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Micromancer
01-07-2011, 10:11 PM
I do not post here often, and in fact I am not even a resident of California. I live in southern middle Tennessee. For the most part I lurk and read legislation news and keep to myself. Mostly keeping myself in line due to a rocky start here, but I digress.

On 12/5/2010 I sent an email inspired by my own curiosity after reading a thread on AR-15 pistols over at Arfcom. Wherein, someone had posted a link to a Googledocs posting of their response about several questions, the last of which was "Can I put an AFG on my AR-15 pistol legally" The answer was "Yes" but that doesn't really cover if it's legal if you get an AOW stamp, or if its legal and does not need a stamp.

So even though people on that forum were basically saying god no no one ask them this is enough for me to risk an NFA violation and claim ignorance, I am not a regular member there and didn't really care if they didn't want me to ask: I had to know.

I sent a letter detailing a specific encounter at a local SOT and asked several questions, one of which was Does installing an AFG on an AR-15 pistol make it an AOW? Since the answer was NO, they apparently ignored the rest of my conditional questions on it being yes and added in some stuff I didn't ask at all. The following is the email I received from them, along with my original email. My contact info is being redacted, if you need to get hold of me do some legwork, it's not that hard to find me.


EPS Directorate to me
show details 12/28/10 (10 days ago)


Mr. (me),

The BATF has said that the adding of a MAGPUL AFG ( Angle-Fore-Grip ) would not make your pistol an AOW.
However, adding a forward vertical pistol grip to a pistol results in the making of an “any other weapon” class of NFA firearm.

Adding a shoulder stock to a pistol results in the making of a rifle. If the barrel of the resulting firearm is less than 16 inches or the overall length is less than 26 inches then you have made a “short barreled rifle” or “weapon made from a rifle” class of NFA firearm.

You will need to submit an ATF Form 1 (with tax paid) along with a law enforcement approval letter and two fingerprint cards to the NFA Branch of ATF, located at 244 Needy Rd., Martinsburg, WV 25405. Once your form 1 is approved and returned to you; only then can you actually make the NFA firearm. You may obtain an ATF Form 1 package on line at the ATF.gov website or by writing the NFA Branch at the above address.

We thank you for your inquiry and trust you find this email responsive to your request.

ATF – Enforcement Programs and Services


From: (Me) [mailto:(mygmailaccount)@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, December 05, 2010 10:59 AM
To: EPS Directorate
Subject: [NFA] How to register an AR-15 Pistol as an AOW

Dear Sirs:

I have recently built an AR-15 pistol and would like to install a Magpul angled foregrip on it. There is a letter from the ATF that has been posted online where a similar situation was asked about, and the specific question was "Can I lawfully install a Magpul AFG [...] on my AR-15 type pistol?" The answer was "yes". It did not however say "Yes you can without having to register it as an AOW", nor did it specify that in so installing an AFG legally on your pistol AR-15 would entail registering it as an AOW. There is a local licensed manufacturer who has refused to do the installation on the grounds that the AR-15 pistol needed to be a virgin receiver and since I have already made it a pistol, it is no longer eligible to be registered as an AOW. When I asked them why then could I register it as an SBR, their answer to me was "that's different". Ultimately since they would not incur a manucafturing tax stamp and would be able to transfer it back to me at $5 I would much rather have done this than having to install it myself. It is one screw and approximately two minutes of labor. Installation of a vertical foregrip to turn the pistol into an AOW would mean I need to pay a $200 tax stamp to do the work myself but might not even cover allowing the gun to have an afg on it if I were to register it this way. To view the ATF letter referenced previously please click: https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B0qyloA48O3XZWFjYjMwYTMtYTg1MC00NzVhL WI3NmMtZDRiNTMzNzdhMzUx&hl=en&pli=1

Having read the preceeding, here are the questions I have:

Is the Magpul Angled Foregrip considered a vertical foregrip for the purposes of the NFA? Why or Why Not?

If I chose to do the work myself, is there anything I would need to do other than the actual installation of the AFG to legally do so to my AR-15 pistol?

Does installing a Magpul AFG on an AR-15 pistol constitute turning the pistol into an AOW and therefore requires the pistol be registered in the NFA?

