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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 2/1/2006 5:40:09 PM EST
I don't mean to start a pissing contest, but the question I have may start one.

I have seen pictures here and elsewhere on the net that show AR pistols with CAR buffer tubes. Is there something that is being done that prevents them from accepting a stock without modifications? Or are these pistol owners just taking unnecessary chances with the law?
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 8:52:58 PM EST
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 4:47:13 AM EST
My main concern about this is getting slammed with conspiracy to build an unregistered SBR, or am I just being paranoid. I guess the likelihood that the ATF will knock down my door just to say that I have a pistol that could be made into a SBR, is a little unrealistic. I just don't want to tempt them.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 7:43:25 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/6/2006 5:46:46 AM EST by otto_esq]
Instead of "conspiracy to ...", the term you're looking for is "constructive possession" and the term comes from US v. Kent. (Generously hosted by Quarterbore)

Hopefully, most people who rely on using a standard buffer tube are basing their reliance on informed decisions, having read both Kent and U.S. v. Thompson/Center Arms Co discussed in Kent. (the sound you hear now is the sound of hundreds of ARFCOMers rolling their eyes, muttering "not this again...")

In US v. T/C, the Supreme Court ruled that, under the NFA, if a configuration of parts, sold as a kit, has a legitimate and legal configuration in addition to an illegal (ie unregistered SBR) possible configuration, the registration tax under the NFA does not apply (with the assumption that the unregistered SBR is never "made" from the parts -- such a case would be a clear violation of the criminal section of the NFA)

The court in Kent examined the SC decision in US v. T/C and stated that if you do not have a legitimate use for complete and assembled parts that could be easily combined to form an unregistered SBR, a jury would be reasonable to determine that you constructively possessed an SBR. (They also examined Owens that stands for the principle that if you DO make an unregistered SBR, it is no longer constructive, but ACTUAL possession of an illegal firearm)

Moral of the story: Although AR pistols were not discussed in the cases, above, an argument can be made that they constitute "legitimate" and therefore legal uses for parts that otherwise have the potential to be used to create unregistered SBR's a la Kent. This would apply to the short-barreled uppers as equally to the carbine buffer tubes. BUT remember that the issue in Kent was whether the jury was reasonable in its verdict that they didn't beleive the defendant when he said he had the SBR upper "just for parts."

Therefore, it is conceivable that you can have a closet full of no * AR rifles with A2 stocks (none of them NFA firearms) or over-16" uppers and an AR pistol with a standard CAR buffer tube, and have a jury find that the CAR adjustable stock piece you have for "parts" in the "same small apartment" with the AR pistol that could be "quickly and easily attached to" the AR pistol buffer tube "with a minimal amount of time or effort" would constructively amount to possession of an unregistered SBR in violation of the NFA. [* edited for key point raised below]

This is even easier for a prosecutor if, while showing off to your buddies, you show them exactly what your pistol would look like as an SBR by popping on that spare CAR stock piece to the unmodified CAR tube on your (heretofore legal) AR pistol.

Likelyhood of prosecution? You decide. (Kent had multiple legal issues that gathered LEO attention)

Cost of your defense, IF prosecuted, even if you win completely? It would make a dozen Form 1's look cheap.

Cost if you lose? 5-10 Fed time, and NO firearm ownership ever again.

People buy insurance, but they don't want to spend the extra $5-10 on a dedicated AR pistol recoil tube, instead they inists on using the beat-up, used CAR tube they already have, and toss the stock piece in the corner. Think of that $5-10 as insurance against any and all suspicion that you might be able to pop that stock piece right back on when playing commando at 2 a.m. in your underwear.

If the insurance idea doesn't sound too stupid to you, you might consider a screw-type front pivot pin that requires tools and time to remove for your AR pistol upper -- it'd have been a lot harder for Kent's prosecutor to have testimony that he could have popped the short-barreled upper onto an unregistered rifle lower if they had to deal with Loc-tite in the process.

There is a distinction between "It is not illegal!" and "It is not illegal, and I'm completely above reproach! You don't have a case, so go away and stop bothering me."

Advice is worth what you pay for it...

