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View Full Version : MEGA off-list pistol lower.


Mr. Ed
04-20-2006, 6:34 PM
I have an opportunity to buy a stripped MEGA pistol lower. I was told by the FFL that I would have to either build it up as a rifle or keep it stripped until the day MEGAs are listed. After it's listed, I would be able to register it as a pistol, at which time I would be able to put a pistol upper on it.

Any truth to this? I would love to have an AR pistol.

socalguns
04-20-2006, 6:39 PM
Once a rifle, always a rifle.
If can't buy it as a pistol, its a rifle, so you're SOL.

xenophobe
04-20-2006, 7:04 PM
Nice try, but no dice...

leelaw
04-20-2006, 7:05 PM
No, it may NEVER be a pistol in California.

Mr. Ed
04-20-2006, 7:59 PM
I'm curious as to how this FFL is getting a shipment of them and selling them. He's DROSing them as rifles, I believe. He said once the list comes out, when you list the serial number, make, and model, you also write down that it's a pistol. From that point, I guess we just wait and see if the DOJ sends back a letter stating it's a pistol.

blkA4alb
04-20-2006, 8:21 PM
I'm curious as to how this FFL is getting a shipment of them and selling them. He's DROSing them as rifles, I believe. He said once the list comes out, when you list the serial number, make, and model, you also write down that it's a pistol. From that point, I guess we just wait and see if the DOJ sends back a letter stating it's a pistol.
No, the gun needs to be listed a pistol in the manufactorers books. As said before, once a rifle always a rifle. None of these lowers are pistol lowers, even the ones that are say pistol on them. To my knowledge no one has a pistol lower. :rolleyes:

grammaton76
04-20-2006, 8:51 PM
What I've heard is that if it started off as a pistol on the manufacturer's log books, it can be later DROSed as or configured as a rifle, then become a pistol again (because 'assault weapon' apparently doesn't hold a differentiation between assault rifle and assault pistol - it's registration ninjitsu). That's the point which the FFL I've talked to has said, regarding pistol-registered receivers.

If it started off as a rifle on the manufacturer's log books, it can NEVER become a pistol.

xenophobe
04-20-2006, 9:13 PM
If the 4473 and DROS are both done as long guns, making it a pistol would be a violation of NFA law and a felony.

grammaton76
04-20-2006, 9:19 PM
If the 4473 and DROS are both done as long guns, making it a pistol would be a violation of NFA law and a felony.

Hey Xeno, clear out your PM's - I'd like to get you contact info on the FFL who's thinking it's possible, so the two of you can come to a good, informed, authoritative conclusion here.

Josh
04-20-2006, 9:56 PM
It has to leave the factory as a bare reciever. The pistol/rifle part comes when you dros it.

You either dros it as a handgun or a longun, if you dros it as a longarm then it is a longarm, no going back to pistol.

This is how it was done with my friend bought one in CT. When my friend bought the receiver it came with a letter stating that it left the factory as a bare receiver. It does not say anything about pistol or rifle, just that it was not built.

However in CA we have "THE LIST."

superhondaz50
04-20-2006, 10:14 PM
i'm pretty sure I know which FFL he bought his lower from. When I talked to the dealer he said the mega's were listed as pistols at the factory. I think what he was going to do was have the option of drosing them as a rifle or a single shot pistol.

grammaton76
04-20-2006, 10:40 PM
It has to leave the factory as a bare reciever. The pistol/rifle part comes when you dros it.

You either dros it as a handgun or a longun, if you dros it as a longarm then it is a longarm, no going back to pistol.

Ah, very good to know. I believe I'm going to have my father (CA resident out of state, active duty military status) PPT me a couple of pistol-registered receivers he purchases out of state, so that there's never a long-gun DROS associated with them. The route the one FFL was describing sounds like it would legally work for getting you the receiver, however it would have to stay a rifle in the end.

grammaton76
04-20-2006, 10:42 PM
i'm pretty sure I know which FFL he bought his lower from. When I talked to the dealer he said the mega's were listed as pistols at the factory. I think what he was going to do was have the option of drosing them as a rifle or a single shot pistol.

Ah. Now, a single shot pistol would be perfectly valid - no drop test requirement. It gets listed, and then you register it as a handgun (you DROSed it as one), then AFTER your reg card comes back, you can start looking at pistol parts for it, not before! Of course, there is indeed a path to legality; you just use that "bob sled" replacement mag to build it as a single-shot pistol...

xenophobe
04-20-2006, 10:47 PM
Hey Xeno, clear out your PM's - I'd like to get you contact info on the FFL who's thinking it's possible, so the two of you can come to a good, informed, authoritative conclusion here.

I cleared out my inbox.

There is no way to do this legally. All of this involves either lying or misrepresentation and definitely skirts through multiple grey areas in the law...

I see how this can be done several ways, and you might just get away with it, but it is not legal and I will not condone it.

grammaton76
04-20-2006, 10:54 PM
I cleared out my inbox.

There is no way to do this legally. All of this involves either lying or misrepresentation and definitely skirts through multiple grey areas in the law...

I see how this can be done several ways, and you might just get away with it, but it is not legal and I will not condone it.

I will agree that it does go through some grey areas. However, on the single-shot pistol front, there's definitely a legal path. Even if the assault weapon registration thing never happens, I would still find a single-shot pistol interesting as a novelty. While it could be done with a DPMS single-shot lower, to me the possibility of making it something else down the road is worth the extra cash. Edit: wait, no it couldn't be. The DPMS lower is registered as a rifle!

Of course, there's the DA's and such, and the DOJ may blink at it quite a bit. If I were to get one, I absolutely wouldn't even think of taking it out in public until registration has happened. But I feel pretty confident in my ability to put together a legally compliant single-shot AR (or AK) pistol, or at least sketch out plans on paper for one.

Think about one thing - the reaction you're having right now, is very similar to the reaction many of us had at first to the off-list lower scenario. Then I thought about it, and came around to the fact it wasn't illegal. Of course, I did all this thinking BEFORE I signed up on calguns.

