1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Buying firearms out of state-->AR15 lowers

Discussion in 'Legal' started by atblis, May 23, 2010.

  1. atblis

    atblis Well-Known Member

    It's probably just easier to explain what I am trying to do.

    I am a MD resident (just moved from VA). :(
    I would like to order some stripped AR receivers, and pick them up at an FFL in VA.
    Can I do this?

    Part of what has me wondering is that from what I can tell, AR lowers are not considered long arms, but rather other. I am pretty sure I can purchase long arms in other states through an FFL.

    Also, anybody know an FFL in the NoVA area (as close to Chantilly as possible), that would transfer me several lowers on one form for a reasonable amount (supposing I can do what I propose above).
  2. mp510

    mp510 Well-Known Member

    Under the previous, erronious interpretation, you could buy lowers out of state IF they were transferred as rifles. Now, ATF has made the correct reclassification- which considers lowers to be "other"-- since they DO NOT meet the definition of a rifle or shotgun- which ar the only firearms that you can buy out of state.
  3. Bubbles

    Bubbles Well-Known Member

    mp510 is correct. You can only buy a long gun across state lines. A receiver is not a long gun.

    In addition, MD has some other laws regarding certain semi-auto rifles; they are deemed "assault weapons" under the law and must be transferred through a MD FFL.

  4. nalioth

    nalioth Well-Known Member

    . . except a stripped receiver isn't an "assault weapon", nor a "rifle".
  5. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Well, see, that's tricky and in this case, sort of misleading.

    In MD, an AR-15 is, by name, considered an "Assault Rifle" and as such is a "regulated firearm" which means that it gets a waiting period and background check just as handguns do in MD.

    A "Colt Sporter H-BAR" target version of an AR-15 is specifically exempted from that status. Some years back Bushmaster (if I recall correctly) sued to have that exemption extended to all heavy-barreled "target" versions of the AR-15 which covers most of them sold today as few come with the original pencil barrel.

    What that means, though, is that a stripped AR-15 lower IS considered an "Assault Rifle" by MD's definition and a "regulated firearm" so you'll have to go through the waiting period, etc. for each you buy.

  6. atblis

    atblis Well-Known Member

    Behh. This state is lame.

    I wanted to order four or five lowers. Looks like that would be a total pain in the but.
  7. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Certainly, but there are far worse ones.

    Not sure why that would be a problem. Not sure why you want to do this out of state? (Remember, by federal law, if you buy a gun in another state you have to follow the rules of BOTH states.)

    I ordered stripped receivers for regulated "Assault Rifles" through FFLs when I lived in MD. Sure I had to wait ~14 days to pick them up after they arrived, but that was the extent of the hassle.

    Where are you living? I might know some dealers who'd be happy to help you.
  8. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Another point to consider:

    If you were to order four or five heavy-barrel "sporster" style ARs, they'd be cash-and-carry sales, not regulated "Assault Rifles." The law governs only the point of sale. After you own them you could strip them all down, sell the uppers, and build whatever (Title I - style) rifle you wanted. Heck, MD is even fine with Title II guns if you want an SBR.
  9. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Yet another point to consider:

    You cannot buy, sell, rent, loan, give, etc., etc., magazines over 20 rounds, as I'm sure you already knew. You'll find that online sellers are also quite aware of this and won't ship them to you. However, ownership, possession, and use of them are fine. I always bought mine in VA, but there are plenty for sale in PA, too. :)
  10. atblis

    atblis Well-Known Member

    I am in Annapolis. In my immediate vicinity, all I could find were dealers who wanted $50 per gun to do the transfers. I go to VA on the weekends, and there looks to be some dealers who do $15 transfers near where I go.

    I am not clear about MD gun laws. Any good write ups on the net? The NRA's map thingy doesn't appear to be up to date. I see no mention of the assault weapons stuff.
  11. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    MD classifies handguns and "assault rifles" as "regulated firearms." Purchase of either type requires the paperwork and waiting period. Under Federal law, an AR-15 is a long gun and can be sold by an FFL to a non-resident of the state as long as it is legal in his state of residence. ("Assault pistols", specifically named in the law, are illegal to own in MD unless registered before 1985.)

    But the issue here is tricky, as MD has notified other states that they do not consider "importing" any regulated firearm by other than a MD-licensed regulated firearms dealer to be legal (they now allow "importation" by a C&R license holder but that is only for C&R items). So most VA dealers won't sell an "assault rifle" (or a receiver) directly to a MD resident, for fear of being sued. Also in MD, I THINK they will approve sale of only a long rifle, not a receiver, since it would be illegal to use the lower to make an "assault pistol" (see above).

    I suggest reading the law (Annotated Code of Maryland) and I think the State Police have a pamphlet you can find at some gun dealers or direct from MSP.

  12. atblis

    atblis Well-Known Member

    So, supposing I were to buy a Colt Sporter H-bar. If i were to then throw another upper on it, is it now no longer a Colt Sporter H-bar?

