Magpul AFG + AR pistol = AOW?


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Iansstud
February 4, 2010, 05:17 PM
Anyone know for sure if the AFG is ATF ok on an AR pistol? It not Vertical dispite the name... Just like you CAN have a handstrap on an AR pistol.

Does anyone have Proof or a letter from the ATF or know 1st hand about this topic??

Thanks

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nalioth
February 4, 2010, 05:31 PM
Might help if you'd 'splain what a "Magpul AVG" is.


. . . and for Pete's sake, please don't go off writin' letters to the ATF.

The law is quite clear on these matters, and I do not understand why folks have to write the revenuers for every little thing . . .

highorder
February 4, 2010, 05:36 PM
The Magpul AFG (http://www.aimsurplus.com/product.aspx?item=XMAG411Blk&groupid=51) is a different take on a foregrip.

The NFA doesn't say a pistol can't have a foregrip, it says a "pistol" is "designed to be fired with one hand." The NFA is poorly written, and outdated.

Iansstud
February 4, 2010, 05:37 PM
AFG not AVG my mistake...

here: http://store.magpul.com/product/64/88

http://store.magpul.com/images/uploads/64_334_popup.jpg

Iansstud
February 4, 2010, 05:38 PM
The NFA doesn't say a pistol can't have a foregrip, it says a "pistol" is "designed to be fired with one hand." The NFA is poorly written, and outdated.

are you saying I can have a Vertical foregrip? or that the AFG is ok?

Thanks

highorder
February 4, 2010, 05:41 PM
are you saying I can have a Vertical foregrip? or that the AFG is ok?

Hold on there, I don't have the authority to tell you anything.

Read this. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertical_forward_grip)

Iansstud
February 4, 2010, 05:47 PM
So a judge in 1993 said its ok, and the atf in 2006 said they will Prosecute.

So Im thinking the Vertical grip is a No-no but the AFG might be ok...

kanook
February 4, 2010, 05:50 PM
Lets us know how that works out for ya

Even though it looks legal, do you have the pocket book to help just in case?

highorder
February 4, 2010, 05:51 PM
So a judge in 1993 said its ok, and the atf in 2006 said they will Prosecute.

So Im thinking the Vertical grip is a No-no but the AFG might be ok...

You will be just fine unless someone decides to jam you up. If that's the case, you will have the opportunity to become the test case; hopefully you make it to the Supreme Court, and the BATFE loses. Then your name will be celebrated all through the land as one of the brave few that helped to restrain the BATFE.

Quiet
February 4, 2010, 07:34 PM
Do not install the Magpul AFG to an AR/AK/SIG/PLR pistol.
Unless you have BATFE approval to make an AOW.

If you install it onto a pistol, the pistol no longer meets the definition of a handgun and would be considered an AOW.




18 USC 921
(a) As used in this chapter—
(29) The term “handgun” means—
(A) a firearm which has a short stock and is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand; and
(B) any combination of parts from which a firearm described in subparagraph (A) can be assembled.

27 CFR 478.11
Handgun.
(a) Any firearm which has a short stock and is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand; and (b) Any combination of parts from which a firearm described in paragraph (a) can be assembled.

Pistol.
A weapon originally designed, made, and intended to fire a projectile (bullet) from one or more barrels when held in one hand, and having (a) a chamber(s) as an integral part(s) of, or permanently aligned with, the bore(s); and (b) a short stock designed to be gripped by one hand and at an angle to and extending below the line of the bore(s).

Semiautomatic pistol.
Any repeating pistol which utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round, and which requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge.

BATFE NFA Handbook (ATF Publication 5320.8 April 2008)
2.1.5 Any other weapon.
Firearms meeting the definition of “any other weapon” are weapons or devices capable of being concealed on the person from which a shot can be discharged through the energy of an explosive. Many “any other weapons” are disguised devices such as penguns, cigarette lighter guns, knife guns, cane guns and umbrella guns.

Also included in the “any other weapon” definition are pistols and revolvers having smooth bore barrels designed or redesigned to fire a fixed shotgun shell.

While the above weapons are similar in appearance to weapons made from shotguns, they were originally manufactured in the illustrated configuration and are not modified from existing shotguns. As a result, these weapons do not fit within the definition of shotgun or weapons made from a shotgun.

The “any other weapon” definition also includes specifically described weapons with combination shotgun and rifle barrels 12 inches or more but less than 18 inches in length from which only a single discharge can be made from either barrel without manual reloading. The firearm most commonly associated with this portion of the definition is the Marble’s Game Getter.

