AR15.Com Archives
 Stevens 410 pistol / possible AOW ?
andrewbp  [Team Member]
3/21/2012 3:45:03 AM
Hey guys. My mechanic has asked me to help value some guns that he's had in his family for years and possibly sell. Among them is what looks to be a stevens 410 pistol. The barrel is between 8 and 12 inches just eyeballing it. I've looked everywhere on the outside of the gun but have not pulled the grips to look underneath there is no serial number from what I can see and from what my mechanic says is that his family has owned it since roughly the 20s.

So I look in my blue book of gun values, flip to the Stevens page, and look at the pistol section and it shows something called the model 35 , and then below it it mentions about needing to be in the NFA registry. my question is, since there seems to be no paperwork that he knows of, and it's before the 1932 NFA act , is it safe to own and/or how can it be owned since it was made before the 1932 NFA act and does not have any serial numbers from factory. I would like to own this gun and refinish it to its former glory ( its sitting at about 50% finish ) , right now there is a stuck fired 410 shell in the chamber as it seems that the extractor is either broken or frooze from sitting, will probably pop it out with a cleaning rod very soon.
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Steve_T_M  [Team Member]
4/3/2012 10:06:00 AM
It sounds like the gun meets the definition of an AOW and must be treated as an NFA item. Its value isn't going to be much more than the transfer tax it would take to sell it and anyway unless there is another NFA amnesty I don't see how you could own it legally.

Maybe you could "manufacture" it via a Form 1 after having it engraved and paying the tax? Might not be worth the trouble even if that is possible. Hopefully someone with more knowledge than me will comment here.
telc  [Member]
4/3/2012 11:18:27 AM
Originally Posted By Steve_T_M:
It sounds like the gun meets the definition of an AOW and must be treated as an NFA item. Its value isn't going to be much more than the transfer tax it would take to sell it and anyway unless there is another NFA amnesty I don't see how you could own it legally.

Maybe you could "manufacture" it via a Form 1 after having it engraved and paying the tax? Might not be worth the trouble even if that is possible. Hopefully someone with more knowledge than me will comment here.


If the barrel was rifled would it be non-NFA? Like a Taurus judge?
Homeinvader  [Team Member]
4/4/2012 3:25:12 PM
If it's unregistered, then it's contraband. There's nothing you can legally do to correct this.

Attempting a Form 1 on an already existing NFA firearm would be a multiple count felony.

Waiting for an amnesty would simply mean he'd continue to be vulnerable to arrest and prosecution for possession, and it would be worse for him to now know its contraband and continue to possess it. In situations like this where an old, but still NFA gun is discovered being possessed in violation, there is little chance of -or interest in- a prosecution when it's obvious the owner is otherwise a good guy and had no idea what he had. But when he knows about it and decides to disregard the law, they'll come at him with all guns blazing.

The gun is worth nothing as contraband and very little even if it were not. Really dumb move to not turn it in or destroy it.
Dedeye  [Member]
4/4/2012 5:12:44 PM
While not likely, it's possible that the described firearm might be legal, but it would depend on really finding out exactly what it is. There are several models of Stevens Pocket Rifles and Pocket Shotguns that have been removed from the NFA and they are listed in the BATF Curio and Relic list in Section III. This list is available for download at:

http://www.atf.gov/publications/download/p/atf-p-5300-11/atf-p-5300-11.pdf

IF this is one of the models listed in Sec. III of the C&R list, then it's just another old gun, but you will have to determine whether it is or not. I wish I could help you with it, but I don't know much about the old Stevens guns. The Pocket Shotguns listed are chambered for old funky cartridges like the .38-40 and .44-40 Game Getter shot cartridges, so determining what the old girl is chambered for would probably help a lot. If it really is a .410, you are probably out of luck.
Freyddy  [Team Member]
4/4/2012 8:29:51 PM
I recall a member here who found an old factory lever action SBR from "way back when" that belonged to great grandpa. Because the gun was made that way before it was illegal to do so it was "allowed" to be added to the registry by the ATF. Now I may be off on some of the details, but what he did was write them a letter explaining what he had. They asked him to ship them the gun for inspection, which he did. After a reasonable amount of time they returned it with sonme sort of certification or paperwork (not sure if it was a tax stamp or not or if he had to pay if it was).

