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On Thursday, the governor of Michigan signed into law a piece of legislation that finally makes the possession, manufacture, and transfer of short barreled rifles and shotguns within the state legal. So if Michiganders jump through the necessary hoops and secure a tax stamp from the ATF, it’s all cool. The best part is that the legislation goes into effect immediately, so if you’ve always wanted to get that SBR and you live in America’s mitten, now is the time! There’s one small wrinkle, though . . .

You need to carry the documentation for the firearm at all times when you have the gun with you. In fact, it’s best if you just duct tape it to the barrel for safe keeping. Any law enforcement officer can ask you to see it, and if you don’t have it on you, they can seize the firearm. All is not lost, though: you have 45 days to prove you lawfully own it.

Here’s the full text:

Sec. 224b. (1) A person shall not make, manufacture, transfer, or possess a short-barreled shotgun or a short-barreled rifle.

(2) A person who violates subsection (1) is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than $2,500.00, or both.

(3) Subsection (1) does not apply to a short-barreled shotgun or short-barreled rifle that is lawfully made, manufactured, transferred, or possessed under federal law.

(4) A person, excluding a manufacturer, lawfully making, transferring, or possessing a short-barreled shotgun or short-barreled rifle that is 26 inches or less in length under this section shall comply with section 2 or 2a of 1927 PA 372, MCL 28.422 and 28.422a.

(5) A person who possesses a short-barreled shotgun or short-barreled rifle that is greater than 26 inches in length under this section shall possess a copy of the federal registration of that short-barreled shotgun or short-barreled rifle while transporting or using that short-barreled shotgun or short-barreled rifle and shall present that federal registration to a peace officer upon request by that peace officer.

(6) A person who violates subsection (5) is responsible for a state civil infraction and may be fined not more than $100.00. A short-barreled shotgun or short-barreled rifle carried in violation of subsection (5) is subject to immediate seizure by a peace officer. If a peace officer seizes a short-barreled shotgun or short-barreled rifle under this subsection, the person has 45 days in which to display the federal registration to an authorized employee of the law enforcement entity that employs the peace officer. If the person displays the federal registration to an authorized employee of the law enforcement entity that employs the peace officer within the 45-day period, the authorized employee of that law enforcement entity shall return the short-barreled shotgun or short-barreled rifle to the person unless the person is prohibited by law from possessing a firearm. If the person does not display the federal registration within the 45-day period, the short-barreled shotgun or short-barreled rifle is subject to seizure and forfeiture in the same manner that property is subject to seizure and forfeiture under sections 4701 to 4709 of the revised judicature act of 1961, 1961 PA 236, MCL 600.4701 to 600.4709.

(7) Section 20 of chapter XVI of the code of criminal procedure, 1927 PA 175, MCL 776.20, applies to subsection (3).(32)

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  1. They are really bad at draughting laws. To get the effect they wanted, they should have written “No person shall…”, not “A person shall not…”. With that one, any lawyer could have a field day searching precedents and context to argue that “A person” referred to a particular person barred from doing that, leaving all others free to do so.

    • Citizens united. Legal entities (trusts and corporations) are considered a person, so good luck trying that as an out. Though the Federal government is using the “are” defense to say Obamacare used State government as meaning Federal could also make health exchanges.

      • Oh, I didn’t mean that the defence would succeed (barring a favourable judge willing to create a loophole), but rather that there’s a looseness there that lawyers could run with – which would affect costs and might make a more favourable settlement more likely.

  2. This should never have been an issue. What part of “Shall Not Be Infringed” does the government, atf, and states not understand?

  3. I gave a PredatAR with a 14.5″ barrel, really wanting to get a .308 SBR been waffling between a AR or SCAR 17 for my platform. Right now I have a OBR with 18″ barrel chambered in .308 for my mid to long range rifle, currently working in my 300 win mag bolt gun to get it fine tuned

  4. Looks like it’s time to laminate whatever papers you have and keep them on you. It beats having to jump through the ATF hoops but still a bit of a misstep.

    • That’s a very good idea. I have laminated miniatures of all my tax stamps I keep in my range bags/cases. Also not a bad idea to make several high quality color copies off all stamps and keep ’em handy.