If installing an AFG on an AR-15 pistol does make it an AOW, once it is legally registered as such to accept the AFG, would I then also be able to install other foregrips vertical or otherwise or run with no foregrip at all should I choose to remove it or would I be forced to keep the gun in its registered condition and not remove the AFG at all?

Can a licensed manufacturer of NFA weapons install the foregrip for me on a completely built AR-15 pistol and transfer the weapon to me for the $5 transfer fee?

Assuming the manufacturer I spoke with was correct, why is it I can register this pistol as an SBR but not an AOW?

I sincerely appreciate your time, and look forward to your response.

Thank you,
(me)


Needless to say, this was not exactly the response I was expecting. I post it here so that you might also contact them and get your own confirmation should you wish to do the same thing (if that is even at all possible considering your local laws).

Thank you for your time, feel free to spread this around.

Fjold
01-08-2011, 8:11 AM
Thanks for the info.

B Strong
01-08-2011, 8:19 AM
Thanks - it is good to know from a free state pov, even though it doesn't really get us to that point with our damn fool state regs.

seabass
01-08-2011, 8:25 AM
I am no legal expert but because the Magpul AFG does not protrude and sticks outwardly as a traditionally defined "pistol grip" ATF has no issue with it.

Micromancer
01-08-2011, 1:20 PM
I am no legal expert but because the Magpul AFG does not protrude and sticks outwardly as a traditionally defined "pistol grip" ATF has no issue with it.

There are a couple points in favor of the ATF ruling an AFG to not be a VFG however I've noticed a lot of the people that would want to do this are (as I was) so used to the ATF making really strange rulings about features that erring on the side of caution is better than making an NFA violation mistake.

I have no problems proving my naivety when it comes to regulations when it comes with the benefit of educating others who might also be making the same mistake I had been.

ImpliedConsent
01-08-2011, 2:36 PM
I'm very curious about the result of the same inquiry, if instead of the AFG, a hand-stop was the subject.

I'd very much like to place a hand-stop at the front of my Draco's handguard, but I'd also very much more like to not be declared a felon and sent to federal prison.

Does anyone know of any ATF letters, or other definitive info on the subject? I looked a month ago, and didn't find anything.

Thanks!

Micromancer
01-09-2011, 3:09 AM
My best suggestion would be to look at http://www.atf.gov/contact/ and choose the proper receipient for your question and send them an email. Turn around time for me was only a few weeks and you'll get information you can use direct from the people it matters to.

franklinarmory
01-09-2011, 7:35 AM
Just this week, I contacted my local ATF rep re the authenticity of the AFG ruling letter. He said that it was in fact an authentic letter. In the age of photoshop, this was an important question to have answered. Secondly, I do not agree that AOW issue is at play here. Yes it would have been best if the ATF specifically replied, "Yes, and you do not need an AOW Permit." ...but the intent of the letter would strongly suggest that it was legal to do so w/o the permit. The one thing my ATF rep said was to be certain that all of the elements apply to our intended bill before we commence manufacturing.

What I'm really trying to find out (and my letter to ATF is forthcoming) is why the Thompson 1927A5 was legal and an AR with a similar forward grip isn't. I suspect it may be an overall length issue, and if so, I think our 10.5" SE-SSP AR will fit the bill. ....I'll wait for the letter before installing an AVG. In the mean time, I can't see a reason why an AFG couldn't be employed. Am I really missing something???? :lurk5:

anthonyca
01-09-2011, 8:08 AM
Is middle Tennessee a town or just the middle of the state? Hickok45 and Tnoutdoors9 say they are from there. They both make good videos.

Thanks for the info. You should contribute more often.

Micromancer
01-09-2011, 3:45 PM
It's a geographical area not a specific town. I should be so lucky to live near Hickok45, he's pretty amazing. Also, I'll speak up when I have things that are either worthwhile or funny just keep in mind I have a pretty skewed sense of humor and what might make me cry with laughter might just make yall fire up the pitch forks :P

javalos
01-09-2011, 5:42 PM
Shallow government pinheads are obsessed with looks.

plan-b
01-09-2011, 8:17 PM
It's a geographical area not a specific town. I should be so lucky to live near Hickok45, he's pretty amazing. Also, I'll speak up when I have things that are either worthwhile or funny just keep in mind I have a pretty skewed sense of humor and what might make me cry with laughter might just make yall fire up the pitch forks :P

Don't worry about us. California has banned the possession of pitch forks. We can have foam pitch forks, but the tips have to be permanently painted blaze orange so as not to confuse them with real pitch forks.

