PDA

View Full Version : AR Pistol Question


ReddingShooter
02-10-2016, 2:14 PM
hey guys and gals.....

I also posted this in another section but no replies so i figured id leave it here also....


i know this has been talked about in length in many many threads, and this may not be the correct area to post this but what i have found really is so many contradicting statements on the issue of forward grips on an AR pistol in california.. i was asked by a good friend of mine awhile back if it was legal in california if you own a bullet buttoned AR pistol if he could legally have a forward grip....

i told him i was not sure and i would so some searching, but it seems as i said there is always 5000 different opinions on the issue so im hoping that somehow somewere someone can say for sure.

my understanding is ( and PLEASE correct me if i am wrong )


1.if you own an AR pistol, and it has a bullet button installed, a forward grip is OK under CALIFORNIA law as any BS over "evil features" does NOT apply.

2. FEDERALLY if your AR pistol is OVER 26" (such as would be usually if your build was with a 10.5" barrel) that the forward grip issue also DOES NOT APPLY as per BATFE it wouldnt be considered a pistol.


thanks in advance, and please lets try to keep the answers to the KNOWN FACTS, and not run off in 5000 different directions on what ifs and maybes..

jdben92883
02-10-2016, 2:17 PM
No forward grips on pistols. So #1 and #2 are inaccurate.

ReddingShooter
02-10-2016, 2:31 PM
No forward grips on pistols. So #1 and #2 are inaccurate.


OK, NOW SEE, the information in #1 and #2 are info directly from the pages of calguns.

can you elaborate on where the no forward grip info comes from ? im just trying to get to the bottom of all the hundreds of different opinions.

Calico1404
02-10-2016, 2:43 PM
No Forward grip, however ANGLED grips have been approved with letters from ATF. And the OAL also includes language about barrel length.

Kmai24
02-10-2016, 2:44 PM
From what I understand with ar pistols angle grips are okay, vertical no bueno

Calico1404
02-10-2016, 2:52 PM
I see people treading to close to the OAL pitch to avoid having to stick to the pistol tube etc. It all comes down, in my opinion, to the LEO or Agency who decides you are a perfect test sample. Especially with some of the vagueness of the OAL rule. Some fed guidelines call for a collapsible stock to be fully extended for measurement, others call for a "easily removable stock" to be removed then measured, well adjustable stocks in my opinion are pretty easily removed, so where does this fall? And this is for rifles so imagine the scrutiny on pistols.

Keep it legal, keep it well in the legal realm, angled grip, pistol tube or approved apparatus for cheek support, this is for anything with a barrel under 16" , again this is only my personal opinion.

gun toting monkeyboy
02-10-2016, 2:54 PM
I believe what he is trying to say is that both of your statements are correct.

The laws dealing with forward vertical grips on pistols are not California laws. California left that to the corresponding Federal law to cover. So while your AR pistol is still considered to be a Pistol by the state, and you have to make sure that it complies with the AWB, there is nothing on the books here in California (edit: aside from the AWB laws) that says you can't stick a forward grip on it.

The Federal laws say that a pistol can not have a forward pistol grip on it without going through the AOW process. However, the ATF has ruled that anything that is 26 or more inches in length is NOT a pistol. And since it is not a pistol, there is no need to treat it as an AOW. It is simply a Title 1 firearm that is not made to be fired from the shoulder. Definitely NOT a pistol. And since it is not a pistol, a vertical front grip is perfectly legal. The one caveat that seems to be floating around out there is what constitutes 26". There is some conflicting information as to whether or not anything attached to the muzzle is counted in that overall length if it is not welded or permanently attached to the firearm. I have yet to see an official letter ruling on this from the ATF. However, I tend to err on the side of caution, so I usually swap out the pistol buffer tube for a rifle buffer tube to get a couple of extra inches on the overall length. Whether or not you feel you need to is up to you.

