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Link Posted: 9/10/2010 7:14:34 AM EDT
[#1]
It would be interesting to see how they would respond when asked about the AFG answer in this letter and the answer about vertical grips in the other letter.  It would seem one of two things is true, either the AFG is not considered a grip, or the person writting one of these letters is uninformed or has the old one is outdated and they have changed their minds.

Either way pistol vs handgun doesn't seem to matter.  The AR15 pistol is both, defined as such in different parts of federal law.  Kind of like how an SUV is also an Automobile.

Handgun = designed to be held and fired with a singal hand

pistol = intended to fire a projectile from one or multiple barrels when held in one hand

As quoted from the letter...
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 8:29:07 AM EDT
[#2]



Quoted:


It would be interesting to see how they would respond when asked about the AFG answer in this letter and the answer about vertical grips in the other letter.  It would seem one of two things is true, either the AFG is not considered a grip, or the person writting one of these letters is uninformed or has the old one is outdated and they have changed their minds.



Either way pistol vs handgun doesn't seem to matter.  The AR15 pistol is both, defined as such in different parts of federal law.  Kind of like how an SUV is also an Automobile.



Handgun = designed to be held and fired with a singal hand



pistol = intended to fire a projectile from one or multiple barrels when held in one hand



As quoted from the letter...


Perhaps. However, I don't know a single person that fires their handguns one handed unless they're being silly or showing off. Virtually everyone utilizes the Isoceles or Weaver stance with two hands on the weapon at all times to maintain better control.



I also don't think most pistol/handgun manufacturers would recommend you shoot it one handed if you called them. Wasn't it thus designed to be fired with two hands?



 
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 9:13:47 AM EDT
[#3]
Someone in the Magpul forum made a good point on this topic.  Many things are legal if you follow the correct process.  This letter explains the correct process for doing a lot of things, including manufacturing a NFA weapon.

The question that was asked was, "Can I lawfully install a magpul AFG on the bottom accessory rail of an AR15 type pistol?"
The ATF replied simply, "Yes."
What they might have left out of that answer was "... if you get a tax stamp."  The procedure for getting a tax stamp was actually discussed on the second page of the letter.

The question that wasn't asked or answered was whether or not adding an AFG might make your pistol into an AOW and require you to get the appropriate tax stamp.  

If you had asked something like, "May I lawfully build a rifle with a 12 inch barrel?"  They might have also simply replied, "Yes."  
Because you can lawfully build a SBR, you just need to make sure you follow the correct procedure.

I would proceed with the utmost caution since the ATF already has a slightly more official "Open Letter" where they go in-depth about fore-grips on handguns and why that makes them an AOW.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 9:33:47 AM EDT
[#4]
Actually, preferred shooting methods have nothing to do with legal definitions for regulation.  And Druid's analogy is wrong because we aren't talking about Webster's dictionary here.  These definitions are Acts of Congress.  And nothing can alter those definitions except be it by another Act of Congress.  And what adds more weight, is that they are separate definitions.  That's right!  THEY ARE DIFFERENT!  And the fact they are different, MEANS THEY ARE DIFFERENT!  I know that's tough to grasp for some because we use language so interchangeably in our daily lives.  But it doesn't work that way in the legal world and especially at the Act of Congress level.    

But to help you out,  all handguns are pistols but not all pistols are handguns.  We know this because if those pistols that are not handguns were handguns, they would also be AOW's by ATF interpretation.  The trick is to find out which pistols are not handguns.  It's not really that tricky, the pistols are the ones not designed to be held and fired with a single hand.

MJL's got a good point but I have yet to see Spencer make that error of omission.  He's not a bad guy.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 10:53:58 AM EDT
[#5]




Quoted:



But to help you out, all handguns are pistols but not all pistols are handguns. We know this because if those pistols that are not handguns were handguns, they would also be AOW's by ATF interpretation. The trick is to find out which pistols are not handguns. It's not really that tricky, the pistols are the ones not designed to be held and fired with a single hand.







Ta da!



Link Posted: 9/10/2010 11:24:41 AM EDT
[#6]
Holy schnikes!   That's one of them two handed handguns!  AOW!

Oh, that's right, it's a pistol.  Whew!
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 2:38:16 PM EDT
[#7]
HEY !!
I own 2 AR15 A.O.W..
So if I had a long fore grip...
That extended  90 degrees back to a butt plate.
And I never placed it upon my shoulder...
It would be legal ?
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 8:59:08 PM EDT
[#8]


deleted - hashed out already

Link Posted: 9/26/2010 9:42:27 AM EDT
[#9]
So let's see... a semi-auto M1919a4, much like the Ruger with the bipod, would be a pistol, but not a handgun.  

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/cf/Brm1919.jpg
Link Posted: 9/26/2010 7:10:40 PM EDT
[#10]
Quoted:

Quoted:
It would be interesting to see how they would respond when asked about the AFG answer in this letter and the answer about vertical grips in the other letter.  It would seem one of two things is true, either the AFG is not considered a grip, or the person writting one of these letters is uninformed or has the old one is outdated and they have changed their minds.

