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Sig arm brace -- important legal update

Discussion in 'Legal' started by kimberkid, Jul 10, 2014.

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  1. Vodoun da Vinci

    Vodoun da Vinci Member

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    I agree that the chances of being singled out is probably miniscule *but* it probably increases exponentially if you make movies showing using it as a stock/shoulder fired configuration repeatedly. I think this is the "rubbing in the face" of the agency that folks are commenting on.

    Doing it? Big deal. Flaunting it publicly? Especially if one has a large Internet following? Not me...unlike yourself I'm afraid that having my day in court trying to defend myself against accusations of intent by the BATF would get very expensive, very quickly. I admire the fact that you'd take that bullet for freedom but I'm not that tough.

    I'll just continue to see how this pans out or buy a tax stamp if I need SBR configuration. And I sincerely hope nobody gets called on the carpet over having a brace on their pistol and using it in a manner consistent with being accused of having the intention of creating an SBR by the BATF.

    VooDoo
     
  2. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    Uh............no.
    Using that logic would mean an AR lower placed in your pants pocket is now an AOW........and it isn't.
    http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=70394195a3edf623eba7ce77a1bddff1&node=27:3.0.1.2.4&rgn=div5#se27.3.479_111

    A PGO shotgun does not meet that definition, and even if "concealable" would still not be an AOW.
     
  3. Styx

    Styx Member

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    I hope so too... If I was one of those popular youtube channels that openly admit to using the arm brace as a way to get around regulations, I'd remove the video ASAP. If they do target anyone, it's probably is going to be a big fish.

    As long as no idiots use one in a crime and it's use does not get any negative press, I doubt they'll push the envelope though.
     
  4. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Tom, read the last line of the first paragraph of this page...

    ATF-SIG-brace-letter.jpg

    "A firearm of this type is properly classified an AOW ... if it is actually concealed on the person."

    As you pointed out from the NFA definitions part of the definition of an AOW is:
    The ATF generally grants the presumption that 26" is a cutoff for what they consider capable of being concealed on the person. Otherwise any PGO shotgun would be one.

    BUT, if you DO conceal your PGO shotgun, then it is obviously concealable.

    So... surprise (to many of us, I think!) yes it does become an AOW.


    Quite contrary to previous statements and to claims made in the forums over the years, they are indeed saying that how you use a gun can change its classification under GCA & NFA.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
  5. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Member

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    Vodoun da Vinci

    Don't give me to much credit, as at this point I'm all talk and hopefully that's all anyone will ever be. I do not own a armbrace at all, but I have been concidering an AK pistol to complement my AK, and boy have those Arm-braced AK pistols have been showing up on arms list like crazy. So I may well have one shortly, my point was simply, in my pasture, on my range, I'll use it however I want.

    But honestly what I want is an AK pistol, so that's how I'd probably use it, at least that's my intent. ;)
     
  6. MagnumWill

    MagnumWill Member

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    We are SO far down the rabbit hole on this one... with a lot of incorrect statements from both sides.

    Do I have an AR with a Sig brace? Yes. Will this ever be an issue for me? No.

    What's the best way to win a bar fight....?

    Don't go to the bar.

    Don't post stupid videos of yourself on YT, don't pass your rifle around at a carnival-like public range to strangers stating that it's a stamp-less SBR, and don't formally ASK THE ATF IF IT'S OK TO BREAK THEIR LAWS BECAUSE YOU'RE OBVIOUSLY SMARTER THAN THEM.
     
  7. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    Couldn't disagree more.

    I think it's extremely important to find out how the bureau interprets the written law and how they don't. And it is quite critical to know when they've changed their position(s).

    The only way to find out, is to ask.
     
  8. Warp

    Warp Member

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    What's the best way to avoid being a test case for shoulder-firing a Sig Braced pistol...?

    Don't shoulder-fire a Sig Braced pistol.
     
  9. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    I did. It doesn't say what you think it says.

    You are reading only the last sentence.....read the paragraph in its entirety.;)
     
  10. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Yes, done. And? "A firearm of this type is properly classified as an AOW if its length is less than 26", or if it is actually concealed on the person." Seems pretty clear.

    The rest of the paragraph covers how one might make a PISTOL into an AOW.

    The last sentence covers the overall characteristics of AOWs, as defined by the cited section 5845(e).




    ... And whether you want to argue specifics or not, the letter clearly points out that IF YOU CONCEAL IT, it becomes an NFA Firearm. (Whatever you want to believe the "it" is, in this case.)

    Which is my point -- an action redefining a classification of firearm.
     
