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Posted: 6/7/2003 12:24:36 PM EDT
Can anyone provide me with the atf ruling that says if you sell a preban lower only it loses it's preban status. I've seen it here before and want to give it to someone to read. Thanks
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 3:54:46 PM EDT
I don't have a copy of the actual letter, but here is the text of it: ******************************************** DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND FIREARMS WASHINGTON, DC 20226 NOV 16 2001 Dear Mr. XXXXXXXXXX: This refers to your letter of March 19, 2001, in which you ask about the status of certain semiautomatic assault weapons which have been altered to another configuration. As defined in section 921(a)(30), of Title 18, United States Code (U.S.C, the term "semiautomatic assault weapon" includes certain named weapons and certain semiautomatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns that have a combination of enumerated features. Title 18 U.S.C. section 922(v)(1) prohibits manufacture, transfer, and possession of semiautomatic assault weapons; however, section 922(v)(2) provides that any semiautomatic assault weapon that was lawfully possessed under Federal law on September 13, 1994, is excluded from the prohibition. A frame or receiver of a semiautomatic assault weapon, meets the definition of a "firearm" in 18 U.S.C. section 921(a)(3); however, a firearm frame or receiver alone, without the additional qualifying features, does not meet the definition of a "semiautomatic assault weapon" in section 921(a)(30). Therefore, a firearm frame or receiver does not meet the exemption in section 922(v)(2). We have also determined that a semiautomatic assault weapon in knockdown (unassembled) condition consisting of a receiver and all parts needed to assemble a complete semiautomatic assault weapon are subject to regulation if the parts are segregated or packaged together and held by a person as the parts for the assembly of a particular firearm. You describe an AR15 type rifle that met the definition of a semiautomatic assault weapon and was lawfully possessed on September 13, 1994. At some subsequent time the rifle was temporarily reassembled in a configuration such that it no longer had the qualifying features of a semiautomatic assault weapon. You asked if the original components could then be lawfully reinstalled on the rifle. Provided that the original components were held by the owner and reinstalled on the rifle, it is our opinion that the rifle would still qualify as an exempted semiautomatic assault weapon even though it had been temporarily assembled in a different configuration. We note, that mere disassembly of a semiautomatic weapon by an owner would not remove the firearm from the definition of a semiautomatic assault weapon nor would the reassembly constitute manufacture of a prohibited semiautomatic assault weapon. Your second question concerns a semiautomatic assault weapon that also meets the exemption in section 922(v)(2). However, this firearm was disassembled and the receiver, without other components, was sold. Since the receiver is no longer possessed with all parts necessary to assemble a complete semiautomatic assault weapon, it no longer meets the definition of a semiautomatic assault weapon. The receiver does not meet the exemption in section 922(v)(2) and assembly of this firearm in the configuration of a semiautomatic assault weapon would be prohibited under section 922(v)(1). If you are interested in determining the status of a particular receiver or semiautomatic assault weapon, you should contact the manufacturer or importer and ask about the date that it was manufactured and the configuration at the time of sale. It may also be necessary to contact subsequent dealers and owners who possessed the firearm. We regret the delay in responding to your inquiry. If you have further questions concerning this matter, please contact us. Sincerely yours, Curtis H.A. Bartlett Chief, Firearms Technology Branch
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 4:11:22 PM EDT
This letter is an interpretation of the law that has no real relationship with the TEXT of the law. The BATF, in this letter, is making a statement that can't be supported by the text of the law itself, as a lower receiver can only be manufactured ONCE, not twice. It is the original manufacturing date (or more specificially, the date that the manufacturer says it was made on in the records submitted to the BATF) that actually matters. If this particular BATF letter were to be introduced as evidence in an HONEST court, any marginally competent attorney should be able to convince the judge that the BATF letter isn't law and doesn't interpret the law correctly. Which clearly, it doesn't. CJ
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 4:14:35 PM EDT
Thanks neilfi, I had found that after posting here. I don't remember when.. but, I recall reading a scanned copy of the original request to the atf and a scanned copy of the above reply. I provided a link to the above typed letter but, the guy thinks it's some made up internet hoax. Even after I explained that I had read scanned originals..