The “any other weapon” definition excludes weapons designed to be fired from the shoulder that are not capable of firing fixed ammunition or a pistol or revolver having a rifled bore. However, certain alterations to a pistol or revolver, such as the addition of a second vertical handgrip, create a weapon that no longer meets the definition of pistol or revolver. A pistol or revolver modified as described is an “any other weapon” subject to the NFA because the weapon is not designed to be fired when held in one hand.

As stated above, a pistol or revolver having a rifled bore does not meet the definition of “any other weapon” and is not subject to the NFA. It is important to note that any pistol or revolver having a barrel without a rifled bore does not fit within the exclusion and is an “any other weapon” subject to the NFA.

Z-Michigan
February 4, 2010, 07:49 PM
Someone with the funds could probably sue for a declaratory judgment and therefore settle the law without risking their freedom.

Otherwise, while there is no good reason it should be illegal, I personally would not chance it by installing one.

Avizpls
February 4, 2010, 08:03 PM
damn it. An awesome idea, I didnt think of it, AND I cant really do it without worrying. Im pissed that I let thier tendency to make and enforce the rules as they go intimidate me! But....you know how it is. Frustrating

PLRinmypocket
February 4, 2010, 10:21 PM
does not look vertical to me, in fact it looks more horizontal to me.

ATF has a letter that specifically says VERTICAL foregrips are no-no's.... nothing about horizontal grips, or even almost horizontal grips. Technically a fore-end/barrel shroud is a horizontal grip, and perfectly legal on pistols. This AFG could just be an extension of a barrel shroud. In fact the way Magpul shows it being used actually puts the thumb to the side, or even around the fore-end, which is not at all like a vertical forward pistol grip is held.

But it is your choice to put it on or not. Personally, I think it is fine, but that's just one opinion, and does not mean much.

Best thing to do would be to send a letter to magpul and ask them. They may have allready gotten a ruling from the ATF on it.

TexasRifleman
February 4, 2010, 10:24 PM
ATF made every 11 inch shoestring in America a felony to own for a period of over 2 years.

Just keep that in mind if you try to play guessing games about what they would say.....

And no, I'm not making it up or exaggerating.

Sholiz
February 4, 2010, 11:16 PM
If you really want to know, write a letter to the ATF? That way you can keep the letter on file if they give you the "OK" and then try to screw you.

nalioth
February 4, 2010, 11:21 PM
f you really want to know, write a letter to the ATF? That way you can keep the letter on file if they give you the "OK" and then try to screw you. Again, this does nothiing but screw everyone.

PLRinmypocket has it right (http://thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=6250752&postcount=13) - write Magpul and find out what the ATF told them.

Every letter an individual writes to to the government gives the revenuers a chance to reverse themselves.

Amazing how they do this, since the actual law hasn't changed from day 1.

Girodin
February 4, 2010, 11:36 PM
There are a few points of law that ought to be addressed in this thread.

Someone with the funds could probably sue for a declaratory judgment and therefore settle the law without risking their freedom.

Said person would run into the pesky doctrine of standing. The case would be promptly dismissed for lack of standing. No injury = no standing (with some exceptions that do not apply in this case, well perhaps a manufacturer could get standing under proximity of relationship)

Letters from the ATF, if they carry the force of law, carry it for the individual whose name is on it. If you found a thousand letters from the ATF saying it was okay they could still prosecute you the next day. Thus if you want to stand a better chance of being in the clear get your own letter make copies and keep them in safe places. I do not know if the code has a provision that would allow a defense of reasonable reliance on the publication of a govt official or not.

Amazing how they do this, since the actual law hasn't changed from day 1

It actually makes sense (well as much as it can) if you understand how executive agency law functions.

nalioth
February 5, 2010, 12:02 AM
Amazing how they do this, since the actual law hasn't changed from day 1
It actually makes sense (well as much as it can) if you understand how executive agency law functions.Yeah, sorry. I forgot the [sarcasm] tags.

Aaron Baker
February 5, 2010, 12:52 AM
Asking an administrative agency for their opinion only tells you whether they'd prosecute you if you were the longest blade of grass when the mower came your way. It doesn't tell you whether it's legal.

Statutes and case law tell you whether it's legal. There's just a statute here and very little case law. (The 1993 case isn't precedent because it was dropped at the District Court level when the ATF lost.)

That said, if you don't have the money to fight the court battle, it's safer to stand only as tall as the other blades of grass by not putting any sort of even remotely vertical grip on your pistol.