Thats a rough copy of the story from my rusty memory so the details may be a bit off, but I do remember that he was able to register the gun and keep it legaly.
So it might be worth a phone call or letter of inquiry on your part just to clarify that it really is contraband or not before trashing it.
Dedeye  [Member]
4/5/2012 7:21:06 AM
There's a bunch of Winchester "Trapper" carbines listed in Sec. III of the C&R list. As usual, BATF seems very arbitrary in their selection of firearms that qualify for it. There's a lot of SBRs, SBSs and stocked pistols, but NO machine guns and (I believe) no silencers. Some old stocked pistols and smooth bore pistols go on there with no comment, while others are adamantly refused.

I find it hard to believe that a boy's .22 rifle with a folding stock and a 14" barrel made back around the turn of the 20th century is a threat to public safety, but you can't argue with the gooberment.
ds762  [Member]
4/5/2012 10:02:01 AM
It only meets the definition of an AOW if configured as such. One way that I believe to be legal would be to seperate the action from the barrel and store the barrel with someone else, file and receive an approved F1, retrieve the barrel and manufacture your "new" AOW.

Homeinvader  [Team Member]
4/5/2012 11:47:38 AM
Originally Posted By ds762:
It only meets the definition of an AOW if configured as such. One way that I believe to be legal would be to seperate the action from the barrel and store the barrel with someone else, file and receive an approved F1, retrieve the barrel and manufacture your "new" AOW.



Again, this action is totally illegal. If the gun I still NFA and not registered, it's irreversibly contraband. This cannot be circumvented by disassembly.
ds762  [Member]
4/5/2012 5:00:21 PM
Originally Posted By Homeinvader:
Originally Posted By ds762:
It only meets the definition of an AOW if configured as such. One way that I believe to be legal would be to seperate the action from the barrel and store the barrel with someone else, file and receive an approved F1, retrieve the barrel and manufacture your "new" AOW.



Again, this action is totally illegal. If the gun I still NFA and not registered, it's irreversibly contraband. This cannot be circumvented by disassembly.


A receiver is a receiver (MG exception). If there is no barrel or in some cases a stock attached that would otherwise make the item NFA then its not NFA. Finding/purchasing a receiver for the above mentioned gun (with no barrel) would not constitute an NFA item. If a guy was lucky enough to find a corresponding barrel after he had approved paperwork that again is not illegal. Knowingly buying contraband would be illegal. But acquiring mere parts (in the correct legal sequence) is hardly illegal.

Please show me with citation to actual law where I'm wrong!
osprey21  [Life Member]
4/5/2012 5:09:07 PM
Like this?

http://blog.al.com/breaking/2009/10/post_41.html

Homeinvader  [Team Member]
4/5/2012 6:16:55 PM
Originally Posted By ds762:
Originally Posted By Homeinvader:
Originally Posted By ds762:
It only meets the definition of an AOW if configured as such. One way that I believe to be legal would be to seperate the action from the barrel and store the barrel with someone else, file and receive an approved F1, retrieve the barrel and manufacture your "new" AOW.



Again, this action is totally illegal. If the gun I still NFA and not registered, it's irreversibly contraband. This cannot be circumvented by disassembly.


A receiver is a receiver (MG exception). If there is no barrel or in some cases a stock attached that would otherwise make the item NFA then its not NFA. Finding/purchasing a receiver for the above mentioned gun (with no barrel) would not constitute an NFA item. If a guy was lucky enough to find a corresponding barrel after he had approved paperwork that again is not illegal. Knowingly buying contraband would be illegal. But acquiring mere parts (in the correct legal sequence) is hardly illegal.

Please show me with citation to actual law where I'm wrong!


You seem to think this is merely an NFA procedural issue, it's not.

You cannot "undo" criminal possession of an unregistered firearm after the fact. It becomes evidence tampering, a felony. Firearms that have legally "crossed over" because of either a registration issue or physical modification cannot be rendered legal again, at least by the owner.

