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Zervaman
09-07-2008, 9:56 PM
Sorry if this has been asked before, but can I legally order an upper with a 14.5 barrel WITHOUT a permanently attached flash hider in CA? I plan to replace the standard AR-15 front sight with a low profile, THEN permanently affix a flash hider, all before mounting on a lower.

stphnman20
09-07-2008, 10:00 PM
Nope.. Just contact the the place you are buying the lower from and ask if they can do it for you before shipping it out..

jandmtv
09-07-2008, 10:02 PM
If you own the lower at the time you take possession of the upper, then yes it is illegal! If you buy the upper, and you own no lowers until the flash hider is attached permanently, then you are ok.

If Im wrong, Im sure someone will jump in and correct me.

nobs11
09-07-2008, 10:06 PM
If you own the lower at the time you take possession of the upper, then yes it is illegal! If you buy the upper, and you own no lowers until the flash hider is attached permanently, then you are ok.


Is possession illegal? I'd assume assembly would be and you are okay if you permanently attach a muzzle device to turn it into a non NFA item before you install it on a lower but I could be wrong.

dfletcher
09-07-2008, 10:41 PM
Constructive possession applies to an SBR?

So if I have an AR pistol in my NV apartment, score a great deal on an 11" bbl AR upper I can't hang on to it at my CA residence for a few weeks before I drive up to Sparks?

ar15barrels
09-07-2008, 10:54 PM
Owning a pistol lower exempts you from constructive posession of sbr's by owning an AR upper with a barrel less than 16" long.

If you don't own a pistol lower, but you do own a rifle lower, you can't own a barrel of less than 16".

So, if you want to have a 14.5" barrel, you can order it shipped to me and have me swap out the gas block, handguards and do the permanent attach job before you get it.
I have a pistol lower so there is no such thing as constructive possession of an SBR in my shop. ;)

ar15barrels
09-07-2008, 10:57 PM
Constructive possession applies to an SBR?

Absolutely.
Constructive possession is at the federal level.
There's no constructive possession at the state level as far as AW's go.

So if I have an AR pistol in my NV apartment, score a great deal on an 11" bbl AR upper I can't hang on to it at my CA residence for a few weeks before I drive up to Sparks?

Same location does not even matter as both locations are "within your control".
If you own a short barrel anywhere and only a rifle lower, you are in trouble.
Owning a legitimate pistol lower gets you around it.

ar15barrels
09-07-2008, 10:59 PM
I'd assume assembly would be and you are okay if you permanently attach a muzzle device to turn it into a non NFA item before you install it on a lower but I could be wrong.

You would be wrong to assume that.
The feds don't fool around.

darkest2000
09-07-2008, 11:06 PM
I own a hacksaw as well, does that count as constructive possesion:rolleyes:


On the other hand you could just order it with the hider already permanently attached so if you really are that worried about the ATF following the UPS truck to your house by all means you have that option.

ar15barrels
09-07-2008, 11:09 PM
I own a hacksaw as well, does that count as constructive possesion:rolleyes:

Not until you actually use it to make an illegal gun part.
A hacksaw itself is not a gun part. ;)

Feel free to store the hacksaw in the same case with your SHTF rifle and apply it to the rifle should you decide that it's more important to have a short barrel than to follow the law.

Richy
09-07-2008, 11:20 PM
Feel free to store the hacksaw in the same case with your SHTF rifle and apply it to the rifle should you decide that it's more important to have a short barrel than to follow the law.

LMFAO. I would love to see the law being followed when SHTF.
I follow all laws until SHTF. Should be fun.

Zervaman
09-07-2008, 11:20 PM
Alright, so just that I'm clear, so long as I am not currently in possession of a lower, I can purchase and own a 14.5 inch upper without a perm flash hider, right?

NeoWeird
09-07-2008, 11:34 PM
A lot of people err on the side of caution on this one, but I remember seeing an un-official ATF letter(s) a while back on arf going into detail about constructive posession.

NOW THIS IS NOT ABSOLUTE FACT. It does however make sense to me, and it can both help or hurt you depending on the way it swings.

Constructive posession is a catch all to get the people who try to do illegal things in a legal manner. For example, buying an AR pistol upper to put on an AR rifle lower. It swings with the intent of the items purchased.