Cheers, Otto
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 8:52:26 AM EST
otto thanks for the links, I agree spending 5 to 10 dollars now is better than possible 5 to 10 years later.

As far as this topic, I just was wondering if I was missing something about the car buffer tube being used, but I guess those that decide to use them are within their own right to defend their own honesty with the ATF.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 10:04:58 AM EST

Thanks for that very clear post. I have said it before, but never as well as you just did.

All of the guys on here that start screaming about not having a stock, have never met the wrong cop at the right time. A safe full of guns, with a single CAR can lead to "push-pull-click-click-FELONY" on your pistol.

The best answer is to make modifications that will not allow a 10 second stock swap. Paracord, or other actions that make this difficult are a good plan.

Personally, I like to take the CAR tube, and turn off the "flag" that locates the stock. Then I take it over to the Rhino guys, and have them spray an eigth inch of bedliner snot on the tube OD. Damn near permanent. No way a stock in the evidence locker will just slip on...

Link Posted: 2/2/2006 2:02:57 PM EST
See above tacked letter. That pretty much says it all in very few words. So long as you do not own only the AR pistol with CAR or rifle buffer tube and a rifle stock to go on it you are in the clear. If you own a AR rifle or a rifle length upper to go on the pistol then you are in the clear if you also own a butt stock that can go on the rifle or CAR tube. Just so long as you do not put the stock on the tube when the pistol upper is on it you are not breaking any laws just like the TC Contender ruling.

The only way you can get into trouble is if you only own the AR pistol and the stock that goes on the buffer tube and no rifle length upper or other AR rifle. In that case the only way the stock can be assembled is as an illegal SBR.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 2:28:04 PM EST

Originally Posted By otto_esq:

(snipped all the legal Babble )

Cheers, Otto

You Forgot one Little Detail.

My AR Pistol is built on a Receiver which was DECLARED A PISTOL ON THE FEDERAL FORM 4473 ,
In my Case , it WAS ALSO recorded as a PISTOL TRANSACTION by my STATE.

Where is your "Constructive Intent" NOW ?

Link Posted: 2/6/2006 5:25:28 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/6/2006 5:40:43 AM EST by otto_esq]

Originally Posted By AKsRule:
You Forgot one Little Detail.

In my Case , it WAS ALSO recorded as a PISTOL TRANSACTION by my STATE.

Where is your "Constructive Intent" NOW ?

Again, its not "constructive INTENT" its "constructive POSSESSION." It may be more "legal babble", but the difference between the two terms is very important.

FYI: The T/C case, above, involved a legal, registered, blah blah blah, pistol as well, and the analysis in Kent had nothing to with it.

Reread Bigbore's post, immediately above. *

Obvious example: The fact that a particular weapon is a 4.5" barreled Glock, transferred, declared, logged, stamped, engraved and painted "PISTOL" -- put a stock on it with that sub-16" barrel and it is "made" into an SBR. Similarly, put a stock on your pictured pistol and it is an SBR (regardless of transfer, etc.).

After rereading Bigbore's post, the following should be just as obvious: have a stock with no other legitimate used for it in conjunction with that pistol, as in my scenario, above, and it is reasonable for a jury to find that you constructively possessed an unregistered SBR. Your "intent" is not the operative concept, other than the fact that it is a question of fact and juries decide the questions of fact, and they can simply not believe you as they did not believe Kent. It's whether you "possess" unregistered NFA weapons that with be of issue under 28 USC 5861 (prohibited acts under the NFA).

Cheers, Otto

edited because I can't spel

ETA: * Bigbore makes an interesting point in that legitimate uses for pistol lowers WITH stocks are even easier to argue for than SBR uppers. The Kent court was discussing legitimate uses for short-barreled uppers, and did not discuss AR pistols (because none where found in Kent's apartment most likely) I did not consider the legitimacy of a stocked AR "pistol" after a different carbine or rifle length upper is added, but I agree, such a scenario would be squarely in the SC ruling in T/C. I have modified my scenario, above, accordingly.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:36:45 AM EST
Its only an issue if you posses a CAR stock that fits on that tube.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 10:13:25 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/7/2006 10:14:17 AM EST by eklikwhoa]
it aint illegal unless you get caught

and getting legal advice on the internet is good as none
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