IAALBNYL (I am a lawyer, but not your lawyer), but I think the proper way to resolve this issue would be to take your favorite MANUFACTURED pistol that has a rail and pay the ATF the tax to make an AOW by putting a forward vertical grip on it. Then sue them to get your tax money back.

If I recall correctly, that's how cases like the Thompson Contender case started. You do everything legally by jumping through the hoops the ATF sets up (getting the tax stamp) and then you ask for your money back in court. If the court rules in your favor, you get your $5 back and you also set a precedent that can be cited in other cases. (That precedent is only persuasive at the trial court level, but if the ATF appeals the loss and still loses, you've created binding case law.)

Now, the reason I capitalized the word "manufactured" above is because of the wording of the statute. It says that a pistol is a "weapon originally designed, made, and intended to fire a projectile [...] when held in one hand, and [...] a short stock designed to be gripped by one hand and at an angle to and extending below the line of the bore(s)."

The important words are "originally designed, made, and intended." A Glock 17 is originally designed, made, and intended to be held in one hand and has a short stock designed to be gripped by one hand (etc). (That's the one original pistol grip.) So when you add a vertical foregrip to the front rail, you're taking something that's a pistol as originally designed and adding a new feature. BUT, and here's the important part, even though it's now capable of being held with two hands, it was still ORIGINALLY designed, made and intended to be fired with one hand.

The opposite case would be if you built a pistol-type gun from scratch and designed it with a vertical grip. Imagine making your own semi-auto Sten with no stock and a vertical foregrip. That wouldn't be a "pistol" under the law because it wasn't originally designed, made and intended to be used with only one hand.

See the critical distinction? It's whether the person that made the original gun put one or two grips on it.

So now we just have to get someone to bankroll the test case by paying the AOW tax to put a VFG on their Glock and then suing the ATF to get their taxes back. Perhaps Magpul would be interested in something like that? I don't know, but they sure would sell more foregrips if they were.

Aaron

Edit: Sorry for the bad information: the Form 1 tax for making an AOW is $200. Transfer tax on an AOW on a Form 4 is $5. So if you're making an AOW out of a Glock, as I suggested, you'd be fighting for your $200 back, not just $5. Too bad really--I'm confident someone could win such a case and it'd be funnier if it was only $5 you were fighting over.

david_the_greek
February 5, 2010, 01:04 AM
despite all attempts to hold back my mall ninja.... I kind of like that thing. Looks like a pretty natural grip

praharin
February 5, 2010, 01:40 AM
I'm confident someone could win such a case and it'd be funnier if it was only $5 you were fighting over.

Funnier, sure, but would get no less fight from the BATFE, or whomever. If they let it get by, then it would open the flood gates. Glocks everywhere would have vertical grips and senior citizens couldn't leave their houses at night. Chaos man, chaos!

nwilliams
February 5, 2010, 01:57 AM
despite all attempts to hold back my mall ninja.... I kind of like that thing. Looks like a pretty natural grip

It's actually very nice, I installed one on my AR and I really like it.

I actually think it's less mall ninja than a vertical grip, which is one of the reasons I like it.

Here it is on my Stag....
http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb264/nwilliams27/Stag3.jpg

Aaron Baker
February 5, 2010, 02:07 AM
Funnier, sure, but would get no less fight from the BATFE, or whomever. If they let it get by, then it would open the flood gates. Glocks everywhere would have vertical grips and senior citizens couldn't leave their houses at night. Chaos man, chaos!

Well, sure, the BATFE would fight just as hard. But the way I see it, the plain language of the statute is pretty clear. "Originally made" doesn't leave much room. It can still be a pistol if that's how it was originally made. This is a winnable fight.

You see, really, I'm thinking of the senior citizens. I imagine them quaking in fear in their homes at night now, unable to firmly grip their Glocks with its meager single grip. Just think about how empowered those arthritic seniors would be if they could grip their pistol with two hands on two grips! They'd become a force to be reckoned with, taking back the night from the thugs and gangs!

Too much? Maybe too much...

But I still think it'd be an interesting court case!

Aaron

Z-Michigan
February 5, 2010, 09:57 AM
Said person would run into the pesky doctrine of standing. The case would be promptly dismissed for lack of standing. No injury = no standing (with some exceptions that do not apply in this case, well perhaps a manufacturer could get standing under proximity of relationship)

I'm familiar with standing. Like Aaron, IAALBNYL. I am not a litigator, however. I would think you could get standing by pleading that you want to attach the grip, there is a court case saying you're OK to do so, but BATFE has stated they will prosecute anyone who does so. To me that's a controversy that supports standing. But, anyway, Aaron's suggestion of paying the $5 tax and getting approval, then suing for a refund, is probably a better approach anyway.

