Build a gun?

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by mountainman444, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. mountainman444

    mountainman444 Well-Known Member

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    Just suppose a fella was thinking about building a double barreled shotgun with a pistol grip. I need a little guidance.
    First off, I’m pretty sure it’s legal (please correct me if I’m wrong). I can’t find a minimum barrel length (it would be less than 12”). And would the pistol grip be a problem? This would be for legal carry not to hide away. I want it to be legal as far as prison time goes. Help, advice, suggestions are all welcome.
     
  2. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    You can't have a smoothbore weapon that looks like a pistol and is the size of a pistol but doesn't have rifling in the barrel. That type of weapon would be considered a non-shotgun non-pistol "firearm" and if it's overall length is less than 26 inches it would be a concealable firearm regulated by the NFA under the category of "AOW" -- any other weapon.
     

  3. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    If you want to build a non-AOW double barrel break-open action shotgun that only has a pistol grip and no stock, you have to make the barrels long enough that the overall weapon will be 26 inches.
    So those barrels are probably gonna have to be at least 18" inches by themselves!
     
  4. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    But, are you willing to build a black powder double barrel pistol/ shotgun that does not accept cartridges of any type, and must be loaded from the muzzle end?
    That would be classified as an antique firearm and exempt from the barrel length and overall length requirements. At least as to federal law. Not sure how GA state law would apply to such a black powder firearm. We might have to look that up.
     
  5. mountainman444

    mountainman444 Well-Known Member

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    Well crap. So much for that idea. I already have 18 1/2” barrels with a pistol grip. I wanted shorter, much shorter.
    AOW is a $200 permit, correct?
    If I permitted it I could still build it as a smooth bore? Would an AOW permit be for the gun, as in could I will it to someone else and the permit cover the gun in their possession or would they have to repermit it in their name?
    Black powder may be the way to go but it would be more of a pain to build.
     
  6. 45_Fan

    45_Fan Well-Known Member

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    AOW is $200 to make but only $5 to transfer.

    Just as a precaution, when you say make, you have 2 barrels and you are building your own action? The concern is if you have a preexisting shotgun that was once actually a shotgun with a shoulder stock, was then converted to a pistol grip double barrel, and then cut down to have shorter than 18” barrels, it would have to become a short barrel shotgun for NFA purposes and AOW is not an option.
     
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  7. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

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    Do you have any authority for that? I've seen quite a few people say that on fora such as this one, but I think the law says the opposite. That is true for machine guns (once a machine gun, always a machine gun), because that's what the statute says. The statute does not say that for SBSs and SBRs. And there is a case that seems to suggest the opposite. In 1992, the SCOTUS decided USA v. Thompson-Center Arms Co. In that case, the government claimed that a handgun with a carbine conversion kit was an SBR, because it would be possible to put the shoulder stock and handgun barrel together. SCOTUS said that as long as you possess the parts to make it either a handgun or a long-barreled rifle, it is not an SBR.
     
  8. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    JRM, you are saying that because a T/C factory complete kit consisting of a pistol barrel, a rifle barrel,
    a pistol grip, and a rifle stock, that is all sold at the same time...
    ...is legal to both possess and use to assemble that one receiver into either the rifle version of the pistol version as you wish ...

    without it being an NFA item...

    therefore you say anybody can do the same thing with aftermarket and replacement parts to assemble their own kit long after acquiring a long gun and its receiver ?

    You can take a rifle, put a pistol grip and the short barrel on it, and call it a handgun? And then change it back to a rifle again? And later back to a pistol?

    Same thing with a shotgun? You may take a receiver that had once been used on a shoulder-stock equipped full-length barred shotgun and try to use that receiver in a non-pistol, non-NFA firearm?
     
  9. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

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    I think that's the logical conclusion from the TC case, yes. If that is not correct, then I don't know where the line is. What is the difference between the TC case and what you describe?
     
  10. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    Quote from SCOTUS opinion in T/C case, describing the firearm kit and its components:
    "Thompson/Center Arms Company manufactures a single shot pistol called the "Contender," designed so that its handle and barrel can be removed from its "receiver,"...