  11. Ryanxia

    Ryanxia Member

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    Agreed. With over 2,000 gun laws sometimes people or companies need to get a straight answer of what is or is not legal. If it's not illegal, there's no reason to think you're 'taking a chance' by doing whatever that is.

    EDIT: Sam1911, I gotta say that the letter reads to me that the gun in question (a pistol with a forward pistol grip) is classified as an AOW if it is less than 26" or concealed. This seems only to apply to something with a forward pistol grip. A standard pistol grip shotgun over 26" that does not have a forward grip should be good I think.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
  12. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    if it was over 26" it would be an "Other firearm".....not NFA. And could have a vertical grip.

    -Put a second vertical grip on your 1911.....it's an AOW.
    -Put a second vertical grip on an AR pistol that has an OAL of LESS THAN 26" OR IS CONCEALABLE..............it's an AOW.
    Put a second vertical grip on an AR Pistol that has an OAL of at least 26".....it's just a "firearm". (and no longer a "handgun")

    All Title 1 firearms that expel a shotgun shell (commonly known as "PGO shotguns") such as the Mossberg 500 or Remington 870 are over 26" in OAL.

    The NFA defined 26"OAL and 18" bbl length as the limits to "concealable" in 1934. Merely being able to hide a shotgun or rifle under your clothing is not the standard outlined in Federal law.
     
  13. DT Guy

    DT Guy Member

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    If 'Ignorance of the law is no excuse', is 'Ignorance of this week's bureaucratic interpretation, which is wholly contrary to last week's' an excuse?

    :evil:

    Sorry-this is so infuriating in what is supposed to be a country of laws, I have to laugh or I'll cry...


    Larry
     
  14. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    Bad idea. A poorly worded query is how we got the clarification we have, now (vs the previous "yes they can be shouldered" one). Moreover, it was unnecessary; the three items asked of "mother, may I?" already had letters and guidelines outlining their legal use. All another request can do is prompt a new ruling (which can happen whenever, but these letters present a more frequent excuse), which is almost certain to define a new barrier on our activity.

    Better idea is to read the law yourself, use your head, ask around if the question is one anywhere near a "grey area," and then use your head again if it is. If it is your intention to willingly push the envelope, muster some resources and council, and know for sure what you are getting yourself into. Only then, send in the paperwork. Think of it like pinging the SCOTUS --some broader strategy and preparation is required for all our sakes.

    "Can I turn right on red?"
    "Is it legal to speed? Will you arrest me for going one over? Two? Three? What if I'm in a hurry?"
    This is what many of these letters come off as. The individual points are either plainly in the statute or already widely known, or the series of questions itself is an obvious request to know "for what will I be prosecuted?" which is a boundary the ATF is both unwilling to divulge (legal advantage), and strongly suggests a tendency towards impropriety regarding the topic in question. IIRC, the ATF doesn't even have the authority to make such definitive/binding proclamations, being mere regulators and not legislators (hard to tell from their attitude, sometimes)

    "It's illegal to make or shoot an unlicensed short rifle, but you won't arrest me if I shoot a nearly identical pistol off my shoulder, right?"

    What could have possibly gone wrong? :rolleyes: BTW, no one go and ask something stupid like if it's legal to shoot a bare or tennis-balled buffer tube off your shoulder...remember when the tennis ball's were 'shady?' They still are, as is shooting an AR pistol off your shoulder. Sorry to all you who bought in while ignoring plain intent in a law as written ;)

    Anyone still think the ATF will suspend enforcement of SBR/SBS rules in the near future? I heard that tossed around quite a bit until recently...they may have, had we not tried to make them fools along the way, but there's little question, now.

    TCB
     
  15. Warp

    Warp Member

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    Why does intent of the law matter? The law is what the law is, and what it is is what is there in black and white.

    Example: The laws against straw purchases are intended to curb prohibited persons from acquiring firearms. There is no intent, in the law, to prevent a person who is lawfully able to acquire a firearm, from acquiring a firearm.

    But we know, and have seen that, a person can be hit with violation of that law even when the guy they are buying the gun for is totally legal in his own right. Because the law is what the law is.
     
  16. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    Welcome to direct dealings with the government. If something as depressing as a tax law forum exists, I'm sure they say the same things about the IRS. This isn't about law, either, don't make that mistake. This is earlier than that, where they decide whether something is worth their time or resources to prosecute. Granted, the consequences of even a clear cut unlawful arrest that is dismissed with prejudice early on is the ruination of your life and finances, but 'legally speaking,' justice isn't served until you are convicted ;)

    America is a nation of laws; poorly written and randomly enforced --and that's not exactly the ATF's fault.

