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AR-15 Configuration Question?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by gspman, Feb 6, 2010.

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  1. gspman

    gspman Member

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    I purchased two AR15 STRIPPED receivers today at a gun show today. The person who sold them to me is an FFL. I indicated that I wanted to purchase the receivers as a pistol and not a rifle. The FFL agreed and filled out the 4473 as pistol purchases. My reasoning behind this request was to give me an option to configure the receivers as a PISTOL or a RIFLE. I DO NOT intend to configure them as a SHORT Barreled Rifle (SBR). My question is, by registering the receivers as PISTOLS, can I do what I want to do? That is configure them as a RIFLE or a PISTOL.

    Thanks for the help.

    gspman

    PS The Receivers are not marked PISTOL. My initial research inducates that this not required by the ATF. Rather it is a Marketing technique.
     
  2. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    AR-15 Configuration Question????

    The proper way to document a stripped receiver on a 4473 is to write them in the books as "Other". The reason for this was to stop the practice of declaring a stripped receiver as a "handgun" or a "rifle", thus locking 18 to 20 year olds out from purchasing a stripped receiver. In fact, I went through this just last month. My son ordered an AR15 lower. It had the internal parts, but no buttstock or buffer tube. Because of that, it now fell into the catagory of "Other", and because he is 20 years old, he could not take possession of it. I bought it for myself, and traded him a new lower I had that was in rifle configuration, getting us around the problem.

    If a dealer is not transferring stripped or stockless lower receivers as "Other", then they either do not understand this, or are using the older 4473 form, which has now long been obsolete.

    Check this out (and note the date):

    New 4473's - Important Changes for Stripped Receivers<br>
    ATF | 10/22/2008 |

    Posted on 10/22/2008 7:12:39 AM PDT by gieriscm

    The new ATF 4473's are arriving at gun dealers around the country. The new yellow forms are supposed to be used no later than November 15.

    There is an important difference between the new forms and the old forms. The old forms only differentiated between "Long Gun" and "Handgun". The new forms have another category "Other" which covers stripped receivers. From the instructions that go with the new form:

    If a frame or receiver can only be made into a long gun (rifle or shotgun) it is still a frame or receiver not a handgun or long gun. However they are still firearms by definition and subject to the same GCA limitations as any other firearm. See section 921(a)(3)(b).

    18 USC section 922(b)(1) makes it unlawful for a licensee to sell any firearm other than a shotgun of rifle to any person under 21.

    Since a frame or receiver for a firearm to include one that can only be made into a long gun, is a "firearm other than a shotgun or a rifle" it cannot be transferred to anyone under the age of 21.

    Also note that multiple sale forms are not required for frames or receivers of any firearms or pistol grip firearms, since they are not "pistols or revolvers" under section 923(g)(3)(a).
     
  3. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    As for the issue of having an AR15 in handgun configuration (no buttstock and a barrel under 16") and then converting it at will to a rifle (buttstock and barrel 16" or longer), then converting it back, I would advise against it, though I am not a firearms lawyer.

    Thompson Center, makers of the Contender, fought BATF to the mat over this. BATF was finally found to have overstepped their authority IN THE CASE OF THOMPSON CONTENDER. But we have no real assurance that BATF has ever acknowledged that the court's ruling applies to any other maker or private individual. Basically it means you could be their next test case, and while you might eventually win, it will likely bankrupt you to do so.

    The smart thing to do in this case is to get two receivers. One shall always remain a handgun. The other shall always remain a rifle. And the two shall never interchange.

    BTW, just to show you the BATF mentality, let's say you have TWO handgun configured upper receivers, but only ONE handgun configured lower. And you have other rifle configured AR15s. What's the BATF position on this?

    That you've now violated the 1934 National Firearms Act because the second handgun configured upper constitutes constructive possession of a short barreled rifle, regardless of what your intent is.

    Also, if you ever sell the handgun lower, the handgun upper better get sold with it. Because the same mentality kicks in - you now have an SBR upper.

    The real problem here is we have over 22,000 firearms laws in this country, and with so many laws, it is far too easy for law abiding citizens to get trapped up in them. That's why many of us want repeal of most of these possession laws, and want harsh punishment for criminals in possession of firearms. Stop treating law abiding citizens like criminals.
     
  4. handlepuller

    handlepuller Well-Known Member

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    Brian knows his stuff on AR topics gsp.

    Heed his advice.
     
  5. gspman

    gspman Member

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    Brian,

    I really appreciate your wise counsel. You are right, we do have too many laws intended to trip up the law abiding citizen.

    I'm planning to build these as rifles or building one as a pistol and the other as a rifle and never mxing the two. I just liked the thought of having options.

    My own research on the ATF website revealed the issues you cited.

    Thanks Again,

    gspman
     
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