CMMG Banshee short-barrel rifle
Short-barrle rifle (Jeremy S. for TTAG)
Previous Post
Next Post

By Mark Houser

Under the National Firearms Act (NFA), you can be imprisoned for owning an otherwise legal rifle or shotgun if it has a short barrel. Government agents might even kill you — you certainly wouldn’t be the first person killed in the course of enforcing restrictions on short-barreled firearms. And the worst part? You could suddenly and unintentionally find yourself in felonious possession of such a restricted weapon — even if you haven’t broken any laws.

Through regulatory magic, the decisions of federal bureaucrats can “transform” an unremarkable firearm that you already legally acquired and possess into a firearm that’s illegal under the NFA, without any actual legislative changes taking place.

Restrictions on short-barreled firearms curb the exercise of the fundamental and constitutionally protected right to bear arms. Yet, these laws lack any plausible pretext of public safety value. Even worse, peaceful and law-abiding citizens can easily run afoul of these laws through no fault of their own.

The National Firearms Act makes rifles and shotguns with barrel lengths of less than 16 and 18 inches, respectively, presumptively illegal to possess. Pistols are not subject to this minimum barrel length requirement.

The NFA’s restrictions on short-barreled rifles and shotguns should be understood in light of the NFA’s legislative history: it was originally intended to target all small firearms, including pistols. Minimum barrel length requirements for shotguns and rifles would have been a natural accompaniment to pistol restriction, or else that restriction could simply be circumvented with “small rifles.”

However, when the pistol restrictions were dropped from the NFA bill in order to garner sufficient support for its passage, the minimum barrel length requirements for rifles and shotguns remained. In this sense, the NFA’s barrel length restrictions are a peculiar legislative vestige — they’re intended to stop an end-run around a law that never actually existed.

Other dimensions (not just barrel length) also matter. For example, a shotgun of less than 26 inches in overall length that’s intended to be fired from the shoulder, regardless of its barrel length, is also restricted under the NFA’s “any other weapon” (AOW) classification. Possessing an unregistered AOW is also a felonious violation of the NFA. For the sake of concision and to avoid excessive technicality, I’ll be focusing primarily on short-barreled firearms, but it’s good to keep in mind that barrel length is not the only relevant dimension in this conversation.

The Hurdles To Owning a Short-Barreled Firearm

The processes by which an individual may legally acquire and possess a short-barreled firearm are intimidating, intrusive, lengthy, onerous, and expensive. In addition to the background check that’s also associated with any other firearm purchased from a dealer, purchasing or making a short-barreled firearm requires the submission of fingerprints, photographs, registration paperwork, and the payment of a $200 tax.

The ATF will take months — or even a year — to approve the forms. And this process doesn’t confer some sort of license —it’s merely a registration of that specific firearm. And the process must be repeated for each short-barreled firearm individually.

tax stamp detail
NFA tax stamp (Woody for TTAG)

Why would anyone bother with all that just to legally acquire a rifle or shotgun with a short barrel? Short-barreled firearms have some distinct advantages over their larger counterparts, such as light weight and ease of handling in confined spaces. Generally speaking, rifles are much more capable (in terms of power, accuracy, ability to mount accessories, etc.) and much easier to use effectively than are handguns.

However, those benefits can be negated by the length and weight of a full-size rifle. In fact, for people with certain physical limitations or disabilities, a short-barreled rifle may simply be the only viable rifle option.

Now, suppose you’ve jumped through all of the hoops necessary to legally possess a short-barreled firearm. After all, as long as you have no criminal record, plenty of time and money, knowledge of the ever-changing interpretations of an octogenarian law, and the willingness to part with a good measure of your privacy, you certainly can do it — though, it is worth considering how such hurdles disproportionately infringe on the Second Amendment rights of the less affluent and those who, with good reason, may have less trust in our governing institutions.

However, even after completing the process, you will still be subject to special restrictions which could easily ensnare people who have no malicious intentions. For example, you can’t transport that firearm across state lines without receiving permission from the ATF to do so. If you live near state boundaries, you could easily find yourself a single missed freeway exit away from committing a life-ruining felony. (As a gun owner and former northern Virginia resident who frequently crossed into DC and Maryland, I can attest that this is a very real concern.)

No matter where you take your firearm, you need to be prepared for a “Papers, please” demand: your proof of registration “must be made available upon request of any ATF officer.” NFA rules also complicate the process of lending, giving, or selling your short-barreled firearm to someone else. In this sense, it’s hard to say that you even fully own that firearm — the ATF has a great deal to say about what you may do with it.

At this point, it’s worth momentarily reflecting on the fact that all of the aforementioned rules apply to the possession of a Remington 870 shotgun with a 17.5 inch barrel, whereas none of those rules apply to the possession of a Remington 870 with an 18 inch barrel, the latter of which you can acquire, with a simple background check, in virtually any store that sells firearms. These laws are truly ridiculous.

Accidental Felonies

But, even if you do everything by book and consistently follow the letter of the law, however silly it may be, you’re still not in the clear.

The most insidious aspect of the restrictions governing short-barreled firearms is that they have been known to suddenly change with the whims of federal regulators. To an extent that few people appreciate, federal gun policy is not only enforced, but also dictated by the ATF. New policy comes about not through the passage of legislation, but simply through the decisions of agency officials.

This is most easily observed with respect to the ATF’s changing positions on pistols equipped with stabilizing braces. In 2015, the ATF decided that the physical action of holding a pistol equipped with an ATF-approved brace to one’s shoulder was equivalent to creating an illegal short-barreled firearmThat is to say, you could pick up your perfectly legal pistol (which is not otherwise subject to the NFA’s minimum barrel length restrictions) and unwittingly commit a felony by virtue of the way you held it.

That guidance directly contradicted a 2014 ATF letter that said just the opposite. In 2017, new guidance was issued which appears to sanction the shouldering of a braced pistol so long as such use is “incidental, sporadic, or situational” — whatever that means.

SB Tactical pistol stabilizing brace
AR pistol with stabilizing brace (JWT for TTAG)

You can also run afoul of the ATF’s rules without even touching your otherwise legally-possessed firearm. Just last year, the ATF issued new measurement guidelines that transformed some conventionally legal pistols into presumptively illegal “any other weapon(s),” depending on how they were configured and accessorized. Firearms that Americans purchased legally suddenly became felonious to possess despite that fact that no laws per se were changed.

The problems with these rule changes are compounded by three factors. First, as mentioned above, such changes are not the deliberative product of openly debated legislation, but simply the dictates of agency officials.

Second, the rule changes are often buried in letters responding to particular inquiries rather than being announced and discussed publicly. It is entirely unreasonable to expect ordinary people to keep up with policy changes that occur in that manner.