-Mb

phase1
02-10-2016, 2:55 PM
He's right no vfg on pistols, but once is OAL is over 26" it's considered a firearm so a VFG is ok

ReddingShooter
02-10-2016, 2:57 PM
ok, i JUST NOW got off the hon with victor at the DOJ firearms section.....while i was on the phone, he told me to pull up section 30515 of the penal code, and had me read thru it as he was on the phone and specifically pointed out the following, and asked me if the AR pistol violated the following:



(4) A semiautomatic pistol that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any one of the following:

(A) A threaded barrel, capable of accepting a flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer.

(B) A second handgrip.

(C) A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel that allows the bearer to fire the weapon without burning the bearerís hand, except a slide that encloses the barrel.

(D) The capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip.

(5) A semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.

he said while he couldnt and wouldnt give a "legal" opinion, that if a bullet button was installed, that a forward grip should/would be OK at california state level, BUT may violate FEDERAL law...

if you go by the above portion of 30515 PC

(4) A semiautomatic pistol that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any one of the following:

( i would assume that if your AR pistol has a bullet button and a fixed magazine, then the following WOULD NOT APPLY as everything else hinges on if the pistol has a detachable magazine or not....BB=FIXED MAG)

(A) A threaded barrel, capable of accepting a flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer.

(B) A second handgrip.

(C) A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel that allows the bearer to fire the weapon without burning the bearerís hand, except a slide that encloses the barrel.

(D) The capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip.

(5) A semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.


...i will call BATFE when i can and report my conversation here.

LeadFarmer74
02-10-2016, 3:00 PM
ok, i JUST NOW got off the hon with victor at the DOJ firearms section.....while i was on the phone, he told me to pull up section 30515 of the penal code, and had me read thru it as he was on the phone and specifically pointed out the following, and asked me if the AR pistol violated the following:



(4) A semiautomatic pistol that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any one of the following:

(A) A threaded barrel, capable of accepting a flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer.

(B) A second handgrip.

(C) A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel that allows the bearer to fire the weapon without burning the bearerís hand, except a slide that encloses the barrel.

(D) The capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip.

(5) A semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.

he said while he couldnt and wouldnt give a "legal" opinion, that if a bullet button was installed, that a forward grip should/would be OK at california state level, BUT may violate FEDERAL law...

if you go by the above portion of 30515 PC

(4) A semiautomatic pistol that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any one of the following:

( i would assume that if your AR pistol has a bullet button and a fixed magazine, then the following WOULD NOT APPLY as everything else hinges on if the pistol has a detachable magazine or not....BB=FIXED MAG)

(A) A threaded barrel, capable of accepting a flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer.

(B) A second handgrip.

(C) A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel that allows the bearer to fire the weapon without burning the bearerís hand, except a slide that encloses the barrel.

(D) The capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip.

(5) A semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.


...i will call BATFE when i can and report my conversation here.

Unless you get it in writing then it just one persons opinion. Mb pretty much nailed it.

ReddingShooter
02-10-2016, 3:03 PM
so the way im reading everything, in california, if you have an AR pistol with a fixed 10rd magazine, then VFG is OK.......federally if its over 26" a VFG is also ok as it isnt considered a pistol...


does that about sum it up?

( the AR pistol in question is 26 1/2")

gun toting monkeyboy
02-10-2016, 3:05 PM
ReddingShooter:

Don't rely on anything that the DOJ tells you. They are often some of the worst informed people out there. And if they give you bad advice, and you get caught, they won't back you up. Don't trust them. In this case, however, it actually sounds like he knows what he is talking about. I know, I am as shocked as everybody else. The key word in the California laws is "detachable" when it comes to magazines. By adding a bullet button, you render that point moot, and remove the AR pistol from the laws regarding the AWB.

The BATFE agents that you call may or may not be able to answer your questions as well. However, their opinions don't supersede the written letters issued by the ATF regarding this matter. If you do a google search of "Franklin Armory" and "ATF Letter", you should turn up an official letter from them to Franklin Armory explaining their position on the matter, and stating that anything over 26" in length isn't a pistol, and doesn't need to go the AOW route.

