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Posted: 1/5/2008 9:30:33 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/5/2008 9:38:32 PM EST by wise_jake]
Didn't mean to, but I let a little stripped lower follow me home from the gun show this afternoon. My wife thought I was out anniversary shopping for her.

I walked in the door and she asked expectantly: "Pick up anything interesting today?"

I responded with: "Well, I bought a gun a few minutes ago."

Her face:

It looked like that because she automatically figured I'd spent in excess of $500, so when I pulled out the stripped lower, her face changed to:



I then explained: "Well, this is the part that the ATF considers the firearm."

So I set it down on my computer desk and the daughter came in: "Daddy, daddy! Where have you been?"

"The gun show."

(she seemed kind of hurt I didn't take her, but I left after I put her down for a nap)

She saw the lower on the desk: "Daddy, you bought another gun!"



My wife was like "Wow, she's pretty good. You should encourage that more."

Since she seemed interested, I took the opportunity to teach the wife a little more about [stripped] lowers, including the gem: "Isn't that interesting, though? A 'firearm' with NO moving parts?"

She agreed it was kind of silly, but that line of thought brought me to the following question/scenario:

Sure, that's how BATFE (the Feds) considers them, but what about the State of Texas?

For example, I work for the State and, according to State Law, cannot bring "firearms" on campus.

Not that it would be the smartest thing in the world to do, but could I technically bring a stripped lower onto campus, whip it out of my laptop bag, and wave it around in the Student Union Bldg? It would be a hit in the faculty lounge, let me tell you.

The State definition of firearm != the federal definition, so I'm thinking *technically* the answer would be "yes".

What say you guys? (this is really just an intellectual exercise)



§ 46.01. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
(1) "Club" means an instrument that is specially
designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious
bodily injury or death by striking a person with the instrument, and
includes but is not limited to the following:
(A) blackjack;
(B) nightstick;
(C) mace;
(D) tomahawk.
(2) "Explosive weapon" means any explosive or
incendiary bomb, grenade, rocket, or mine, that is designed, made,
or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury,
death, or substantial property damage, or for the principal purpose
of causing such a loud report as to cause undue public alarm or
terror, and includes a device designed, made, or adapted for
delivery or shooting an explosive weapon.
(3) "Firearm" means any device designed, made, or
adapted to expel a projectile through a barrel by using the energy
generated by an explosion or burning substance or any device
readily convertible to that use. Firearm does not include a firearm
that may have, as an integral part, a folding knife blade or other
characteristics of weapons made illegal by this chapter and that
is:
(A) an antique or curio firearm manufactured
before 1899; or
(B) a replica of an antique or curio firearm
manufactured before 1899, but only if the replica does not use rim
fire or center fire ammunition.
(4) "Firearm silencer" means any device designed,
made, or adapted to muffle the report of a firearm.
(5) "Handgun" means any firearm that is designed,
made, or adapted to be fired with one hand.

<snip>

(10) "Short-barrel firearm" means a rifle with a
barrel length of less than 16 inches or a shotgun with a barrel
length of less than 18 inches, or any weapon made from a shotgun or
rifle if, as altered, it has an overall length of less than 26
inches.

Link Posted: 1/6/2008 1:09:58 AM EST
I think it is a chunk of metal until you make it into a working device.

I have nothing to back that up except that when filing cases for UCW, the DA always required us to test fire the weapon to prove that it was capable of firing a round. I was told that there was case law that if the weapon could not fire in its current condition, then it was not considered a firearm. I have never seen any Texas case law to back that up.
Link Posted: 1/6/2008 6:37:20 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/6/2008 6:40:03 AM EST by wise_jake]

Originally Posted By tvc184:
I think it is a chunk of metal until you make it into a working device.

I have nothing to back that up except that when filing cases for UCW, the DA always required us to test fire the weapon to prove that it was capable of firing a round. I was told that there was case law that if the weapon could not fire in its current condition, then it was not considered a firearm. I have never seen any Texas case law to back that up.

This all sounds vaguely familiar to me. I think that being "capable of firing..... in its current condition" (quoting you, not TX case law) was the basis for older attempted avoidances of UCW (for folks who had no hope/prayer of a 'traveling' defense; e.g. crims who wanted to carry around town).

I seem to remember a case where a man carried a revolver in one coat pocket, and the fully-loaded cylinder in the other, trying to use that established maxim/precept and it didn't play because it was too quickly "readily adaptible into a firing condition" or somesuch.

I think I'd be find w/ just the stripped lower according to this avenue, but the reason I didn't snip out §46.01(10) is because it doesn't make use of the "firearm" definition.


