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View Full Version : Is owning a short barrel (not sbr upper) legal?


problemchild
09-23-2012, 9:56 PM
If I own an ar-15 and wanted to start building a ar-15 pistol can I legally buy or order just the barrel or do I need to acquire the pistol lower first.

The reason I ask is because the barrel is back ordered and I wanted to put an order in now.

jingerale
09-23-2012, 10:11 PM
lower first I believe.

Merc1138
09-23-2012, 10:16 PM
Get the pistol lower first.

slipknot95758
09-24-2012, 7:47 AM
Must have the lower first

wash
09-24-2012, 12:18 PM
If you don't own an AR rifle lower, owning an AR pistol barrel will not trigger constructive possession.

Otherwise you need that pistol lower to own an AR rifle lower and a short barrel.

Also never forget they your AR pistol is a handgun, must comply with all pistol "assault weapon" and locked transportation laws.

edgerly779
09-24-2012, 12:23 PM
Don't assemble upper. You can have any length barrel you wish. After pistol lower purchased then assemble. Three dummies in a row.

slikna99
09-24-2012, 12:36 PM
A barrel is not an NFA item by itself. Most don't get specific enough when they're considering the legality of AR items. A barrel that's not installed in an upper is legal regardless of the length(this is assuming that you don't already own another rifle or lower capable of accepting the barrel.) Once you put in an upper, it's still legal. < 16", you need a pistol lower in addition if you already own a regular lower or rifle that can accept the short barrel. > 16", you can have any kind of lower you want.

rromeo
09-24-2012, 1:36 PM
A barrel by itself can get you in trouble. The world doesn't revolve around ARs, other long guns don't all have an upper receiver. A 17 3/4" Remington 870 barrel is enough to have your family killed by the feds.

FeuerFrei
09-24-2012, 1:44 PM
OP,
Buy your upper and have it shipped to a family member/friend's house that dosen't posess an AR lower and keep it there until you're ready to build your pistol.
If the two AR components (lower & upper) are on the same property ATF DOJ could get you on posession of unregistered SBR if they find out about it.
Good luck on your pistola assembly.

jingerale
09-24-2012, 1:55 PM
at the end of the day, you make the decisions. What I want to avoid is "constructive possession. " if you feel only completed uppers can get you in trouble, then go right ahead.

Personally, I feel having the barrel is risking enough to MAKE ME uncomfortable. I mean what's constructive possession? right? How long does it take to put on a barrel, minutes.

edit: OP, what barrel are you looking at?

kris smith
09-24-2012, 2:03 PM
What if you have a complete rifle and a pistol upper for a pistol build but no empty lower for it ?

Merc1138
09-24-2012, 2:05 PM
What if you have a complete rifle and a pistol upper for a pistol build but no empty lower for it ?

You'd have constructive possession of an SBR. Why is this not clear yet?

Quiet
09-24-2012, 2:11 PM
If you don't own an AR rifle lower, owning an AR pistol barrel will not trigger constructive possession.

Otherwise you need that pistol lower to own an AR rifle lower and a short barrel.

Also never forget they your AR pistol is a handgun, must comply with all pistol "assault weapon" and locked transportation laws.

What he said.


Don't assemble upper. You can have any length barrel you wish. After pistol lower purchased then assemble. Three dummies in a row.
Owning a less than 16" barrel and a rifle that can use it, is still a violation of the law.
Because the less than 16" barrel can still be installed onto the rifle, which would create a SBR.

A barrel is not an NFA item by itself. Most don't get specific enough when they're considering the legality of AR items. A barrel that's not installed in an upper is legal regardless of the length. Once you put in an upper, it's still legal as long as you have a lower receiver that can be used to assemble a firearm that is legal. < 16", you need a pistol lower. > 16", you can have any kind of lower you want.

The barrel itself is not an issue.
The barrel along with a rifle that can use it, becomes an issue.

A barrel by itself can get you in trouble. The world doesn't revolve around ARs, other long guns don't all have an upper receiver. A 17 3/4" Remington 870 barrel is enough to have your family killed by the feds.

What he said.


OP,
Buy your upper and have it shipped to a family member/friend's house that dosen't posess an AR lower and keep it there until you're ready to build your pistol.
If the two AR components (lower & upper) are on the same property ATF DOJ could get you on posession of unregistered SBR if they find out about it.
Good luck on your pistola assembly.

Doing so would still be a violation of CA law.

Owning the parts, even stored in different locations, is considered "constructive possession" under CA laws.


Penal Code 17170
As used in Sections 16530 and 16640, Sections 17720 to 17730, inclusive, Section 17740, Article 1 (commencing with Section 27500) of Chapter 4 of Division 6 of Title 4, and Article 1 (commencing with Section 33210) of Chapter 8 of Division 10 of Title 4, "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 that may be readily restored to fire a fixed cartridge which, when so restored, is a device defined in subdivisions (a) to (c), inclusive.
(e) Any part, or combination of parts, designed and intended to convert a device into a device defined in subdivisions (a) to (c), inclusive, or any combination of parts from which a device defined in subdivisions (a) to (c), inclusive, may be readily assembled if those parts are in the possession or under the control of the same person.

slikna99
09-24-2012, 2:14 PM
A barrel by itself can get you in trouble. The world doesn't revolve around ARs, other long guns don't all have an upper receiver. A 17 3/4" Remington 870 barrel is enough to have your family killed by the feds.

