AR15 Pistol


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TimM
January 3, 2013, 01:05 PM
Hey Gang,
I wasn't sure which subforum to post this question in so if this is the wrong one I apologize.

I know that a vertical foregrip on a pistol is illegal but is it legal to put a Magpul angled foregrip on an AR pistol?

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mbogo
January 3, 2013, 01:47 PM
Why do you think that a vertical foregrip on a pistol is illegal?

mbogo

TimM
January 3, 2013, 01:54 PM
It's not illegal if I want to fill out the paper work and purchase a tax stamp. But if I was gonna do that I'd just sbr it.

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_122/458387_ATF_Rule_on_Adding_a_Vertical_Fore_Grip_to_a_Handgun__Specifically_the_AR15_Pistol_.html

Jeff H
January 3, 2013, 02:12 PM
Why do you think that a vertical foregrip on a pistol is illegal?

Because it is (without the tax stamp as the OP noted. )

MasterSergeantA
January 3, 2013, 02:59 PM
Hey Gang,
I wasn't sure which subforum to post this question in so if this is the wrong one I apologize.

I know that a vertical foregrip on a pistol is illegal but is it legal to put a Magpul angled foregrip on an AR pistol?
Yes. It is legal. I have a .jpg of the ATF letter with that opinion.

TimM
January 3, 2013, 03:16 PM
Thanks.

MasterSergeantA
January 3, 2013, 03:49 PM
You are most welcome.

You can see a copy of the opinion at this link:

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_122/525036_Request___Scans_of_any_letters_from_the_BATFE__that_pertain_to_AR_pistols.html

about 3/4 of the way down the page.

Girodin
January 4, 2013, 02:33 PM
Yes. It is legal. I have a .jpg of the ATF letter with that opinion.

I think it behooves us to be slightly more precise. The ATF, or at least certain tech branch employees have offered their opinion that it is legal. That does not make it the law. It does not even prevent the ATF from changing their opinion tomorrow. There are many examples of the ATF changing their opinion about what the law is.

Until there is an adjudication of the issue we can at best say what the ATF's most recent opinion (subject to change without notice) is. Them offering those opinions is a good indication of how they plan to proceed and how they plan to enforce things in the near future. It, however, is not a binding statement of the generally applicable law.

People seem to not understand what the exact significance of ATF opinion letters are.

MasterSergeantA
January 4, 2013, 04:24 PM
Most of what comes out of the ATF is "opinion". But they are the ones who are likely to send you to the gaol if you violate their opinions. I never said it was a law. If you would like to get the issue adjudicated, feel free.

Aaron Baker
January 4, 2013, 06:50 PM
For that matter, it is only the ATF's opinion that putting a vertical foregrip on a pistol transforms it into an Any Other Weapon.

The definition of pistol under the NFA refers to a firearm originally designed to be held in one hand. Adding anything to an already manufactured firearm doesn't change its original design.

So yeah, the ATF is pretty arbitrary in their opinions, and it really only indicates what they're likely to do or not do in enforcing the laws they interpret.

But they're pretty clear on their opinion so far that the Magpul AFG isn't a vertical grip and is okay on pistols for now.

Aaron

Girodin
January 5, 2013, 02:27 AM
Actually you did, or at the very least strongly suggested it when you wrote:

Yes. It is legal.


If you would like to get the issue adjudicated, feel free.

Actually, I'd rather not, at least not as a party. I wouldn't mind being counsel. I'm sure others share my sentiment. That is part of why I think we should be more precise in what we say so others understand. I can think of a few examples of things the ATF has suddenly changed their opinion about.

The definition of pistol under the NFA refers to a firearm originally designed to be held in one hand. Adding anything to an already manufactured firearm doesn't change its original design.


I actually find this reasoning fairly compelling. The ATF argues that adding the VFG you are "making" a new weapon. That's far from a air tight argument IMHO, but that is the reasoning. I also find the definitions of "pistol" found in 27 C.F.R. 479.11 and 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(29) to be problematic for a few reasons but that is another discussion.


So yeah, the ATF is pretty arbitrary in their opinions, and it really only indicates what they're likely to do or not do in enforcing the laws they interpret.

Exactly. More over they are known to change them with little notice and some times seemingly no rhyme or reason. Thus, as we have noted it is an indication of how they intended to enforce. However, to say it is legal, might leave one unaware that they could simply change their opinion tomorrow, next week, or next year, something they have a history of doing.

What is really weird about the ATF giving the OK to AFG's is their reasoning for not allowing a VFG. From the ATF's website

ATF has long held that by installing a vertical fore grip on a handgun, the handgun is no longer designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand. Therefore, if individuals install a vertical fore grip on a handgun, they are “making” a firearm requiring registration with ATF’s NFA Branch.

http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/firearms-technology.html

Now how an AFG differs in that regard from a VFG is completely beyond me. The purpose of putting an AFG on it is clearly so you can shoot it with two hands.

Perhaps it is just someone realizing the VFG reasoning is hokie but given that you have a bunch of gun registered as AOW based soley on having a VFG it would be problematic to abandon that interpretation. However, the AFG is a clean slate and they can distinguish it (even if not very logically) from a VFG. Or it could be some random inspector just thought, "well its not a VFG," without really thinking about or looking at the logic behind the VFG = AOW position. Who knows?

My point is simply that it is probably best to be more clear rather than less clear about the status of the AFG.

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