  5. Say for AR15’s and stuff, you could fold up the registration and place it in the empty area of the handgrip, or if you really want to be secure, put it inside the buttstock of your shotgun, and just unscrew it to get to it? (hassle?)

    • Section 5 says “and shall present that federal registration to a peace officer upon request by that peace officer.”

      It is hard to present the registration when you need a screwdriver to get to it, and you forgot to carry a screwdriver. In other words, you would have to carry a screwdriver everywhere you go with your SBR/SBS. I’d rather carry a copy of the registration in a pocket, or folded up inside my wallet.

      • I keep a multitool in my range bag, just in case. And there’s another I always have in the car. You mean everyone doesn’t do that?

        • I think that’s cool and all, but If it were me and Just, saying, I would have tons of copies of these Tax Stamps, in my pocket, other pocket in my wallet,and one in my FDE magpul Grip that requires on the fly, no tools, Just removal of an End cap !

      • Why not scan a color pdf of all the documentation and keep it on your phone as well? You then always have a copy with you, you can easily show the electronic copy, you have a hard copy in a place on the firearm (personally I like a spot like the ones used for oilers or cleaning kits on military firearms). pretty much covered.

  6. It’s interesting how “law enforcement” personnel are somehow exempt, when the founding fathers had specifically meant us to be at least as equally equipped as the “those in charge”.

    Perhaps Michigan should have grown a pair, nullified the federal regulations, and put its own in place that specifically target (no pun intended) non-law-abiding citizens ……. and leave the rest of the population alone.

  7. I like the Magpul UBR stock and it is on several of my rifles; the little triangle storage area is the perfect spot for some origami stamp & declaration action.

  8. Ok I’ll be the first one to legally take a hack saw to a 500 or 88 as soon as the NFA gets the boot. I know, it’ll never happen but a guy can dream can’t he!!!

    • With enough push and demand for the right amount of time we can probably get SBRs, SBSs and slencers off of the NFA. I don’t see machine guns coming off of that or the Hughes amendment changing any time soon. Although, stranger things have happened.

      • If I ever got elected president, I’d draft a 10,000 page law, filled with convoluted jargon and legalese, that accomplished nothing more than naming a few Govt. built, National Park shithouses after important politicians. You know, something that kisses Congress’s ass and would be easy to pass. Then I would write “and repeal 26 USC Ch 53” (the technical name of the NFA) on a post-it and stick it to the back of page 7,835 two minutes before it went to vote. Is it a dirty trick? Yes. But it would work.

  9. seans, I am basically sold on the SCAR platform for a .308, I really like the shorter barrel in the SCAR but the purpose being is I’ve been doing some PSD work in the states, so basically I’m looking for something that is a heavier than a 5.56 .Another rifle on my want list is a .300 black SBR.

    • Have you used it, cause the 7.62 version has a lot of problems people are not hearing about, not even going to go into how that thing destroys optics. But talking catastrophic failures hear. Have a lot of experience with the platform, and it isn’t good. My unit is issued these and we don’t trust them. If it was just us, I would say bad batch, but considering every one I talk to who is issued these has large scale reliabiity problems fielding these them, makes me not trust them. 5.56 these days is good out to 600 yards even from a 10 inch, and 300 if you got the ability to run it is amazing. Don’t really see the need to be running a 7.62 for anything under 300 meters. Unless you are doing overwatch, maybe then I could see 7.62, but not in a SBR.

  10. I do agree with the posters above who say SBR’s should never have been restricted in the first place, at either the state or federal level.

    Having said that, this is progress. I’ll take it. Let’s keep chipping away at it. Maybe next time we can get SBR’s removed from the NFA or get the minimum barrel length/OAL reduced to a point where they might as well be.

    I’m all for taking back our rights any time we can.

  11. Too bad for MI but subsection 5 in unenforcable. A state can not demand to see a federal tax document…. They can’t demand to see your tax stamp anymore than they can demand to see a W2

  12. What I want to know is how this handles firearms that federal law doesn’t consider an SBR but Michigan state law previously did. For example, the 16″ barrel Uzi carbines with a folding stock are normal rifles under federal law, but because when the stock is folded its overall length was <26", Michigan tried to argue it was an SBR per state law.

