Help with SBR: Legality, Semantics, etc.


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meanmrmustard
April 11, 2013, 06:04 AM
Hey folks. I have several questions I'd like clarified by my favorite gun gurus.

I've recently acquired a new, yet complete, Plum Crazy lower receiver in order to do a build. I hadn't intended to build an SBR, but it may work out that way.

I'll be picking up a 7.5" AR upper in 5.56 today, and had some inquiries.

1. I've no intention of joining upper and lower until I've either a). Acquired necessary stamp in order to make it legal, or b). Use as pistol. I'm not a fan of plan "b", but my understanding is that whether stripped or complete even with a stock, a receiver that has never been built as a rifle with barreled action is registered as "other". Am I mistaken, or can I use my lower sans stock in order to own the weapon as a pistol? Do I need to register as such?

2. While I'm aware of the goofy $200 tax stamp for Form 1 processing, I am lost as to whether I have to have a trust. What does it do? I'm reading up on it and can't quite figure out necessity. If its a protection of legal sorts for my family, cool beans. But, is it a have-to situation? I'm reading stickys and finding that an abondoned Class 2 is a bad deal if I pass, so I may have answered that one myself. But, who does a trust, what's it cost, what's entailed?

3. How important is CLEO?

Any help with this is appreciated. I'll lurk some more to try and make heads and tails of what I need to do, but I figure you guys are smarter!:)

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Sam1911
April 11, 2013, 07:42 AM
1. I've no intention of joining upper and lower until I've either a). Acquired necessary stamp in order to make it legal, or b). Use as pistol. I'm not a fan of plan "b", but my understanding is that whether stripped or complete even with a stock, a receiver that has never been built as a rifle with barreled action is registered as "other". Am I mistaken, or can I use my lower sans stock in order to own the weapon as a pistol? Do I need to register as such?You may use the firearm as either a pistol or a rifle build (or a long-barreled stockless item over 26" which would still be an "other firearm" if sold again on a 4473). You can't go back and re-register it as something else, because it isn't REGISTERED anywhere anyway. What it was at the moment of first sale is all that the 4473 record in your dealer's filing cabinet tells anyone who bothers to look.

2. While I'm aware of the goofy $200 tax stamp for Form 1 processing, I am lost as to whether I have to have a trust. What does it do? I'm reading up on it and can't quite figure out necessity. If its a protection of legal sorts for my family, cool beans. But, is it a have-to situation? I'm reading stickys and finding that an abondoned Class 2 is a bad deal if I pass, so I may have answered that one myself. But, who does a trust, what's it cost, what's entailed?

3. How important is CLEO?These items are largely the same question, for most shooters. While a firearms trust has several benefits, the primary one that folks getting into NFA firearms care about is that if you are registering the firearms in the name of a trust, you don't have to get your CLEO's signature on the form.

For the time being (and the law appears to be changing soon) if you are registering a title II weapon in your own name, you have to have your CLEO sign the form. Some won't, at all, or not for most folks, or whatever. Forming a trust and putting the guns in the name of that trust is a way to get around a stubborn jerk of a CLEO.

MrCleanOK
April 11, 2013, 08:18 AM
Once you SBR a lower, it's pretty much yours for life. You might as well get a metal rifle instead of a boutique plastic gun.

meanmrmustard
April 11, 2013, 06:08 PM
Once you SBR a lower, it's pretty much yours for life. You might as well get a metal rifle instead of a boutique plastic gun.
I have metal guns.

It's time for a lightweight, boutique one.

meanmrmustard
April 11, 2013, 06:11 PM
You may use the firearm as either a pistol or a rifle build (or a long-barreled stockless item over 26" which would still be an "other firearm" if sold again on a 4473). You can't go back and re-register it as something else, because it isn't REGISTERED anywhere anyway. What it was at the moment of first sale is all that the 4473 record in your dealer's filing cabinet tells anyone who bothers to look.

These items are largely the same question, for most shooters. While a firearms trust has several benefits, the primary one that folks getting into NFA firearms care about is that if you are registering the firearms in the name of a trust, you don't have to get your CLEO's signature on the form.

For the time being (and the law appears to be changing soon) if you are registering a title II weapon in your own name, you have to have your CLEO sign the form. Some won't, at all, or not for most folks, or whatever. Forming a trust and putting the guns in the name of that trust is a way to get around a stubborn jerk of a CLEO.
Thank you so much for this info. Quite clarifying.

So, as I understand, I DO need a trust. It seems easier.

I'm going to spitball: I'm guessing a "firearm friendly" attorney is the best way to go.