Who's going to REALLY build it as a single-shot pistol?

Probably the same nuts who're REALLY willing to build 10-round pinned magazine rifles! :)

CALI-gula
04-20-2006, 11:38 PM
If they are truly MEGA Pistol lowers, they are stamped "MODEL PISTOL" directly on the lower.

I am not sure how the current FFL would get away with importing them as single-shot pistols as opposed to being a semi-auto pistol, to get around SB15 DOJ handgun safety list. In order to get past the SB15 list, which is unlike getting past the Roberti-Roos/SB23 list based on name/model only, I suspect the handgun needs to be in a functioning form for the DOJ to ignore the type. Either it is a handgun that is OK by the DOJ testing in its functioning form or it is in a functioning form that the DOJ would ignore as it is exempt form SB15 (like the single-shot idea). Such as, would you try to do the same in order to import a 1911 frame that is not fully functioning, by calling it a single-shot? I think xeno's designation of it being misrepresented would apply in both cases the same way.

Do you know of an attachable short-barreled upper that works like a bolt action (and not .50BMG??). Might Watson's Weapons, Ferret/Spyder, Safe Harbor, or ALS make such a creature in a caliber other than .50BMG?

Sooo... you might be able to DROS it as a single-shot pistol so long as you have it in a functioning form; this is one situation where I don't think I would try to DROS it in receiver form only, unlike that which we are doing as rifles. I would definitely want to present it as a single-shot functioning gun.

My only question there would be, could the DOJ hold you to that single-shot designation anyway, such as it came in as a single-shot pistol, was never on SB15, so you would never have the chance to build it into a semi-auto pistol (keep reading) though you would be allowed to build it as a semi-auto rifle, since SB15 would apply to all NEW guns coming in since SB15 went into effect? Such as, if you had a registered receiver under Roberti-Roos or SB23 which was prior to SB15, it would be OK to build it into a pistol if it was a pistol receiver, but not for receivers coming in AFTER inception of SB15, even if declared as AW, because SB15 still applies??? It seems like the existence of one law could influence the application of another in this case.

Believe me, I am not doubting the idea - just curious as to what would apply where, and how it best could be done to have it sustain in the long run as a true AR pistol.

http://www.carricozarmory.com/images/mega_pistol.JPG



.

EBWhite
04-21-2006, 1:13 AM
Most of you guys are wrong about this:
Okay lets get it straight, 4473 and dros forms are second hand info on the receiver. ONLY the manufacturers logbook tells the story of what this was. They either write pistol or rifle---If they write pistol, it can be either a pistol or a rifle according to letters from the ATF...However, if it is a rifle in the makers logbook, it can only be a rifle ever!

Receivers never built into anything can be changed only with approval of the maker and rewriting in the manufact. logbook.

The ffl can import these and sell them as stripped receivers, manufact logbook says pistol. however, if these are built into pistols they must have a fixed magazine and be a single shot. You can build them into a rifle now and have fun, go out of state with your 8 inch pistol upper...

Don't get caught up in this just yet, these are still risky since the manufact logbook says pistol.

CALI-gula
04-21-2006, 1:43 AM
Most of you guys are wrong about this:
Okay lets get it straight, 4473 and dros forms are second hand info on the receiver. ONLY the manufacturers logbook tells the story of what this was. They either write pistol or rifle---If they write pistol, it can be either a pistol or a rifle according to letters from the ATF...However, if it is a rifle in the makers logbook, it can only be a rifle ever!

Receivers never built into anything can be changed only with approval of the maker and rewriting in the manufact. logbook.

The ffl can import these and sell them as stripped receivers, manufact logbook says pistol. however, if these are built into pistols they must have a fixed magazine and be a single shot. You can build them into a rifle now and have fun, go out of state with your 8 inch pistol upper...

Don't get caught up in this just yet, these are still risky since the manufact logbook says pistol.

Well, we have it right, I think we have all stated the same as you have noted as well. But it would have to be DROS'ed as a pistol for California to recognize it as a pistol - otherwise, they forever see it as a long-gun, and later, when attempting to register in CA as a pistol if listed, it could come back to haunt you if the DOJ does not recognize it as a pistol at the time of its DROS.

I understand what you are saying too, but I don't want to always have to drive a few hundred miles to another state to enjoy the guns I own, to shoot them in a certain form.

I don't think there is any question as to whether it can be pistol or rifle if sold as a pistol in a free state where such things as the law distilled from SB15 do NOT exist. But the point was that the original poster wished to build these into a semi-auto pistol should DOJ list, and was wondering by what manner could there be an approach to doing so.

MEGA does indeed make a pistol-marked receiver; see photo inserted above. But just hwo will the FFL DROS them? The DROS for handguns lists all the details and serial number, just as DROS for longun only lists "longun". But the DROS for handguns will not go through unless it can be matched to a handgun on the "approved" list or found exempt from the list.

Problem: the things that would make it exempt are not attached to call it a single-shot as such. In the way a rifle does not have to be a functioning/built upon receiver would seem that the same does not apply in the context of handguns, by which the receiver must be in a certain form to be found exempt from the DOJ safety list. It's like the AW features requirement in reverse; we can import these as rifles WITHOUT evil features, but as handguns they would have to have certain features to meet requirements making them exempt from the DOJ safety list.

.

grammaton76
04-21-2006, 2:45 AM
Do you know of an attachable short-barreled upper that works like a bolt action (and not .50BMG??). Might Watson's Weapons, Ferret/Spyder, Safe Harbor, or ALS make such a creature in a caliber other than .50BMG?

The legality setup which most readily comes to my mind, is:

1. Any AR pistol upper, period. Any of them.
2. The "bobsled" 1-round magazine, which works for only one shot and holds the bolt open afterwards, pinned in place with a Sporting Conversion kit.

http://www.sinclairintl.com/cgi-bin/category.cgi?category=search&item=14-13x&type=store

Nothing I'm aware of, in the single-shot pistol thing, prohibits a pistol from opening up the bolt for you after the shot has been fired. It's not cycling another round, just leaving the bolt in an open status. If that's an issue, then perhaps leaving the gas tube off of the upper would satisfy the law a little better.