    TCB
     
  17. Ryanxia

    Ryanxia Member

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    barnbwt - there was no atf letter similar to this one.

    In the other letters it was from companies creating these products and selling them, not an individual assembling his own firearm from these items. Whether this individual had asked this question or not their position still would have been the same. Just because Sig can sell their pistol brace and someone else can shoulder it, isn't the same as someone putting a Sig brace on their own AR with the intent to shoulder it (which would make it designed/redesigned as an SBR).

    So the previous letters really had nothing to do with what this guy asked. But again, if your original intent is to fire it one handed and you later decide to shoulder it, that is still legal.
     
  18. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    Warp, the claimed intent of the straw purchase statute is to prosecute PPs for obtaining guns by deceit. The clear language of the statute flatly bars certain transactions between lawfully gun owning parties (and which should, based on that fact, make it unconstitutional, but SCOTUS failed us as it is often want to do, so now we're stuck with it). To my untrained mind, that makes the stated intent of the law instead to prohibit classes of gun purchases, which it then goes on to describe. That previously unobjectionable activities fell under restriction is no accident, and completely intentional. Because it is the only way to bar all indirect/straw purchases, between legal or illegal parties, as intended. If We The People object to this, we should work to change it.

    Constantly asking for curative niche laws like the above is akin to pestering the ATF; nothing good can come of it, and we are certain to lose some more freedom each time.

    TCB
     
  19. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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  20. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    ATF letters apply only to the recipient, since ATF cannot generate legally binding statute or precedent themselves. In reality (not legality) the letters do form a sort of squishy precedent that does generally apply equitably to all similar activities. All else being equal, if person A is green lighted for X, person B is as well, no letter required. If B wants to tweak X to make Y and feels they are in a position to face prosecution as a result, they can choose to ping the Bureau and reap the consequences, or they can proceed if they think they are sufficiently similar to X (knowing the ATF is typically lenient in such cases with regards to prosecution, and they likely only risk the value of Y --see EP Armory)

    The ATF ruling is what it is, and we are bound by its non-binding language. But that's no reason to accept the ruling's plainly contradictory rationalization here. If your goal as a FTB writer is to avoid contradicting ATF rulings as much as possible, rather than following logjc and reason, you end up where they did; "everyone but the guys we screwed up the ruling on are not permitted to partake in the activity we now find unacceptable". Unless SIG pays an SOT to make "SBRs that are not SBRs" under a special classification for customers with the stated intent to use them as such, by what authority can they restrict a private individual or business from doing the same? The logic is insane, and we all know it, because it is wrong. There's just not a lot we can do about it for the time being, though. I suspect, once everyone is thoroughly disgusted with the current state of disarray, the ATF will 'clarify' once more to bar all pistols from being shot off the shoulder, which is what they obviously wanted, but don't seem to have the clout to push for, just yet.

    TCB
     
  21. Warp

    Warp Member

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    But it doesn't bar all indirect purchases, as you can still purchase a gun as a legitimate gift.
     
  22. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    They will as soon as they suspend enforcement of rules on machine guns, silencers, destructive devices and AOW's. ;)

    (and that will happen only if the National Firearms Act is overturned by Congress or the courts)
     
  23. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    If you could actually sight down a gun using the wrist brace, we might have a leg to stand on; but the fact it sticks straight back like a rifle stock limits its use as a brace, while simultaneously aping a true SBR. It's a bad combination no matter how you slice it.

    Personally, now that we have conceal carry in all states, we should be attacking the need for these 'concealable firearms' classifications, themselves. With/without a permit as required, why should it matter what configuration of weapon is in your belt (or under your trench coat :D)? Even if it can't be passed now, bills like this need to be in circulation and ready to strike, much like the AWB bills that the usual suspects can produce from the usual place at a moment's notice.

    "But it doesn't bar all indirect purchases, as you can still purchase a gun as a legitimate gift."
    Surprise gift, maybe, since it appears all traces of pre-arrangement for the gift must be obscured...Once again, some very convoluted and contradictory logic was made in the recent case to justify different treatment for the same end result because of a different route taken (if we paid tax on FFL transfers, the argument might have merit, but we don't). Again, it doesn't matter to us lil folk if the rules are wrong, insane, or incomprehensible, they are the rules we are bound by until we change them. Doesn't mean they are not wrong or insane, though.

    TCB

    ETA, see my sig line, Dogtown...;) We really should run a THR Party candidate this next go around...
     
  24. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    Huh?


    I've read that five times and have no idea what you mean to say.:scrutiny:
     
  25. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    Only the most naive fool ignores the acquisition of knowledge.

    What a pity.
     
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