-Mb

ReddingShooter
02-10-2016, 3:08 PM
I believe what he is trying to say is that both of your statements are correct.

The laws dealing with forward vertical grips on pistols are not California laws. California left that to the corresponding Federal law to cover. So while your AR pistol is still considered to be a Pistol by the state, and you have to make sure that it complies with the AWB, there is nothing on the books here in California that says you can't stick a forward grip on it.

The Federal laws say that a pistol can not have a forward pistol grip on it without going through the AOW process. However, the ATF has ruled that anything that is 26 or more inches in length is NOT a pistol. And since it is not a pistol, there is no need to treat it as an AOW. It is simply a Title 1 firearm that is not made to be fired from the shoulder. Definitely NOT a pistol. And since it is not a pistol, a vertical front grip is perfectly legal. The one caveat that seems to be floating around out there is what constitutes 26". There is some conflicting information as to whether or not anything attached to the muzzle is counted in that overall length if it is not welded or permanently attached to the firearm. I have yet to see an official letter ruling on this from the ATF. However, I tend to err on the side of caution, so I usually swap out the pistol buffer tube for a rifle buffer tube to get a couple of extra inches on the overall length. Whether or not you feel you need to is up to you.

-Mb

see, this is pretty much how i understood everything to be.

i just spoke to BATFE also, and was asked right off the bat if the pistol in question was OVER 26" from end to end ( which it is) and was told directly by them it wouldnt be considered a pistol under those circumstances, so VFG would be OK...

ReddingShooter
02-10-2016, 3:10 PM
ReddingShooter:

Don't rely on anything that the DOJ tells you. They are often some of the worst informed people out there. And if they give you bad advice, and you get caught, they won't back you up. Don't trust them. In this case, however, it actually sounds like he knows what he is talking about. I know, I am as shocked as everybody else. The key word in the California laws is "detachable" when it comes to magazines. By adding a bullet button, you render that point moot, and remove the AR pistol from the laws regarding the AWB.

The BATFE agents that you call may or may not be able to answer your questions as well. However, their opinions don't supersede the written letters issued by the ATF regarding this matter. If you do a google search of "Franklin Armory" and "ATF Letter", you should turn up an official letter from them to Franklin Armory explaining their position on the matter, and stating that anything over 26" in length isn't a pistol, and doesn't need to go the AOW route.

-Mb

oh i follow you on the DOJ info. just try to get them to issue a ruling letter....HAHAHAH

gun toting monkeyboy
02-10-2016, 3:10 PM
see, this is pretty much how i understood everything to be.

i just spoke to BATFE also, and was asked right off the bat if the pistol in question was OVER 26" from end to end ( which it is) and was told directly by them it wouldnt be considered a pistol under those circumstances, so VFG would be OK...

Well, it is good to see that they are finally catching up with the times. However, DO NOT rely on them unless you get something in writing. What they say over the phone won't keep you out of jail.

-Mb

ReddingShooter
02-10-2016, 3:14 PM
Well, it is good to see that they are finally catching up with the times. However, DO NOT rely on them unless you get something in writing. What they say over the phone won't keep you out of jail.

-Mb

got that right...LOL

it is mind boggling though how many opinions among calgunners there is on this specific subject. in reading 31505 P.C. on pistols, it seemed awfully cut and dried that the pistol would have to have the good old detachable magazine for the section to apply and if you have a bullet button, effectively making it a FIXED magazine, then 31505 wouldnt apply.....

ReddingShooter
02-10-2016, 3:18 PM
http://www.franklinarmory.com/XO-26_Letter__c_.pdf

this one?

ReddingShooter
02-10-2016, 3:36 PM
got that right...LOL

it is mind boggling though how many opinions among calgunners there is on this specific subject. in reading 31505 P.C. on pistols, it seemed awfully cut and dried that the pistol would have to have the good old detachable magazine for the section to apply and if you have a bullet button, effectively making it a FIXED magazine, then 31505 wouldnt apply.....