Ok, now here's the next thought - if it needs to be imported in a fully assembled state, how about if CWS assembles them out-of-state, then assembles them in a CA-compliant manner and ships them in for DROS as a handgun?

That would clearly satistfy the criteria of assembled single-shot pistol.

grammaton76
04-21-2006, 2:55 AM
Most of you guys are wrong about this:
Okay lets get it straight, 4473 and dros forms are second hand info on the receiver. ONLY the manufacturers logbook tells the story of what this was. They either write pistol or rifle---If they write pistol, it can be either a pistol or a rifle according to letters from the ATF...However, if it is a rifle in the makers logbook, it can only be a rifle ever!

Receivers never built into anything can be changed only with approval of the maker and rewriting in the manufact. logbook.

The ffl can import these and sell them as stripped receivers, manufact logbook says pistol. however, if these are built into pistols they must have a fixed magazine and be a single shot. You can build them into a rifle now and have fun, go out of state with your 8 inch pistol upper...

Don't get caught up in this just yet, these are still risky since the manufact logbook says pistol.

Ok, EB - so, your position is that the receivers can be DROSed as rifles, and resume their original classification as a pistol at a later date, due to the manufacturer's logbook? Or do you concur with Xeno, that as soon as a receiver has been DROSed once as a rifle, it's going to stay a rifle forever?

The former, is aligned with what I was hearing from the FFL, and I'd be interested in seeing some BATF letters and/or penal code quotes which back up your position.

I'm really hoping there's a route to a pistol, through a rifle DROS, which can be clearly documented. But I'm generally pessimistic, and wouldn't be surprised to see a definite lack of a route. Determining this one way or the other, is the whole point of forums like this. :)

xenophobe
04-21-2006, 3:09 AM
Most of you guys are wrong about this:

You make the incorrect assumption that any of what you said actually matters in California. It does not. This is not a free state. You may not import handgun frames, and making a semi-automatic handgun out of a post SB-15 receiver you register as an exempt single shot pistol could very well put you in jail. It could also be construed as manufacturing an assault pistol, even with a fixed mag... the whole '58 DA's' thing could really come into effect on this one.

At the very least your pistol could be confiscated as contraband. If you're going to purposely skirt SB-15 and handgun registration laws, then do it, just don't talk about how you're going to do it on the internet...

grammaton76
04-21-2006, 3:28 AM
You may not import handgun frames, and making a semi-automatic handgun out of a post SB-15 receiver you register as an exempt single shot pistol could very well put you in jail. It could also be construed as manufacturing an assault pistol, even with a fixed mag... the whole '58 DA's' thing could really come into effect on this one.

I think you're assuming that folks would be building semi-automatic pistols, and not single-shot pistols. I do think I understand your concerns though about the fixed magazine (although I'm not sure a bobsled, which isn't exactly a magazine, would constitute a magazine...)

The planned route, as I understand it, is:

1. Build it as a single-shot pistol. Unless it's listed, it never becomes anything else in California.
2. If it's listed, when you register it, it's a registered assault weapon.

At position 2, what prohibits rebuilding the pistol into a semi-automatic by undoing the single-shot fixed-mag modifications?

Is there any kind of registration you must perform on single-shot pistols? Clearly, if you sign anything that says it's a single-shot pistol and will forever stay that way, then this entire theory is shot down and it's all over.

Does the Thompson Contender, for example, appear on any list of approved handguns? I'm asking this because I understand there's some kind of validation that goes on when you attempt to DROS a handgun...

xenophobe
04-21-2006, 4:12 AM
Your logic regarding a firearm becoming a registered assault weapon only works on long guns, which do NOT have the restrictions and classifications of "safe" and "unsafe" with prohibitions on manufacturing such items.

A long gun is a long gun, and if it does not meet the definitions set fourth in PC12276 or PC12276.1 then it is not an assault weapon, even though it could be later named one. The fact that the DWCL does not state adding/removing features from PC12276 or CCR 979.11 named assault weapons makes them less/more of an AW.

Handguns are deemed to either be "Safe" as per PC12131 or "Unsafe" as per PC12126. Regardless if your pistol lower is considered an AW by name, listed and you are compelled to register, manufacturing an unsafe handgun is still unlawful PC12125.

In other words... with long guns, once it becomes an AW, you can manufacture/build it to meet the definition of an AW. With a pistol, once it becomes an AW, it must still meet the definion of a 'safe' handgun if you were going to alter or manufacture it, especially if you're removing it from an 'exempt' status, regardless of the fact it is an assault weapon.

At least that's how I'm reading the law... If SB-15 hadn't been passed, I would agree with you.

Mr. Ed
04-21-2006, 7:15 AM
Grammaton76, I sent you a PM.

So......should I buy the lower in hopes of making it a pistol?

superhondaz50
04-21-2006, 8:00 AM
How much are these mega's going for? $150? I may want to buy a MEGA just to have another lower.

bwiese
04-21-2006, 8:14 AM
Xenophobe's got it. I dealt with this a bit in the FAQ, too

1911_sfca
04-21-2006, 8:52 AM
Agree with xenophobe. It's not worth it to try and navigate all these legal grey areas. If you want an AR type pistol, don't risk state and federal felonies to get it -- just drive to Nevada.

EBWhite
04-21-2006, 10:39 AM
You make the incorrect assumption that any of what you said actually matters in California. It does not. This is not a free state. You may not import handgun frames, and making a semi-automatic handgun out of a post SB-15 receiver you register as an exempt single shot pistol could very well put you in jail. It could also be construed as manufacturing an assault pistol, even with a fixed mag... the whole '58 DA's' thing could really come into effect on this one.

