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Can I go ahead and order a shorty upper?

Discussion in 'NFA Firearms and Accessories' started by SilentStalker, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. SilentStalker

    SilentStalker Well-Known Member

    Can I go ahead and order a shorty upper while I send off a lower to be engraved and all of that good stuff? In other words, can I get a shorty upper before the paperwork is finished for the lower or while I am waiting on it to be finished? Or, do I have to have the paperwork to be able to order the upper?
  2. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Well-Known Member

    Since the upper would be legal on a pistol you can go ahead and order it. However do not have any lowers in the same building as that upper till you have the paperwork. That's considered constructive intent.
  3. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Well-Known Member

    Legally, you can order it and have it in your possession. You simply can not attach it to your stocked lower until you have the SBR stamp in hand.

    Still, some ATF yahoo might call it constructive possession by having the parts in hand to make a SBR without a stamp. Unlikely, though.

    although I'm just some dude on the internet, I say go ahead and order your shorty upper while you are waiting for your stamp and engraving.
  4. MErl

    MErl Well-Known Member

    agreed, this one of those "Beat the rap but not the ride" cases.

    Besides, it'll be 8 months, hopefully prices will have recovered by then
  5. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Well-Known Member

    How would there be a "ride"? You order it and put it in the safe till your paperwork is done. Just don't have a lower around.
  6. wally

    wally Well-Known Member

    Or build it up as a pistol first -- ~$30 for a pistol buffer tube is cheap insurance That is what I did with my 9mm AR SBR. And you can use it as a pistol while you wait.
  7. GoingQuiet

    GoingQuiet Well-Known Member

    Building a gun without your stamp is a crime. Acquiring parts is not.

    Having a lower is not germane to this discussion. You have either built an unregistered gun or not.
  8. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Well-Known Member

    You can claim you didn't build one if you want. The ATF can still call it constructive possession.
  9. GoingQuiet

    GoingQuiet Well-Known Member

    By that metric, I own a remington 870 and a hacksaw. Is that constructive possession?

    Building an SB something is unawful without a stamp.

    If having the means to make something is unlawful we'd all be in jail for having a meth lab, unregistered MG, silencers (CHORE BOY under anyone's sink?) - seriously, put some thought into this.
  10. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    What the ATF has said is that if there is ANY way you could be using the parts you own to assemble a legal weapon, they're fine with that.

    So, if you have a shorty upper and a pistol lower, you're fine.

    If you have a shorty upper and NO lower, you're fine.

    If you have a shorty upper and a bare rifle lower -- not assembled, though -- you're NOT fine. There's the "constructive" situation.

    If you've got two complete ARs, and one shorty upper? Well, the picture's cloudy. Probably ok -- and pretty unlikely to ever be discovered and charged in such a grey area -- but the penalties for this are high so it is best just to avoid the problem.
  11. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Well-Known Member

    Personally I would want to have the approved Form 1 in hand. Call me chicken, I'll answer pluck, pluck.

    In a perfect world, SBR, SBS, AOW and handgun would all be regulated as concealable firearms, slightly more so than rifles or shotguns, but certainly not with a $200 tax and penalties for mere possession at unpardonable federal felony 10 years or $100,000 fine, but I don't live in a perfect world.
  12. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Well-Known Member

    You make two assumptions.
    1. That I have something to do with how the ATF operates.
    2. That gun laws make sense.
  13. wally

    wally Well-Known Member

    I'll say it again, build it as a pistol while you are waiting for the stamp. Then you can use it while waiting and get any functional issues resolved before you get the stamp. All you "lose" is the cost of the pistol buffer tube, something like $20-30 unless you go hog wild.
    Seem a cheap price for no worries.
  14. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    That does answer the question to a degree. If he has the receiver in hand and it is configured as a pistol, the shorty upper is fine.

    The issue might be, however, that he's then going to send off that lower to get engraved. If he has any bare rifle receivers around while that shorty upper is in the house and the pistol lower ISN'T, that's not a good situation. If he's got the shorty upper, no pistol lower on hand, and a complete rifle or two? Unclear. There's no legal way to use that upper, and there are lowers it could fit on in an illegal configuration. Touchy.
  15. wally

    wally Well-Known Member

    Generally its a much better idea to get the engraving done before you send in the form 1, this way if the engraver messes up, you are not out $200!

    Actually if he sends it off, it has to be to a licensed gunsmith and his receipt should prove he has the proper parts -- that the shorty belongs to a pistol.
  16. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Oh, I agree...but it isn't in his possession. Who know exactly how much hassle this would eventually cause, if not jail time. It seems there are ways to reduce the odds to near-zero and that might be worth while considering that the stakes are so very high.
  17. Singletracker

    Singletracker Active Member

    How about this one?

    If I order a shorty upper and store it with my best friend who is an FFL/ class III dealer, is that OK?

    Doesn't the Form 1 ask how long the finished SBR will be? If you dont' have the upper and stocked lower to measure is it just a best guess?

    Don't mean to be ignorant, but I am curious.
  18. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Oh sure, that's fine! The key is always possession.

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