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 4:17:40 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cmjohnson: This letter is an interpretation of the law that has no real relationship with the TEXT of the law. The BATF, in this letter, is making a statement that can't be supported by the text of the law itself, as a lower receiver can only be manufactured ONCE, not twice. It is the original manufacturing date (or more specificially, the date that the manufacturer says it was made on in the records submitted to the BATF) that actually matters. If this particular BATF letter were to be introduced as evidence in an HONEST court, any marginally competent attorney should be able to convince the judge that the BATF letter isn't law and doesn't interpret the law correctly. Which clearly, it doesn't. CJ
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CJ I know what the letter means and I'm not out to rehash this over and over again as it's been done here with regards to atf rulings. I just wanted the 'ruling' to provide to someone else. :) Thanks
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 9:37:38 PM EDT
Yes, but it is not a Ruling, it is a letter.
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 5:15:14 AM EDT
heh, ok great ekie...
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 5:43:12 AM EDT
Prudence dictates you should follow ATF guidance, as becoming the test case for their interpretation is not pleasant even if you win (and is downright awful if you lose). This interpretation is manifestly wrong but I won't be the one to violate it.
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 1:01:01 PM EDT
Seem to me that it would be an incredibly difficult case for them to prove. The letter doesn't absolve the government from proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the necessary transactios/conditions took place. I also think that the ATF could really give a rat's ass about this area of minutiae.
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 5:42:33 PM EDT
Remember, ATF doesn't have to prove your gun is a preban, only that it has the forbidden features. You must prove the gun's grandfathered status as an affirmative defense.
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 7:58:11 PM EDT
Gee, that's funny...I always thought that the core legal principle here in America's legal system is "innocent until proven guilty". I bet it still is, when push comes to shove. CJ
Link Posted: 6/10/2003 5:21:09 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/16/2003 12:52:02 PM EDT
Pure and simple BULLSHIT! I would welcome the ATF to put this into practice as like others said, there aint no fing way that the law requires this! If this was the case, anytime you replace an upper, barrel, firecontrol group or anything else... your gun isn't original and no longer a pre-ban... There ain't no way... and we have argued about this f-ked up OPPINION for years now!
Link Posted: 6/16/2003 4:19:32 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/16/2003 4:26:52 PM EDT
"As long as you retain possession of enough parts to make the gun a complete AW, you're okay." The law don't say nuten like that at all. "What you can't do is, say, sell your only upper (leaving your gun on non-AW config), or transfer the gun in non-AW configuration, such as with a "post-ban"configured upper, or just as a lower only." The law don't say nuten like that neither. "While I don't *like* this ruling either, I must say that this ruling IS a logical interpretation of the law, and wouldn't likely be overturned in court." Ain't a ruling, ain't nuten to overturn in court. It is a letter.
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 6:23:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Ekie: Ain't a ruling, ain't nuten to overturn in court. It is a letter.
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I agree... the law says a SAW is based on charactereistics of a weapon on a specific date... If the weapon had those characteristics on the defined date it was grandfathered... there was no statement that says it can loose this status...
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 8:53:02 AM EDT
Actually, this whole Ban crap is f'ed up. The law is so vague, and even educated people cannot agree on what the meaning is. Laws like this are unConstitutionally vague. The BATFE does NOT have the right to make up the rules on the fly. And until this thing either goes away, or is challanged in court, it will be the subject of contention. Hell, the BATFE says unless a post ban mag has the exact verbage as required by the TEXT of the law, that you cannot be prosecuted for the possession of a post ban mag, even if it has a date stamp that clearly shows that the mag is a post ban, because the date stamp MAY NOT be a date stamp.
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 9:01:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/17/2003 9:04:00 AM EDT by JohnTheTexican]
Originally Posted By dbrowne1: Seem to me that it would be an incredibly difficult case for them to prove. The letter doesn't absolve the government from proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the necessary transactios/conditions took place. I also think that the ATF could really give a rat's ass about this area of minutiae.
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Why would it be hard to prove? When I ordered stripped lowers, the FFL wrote "lower receiver only" on the yellow form where it asked for the type of firearm. Is this not the normal practice? And besides, it's not the government's burden to prove that it's not grandfathered. It's an affirmative defense. THe defendant has to prove that it's a grandfathered gun.