Need to find one in the STL, Mo area. Oof.

Sam1911
April 11, 2013, 06:17 PM
A lot of folks have used something like Quicken Will Maker to create a Trust (in fact, if you type "Quicken will maker" into Google, it will auto-fill the words "trust" and "nfa" LOL!).

Other folks say it can be VERY important to have an attorney make sure you're doing things right when it comes to NFA trusts.

Up to you.

meanmrmustard
April 11, 2013, 06:33 PM
A lot of folks have used something like Quicken Will Maker to create a Trust (in fact, if you type "Quicken will maker" into Google, it will auto-fill the words "trust" and "nfa" LOL!).

Other folks say it can be VERY important to have an attorney make sure you're doing things right when it comes to NFA trusts.

Up to you.
Have you done one yourself?

jschneider93
April 11, 2013, 06:35 PM
For the time being (and the law appears to be changing soon) if you are registering a title II weapon in your own name, you have to have your CLEO sign the form. Some won't, at all, or not for most folks, or whatever. Forming a trust and putting the guns in the name of that trust is a way to get around a stubborn jerk of a CLEO.

How is the law supposed to change on this?

Sam1911
April 11, 2013, 06:40 PM
Have you done one yourself?Nope!

How is the law supposed to change on this?The ATF is due to stop requiring the CLEO sign-off sometime in the near future. We've had a thread on it for a while, but they don't seem to be in a huge hurry.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=694466

meanmrmustard
April 11, 2013, 06:47 PM
Nope!

The ATF is due to stop requiring the CLEO sign-off sometime in the near future. We've had a thread on it for a while, but they don't seem to be in a huge hurry.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=694466
Right on.

I'm going to test out the St. Louis attorney scene and see if I can find one that is experienced and has a gun friendly attitude.

If all goes well, I'll recommend to Show Me State members.

Prince Yamato
April 11, 2013, 07:42 PM
Once you SBR a lower, it's pretty much yours for life. You might as well get a metal rifle instead of a boutique plastic gun.

The weapon can be sold in title 1 configuration even if registered as an sbr. It is then recommended (but not required) that he inform the atf and "de-register" the sbr.

MasterSergeantA
April 11, 2013, 11:53 PM
1. Even with a stock attached, the receiver will transfer as 'other'. You can take the stock off of it (and even leave the tube on it) and put the short upper on it. But you would be advsied to get rid of the stock. Even having the stocked lower and short upper in your possession could be a problem if the JBT paid you a visit. But by building it as a pistol first, you could easily change it to a rifle or SBR later.

Although the feds don't register pistols, some states/municipalities do. You need to check your local laws.

2. The trust is most often used in cases where the CLEO sign-off isn't available. But if you want someone other than yourself to be able to access the NFA items without you present, the trust will allow trustees to do that. A LLC offers the same sort or protection in some jurisdictions and may offer other advantages. The trust is usually easier, but again, you need to check locally. Lawyer-made trusts run up to about $500, but if you want to be completely sure it is legal and you may want some help if a problem arises, it might be money well spent. A lot of folks use Willmaker or somesuch and are comfortable with that. I'm not a lawyer nor do I have need of a trust, so I have no dog in the fight.

3. Not important at all if you can get it...or take the trust route. It is likely to be a while before the CLEO sign-off goes away since the Fed moves at the speed of smell. But the trade-off with that is the 'new' requirement for photos and fingerprints on all the trustees of your newly minted trust. And ATF will be notifying the local CLEOs of anyone submitting forms under the new rule, so you might still garner some unwanted attention...or not.

The plastic lowers are great for .22LR builds, but a lot of folks will not use them for anything else. Just be careful. We had a Bushmaster Carbon-15 in .223 come apart one day at the local range. And it was built and warranted as a full caliber gun. So just be careful.

The other comments posted are all valid. Read them and make your choice. Let us know how it goes.

MrCleanOK
April 12, 2013, 03:07 AM
The weapon can be sold in title 1 configuration even if registered as an sbr. It is then recommended (but not required) that he inform the atf and "de-register" the sbr.

I didn't know it was simple as that. Thanks!

meanmrmustard
April 12, 2013, 04:34 AM
1. Even with a stock attached, the receiver will transfer as 'other'. You can take the stock off of it (and even leave the tube on it) and put the short upper on it. But you would be advsied to get rid of the stock. Even having the stocked lower and short upper in your possession could be a problem if the JBT paid you a visit. But by building it as a pistol first, you could easily change it to a rifle or SBR later.

Although the feds don't register pistols, some states/municipalities do. You need to check your local laws.