At the very least your pistol could be confiscated as contraband. If you're going to purposely skirt SB-15 and handgun registration laws, then do it, just don't talk about how you're going to do it on the internet...


I was not going to be buying any of these unless we can get some kind of LEGAL single shot going. I am not going to admit or say im breaking laws on the public net, thats stupid!
But i was checking this out a few months ago and i'll try to find a few letters from the atf and post them

Basically- if it is a pistol in the manufact. logbook is can be a pistol or a rifle. However, if changed to a rifle, you must always have a 16"+ upper on it and a stock placed on it after the pistol upper is removed. (thompson lawsuit)
The only way unless in full functioning single shot form is to dros in california as a long gun. Otherwise your breaking the law big time. Now, i don't know if down the road at regisration time if it would be a good idea to write pistol as pistols must be registered unless they are single shot- DOJ might come knocking at the door.

The other positive part i see of this type of lower is it would be grandfathered based on later federal ***. weapons bans....

And that letter earlier talking about making an 80% pistol- well, you could get a ar 80% leave the magwell closed and make a single shot pistol. Its an idea based on a DOJ letter

bwiese
04-21-2006, 11:30 AM
Even if the receiver is logged out of manufacture as a bare receiver (not classified as a pistol or rifle receiver) or a pistol receiver, how it's transferred in CA would affect it.

I think anything in the transfer path (not just 4473, but DROS) that declares it as a rifle would render it to never be a pistol. I think "once a rifle always a rifle" BATF concept would still be sensitive to state transferrence as a rifle.

Additionally, it could not be DROSed to you as a pistol reciever due to safe gun laws.

You MIGHT have some luck IF you found someone outside CA that had moved into (or is moving into) CA with an off-list AR receiver that had never been a rifle, and had been legally sold to him as a pistol. This receiver could then be F2F PPT'd to you as a pistol. Then you could build it into a 12276.1 compliant non-AW.

I urge pistol-thinking folks to carefully read the pistol-based AW definition:

(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 his or her hand, except a slide that encloses the barrel.
(D) The capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip.

You'll have to have a bare barrel and no protective handguard. You'll have to figure something that will protect the gas tube.

Given the general lack of usefulness of an AR pistol (poor cycling, requires expensive ammo to be useful defensively) and the especially useless California variants, this is just a pile of bad noise. Stick to rifles.

schizrade2
04-21-2006, 1:34 PM
Considering you cannot register any NFA items (like SBR, Machine Gun or AR pistol) in CA, the whole thing seems moot.

Bweise is right. Stick to rifles.

dbol
04-21-2006, 1:46 PM
You'll have to have a bare barrel and no protective handguard. You'll have to figure something that will protect the gas tube.

Why not take the more aggressive position regarding what constitutes a "detachable magazine" discussed in this thread?
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=32138 (To save people time, the concept is basically that to be considered "fixed," a magazine need only require a tool for detachment from the firearm.)

Subscribing to this theory (and building the pistol consistent therewith) would allow you to add any of the prohibited features because the pistol would not be capable of accepting a detachable magazine.

I'm assuming, of course, that you have an avenue to legally obtain a pistol lower via someone moving into CA or an out-of-state lineal relative.

grammaton76
04-21-2006, 1:56 PM
Handguns are deemed to either be "Safe" as per PC12131 or "Unsafe" as per PC12126. Regardless if your pistol lower is considered an AW by name, listed and you are compelled to register, manufacturing an unsafe handgun is still unlawful PC12125.

Aha. So, this bit of the law is PC12125:

12125. (a) Commencing January 1, 2001, any person in this state who manufactures or causes to be manufactured, imports into the state for sale, keeps for sale, offers or exposes for sale, gives, or lends any unsafe handgun shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year.

Assuming that the DOJ construes "manufacture" to include assembly, this completely shuts down any possibility of the pistol ever being something other than a single-shot pistol, even after it becomes a registered AW.

Now, assuming the other way - that assembly does not constitute manufacture - an out of state manufacturer could put together a single-shot handgun and DROS it to you as such, and after it's listed, it could still become semi-auto because reconfiguration would not be a crime under PC12125. The crux of the semi-auto-after-registration theory hinges upon whether or not reassembly/reconfiguration (without altering the manufactured component, the receiver) constitutes manufacture. I have a hunch that the DOJ feels it does.

HOWEVER, consider this: I own a Desert Eagle, and regularly change its configuration from "safe", listed (6" 44 magnum barrel) and "unsafe", unlisted (6" 50 Action Express barrel) configurations. Legally, is this any different from switching a single-shot pistol between a "safe" and "unsafe" configuration? Is there a point at which it becomes manufacturing, or are Desert Eagle owners in jeopardy? Or is there an explicit statement that changing calibers is acceptable, while other modifications are not?

Bill does bring up a very good point about the shroud and such, though - if anyone were to have a single-shot AR pistol assembled out of state, the handguard would need to come off of it. As well as the very obvious need to use an un-threaded barrel in the build.

So, does anyone have a precedent or statement from the DOJ or in the law, that (re)assembly does constitute manufacturing? One which protects Desert Eagle alterations, but not single-shot -> semi-auto alterations? If you do, that largely shuts down the pistol question once and for all.

At this point I'm looking more for a definitive answer that fills in the last chinks of my understanding, rather than finding a "way", which probably doesn't exist.

ohsmily
04-21-2006, 1:56 PM
Considering you cannot register any NFA items (like SBR, Machine Gun or AR pistol) in CA, the whole thing seems moot.

Bweise is right. Stick to rifles.

