Most of us are probably aware of the status of semi UZIs in MI. Basicaly banned with a folding stock and the 16" bbl in place.
Just read on UZI talk of a MI guy who took his UZI into his local Sheriff's dept to find out what the status was. The Deputy measured it, said it was under 30" and therefor subject to being registered as a pistol.
Obviously, this Dep didn't know that a folding stocked UZI with 16" bbl is under 26" and therefore considered a short barreled rifle (illegal) in MI.
I am curious to know if anyone else is as lucky as this guy.
See Michigan Attorney General Opinion No. 6280
March 20, 1985 on the State of Michigan web site at
Basically a firearm containing a stock capable of being contracted or folded to an overall length of 30 inches or less and being fully operable in such contracted or folded condition is a pistol requiring licensure for purchase, carrying or transport, and is subject to safety inspection.
A rifle with a barrel of at least 16 inches in length and a stock capable of being contracted or folded to an overall length of less than 26 inches, being fully operable in such contracted or folded condition, is a 'short-barreled rifle' whose sale or possession is prohibited.
Vector arms sold a pre-ban semi-uzi with a folding stock and an 18 and 1/2 inch bbl which can be registered in michigan as a pistol. With the stock folded its 26 and 1/2 inches and with the stock extended its over 34 inches.
I don't think they have any left but they do have post ban ones with the fixed stock and if they ship to mich they will put the longer bbl on it. See http://www.vectorarms.com/guns/UZI_Page.htm
I am aware of the AGs opinion on UZIs. A folding stock UZI with a 16" bbl is 24.5 inches long and therefore falls within his opinion of it being a short barreled rifle. The same gun with a fixed stock whether wood or welded is 31" and is a rifle. His opinion does not take into account an UZI with a fixed stock.
My point was that this guy on another forum took his folding stocked 16" bbl into his local sheriff's dept and they registered it as a pistol. There is obviously some confusion even amongst law enforcement agencies what is legal and what is not.
Or maybe not any confusion. The thing to consider is that the AG's opinion is just that, an opinion and only his interpretation. The police may consider it to arrest someone but it is not law. Look through the Mich Compiled Laws and you will see no mention of an UZI. I do not believe a prosecution would stick for an arrest of an UZI as a SBR. The feds nor any other state considers a non-altered UZI with a folding stock as an SBR. In fact Michigan's definition and the Fed definition of a SBR is identical.
IMO, there are probably some county prosecuters who know the SBR tag on the UZI is not legal and have simply chose to register what they can't ban.
His interpretation based on legal precedant.
An uzi that did not meet the overall length restriction would be an SBR. Anywhere.
If you can fire a round, and the OAL doesn't meet the minimum, it's an illegal config.
I disagree. There was no legal precedent to support his opinion. His opinion was in response to a letter from the State Police.
A folding stock Uzi is not considered a SBR by federal law. It is not considered a SBR by any other state. His opinion was based on his stretching the existing Michingan law (which is identical to federal law) defining a SBR. It does not make sense and I doubt it would hold up in court.
First, the sourceopinion 6280.
I agree with you that his opinion isn't law, in this case, however, it's well grounded in state law, and it would be hard to convince a judge otherwise.
I would like to think better of the state AG than to make stuff up for his own amusement, I would hope that the office is sufficiently competant to study the law and make an interpretation.
I understand what you are saying. But I wouldn't be so quick to rely on the late great AG's opinion as a correct one. It is not based on any precedent, it a contrary to the opinion of both the feds and every other state. It is also biased in it's interpretation.
"In order to effectuate the legislative intent to limit the presence of such weapons in this state, a rifle or a shotgun which can be lengthened and shortened at will must also be considered as a weapon made from a rifle or a shotgun by alteration, modification, or otherwise when it is capable of being less than 26 inches in length by folding or contracting its stock."
And, it is nearly 20 years old having been written in 1985.
If I'm not mistaken, that is the actual Gods honest law, with no input from the AG.
Michigan law is stricter in terms of NFA firearms than Federal law. Whatever laws the other states pass are entirely up to them. Why do you think Nevada is known for legalized gambling a prostitution?