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 1:19:18 PM EDT
Originally Posted By JohnTheTexican: Why would it be hard to prove? When I ordered stripped lowers, the FFL wrote "lower receiver only" on the yellow form where it asked for the type of firearm. Is this not the normal practice? And besides, it's not the government's burden to prove that it's not grandfathered. It's an affirmative defense. THe defendant has to prove that it's a grandfathered gun.
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What does he put on it if it's just an upper?? Nothing, because the upper isn't a firearm. The LOWER IS A FIREARM REGARDLESS OF CONFIGURATION. How can a stripped lower fire a rount if it has no hammer, sear, disconnect, trigger or springs? It can't, but it's still a firearm. What does your FFL put on there if you buy a pistol frame? I bet he puts the maker, serno, model, and checks pistol, and doesn't annotate that it is a frame only.
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 3:29:11 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 7:38:48 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Troy: Until you can recognize that a SAW is "a semi-automatic rifle that accepts detachable magazines and has more than two of the following features:", and that a lower receiver is NOT a "semi-automatic rifle" despite legally being a firearm, then you'll not be able to analyze the law correctly. -Troy
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And once again, if it is NOT a semi-automatic rifle, then why can't we build up an AR pistol from the lower? It's either a pistol, revolver, shotgun or rifle. And THAT is according to the BATFE.
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 11:41:00 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 11:58:42 PM EDT
Okay, so my pistol theory is shot down!! It still seems that the law is vague, but hopefully it will go away, and we can end these debates. I still think that the ban should be applied the same way as the machine gun interpation: Once = Always.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 4:20:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/18/2003 4:40:03 AM EDT by Ekie]
Originally Posted By Troy: [b]Every word and punctuation mark of a law means something[/b], and you can't just add or drop words here and there to fit your convenience when trying to interpret the law.
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Hey, thats right, some examples:
Originally Posted By Troy: As long as you retain possession of enough parts to make the gun a complete AW, you're okay.
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Originally Posted By Troy: What you can't do is, say, sell your only upper (leaving your gun on non-AW config), or transfer the gun in non-AW configuration, such as with a "post-ban"configured upper, or just as a lower only.
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Link Posted: 6/18/2003 4:22:35 AM EDT
Well, on second thought, maybe those are not good examples of adding words, considering they are additional sentences, or even a PARAGRAPH.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 6:52:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/18/2003 11:01:44 AM EDT by Quarterbore]
Lets call a truce here... Troy is sharing what the ATF has said... He is accurate with what he said in that this is what the ATF has said.... Troy has siad in the past that the ATFs claim is weak but a claim just the same (sorry if I mis paraphrased you bud!) The problem isn't with Troy... it is with the ATF! make sure that you realize who is the target as Troy has done more to bring knowledge and information to this website than a great many people that come here combined, including myself! I still think this OPPONION is BULL but it is the ATF that is the problem, not the messenger that is telling you what the ATF has tried to say!
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 9:44:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/18/2003 10:48:45 AM EDT by Ekie]
All well and good, but Troy is presenting this letter as a Ruling, and it is not. That type of misrepresentation is not at all helpful. For example:
Originally Posted By Troy: While I don't *like* this ruling either, I must say that this ruling IS a logical interpretation of the law, and wouldn't likely be overturned in court.
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And it is not like I have not pointed this out before. Let me try again. A Federal Ruling pertaining to firearms will have at the top something like Rev. Rul. 69-59, or ATF Rul. 83-5. While a ATF letter typically starts out saying "dear Mr. Man with the silly question". Not that hard to tell them apart, and there is a big legal difference between a letter and a Ruling. Also note Troy's comments about this letter being a "logical interpretation of the law". Another misrepresentation, there exist no Federal law, Federal Regulation, or even a ATF Ruling that says anything about the exemption being conditional based on events or configurations after the date of enactment. If there was Troy or ATF would point it out. BTW, have met Troy in person, I happen to like the guy, all the more reason not to cut him any slack, hehe.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 11:37:11 AM EDT
Here it goes from a different angle. Bartlett states: "The receiver does not meet the exemption in section 922(v)(2) and assembly of this firearm in the configuration of a semiautomatic assault weapon would be prohibited under section 922(v)(1)." Note the alleged illegal act, that of "assembly", and then he cites 922(v)(1). Well, take a look at 922(v)(1) the word "assembly" is not contained there in and is there fore not prohibited. So if you take this mistaken sentence out of the letter, then the letter don't say jack, now does it (sound is heard of pressurized hot moist air rapidly leaving a balloon).