FUD

Have you heard of a Serbu super shorty? Did you know that they use a 6.5" modified version of a rem 870 barrel on a rem 870 receiver and is perfectly legal to own in CA after paying a small fee because it is considered an AOW?

The POINT, is that there are circumstances that make things legal and saying a barrel by itself is enough to constitute as constructive possession is simply false. As long as you don't possess the receiver (what ever part has to be dros'd) you will be fine.

slikna99
09-24-2012, 2:18 PM
The barrel itself is not an issue.
The barrel along with a rifle that can use it, becomes an issue.


I agree with that.

noob_tube
09-24-2012, 2:18 PM
Good info here. Quick relevant question: If I have a pistol lower, am I allowed to own more than one pistol upper? Or is it limited at 1:1? I've tried searching and haven't found anything pertaining to this.

Quiet
09-24-2012, 2:23 PM
Summary for constructive possession of a SBR:
Possession/control of a less than 16" barrel by itself = legal
Possession/control of a less than 16" barrel + a rifle that can use that barrel = illegal
Possession/control of a less than 16" barrel + a handgun that can use that barrel = legal
Possession/control of a less than 16" barrel + a rifle that can use that barrel + a handgun that can use that barrel = legal

by itself = not owning/possessing/controlling any type of firearm that can use the barrel
Possession/control includes parts being in different locations, that can be miles apart.

slikna99
09-24-2012, 2:24 PM
Good info here. Quick relevant question: If I have a pistol lower, am I allowed to own more than one pistol upper? Or is it limited at 1:1? I've tried searching and haven't found anything pertaining to this.

Interesting question, and I would believe that you would be able to possess as many of them as you want... but would also suggest you do more research on that.

FeuerFrei
09-24-2012, 2:29 PM
Just to be clear Quiet, if the parts are not in posession or control of the builder because they are off sight and on another person's property the builder can be charged? Keeping in mind the off sight property (seperate owner) has NO AR components in posession and they are in "control" of the upper.
"In posession and control of the same person". I think ATF BoF would still have to prove intent.
I'm still foggy.

rromeo
09-24-2012, 2:30 PM
FUD

Have you heard of a Serbu super shorty? Did you know that they use a 6.5" modified version of a rem 870 barrel on a rem 870 receiver and is perfectly legal to own in CA after paying a small fee because it is considered an AOW?

The POINT, is that there are circumstances that make things legal and saying a barrel by itself is enough to constitute as constructive possession is simply false. As long as you don't possess the receiver (what ever part has to be dros'd) you will be fine.

Yes, but having a Serbu means you have a tax stamp. If you have a standard 870 and short barrel, that is jail. Just like the OP owns an AR rifle, so if he has a barrel under 16", he is in violation of the law if he doesn't have a pistol lower. He doesn't need a complete short barreled upper to be illegal.

Quiet
09-24-2012, 2:38 PM
Just to be clear Quiet, if the parts are not in posession or control of the builder because they are off sight and on another person's property the builder can be charged? Keeping in mind the off sight property (seperate owner) has NO AR components in posession and they are in "control" of the upper.
"In posession and control of the same person". I think ATF BoF would still have to prove intent.
I'm still foggy.

If a person owns the parts and stores them in different locations (miles apart from each other), then that person can be charged with possession of a SBR. [PC 17170(e)]

If some of the parts are owned by one person & the rest of the parts are owned by another person and the parts are under the control of one person, then that person that controls the parts can be charged with possession of a SBR. [PC 17170(e)]

If some of the parts are owned by one person & the rest of the parts are owned by another person and the parts are not under the control of one person, then it would not be constructive possession of a SBR.

slikna99
09-24-2012, 2:43 PM
Yes, but having a Serbu means you have a tax stamp. If you have a standard 870 and short barrel, that is jail. Just like the OP owns an AR rifle, so if he has a barrel under 16", he is in violation of the law if he doesn't have a pistol lower. He doesn't need a complete short barreled upper to be illegal.

Yes, if you have a standard 870 already you cannot own a barrel under 18" unless you also have an AOW receiver. Your statement made it sound to me as if someone simply possessing a short barrel (assuming they have no receivers capable of accepting it) is grounds for constructive possession. I was just explaining that simply having the barrel is not illegal. Maybe I misunderstood you?

Of course, in this situation he would need a pistol lower since he already owns a standard ar15.

rromeo
09-24-2012, 2:46 PM
Okay, I think we are arguing the same point.
I'm having my after work beer, and will now chill out.

slikna99
09-24-2012, 2:47 PM
Okay, I think we are arguing the same point.
I'm having my after work beer, and will now chill out.

Wouldn't mind one of them myself :cheers2:

FeuerFrei
09-24-2012, 2:50 PM
If a person owns the parts and stores them in different locations (miles apart from each other), then that person can be charged with possession of a SBR. [PC 17170(e)]

If some of the parts are owned by one person & the rest of the parts are owned by another person and the parts are under the control of one person, then that person that controls the parts can be charged with possession of a SBR. [PC 17170(e)]

If some of the parts are owned by one person & the rest of the parts are owned by another person and the parts are not under the control of one person, then it would not be constructive possession of a SBR.

Thanx. I think your second answer is closer to what I was intending to convey.

ar15barrels
09-24-2012, 3:28 PM
A 17 3/4" Remington 870 barrel is enough to have your family killed by the feds.

Do you have a cite for this?
Randy Weaver got in trouble for cutting a shotgun overall length under 26" so don't use him as your example...