So if you had a 16" AR rifle, and decided you wanted to chop it down one day, you could legally take it to a lathe, chop it down, attach the muzzle device permanently and you would not have commited a crime. So even though you had a short barrel your intent was not to create a barrel of shorter length, so you did not break the law. Now on the flip side, you order a muzzle device and cut down the barrel but don't own the muzzle device. You've now created an SBR because your intent was to cut the barrel down and NOT extended it via valid means. Likewise, if you ordered a shorter barrel and permanently attached a muzzle device as soon as you took posession of it your intent was legal. However, if you order it and it sits in your closet for a week or two then you had no intent to extend it and you've commited a crime.

This also work on other items as well. For example, owning AK47 parts is legal (well not in California, but we are talking Federal laws). You own an AK receiver and AK47 parts and you're breaking the law. You purchase an AK parts kit and deactivate the FA parts or get rid of them and your intent is clearly legal.

It can go even further though. You own a piece of string and you're legal. You put the same string in your range bag and you could now be hit for constructive posession of a machine gun (no joke).

The intent of the person is far more important than them hitting every single person who technically treads too clsoe to the law. However, it's too easy for someone to act ignorant or stupid, so even if they believe you chances are you will get charged and they will let the courts sort it out.

I've always been of the stance that shorter barrels are legal to purchase, but not own, when you only own a rifle. Conversion must be immediate with no delay. If you can not handle that short term ownership resposably, then you shouldn't be doing it yourself.

I know people will argue, but this is exactly why Joe Gunsmith is allowed to cut down barrels and permanantly attach items even without their SOT licences.

AGAIN, THIS IS NOT FACT OR LAW. It was from unofficial correspondances between one person and an agent. The agent could easily be wrong and it was their interpretation of the law and not necessarily the opinion of the ATF as a whole. If you feel uncomfortable at all with any scenario, then you should opt for a safer route and have a professionla who knows better handle it for you.

ETA: This also goes back to the guy with the AR-15 that started to double and he got arrested. He was not charged with posession or manufacturing a machine gun because that was not his intent, however he intended to transfer the gun to his friend and the gun was a machine gun so he got hit for transferring a machine gun. Trigger jobs and firing pin modifications are dangerous unless you know what you're doing as if you go too far and it does double, your intent was the modify the trigger and the modified trigger shoots more than one round per trigger pull so your even though the outcome was not what you intended, your intent did intentionally create a machine gun.

It's complicated to explain, but easy to understand once you understand where they are coming from.

dfletcher
09-07-2008, 11:47 PM
Alright, so just that I'm clear, so long as I am not currently in possession of a lower, I can purchase and own a 14.5 inch upper without a perm flash hider, right?

FWIW, I bought a 14.5 bbl with a permanently attached FH to make it 16" and legal. It had a regular AR front sight that I wanted to replace with a 2 piece YHM flip up sight/GB. I removed it by driving out the pins and some simple but delicate dremel work, slicing the front sight bands & off it comes. Takes 5 minutes.

DedEye
09-08-2008, 1:19 AM
Not until you actually use it to make an illegal gun part.
A hacksaw itself is not a gun part. ;)

Feel free to store the hacksaw in the same case with your SHTF rifle and apply it to the rifle should you decide that it's more important to have a short barrel than to follow the law.

As a bayonet :confused:?




:p

That'd rule.

trinydex
09-10-2008, 3:00 PM
Not until you actually use it to make an illegal gun part.
A hacksaw itself is not a gun part. ;)

Feel free to store the hacksaw in the same case with your SHTF rifle and apply it to the rifle should you decide that it's more important to have a short barrel than to follow the law.

wouldn't that mess up your accuracy? the barrel crown and all.

ar15barrels
09-10-2008, 3:10 PM
wouldn't that mess up your accuracy? the barrel crown and all.

Absolutely.

Quiet
09-10-2008, 7:04 PM
CA has a constructive possession law concerning SBR.

CA Penal Code 12020
(c)(2) As used in this section, a "short-barreled rifle" means any of the following:
(A) A rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length.
(B) A rifle with an overall length of less than 26 inches.
(C) Any weapon made from a rifle (whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise) if that weapon, as modified, has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length.
(D) Any device which may be readily restored to fire a fixed cartridge which, when so restored, is a device defined in subparagraphs (A) to (C), inclusive.
(E) Any part, or combination of parts, designed and intended to convert a device into a device defined in subparagraphs (A) to (C), inclusive, or any combination of parts from which a device defined in subparagraphs (A) to (C), inclusive, may be readily assembled if those parts are in the possession or under the control of the same person.

bwiese
09-10-2008, 7:23 PM
Randall and Quiet are, as usual, correct.