§ 46.01. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
(1) "Club" means an instrument that is specially
designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious
bodily injury or death by striking a person with the instrument, and
includes but is not limited to the following:
(A) blackjack;
(B) nightstick;
(C) mace;
(D) tomahawk.
(2) "Explosive weapon" means any explosive or
incendiary bomb, grenade, rocket, or mine, that is designed, made,
or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury,
death, or substantial property damage, or for the principal purpose
of causing such a loud report as to cause undue public alarm or
terror, and includes a device designed, made, or adapted for
delivery or shooting an explosive weapon.
(3) "Firearm" means any device designed, made, or
adapted to expel a projectile through a barrel by using the energy
generated by an explosion or burning substance or any device
readily convertible to that use. Firearm does not include a firearm
that may have, as an integral part, a folding knife blade or other
characteristics of weapons made illegal by this chapter and that
is:
(A) an antique or curio firearm manufactured
before 1899; or
(B) a replica of an antique or curio firearm
manufactured before 1899, but only if the replica does not use rim
fire or center fire ammunition.
(4) "Firearm silencer" means any device designed,
made, or adapted to muffle the report of a firearm.
(5) "Handgun" means any firearm that is designed,
made, or adapted to be fired with one hand.

<snip>

(10) "Short-barrel firearm" means a rifle with a
barrel length of less than 16 inches
or a shotgun with a barrel
length of less than 18 inches, or any weapon made from a shotgun or
rifle if, as altered, it has an overall length of less than 26
inches.

Nowhere in the "Definitions" section does it define the term "rifle," so unless it's been defined by case law, it might be kind of up in the air as to where the court(s) would look for a definition: regular dictionary, Black's, or US Code plus BATFE rulings...... where the lower receiver is the firearm, and my particular specimen is, technically, a "rifle".

Since a stripped [rifle] lower (e.g. a "rifle," by all federal accounts) as a matter of course isn't connected to an upper, and as such doesn't have a barrel, it therefore cannot meet the required minimum of a 16" bbl.

So, might a stripped [rifle] lower technically be considered an SBR by Texas law?

Again, I'm not seriously thinking anyone would ever go to jail for this, nor that anyone would ever be charged on these grounds (nor am I seriously considering doing it), but present it merely as a creative intellectual exercise.


ETA: link to TX Penal Code
Link Posted: 1/6/2008 2:58:30 PM EST

Originally Posted By wise_jake:
So, might a stripped [rifle] lower technically be considered an SBR by Texas law?



It's an NBR.
Link Posted: 1/6/2008 3:41:54 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/6/2008 3:42:34 PM EST by wise_jake]

Originally Posted By tvc184:

Originally Posted By wise_jake:
So, might a stripped [rifle] lower technically be considered an SBR by Texas law?

It's an NBR.

lol, true.

this just sounded like something ol' chuck rosenthal might try to pursue in an evil, alternate universe, so i thought it might be fun to pick it up and try to run with it.
Link Posted: 1/7/2008 3:50:21 AM EST
If you had done it correctly, you would have purchased a pistol rather than a rifle. With that in mind, you have to pull up a different set of regulations for us IANLs to discuss with you. Is there a minimum length for the barrel on a pistol?
Link Posted: 1/7/2008 7:39:51 AM EST

Originally Posted By Charliebee:
If you had done it correctly, you would have purchased a pistol rather than a rifle. With that in mind, you have to pull up a different set of regulations for us IANLs to discuss with you. Is there a minimum length for the barrel on a pistol?

It was a FTF transaction for a used lower; a fairly good deal, actually. "Can't go back on a rifle," so to speak.

That said, I *have* been looking for a lower papered and/or marked as a pistol.....

And to answer your question..... no there is not.
Link Posted: 1/20/2008 7:40:54 PM EST
If any of your co-workers realized that a bare receiver IS a firearm then you would likely be (in no particlar order) fired, arrested and your face put on the TV for "posessing an assault rifle on campus".

If the lower is not marked "pistol" then I will NOT log them into or out of my A&D book as a pistol, regardless.

AND if you have a bare pistol receiver (AR or otherwise) it has to be concealed on your person or in your vehicle. I figured that one out AFTER I built an AR pistol with a 10.5" bbl, that was a bitch to conceal in the truck! I SBRd it and now it doesn't matter:)

Link Posted: 1/21/2008 7:16:39 AM EST
Jake, you should check out the Ar pistol forums for particulars on lowers. If your lower was sold as a pistol, it can be made into a pistol or a rifle without any paperwork. If it was sold as a rifle, it can't be made into a pistol without filing the paperwork with the ATF.
You should should check out the details of this in the AR-15 technical forums.
I just bought an AR-15 pistol this weekend. I was careful to do a little research on the particulars and legalities of an AR pistol. For example, you can't put a foregrip on a pistol unless you register it as an AOW with the ATF but you can put a bipod on it. You're not allowed to put a buttstock on it unless you register it as an SBR but can still shoulder it with the tube. While you can't put a foregrip on the pistol, you can put one of those magwell extender grips on the AR pistol.
and so on.
Link Posted: 1/21/2008 8:35:59 AM EST
Does a stripped lower meet the definition of a firearm by TX law?
Link Posted: 1/21/2008 10:01:25 AM EST
YES! Texas firearm law follows Federal firearm laws, a state can be more restrictive than the feds but not less. Texas is not more restrictive.
Link Posted: 1/21/2008 10:27:36 AM EST

Originally Posted By ActionPawn:
YES! Texas firearm law follows Federal firearm laws, a state can be more restrictive than the feds but not less. Texas is not more restrictive.


This is not exactly true for all states. There are several states that have no laws or regulations against machineguns and no requirements for registration of them, in these places obviously Federal Law is more strict tahn state law.
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