2. The trust is most often used in cases where the CLEO sign-off isn't available. But if you want someone other than yourself to be able to access the NFA items without you present, the trust will allow trustees to do that. A LLC offers the same sort or protection in some jurisdictions and may offer other advantages. The trust is usually easier, but again, you need to check locally. Lawyer-made trusts run up to about $500, but if you want to be completely sure it is legal and you may want some help if a problem arises, it might be money well spent. A lot of folks use Willmaker or somesuch and are comfortable with that. I'm not a lawyer nor do I have need of a trust, so I have no dog in the fight.

3. Not important at all if you can get it...or take the trust route. It is likely to be a while before the CLEO sign-off goes away since the Fed moves at the speed of smell. But the trade-off with that is the 'new' requirement for photos and fingerprints on all the trustees of your newly minted trust. And ATF will be notifying the local CLEOs of anyone submitting forms under the new rule, so you might still garner some unwanted attention...or not.

The plastic lowers are great for .22LR builds, but a lot of folks will not use them for anything else. Just be careful. We had a Bushmaster Carbon-15 in .223 come apart one day at the local range. And it was built and warranted as a full caliber gun. So just be careful.

The other comments posted are all valid. Read them and make your choice. Let us know how it goes.
Great post. Very informative. I think for intents and purposes, I'll either sell or destroy the stock before anything.

This is my second build with Plum Crazy. For me, I've only changed take down pins and hammer/safety. Have nearly 2,000 rounds through "PC1", no problems. As stated, I've metal guns, want a lightweight. Not trying to be rude, but I know my way around an AR, not my first rodeo! But, appreciate the concern. If its all the same, I don't buy current Bushmaster products.

So, no stock, do the trust then Form 1, get stamp, add stock. Got it.

MasterSergeantA
April 12, 2013, 03:21 PM
I have a couple of 'plastic' lowers myself. But I have only built .22LR guns with them. Wasn't trying to say you shouldn't and I appreciate your speaking from experience. No offense taken. And I didn't own the Bushmaster...belonged to a buddy.

MasterSergeantA
April 12, 2013, 03:23 PM
I didn't know it was simple as that. Thanks!
Yup. That easy. Take the short upper off, get rid of it, put a >16" upper on and it is just a rifle. As Yamato said, the ATF would like you to let them know. And it isn't a bad idea to drop them a note to that effect. They are 'supposed to' annotate the registry.

meanmrmustard
April 12, 2013, 06:57 PM
I have a couple of 'plastic' lowers myself. But I have only built .22LR guns with them. Wasn't trying to say you shouldn't and I appreciate your speaking from experience. No offense taken. And I didn't own the Bushmaster...belonged to a buddy.
Better he than you these days.

I'd buy a Windham, the good ole Bushy of yore.

As stated, I've learned early on to swap pins mainly, then hammer and safety. Other than that, no hitch in my giddy up.

MachIVshooter
April 13, 2013, 01:19 PM
Even having the stocked lower and short upper in your possession could be a problem if the JBT paid you a visit.

I would agree with you if it were a rifle lower, but since it can be legally assembled into a handgun, they would have to prove that you assembled it into a short barreled rifle. Not quite the same as having go fast parts and a receiver that can take them, wherein constructive possession applies, assembly not required. Trying to do constructive possession for SBR would play merry hob with all the carbine kits out there (not to mention that almost everyone owns a hacksaw that can make an SBR or SBS in 3 minutes).

I'm still waiting on my form 1 (any day now), but in the interim, I have 4-1/2 plus 1/2 ARs. What I mean is, I have three complete rifles, one 7.5" pistol, one rifle only lower and one spare pistol/SBR upper. If I were to assemble 5 guns from what I have, one of them would be illegal. But since I only use the 7.5" and 12.5" uppers on the pistol, there is no problem.

meanmrmustard
April 13, 2013, 08:17 PM
I would agree with you if it were a rifle lower, but since it can be legally assembled into a handgun, they would have to prove that you assembled it into a short barreled rifle. Not quite the same as having go fast parts and a receiver that can take them, wherein constructive possession applies, assembly not required. Trying to do constructive possession for SBR would play merry hob with all the carbine kits out there (not to mention that almost everyone owns a hacksaw that can make an SBR or SBS in 3 minutes).

I'm still waiting on my form 1 (any day now), but in the interim, I have 4-1/2 plus 1/2 ARs. What I mean is, I have three complete rifles, one 7.5" pistol, one rifle only lower and one spare pistol/SBR upper. If I were to assemble 5 guns from what I have, one of them would be illegal. But since I only use the 7.5" and 12.5" uppers on the pistol, there is no problem.
There's still that "constructive possession" thing though.

