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AR Pistol Brace Question

Discussion in 'Legal' started by sarduy, Dec 3, 2016.

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  1. sarduy

    sarduy Member

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    is it legal to adjust the Shockwave Brace like the picture bellow on a 10'' upper? i ask because i want to know if there is an overall length issue.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    There's no maximum length on a pistol. There is a restriction on having a shoulder stock on a pistol and the BATF has stated that it is illegal to use a "brace" as a shoulder stock.

    To me, this is really simple. It's not legal to have a shoulder stock on a pistol so I'm not going to put a shoulder stock on a pistol. I'm not going to put something that looks a lot like a shoulder stock on a pistol. In fact, I'm not even going to put something that looks just a little bit like a shoulder stock on a pistol and then use it as a shoulder stock. I'm not interested in pushing up against the boundaries when it comes to federal firearm law. That's my tolerance for risk. Yours may be different.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2016
    gripper and GRIZ22 like this.
  3. badkarmamib

    badkarmamib Member

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    But, if you read between the lines, shouldering a bare buffer tube is likely the same thing in their eyes. A lot of the reason why I sold mine. Less worry about some 3-letter official or range guru trying to tell me why I should be in jail. If you like them, more power to you, but I prefer 5" more on the front and a third point of contact on the rear.

    Rant over, just be aware that the whole situation is touchy, and just due to "opinion" letters, not written law.
     
  4. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree. All the more reason not to push the boundaries here.
     
  5. RX-79G

    RX-79G Member

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    In specific, if you adjust the brace so it no longer works the way it should (contacting your forearm), that might be construed as showing intent to use it as a stock.
     
  6. justice06rr

    justice06rr Member

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    To answer the original question: No there is no issue if you want to adjust the brace. As long as it is not used or intended to be used as a stock, aka "shouldering" the brace.

    If used as a pistol brace and in the approved manner, there is no problem. There is also no length restrictions on overall length or barrel length.
     
  7. sarduy

    sarduy Member

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    Thank you all for the quick response, i was just wondering because there are also extended buffer tubes and i didn't want to run into "length issues"

    here's a sample of those extended buffer pistol,
    [​IMG]
     
  8. another pake

    another pake Member

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    I build my ARs as pistols first using a Shockwave Blade Pistol Stabilizer, then take a dated picture for future reference. As has already been said, if they start life as a pistol they can be made into rifles, and back again.

    But for what it's worth when I purchased the Shockwave they included a copy of a letter from the US DOJ which states among other things that,
    "Based on our evaluation, FTISB (Firearms Technology Industry Services Branch) finds that the submitted forearm brace, when attached to a pistol is a "firearm" subject to GCA provisions; however, it is not a "firearm" as defined by the NFA provided the Blade AR Pistol Stabilizer is used as originally designed and NOT used as a shoulder stock."

    I keep a copy of the letter with me when using the pistol setup.
     
  9. RX-79G

    RX-79G Member

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    If all that is required when you are building an AR is to have it assembled without the stock to qualify as a pistol, all you need to do would be to assemble everything but the stock.

    That is if it is even really necessary since you started with a 'receiver' on the 4473 anyway.
     
  10. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    Why do you think that's all that's necessary to make a handgun.

    Under the applicable regulations (27 CFR 478.11), a "handgun" Is:
    An AR-15 receiver fully assembled into an AR-15 rifle but simply lacking a stock would probably not be found by the ATF or a judge to fit the definition of a "handgun."

    It is necessary because one must start with a firearm which is clearly classified as a handgun in order to then be able to convert it to a rifle and back again. A receiver is neither a handgun nor a rifle. It will need to be built into either a handgun or a rifle to be useful.

    If one starts with a rifle and makes it into a handgun, it will be subject to registration under the NFA and require a tax stamp. See 27 CFR 479.11 which defines a firearm subject to the NFA as, among other things:
     
  11. RX-79G

    RX-79G Member

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    Because a handgun doesn't have a maximum barrel length, it just does not have a shoulder stock. Which is what Another Pake was recommending.

    You appear to be suggesting that there is a difference between an AR15 pistol (with its naked buffer tube) and an AR15 that hasn't yet had the stock slid over the buffer tube but is otherwise operable. What would that difference be? Shotguns sold without a shoulder stock are legally pistols, even with their long barrels.


    If you say so. I have read so many different formulations of this question, and one that has come up several times is that a "receiver" is not a pistol or a rifle, and it never loses that status of neither/nor. I'm not arguing that, it is just one of the many approaches I've heard to the problem. If you have definitive information on that, it would be interesting to those worrying about how to do it. Though I think what Pake or I suggested covers the bases.
     
  12. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    I do, as a matter of fact -- in the form of ATF Ruling 2011-4.
     
  13. RX-79G

    RX-79G Member

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    Found it. This is where I heard about the "other firearm" and the way its status is elusive. From Sam1911:
    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?search/198142/&q=grin&t=post&o=relevance&c[thread]=809881

     
  14. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Wait, hold on, no.

    Shotguns sold without a shoulder stock are legally "Other Firearms" -- most explicitly NOT handguns. And they must remain at least 26" in overall length.

    Any true shotgun that was indeed a pistol (primarily due to it being "concealable" at under 26" long) would be classified as an NFA-regulated firearm -- specifically an "Any Other Weapon."

    That's why a Sebu Super Shorty...
    [​IMG]
    ...is an NFA item but a Mossberg "Cruiser" version of their Model 500 ...
    [​IMG]
    ...is sold as a regular Title I / GCA "other firearm."

    (Edit 1: And in fact, an "other firearm" doesn't even have to have an 18" barrel, so long as that overall length stays over 26". Some configurations of shotgun-flavored "other firearms" can be constructed with 16" or even 14" barrels.

    Edit 2: Note, however, that at least one of the ATF letters on the subject of all these confusing categories have said that what YOU DO WITH IT can actually change the classification of a weapon, in that if you were to conceal an Mossberg 500 "Cruiser" model, like under a trench coat let's say, you would in that instance prove it's "concealability" enough to satisfy the NFA terms and it would then become an NFA item. Probably never even enforced once, but it could be, I suppose. Moral of the story is probably, don't go robbing banks with your "cruiser" as they might decide to try that one out on you, too, while "throwing the book" at you.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
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