Bartholomew Roberts
February 5, 2010, 10:09 AM
Anybody thinking of playing cutesy with the ATF should read Dave Hardy's ATF Archives to get an idea of who they are screwing with and what type of behavior they can expect: http://armsandthelaw.com/archives/batfe/index.php

Second, while I agree with Aaron Baker that this is definitely a winnable fight (and a good toehold to go after the NFA in general), even if you win, the ATF will just regulate/interpret the win into nothing.

For example, despite the Thompson Centerfire Contender ruling (at the Supreme Court level no less) from the 1990s, the ATF still takes the position that this applies only to that specific type of pistol and kit (which is no longer manufactured).

If you actually wanted to make the ruling stick, you would need the money to rub ATF's face in it over and over again until they finally acknowledged the general applicability of the rule rather than just carved out an extremely specific exception in their own Byzantine regulation for it.

tkopp
February 5, 2010, 11:00 AM
The trouble is, precedent has been set that modifying a weapon is 'making' a new form of weapon. When you pay your stamp to cut your barrel short, you are manufacturing a short-barreled rifle (and need to engrave your name as a weapons manufacturer). Similarly, when you add a grip for a second hand you are 'making' an AOW.

Aaron Baker
February 5, 2010, 11:46 AM
The trouble is, precedent has been set that modifying a weapon is 'making' a new form of weapon. When you pay your stamp to cut your barrel short, you are manufacturing a short-barreled rifle (and need to engrave your name as a weapons manufacturer). Similarly, when you add a grip for a second hand you are 'making' an AOW.

You're only partially correct. If you do something that causes a non-regulated gun to become a regulated firearm, then you're "making" and that means you have to pay the tax. But if you do something to a non-regulated gun that doesn't change it into a regulated firearm, that's not "making."

Some examples: as you said, if you take a non-regulated normal rifle and chop its barrel to less than 16 inches, you have "made" a new short-barreled rifle and you have to pay the making tax on Form 1. You can use the old serial number, but you become the maker. That's a case where modifying a weapon equals making, because you've transformed it.

However, if you chop a barrel from 20 inches to 18 inches, then you've done a modification that doesn't change the character of the rifle. It WAS a rifle and it still IS a rifle, so legally you haven't "made" it into anything else.

Currently, the ATF says that vertical foregrips "make" pistols into AOWs, so if you install one, then under their interpretation, you become the "maker" of an AOW.

However, their reasoning is based on the definition of pistol. That definition says "originally designed, made or intended" to be fired with one hand. It's that word originally that matters. If that word has any meaning, then a Glock is still a pistol even if you add other parts later. Thus, if you haven't changed it from being a pistol into something that's not a pistol with your modification, then you haven't done any "making."

In the end, it's circular logic. You're only "making" if the ATF is right that it's an AOW. If the ATF is wrong about it being an AOW, then you're not "making" anything--you're just adding an accessory.

The ATF doesn't say you've made your bolt-action hunting rifle when you add a scope, does it?

Aaron

Iansstud
February 5, 2010, 12:55 PM
I think I understand...

I do know the ATF and who Im dealing with, And I will NOT be testing them in court any time soon!!!

I will also NOT be attaching this AFG to my AR pistol.

Aaron Baker: One last question... I also am building an AK Pistol However, I AM the maker of the pistol, because I am making the receiver from parts. If I "Make" the pistol with AFG attached does this change anything?


And I just realized This should be in the Legal page, or pistol page... Its not anything to do with rilfes...

lobo9er
February 5, 2010, 01:06 PM
perfect example how gun laws can make law abiding citizen criminals without them even knowing it. I doubt these regulations have stopped any one with criminal intent from doing so.

george30
February 5, 2010, 01:26 PM
Good point lobo9er. Just to let everyone know, Magpul does not know the answer to this question yet. I spoke with one of their tech support guys the other day about this and he said they have contacted the ATF on this matter and do not have a ruling yet. As soon as they get the ruling they are going to post it on their website. Hope that helps.

Aaron Baker
February 5, 2010, 09:11 PM
Aaron Baker: One last question... I also am building an AK Pistol However, I AM the maker of the pistol, because I am making the receiver from parts. If I "Make" the pistol with AFG attached does this change anything?