Finally, violating these policies — perhaps “finding oneself in violation of these policies” would be more apt — is a felony, just as if the policies in question were actual laws. The manner in which the policies are created and disseminated does nothing to diminish the consequences associated with violating them.

And yet, there is actually significant debate over the legitimacy of regarding policy so created as real and binding law. Holding Americans criminally liable for violating “policy” created by correspondence is, at the very least, a highly suspect practice.

But What About Public Safety?

I’ve discussed, at some length, the laughable absurdity of the United States’ restrictions on short-barreled firearms. Presumably, these policies are enforced in the name of public safety, so let’s look at the other side of the equation: Is there any public safety value in these restrictions?

There is none.

For starters, the premise that criminals are more dangerous when armed with SBRs compared to rifles with longer barrels is debatable. Some of the desirable qualities of SBRs are discussed above. However, such advantages are counterbalanced by other factors.

All else being equal, projectiles fired from SBRs have less energy than those fired from longer-barreled rifles. A shorter barrel often comes with a shorter sight radius, which makes the weapon harder to aim effectively in the absence of an optic.

SBRs also suffer from greater muzzle blast, flash, and recoil, all of which can make an SBR more difficult to use effectively relative to its full-size counterpart. Compared to rifles with shorter barrels, SBRs are not categorically more capable. The relative capabilities of the two weapons depend largely on context.

SIG MCX Virtus SBR (courtesy SIG SAUER)

Moreover, shotguns and rifles of any sort are rarely used in homicides, despite the fact that even short-barreled rifles and shotguns are very easy to acquire or make if you don’t care about breaking laws (discussed below). Attempting to curb homicides by restricting rifles and shotguns is invariably a fool’s errand, and that’s doubly true for subsets of either type of firearm.

But let’s forget all that and simply suppose that SBRs are “more deadly” than longer weaponsDoes restricting short-barreled firearms actually prevent criminals from acquiring them?

No, not at all. There are many ways of easily and effectively shortening an otherwise legal rifle or shotgun. For example, it takes no mechanical skill or tools to replace the upper receiver of a perfectly legal AR rifle with the upper receiver taken from a perfectly legal AR pistol, thereby creating a short-barreled rifle. Sure, it’s a felony to do so, but I think it’s safe to say anyone who’s willing to murder innocent people is not concerned about violating National Firearms Act statutes.

Sawed off shotgun
Sawed-off shotgun (By I, Bluedog, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link)

Aside from swapping components to create short-barreled firearms, longer barrels may simply be cut with commonly available tools: criminalizing the possession of “sawed-off shotguns” does nothing to complicate the simple act of lopping off a few inches of barrel with a saw.

And shortening a rifle isn’t the only way to create a short-barreled rifle: one could also add a stock to a pistol, which, legally speaking, would constitute the construction of a short-barreled rifle. For some combinations of pistols and stocks, this would also be an extremely easy task, requiring little or no mechanical ability.

Configuring a firearm as such without the ATF’s approval would be a felony, but, again, it’s unlikely that murderers are interested in the ATF’s technical — and somewhat fluid — definitions of “short barreled rifle” or “any other weapon.”

The existing regulatory regime does nothing to prevent criminals from acquiring or making short-barreled firearms. It’s all for nothing: a burden upon and a liability only to those people who are interested in complying with the law, not the malicious actors who actually threaten public safety.

An Unjustified Infringement

Perhaps you believe that our constitutional rights are not absolute. Even if that’s the case, certainly you also believe that any restrictions or limitations placed upon constitutional rights should require some sort of justification — or else you simply believe in a government of unlimited and arbitrary power, wholly unbounded by the Constitution. I’ll assume you don’t.

Where, then, is the justification for the way our government restricts the possession of short-barreled rifles and shotguns? The case to be made in the name of public safety is worse than flimsy — it’s nonexistent.

But while there’s no such justification, we see that, on the other side of the ledger, this regime of restriction does have a real cost. It is an imposition upon our natural and constitutionally-protected liberties. The regime makes the exercise of those liberties costly and exclusive. We should look with great skepticism upon policies that restrict the enjoyment of our liberties to the elite and the privileged.

Moreover, the restrictive regime makes even the lawful exercise of our liberty nonetheless legally perilous. No peaceful person should have to worry about accidentally committing a felony on account of nonsensical policies that have sprung up around her, without debate, announcement, or adherence to legitimate and constitutionally-enshrined lawmaking processes.

It is past time to reexamine the National Firearms Act, its restrictions on short-barreled firearms, and the ATF’s rule-making by fiat.

Mark Houser independently researches and writes on firearms-related issues.


Previous Post
Next Post


  1. The whole NFA (plus 1968 GCA, Brady, etc) is nonsense and violates the basic human right of self defense (which the 2nd Amendment is supposed to uphold). We deal with this crap, but don’t have to pretend that it is legitimate.

      • Hmmm

        The 2nd Amendment in its entirety: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

        As written the phrase contained within the 2nd amendment, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state” is clearly and unambiguously a subordinate clause which explains why “the right of the PEOPLE (not the militia) to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” was created.

        The metal gymnastics required by those claiming it is the other way around, isn’t just intellectually dishonest, it is historically false.

        More importantly is what is NOT contained in the 2nd Amendment. There are NO limitations, exceptions or exemptions granted the US Government contained within the 2nd Amendment. Period! end of discussion.

        Demanding we the people accept the changes wrought by legislative, judicial or executive fiat arbitrarily imposed by government officials and politicians without the benefit of the Constitutionally mandated Constitutional approval of the collective states are without question or equivocation acts of sedition and/or outright treason.

        If violations are occurring with regard to the bill of Rights, (particularly the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th Amendments) they are not being committed wholesale by the people, rather by corrupt bureaucrats, politicians and the cabal(s) that control them….America belongs to the people, not Washington or any State Capital….

        The bottom line is this entire discussion regarding our unalienable right to bear arms hinging on tiny details and arbitrary rulings by petty bureaucrats is entirely moot. Come to think of it, at least according to the writings of many of the founding fathers, it is no small irony that this was one of primary motives for including the 2nd amendment in the first place….

      • Well, let us examine the second amendment! A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free state. The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed
        Well regulated , meaning to run smooth, be disciplined , well supplied. Militia meaning the body of people consisting of lawful citizens in a free state of existence.
        Security , meaning to keep safe . Necessary meaning needed , essential Free state, meaning the collective of states, the whole nation.
        The right , meaning those essential liberties that all people have regardless of government. The people, the lawful citizens in a free state of existence
        To keep, meaning to own and posses And bear, meaning to carry on or about ones person either open or concealed.
        Arms , meaning weapons Shall, meaning must, will . infringed, meaning restricted , retarded , suppressed.

