Sig arm brace -- important legal update

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

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  1. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    You are 100% legally right, of course, but I suspect that would be cold comfort as the cell door was clanging shut. And as the legal fees were piling up, and as your stuff rusted away in an evidence room, and as...

    Most people are lucky in that the NY and NJ police can't pull over every out of state vehicle passing through, or find a pretense to pop the trunk of they ones they do. I agree with all of your advice, but for the unlucky ones who do everything right I still fear for them.

    If I were passing thru I think would try to ship my silencer to my destination if at all possible instead of taking it thru myself. An ounce of prevention and all that...
     
  2. basicblur

    basicblur Member

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    I guess you get a different answer depending on what day it is!?

    Referencing my earlier post...I finally got my tax stamps - figured I would call the ATF (NFA Branch / WV) to see if I could get the "cover letter" the gal on my earlier call told me they would send stating I do not need to fill out form 5320.20 for interstate transportation of silencers rather than send in the paperwork.

    The fellow I got this time said that wouldn't happen - he said you do not need to fill out 5320.20 to transport silencers across state lines, but if you fill out the forms and send 'em in, they would approve them and send them back to you.

    Nothing like adding to the confusion (of some) - I was hoping to get the cover letter stating the form was not needed (to keep with the silencers, and show any LEOs that did not know the laws / regulaltions), but since it's not needed, why bother getting a form to transport them? (it just adds to the confusion).

    If what the fellow told me is true, then I guess that's why they completed your forms, even though they are not needed.

    If I were to call tomorrow, guess I'd get a 3rd different answer...
    (At least everyone has been consistent on the fact that you do NOT need the form for silencers).
     
  3. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Guys, the ATF FAQ, (as well as the law itself, if that matters), is pretty clear on this.

    The transport law is in regard to a few specific firearms, and silencers are NOT among them.
     
  4. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    I know that, but the question would be whether the person with the power to put you in jail knew it.

    At a bare minimum I think it would be prudent to travel with printed copies of all the germane regs, and to have the online references bookmarked on any mobile device you happen to have.

    I keep copies of all my stamps in my shooting bag just in case. I think I will now follow my own good advice and add copies of all the above stuff as well.
     
  5. basicblur

    basicblur Member

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    Yup...

    When I originally contacted ATF, I was told:
    1. 5320.20 is NOT needed for silencer transport.
    2. If you fill out the form, we'll send it back with a letter stating it is not needed.

    Today I was told the form would simply be OK'ed and returned to me (even though it's not needed).

    I asked my lawyer about this way back on 1-16-14, and here's what he said:
    As for whether or not you have a legal requirement to complete a Form 20 for suppressors, the KY trust lawyer is correct. You are not LEGALLY required to fill out a Form 20 for suppressors. Failing to do so is NOT a crime ... but it would go against the terms of my NFA trusts language.

    The terms on my NFA trusts require the trustee to submit a Form 20 for ALL NFA items and here is why. The job of the trust is to protect the assets in the trust as well as your interests as the Settlor. Many local law enforcement officers who encounter an NFA item may have little or no knowledge of NFA laws. Having an approved Form 20 with the "blessing" of the ATF goes a long way to avoid lengthy encounters (or even confiscation) with such officers.

    Finally, make sure that the state you are taking the item to does not have additional state-level requirements concerning suppressors.


    So...it sounds like my lawyer wants me to fill out the form simply as a CYA move - this is why I was after the "cover letter" the original ATF agent told me I would receive.

    I guess I'll go ahead and send the 5320.20 in, just to cover my behind.
     
  6. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    Ok local cops don't enforce federal laws, and that transport law you are so worried about is a federal statute.
     
  7. basicblur

    basicblur Member

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    I'm not only worried about any local LEOs that might try to give me a hard time, but I'm not so sure a particular Federal agent that might run across me knows the law / regulations.

    You never know if you're going to run across Andy Griffith or Barney Fife, and there are a LOT of Barney Fife's running around out there these days... :banghead:
     
  8. kimberkid

    kimberkid Member

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    Ditto ...

    If you don't give them a reason to suspect or search for anything, most likely it will never become an issue ... life it too short to worry about stupid stuff like that.