So, there, the AG is out of the way.
Now, is the UZI carbine, the one with the stock, an SBR, or not? It has a stock, whether removable, or collabsible, it's OAL is less than 26 therefore by definition, in the MI penal code, it is an SBR.
Now, did the guy who took his UZI to the police take the stock? I ask this because a pistol is defined as being less than 30 inches.
What version of the UZI did he have? There is a pistol version.
All the AG did, is what I just did. He looked at the law, and put two and two together, came up with four, and passed it on to his people.
You could ask the sitting AG for an opinion.
Uzi's should be on the C&R list, if not now, in the near future.
First the AGs intrepretation of Michigan's definition (which is identical to the Feds) is based what modification means. He even explains in his letter that the definition is unclear.
"It is unclear what is meant by the phrase 'by alteration, modification, or otherwise' as used in MCL 750.222; MSA 28.419.[
He chooses to include folding stocks in order as he says...
"In order to effectuate the legislative intent to limit the presence of such weapons in this state,"
(k) “Short-barreled rifle” means a rifle having 1 or more barrels less than 16 inches in length or a weapon made from a rifle, whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise, if the weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches.
Key phrase here is "if the weapon as modified". The contention therefore is whether unfolding a folding stocked UZI is considered a
I am sure I could find precedent in case law that defines "or otherwise as modified" means cutting the barrels or cutting the stock down so that a rifle is concealable.
Nether the state law or federal law say anything about being able to be fired while folded. His statment:
"and are capable of being folded or contracted to less than 26 inches in length. is not in the law.
Of course this discussion is academic and I appreciate your points.
BTW, the UZI in question did include the folding stock and it was folded.
Incidenty, the ATF/FEDs do not consider a folding stock UZI an SBR because is was manufactured that way, to be fired as a rifle, and doesn't have a barrel shorter than 16". They do not consider a folding stock "otherwise as modified".
The AG's opinion is just that--an opinion. But the opinion of whom? It is the opinion of the
executive branch of the state government--the ENFORCEMENT branch.
Are AG opnion's law? No.
Do circuit court judges routinely follow the AG's opinion when as the AG notes 'the law is
Will a judge go out of his or her way to find that the Uzi with a folding stock in a
configuration defined by the AG is not a SBR? No. Why? Because a line has to be drawn
somewhere and the AG drew it at 26/30 inches. The courts will only look to whether that is a
reasonable interpretation under state law. My experience is that the courts will find it a
reasonable one. The court's will give the AG's opinion legal deference.
True, the prosecutor will have to establish the possession of a SBR under the statute in a criminal prosecution. But the
prosecutor will tell the court that the statute can best be understood by reference to the AG's
opinion. The AG's opinion will then be established in the criminal trial as the statutory definition of a SBR. The defendant will then have to challenge that definition, preserve it for appeal, and if
convicted argue legal error on appeal. I should say that those legal fees will be hefty.
So, to avoid all this and someone being the test case, there are two prudent routes. 1. Have a
pro-gun representative ask the CURRENT AG if this is his opinion as well and give him your best
statutory argument. Then use the better and new opinion as a legal sword as well as a shield.
2. In the mean time only possess a Folding stock Uzi with a long enough BBL to meet the definition of a pistol when folded and use the AG's current opinion as a shield, not a sword. The local PD must register the UZI in a lawful configuration as a pistol again provided the BBL is at least the AG's min length which is an 18 and 1/2 inch bbl.
I am not arguing the AG opinion. I know it would have to be challenged in court.
I am saying that, in fact, police departments are already disregarding his opinion and already are registering standard 16" bbl folding stock UZIs as pistols, at least in some jurisdictions.
IMHO, it would be difficult to prosecute someone for violating the AG's opinion when some police departments are registering these guns.
Another point is that while ignorance of the law may not be an excuse, ignorance of an AG's opinion may be. I doubt if any prosecutor would file on possesion unless it was part of a bigger case. Most likely, the gun would simply be confiscated.