    EDIT: Or, let me get this straight, it doesn't matter because it's already in my possession? Is that right? Geese. They managed to take the 1994 AWB, and make it even dumber. :)

    I realize the following scenario is getting kinda sketchy, and I probably wouldn't even bother to ask a dealer to do this...

    Supposing that 20" H-Bar rifles are okay (even when not made by Colt). If I were to take my 20" H-Bar upper (it's a mut, no Colt parts) to the store with me, and the dealer were to slap it onto the lower before transferring it to me, would it not be true that he is transferring a Colt Sporter H-bar configuration to me, and thus not an "assault rifle"? At that point it would not also have become a Rifle, and no longer be other? The question that comes out of this next supposing it passes muster, could I not do this in another state (like VA)?
    Last edited: May 24, 2010
  13. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    It is against Federal law for a VA dealer to sell a lower receiver by itself to anyone from another state, because a lower receiver, by itself, is not classified by the ATF as a rifle or shotgun, it is classified by the ATF as "other firearm".

    The dealer would have to have a Federal firearms manufacturer's license to do what you are suggesting because they are manufacturing a firearm for sale as either a pistol or a rifle.

    The dealer can sell you a receiver, as an "other firearm" (which cannot be done to an out of state resident), and then they can put your upper on it for you, because now they are gunsmithing. But when the put the upper on the receiver for the purpose of selling the receiver as a rifle, now they are manufacturing.

    Brigadoon's in Oklahoma City is an FFL dealer that obtained their Federal firearms manufacturing license specifically for that purpose - so they could order desired uppers and lower receivers for customers and put them together and sell them as rifles or pistols.
  14. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Hal at The Armory right near the corner of West St. and Rt 2. -- beside Popeye's Chicken.

    Used to do transfers for something like $15 for long guns and $25 for regulated firearms. Who knows now as everything has gotten crazy expensive. But at least he has an interesting shop (though small) and is a full-service Class 03 dealer so you can pick up an M2 or Thompson while you're there. :)
  15. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    The dealer would have to be able to submit the regulated firearm sale application to the MSP and wait for the "NOT DISAPPROVED" notice to come back before they could actually transfer the gun to the buyer. I have no idea if the MSP will even allow an out of state FFL to do that.

    Now, buying a heavy-barrel AR-15 (similar to the Colt H-BAR Sporter) should be perfectly legal as that is NOT a regulated firearm in MD.

    When I lived in MD I had no trouble at all transferring stripped receivers.
  16. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Sure, but that doesn't matter.

    Now you've got it! Exactly right.

    My dealer once explained it this way: (Holding up a Ruger Mini-14 in a factory folding stock.) "This is a regulated firearm. Background check, 7-14 day waiting period, etc. If I take this screwdriver and remove the stock, I can sell you this rifle over-the-counter, cash-and-carry, right now. We do the 4473, you take the rifle and put it in your car. Come back in and I'll sell you the stock. Take it out to your car and put them back together. We haven't broken the law in any way. Same with an AR-15. Buy a heavy-barrel AR-15, take it home and put any >16" upper you want on it and you're perfectly legal."

    It isn't sketchy at all. It would be perfectly legal.

    Now, not all dealers are quite so comfortable with the law as to agree to that, but I know one who once told me to do pretty much exactly that.

    (Hint...go see Hal.)
  17. atblis

    atblis Well-Known Member

    Does this fall under the manufacturing thing stated above? Also, should technically probably throw a butt stock on it so that it is clearly a rifle.

    I might go bug Hal. I have been in there before. I kinda suspect he is not going to want to transfer $60 lowers from AIMsurplus to me when he's trying to sell (forget the brand) lowers in the store for $120.

    Just for some extra lulz, VA has an "assault weapons" law. Basically it requires to prove you're a US citizen with an extra form of ID when buying an "assault weapon". Here's VA's definition of assault weapon. What I found amusing is that I couldn't get a single dealer to believe me that this was the definition. They all said something about the the 94 AWB being grandfathered in, or applied because "that's what they actually meant", or some other such nonsense.

    AK with fixed stock and no magazine installed -->not an assault weapon
    AR15 with no magazine installed -->not an assault weapon
    Sig pistol with threaded muzzle-->probably an assault weapon
  18. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Possibly. Interesting point. I'd talk to him about it and see what he says.

    Well, he could always refuse to do it, but I'd be surprised. Any transfer is easy work and makes him a bit of coin. If you tell him you want several he might make a deal with you on the transfer cost. Sure doesn't hurt to ask.

    Another interesting point is that MD's assault rifles list (regulated firearms) is by name, not by features. Meaning that anything NEWER than that list, and thus not on that list, ISN'T a regulated firearm. So an SCAR, or an ACR, SL8, or XCR, etc would all be cash-and-carry.

Share This Page