Pistol carbine conversion and constructive posession of an SBR???

Discussion in 'Legal' started by cpileri, Dec 14, 2007.

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  1. cpileri

    cpileri Member

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  2. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Basically any time you own parts that you could not reasonably use on a legal firearm then you are in trouble. That was the gist of the Thompson case before the Supremes.

    If for example you owned a legal SBR and you had a spare barrel for it you could "reasonably" use that barrel in your SBR so it wouldn't necessarily count as constructive intent if you owned a regular Title 1 AR also.

    If you buy this Glock long (edit)stock and have nothing to "reasonably" use it on then that's when the black helicopters land in your yard.

    If you owned the stock and the long barrel both you could "reasonably" make it all into a rifle legally.

    The Supreme case on Thompson is worth reading if you're gonna fool around on the edge of this cliff......

    http://www.stephenhalbrook.com/tc.html

    Now, that's the technicalities of the law. You'd have to explain all that to a jury and make them believe you, that's a whole other story.


    Not a lawyer and all that, you're potentially playing with fire with this one.....
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2007
  3. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    I think you meant "glock buttstock", as there is no law stating how long a pistol barrel can be.
     
  4. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Yeah I got them turned around. Thanks
     
  5. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Member

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    Texas Rifleman explained it well I thought. The decision in Thompson Center-Fire is unusually clear. Just reading the decision, it seems as long as you have a reasonable, legal use for the parts, then constructive possession is not an issue.

    However, hop over to JPFo_Org and peruse the Kwan case from Washington and you'll see that despite the decision, you may not escape charges or even conviction in federal district court if ATF really wants to push a constructive possession case. Kwan was probably a special case in that he was suspected by the ATF to have information in the murder of a gun control activist and former federal prosecutor. Still, it is disturbing to see that even though ATF was clearly wrong on the law, they still managed to bring charges, secure a conviction in district court, and force Kwan to appeal to the circuit court to get what should have been a fairly clear ruling.
     
  6. Euclidean

    Euclidean Member

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    Wow that's still confusing... so long as the barrel and stock are attached at the same time, it's all considered a rifle?

    That's a pretty cool option for a bad out pistol caliber carbine is why I ask, but I don't want to have to spend $$$ for a federal stamp to be sure I don't go to jail, know what I mean?

    Now here's another followup query. Say you have a 3rd gen Glock (I do not). Once it's all assembled, could a (possibly useless) vertical foregrip be attached to its rail since it's now considered a rifle?

    Interesting thread.
     
  7. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    Do you mean AFTER you've put the 16" barrel and buttstock on it?
     
  8. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    ....
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2007
  9. OEF_VET

    OEF_VET Member

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    Not true. Without the buttstock, the gun is no longer a rifle, it reverts back to being a handgun. It's not capable of being fired from the shoulder, and, as the designers intended, it's meant to be fired using one hand - as unwieldy as that might be.

    Since it is a handgun, there are no Federal restrictions on overall or barrel length.

    If someone were going to equip their Glock with 16" barrel, vertical foregrip, and buttstock, here are the steps you'd have to take to avoid building an illegal SBR:

    Assembly:
    Install 16" barrel. (Still a pistol, just a long one.)
    Install buttstock. (Now a rifle.)
    Install foregrip. (Just another rifle with VFG.)

    Disassembly:
    Remove foregrip. (Still a rifle, just without a VFG.)
    Remove buttstock. (Now it's a pistol once again.)
    Remove 16" barrel. (Still a pistol.)
     
  10. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    That is correct. I confused myself by thinking about it too closely and considering it a rifle with the 16" barrel.
    There is no pistol length limitation and a five foot barrel would still be a pistol as long as no fore grip or buttstock was attached.

    I probably shouldn't discuss this stuff while tired.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2007
  11. OEF_VET

    OEF_VET Member

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    Dangnabbit, double tap.
     
  12. Euclidean

    Euclidean Member

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    Yes, hence I said "Once it's all assembled" in the previous post. But question answered apparently.
     
  13. DMF

    DMF Member

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    :banghead::banghead::banghead:

    As I've said MANY, MANY, times before, and provided citations to explain, constructive possession has NOTHING to do with being able to construct an item. Constructive possession relates to excercising dominion and control over an item, but not actually having the item in your physical possession. For example, when your car keys are in your pocket you physically possess those keys, however, when you set them on the kitchen counter and go sit in the living room to read your mail and watch TV, you still possess those keys because you intend to exercise dominion and control over those keys despite the fact that they are not actually in your physical possession at that time. When those keys are on the kitchen counter you have "constructive possession" of the keys. It has nothing to do with ability or intent to make a set of keys.