'Constructive possession' concept for SBRs is separately applicable to both Fed law and CA law.

Some brave people feel it's OK to get a shorty *barrel* but not build it into an upper until the muzzle device is pinned/welded. That is a very edge condition situation and one which I avoid and hope others avoid.

Also, we generally know how Feds/ATF behave on this on a broad basis; we really don't know about CA - they could be more sensitive, so caution is the watchword.

The area where constructive possession does not play is for CA generic AW laws in 12276.1PC - but some stupid folks overextrapolate this and think it doesn't apply to SBR stuff for some reason.

You should not take possession of a shorty barrel if:
... you *only* own a matching rifle(s);
... you *only* own a matching rifle receiver;

You can take possession of a shorty barrel if:
... you own either a matching pistol or LEGIT pistol receiver alone, or in addition to and matching rifles/rifle receivers;
... you own a matching SBR (yeah, right);

Also, if you own a pistol receiver or pistol alone and no rifle/rifle receiver, I recommend you should not have any buttstock assembly parts (stock, tube, buffer).

'Constructive possession' has no restriction on 'immediate presence'; "widely separated" doesn't count. Having a short bbl in your vacation home in Maine but having the matching rifle or rifle receiver in CA is still a no-no, at least from a Fed standpoint: it's all about "possession and control". (Unclear if this interstate example would be applicable for CA's CP statutes.)

CSACANNONEER
09-10-2008, 8:11 PM
A hacksaw itself is not a gun part. ;)



But, a lightning link made from a hacksaw blade would be "a gun part". Of course, since we all know a shoestring is a machinegun, a hacksaw blade could be considered one too.

-hanko
09-10-2008, 8:15 PM
NOW THIS IS NOT ABSOLUTE FACT. It does however make sense to me, and it can both help or hurt you depending on the way it swings.

Given it's not fact, I'm surprised you posted it;)

I've always been of the stance that shorter barrels are legal to purchase, but not own, when you only own a rifle. Conversion must be immediate with no delay. If you can not handle that short term ownership resposably, then you shouldn't be doing it yourself.

It's not purchasing or owning...same NFA rules apply to something given to you. As has been posted before, if the sb is under your immediate control and you have a rifle lower, it's constructive posession.

I know people will argue, but this is exactly why Joe Gunsmith is allowed to cut down barrels and permanantly attach items even without their SOT licences.

Joe Gunsmith is violating the law if he has a rifle lower at the point he parts off the end of the barrel. The barrel is compliant once a fh is permanently installed to bring it to the minimu length, but he still broke the law. If he wants to stay within the law, he does the right thing...he gets his SOT license. Needless to say $1K for the license is beter than a routine unannounced ATF compliance inspection when he's at the lathe.;)

AGAIN, THIS IS NOT FACT OR LAW. It was from unofficial correspondances between one person and an agent. The agent could easily be wrong and it was their interpretation of the law and not necessarily the opinion of the ATF as a whole. If you feel uncomfortable at all with any scenario, then you should opt for a safer route and have a professionla who knows better handle it for you.

See my first paragraph. I feel uncomfortable as hell with your scenarios...DFletcher did it correctly.

It's complicated to explain, but easy to understand once you understand where they are coming from.

It's simple to explain until somebody posts what they admit to be neither fact nor law;). You fail to understand that unlike the effing DOJ/BOF that has not the faintest clue what they're doing, the ATF has btdt. Even if you were acquited of a federal felony, you've still spent a lot of time and $$ on lawyers. This is WAAAAY beyond what one of the 58 CA DA's might think about a MM Grip or bullet button.

Best thing you could do right now is to dump your post.

-hanko

-hanko
09-10-2008, 8:17 PM
But, a lightning link made from a hacksaw blade would be "a gun part". Of course, since we all know a shoestring is a machinegun, a hacksaw blade could be considered one too.
Try logic. The blade is not a gun part until you grind it into an LL. :rolleyes:

-hanko