        Therefore, a well regulated, smooth running ,well supplied, disciplined Militia being necessary, essential, needed, for the security, safety, of a free state, the whole nation, for national security.
        The right, liberties, of the people, free and lawful citizens, shall not, must not , will not be infringed, restricted suppressed.
        Now if you suppress, restrict or infringe upon the rights and liberties of the people to keep, own, and bear arms, open or concealed you are compromising national security.
        The crime of jeopardizing national security is treason.

  2. I completely agree with the overall gist of the article. Short-barreled weapons’ inclusion in NFA is stupid, outmoded “guilt by association” / “moral panic” based legislation rooted in the supposed preferences of sensationalized 1920s and 30s gangsters. It’s counterproductive, even if one accepted gun grabbers’ assumptions and arguments as valid. It’s also largely neutered by bullpups, recent rulings on pistol braces and “firearms” (stockless <18"bbl weapons that shoot shotshells), etc. As these create more precedent, the others in this category become lower-hanging fruit for legislative change.

    That said, there's an error in the article: AOWs include NON-shoulder-fired under-26" shotshell weapons. "Intended to be fired from the shoulder" makes it an SBS.

    • Let’s be real, sound suppressors (legally called “silencers,” which is a misnomer since a firearm equipped with a suppressor is as loud–or louder–than a jackhammer) should not be regulated either. They are a safety device and nothing more.

      There is *NOTHING* silent about them. They simply make a gunshot less-damaging to our hearing and less disturbing to those around the shooter.

      They were added to the NFA out of ignorance and fear (which usually both go hand-in-hand), as much policy tends to be steered by.

  3. If the shoe fits wear it. Some Gun people talk big sh*t. And then don’t go and vote. Or they will say. “it doesn’t matter who you vote for”. “They are all the same.”
    Short barrel firearms are the quintessential self defense weapon. They are practically useless for hunting. Now name a Libertarian, Republican, or Democrat, who has introduced legislation to repeal the NFA???

    Trump 2020

      • Thank you sir. At least someone is trying. State level constitutional carry only happens in your state if they TRY to make it happen. If they don’t try it will never happen. At least I can send him a letter of thanks for at least trying.

    • So, your point? Didn’t you just point out they are all the same? At least as far as NFA restricted firearms are concerned?

      • Do you think a “3 or 4 inch barrel ruger 10/22” would be the same as a 16 inch barrel ruger 10/22???
        I would love to have an SBR with a 30 round mag that could fit in my tool box. With the tools in it. In fact if I dressed properly. I could wear it to a dinner date and no one would know.

    • Well, we currently have a presidential candidate who has addressed this topic in no uncertain terms…

      “I support the repeal of all laws restricting the right to bear arms, including red flag laws. I would abolish the ATF whose sole purpose is to enforce unconstitutional laws.” Jo Jorgensen

      Vote for whomever best aligns with your ideologies.

      • And IF the 2A were the only policy issue, I would agree with you. It’s not and, as much of a 2A absolutist as I am, I simply cannot vote for many of her “policy” prescriptions. That party calling themselves “Libertarians” reminds me of “The Princess Bride” – “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

        The Libertarian Party (capital “L”) is a bunch of people ranging from “nice but misguided” to “batshit crazy”. Yeah, Trump is a problem, and Joe Biden/Kamel-toe Harris are a disaster. Don’t really see Jo Jorgensen as the answer, even IF she had a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning.

      • Been registered Libertarian my entire life, never voted libertarian once. We have a system that makes a third party just a fail outta the box. I dont have to like it, but there it is.

        You got choice A) the pompous airbag that will promise the moon and the stars and do nothing to eliminate ridiculous gun laws no matter what he says on the campaign trail.

        and B) the pseudo-vegetable who is a place holder for a self-described gun confiscator….who will do nothing to increase the gun laws in any meaningful way, no matter what she says on the campaign trail.

        I’m going with pompous airbag, over pseudo-vegetable placeholder but to each his own

        • “I’m going with pompous airbag, over pseudo-vegetable placeholder but to each his own.”

          Nah. Go for the veggie. Let’s get this over quickly, and reboot.

        • “…to each his own”. I heartily concur.

          It is intriguing that you are a member of a party that you have never voted for. I joined the Republican party in 1986 and voted Republican for 20 years. After registering as a Libertarian, I have only voted Libertarian since 2008.

          One could argue that… “We have [voters] that makes a third party just a fail outta the box.”

          “I dont (…) like it, but there it is.”

  4. Soooo…according to the ATF Regulations-du-Jour, a legally purchased Mossberg 501A 12 ga shotgun with a legal 18-1/2″ bbl but with the optional pistol grip installed in lieu of the regular stock is less than 26″ overall and is therefore rendered an NFA restricted firearm?

    NFA is antiquated and needs to be rescinded. It’s a hangover from Frank Roosevelt’s four-term reign of terror anyway.

    • Mark, I don’t think so, the shotgun which has a pistol grip rather than a stock is NOT restricted, as witness the Mossberg Shockwave, which would be an NFA restricted “short barrel shotgun” (14″) except it has a pistol grip, which makes it just another gun, non-NFA.

      OTOH, you are correct about the NFA needing something, my suggestion would be complete repeal, it is clearly unconstitutional anyway.

      • Larry, Mark,
        I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. The Shockwave is legal because it’s over 26″. If you pistol-gripped an 18.5″bbl shotgun and made it <26", it would become an SBS even without the stock because it started out with one. My M500 is at my other place so I can't measure it now, but IIRC it's not physically practical to attach a usable pistol grip that would shorten it below 26".

        • Neither.

          the Mossberg Shockwave and its clones, was never built as a “shoulder fired weapon” and does not meet the definition in federal law of a shotgun, so it can’t be a short barreled “shotgun“.

          Note in 18USC 921 (a)(5) and 18USC 921 (a)(7) the definitions of “shotgun” and “rifle” include the phrase “… “… intended to be fired from the shoulder …” …”.

          Note also in 18USC 921 (a)(6) and 18USC 921 (a)(8), they refer back to the definition of “shotgun” or “rifle” preceding it.

          18 USC 921 Definitions
          (a) As used in this chapter—

          (5) The term “shotgun” means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of an explosive to fire through a smooth bore either a number of ball shot or a single projectile for each single pull of the trigger.

          (6)The term “short-barreled shotgun” means a shotgun having one or more barrels less than eighteen inches in length and any weapon made from a shotgun (whether by alteration, modification or otherwise) if such a weapon as modified has an overall length of less than twenty-six inches.