    I sure wish people would learn the facts about the topics they wish to spout off about.

    Previous explanations of constructive possession:

    http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=2923641&highlight=constructive#post2923641

    http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=3041826&highlight=constructive#post3041826

    http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=3824770&highlight=constructive#post3824770
     
  14. OEF_VET

    OEF_VET Member

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    DMF,

    It might be because I'm drunk as a skunk right now, but I'm a bit confused. Just because I have a rifle (even a Remington 700, chambered in whatever caliber you wish), and a hacksaw, doesn't construe "constructive possession" anymore than owning both an AR rifle and a pistol, with uppers <16" and >16". I can just as easily take that Rem 700 below 16" if I want than swap uppers.

    I do this stuff for a living, and trust me, the street-level employees of BATFE are as confused about NFA 34 as most people posting on THR. You can call your local BATFE field office and speak to 20 different people, you'll get 25 different answers.

    If you're going to own an AR pistol, with a barrel less than 16" in length, the best thing to do is leave it on a lower that is marked as a pistol. If you MUST try to confuse the situation by turning your pistol into a rifle, which is legal, then don't have any rifle lowers laying around without barrels >16" already attached to them.

    Honestly, if a BATFE employee (whether they are an Agent or a Compliance Investigator) is looking that closely at you, you screwed the pooch long before then, and you better have an attorney on retainer. They have a lot more to worry about than some guy who owns an AR pistol and a few AR rifles at the same time. They're too busy worrying about how well I keep records of sales to pay attention to John Q. Public and his pistol.
     
  15. cpileri

    cpileri Member

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    So far.

    So, seems the consensus so far is to my suprise, that is it OK to order and posess, either assembled in the correct order on the pistol or with controlling dominion over the seperate pieces, both the stock and 16" barrel, and a glock pistol.

    I am kind of suprised!

    See, I read some online experiences that the Mec-Tech Carbine Conversion Units (http://www.lonewolfdist.com/Detail.aspx?PROD=4514 ) are not 100% reliable for everyone. I also think that for certain individuals, a pistol caliber carbine, with a 33-rd magazine, would be a very good HD platform. But it has to be 100% reliable in that situation. So this combo caught my eye.

    But it would not be worth an inadvertent NFA34 violation.

    C-
     
  16. Andrewsky

    Andrewsky Member

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    If you have an AK with a folding stock and you want to take the stock off, do you have to inform ATF that you are converting a rifle to a pistol?
     
  17. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    No, because you are not converting anything.

    If it has a barrel of 16" and is 26" overall length, it's a rifle whether it has a stock or not.

    Pistol grip (only) shotguns are not "pistols", they are just shotguns with (only) pistol grips.

    ALSO

    You cannot convert a rifle to a pistol. It is a violation of the law. You can, however convert a pistol to a rifle.
     
  18. DMF

    DMF Member

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    I don't know what you're confused about, but if you can explain what from my post is confusing, or the links provided is confusing I'll try to clear it up for you.

    Once again, people are repeatedly posting comments about "constructive possession" and referring to the ability of a person to construct an item. However, that is not the meaning of constructive possession. Constructive possession refers to the ability to excercise dominion and control over an object. Therefore the object(s) must actually exist for you to be in possession of it, whether it's constructive possession or physical possession.

    Again, I'll refer to my example from one of the links - Cocaine base (aka crack) v. powder cocaine (NOTE: I'm not interested in debating the merits of the drug laws, just trying to provide an easy to understand example). The sentencing guidelines under federal law are much different for crack v. powder. Currently 50g or more of crack carries a mandatory minimum sentence of eight years. However, the same mandatory minimums do not kick in for powder until you hit 5 Kilograms. Therefore if someone has 2 ounces of crack (56g) for distribution they are looking at a 8 year mandatory minimum sentence if convicted in federal court. However if someone has an ounce of powder cocaine (28g) they are not subject to that same mandatory minimum sentence. Therefore if a cop or prosecutor wants to put someone away for a long time it's best to be able to charge them with crack v. powder cocaine.

    So here's an example:

    Joe Blow is suspected of being a crack dealer and during an investigation an undercover cop buys 1 ounce of crack (28g) from Joe Blow at his apartment. Based on this info and other info obtained during the investigation the cops obtain an arrest warrant for Blow, and a search warrant for his apartment, when they serve the warrant Blow does not have any drugs on his person, but in the next room officers find 2Kg of powder cocaine, large amounts of baking soda, scales, glass containers with crack residue, etc. However, despite the obvious intent of Blow to cook up that 2Kg into crack at the time of his arrest it is still just powder cocaine.