Either way pistol vs handgun doesn't seem to matter.  The AR15 pistol is both, defined as such in different parts of federal law.  Kind of like how an SUV is also an Automobile.

Handgun = designed to be held and fired with a singal hand

pistol = intended to fire a projectile from one or multiple barrels when held in one hand

As quoted from the letter...

Perhaps. However, I don't know a single person that fires their handguns one handed unless they're being silly or showing off. Virtually everyone utilizes the Isoceles or Weaver stance with two hands on the weapon at all times to maintain better control.

I also don't think most pistol/handgun manufacturers would recommend you shoot it one handed if you called them. Wasn't it thus designed to be fired with two hands?
 



I fire my SA revolvers one-handed.....  IIRC, bulls-eye pistol shooting is done one-handed.  
Link Posted: 9/30/2010 8:30:06 PM EDT
[#11]
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
They did not give blanket permission to add cane-tips for the purpose of shouldering the firearm.

Sorry to keep hijacking the thread but this left me wondering. Presuming you have no cane tip (or even foam) is it illegal to shoulder an AR pistol?


Was it designed or intended to be fired from the shoulder?  If not, it's still a pistol. It's just being fired unconventionally.  Like shooting from the hip.  If you put a stock on it, then it's a SBR and needs a tax stamp or it's illegal.

IANAL.. YMMV.. etc..


You got that wrong.

Was it designed or intended to be FIRED WITH ONE HAND.

A vertical foregrip says no. Any grip other than the pistol grip ALSO says 'no'......

the angled grip tells me you're shooting it with two hands, and is being built to shoot with two hands..... Ie it is a rifle, and NOT a pistol, as it is designed to be shot with both hands.

same thing goes with the mag well grip....

ANY grip other than the actual pistol grip could (and should, legally) be construed as 'intended to fire with both hands'....... Federal laws refer to pistols as being designed to shoot with one hand.

Very few AR pistols are truly DESIGNED to be shot with one hand... most people IMHO are making a quasi-legal SBR...


We need to work on attacking the laws, and repealing them, not trying to skirt around them.

I don't care what BATFE says about a grip, i'd never put one on my AR pistol. What is a grip for? To put your hand on. You have two grips on your pistol, it is therefore designed for use with both hands , otherwise, why else would you need the grip?


Link Posted: 10/2/2010 8:12:16 PM EDT
[#12]



Quoted:



Quoted:

Wait... what??? So we can't put a cane tip on the buffer tube?



Not to hijack this thread too badly...,

but no, you can not put a cane-tip on the receiver extension of a pistol if your intent is to use it as an aid in shouldering the firearm. (unless your barrel length is >= 16 inches, in which case it would cease being a pistol and become a rifle, and that's OK.)

The person who asked the original question asked if it was ok for him to put it on there because he stores his pistol in such a manner that it rests on the buffer tube and it tends to slide around.  He specifically described the cane-tip he wanted use as something that would not be an aid in shouldering the firearm.  (he's a member on this board and he posted his original question to the ATF here)

The ATF reply to him was that it was OK for him to add a cane-tip to keep the pistol from sliding around.  They did not give blanket permission to add cane-tips for the purpose of shouldering the firearm.



I brought it up originally because it's a good example of how these letters only apply to the addressee and should not be used as permission letters by anyone who wants to do something similar.  The ATF does not view these individual letters in the same way they view their official "Open Letters" or their regulatory "Rulings".





Still has to have an overall length of 26" or greater.  Just having a 16" barrel on it doesn't constitute a rifle, just a long barreled pistol.



 
Link Posted: 10/2/2010 8:17:57 PM EDT
[#13]



Quoted:


Someone in the Magpul forum made a good point on this topic.  Many things are legal if you follow the correct process.  This letter explains the correct process for doing a lot of things, including manufacturing a NFA weapon.



The question that was asked was, "Can I lawfully install a magpul AFG on the bottom accessory rail of an AR15 type pistol?"

The ATF replied simply, "Yes."

What they might have left out of that answer was "... if you get a tax stamp."  The procedure for getting a tax stamp was actually discussed on the second page of the letter.



The question that wasn't asked or answered was whether or not adding an AFG might make your pistol into an AOW and require you to get the appropriate tax stamp.  



If you had asked something like, "May I lawfully build a rifle with a 12 inch barrel?"  They might have also simply replied, "Yes."  

Because you can lawfully build a SBR, you just need to make sure you follow the correct procedure.



I would proceed with the utmost caution since the ATF already has a slightly more official "Open Letter" where they go in-depth about fore-grips on handguns and why that makes them an AOW.


We can all "what if" this until Hell freezes over.  Since you don't need a tax stamp for a pistol, the idea of having to get a tax stamp negates the answer.  



 
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