Well, to be clear, I don't actually know. But I would be a lot more cautious in that situation. If you start with a receiver blank, you are definitely the maker. If you "design" or "make" or "intend" the pistol to be used with a VFG, then you aren't making a pistol per the NFA's definition of pistol. The more interesting question would be whether you can make your own AK pistol, and then later on (how long?) attach a vertical foregrip. And, of course, all of this sort of applies to those pesky AR pistols. If you buy an AR pistol that's assembled from the factory as a whole pistol, you're probably okay to install a vertical foregrip if the case I'm proposing wins. However, if you buy a stripped lower and build it up into a pistol, then you're back in the homemade AK territory. You've made the pistol, so at what point can you later add a vertical foregrip?

That's all dependent on my interpretation of the law actually becoming case law in court.

How about this for a thought experiment: say I do win a court case that lets you put a VFG on a pistol. Now can Glock sell a G17 with an optional foregrip accessory as one package, or do they have to sell them separately? They certainly couldn't make an integral foregrip, but when does a detachable grip cross the line if the same manufacturer makes the pistol and sells the grip?

By the way, I mentioned before that I am a lawyer. I have been looking at a bit of case law, and I think this would be a fun case to take on the ATF with. It ain't a money-maker, but sometimes principles are more important than money.

Aaron

Iansstud
February 6, 2010, 02:45 PM
but sometimes principles are more important than money.


Well Aaron, Your the only lawyer I like besides my own lawyer! ;)

Glen Vandermolen
May 5, 2010, 06:48 PM
There is a way to "make" an AOW without paying the $200 tax: let a class 7 manufacturer "make" the gun for you.
I looked into adding a vertical foregrip to a Thompson pistol. Sounded so easy, just pay the $5 AOW tax, add the grip. Ha! Then I found out that if I added a vertical grip, I would become the manufacturer of an AOW, now making the tax $200. Not good.

However, if you know of a class 7 maunfacturer, all they would have to do is attach the grip for you, engrave their company name on the gun, then have it transferred to you for $5 (after all the paperwork). Class 7 manufacturers don't pay the $200 tax. I found such a local manufacturer. He agreed to do the work, and all he would collect is the engraving fee, about $65 in this case. You'll have to have the gun engraved no matter who "makes" the AOW.

As far as the Magpul grip, I'd definitely talk to the manufacturer and get their opinion.

nalioth
May 5, 2010, 07:28 PM
However, if you know of a class 7 maunfacturer, all they would have to do is attach the grip for you, engrave their company name on the gun, then have it transferred to you for $5 (after all the paperwork). Class 7 manufacturers don't pay the $200 tax. I found such a local manufacturer. He agreed to do the work, and all he would collect is the engraving fee, about $65 in this case. You'll have to have the gun engraved no matter who "makes" the AOW. It does sound nice, doesn't it?

It is more akin to a SOT 7 "manufacturing" the AOW for you, charging you $150 for the labor and you getting it transferred for $5.

(glad you found one that works cheaper)

Zerodefect
May 5, 2010, 10:04 PM
Despite the fine print of the law, the intent of the AFG is to improve the grip of the weapon the way that the vert grip was supposed to.

I wouldn't do it if I were you. (hide your dogs if you do:uhoh:)



The AFg's rock, way out on a middy length or rifle length rail system. But I didn't like them on carbines. Too close. I prefer no vert grip on carbines.
A Reese with the AFG and Magpul rail covers is the cats meow.

ndenise
March 3, 2011, 04:31 PM
here is your answer.....

https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B0qyloA48O3XZWFjYjMwYTMtYTg1MC00NzVhLWI3NmMtZDRiNTMzNzdhMzUx&hl=en

plain and simple, YES YOU CAN

ndenise
March 3, 2011, 04:34 PM
the link has scan docs from the ATF

nwilliams
March 3, 2011, 04:58 PM
ndenise, thanks for posting that.

I was always under the impression that the AFG could not be used on a pistol, seems that may not be the case afterall.

old wanderer
April 22, 2011, 01:03 AM
My Keltec PLR16 works great with the Magpul AFG, I did print a copy of that letter and have it with my stamp documents. (just in-case).

Zerodefect
April 22, 2011, 07:22 AM
Yeah. Because the ATF never goes back on thier word and locks innocent people up for 10years.

Right???

ISO1600
April 22, 2011, 09:24 AM
With any gov agency, in my experience (active USAF), it is all about interpretation of the regulations. Doesn't matter what they say, but how they are read and by who.

old wanderer
April 23, 2011, 01:55 AM
Why do you think they would even care??

It is not that they don't have a lot of "legitimate" work to do. (Like figuring out what to do about the Mexican gun runner in their own organization). :banghead:

You would have to be whizzing in the top of their cowboy boots when they were trying to impress some young lady with the size of their badge or something to get them to waste time on such trivia..

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