You do not understand the legal classifications...first of all, an AR pistol is not an SBR or an NFA item, it is a semi-auto pistol. The problem arises in this state b/c of the safe handgun list the AW ban. This is not a federal issue (except for the issue of whether something is classified as a pistol or rifle based on manufacturer's log and gun registration).

grammaton76
04-21-2006, 2:01 PM
The "once a rifle always a rifle" only applies to rifle receivers that have been built into rifles. Bare rifle receivers, that have never been built up, can be reclassified by the manufacturer as a pistol. Receivers that are listed as a pistol can be built into a rifle and later converted into a pistol.
http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/user/wbardwel/public/nfalist/atf_letter7.txt

In California, this will not get you anything because of the safety requirement. But as said, if you use a pistol receiver to build a rifle, once you move or travel out of state that rifle could be converted legally back into a pistol. As far as the AW process is concerned, once it is a registered AW, I do not think there is a difference between pistol and rifle. This might help if the safety testing goes away in the future.

The BATF does seem to be saying that "once a rifle, always a rifle" is prohibiting people who would like to reclassify a rifle as a pistol.

I would be very interested in knowing if "opposing council", for lack of a better word, can present something which states, "Manufactured as a pistol, transferred as a rifle, always a rifle thereafter" is a BATF-held stance.

Yes, I know, we have DOJ to worry about more than the BATF. But either agency has things which can kill the pistol receiver path, and a solid "no" from either one is enough to shut it down.

xenophobe
04-21-2006, 6:08 PM
I was not going to be buying any of these unless we can get some kind of LEGAL single shot going.

I think the DOJ would take interest when you try to register a 'single shot' pistol as an assault weapon. That probably would constitute a further 'look in to things' (translated: a knock on your door with a search warrant).



The other positive part i see of this type of lower is it would be grandfathered based on later federal ***. weapons bans....

Yes, if you bought it as a pistol receiver, but drosed it as a long gun and never assemble it, if you move to another state and then build it up as a pistol, you MAY still be breaking law. I would want an ATF letter stating that a receiver logged by the mfg as a pistol but 4473'd as a long gun could still be constructed into a pistol. In a free state, this may be a good alternative, so this in itself might not be a bad idea, but surely it will not get you a assault pistol in California.



And that letter earlier talking about making an 80% pistol- well, you could get a ar 80% leave the magwell closed and make a single shot pistol. Its an idea based on a DOJ letter

... at your own risk... I would not attempt it.

xenophobe
04-21-2006, 6:10 PM
You MIGHT have some luck IF you found someone outside CA that had moved into (or is moving into) CA with an off-list AR receiver that had never been a rifle, and had been legally sold to him as a pistol. This receiver could then be F2F PPT'd to you as a pistol. Then you could build it into a 12276.1 compliant non-AW.

This is the only truly legal route.

xenophobe
04-21-2006, 8:43 PM
Assuming that the DOJ construes "manufacture" to include assembly, this completely shuts down any possibility of the pistol ever being something other than a single-shot pistol, even after it becomes a registered AW.

Now, assuming the other way - that assembly does not constitute manufacture - an out of state manufacturer could put together a single-shot handgun and DROS it to you as such, and after it's listed, it could still become semi-auto because reconfiguration would not be a crime under PC12125. The crux of the semi-auto-after-registration theory hinges upon whether or not reassembly/reconfiguration (without altering the manufactured component, the receiver) constitutes manufacture. I have a hunch that the DOJ feels it does.

HOWEVER, consider this: I own a Desert Eagle, and regularly change its configuration from "safe", listed (6" 44 magnum barrel) and "unsafe", unlisted (6" 50 Action Express barrel) configurations. Legally, is this any different from switching a single-shot pistol between a "safe" and "unsafe" configuration? Is there a point at which it becomes manufacturing, or are Desert Eagle owners in jeopardy? Or is there an explicit statement that changing calibers is acceptable, while other modifications are not?

So, does anyone have a precedent or statement from the DOJ or in the law, that (re)assembly does constitute manufacturing? One which protects Desert Eagle alterations, but not single-shot -> semi-auto alterations? If you do, that largely shuts down the pistol question once and for all.


You really seem to be glossing over the fact that you're not just doing a caliber change, you're reconfiguring a firearm from one unrestricted and exempt class (being Single Shot) to another one that is regulated (semi-automatics).... With Federal law, changing a firearm from one unrestricted class to a restricted one is considered manufacturing. Just dropping a 11.5" upper on an AR-15 for example, is manufacturing a SBR. Putting a foward grip on a handgun or pistol makes it an AOW... get the picture?

In a state where there is no explicit law concerning the definition of manufacturing, the state can just fall back on Federal interpretation.


At this point I'm looking more for a definitive answer that fills in the last chinks of my understanding, rather than finding a "way", which probably doesn't exist.


Like you and others have previously shown, there are ways to do this, but they're not legal.... And you might even get away with it. If you do, you win. All you need to do is ask yourself, is it worth the risk? That should answer the question whether you should try to do this or not.

WeThePeople
04-23-2006, 12:20 PM
xenophobe, what's wrong with this scenario?

Start with Pistol lower, buy it in CA as a long gun, sell it PPT to someone as a Pistol. As I understand the ATF lingo, if the lower started life as a pistol lower and was never made into a rifle, then no harm...no foul.

Doesn't this PPT scenario keep everyone happy and legal? The PPT method eliminates the safe pistol test. No one is manufacturing a pistol, since it was never a rifle. The Feds are happy because the 4473 form now says pistol. The CA DOJ DROS process says pistol. Eventually, this pistol might be registered if it's on the list.

Of course, if it were this easy, you would have already figured it out.

grammaton76
04-23-2006, 1:05 PM
Doesn't this PPT scenario keep everyone happy and legal? The PPT method eliminates the safe pistol test. No one is manufacturing a pistol, since it was never a rifle. The Feds are happy because the 4473 form now says pistol. The CA DOJ DROS process says pistol. Eventually, this pistol might be registered if it's on the list.

I think the really big question is whether a pistol can ever be a pistol again, after being DROSed as a rifle once.

Of course, dependent on how "manufacture" is construed, there are other issues. If assembly from parts does constitute manufacture, it may be illegal to EVER turn it into more than a single-shot pistol, even after it's listed as an assault weapon.