          (7)The term “rifle” means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of an explosive to fire only a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger.

          (8)The term “short-barreled rifle” means a rifle having one or more barrels less than sixteen inches in length and any weapon made from a rifle (whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise) if such weapon, as modified, has an overall length of less than twenty-six inches.

          The Shockwave was not intended by the manufacturer to be “… fired from the shoulder …”, thus it isn’t a “shotgun” and not subject to the restrictions placed on a “shotgun”.

          Note the part that says any weapon made from a shotgun (whether by alteration, modification or otherwise).
          If it never was a shotgun, it can’t be made from a shotgun.

          Legally, it’s not a shotgun or pistol because it doesn’t meet the definition of a pistol either,

          18 USC 921
          (a) As used in this chapter—

          (29) The term “handgun” means—
          (A) a firearm which has a short stock and is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand; and
          (B) any combination of parts from which a firearm described in subparagraph (A) can be assembled.

        • Knowledge is Power,
          If you’re disagreeing with me, I’m not sure how. Agreed that a Shockwave could never be an SBS for exactly the reasons you cite, but it WOULD be an AOW (like the “Serbu Super Shorty”) if under 26″ OAL.

          Mark’s question, however, was about the 500, which IS a shotgun, WAS designed to be fired from the shoulder, and therefore WOULD be an SBS if modified to below 26″.

  5. Politics aside, why would anyone want a short-barrelled AR-15?? The ballistics SUCK.

    The .357 is far better at almost every barrel length

    Oh. I know why. It “looks cool.”

    • You got a magazine-fed .357 semi-auto modular style rifle (i.e. buildability, modifiable, etc) for $500* that I can buy? Cause I will.

      *pre rona prices… I dunno what an AR costs now

    • I want a short barreled AR-15, what’s it to you? And I own one, suppressed, in .300 blackout, with a 9″ barrel, it works real fine, why does it need to be registered with the goons at ATF?

      • As do I. The only difference between my/our config as SBR or pistol is the butt-end of the brace/stock. Solid?…SBR. Split design with velcro strap?…pistol. All other aspects such as barrel length, sights, mag capacity, grip, et al are the same, as is the lethality.

        I think that the melding of all-things-firearms as a result of modern innovation has removed the muddied line between classic pistol and long gun. The NFA really has no relevance whatsoever anymore, regardless of what *might* have been argued decades ago. It’s a dead zombie document that needs to be buried.

        • “The NFA really has no relevance whatsoever anymore,…”

          The NFA is quite relevant today: a tool of politicians to use in achieving political goals. If NFA were useless to politicians, it would have been repealed long ago (as it is not a money-generator for government).

      • As shown on BBTI, 10″ barrel .357 KE exceeds that of a 10″ barrel .223 (theoretically, although cylinder gap will detract).

        Ballistics isn’t everything, though. The average M-16 rifleman might lose a few points on the rifle qual with an SBR due to increased muzzle blast and flash, and decreased sight radius. No one but Jerry Miculek would have a chance on the rifle course with a .357 revolver.

        • You realize kinetic energy is by itself a horrible metric for measuring a rounds potential. You get a far flatter shooting round, you get rounds with significantly better penetration, and far greater lethality than any .357 with 5.56 even at the 10inch barrel length.

        • Seans,
          Yes, you’re absolutely right about “flatter shooting” and “better penetration”. I also agree that KE isn’t everything.

          Lethality varies with a number of other factors related to delivering that energy on target. As I alluded in my previous post, the SBR’s trajectory (and shoulderable stability) will give it a huge advantage for shot placement. On the other hand, .223 ball won’t expand (and few/none will yaw) at 10″bbl velocities, increasing likelihood of wasteful overpenetration. .357 would penetrate adequately at reasonable ranges, and its bigger blunter bullet is likely to dump more energy in flesh.

    • USSOCOM is very happy with their 10.3″ Mk 18s, but their intended use is inside ships and buildings. At CQB distances, the lower velocity just acts like a longer barrel at longer range. Compare it to the 9mm MP5 it replaced. OTOH, the Mk12 is intended for extended distances and has an 18″ barrel while weighing 10 pounds. Neither is really suitable for the other’s role.

  6. 2 suppressors in NFA jail right now and an AOW to follow shortly (see what I did there?!).
    The wait is a major PITA, the interstate transport restrictions is 100% unadulterated B.S., and the $ is taxation for a Constitutional Right.

    • You know the interstate permissions slip (Form 5320.20) doesn’t apply to suppressors and AOWs, right? It’s for machine guns, SBRs, SBSs, and destructive devices. Still, it is a ridiculous infringement of 2A and an overreach of Federal power. If the item isn’t sold, how could it affect interstate commerce? You can’t legally buy another one in the destination state instead of taking your current one, so even the outrageous reasoning of Wickard v. Filburn affecting interstate trade by not participating in it can’t be applied.

  7. I agree that the NFA of 1934 is a mess and I’m sure a big percentage of the TTAG readership would, too. But I want to give you a data point on the “hurdles to ownership”. Early in July, I affixed my legally registered suppressor to my legally purchased Colt M4 (16″ barrel) for the first time and was taken aback by it’s unwieldy overall length. Right then I decided I needed my first SBR. I completed my Form 1 paperwork through the ATF’s e-forms site on 7/9/20. I informed my Class 3 dealer that I would be coming in for fingerprints when I received the emailed cover sheet from ATF. After 9 days it had not arrived and I told him that I was still waiting. He said to go back in and check for the cover sheet. Sure enough, there it was. I was 5 days away from the 10 business day deadline for getting my fingerprint cards to them. Fingerprints were done the next day and I drove to the downtown post office for Priority Mail 2-day shipping. ATF signed for the envelope on 7/22. On 8/6, I received my APPROVAL along with the PDF of my tax stamp. So, 27 days from start to finish, but probably delayed at least a week by my inexperience with the process.

    All in all not a big deal in terms of hassle. Sure, I would rather spend that $200 elsewhere, but hell I just waited 2.5 months for delivery on a pair of boots. It could be worse.

    • Wow, I have NEVER heard of 27 days before. I got my SBR and suppressor paperwork at the same time, and then-recent improvements cut the time down to right around 4 months, though occasional people were still seeing a year . Do we suppose something has been improved? I heard back when that the NFA section of ATF was 8 people, which really seems abusive when it results in year long waits to exercise a right. If you don’t want to man the department, just repeal the law.

      Hey, did your suppressor paperwork come back that fast?

