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I sent a letter to the ATF... about AOWs

Discussion in 'NFA Firearms and Accessories' started by flking, May 1, 2011.

  1. flking

    flking Member

    So, I was reading some federal regulations and saw that the NFA used very different language when defining a pistol and the 4 types of long guns (Rifle, SBR, Shotgun, & SBS).

    In the definition of a pistol it says the pistol is a pistol if it was originally manufactured to be like.........

    For the long gun it specifically states that long guns are those designed or redesigned, made or remade with certain characteristics.

    So I thoughtfully presented my case that because a pistol was not originally manufactured to have a vertical foregrip that an end user, (anybody other than a manufacturer) could not simply change the pistol from being a pistol by adding a vertical foregrip - because this would clearly not be an original feature of the gun.

    So, do you think they will now "accidentally misplace" my unrelated Form 4, just as punishment for challenging the fact that the "ATF has long held" adding a vertical foregrip to a pistol 'makes' an AOW?

    I'd post the letter I sent, but I'm not sure how eloquent it actually is.
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    I think you wasted a perfectly good stamp!

    Nothing you can say or do is going to change the way they interpret the 1934 NFA law.

    SO there is no use sending letters and getting on thier radar screen for no reason.

  3. kozak6

    kozak6 Well-Known Member

    I agree and think you could fight it. But fighting it would be very nasty and risky.

    Apparently, there was such a case before, US vs Davis. It's difficult to find information on. Apparently, a similar conclusion was reached by the court, but somehow charges were withdrawn so it isn't considered binding.
  4. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Well-Known Member

    Part of the idea is that under federal law, concealable guns like pistols and revolvers are less restricted than nonconcealable long guns. So AOWs, SBRs and SBSs are "special" to prevent evasion of concealable weapons laws by converting long guns to concealable weapons.

    Generally this means you cannot go from a less restricted long gun (rifle or shotgun) to a pistol but you can go from a more restricted pistol to a less restricted nonconcealable long gun (rifle or shotgun redesigned or remade from a pistol with longer barrel and shoulderstock).

    Yes, the idea that a pistol originally sold as a concealable weapon subject to state and federal law as a concealable weapon somehow becomes an AOW, another class of concealable weapon, by addition of a vertical foregrip is silly especially since horizontal foregrips are legal, but the challenge made to the law does not appear to be the correct challenge.

    Congress wrote some really bad language into the 1934 NFA, 1938 FFA and 1968 GCA, and intrepreations of that bad laguage by ATF has resulted in some contradictory findings and regulations. Figuring out what challenge would work would involve unravelling the Gordonian Knot that federal gun law has become.

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