    "For a short time in 1985 Thompson/Center also manufactured a carbine conversion kit consisting of a 21 inch barrel, a rifle stock, and a wooden fore end. If one joins the receiver with the conversion kit's rifle stock, the 21 inch barrel, and the rifle fore end, the product is a carbine rifle with a 21 inch barrel."
    [emphasis added].
    Clearly, The Court was dealing with a fact pattern involving a handgun that was built first as a handgun, and then paired, for marketing purposes, with both a shoulder stock and a 21 inch long rifle barrel intended to convert would have been a pistol to a rifle (and back again, as often as the owner wished.)

    Now, look at the definition of short-barreled rifle found in our federal law,
    Title 18, U.S. Code, section 921,
    subsections (a)(5) through (a)(8).
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/921

    These laws define what a rifle is and then a short-barreled rifle they define what a shotgun is and then define a short-barreled shotgun.

    Taking the Receiver what is definitely a rifle or shotgun, sold only as such and not part of a interchangeable long gun / handgun kit, and then re designing reconfiguring and reassembling it to be a weapon with a barrel less than 16 or 18 inches makes it one of these short barreled, NFA restricted weapons.
     
  11. 45_Fan

    45_Fan Well-Known Member

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    The definitions are in 26 U.S.C. 5845(a)(1), 26 U.S.C. 5845(a)(2), 26 U.S.C. 5845(d), and 26 U.S.C. 5845(e).

    The real question is section 4 on the form 1 application. Identifying the original weapon as a shotgun from 4a and 4g then going to not-a-shotgun on 4b while skipping the 26 U.S.C. 5845(a)(2) made-from-a-shotgun definition is where my brain skips a track and can’t make it to AOW.
     
  12. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    But, I agree that this interpretation of the statute, though literally correct, is absurd and serves no public benefit. Because the gun that started life as a rifle but is changed to a handgun is no deadlier, no more of a risk to the public, than a gun that is sold directly as a handgun, or one that started as a handgun was re-configured as a rifle.

    But, so much of the NFA is absurd! Such as making it unlawful to only put a shoulder stock on a pistol (leaving the short handgun barrel in place) with a net effect of making the gun larger, bulkier, less concealable, and less useful for criminal purposes than it had been as an ordinary stock-less handgun.
     
  13. 45_Fan

    45_Fan Well-Known Member

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    I’d also argue that a vertical fore grip on a Glock is an accessibility option for some shooters and should be considered under the ADA and not the NFA. And suppressors should be under FDA or OSHA ratings and not NFA restrictions!
     
  14. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

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    I agree with everything you said, but it is not clear to me what your point is. Are you agreeing with me, disagreeing with me, waxing philosophic, or something else? I don't think you said anything that refutes my point, but I'll let you tell me if you intended to.
     
  15. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

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    I'm not clear on what "this interpretation" is. Can you please clarify?

    Thompson/Center says that you can change a handgun into a rifle and back again as long as you do not use the short barrel of the handgun in the rifle configuration. But you seem to be implying that some variation of that, maybe changing a manufactured rifle to a handgun, is not legal. Is that what you're saying? I think Thompson/Center would negate that interpretation, because once you change your Contender into a rifle, it has been "remade" and is not a rifle under GCA and NFA, the same as if it had been manufactured that way. But when you turn it back into a handgun, it is no longer "intended to be fired from the shoulder" and is not a rifle. SCOTUS seems to agree with that.
     
  16. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

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    What fact pattern are you applying this to? I thought we were discussing configurations that are not NFA items, so no Form 1 would be involved.
     
  17. 45_Fan

    45_Fan Well-Known Member

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    I have only discussed NFA in this thread.

    The OP desires “shorter, much shorter” than 18.5” barrels and specifically asked about AOW so that is how I arrived at Form 1.
     
  18. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

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    OK. I guess I don't see the issue of identifying it as an original shotgun on 4a and then to be made into an AOW in 4b.
     
  19. 45_Fan

    45_Fan Well-Known Member

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    26 U.S.C. 5845(a)(2) is where I’m cogging over on that. The old incarnation was a shotgun. The new incarnation was therefore “made from a shotgun”.

    I mean for my purposes, that’s $200 either way. For the next guy, it could mean a difference of $195 in taxes depending on whether the Form 1 would be accepted as shotgun->AOW.
     
  20. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

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    If you put on the form that it was made from a shotgun, that it is now an AOW, that it's barrel length is less than 18", that it's overall length is less than 26", and the ATF approves the Form 1, then it's an AOW. It's not like there's something you didn't tell them.