Help support WeTheArmed.com by visiting our sponsors.

Author Topic: NFA legal question  (Read 5227 times)

Kaso

  • Senior Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 7209
  • WTA Hardline Antagonist (aka: Jerk)

  • Offline
NFA legal question
« on: April 27, 2016, 11:19:07 am »
To start: I recognize that most of you are not lawyers, and those who are, are not my lawyer.  This is a question of commonly accepted wisdom, not legal statute.

Okay...  If I were to Form 1 (just made a new verb :p) a SxS shotgun under the rules of the NFA, how exact does the reported OAL need to be?  Specifically, if the eventual goal is to turn it into a howdah with 11" barrels, the approximate total length will be 20."  The Form 1 will, of course, state 11" and 20," and those will be the true intended lengths.

Where my question comes in, how precise do either of those measurements need to be, and how quickly after engraving?  For example, I assume that the barrel could safely be 11-1/4"... can it?  Would I be breaking the law if it was 10-3/4? (It won't be, on account of the forend length, but it is a hypothetical question)

To follow that line of questions further, what happens if I attach the newly shortened barrels to the registered receiver... with the stock still intact?  Is that a violation, being approximately 7" longer than the registered length?  The plan would still be to cut the stock, but assume it just had not been done yet..  What is the allowable variance in length, should the pistol grip finish off at a fraction above or below registered length?

WeTheArmed.com

  • Advertisement
  • ***

    booksmart

    • Token Left Leaning Idealist Libertarian
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 6596
    • E. Pluribus Unum.

    • Offline
    Re: NFA legal question
    « Reply #1 on: April 27, 2016, 11:38:35 am »
    I Am Not A Lawyer, nor do I play one on TV.

    I can't speak to the stock portion of it, but my understanding of the barrels is that they *must* be *at least* as long as the registered length.  For CYA purposes, I would say make it as close as possible. If you're registering 11", make it 11".

    http://www.pennlago.com/will-batfe-psp-measure-barrel/

    https://blog.princelaw.com/2012/12/13/can-you-change-the-barrel-length-of-an-short-barreled-rifleshotgun-sbrsbs/

    Kaso

    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 7209
    • WTA Hardline Antagonist (aka: Jerk)

    • Offline
    Re: NFA legal question
    « Reply #2 on: April 27, 2016, 12:53:03 pm »
    The second link mentioned an ATF ruling that it is not illegal to make an SBR back into a regular rifle.  An AR upper swap would be the most convenient example.  From 14.5 to 16, then back to 14.5.  It remains an SBR, as long as it is on the registry.

    I guess what I am after, is what sort of allowances do they give for 'good faith' effort.  It is registered at a certain length, and it will be made that length...  How long do you have to do so before you risk problems?

    Or, aside from barrel length, do they just allow you to be 'over, but not under' on OAL?  In that case just err on the safe side...

    Kaso

    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 7209
    • WTA Hardline Antagonist (aka: Jerk)

    • Offline
    Re: NFA legal question
    « Reply #3 on: May 07, 2016, 08:33:27 pm »
    This never got a good answer, so I will ask again:  on a Form 1 SBS, with 11" barrels, how much 'allowance' is given for the exact barrel length?  Are you allowed to err on the side of caution, and go 11-1/4" or does it have to be spot on?  Same with the OAL: Are you allowed to go 'down to' 20", or does it have to be exact?  How long of a time frame are you given to have both the barrels and the OAL down to their registered lengths? 

    Who would know for certain, on all of these?

    Any help is appreciated. :thumbup1

    mattitude

    • annoying a-hole
    • Contributor
    • ****
    • Posts: 1854
    • 100% disabled veteran
      • Ramblings of a Disabled Veteran

    • Offline
    Re: NFA legal question
    « Reply #4 on: May 09, 2016, 09:40:04 pm »
    This pertains to both barrel and OAL...you can be a little longer (I would say no more than 1/4" longer than declared length) but NOT any shorter.  If you are listing barrel length as 11", you can go 11 1/4" but NOT 10 3/4".  You can apply same rules to OAL...you can be a smidge longer but not any shorter.  Now to answer a Q in your first post, about installing a shorter (or even longer) barrel than what's listed on the approved Form 1.  As long as the barrel swap is temporary and can be easily changed back to original barrel length then you can go shorter without any issues.
    North CarolinaMedically retired Air Force (17 years, 7 months & 25 days)

    Kaso

    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 7209
    • WTA Hardline Antagonist (aka: Jerk)

    • Offline
    Re: NFA legal question
    « Reply #5 on: May 09, 2016, 10:15:41 pm »
    This pertains to both barrel and OAL...you can be a little longer (I would say no more than 1/4" longer than declared length) but NOT any shorter.  If you are listing barrel length as 11", you can go 11 1/4" but NOT 10 3/4".  You can apply same rules to OAL...you can be a smidge longer but not any shorter.  Now to answer a Q in your first post, about installing a shorter (or even longer) barrel than what's listed on the approved Form 1.  As long as the barrel swap is temporary and can be easily changed back to original barrel length then you can go shorter without any issues.
    Thank you! :thumbup1

    This is what I did assume, but it is good to have someone who has more than a little NFA experience say it.  I do intend to be as accurate as possible, but human error being what it is...