    At least I hope we haven't gotten to the point where we can be selected at randon and commanded to produce our "papers"
     
  9. Ranb

    Ranb Member

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  10. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    Has the existence of the arm brace changed the way AR15 users might consider them, yes. It has grown exponentially since the determination that they can be shouldered. Thanks for the explanations concerning SBR stamps, transport, etc. It wasn't so obvious before how arbitrary and onerous some of the restrictions are. What a contrast to the carry and use of a pistol - which in this case is a breeze. And in many jurisdictions it's legal to carry them loaded, unlike a rifle which must be cased with ammo separate.

    SIG has introduced another model to the lineup, which means they don't see it as stealing sales from the existing model, but adding sales. If that is a reflection on the styling of the first one, fine, if you don't like it, ok. The market is full of dress up stocks, handguards, and grips, and most are sold precisely because somebody doesn't like the hideous looks of Brand X. Taste isn't always a big discriminator in firearm sales, if I am to believe my eyes when I see a bright green and black zebra striped polymer frame on a pistol.

    What we have is a gamechanger. What WAS a long wait for a short barreled rifle with extra fees and requirements is NOW a no big deal pistol build. What WAS a restricted and limited item is NOW another AR build genre with no holds barred, literally. Just pick a pistol buffer tube that you are legally comfortable with.

    As long as this window of opportunity exists, why penalize yourself with the costs of a stamp, trust, inheritance, transport, and other hassles of an SBR, when the BATF just cut you a huge amount of slack?

    Does it mean that someone who would never have bothered to apply for an SBR stamp is now interested? READ THE FORUMS - it's the hottest thing going now, and that's in a declining gun market. Those considering an AR build are waking up and seeing a huge opportunity. An "SBR" - for "free," no waiting or any more hassle other than building to one specific feature - a buffer tube that can't "accept" or be "easily modified" for a rifle stock.

    It's about freedom, and this decision is a major surprise during what we thought was an anti gun administration. In just the last few months there are threads popping up in other forums, with a renewed interest in how to build an AR pistol, all because the wrist brace opened the opportunity. If all it takes is a wrist brace with pistol buffer and you save $200, ten months, a trust, transport hassles, etc., there would have to be a seriously compelling reason to endure the hassle. Which hasn't been yet revealed - and never really was.
     
  11. bikemutt

    bikemutt Member

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    Let's say circumstances change and you have to sell your SBR, quick. Good luck.

    I can sell my AR pistol in 5 minutes, may take a bit longer to ditch the arm brace I suppose.
     
  12. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    pull the shorty upper off your SBR and it's not an NFA weapon any more. So you can sell it just as fast. The ATF says you aren't even required to notify them that it should be removed from the registry.
     
  13. Ranb

    Ranb Member

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    I've never considered having to dispose of a gun quickly, ever.

    I did have a suppressed WASR (Romanian AK) on the market for over a year; no one wanted to buy it after test firing as the gas port was noisy. After the last "we're gong to grab your guns" scare a guy took me up on the offer of $600 (my cost for rifle, silencer and tax). He only wanted the rifle as he was scared of the BATFE (can't figure that one out) and didn't want to pay the tranfer tax.

    Now I have a useless silencer that only fits on an AK with 9/16" threads and a bare barrel with the front sight set back. Anyone want it? Just $50 plus tax. :)

    Ranb
     
  14. Unlicensed Dremel

    Unlicensed Dremel Member

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    NO.

    An actual tight shoulder hold is 3x as "practical-accurate".

    It's that simple.
     
  15. blueskyjaunte

    blueskyjaunte Member

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    "An actual tight should hold" is accomplished with a SIG arm brace as easily as it is accomplished with a standard short LOP buttstock.
     
  16. bikemutt

    bikemutt Member

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    And the serialized lower?
     
  17. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    The serialized lower is the only part that matters. If you remove the short barrel and put a 16"+ barrel on it, it is now a standard GCA rifle. You can transport it across state lines, take it to "no SBR" states, lend it to friends, or sell it if you wish, without doing any paperwork.

    If you so choose, you can write a letter to the BATFE to let them know they can remove that gun from the registry.

    https://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/national-firearms-act-short-barreled-rifles-shotguns.html

    Read numbers three, four, five.
     
  18. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    Yup, yup, and yup. What Sam said.


    It's only an SBR when it is fitted with a barrel under 16". Take that off and it's nothing more than a plain-jane, completely NFA-unregulated AR frame w/out a barrel. Put a standard, unregulated length barrel on it, and as far as the law is concerned all you have is an AR with some personalized stamp on it - either a name or the trust's name and such.

