AR pistol to NFA SBR


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D94R
November 5, 2012, 08:38 PM
Ultimately I want to build a SBR with a suppressor, but I don't have the cash to do it all at once.

If I understand my research right I can build an AR pistol as long as the receiver is for a pistol. Then later apply for the tax stamp to add a buttstock to make it a SBR (and once a rifle always a rifle?). Then later apply for the suppressor tax stamp?

Sound right?



- build AR pistol
- apply for tax stamp, add buttstock for SBR
- apply for tax stamp, add suppressor


This is my first dabble at going the NFA route so I'd like to make sure I'm understanding the process here.



Der, guess I shoulda posted in the NFA section.

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Aaron Baker
November 5, 2012, 09:40 PM
One of the mods can move this to the NFA section, but you're essentially on the right track.

The AR15 receiver you use, if it starts as a stripped receiver, will be transferred as a "receiver" on the 4473, so you're fine to build a pistol. The ATF rule is that as long as it has never been actually built as a rifle, you're okay to build a pistol from it.

As for the pistol build, you can use any buffer tube you want for that, according to the ATF. But to be on the safe side, don't own a stock that can go on that tube. And to be on the super-safe side, use a "pistol" buffer tube (one that a stock can't go on) until you're ready to make it into a rifle, and then swap for a rifle or carbine buffer tube and stock.

Aaron

D94R
November 5, 2012, 09:59 PM
Does already having an assembled AR mean I own a buttstock that can go on that tube then?

I don't want to get caught up in a "you own a shoe string, you therefore have a full auto" type scenario because I already have the parts on another rifle.

madcratebuilder
November 6, 2012, 08:37 AM
- build AR pistol
- apply for tax stamp, add buttstock for SBR
- apply for tax stamp, add suppressor


This is my first dabble at going the NFA route so I'd like to make sure I'm understanding the process here.

When you get the SBR tax stamp you well need to have the lower engraved.

If you happen to have a butt stock that can fit your AR pistol the BATF&E thought police well not come and take you away.

Aaron Baker
November 6, 2012, 08:57 AM
I agree with madcratebuilder.

I think that "constructive possession" is a boogeyman. People love to trot it out and scare each other. The people that get charged under that theory are people who are on the ATF's radar for a good reason, and it's usually in relation to illegal full-auto stuff.

I would never suggest doing something illegal, but I don't think you're at great risk by having a stock available to put on a rifle as long as you don't do it. First, you're not being investigated by the ATF already, so how would they ever know? Second, you haven't actually put the stock on the rifle, so there's no actual violation of law. Third, if you've applied for a tax stamp already, I think that shows an intent to follow the law, not violate it. Fourth, if you have another firearm it can go on, then there's a reasonable explanation for why you have it.

With all that said, I usually err on the side of telling people not to have a stock around if they have an AR pistol as long as they don't have other ARs, because it's the difference between a miniscule risk of punishment versus no risk.

The advice you usually hear is this: make sure that your quantity of parts matches up in such a way that if everything was installed on every possible weapon, you woudn't have any illegal configurations. That applies to stocks, short-barrel uppers, etc.

So if you own a full-size AR with no extra parts, and then an AR pistol, there's no problem. But if you own a full-size AR, an extra stock, and then an AR pistol, assembling all the parts together would get you a full-size AR and an SBR AR with no extra parts. Potential problem.

Same with short barrel uppers. If you own a full-size AR, an NFA-registered SBR AR with an upper on it and one extra short-barrel upper, then you're probably okay, since you can easily say that the extra upper is only meant to trade out on the NFA-registered lower. But if you own a full-size AR, an NFA-registered SBR AR with an upper on it, and then an extra short-barrel upper and an extra un NFA-registered lower with a complete fire control group and stock, then it looks like you really have an unassembled illegal SBR.

Again, this is all theoretical. Unless the ATF has some other reason to kick down your door, the chances of being charged over this kind of stuff is practically non-existent. The "constructive possession" theory as it relates to NFA firearms appears in cases where they busted someone for other, bigger charges as well.

That's my 2 cents.

Aaron

D94R
November 6, 2012, 09:39 PM
That all makes sense to me. You are right, I'm not on their radar.


I may approach this another way though. Go ahead and Form1 my current lower reciever. Then buy an 11.5" upper. That way I can swap uppers legally, but still have my SBR. Then can it later, and build another lower later so I can have complete rifles. To me this makes it the quickest and cheapest route.

justice06rr
November 7, 2012, 02:13 AM
Aaron, I think some of what you said is still bordering on paranoia.

Consider I have multiple AR rifles and planning to build an AR pistol or SBR. I also have about 3 other stocks available since I have upgraded to different stocks from the standard M4 stock to a couple of different Magpul stocks on my other AR's. So I will have some stocks not being used that I wont sell because I will lose money on them, or I will still have use for them on future AR rifle builds.

IMHO as long as you do not do anything illegal you should be fine. Give them a reason to think otherwise then you should be worried. As a safety measure you can put away in storage any extra stocks you have that are not being used. Just my 2c.

Aaron Baker
November 7, 2012, 09:59 AM
Aaron, I think some of what you said is still bordering on paranoia.

I agree completely. That's why I said that constructive possession is a boogeyman, and that I only give the advice I give because it's the difference between a miniscule amount of risk and no risk. I do think that for less than 1% of the people I might give advice to, there's a small possibility that they'll have a law enforcement encounter that would cause them some grief.

What it comes down to is that the ATF could do to you what they've done to other people that they've already arrested for other things, which is say that having a collection of parts is the same as having the assembled gun. That's stupid, and it's unlikely to ever happen to anyone who isn't already running afoul of the ATF, but it's a possible reality.

Personally? I don't think having an extra stock around puts me in legal danger. But I'm a lawyer and fairly well-versed in NFA law, and not on the ATF's radar. If I'm giving advice, I want to put all the information out there so that someone who is more risk-adverse than me can make the safest decision possible, even if I regard it personally as paranoid.

Aaron

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