SixPointEight
01-09-2011, 8:28 PM
Would this then also apply to a featureless ar build?

Cali-Shooter
01-09-2011, 9:25 PM
Would this then also apply to a featureless ar build?

There is no such thing as a "featureless" AR-15 pistol build in CA that would be considered a legal weapon. Blame the God-awful AW ban, it never fails to grief legitimate gun ownership.

With normal BB or featureless AR-15 rifles you can put AFG's, RIS foregrips, anything you want as a grip, as long as it isn't a "forward pistol grip."

Micromancer
01-18-2011, 10:55 AM
I realized I never did post a pic of the installed grip so here it is:

http://www.acecomputers-tn.com/awful/ar-pistol.jpg

entgunguy
01-18-2011, 2:25 PM
how about a monopod?
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=268026&highlight=monopod

as long as the product description does not have the word grip.
should be okay from a california standpoint; although i am not sure from a federal AOW standpoint.

SixPointEight
02-07-2011, 6:59 PM
There is no such thing as a "featureless" AR-15 pistol build in CA that would be considered a legal weapon. Blame the God-awful AW ban, it never fails to grief legitimate gun ownership.

With normal BB or featureless AR-15 rifles you can put AFG's, RIS foregrips, anything you want as a grip, as long as it isn't a "forward pistol grip."

Delayed response here.

I was talking about a rifle. Just converted my rifle to featureless and was thinking about this.

Cokebottle
02-07-2011, 7:13 PM
Delayed response here.

I was talking about a rifle. Just converted my rifle to featureless and was thinking about this.
I wouldn't do it.

And to the OP, yes, that is a sweet AR, but keep in mind that the BATFE's opinion is secondary to the CaDOJ in this God forsaken state.

I wouldn't put one on a pistol either.... at least not in California, without some clarification from the DOJ.

stix213
02-07-2011, 7:18 PM
I wouldn't do it.

And to the OP, yes, that is a sweet AR, but keep in mind that the BATFE's opinion is secondary to the CaDOJ in this God forsaken state.

I wouldn't put one on a pistol either.... at least not in California, without some clarification from the DOJ.

I agree. Anyone putting this grip on a featureless rifle or pistol is asking to be the test case in California.

Also, nice pistol op :D

bden
02-07-2011, 7:20 PM
For the most part I lurk and read legislation news and keep to myself. Mostly keeping myself in line due to a rocky start here, but I digress.

Hey Chris, great to see you back! :cheers2:

Thanks for the info. Don't know how I missed this thread last month.

dmacintyre
02-07-2011, 7:46 PM
Apologies if I am missing something but are you guys saying that on an otherwise CA legal AR rifle build (i.e. with BB fitted) this AFG would be illegal? Or do you mean that it turns a featureless rifle without BB into an AW? I read it as the latter but just wanted to check - I had planned to include one of these on my forthcoming build but now I am concerned.

Thanks

D.

ke6guj
02-07-2011, 7:51 PM
Apologies if I am missing something but are you guys saying that on an otherwise CA legal AR rifle build (i.e. with BB fitted) this AFG would be illegal? Or do you mean that it turns a featureless rifle without BB into an AW? I read it as the latter but just wanted to check - I had planned to include one of these on my forthcoming build but now I am concerned.

Thanks

D.

the latter. and that isn't an asbolute. We don't know if CADOU would consider the AFG to be a "forward pistol grip" or not. It doesn't appear to be one, but that isn't guaranteed.

SuperSet
02-07-2011, 8:07 PM
I agree with bdsmchs's earlier post and would feel comfortable running an AFG on a featureless build. Even though the federal letter does not directly parlay into CA's regulations, I think it is a more than manageable risk.
Can we consider this horse beaten yet?

Fate
02-07-2011, 8:11 PM
how about a monopod?
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=268026&highlight=monopod

as long as the product description does not have the word grip.
should be okay from a california standpoint; although i am not sure from a federal AOW standpoint.