  8. an AR with ten inch barrel using a 30rnd magazine and a Glock with a 5 inch barrel shooting 21. Five inches and nine shots less. What I actually think is the gunm manufactures want the short barrels to save even more money, skeletonized stocks, plastic plastic everywhere, aluminum. Saves money for them but Our prices don’t drop that much. And the silencer thing, gotta have that when ear muffs work better. Still you should be able to own what you want and doctor your gunm up anyway you want.

  9. So, if you do get a tax stamp for a lower receiver as a short-barreled rifle, can you then configure it any way you want (still semi-auto) and be legal?

    • Yes, but it will always be an SBR, even though it’s current configuration is physically and functionally identical to a non-NFA rifle.. It has to remain in your possession unless it goes through an NFA transfer, NFA stamp proof has to be kept with it, and it needs a Form 5320.20 for interstate travel.

    • Don’t bet on it Sam, either way. A sudden change in policy suddenly making loads of people into instant criminals sometimes has a way of affecting the tides of change in a way the policy makers didn’t intend.

      Whether that be with meek civil disobedience with non-compliance ala NZ, mass compliance like the EU continent, or outright revolution as our forefathers did remains to be seen.

      • “A sudden change in policy suddenly making loads of people into instant criminals sometimes has a way of affecting the tides of change in a way the policy makers didn’t intend.”

        An interesting word at the last (“intend”). Seems all the AR pistol holders are depending on the word “intent”, as in the intent of the weapon when manufactured. Being an old word twister (working for the feds), I can see BATF declaring that the “intent” of the AR pistol also includes the intent of the buyer/owner. Thus, the buyer/owner “intended” to be in possession of an SBR, without registering such.

        I keep coming back to the BATFEE declaration that one can be in “constructive possession” of an unregistered silencer simply by having all the components (or quickly produced components) collected in one place.

        • That would be why I prefer bullpup’s where possible over them. Thing’s that are not as subject to the any which way the wind blows through the politicians inbuilt wind tunnels.

          i.e. Their ears.

        • “That would be why I prefer bullpup’s…”

          Change of direction….

          Have handled a coupla bullpup rifles at the gun shop. The are generally good looking items, easy to hold and handle. Question, with the “bang” so close to the face/ears, is available hearing protection good enough? If used without hearing protection, is hearing damage almost assured?

        • Absolutely, I don’t find them any more differing in perceived volume than any other rifle or shotgun. I can’t back that up with empirical data, only by word of “mouth” of the weapon itself. I have lab calibrated mics, albeit the focus is on precision across the audible spectrum, not absolute volume, but for real time spectrum analysis with regard for reproduction accuracy.

          Only difficulty is getting used to pup’s relocation of controls. Also, forget using drum’s due to maneuverability with most, esp. where shotguns are concerned. Large box mags are better for bullpup’s.

        • “Absolutely, I don’t find them any more differing in perceived volume than any other rifle or shotgun.”

          Interesting. If ever I can rent a bullpup rifle, I will give it a try.


        • Sam I Am,
          I’ve got several bullpup 5.56 rifles with 16” barrels and they are all much more pleasant to shoot than a 10.5” 5.56 AR15, even though their overall length is slightly shorter.

        • “I’ve got several bullpup 5.56 rifles with 16” barrels and they are all much more pleasant to shoot than a 10.5” 5.56 AR15, even though their overall length is slightly shorter.”

          Really? That is quite interesting. Thanx.

      • Ah yes, non-compliance.

        I couple of years ago, some of my buddies and I went on one of our typical trips out to the SoCal open desert to shoot. On this particular trip, there were none of our usual LE-sworn members with us, so on that day we were just a few carloads of regular Joes out for a day of fun and training.

        One of us asked if it would be okay if one of his buddies could come along. No worries, he’ll bring his own truck and drive to/from himself. Sure, we said.

        After the first hour of typical setup, sighting in, and plinking, we got serious and got down to the business of sighting in tactical rifles and such. The new guy asked if any of us were staunch 2A supporters and believed in the “Shall Not Be Infringed” code of the warrior. We said of course…why? He then opened up the first case (of a few) containing what were…shall we say…pure manifestations of Shall Not Be Infringed that he had built himself and were certainly not legal in CA, and a couple of them were dubious at the NFA level. Shall Not Be Infringed, indeed.

        The rest of us enviously looked over his collection, then gave each other that “First Rule About Fight Club” look of understanding to each other and went back to our own shooting. Nobody ever mentioned a word of it again.

        • *grins* Wouldn’t know anyone like that myself. I’ve heard there might be something to when it’s time to bury, it’s also time to dig others up. Some rumors, I swear.

        • Don’t remember that guy’s name (if it was real to begin with), and haven’t seen or heard about him since. A ghost.

        • 9X39,
          I recently read on a prepper kind of web site, something to the effect, “if you think it’s time to start burying arms, it’s probably time to dig them up”.

          I’m sure I ruined the original quote.

  10. The NFA of 1934 was all about gangsters, or rather the fear of Depression era Gangsters. It was nonsense then and it is nonsense today.

    But I just don’t bother with short barreled rifles or pretend pistol-rifle creativity. Ain’t worth the threat of the bureaucracy having themselves an emotional change of philosophy.

  11. Some laws are there to provide probable cause to arrest and jail bad guys who otherwise were not subject to arrest and jail. If the SBR law allows cops to jail a banger/ganger for no other reason than possession of an SBR, is that a bad thing?

    • Yes. It is a bad thing. Bad people should be arrested for doing bad things, not for violating nonsense regulations.

      • “Bad people should be arrested for doing bad things, not for violating nonsense regulations.”

        Working as a fulfillment center warehouse supervisor, I had to lay off about 10 people. Last in, first out sort of thing. One of the staff was a good worker, smart, well-spoken, and displaying about twenty gang and prison tats. When I notified him that he was being laid off, the threatened to bring some of his friends by one day, and put me down. I would have been glad to have this guy jailed on any pretense. As it turned out, we had three warehouses, and I arranged a transfer to one of the others, telling the staff at the first warehouse I was leaving the company. Still, it was a tense year and a half before I actually moved to a different company.

        • , I don’t like threats. I’d have probably invited him and his friends over for dinner, you can always freeze the leftovers.

        • “, I don’t like threats. I’d have probably invited him and his friends over for dinner, you can always freeze the leftovers.”

          Inventive and intriguing idea.

        • The problem you run into is that any pretense you create to jail that guy that isn’t actually something bad will inevitably entrap innocent people who are doing ti with no ill intent.

          Also I do believe a threat is enough to get the cops involved. If the guy is a banger and has any prior convictions that may be enough to get him locked back up.