I think those are the two big points.

snobordr
04-23-2006, 2:55 PM
this whole post edited in advance for everyones safety

:rolleyes:
:eek:
:D

xenophobe
04-23-2006, 3:20 PM
xenophobe, what's wrong with this scenario?

I guess you didn't bother reading this thread.... You're circumventing SB-15 which is a crime punishable for up to a year in county jail. I guess if there's nothing wrong with that, go ahead, make your day.

If the receiver ever had a stock or upper put on it, even just for test fit fun, you'll also then be violating Federal law by selling it a long gun manufactured into a pistol, which without ATF AOW or SBR tax payment is a felony punishable by at least a year in prison.

I dunno, what is wrong with that? *shrug*:rolleyes:

SFV_Dealer
04-23-2006, 9:03 PM
Don't mess with the FEDS! Excise taxed paid on the receiver is different between pistol & rifle, therefore you will be in violation of Federal laws. Also, the state of California has and never will list a pistol AR in their safeguns list. You can NOT own a pistol AR - not in Kalifornia...

dbol
04-23-2006, 10:07 PM
Don't mess with the FEDS! Excise taxed paid on the receiver is different between pistol & rifle, therefore you will be in violation of Federal laws. Also, the state of California has and never will list a pistol AR in their safeguns list. You can NOT own a pistol AR - not in Kalifornia...

Steps to an arguably legal AR pistol in CA:

1. Obtain an AR pistol-designated lower (a) from someone who has moved to CA with one or (b) as a gift from an out-of-state lineal relative. Both these sources are excepted from the CA "safe" handgun requirement.

2. Build it into an AR pistol without a detachable magazine to avoid the AW laws.

EBWhite
04-23-2006, 11:04 PM
The only 2 ways to do this is:
1- buy one in a PPT from someone who moved recently
2- buy a complete single shot w/ fixed mag

or final route (much more grey) is get one listed as a pistol in the maker's logbook, dros as a rifle and use as a rifle in CA- While out of state you can convert to a pistol but it can NEVER be a pistol in CA.

xenophobe
04-24-2006, 2:52 AM
or final route (much more grey) is get one listed as a pistol in the maker's logbook, dros as a rifle and use as a rifle in CA- While out of state you can convert to a pistol but it can NEVER be a pistol in CA.

Grey area, WTF? If you DO NOT KNOW the law, do not comment, EBWhite. You are wrong. Using the receiver for a rifle build forever makes that receiver a rifle in the eyes of the ATF. Without ATF Form 1 AOW or SBR approval, you would be committing a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

EBWhite
04-24-2006, 10:26 AM
Grey area, WTF? If you DO NOT KNOW the law, do not comment, EBWhite. You are wrong. Using the receiver for a rifle build forever makes that receiver a rifle in the eyes of the ATF. Without ATF Form 1 AOW or SBR approval, you would be committing a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

All i meant by being a grey area is within california law, not fed law.
The 4473 and dros forms does not matter in the certification of the gun. What matters is what the MAKER's logbook says (pistol or rifle)! If it says pistol and you dros it in California, it will stay a rifle in this state. However, if you leave the state you can convert back to a pistol as federal law does not have a safe handgun law. You are allowed to convert back to a pistol since the makers logbook says pistol. in the logbook- Pistols can be both rifles and pistols, a rifle can never be a pistol though. This is ATF's stance and the thompson conversion lawsuit proves this. Also, pistols cannot be a SBR- pistols cannot have stocks, like rifles.

bwiese
04-24-2006, 10:41 AM
Grey area, WTF? If you DO NOT KNOW the law, do not comment, EBWhite. You are wrong. Using the receiver for a rifle build forever makes that receiver a rifle in the eyes of the ATF. Without ATF Form 1 AOW or SBR approval, you would be committing a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.


All i meant by being a grey area is within california law, not fed law.

So, EBWhite you've made yet another ultimately irrelevant point, allowing some readers to possibly misconstrue CA legality vs Fed legality. You gotta do both to stay out of jail.

We have 3 sets of laws interplaying here- Fed law ("once a rifle always a rifle"), CA assault weapons law, and CA safe handgun law.

The only way to acquire an AR pistol lower in CA would be via PPT of an off-list lower from an existing resident or someone who recently moved into CA and got his DL, and which left the factory as a pistol/undeclared lower and never _started_ as a rifle.

If your posts are any indication of your compliance, you must be a walking compound felon. I believe you had expressed interest in some kind of gun-related biz. I'd urge you to stay away from it as you'll just dig yourself in a hole.

bwiese
04-24-2006, 10:44 AM
It can be built into a rifle and back into a pistol. It is a pistol as far as the ATF is concerned. My glock CCU goes back and forth from rifle to pistol and will for ever be a pistol.

If you have a Glock CCU you shouldn't be using it in CA, nor have it assembled within CA, unless it's a registered assault weapon.

A Glock pistol w/CCU, while certainly federally legal as it's not an SBR, is considered an assault weapon in CA. It should only be assembled/used in that configuration outside CA.

xenophobe
04-24-2006, 11:29 AM
It is a pistol as far as the ATF is concerned. ...snip... Hence the once a rifle always a rifle phrase. If it is still a bear receiver it may be reclassified into a pistol by the manufacturer and built as such. This has been the ATF position for many many years.

We are talking about receivers built up as rifles, then rebuilt as pistols.



However, if you leave the state you can convert back to a pistol as federal law does not have a safe handgun law. You are allowed to convert back to a pistol since the makers logbook says pistol.

NOT WITHOUT AN APPROVED ATF FORM 1. You may NOT convert a rifle to a pistol under any circumstance without ATF approval and tax payment.

A handgun may have a barrel of 16"+ and if it does, you may attach a stock on it. This is fine. You may remove the stock, and put on a shorter barrel. This is fine. You may not put the stock back on with a barrel less than 16" or you're constructing a short barreled rifle.