    Well, you can't get "federal paperwork" to present to their police on that. Unless they changed their legal definition of SBR to match the federal one

  13. I believe these were called Michigan pistols, and that law has now.changed. can someone confirm?

  14. Thank you Michigan for allowing your citizens the privilege of applying to the ATF and paying $200 for permission to exercise their inalienable, Constitutional rights.

  15. In this online era, the police call in or get on their in squad computer and check the validity of your DL and registration. No question that the SBR is registered, so why the paper requirement?
    Why not at least a PDF on your phone?

  16. Sean’s, I never had a problem with them when I was in, typically mounted an EOTech. Now that I think about we always had issues with the Mk 16s we tested. I really am a fan of the .308 over 5.56, when I was overseas I typically was on over watch, I do recognize 5.56 is good at the range from a10″ barrel, as for 300 black I’d be running it suppressed, and probably only as a really cool toy. I was Ctual.y also considering a Daniel defense in .308 with a short barrel

    • Where were you at that got to test MK16s. I am really confused why you would want a 7.62 for PSD work. Especially in the states, I mean 7.62 ammo is heavy and you really only start getting benefits from carrying in engagements past 600 yards. I have done PSD work before and lighter is way better.

      • I’m thinking it’s the goto gun for anti material use (eg disabling vehicles.) Accuracy is hardly an issue at any sort of ordinary ranges but the penetration of even a very short 7.62 is considerably superior to a 5.56.

  17. seans, check out the sbr precision rifle article on this site. its a bit trolltastic in the comments, but is very in depth and well written. Arguably my favorite technical piece on ttag.

    • I am not against SBRs and am fully aware of how accurate they are. I have been issued a 10.3 inch rifle for years now, and have seen first round hits/kills past 600 yards with 5.56 from it. My point of contention is that with a SBR 7.62. You are giving up the 7.62s real advantage in ballistics past 600yards vs a 5.56 by using a SBR 7.62. You are reducing overall firepower but dropping your round count alone. If you somehow find 5.56 lacking in firepower with modern ammo (and probably cause you have never actually used rounds like MK262 or MK318 or any hollowpoint round), then yeah a .300 is a great especially if you keep it suppressed(which is the whole point of that gun). I used to be the biggest Battle Rifle fanatic, until I started deploying, then realized 7.62 is best left to belt feds and semi auto sniper platforms.

  18. Yay! Michigan finally brings this section of its firearms laws up to par with other states. Now, if they’ll only jettison their state firearm registration and handgun purchase permit requirements, then maybe they can finally be dragged kicking and screaming into the mid-1990’s. Hey, that’s still better than the slave states, if that’s the standard they want to go by.

  19. I just like .308, plain and simple, puts a smile on my face seans . I tested the SCAR 16 as a Amphibious reconnasaince corpsman (navy’s equivalent of the Army’s 18 Delta). I won’t always carry a rifle on a PSD unless we are in a high threat environment. If were stateside it stays in the car with 4 spare mags in a chest rig in my bug out bag. So weight isn’t an issue. If I’m somewhere like Afghanistan, I carry it, but again with only 4- 5 spares on my plate carrier with more in the bug out bag.

    • You know corpman actually go to 18D right. I would call those guys the navy equivalent.(No offense). And were you with recon or marsoc. Curious cause the only guys I knew who really even tested the MK16 were Rangers and the Teams, didn’t think the marines ever even got the MK16.

  20. Not all corpsman go through 18d. I meant equivalent as in training/ job wise sorry for the miscommunication. I was on the recon side so still lots of fun. Yeah I got to shoot the 16 because we were on a float with a west coast seal team that had them in the armory so I got to shoot them a little. As for the scar 17 I was able to carry it in afghanistan on my last deployment with no problems.

  21. So I just fill out the paperwork , wright out a check for $200 bucks to the ATF , wait a few months for the tax stamp to arrive , Then I can go online and order a compleat SBR AR15 upper from say… Bravo and mount it to my exsisting AR15 lower ?

  22. @ don button, this is the same question I have, if it’s that easy I’m in but I had heard you have to have your name and address engraved on your lower also. Can anyone tell us if this is true or is it as easy as don stated? Thanks.

  23. Also I just want to get the stamp and buy a shorter barrel for my current setup, not buy a whole new upper, any thoughts are appreciated.

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