    The second part of the question: How long do they give you to get the weapon 'down to size?'  Is it 'at my convenience,' or does it really need to be as quickly as possible?  Once again, I would be acting in good faith, not trying to stretch the rules.

    mattitude

    • annoying a-hole
    • Contributor
    • ****
    • Posts: 1854
    • 100% disabled veteran
      • Ramblings of a Disabled Veteran

    • Offline
    Re: NFA legal question
    « Reply #6 on: May 09, 2016, 11:33:42 pm »
    I would say "as soon as possible" once the form is approved...but I would bet that a quick call to the customer service number can either give you a more accurate answer or at least point you in the right direction to find that answer.
    North CarolinaMedically retired Air Force (17 years, 7 months & 25 days)

    Sanguine

    • Member
    • **
    • Posts: 400

    • Offline
    Re: NFA legal question
    « Reply #7 on: May 10, 2016, 08:21:18 pm »
    Is the ATF in the habit of knocking on doors to double check that you're using the proper barrel length?

    Also, how does OAL work with AR platform SBR's, where there's flash hiders and collapsible stocks of different sizes? Pick one and stick with it?
    ArizonaCuriously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the Universe than we do now.

    Kaso

    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 7209
    • WTA Hardline Antagonist (aka: Jerk)

    • Offline
    Re: NFA legal question
    « Reply #8 on: May 10, 2016, 09:29:39 pm »
    Is the ATF in the habit of knocking on doors to double check that you're using the proper barrel length?
    Probably not, no, but if I am bothering to be legal and registering it, there is no sense in committing a technical violation out of ignorance.

    Also, how does OAL work with AR platform SBR's, where there's flash hiders and collapsible stocks of different sizes? Pick one and stick with it?
    Internet wisdom is that one measures with the stock fully extended, and with the shortest FH that you will ever use installed.  Makes no sense, but that is what the ATF wants to see.

    Sanguine

    • Member
    • **
    • Posts: 400

    • Offline
    Re: NFA legal question
    « Reply #9 on: May 11, 2016, 01:23:44 am »
    Probably not, no, but if I am bothering to be legal and registering it, there is no sense in committing a technical violation out of ignorance.
    I understand that completely, I just wonder if they ever follow up on those 1/4 inches, or your ability to convert your gun back to the original paperwork specs. I have an AR pistol, and should I file for an SBR but keep the pistol, I was thinking I could swap the uppers back and forth.

    Internet wisdom is that one measures with the stock fully extended, and with the shortest FH that you will ever use installed.  Makes no sense, but that is what the ATF wants to see.
    Okay that just makes no sense. I would think they'd want the measurements for the smallest configuration, given their whole problem is with compact weapons.
    ArizonaCuriously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the Universe than we do now.

    booksmart

    • Token Left Leaning Idealist Libertarian
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 6596
    • E. Pluribus Unum.

    • Offline
    Re: NFA legal question
    « Reply #10 on: May 11, 2016, 08:57:56 am »
    Keep in mind you're dealing with 1) a bureaucracy, 2) overseen by a committee, which is in turn 3) overseen by another committee (Congress), which is 4) steered and interfered with by special interest groups and the whims of the people.

    Are things going to get squirrely and illogical?  Most certainly.

    Welcome to the chaos that is democracy. Ain't it beautiful?  :cool

    But I will point out that the longest length on a stock works in your favor, towards OAL.  Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

    Kaso

    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 7209
    • WTA Hardline Antagonist (aka: Jerk)

    • Offline
    Re: NFA legal question
    « Reply #11 on: May 11, 2016, 10:08:01 am »
    Welcome to the chaos that is democracy. Ain't it beautiful?  :cool
    No more so than mob rule.  Give me a government that respects equal protection under the law, vs governing according to be whims of the masses, or whatever might be popular at the moment.

    booksmart

    • Token Left Leaning Idealist Libertarian
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 6596
    • E. Pluribus Unum.

    • Offline
    Re: NFA legal question
    « Reply #12 on: May 11, 2016, 10:16:45 am »
    No more so than mob rule.  Give me a government that respects equal protection under the law, vs governing according to be whims of the masses, or whatever might be popular at the moment.

    You say tomato...

    The downside to democracy is that it always be at the whim of the masses.

    Kaso

    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 7209
    • WTA Hardline Antagonist (aka: Jerk)

    • Offline
    Re: NFA legal question
    « Reply #13 on: May 11, 2016, 10:59:00 am »
    You say tomato...

    The downside to democracy is that it always be at the whim of the masses.
    Indeed, which is why we have a Constitution.  A Republic is no more than indirect democracy, but the Constitution sets limits on how far we as the electorate can go in restricting the rights of others.

    So even if 99% don't like something, it can still be available to those who want it.  Whether the thing in question is certain types of firearms, or being able to marry outside of traditional norms.

    In short, democracy sucks.  Without the Constitution, so does a republic.  Giving the masses free reign to restrict the rights of others and vote themselves bread and circuses, is a recipe for disaster.  Which is also why we have Sanders and Trump being taken seriously.  :bash

    FSCJedi

    • Lord Ballfrost
    • Member
    • **
    • Posts: 477
      • My Weblog

    • Offline
    Re: NFA legal question
    « Reply #14 on: August 03, 2016, 10:22:24 am »
    Call 304-616-4500 and ask.   ;)
    West Virginia"I said I never had much use for [a pistol], never said I didn't know how to use it." - Matthew Quigley

    Keep the rubber side down, and your powder dry!

    Kaso

    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 7209
    • WTA Hardline Antagonist (aka: Jerk)

    • Offline
    Re: NFA legal question
    « Reply #15 on: August 03, 2016, 04:57:57 pm »
    Call 304-616-4500 and ask.   ;)
      :hmm

     :scrutiny

    Yeah, not that desperate to know.

    Help support WeTheArmed.com by visiting our sponsors.