        • “The problem you run into is that any pretense you create to jail that guy that isn’t actually something bad will inevitably entrap innocent people who are doing ti with no ill intent. ”

          All law “might” be abused/mis-used. I would counter that all laws might also be used appropriately. Again, we are at the intersection: law should punish, or law should deter…or both.

        • While it makes for interesting speculation/discussion, it is a truism of jurisprudence, history, and military science that you don’t make laws/give orders that won’t or can’t be performed or enforced – because it demonstrably reduces respect for and compliance with ALL laws and orders. I could cite you lots of “academic” studies, but they all pretty much come to that conclusion.

          Obvious example? Prohibition. There are reliable and peer-reviewed studies and research papers that pretty conclusively demonstrate that consumption of alcohol – both in quantity and in numbers consuming it – increased during Prohibition. The “War on Drugs” sure has been a raging success, hasn’t it?

          That it perhaps might have benefitted you, personally, in a particular situation is hardly justification for passing, or unconstitutionally applying, a bad law. Sorry it happened to you, but NO, your preference doesn’t justify a bad law.

          And I would think, as a 2A supporter, you would understand that. Apparently, it’s all about who’s ox is being gored, eh?

        • “…it is a truism of jurisprudence, history, and military science that you don’t make laws/give orders that won’t or can’t be performed or enforced – because it demonstrably reduces respect for and compliance with ALL laws and orders.”

          And here we are. There is no guarantee that enforceable laws result in more respect for those laws. Some laws are enforced through voluntary compliance. But, with tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of laws “on the books”, an old adage leads nowhere.

          So, should law be only punitative, or prohibitive? Or both? I kinda prefer the law of the jungle, and law is only punitive. Get away with whatever you can, but get caught, and you go down hard. Of course, even punitive law can be unenforceable.

      • Art, don’t take Sam’s posts as but mostly sarcastic, and/or playing devil’s advocate most of the time. Sometimes, he does possess a penchant for making it hard to tell the difference though.

        • “Or perhaps I gauged this one wrong.”

          The statemement that some laws are created to give probable cause where otherwise it didn’t exist (or to faciitate charges that will be dropped in order to secure a plea bargin) is serious (as in not snark). The question about whether such laws are good for society, that is also serious, but intended to spark thought. One thought being how easily such laws can be abused, another being that pre-emptive arrest might be a good thing in some circumstances…or not.

        • You’re speaking to someone, upon whom that preemptive arrest was executed upon not so very long ago. Based on the falsehoods of the person who has been stalking me, and the lies of the officer in charge who falsely claimed, even though captured on audio/video showing otherwise, who proclaimed I said I didn’t feel my life was in danger. This after they, the on scene officers refused to view the evidence showing him threatening me with a firearm.

          What they have done, is quite literally facilitate stalking & harassment, as he has weaponized the no contact order by intentionally trying to force a violation of it. I feel for you in your personal situation, but I am currently on the polar opposite end of that lance with exactly that being used against me illegally. Take a stab at exactly where I stand on those issues?

        • “You’re speaking to someone, upon whom that preemptive arrest was executed upon not so very long ago.”

          I hear ya. BTDT, it wasn’t fun at all, and it was only accidental that I found out that the authorities had me under investigation.

          As you noted, my intent was to pose a question that has both good utility, and bad. Are any laws predicated on “might/maybe” useful?

        • It’s a precarious balance, freedom always is. How to ensure freedom in the face of law, without ending up on the wrong side of the equation is always a persistent issue. An issue, I might note, every governing body everywhere resents in it’s desire to abscond with all of the power, which is an affront to freedom itself.

        • “How to ensure freedom in the face of law, without ending up on the wrong side of the equation is always a persistent issue.”

          Agree. Dealing with humans is extremely difficult, and tiring.

          To borrow and misuse a famous quote:
          Dying Dealing with humans is a very dull, dreary affair. And my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it.”
          – – W. Somerset Maugham (edited)

      • This is, in essence, my argument against virtually all “possession” laws – particularly as they apply to firearms and related components. How does my owning, having, possessing something, virtually anything, get defined into a crime? How can one commit a crime without doing harm to another or, at a minimum (and we get into hair splitting territory here) presenting a reasonable threat of harm? I have never had anyone give me a satisfactory argument as to why it should be illegal for me to have an unregistered SBR or SBS. Registered or not, I’m not allowed to go around shooting people with it.

        I would love it if the NFA possession laws were the most capricious but, sadly, they are not. In New Jersey you can be arrested and taken to jail for possession of a hollow point bullet. (Not even a round, the wording of the applicable statute states hollow nose *bullet*.) How on earth could possession of a bullet be dangerous. Buddy of mine in high school had an inert .357 HP round on a necklace. In NJ, he could be arrested for that. (Never mind that he was in danger of arrest from the fashion police everywhere)

        • “How does my owning, having, possessing something, virtually anything, get defined into a crime?”

          People get the government they allow/vote for. The people elect representatives who pass laws. The people then allow those representatives to write whatever laws the representatives believe will keep them elected. The people allow the elected representatives to manage the administration of laws such as to benefit the elected representatives. In short, “We the People” includes people who don’t think like ourselves, and they seem to stay in the majority.

        • “…chartered a Republic and not a dumbocracy.”

          “dumbocracy”. I like that. Glad I said it first. You have permission to use it as your own.

        • I think it’s an obvious phonetic as well as philosophical inference myself, but if you really insist you were first I’m sure there are some people you can convince to send you royalty checks :p

        • “I’m sure there are some people you can convince to send you royalty checks :p”

          I hope so. It is my retirement plan.

        • It’s all about potential, opportunity, and threat. If you don’t have it then none of it applies.
          Of course criminals both on the street and in high office avail themselves of whatever they can find.

        • @Sam

          Yes, I understand the procedural “how” something like possession of an object becomes illegal. The question I am asking, perhaps too clumsily, is, “How did we get to the place where enough voters will elect enough policy-makers who are so unconcerned about rights and freedoms that we end up with laws that, if taken literally enough, can turn a completely reasonable, functioning, peaceful and productive citizen into a felon for owning an object or collection of objects that they may not even know could constitute a crime.” I, for instance, own a shotgun and a hacksaw. Am I in constructive possession of and SBS?

          In other words, I am pondering/questioning “how” so many can be so foolish.

        • “In other words, I am pondering/questioning “how” so many can be so foolish.”

          Tracks back to “The Greatest Generation”.

