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Posted: 1/10/2006 5:33:07 PM EDT
or any other 'machine gun' parts lying around house for spare parts like extra m16 bolt, trigger pack, etc., any help appreciated.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 3:04:08 PM EDT
As long as you don't own any non-NFA AR-15 rifles, you are good to go with all the spare NFA parts you want.

It's a gray area when you also have a regular AR-15 lying around, as some consider it constructive intent. It's best to err on the side of caution.
Link Posted: 1/12/2006 9:34:17 AM EDT
So how is other folks deal with similar situation who own a register weapon and 'standard' ar15? they can't have both? or can't have 'spare parts' for their weapons? thanks.
Link Posted: 1/12/2006 12:11:04 PM EDT
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND FIREARMS WASHINGTON, DC 20226
MAR 29 2000

Dear Mr. :

This refers to your letter of January 22, 1999, requesting information on the legality of possessing a registered full auto AR15 and also possessing one or more semiautomatic pre-1994 assembled AR15 rifles. You appended a number of specific questions relating to this subject which will be answered in the order received.

Is it legal to own both?

There are no provisions under the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA) or the National Firearms Act (NFA) that prevent an individual from possessing an AR15 registered machinegun and one or more semiautomatic AR15 rifles at the same time.

If legal to own both, which spare parts for the registered gun can you also own?

Any weapon which shoots automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger meets the definition of a machinegun in section 5845(b) of the NFA. An AR15 rifle which is assembled with certain M16 machinegun fire control components, and which is capable of shooting automatically is a machinegun as defined. The definition of a machinegun in section 5845(b) also includes any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person. Thus, an AR15 rifle possessed with separate M16 machinegun components can meet the definition of a machinegun, if the rifle shoots automatically when the components are installed. The fact that a person lawfully possesses a registered NFA firearm does not grant authorization to possess additional non-registered firearms. A person who possesses a registered M16 machinegun and a semiautomatic AR15 and a separate quantity of M16 machinegun components could be in possession of two machineguns. We advise any person who possesses an AR15 rifle not to possess M16 fire control components (trigger, hammer, disconnector, selector, and bolt carrier). If a person possessed only the M16 machinegun and spare M16 fire control components for that machinegun, the person would possess only one machinegun.

Is it legal to use the upper receiver off of the semi-auto AR's on the registered AR if they are different lengths and calibers than listed on the Form 4's?

Before changing the caliber of a registered machinegun you should notify the NFA Branch in writing of the proposed change.

Can you have several short barrel uppers (less than 16 inches) for the registered AR and still own semi-auto AR's?

The definition of a firearm in section 5845 of the NFA includes a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length. An individual possessing more than one short (less than 16 inches) barreled upper receiver for a registered AR15 machinegun along with one or more semiautomatic AR15 rifles would have under their possession of control an unregistered short barreled rifle, a violation of the NFA.

If you change the barrel length or caliber do I need to notify your office if the change is not a permanent one?

This question was answered under Question 3.

We trust that the foregoing has been responsive to your inquiry. If we can be of any further assistance, please contact us.

Sincerely yours,
[signed]
Edward M. Owen, Jr.
Chief, Firearms Technology Branch
Link Posted: 1/12/2006 12:18:06 PM EDT
Makes me glad I have 7 lowers registered in PA as pistols.
Link Posted: 1/12/2006 12:19:59 PM EDT
Some use AR type pistol lowers just to have a "home" for additional short barreled uppers.
Link Posted: 1/12/2006 4:34:00 PM EDT
Thansk a lot for your info M4Madness....
Link Posted: 1/12/2006 5:17:57 PM EDT
M4Madness, just though of something else, my register one was under 9mm, the rest of others ar15 was 223, so, having another short upper or parts for the 9mm caliber still legal? since I can't use it for others rifle in different caliber?
Link Posted: 1/12/2006 5:34:26 PM EDT
The court findings don't square with the paragraph on short uppers in the ATF letter.

So far in court, if you have a legal reason to own both components you don't have constructive intent. Much like the paragraph on fire control components.

How can this be different from the thompson contender owner who has a pistol and rifle and multiple barrels? The ATF has said they are not willing to confont that i.e. it is not constructive intent.

Anytime the ATF says "could, may, advise, should" I question their authority. That's just me.
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 8:31:42 AM EDT
M4Madness, are you still around? what do you think about my last question?
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 12:24:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By bugeyes:
M4Madness, are you still around? what do you think about my last question?



I'm far from being a legal expert, and my opinions probably wouldn't hold much water in court.

I just make it a habit of saving interesting letter rulings from the BATF on my hard drive to reference later. I've just always felt that it was best to err on the side of caution when dealing with grey areas of firearms law. I sold off all of my AR-15 rifles before purchasing my M16, just to be on the safe side. I'd recommend that you just do what you feel comfortable with. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than I will chime in.
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 10:04:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By _RAGNAR_:
The court findings don't square with the paragraph on short uppers in the ATF letter.

So far in court, if you have a legal reason to own both components you don't have constructive intent. Much like the paragraph on fire control components.

How can this be different from the thompson contender owner who has a pistol and rifle and multiple barrels? The ATF has said they are not willing to confont that i.e. it is not constructive intent.

Anytime the ATF says "could, may, advise, should" I question their authority. That's just me.



Seems it just took awhile for that logic to ge there. The letter in this thread www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=14&t=265706&page=1 supported Thompson ruling.
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