The time to disassemble it, thereby keeping it legally unregistered, would have been before the registration period expired. Getting caught is another matter, but this thread does not help that endeavor.
ds762  [Member]
4/5/2012 11:49:30 PM
Originally Posted By Homeinvader:
Originally Posted By ds762:
Originally Posted By Homeinvader:
Originally Posted By ds762:
It only meets the definition of an AOW if configured as such. One way that I believe to be legal would be to seperate the action from the barrel and store the barrel with someone else, file and receive an approved F1, retrieve the barrel and manufacture your "new" AOW.



Again, this action is totally illegal. If the gun I still NFA and not registered, it's irreversibly contraband. This cannot be circumvented by disassembly.


A receiver is a receiver (MG exception). If there is no barrel or in some cases a stock attached that would otherwise make the item NFA then its not NFA. Finding/purchasing a receiver for the above mentioned gun (with no barrel) would not constitute an NFA item. If a guy was lucky enough to find a corresponding barrel after he had approved paperwork that again is not illegal. Knowingly buying contraband would be illegal. But acquiring mere parts (in the correct legal sequence) is hardly illegal.

Please show me with citation to actual law where I'm wrong!


You seem to think this is merely an NFA procedural issue, it's not.

You cannot "undo" criminal possession of an unregistered firearm after the fact. It becomes evidence tampering, a felony. Firearms that have legally "crossed over" because of either a registration issue or physical modification cannot be rendered legal again, at least by the owner.

The time to disassemble it, thereby keeping it legally unregistered, would have been before the registration period expired. Getting caught is another matter, but this thread does not help that endeavor.


again re-read my statement and back up your assertion with factual based link to law ..

You seem to be reading way more into the situation
graysonp  [Team Member]
4/6/2012 10:26:53 AM
Originally Posted By ds762:
again re-read my statement and back up your assertion with factual based link to law ..

You seem to be reading way more into the situation


Your statement above is confusing, but it sounds like you're trying to circumvent the law by telling the OP to buy the receiver with no barrel, form 1 it, then buy the barrel to complete the gun. That's still illegal. You're just looking for a way to justify unlawfully registering an illegal AOW. Once an item becomes contraband it cannot be converted to a legal firearm by disassembling it. It is not the same as taking a registered NFA firearm and converting it to a non-NFA configuration.

You can't legally own or possess an unregistered NFA item and then register it on a form 1, no matter how you try to structure the dis-assembly and possession of it.
NAM  [Team Member]
4/6/2012 10:35:17 AM
Interesting idea.

Legality is grey. You are 100% correct in that the receiver minus the barrel, is simply a firearm. It would not meet the definition of an AOW.

However, assuming you posess both the receiver and barrel, albeit separated, ATF may claim constructive intent.

Legally speaking, I'm not quite sure how things would work out. It's entirely plausible that one purchases a receiver, registers it as an AOW, then searches out a barrel assembly to go with it.

I'll just close out this post by stating that I am not a lawyer, and NFA laws are not something to mess around with.
graysonp  [Team Member]
4/6/2012 10:51:14 AM
Originally Posted By NAM:
Legality is grey. You are 100% correct in that the receiver minus the barrel, is simply a firearm. It would not meet the definition of an AOW.


It's not a grey area at all. If a contraband firearm has been made, which it has, it cannot be legally registered or converted to a non-nfa status and become legal. It is not the same as converting registered NFA firearms back and forth from NFA status.

The only questionable area in this situation is whether or not it can ever be proven that you broke the law after you get it into a legal configuration. It's like saying drinking and driving isn't illegal, as long as you don't get caught before you sober up.
NAM  [Team Member]
4/6/2012 11:03:05 AM
Originally Posted By graysonp:
It's not a grey area at all. If a contraband firearm has been made, which it has, it cannot be legally registered or converted to a non-nfa status and become legal. It is not the same as converting registered NFA firearms back and forth from NFA status.


I agree to some extent. But let's think about this logically for a second.

Say you have an AR-15. You decide to illegally replace the 16 inch barrel with a 14.5 inch barrel. You have assembled an illegal firearm.