    The owner can sell it, do whatever he wants with it, no $200 tax stamp needed. The seller can even do a face-to-face sale with no paperwork at all if his state allows such sales. The ATF merely suggests if it's been "un-made" an SBR that they be notified as a courtesy to remove it from the registry, but even that isn't required.
     
  19. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    (Every once in a while you run across some bit of the NFA laws that's so EASY and logical you just can't believe it the first time you hear it. This is one of those! :))
     
  20. bikemutt

    bikemutt Member

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    Yup. How can it be so arduous to get in, so easy to get out, very odd.
     
  21. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    Yup, and instances like this point out exactly how silly the law is.


    With the AR being the lego set that it is, you can sit at home with a 16.5" upper and a 14.5" upper playing the game, "now it's an SBR, now it's not; now it's an SBR, now it's not," 'till the cows come home.

    And you'd be right.

    It's only an SBR with a barrel less than 16" (and a shoulder stock attached). Take that off, and it's not. Really, it's not. Put a 16" or greater barrel on it and it truly is nothing more than a plain-jane AR. Perhaps with an engraving or stamped portion on it under the NFA regulation. But if it was bought as a factory-produced SBR it probably won't even have that. It'll look no different than any other AR in your gun safe.

    And it can be treated exactly the same way, too.


    However, if you want to talk about the silliness surrounding Thompson Contenders you'll really see the silliness in all this. "Now it's a pistol; now it's a rifle; now . . . I guess it "could be an SBR" if I put my pistol barrel back on it but that'll illegal so let's not do that . . . so now it's a rifle again. Now it's a pistol again. Oh wait , I'm not supposed to make a pistol out of a rifle. OK, um . . . so what do I do with all my pistol length barrels when I'm not permitted to make a pistol out of a rifle? Why did I buy this thing again???"
     
  22. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Fortunately they ditched that silliness a few years ago, so you can make your PISTOL into a rifle and then into a pistol.

    Of course, it would be naughty to make your RIFLE into a pistol, then into a rifle, and then a pistol. Say what?
     
  23. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    Yeah, but as I recall the ruling was limited to only to Thompson packages at first (one rifle barrel, one pistol barrel, and both a pistol grip and shoulder stock all sold as a complete package). Then a subsequent ATF administrative hearing/ruling/determination (my memory fails me) deemed that any T/C pistol manufactured and sold as a pistol, with the additional pistol paperwork, could be configured a rifle, then legally configured back into a pistol. But you had to retain possession of a T/C pistol grip while in possession of a barrel under 16", otherwise you were in constructive possession of an SBR.


    But shame on you if you had all of those, took the pistol grip off and installed a shoulder stock onto it before removing the rifle barrel and installing your pistol-length barrel. You were a felon. At least for a minute or two until you popped the pin and took that 10" pistol barrel off.



    bikemutt, it'll make a whole lot more sense when you begin thinking about SBRs differently. The whole rifle isn't an SBR. The receiver isn't what makes it an SBR. It's only an SBR when you take a receiver sold as a rifle and install a barrel less than 16" on it. And it's only an SBR while in that configuration. The NFA paperwork you file and the tax paid allows you to make in into that configuration without violating the NFA. And you only need it while it's in that configuration. You don't need any of that if it's not. Dispose of (sell, destroy, or give away) the barrel(s) under 16" and you no longer have that concern.


    Now . . . the corollary to that is . . . say you own an AR rifle. And then you acquire a 14.5" M4 barrel which you keep in your possession and do not have an AR frame registered as a pistol. Or do not have an AR receiver registered as an SBR. You constructively have an SBR according the the BATFE's rules.


    This law was created back when we didn't have the ease of making SBRs. Thompson Center didn't exist. The AR wasn't even a forethought. The lawmakers who wrote these laws envisioned people in their basements, sheds, and garages taking hacksaws to rifles and shotguns. Back then it took specific tools and knowledge to take a barrel off a rifle and fit another to it that still worked and fired safely. They never envisioned commercial firearms would be produced that could have barrels changed simply by popping a pin and buying another commercially-produced replacement that wouldn't require headspacing, or that those replacements might make a rifle that fell afoul of the NFA.
     
  24. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    Please forgive the stupid question:

    If I put a 16"+ upper on my AR may I put the short upper back on without filing another Form 1? Somewhere in the past I recall reading that a SBR is permanently "unmade" if you ever put a long barrel on it. That seems goofy and unenforceable to me, but I thought I would ask.
     
  25. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    From the FAQ I linked to above:

     
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