        • @ Sam

          Yes, to an extent the “Greatest generation” has some things to answer for – as do their parents and their children. I have conversations with people often in which I pose questions about things like possession laws and related, as I see them, overreaches of government and, generally, the responses I get are focused on fear – particularly fear of the unknown. I am not sure how generational that fear is or is not – haven’t drilled down on that much. But, the most common justification I hear for, what I see to be onerous and arbitrary laws, is something along the lines of, “Well, someone who has a [thing] *could* use that thing to do a [harm]. To which I respond along the lines of, “Yes they could. If they do, we should charge them with the crime that most closely fits the [harm] caused. If, however, they don’t cause a [harm], why should we charge them with a crime?” Generally, the response is, “But, but, but, they COULD.” and the conversation dies on the vine.

        • “Well, someone who has a [thing] *could* use that thing to do a [harm].”

          The question here is one of whether “prevention” of crime through declarations (laws) regarding possible behaviors is a valid concept. Even though one element of law is punishment, it seems all law is predicated on the notion that setting limits to behavior actually limits behavior. If society sees that punishment is not achieving the social “good”, what is to be done? Allow the disfavored behavior to become rampant while creating the tools to ensure punishment is meted out? Create a pre-emptive law in hopes of detering the disfavored behavior?

          At the simplest level, let’s consider speed limits. What are they for? Why do they exist? Are they useful? Does society benefit directly, or indirectly? As it stands, the number of deaths and injuries attributed to motor vehicles seems pretty stagnant over time. Yet, vehicles are “safer” than they have been at any time before. Should we wait until speed is determined to be the cause of death or injury? Should we maintain speed limits because although the gross number of deaths and injury seem static, the number of drivers and vehicles in operation keeps growing? It that evidence that the assumption that people will do things to cause death and injury justifies speed limits to contain the number of tragedies each year? If speed limits are good, does that not argue that preventitive laws in general can be declared useful and valid?

          Like with machine guns, the lack of crimes committed with short barreled rifles is self-feeding. Tightly control machine guns, and you squash the crime rate attributed to machine guns. Tightly control SBRs, and you squash the crime rate attributed to SBRs. Question? Do those regulations actually reduce the crime rates, or are the crime rates reduced because of the law? (chicken/egg). Do speed limits contain the carnage, or is the static condition due to safer vehicles? Or due to people simply being more careful because that is a good thing to do?

          Do we want only to deal with outcomes, or attempt to prevent circumstances that would result in disfavored outcomes? Is some pre-emptive behavioral constraint beneficial, and some not? Which, and why? What are the objective standards for determining which pre-emptive measures are permissible, and which are not?

          And the entire premise that pre-emptive law is wrong is based on a “what if”. “What if those laws are mis-used/abused?” Is this not the same justification used to oppose behavior laws based on “what if”?

        • @ Sam

          “The question here is one of whether “prevention” of crime through declarations (laws) regarding possible behaviors is a valid concept.”

          Ah, yes, that is the question and, by posing it you have engaged the conversation that I said usually “dies on the vine”. You also brought up the most common category of laws that fall into the preventative prohibition category in such discussions – speed limits. One could argue that speed limits are indeed an infringement of freedom but a reasonable and acceptable one because excessive speed is dangerous. One could also argue that speed limits, in the absence of damage directly related to speed (as opposed to, say, driver error, distraction, intoxication, etc.) as the proximate cause are arbitrary and useless. Indeed, you have hit the nail on the head when you said,

          “Do we want only to deal with outcomes, or attempt to prevent circumstances that would result in disfavored outcomes? Is some pre-emptive behavioral constraint beneficial, and some not? Which, and why? What are the objective standards for determining which pre-emptive measures are permissible, and which are not?

          And the entire premise that pre-emptive law is wrong is based on a “what if”. “What if those laws are mis-used/abused?” Is this not the same justification used to oppose behavior laws based on “what if”?.”

          Yes, good question and yes, these are the crux of the issue. To what degree should law be malum prohibitum and to what degree malum in se?

          Unfortunately, in my experience, this is a level of discourse that is rarely encountered. The willingness of most people to engage in a constructive discussion at this level is limited at best. In principle, I believe this is the type of discussion we are supposed to expect our elected representatives to have in some sort of good faith, dispassionate context and we, trusting that this has occurred, are supposed to accept and follow the laws and precepts that result. Were this the case, I think things would work out reasonably well. In my opinion, however, the proportion of the population that we label “public servants” is no longer (if it ever was, I only have a half century or so of experience to draw on) a body of contemplative, honest and logical representatives of the people but, rather, a group of self important fools who, for some reason, have enough appeal to slightly over fifty percent of the population to get elected.

          You make an excellent point about the dichotomous nature or “what-if” laws and, in a reasonable (note I did not say “ideal”) world, the discussion about what the benefits and limits of implementing laws as both a deterrent and as a framework for punishment would be a meaningful and recurring debate in the legislative bodies that we ask to govern our communities and nation. What are and where are the limits to a given line of thought? To what degree is a given law preventive or punitive? What is the relationship between potential, penalty and prevention?

          These are excellent questions, with few easy answers, but they are also stratospheric in comparison to the heights of debate that are currently being engaged in by our “betters”.

          Completely reasonable people can come down on various points on this implied spectrum but, I do not have confidence that the current leadership in most of the jurisdictions in our nation even understands the nature of this particular “debate”. (I put debate in quotes because I don’t think you and I are necessarily taking opposing positions but, rather, expounding on a topic from similar, though possibly not identical, perspectives.)

        • Thanks for the detailed and illustrative response.

          “(I put debate in quotes because I don’t think you and I are necessarily taking opposing positions but, rather, expounding on a topic from similar, though possibly not identical, perspectives.)”

          I would say we are not in a debate. My purpose is generally to provoke more than superficial thinking (or mere sloganeering). Along that line, I pose questions in hopes they illuminate the circularity, or inconsistency, of thinking about serious affairs regarding guns, rights, and human behavior. Questions of how our demands are actually mirror images of our enemies, but justified by our particular, and flexible, ideas on what is appropriate when.

          One of my more frequent attacks of questions regards the proclamation that one is hopeless as a suitable POTG when stating, “I believe in the Second Amendment, but….”. The reality is we are all guilty of that if we ever pronounce that one or another exception to absolute right to own a firearm is permissible. If we proclaim even a single exception, we land squarely in the “I believe in the Second Amendment, but…” crowd. We need to abandon that whole meme because it is disingenuous on its face.

          On the whole of your response, I come to the question of just who the founders were thinking of at the creation of the Republic? It seems they were disposed to thinking of a nation of persons with the time and wealth to spend the greater part of their life to questions of great bearing. Whereas, the Republic we were given seems all to openly ignore how the great masses of people consumed (rightly so) almost entirely with just getting through the day successful (we, the people). Maybe, because we were almost exclusively an agrarian society, there was time even for the “average person” to contemplate the great issues, whereas as in an urban society time for contemplation has shrunken to nearly nothing.