You realize this was dumb. So you revert back to a 16 inch barrel. From what you are saying, once it was in an illegal configuration, it is forever illegal in any configuration. I disagree.

Once a MG, always an MG. In the case of SBR, SBS, or AOW, it is only in the NFA category when it has those features. ATF has ruled that an SBR, that has a barrel of 16" or more, is no longer an SBR.

I do not disagree that the assembled firearm is an AOW, and without paperwork, is illegal. But i contend that without a barrel, it does not meet the definition of an AOW, and would be legal to own. Likewise, the barrel itself is not a firearm, and cannot be considered an AOW.
graysonp  [Team Member]
4/6/2012 11:15:08 AM
Originally Posted By NAM:
I do not disagree that the assembled firearm is an AOW, and without paperwork, is illegal. But i contend that without a barrel, it does not meet the definition of an AOW, and would be legal to own. Likewise, the barrel itself is not a firearm, and cannot be considered an AOW.


The ATF and the NFA handbook says otherwise. Once you assemble it into an illegal configuration, you have broken the law. Removing it from that illegal configuration or trying to tampering with a contraband firearm in any way is illegal.

There is a big difference between converting a registered NFA weapon into a title 1 firearm, and turning an illegal firearm into a title 1 firearm. In your example, the AR15 you made would be illegal forever. It doesn't matter whether you agree or not, that's the law.

You're missing the point here. This has nothing to do with meeting the definition of an AOW. Once a firearm becomes contraband, it's always contraband. Taking it apart does not change that. It's the same reason you can't register a machine gun, even if it was made prior to the 86' amendment. If it wasn't registered prior to 1986, it's contraband and you cannot register it without some sort of amnesty period.

The OP will not be able to legally register this AOW unless an amnesty is granted.
NAM  [Team Member]
4/6/2012 11:22:54 AM
Let's keep machineguns out of this argument, as they are a different beast altogether.
graysonp  [Team Member]
4/6/2012 11:24:41 AM
Originally Posted By NAM:
Let's keep machineguns out of this argument, as they are a different beast altogether.


Not when it comes to an unregistered NFA item. The laws are exactly the same.
andrasik  [Team Member]
4/6/2012 12:48:38 PM
Originally Posted By graysonp:
Originally Posted By NAM:
I do not disagree that the assembled firearm is an AOW, and without paperwork, is illegal. But i contend that without a barrel, it does not meet the definition of an AOW, and would be legal to own. Likewise, the barrel itself is not a firearm, and cannot be considered an AOW.


The ATF and the NFA handbook says otherwise. Once you assemble it into an illegal configuration, you have broken the law. Removing it from that illegal configuration or trying to tampering with a contraband firearm in any way is illegal.

There is a big difference between converting a registered NFA weapon into a title 1 firearm, and turning an illegal firearm into a title 1 firearm. In your example, the AR15 you made would be illegal forever. It doesn't matter whether you agree or not, that's the law.

You're missing the point here. This has nothing to do with meeting the definition of an AOW. Once a firearm becomes contraband, it's always contraband. Taking it apart does not change that. It's the same reason you can't register a machine gun, even if it was made prior to the 86' amendment. If it wasn't registered prior to 1986, it's contraband and you cannot register it without some sort of amnesty period.

The OP will not be able to legally register this AOW unless an amnesty is granted.


No, the AR would not be illegal forever.

The ATF even says so:
Q: What is the registered part of a Short Barreled Rifle (SBR) or Short Barreled Shotgun (SBS)?

While a receiver alone may be classified as a “firearm” under the Gun Control Act (GCA), SBRs and SBSs are classified in totality under the National Firearms Act (NFA). A firearm that meets the definition of a SBR consists of a rifle that has a barrel less than 16 inches in length. A SBS consists of a shotgun that has a barrel less than 18 inches in length. The serialized receiver is recorded for registration in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR).


Source

There is, unfortunately, no FAQ entry for AOWs, so we can't say whether or not the ATF views them the same way, but I would bet they do.