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 8:42:37 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Ekie:
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You and I would make great friends as we seem to think the same! It is important to use your energy where it does the most good! If you would care to write up your legal arguments of why a pre-ban wouldn't lose it's pre-ban status as described I will be honored to host it on my little website and I can assure you it will get read by thousands of people! So, do you have it all figured out? If so, send me your writeup and I will give you full credit for your work! QB
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 8:55:53 PM EDT
Sooooo... If I sold a preban lower with a tele-stock, detatchable mag (even include the mag if that's necessary), and pistol grip... it's still qualified, since it has 3 evil features? And it's still a firearm, considering I have to ship to FFL. So a firearm with 3 evil features... means it's still configured as a preban, right? If not, then I guess I could buy a postban lower, put a telestock/mag/pistol grip on it, and just now OWN a upper, and be legal, right? (heh, don't see any point in doing that...)
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 9:10:55 PM EDT
Quarterbore E-mail your way. steenkybastage Your position is commonly believed to be in compliance with the "Bartlett letter". Am afraid it is not. If Bartlett is still of the same opinion (could very well of changed his mind) he would most probably answer the question as such: Your second question concerns a semiautomatic assault weapon that also meets the exemption in section 922(v)(2). However, this firearm was disassembled and the lower receiver assembly, without the upper, was sold. Since the lower receiver assembly is no longer possessed with all parts necessary to assemble a complete semiautomatic assault weapon, it no longer meets the definition of a semiautomatic assault weapon. The lower receiver assembly does not meet the exemption in section 922(v)(2) and assembly of this firearm in the configuration of a semiautomatic assault weapon would be prohibited under section 922(v)(1).
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 9:55:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/18/2003 9:56:44 PM EDT by steenkybastage]
Well, since you can't have your cake and eat it too... if you think selling the lower w/ telestock isn't an assault weapon, then owning a postban lower with a telestock wouldn't be owning an assault weapon, either (provided said individual didn't have the parts to assemble a complete weapon). If I was into spending ungodly large sums of $$$ on preban AR's, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a stripped preban lower. Fortunately I have better things to waste money on... But I agree with the crowd who thinks the law says what it says, and the BATFE's letter don't mean squat. And on another fortunate note, I'm optomistic about next year there being no such thing as a preban. [beer]
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 2:24:51 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Hydguy: It's either a pistol, revolver, shotgun or rifle. And THAT is according to the BATFE.
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What about Any Other Weapon or Machine Gun?
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 1:24:21 PM EDT
Originally Posted By budam:
Originally Posted By Hydguy: It's either a pistol, revolver, shotgun or rifle. And THAT is according to the BATFE.
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What about Any Other Weapon or Machine Gun?
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That is another whole ball game all together. THe 4473 requires that you identify the firearm by type: pistol (all semiauto pistols, even if they are single shot), revolver, shotgun, or rifle. AOW's, MG's and DD's are governed by the NFA '34, and require government approval to own (another unConstitutional law). You just can't go the any local gunshop and pick up an AOW, DD, or MG.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 1:13:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/26/2003 12:56:14 AM EDT by budam]
Originally Posted By Hydguy: THe 4473 requires that you identify the firearm by type: pistol (all semiauto pistols, even if they are single shot), revolver, shotgun, or rifle. AOW's, MG's and DD's are governed by the NFA '34, and require government approval to own (another unConstitutional law). You just can't go the any local gunshop and pick up an AOW, DD, or MG.
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When I transfer a MG/AOW/SBR/SBS/Suppressor, it is written on the 4473 in the type field as such! ;-) Just no need to call NICS/POC on those transfers...
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