Even though I don't intend to break the law, I did a paracord wrap on my buffer today, sold the stock (basic CAR junk) and I'm using as a pistol till I go through the proper motions.

MachIVshooter
April 14, 2013, 11:09 AM
There's still that "constructive possession" thing though.

I was trying to explain how it's a whole different ball game with SBR. The reason constructive possession with MG parts & receiver is a big deal is that there is no way you can assemble a legal gun with them, since the registry is closed. But you can assemble a legal SBR once you've got the stamp, and in the case of a stripped lower, you can assemble a legal pistol without the stamp. As such, the onus would be on the accuser to prove that you assembled an illegal firearm from components that are perfectly legal to possess.

There is no language I've ever seen saying that you can't possess the lower and upper (or receiver and barrel in the case of non-AR firearms) you intend to use prior to receiving the stamp. You just can't assemble them into a regulated firearm until you get your papers back.

There's no more a problem with having what you did than with owning any of the various carbine kits that allow you to reconfigure between pistol and rifle. You just can't install the stock with the < 16" barrel.

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6059/6278257335_54c7e1513c_z.jpg

meanmrmustard
April 14, 2013, 11:53 AM
I was trying to explain how it's a whole different ball game with SBR. The reason constructive possession with MG parts & receiver is a big deal is that there is no way you can assemble a legal gun with them, since the registry is closed. But you can assemble a legal SBR once you've got the stamp, and in the case of a stripped lower, you can assemble a legal pistol without the stamp. As such, the onus would be on the accuser to prove that you assembled an illegal firearm from components that are perfectly legal to possess.

There is no language I've ever seen saying that you can't possess the lower and upper (or receiver and barrel in the case of non-AR firearms) you intend to use prior to receiving the stamp. You just can't assemble them into a regulated firearm until you get your papers back.

There's no more a problem with having what you did than with owning any of the various carbine kits that allow you to reconfigure between pistol and rifle. You just can't install the stock with the < 16" barrel.

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6059/6278257335_54c7e1513c_z.jpg
That's very cool.

I'll post pistol pics ASAP.

What's average turnaround for the Form 1?

MachIVshooter
April 14, 2013, 12:46 PM
What's average turnaround for the Form 1?

About 7 months right now.

I submitted mine October 16th, it went pending Nov 20th and NFA branch says it should be complete mid-May.

meanmrmustard
April 14, 2013, 06:43 PM
About 7 months right now.

I submitted mine October 16th, it went pending Nov 20th and NFA branch says it should be complete mid-May.
Dad gum. Thanks for the info.

It's getting done regardless. Patience is a virtue I suppose.

MasterSergeantA
April 15, 2013, 07:21 PM
And a necessary one when dealing with NFA branch.

meanmrmustard
May 7, 2013, 07:46 PM
Thanks for the help.

justice06rr
May 7, 2013, 10:59 PM
Good info.

I also have a polymer lower (ATI) that I was intending to go SBR. I really hate having to pay the goverment anything, so I was planning on doing a AR pistol instead and make it a lightweight compact weapon.

Good luck with yours. Trust is the way to go.

MilliradianDOT
May 8, 2013, 02:52 PM
Stated by MachIVshooter


There is no language I've ever seen saying that you can't possess the lower and upper (or receiver and barrel in the case of non-AR firearms) you intend to use prior to receiving the stamp. You just can't assemble them into a regulated firearm until you get your papers back.

I have a question that kinda relates to this. I'm wanting to do a PAP M92 SBR build later this summer but here is the question. Can I go ahead and attach an ACE adapter block or a standard AK trunnion while I wait for my papers to come back? Or is this a bad idea? In my mind it isn't much different than an AR pistol. Thoughts?

Sam1911
May 8, 2013, 03:12 PM
That would be needlessly tempting fate. Your gun should not be any closer to "readily convertible" than it currently is ... until you get that stamp in your hands.

Aaron Baker
May 10, 2013, 09:29 PM
I know this is an older thread and my post is a bit off-topic, but I thought this was an interesting quote:

And ATF will be notifying the local CLEOs of anyone submitting forms under the new rule, so you might still garner some unwanted attention...or not.

That may be the ATF's intention, but I smell a legal challenge. Tax records are confidential, and the tax stamp is just that... a tax record. I don't believe that the ATF can legally tell anyone about your tax payment without your permission. And I doubt they can require you to give them permission since the statute itself doesn't say a thing about it.

Aaron

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