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View Full Version : A hypothetical question!


tvfreakarms
06-24-2010, 5:41 AM
I was wondering if you could buy an upper only that the barrel is shorter than 16 inches? As long you don't put it on a lower rec. Just curious.

jonmalibuss
06-24-2010, 5:50 AM
As long as you don't have a a lower for a rifle or if you do be sure you have a pistol lower to go with it.

Droppin Deuces
06-24-2010, 6:42 AM
Why would you want a short upper if you aren't going to put it on anything?

bjl333
06-24-2010, 9:23 AM
Why would you want a short upper if you aren't going to put it on anything?



Yeap !! And if you only have rifle lowers the you can get in trouble.

I skipped on a couple of really great deals for short barrel uppers, coz I don't own any pistol lower.

telcolineman
06-24-2010, 10:06 AM
You can buy a 14.5" barrel and permanently attach a FH or muzzle brake that will make it 16" minimum length, Any shorter and you must use a pistol lower as previously mentioned

Mail Clerk
06-24-2010, 10:49 AM
I was wondering if you could buy an upper only that the barrel is shorter than 16 inches? As long you don't put it on a lower rec. Just curious.

tvfreakarms,

If your in California how would you get one???? It's illegal in California to have one so short unless you have the extra long FS on it.

Mail Clerk

djleisure
06-24-2010, 10:53 AM
tvfreakarms,

If your in California how would you get one???? It's illegal in California to have one so short unless you have the extra long FS on it.

Mail Clerk
That is incorrect. You can own a <16" barreled upper as long as you own a registered AR pistol lower OR you do NOT own ANY AR lowers at all. Please educate yourself a bit more before you start stating absolutes like that.

twinjetguy
06-24-2010, 11:26 AM
Actually in CA there are quite a few places that you can buy shorty uppers. I know Quantico Arms sells them and has them in stock. They have some super short ones there. You can walk in, pay cash, walk out with it.

Now this is the part that I am NOT clear on. Is it legal to simply own this lower and not have it installed on a gun? I already own 5 completely CA legal AR's. I have heard, and read on this thread that if you do not own a registered pistol lower then it is illegal to own a short upper IF you own standard AR lowers.

I would like more details on this. Of course if that is the case it's another dumb law that we have to deal with. I can't see why it would be illegal to simply own the upper, but we all know why anyone would want one, lol.

Droppin Deuces
06-24-2010, 11:36 AM
Actually in CA there are quite a few places that you can buy shorty uppers. I know Quantico Arms sells them and has them in stock. They have some super short ones there. You can walk in, pay cash, walk out with it.

Now this is the part that I am NOT clear on. Is it legal to simply own this lower and not have it installed on a gun? I already own 5 completely CA legal AR's. I have heard, and read on this thread that if you do not own a registered pistol lower then it is illegal to own a short upper IF you own standard AR lowers.

I would like more details on this. Of course if that is the case it's another dumb law that we have to deal with. I can't see why it would be illegal to simply own the upper, but we all know why anyone would want one, lol.

I think the first part of this is more or less the point of the OP. He left the second part out.

IMO, If you want a shorty AR, either get a job that allows you to have one or get an airsoft gun.

djleisure
06-24-2010, 11:53 AM
Actually in CA there are quite a few places that you can buy shorty uppers. I know Quantico Arms sells them and has them in stock. They have some super short ones there. You can walk in, pay cash, walk out with it.

Now this is the part that I am NOT clear on. Is it legal to simply own this lower and not have it installed on a gun? I already own 5 completely CA legal AR's. I have heard, and read on this thread that if you do not own a registered pistol lower then it is illegal to own a short upper IF you own standard AR lowers.

I would like more details on this. Of course if that is the case it's another dumb law that we have to deal with. I can't see why it would be illegal to simply own the upper, but we all know why anyone would want one, lol.
As I stated above, it is not illegal to own a shorty AR upper if you don't own ANY other (non-pistol) AR lowers. If you do own an AR (non-pistol) lower and you have a shorty upper in your possession, then you are violating a "constructive possession" law for SBR's. It basically means that you have the parts necessary to create that specific type of (illegal w/o a tax stamp) AR.

twinjetguy
06-24-2010, 11:58 AM
Ok, got that part. Now does the law state that if you own ANY rifle lower it's illegal? Let's say in my case, I own five AR's that are already assembled. Since I technically have 5 lowers, that makes it illegal for me correct? OR does the lower have to be stripped OR a full assembled lower with no upper on it?