    Because the drugs were not physically on his person, but Blow was the only one in the apartment, and there is other evidence to show the apartment is his and he has been using it for his drug dealing, he is in constructive possession of the powder cocaine, because he has power to control and intent to control the cocaine. However, despite his obvious intent, ability, and the necessary materials to cook the powder cocaine into crack, he cannot be charged with being in possession 50g or more of crack cocaine, and because his sale of crack to the undercover cop amounts to less than 50g he will not face that 8 year mandatory min at sentencing.

    You see Blow has the intent to manufacture more than 50g of crack, and has all the materials necessary to do that, but is NOT in constructive possession of crack because it is not actually crack. He can only be charged with the 28g of crack he sold, and the 2Kg of powder he constructively possessed at the time of his arrest.

    I hope this makes it clear to you that the rantings about constructive possession often seen here are incorrect. The items defined by law as being contraband must actually exist for the person to possess them, whether constructively or physically. For those that haven't actually looked at the definitions of constructive vs. physical (aka actual) possession it might seem confusing, but if you actually read the definitions and how they are applied in the case law it should be easily understood.

    However, as I've said before, if this is more than a hypothetical discussion it is best to consult with a lawyer who has experience with local, state, and fed firearms laws.
     
  19. zoom6zoom

    zoom6zoom Member

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    As said, no. But if it's a Romy with the front vertical foregrip, you'll need to take that off too, or it becomes an NFA.
     
  20. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    No, that is incorrect.

    parts_208_1024x.jpg

    If you take the buttstock off of your Romanian AK, it is still a rifle as it is at least 26" overall and has a 16" barrel (it just doesn't have a buttstock on it).

    If you attach a forward grip to a pistol without the appropriate tax stamp, it becomes an NFA violation.

    If you try to shorten your Romanian AK into a pistol-sized rifle (by cutting the barrel, perhaps), you'd better have the tax stamp for a Short Barrelled Rifle in hand.

    Under federal law, you cannot ever legally convert a rifle into a pistol, not even under the NFA.
     
  21. Roswell 1847

    Roswell 1847 member

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    Found a Colt revolver shoulder stock on Ebay recently.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Shoulder-Stock-Single-Action-Antique-COLT-1851-NAVY_W0QQitemZ110204441092QQihZ001QQcategoryZ73979QQcmdZViewItem
    Its described as a stock for the 1851 Navy but I recognised it as a metal shoulder stock sold along with a rifle length barreled Colt SAA carbine back in the 70's.
    The stock looked to have been ground to fit a Navy grip, hard to tell.
    Any way I wonder if owning that stock without the original long barreled SAA it was designed for would be illegal since it can be fitted to just about any single action revolver simply by replacing the hammer screw with the longer stud ended screw provided with the stock? Especially if you also have a cartridge type Single action revolver as well as the Colt Navy model.
     
  22. cpileri

    cpileri Member

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    email from LoneWolf

    Here's the reply I got from Lone Wolf:

    Possession of a 16 inch barrel shows you are complying. Its the same as owning a TC carbine. If you do not plan to register the stock the barrel will be your best insurance

    FWIW.
    C-
     
  23. Aguila Blanca

    Aguila Blanca Member

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    An AR-15 might be a better example.

    Both Bushmaster and Olympic offer AR pistols, which do not have a buttstock. It's possible to swap uppers and make them into rifles, with or without adding a collapsable stock. And, having done so, it is also legal to remove the stock and rifle upper and convert back to the original pistol configuration.

    BECAUSE -- the receiver was first manufactured and sold as a pistol. While there are prohibitions against short-barreled rifles, there are no prohibitions against long-barreled pistols. Take a pistol upper and install it on a receiver that began life as an AR-15 rifle or carbine, and you would then (legally, according the the BATFE) not have an AR'15 pistol, you would have an illegal short-barreled AR-15 rifle.

    That was the crux of the T/C case, that the weapon in question began life as a pistol, therefore making it a pistol again after converting it to a rifle didn't make it a short-barreled rifle, it made it what it already was -- a pistol.
     
  24. LAR-15

    LAR-15 Member

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    What kind of velocity would you even get out of a 16 inch barrel shooting 9x19 anyway?
     
  25. Roswell 1847

    Roswell 1847 member

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    Theres very little increase in velocity with longer barreled 9mm unless you use submachine gun loadings and the UZI carbine load would likey void a Glock Warranty all over the shooters mug.

    Longer barrels in .45 give more increase in energy. The slight increase in velocity counts more when using a heavy slug.
     
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