I use on mine, so I should be good to go. :D

I just don't see it being prosecuted. The ATF would have stepped in by now and said something.

Surely everyone knows folks are going to swap back and forth, including them.

Sam1911
January 20, 2010, 07:43 PM
I just don't see it being prosecuted. The ATF would have stepped in by now and said something.

Because they're consistent? Because they don't contradict themselves? Because they promise that what they haven't prosecuted widely in the past they never will prosecute?

Surely they knew everyone was swapping back and forth with T/Cs, too. And they went all the way to the SCOTUS with it. They lost, in a very limited way, and then published an official position statement explaining the limits of that decision (which appear to be quite valid) and that this exact thing is illegal.

That make you feel all warm and fuzzy? :scrutiny:

-Sam

TexasRifleman
January 20, 2010, 07:45 PM
I just don't see it being prosecuted. The ATF would have stepped in by now and said something.

They did prosecute, in Thompson. And they did say something, they said it's OK to go pistol to rifle but not the reverse.

That's not enough reason to stop the sale of the kit.

Buyer beware as always. I sure wouldn't count on them not prosecuting someone.

MachIVshooter
January 20, 2010, 07:45 PM
I just don't see it being prosecuted. The ATF would have stepped in by now and said something.

That's kinda my thoughts. I can't imagine how many thompsons and AR's that were documented on the 4473 as pistols have been converted back and forth without the owners being indicted/convicted/incarcerated.

I don't personally have any interest in Mec-tech's, thompsons or AR pistols to begin with, but if I did, I'd prolly want to swap it around.

Besides, aren't the kits (like Beretta Neos) that ATF said are OK to swap back and forth recorded as handgun on the 4473?

TexasRifleman
January 20, 2010, 07:48 PM
Besides, aren't the kits (like Beretta Neos) that ATF said are OK to swap back and forth recorded as handgun on the 4473?

That thing was like Thompson. In Thompson the Supremes said that, I'm paraphrasing, if the whole thing is sold as a kit it's fine. But, you can't piece part one together later.

That's why ATF said the ruling only applies to a limited set of Thompson kits that were sold complete. Thompson parts gathered one at a time don't count, at least according to ATF.

I have no doubt there are lots of these out there that get converted back and forth, but it only takes one jerk to see it and report it and someone's life could get ruined.

Just doesn't seem worth it to me.

expeditionx
March 11, 2010, 02:47 AM
AAAAARGH!]

But they didn't actually say you are allowed to convert it back. They stopped JUST short of answering the question.

-Sam


Mechtech is not trying to deal with this in any way that will help keep anyone out of prison. No warnings no nothing. I hope they go out of business
because they are walking gunpowners into a trap. Its complete horse ____.


Thompson Arms is even doing worse. Their customer service is advising people
to swap back and forth from rifle to pistol and vice versa on their Contenders and Encores. TC arms is instructing folks to commit felonies.

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