Hope this makes sense.

djleisure
06-24-2010, 12:06 PM
Any AR rifle lower - complete or not, unfortunately.

twinjetguy
06-24-2010, 1:34 PM
Well that just plain sucks! Looks like I am going to have to get a 80% lower and turn it into a pistol lower, lol. Although I have to be honest, that seems WAY too big of a gray area for me...

Marlin Hunter
06-24-2010, 2:06 PM
(I am not a lawyer)
You could get the shorty upper, and disassemble the barrel from the receiver. Then it is just parts. You could put the barrel in a box with a tag that says "use only with registered pistol lower." I think you need to show an intent to break the law, since a short upper is legal in California with a pistol lower. It all depends on what your county or state district attorney feels is illegal. Suppose you had 1 AR rifle and 1 AR pistol. Theoretically, you could remove the pistol upper and install it on the rifle lower. Having those two guns in your possession does not show intent to break the law by making a short barreled rifle. So if you have a complete AR rifle, I don't see how having a short barrel show intent to break the law. If you have a rifle lower, no rifle upper, and a shorty upper, then you are probably up shizzle creek.

Back in the 1980's you could order a 11.5" barrel from shotgun news, and have it shipped to California without a second guess.

djleisure
06-24-2010, 2:38 PM
For clarity on SBR issues, please read this post from bweise - one of the "people in the know."

I bolded the last sentence for brevity.

Uppers/barrels are not generally controlled on their own. (There are however ITAR/Stat Dept+ ATF export restrictions on bbls, etc. shipped outside US.)

But please do NOT acquire a shorty upper (i.e, with bbl under 16" and no perm attached extension bringing OAL bbl length to 16") if you already own an AR rifle or lower. I believe this should include not acquiring a shorty *barrel* as well (regardless of being assembled into an upper, given ARs are so easy to assemble).

'Constructive possession' applies to short-barrel rifles for both CA and Fed laws. This means you're regarded as having the 'evil item' (NFA SBR) even if you just have separated parts.

Some folks that have lowers and want a 'cool' 14.5" upper that will be extended to 16" by pinning/welding FH are making a mistake by ordering that shorty upper, without having it modified before taking possession of it.

Remember, it does NOT matter whether or not the shorty upper & lower are not assembled, or whether or not they're in the same location - or even whether one item - say, the upper - is at your vacation home and the other (say, the lower) is in your boat house and they're separated by thousands of miles. Bottom line is, they're both under your "possession and control" and thus you can be construed to possess an SBR even when these parts are not assembled.

In a similar vein, you should not possess a buttstock for a pistol, even if not attached to the pistol. (Let's say you *only* owned an AR pistol; you should not have an A2 stock+ receiver extension in your possession.)

[I am unclear if possession of a forward pistol grip for a pistol, separated from a pistol, results in 'constructive possession' of an NFA *AOW*. I would not risk it for now, and would assume constructive possession applies across the NFA domain.]

The exceptions would be if you indeed have "legitimate outcomes" ('lenity') for the part(s) in question. If you own a variety of legal firearms you can have spare parts for them, even if you could misassemble some of them into prohibited combinations. For example, if you owned a legal AR pistol or pistol lower in addition to (or in place of) an AR rifle/rifle receiver, that would be legitimate use/outcome for the shorty upper. Another example would be if you also had an AR rifle that could legitimately use that A2 buttstock even though it couldn't legally be applied to your AR pistol.

Bottom line is that you don't want a part where the only outcome it can have for you is an illegal parts combination.

Mail Clerk
06-24-2010, 2:53 PM
That is incorrect. You can own a <16" barreled upper as long as you own a registered AR pistol lower OR you do NOT own ANY AR lowers at all. Please educate yourself a bit more before you start stating absolutes like that.


My bad I thought he was refering to a 10.5" barrel AR.

Mail Clerk