Would I want to wager 10 years in prison on a bet or logic in the face of government? No.
Homeinvader  [Team Member]
4/6/2012 2:03:40 PM
Originally Posted By andrasik:
Originally Posted By graysonp:
Originally Posted By NAM:
I do not disagree that the assembled firearm is an AOW, and without paperwork, is illegal. But i contend that without a barrel, it does not meet the definition of an AOW, and would be legal to own. Likewise, the barrel itself is not a firearm, and cannot be considered an AOW.


The ATF and the NFA handbook says otherwise. Once you assemble it into an illegal configuration, you have broken the law. Removing it from that illegal configuration or trying to tampering with a contraband firearm in any way is illegal.

There is a big difference between converting a registered NFA weapon into a title 1 firearm, and turning an illegal firearm into a title 1 firearm. In your example, the AR15 you made would be illegal forever. It doesn't matter whether you agree or not, that's the law.

You're missing the point here. This has nothing to do with meeting the definition of an AOW. Once a firearm becomes contraband, it's always contraband. Taking it apart does not change that. It's the same reason you can't register a machine gun, even if it was made prior to the 86' amendment. If it wasn't registered prior to 1986, it's contraband and you cannot register it without some sort of amnesty period.

The OP will not be able to legally register this AOW unless an amnesty is granted.


No, the AR would not be illegal forever.

The ATF even says so:
Q: What is the registered part of a Short Barreled Rifle (SBR) or Short Barreled Shotgun (SBS)?

While a receiver alone may be classified as a “firearm” under the Gun Control Act (GCA), SBRs and SBSs are classified in totality under the National Firearms Act (NFA). A firearm that meets the definition of a SBR consists of a rifle that has a barrel less than 16 inches in length. A SBS consists of a shotgun that has a barrel less than 18 inches in length. The serialized receiver is recorded for registration in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR).


Source

There is, unfortunately, no FAQ entry for AOWs, so we can't say whether or not the ATF views them the same way, but I would bet they do.

Would I want to wager 10 years in prison on a bet or logic in the face of government? No.


Again, point being missing.

No one is arguing that the SBR in this example could be converted back into Title I status by simply disposing of the barrel. The permanence of contraband does not come from a reading of the definition and purview of the NFA, but from the criminal codes pertaining to evidence. After the SBR had been illegally made, it would be illegal further to disassemble the illegal SBR. That SBR is now evidence and is protected under law.

When the ATF allows one to modify the illegal gun back to legality, they are acting with a great deal of reason and humanity, but there is absolutely no legal authority to do so. This behavior comes from the culture of the ATF field office in question, not from any law or reg.

ETA: You have one legal option when a contraband firearm is discovered in your possession. Assuming its a federal issue and not state, you must contact ATF. How you do that has options; directly, through an attorney or through your local PD. While destruction by you for part salvage, donation to a museum or even legal restoration are eventual possibilities, they must be undertaken with ATF knowledge and approval. These actions cannot be undertaken unilaterally.
graysonp  [Team Member]
4/6/2012 2:12:15 PM
Originally Posted By Homeinvader:
Again, point being missing.

No one is arguing that the SBR in this example could be converted back into Title I status by simply disposing of the barrel. The permanence of contraband does not come from a reading of the definition and purview of the NFA, but from the criminal codes pertaining to evidence. After the SBR had been illegally made, it would be illegal further to disassemble the illegal SBR. That SBR is now evidence and is protected under law.

When the ATF allows one to modify the illegal gun back to legality, they are acting with a great deal of reason and humanity, but there is absolutely no legal authority to do so. This behavior comes from the culture of the ATF field office in question, not from any law or reg.


I believe this post is correct.

If you could convert illegal firearms back to title 1 status legally, then why would anyone even register an NFA firearm in the first place?

You could keep a pistol lower, a rifle lower, and all the various uppers you want. Make any SBR you desire and if you get caught, just quickly pull 2 pins to disassemble it. Then it would no longer be an illegal firearm, and you avoid any constructive possession issues by having a pistol lower or two. If an illegal firearm becomes legal by simply removing the upper, then there's no reason to register them in the first place.
andrewbp  [Team Member]
4/13/2012 4:19:57 AM


Correct
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