AND, if the feds say that if your pistol is over 26" then its not considered a pistol for the purposes of federal regulations, and if 31505 doesnt apply because of the bullet button/fixed magazine thing, then it WOULD be OK in california both at state and federal level to own an AR pistol with a bullet button/fixed magazine with a vertical forward grip IF your pistol was OVER 26"...

ReddingShooter
02-10-2016, 3:39 PM
and i havent seen a thing on HORIZONTAL grips!...LOL....

ReddingShooter
02-10-2016, 4:06 PM
isnt there any case law on this?

id figure that if the VFG was illegal, as many people that have them on AR pistols, california would have been arresting AR pistol owners and have been prosecuting, which should have given us some case law to look back at and clear all of the confusion up.

gun toting monkeyboy
02-10-2016, 4:10 PM
http://www.franklinarmory.com/XO-26_Letter__c_.pdf

this one?

Yup. That is the one. And because of the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment, it applies to all of us. Franklin Armory was smart enough to get that in writing, and took the AR pistol market by storm here in California a few years back. That letter is probably one of the most important ones the ATF has come up with for those of us stuck behind enemy lines in the People's Republic. It is about as close as we can get to an SBR.

-Mb

ReddingShooter
02-10-2016, 4:58 PM
Yup. That is the one. And because of the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment, it applies to all of us. Franklin Armory was smart enough to get that in writing, and took the AR pistol market by storm here in California a few years back. That letter is probably one of the most important ones the ATF has come up with for those of us stuck behind enemy lines in the People's Republic. It is about as close as we can get to an SBR.

-Mb

yep......

also i just got off the telephone with a long time very knowledgeable well known firearms attorney. he said in all his years as a gun lawyer in california, he has never heard of one single person being prosecuted for a forward grip on an AR pistol. hes going to be doing some actual legal digging ad make some calls on the subject and ill talk to him again next week, and ill get a letter from him with his actual legal opinion on the whole subject.

Quiet
02-10-2016, 10:50 PM
1.if you own an AR pistol, and it has a bullet button installed, a forward grip is OK under CALIFORNIA law as any BS over "evil features" does NOT apply.

2. FEDERALLY if your AR pistol is OVER 26" (such as would be usually if your build was with a 10.5" barrel) that the forward grip issue also DOES NOT APPLY as per BATFE it wouldnt be considered a pistol.


1. Correct.
Under CA laws...
A semi-auto pistol that accepts detachable magazines can not legally have a second handgrip. [PC 30515(a)(4)(B)]
A semi-auto pistol with a fixed magazine (maglock + 10 round magazine) can legally have a second handgrip.
Second handgrip is any type of forward grip (angled, horizontal, vertical).

Under Federal laws...
A Title 1 Handgun with a vertical forward grip is legally considered a Title 2 AOW. Which means, if you do not have BATFE approval to make a Title 2 AOW, it would be illegal (Federal felony) for you to attach a vertical forward grip on to the handgun.
A Title 1 Handgun can legally have an angled forward grip and/or a horizontal forward grip.

Therefore, in order to be legal under both Federal and CA laws...
A Title 1 Handgun that is semi-auto pistol with a fixed magazine can legally have an angled forward grip and/or a horizontal forward grip.
In order to legally have a vertical forward grip, the semi-auto pistol with a fixed magazine must first be made into an AOW (BATFE approval).


2. Correct.
Under Federal laws...
A firearm with a barrel length of less than 16" and an overall length of greater than 26" and does not have a shoulder stock, is considered a Title 1 Other firearm.
A Title 1 Other firearm can legally have any type of forward grip (angled, horizontal, vertical).

Under CA laws...
A firearm with a barrel length of less than 16", is considered a "handgun".

Therefore, in order to be legal under both Federal and CA laws...
A Title 1 Other that is a semi-auto pistol with a fixed magazine can legally have an angled forward grip, horizontal forward grip, and/or vertical forward grip.
A Title 1 Other that is a semi-auto pistol that accepts detachable magazines can not legally have a threaded barrel, second handgrip, barrel shroud, or be able to accept a magazine outside of the pistol grip.