You may not take a rifle (even if the receiver is logged as a pistol) and remove the stock and put a shorter barrel on it. If you do, you have a short barrelled rifle and this requires NFA approval. If it is a pistol with provisions for gripping it on the front, like a foward pistol grip, then you would have to have Form 1 approval as an AOW.

Please do not give out advice when you don't know the legality of it. That's doing a great disservice to the community.

EBWhite
04-24-2006, 12:29 PM
You may NOT convert a rifle to a pistol under any circumstance without ATF approval and tax payment.

A handgun may have a barrel of 16"+ and if it does, you may attach a stock on it. This is fine. You may remove the stock, and put on a shorter barrel. This is fine. You may not put the stock back on with a barrel less than 16" or you're constructing a short barreled rifle.

You may not take a rifle (even if the receiver is logged as a pistol) and remove the stock and put a shorter barrel on it. If you do, you have a short barrelled rifle and this requires NFA approval. If it is a pistol with provisions for gripping it on the front, like a foward pistol grip, then you would have to have Form 1 approval as an AOW.

Please do not give out advice when you don't know the legality of it. That's doing a great disservice to the community.

You are confusing the whole concept-
It is already a pistol. Logged as a pistol means it is a pistol- means the MAKER already paid the tax and logged it as a valid pistol according to ATF!

Taking a bare (logged RIFLE) and putting a short barrel is a NFA violation unless it is a registered SBR....

You may take a logged pistol receiver and either use it as a pistol (any barrel, no stock) or a rifle (16"+ barrel and stock)

You said-----"You may not take a rifle (even if the receiver is logged as a pistol) and remove the stock and put a shorter barrel on it."

However, If it is logged as a pistol ,then how is it a rifle???- you are clearly wrong since a pistol receive can be both a rifle or pistol.

This discussion has been beat to death- i am not going to agree with the incorrent statements made by xeno and bweise- and thats fine we have different opinions and that makes america great.

Now, forum members and readers have enough info to make the appropriate decision on what they want to do after hearing two sides of the story-
I have not purchased one of these and do not plan to but it is an interesting concept!

Xeno and BW- no harm, lets be civil again and get onto another thread, i call for a closed thread.

End of story.

xenophobe
04-24-2006, 5:12 PM
Are you absolutely clueless? You're advocating illegal practices.

An off-list receiver can ONLY be a pistol in California if:
A) It is brought in by a new resident who has a California ID.
B) It was owned by a resident who registered as a SB-23 pistol and had it's features removed and requested it was removed off the DOJ AW registry.
C) It is a single shot, non-open magwell receiver and cannot be semi-automatic.

There ARE NO EXCEPTIONS. Any way you want to try to avoid compliance with the law would include lying and deception and are grey area at best, and most likely breaking several laws, both State and Federal.

Building it up as a rifle here, then taking it to another state and converting it to a pistol out of state is a felony. PERIOD.

Your right, there are two sides to this... Following the law and breaking it. Your advice in this thread has been dead wrong several times, and no matter how you try to spin it, you are still wrong.

Mr. Ed
04-24-2006, 5:57 PM
You guys are confusing me. So...who's right???

Also, my sister is moving to CA from a free state. If she has an off-list AR pistol, can I legally buy it from her?

xenophobe
04-24-2006, 6:58 PM
As long as it does not fall under either AW definition, yes.

dbol
04-24-2006, 8:14 PM
An off-list receiver can ONLY be a pistol in California if:
A) It is brought in by a new resident who has a California ID.
B) It was owned by a resident who registered as a SB-23 pistol and had it's features removed and requested it was removed off the DOJ AW registry.
C) It is a single shot, non-open magwell receiver and cannot be semi-automatic.

There ARE NO EXCEPTIONS.

AW issues aside, you've left off at least one legal way to obtain an AR pistol off-list lower in CA(which I've posted in this thread previously): Receive one as a gift from an out-of-state lineal relative. This method is available to anyone with grandparents, parents, children or grandchildren who are not CA residents.

Here's the law to support this method:

[The safe handgun requirements] shall not apply to any of the following:
(a) The sale, loan, or transfer of any firearm pursuant to Section 12082 in order to comply with subdivision (d) of Section 12072.
(b) The sale, loan, or transfer of any firearm that is exempt from the provisions of subdivision (d) of Section 12072 pursuant to any applicable exemption contained in Section 12078, if the sale, loan, or transfer complies with the requirements of that applicable exemption to subdivision (d) of Section 12072.
...



...
(c)(1) Subdivision (d) of Section 12072 shall not apply to the infrequent transfer of a firearm that is not a handgun by gift, bequest, intestate succession, or other means by one individual to another if both individuals are members of the same immediate family.
(2) Subdivision (d) of Section 12072 shall not apply to the infrequent transfer of a handgun by gift, bequest, intestate succession, or other means by one individual to another if both individuals are members of the same immediate family and both of the following conditions are met:
(A) The person to whom the firearm is transferred shall, within 30 days of taking possession of the firearm, forward by prepaid mail or deliver in person to the Department of Justice, a report that includes information concerning the individual taking possession of the firearm, how title was obtained and from whom, and a description of the firearm in question. The report forms that individuals complete pursuant to this paragraph shall be provided to them by the Department of Justice.
(B) The person taking title to the firearm shall first obtain a basic firearms safety certificate. If taking possession on or after January 1, 2003, the person taking title to the firearm shall first obtain a handgun safety certificate.
(C) The person receiving the firearm is 18 years of age or older.


I hope everyone can keep these discussions cordial. If you're unsure of your reasoning and support, it's probably best to keep assertions of legality/illegality to yourself; at the very least float them as clearly-marked theories.

xenophobe
04-24-2006, 9:50 PM
AW issues aside, you've left off at least one legal way to obtain an AR pistol off-list lower in CA(which I've posted in this thread previously): Receive one as a gift from an out-of-state lineal relative. This method is available to anyone with grandparents, parents, children or grandchildren who are not CA residents.

Well, um... okay, well have your father, mother, grandfather, son get one and drive one to you. If they list on May 1st, you'll have six days. You'll be fine.