If you're talking about on a "featureless rifle", it *might be* legal, but also could be iffy, based on the CA DOJ rulemaking documents prior to the final signing into law which said:
978.20(c) Forward Pistol Grip
Comment:
B3.26 1 The revised regulation incorporates a new undefined term 'pistol style grasp'. There are five 'protrusions' commonly found on semiautomatic centerfire rifles that are designed to 'grasp' the firearm. However, none of them can be plausibly thought of as a forward pistol grip. They are: a forward hand guard; a protruding detachable magazine; a hand stop; a sling swivel and sling; and a bipod.


Response:
The Department agrees with the comment. The revised definition specifies a forward pistol grip must be a grip, in addition to having the capacity to be grasped. Because the five protrusions identified in the comment are not grips, they would not meet the Department's definition of a forward pistol grip. The Department believes that reasonable people would not consider the items identified in the comment forward pistol grips.

It exempts a bipod, but not monopod. Now you might be able to argue that bipod = monopod in court and win, but it's not there in black and white to CYA should the SHTF.

YMMV. ;)

On a pistol? Man that's a whole 'nother can of worms.

I'm still trying to get my head around the 9th Circuit ruling in U.S. v Fix that reaffirmed that AOWs can't have rifled bores, so a forward grip on a pistol AR doesn't change it into an AOW.

dmacintyre
02-07-2011, 8:23 PM
the latter. and that isn't an asbolute. We don't know if CADOU would consider the AFG to be a "forward pistol grip" or not. It doesn't appear to be one, but that isn't guaranteed.

Thanks. Doesn't affect my plans then :cool:

The Professional
04-21-2011, 7:55 PM
Here's the ATF response re: Magpul AFG:

https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B0qyloA48O3XZWFjYjMwYTMtYTg1MC00NzVhL WI3NmMtZDRiNTMzNzdhMzUx&hl=en&pli=1

timdps
04-22-2011, 9:21 AM
If you're talking about on a "featureless rifle", it *might be* legal, but also could be iffy, based on the CA DOJ rulemaking documents prior to the final signing into law which said:


It exempts a bipod, but not monopod. Now you might be able to argue that bipod = monopod in court and win, but it's not there in black and white to CYA should the SHTF.

YMMV. ;)

On a pistol? Man that's a whole 'nother can of worms.


Are you talking about bipods or AFGs on a pistol?

Here is a Ruger Charger pistol that comes with a bipod and is not an AOW.
This would imply that bipods are not a problem on pistols.

http://www.ruger.com/products/22Charger/models.html

Tim

TacDriver5five6
04-22-2011, 9:25 AM
Thanks for posting this... nice pistol BTW. :coolgleamA:

timdps
04-22-2011, 10:20 AM
Thanks for posting this... nice pistol BTW. :coolgleamA:

I don't own a Ruger Charger, but I do own a Draco with bipod:

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b44/timdps/Draco/Draco10bipodup.jpg

morfeeis
04-22-2011, 11:45 AM
so just so we are clear an AFG on a featureless build wouldn't be the smartest move unless you have the money to fight a case?

Fate
04-22-2011, 8:29 PM
Are you talking about bipods or AFGs on a pistol?
No, I was discussing featureless rifles in response to entgunguy's original question.

Fate
04-22-2011, 8:38 PM
so just so we are clear an AFG on a featureless build wouldn't be the smartest move unless you have the money to fight a case?
I'm pretty obviously in that camp and have shown why it's dangerous citing various parts of the penal code and rulemaking documents.

Others seem to think it's fine.

But you get to make your own choices in life. In the end, it's your butt on the line. You owe it to your butt to take some time and review the arguments, penal code, rulemaking documents and make an informed decision.

Us3rName
04-22-2011, 8:57 PM
Thank you very much for the needed info. This has cleared up many future discussion. Is it possible to sticky just the letter?

morfeeis
04-22-2011, 9:38 PM
That about sums it up for me too, no AFG for me, i refuse to be a test case.......

Reductio
04-22-2011, 9:48 PM
That about sums it up for me too, no AFG for me, i refuse to be a test case.......

You'd be no more a test case for an AFG on an AR-15 pistol than you'd be the test case for having a threaded barrel on it: both are OK by Cali law with a maglocked gun. End of story.

Oh, but on a featureless, Fate is right. :p