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Folding stock on an AR pistol

Discussion in 'Legal' started by ripitmania, Sep 16, 2020.

  1. ripitmania

    ripitmania Member

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    I have a 7.5 inch barrel with a folding stock adapter and a stabilizing blade. now i have not assembled this yet. I saw a post that referenced AOW on a folder and was wondering what the law actually says. I read the ATF definition and well i dont speak legal-ease. Can I put a folding stock/brace adapter on this build without needing the $5 stamp? I'm in NC if it matters
     
  2. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    Welcome to The High Road. I'm from NC too and I'm curious what answers you'll receive.
     
  3. Landric

    Landric Member

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    FWIW the $5 stamp is for a transfer of an AOW (form 4). Making one still requires a $200 stamp.

    As for the folder I cannot think of a reason why a folding brace would make an AR pistol into an AOW. I think the debate about them is centered on OAL required for such guns with vertical front grips. Over 26” and it is a “firearm” while under 26” it is an AOW. The debate is whether the gun is measured with the brace open or folded.

    All that said, I’m not an attorney. If you are unsure don’t assemble it. I figure braces are going to go the way of bump stocks eventually so I’ve been converting all my braced pistols to SBRs. I only have one left and it is already engraved. I’m also in NC FWIW.
     
  4. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    The ONLY time that having a folder on an AR pistol will make it an AOW is IF you put a vertical fore grip on it. Pistols with a folder are measured from the end of the barrel (unless muzzle device is permanently attached) to the end of the folder with it in the folded position. There is no way an AR pistol can ever have an OAL of 26" or more with a folder in the folded position.

    AR pistols with a non folding buffer tube are measured from the end of the barrel to the end of the buffer tube (braces do not count towards OAL)

    The BATFE did clarify how AR pistols are measured after the Connecticut debacle. AR pistols with folding adaptors are measured in the folded position per BATFE.
     
  5. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    Please provide Legal authority to support all your comments in your post.

    An NFA violation is a serious matter. Opinions about ways of avoiding NFA liability therefore need to be supported with citations to applicable, legal authority.
     
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  6. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    a Google search brings up quite a few articles and also a copy of a determination letter from the AFT about how they now measure AR pistols with folders.

    https://princelaw.files.wordpress.com/2019/07/atf-folded-brace_redacted.pdf

    https://www.ammoland.com/2019/07/at...irearms-overall-length-w-brace/#axzz6YEJBroP5

    https://www.recoilweb.com/measuring...a-pistol-atf-has-altered-the-deal-151346.html

    https://palmettostatearmory.com/blog/atf-guidance-measurement-of-pistols.html

    https://obsidianconcepts.blog/2019/...-properly-measure-the-length-of-an-ar-pistol/

    https://johnpierceesq.com/understan...ruling-regarding-overall-length-measurements/

    https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2018/05/24/oal-brace-folded/

    As you can see the information is common knowledge and very easy to find. These links were just the first page of a Google search.

    What brought about the changes on how the ATF measures an AR pistol with a folding adaptor is the mess that was created in Connecticut when Freedom Arms was selling non NFA AR firearms that had a VFG on them from the factory. The state of Connecticut fought Freedom Arms and got the BAFTE involved in the case since AR pistols are illegal there. There is plenty of information available with a quick internet search about the case of Connecticut vs Freedom Arms.
     
  7. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    Not necessarily.
    If the AR pistol has less than a 26"OAL, adding a second vertical grip does make it an AOW.
    If the AR pistol is 26" or more, adding a second vertical grip makes it a "firearm", not an AOW. Just a "firearm", not a pistol, not an SBR, not a rifle.



    Correct.



    Incorrect.
    Pistols have no maximum barrel length. Slap a 20" barrel on your AR pistol and you certainly can have a pistol with greater than 26" OAL.



    Correct.


    Correct.
     
  8. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    I forgot to put the part about having to have an OAL of 26" or more to legally install a VFG which does indeed change the classification from "pistol" to "firearm" in my first post.

    Correct about there not being a limit on how long a pistol can be.

    Now without the nitpicking. Is anyone really going to build an AR pistols with a folding adaptor AND a barrel of at least 18" in order to legally install a VFG?????

    For clarification reasons. Most AR pistols are made using a 14.5" or shorter barrel. With a barrel length of anything under 18" AND a folding adaptor, you will be under the magical 26" OAL and can not legally install a VFG on such.

    To keep things simple that will keep people out of trouble. Don't put a VFG on an AR pistol that has a folding adaptor installed.

    An AR pistol without any type of VFG is quite legal to have a folding adaptor installed per federal law. As always, check your state laws as they may be different.
     
  9. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    To me, this is the critical part.
    It can fold, but it must be a brace.
    The ATF language is relatively clear about a brace not being counted as part of a pistol.
    Obliquely, they rather seem to suggest that a "stock" is a device which is meant to be shouldered.
    So, installing a "stock" on the folding adapter would seem to be a definite no-no.

    Sadly, this is a position I cannot support with chapter and verse, and merely reflects my understanding and reading of the information.
     
  10. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    If you read the PDF file of the determination letter I posted a link to. The letter does mention both a rifle with a folding stock and a pistol with a folding brace. Folding stocks on any type of rifle has always been legal, even with a 16" barrel since they are designed to be fired from the shoulder. It was a combination of the folding pistol brace AND a VFG on a gun classified as a "firearm" that caused all the stink in Connecticut with Freedom Arms basically trying to get around state laws.

    A pistol under 26" OAL length has always been considered an AOW if a VFG is attached. What changed in 2019 was how the ATF measures a pistol with a folding adaptor when counting OAL.
     
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