What other ways have I missed?

Mr. Ed
04-25-2006, 6:45 AM
12276.1. (a) Notwithstanding Section 12276, "assault weapon" shall also mean any of the following:
(1) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any one of the following:
(A) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon.
(B) A thumbhole stock.
(C) A folding or telescoping stock.
(D) A grenade launcher or flare launcher.
(E) A flash suppressor.
(F) A forward pistol grip.
(2) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.
(3) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has an overall length of less than 30 inches.
(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 his or her 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.

So, it seems as if the same rules apply to off-list pistol receivers. As long as the mag is fixed. It can have the evil features, because the the mag is now not a detachable mag since it requires a tool to remove it.

Pls correct me if I'm wrong.

dbol
04-25-2006, 8:52 AM
Well, um... okay, well have your father, mother, grandfather, son get one and drive one to you. If they list on May 1st, you'll have six days. You'll be fine.

What other ways have I missed?

I don't believe there are other ways you missed, but I haven't done the exhaustive research required to make absolute pronouncements on the state of the law.

Additionally, there's no need to be flippant; I was merely trying to correct an omission in your ostensibly complete description of the law. If receivers are listed on May 1st, the two primary methods for obtaining AR pistol receivers you listed in your post above would be just as constrained. Besides, it seems to me that people reading this board are more likely to have a nearby out-of-state lineal relative than they are to know of a CA resident with an unregistered AR pistol receiver available for transfer - this is certainly the case for me personally.

EBWhite
04-25-2006, 9:49 AM
12276.1. (a) Notwithstanding Section 12276, "assault weapon" shall also mean any of the following:
(1) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any one of the following:
(A) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon.
(B) A thumbhole stock.
(C) A folding or telescoping stock.
(D) A grenade launcher or flare launcher.
(E) A flash suppressor.
(F) A forward pistol grip.
(2) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.
(3) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has an overall length of less than 30 inches.
(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 his or her 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.

So, it seems as if the same rules apply to off-list pistol receivers. As long as the mag is fixed. It can have the evil features, because the the mag is now not a detachable mag since it requires a tool to remove it.

Pls correct me if I'm wrong.

Since I'm the idiot let me answer the questions for you :D

Those rules only apply above to rifles. Safe handgun law aside- building a pistol- you would need a complete fixed magazine- this includes maglock AND some kind of silicone at the base of the magwell. You also can have NO stock on it. The threaded barrel cannot be seen and you screw a muzzle brake on and tack weld it (or some how perm attach it). And you cannot have the handgaurds on it either.

Now, if these are ever listed- then you may add the handgaurds and detach the magazine- otherwise until then, no.

But we still have the safe handgun deal so there is another problem- To acquire a receiver you will need to do it by ppt or another way.

Now if someone was really smart around here and had a friend moving to CA, you would have them buy 10 off list pistol receivers, bring them to california and ppt them. I would think each one would bring in 350 bucks easy.

dbol
04-25-2006, 10:17 AM
12276.1. (a) Notwithstanding Section 12276, "assault weapon" shall also mean any of the following:
(1) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any one of the following:
(A) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon.
(B) A thumbhole stock.
(C) A folding or telescoping stock.
(D) A grenade launcher or flare launcher.
(E) A flash suppressor.
(F) A forward pistol grip.
(2) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.
(3) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has an overall length of less than 30 inches.
(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 his or her 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.

So, it seems as if the same rules apply to off-list pistol receivers. As long as the mag is fixed. It can have the evil features, because the the mag is now not a detachable mag since it requires a tool to remove it.

Pls correct me if I'm wrong.

I agree completely - with regard to AW laws, the only difference with handguns vis-a-vis long guns is the list of "evil features."

EBWhite - could you show us where you're getting the concepts you're tossing out? We've recently dealt with methods for obtaining a AR pistol lower receiver in CA and the importance that the receiver is designated as a handgun for Federal purposes. Mr. Ed's question has to do with CA AW rules that appear to be clearly delineated in the statute above, which you appear to have misread.

Also, I would recommend someone moving to CA not bring in a large number of firearms with the intent to sell them once here. Doing so could be characterized as a commercial enterprise.

TheMan
04-25-2006, 10:34 AM
AW issues aside, you've left off at least one legal way to obtain an AR pistol off-list lower in CA(which I've posted in this thread previously): Receive one as a gift from an out-of-state lineal relative. This method is available to anyone with grandparents, parents, children or grandchildren who are not CA residents.

Here's the law to support this method:


That shows it is legal according to CA law. BUT you also have to make sure that the transfer meets federal law. Federal law doesn't allow for gifts to be transferred between states, even if its immediate relatives. It does allow for bequests, intestate secession(sp?). If you could talk one of your out of state relatives into dying and leaving the AR pistol for you in your will, you'd be set!

dbol
04-25-2006, 10:49 AM
That shows it is legal according to CA law. BUT you also have to make sure that the transfer meets federal law. Federal law doesn't allow for gifts to be transferred between states, even if its immediate relatives. It does allow for bequests, intestate secession(sp?). If you could talk one of your out of state relatives into dying and leaving the AR pistol for you in your will, you'd be set!

The gift would need to be made in person, with either you travelling to the home state of your relative or the relative bringing it in to CA for you. This is touched on in one of Xenophobe's posts above.

Death, on the other hand, can present some excellent opportunities, not just in the area of firearms. Don't get me started on the tax benefits of convincing your wealthy ancestors to die in 2010. The problem is really convincing the potential deceased that death is the most efficient transfer method.

TheMan
04-25-2006, 10:23 PM
The gift would need to be made in person, with either you travelling to the home state of your relative or the relative bringing it in to CA for you. This is touched on in one of Xenophobe's posts above.


I don't believe it will work, as it doesn't need to just be done in person, but it can't be done between 2 people with different state residencies. 18 USC 922 (a) 3 and 5 should have most of the relevant code. It only lists bequests and intestate secession as being exempted.