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Legal? Extended trigger guard/front grip

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Apple a Day, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. Apple a Day

    Apple a Day Well-Known Member

    So, I saw a design called the PP-2000. It's a machine pistol whose trigger guard extends far enough and is strong enough that it forms a forward grip.

    Here's the entry and pic from Wikipedia

    You can't legally attach a vertical grip on a pistol's forward rail without having it declared and doing the paperwork, however, there are already plenty of pistols with squared-off trigger guards for a slightly forward weak hand/fingers. Would it be legal to produce a newly designed pistol in the U.S. (semi-auto) with an extended trigger guard like the PP-2000? Too much? Has anyone tried this in the U.S.? :scrutiny:

    Just curious.
  2. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Well-Known Member

    Foregrip, goes by function
  3. Apple a Day

    Apple a Day Well-Known Member

    I'd think you may have an argument for it if it's part of the reciever.
    You're allowed to grip the front of an AR pistol mag well. Mako makes a textured grip that attaches to the mag well to make it easier to grip. It's legal for the pistol version.
  4. dastardly-D

    dastardly-D Well-Known Member


    You called it a pistol,but it's listed as a submachine gun.I think that might be your grip answer right there ?
  5. BLB68

    BLB68 Well-Known Member

    He's not asking about the SMG, but if it would be legal to design a pistol using a similar trigger guard/grip.
  6. Apple a Day

    Apple a Day Well-Known Member

    The only difference is that one is semi-auto only and the other has the Happy Switch to go full auto... which has nothing to do with a front grip. :scrutiny: There are plenty of semi-auto Skorpions, AR pistols, AK pistols, etc... floating around out there.
  7. smalls

    smalls Well-Known Member

    Yes it does. The reason you can't have a vertical foregrip on a pistol is because it makes it a SBR. If its a machine gun already, it doesn't matter. So the difference between MG and semi auto does matter.

    And obviously the ATF doesn't consider a magwell a foregrip, probably because that's not its intended purpose. People have just figured out its a great place to put their hands.
  8. CraigC

    CraigC Well-Known Member

    I think you might be pushing your luck with that one. If it were the magwell, it would be different but I don't think they would sign off on an enlarged triggerguard clearly intended to be a vertical foregrip. (Yes, I understand you're not talking about the SMG in the link but rather are using it as an example)

    No, it makes it an AOW.

  9. smalls

    smalls Well-Known Member

    Oops! Thanks for the catch, Craig!

    I was thinking of a buttstock, for some reason, but what I said basically still applies.
  10. klyph

    klyph Well-Known Member

    This is another area where the atf doesn't quite have their ducks in a row. They arbitrarily determined that adding a vertical grip to a pistol makes an AOW. However, the definition of an AOW is limited to smooth bore firearms. They've never successfully prosecuted this, and if they did charge someone, they wouldn't win the case.
  11. klyph

    klyph Well-Known Member

    The definition of handgun is also poorly worded, defining it as a firearm designed to be operated with one hand. Many pistols have accommodations on the front of the trigger guard for the second hand to grasp. Thus, these firearms are designed to be used with both hands (as is the standard training grip for most LE including the ATF).
  12. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Well-Known Member

    Not quite.

    The ATF definition of "pistol" and "revolver" is quite clear........"designed to be fired when held in one hand...". Adding a second vertical handgrip changes that.

    While pistols and revolvers with a rifled bore ARE NOT AOW.......add a second vertical grip and they are no longer pistols or revolvers....and become AOW's.

    The definition of AOW is not limited to smoothbores:

    Are you willing to contribute to someones legal defense fund?:uhoh:
    While you might ultimately beat the rap, you never beat the ride.....and the ride will cost you tens of thousands of dollars.
  13. klyph

    klyph Well-Known Member

    So why aren't pistols that have accommodations for the fingers of a second hand to grasp the front of the trigger guard classified as AOWs? Why do they allow angled fore grips, but not vertical? Are the ATF trying to enforce the law, or maximize the revenue that comes from it's enforcement? Is the ATF a criminal cartel? Examine their history and enforcement tactics. Do you want to contribute to their criminal methods of "law enforcement"? Questions we all must decide for ourselves.
  14. klyph

    klyph Well-Known Member

    Also, adding a foregrip to a pistol does not change it's design. The pistol was designed to be fired with one hand, even after adding the grip, the pistol was still designed to be fired from one hand. We are not changing the original design of the pistol by mounting something to it's rail.

    Your comment about never being able to beat the ride, shines a bright light on the dark underbelly of atf enforcement. If they can destroy any law abiding citizen with bogus litigation, something NEEDS to be done to limit their authority.
  15. 481

    481 Well-Known Member

    My impression of the statute is that the hooked face of the trigger guard does not offer purchase for an entire hand whereas the vertical grip attachments do.

    I think that it is a ridiculous distinction, but that seems to be the threshhold for stepping into the AOW category.
  16. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Well-Known Member

    if a MAGAZINE, attached to the rail is a VFG
    I'm pretty sure that isn't going to make it past technical branch.
  17. klyph

    klyph Well-Known Member

    The technical branch neither writes nor interprets the law, despite what they'd like you to believe.
  18. Apple a Day

    Apple a Day Well-Known Member

    Okay, so then why doesn't someone make a pistol with an ANGLED forward grip built in?
  19. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Well-Known Member

    Because a trigger guard is not a grip is my guess.
    on the other hand a second grip that doubles as a trigger guard.......i would bet ATF would issue a determination letter on the legality.

    Dunno, ask ATF.

    I don't think ATF, TSA, EPA, IRS, the FBI or your local PD operate on a commission. :D Like any law enforement agency.........they don't collect revenue from enforcement actions. (thats the role of the courts)

    Nope, they're bureaucrats. No different than TSA, IRS, EPA or any other regulatory or law enforcement agency. They have their share of idiots and crooks and lots of good folks as well.

    I have no idea what this means. :scrutiny:

    Uh, no. ATF is both a regulatory and law enforcement agency. It's purpose is to interpret the intent of Federal law relating to firearms, explosives, alcohol and tobacco.

    Congress writes the law, regulatory agencies convert that law into regulations. ATF and any other regulatory agency) are authorized by Federal law to determine how regulations are implemented and enforced. While the ATF Tech Branch doesn't interpret "law"....they DO interpret regulations derived from the law....every day.

    Disagree with ATF? Argue your case before a Federal judge or lobby your elected representatives to change the law.
  20. mf-dif

    mf-dif Well-Known Member

    Write the ATF and ask. Simple enough.

    IMO this is not an AOW. Look at the Kriss Super V pistol. The ATF allows that...they should allow this.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012

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