        • @ Sam

          Yes, I think the founders of this nation were assuming that the people had time and energy to spend thinking about these questions of great import. Whether this was an assumption based upon their collective life experiences or born from some other source, I don’t know. I have to admit, at this point, a bit of a conceit in that I don’t actually think that most of “we the people” have demonstrated that we have the ability to think about and discuss matters of great import in great depth. (Or, perhaps, many are unwilling to do so and my assessment of their ability is overly arrogant.) Whatever the case, I fear that the public debate and, even, the discussions in our most esteemed institutions, have devolved to mere blame throwing and name calling and are unlikely, in the near future, to become the elevated discourse the founders appear to have assumed was necessary for the flourishing of the republic they had envisioned.

        • In the days of the founders, political office was not a career. Indeed, being a federal bureaucrat wasn’t much of an option (very limited government). Once politics could become a profitable career, election became the prime consideration. All else either interfered with re-election, or generally ensured it.

          I remember a political cartoon from the Bi-Centennial celebration year. The view was from under a grand table, looking up. The drawing included massive chairs pulled up to the grand table. Above the table,on the backs of the massive chairs, in bold letters, the names of the founders. Below the table the tiny legs and feet and names of current, celebrated politicos of the day. There was no caption.

          For those with unshakable faith in the inherent “goodness” of humans, I suggest: “Look around you.”

        • Myname,
          The Founders weren’t so much “assuming”, as setting preconditions more stringent than the processing of oxygen into CO2 over US soil.

        • “The Founders weren’t so much “assuming”, as setting preconditions more stringent than the processing of oxygen into CO2 over US soil.”

          There is a direction this avenue of inquiry could go, but not particularly comfortable.

        • Not my intent.

          If a foreign terrorist bitch, so dedicated to the cause that she’s willing to rob a bank while heavily pregnant, drops her little bastard in the vault, he doesn’t inherit a seat on the bank’s Board of Directors. If the crimes took place in the US, he – not despite, but as a direct result of, Mom’s criminal intrusion into another’s property – one day acquires voting rights equal to yours.

          My teenage sons are not only far more intelligent, but also more rational, responsible, and even in many ways more knowledgeable than the average American voter, and certainly worlds more so than some. The eldest recently became a legal adult. I sometimes solicit and respect their opinions before making a family decision, but I certainly don’t recognize in them a right (much less an equal one) to vote on how I spend my pay – because they had no part in earning it. The Founders didn’t sloganize “no representation without taxation” as they did its converse, but they wisely enshrined their forefathers’ tradition of a stakeholder-electorate into law. They certainly didn’t believe that idling parasites have a sacred right to an equal say in how their hardworking betters’ earnings are spent.

          In the old university tradition, student scholars hired the most reputable thinkers of their day to improve their own knowledge. Imagine the sort of school rules that a traditional Oxonian literary circle might draft for themselves. Now consider how long such a system would survive contact with a typical dumbass fraternity – much less a SpEd kindergarten. Every expansion of our electorate has naturally, inevitably resulted in a dimunition of liberty from the original code of laws that a self-motivated, self-disciplined, self-made republican citizenry drafted to keep their honest neighbors honest.

        • Actually, I cannot find a valid argument for not requiring every person to pass the naturalization citizenship test prior to receiving a certificate to vote. Admittedly it would likely be a one time event, but the result can’t be worse than just letting breathing bodies to vote.

        • @ Sam

          “For those with unshakable faith in the inherent “goodness” of humans, I suggest: “Look around you.””

          An unfortunately instructive suggestion.

      • “Laws selectively enforced are a tool of tyranny.”

        That is the situation already. What is wrong with selectively using such a tool to protect the public?

        And, BTW, we do love us some selectivity when we benefit. Ever talked your way out of a traffic ticket? Know someone who has? Ever fudged your taxes, knowing the IRS selects almost exclusively the tax fileres who potentially will yeild a great boon of back taxes and fines, versus Joey Baggadonuts who files 1040A? And there are so many more examples.

        If we consider selective enforcement of laws to be tyranny, any of us who benefited are taking advantage of selectively, and are aligned with that tyranny, no?

        • Citizens taking advantage of ambiguity to evade persecution for activities that should never have been illegal in the first place is the OPPOSITE of “complicit[y] in tyranny”.

        • “Citizens taking advantage of ambiguity to evade persecution for activities that should never have been illegal in the first place is the OPPOSITE of “complicit[y] in tyranny”.”

          What ambiguity? Talking a cop out of a righteous speeding ticket? Evading income taxes by relying on the selective enforcement of the tax law? Speeding should have never been illegal? Tax evasion should never have been illegal?

        • I should have been more specific. I neither evade taxes nor condone it; it shifts the burden onto all of us who do the right thing. On the other hand, it’s hard to deny that the various credits, refunds, and exemptions rewarding personal choices (irrelevant, if not contradictory, to one’s obligation to pay his way in society) erode that sense of civic responsibility.

          On the other hand – with the possible exception of the felony of filing an 18″ shotgun barrel to 17.99″ – there is no law more absurdly undeserving of the appellation “righteous” than speeding tickets.

          Our Founders based our legal rights (and the criminal laws that safeguard them) on the concept of Sic Utere: My rights are bounded by yours, and I may not be held in jeopardy of life, liberty, and property until and unless I am reasonably suspected of violating yours; though a reasonable case could be made for preventing / punishing DIRECT and IMMEDIATE threats as well. A rare traffic law that meets that standard would be driving down the wrong side of a freeway – which forces everyone else traveling in that lane to either relinquish that legal right, or experience severe harm to person or property, just like most violent crimes.

          Conversely, the majority of the traffic code – which criminalizes choices based on a vague, arbitrarily chosen (Why not 56mph? Why not 54?), and OBTW very slight statistical correlation to the historical incidence of harm – is antithetical to Sic Utere. Even more absurd, any of those actions (unless clearly malicious) that cause ACTUAL harm is treated as an “accident” and a matter for civil arbitrators to decide, often without the [ir]responsible individual even having to set foot in court!

          Now compare traffic laws with the Four Rules of Gun Safety. Unlike the traffic laws, the Four are simple, few, obvious, and easy to remember. Also unlike most traffic laws (such as speed limits, which contradict most drivers’ desire for expeditious travel) the Four Rules limit nothing desirable, and simply remind every proficient shooter to shoot the way he would logically choose to. Sadly, a far larger and bipartisan majority of Americans cherishes driving and believes it is a critical part of their lives and freedoms than gun rights – yet there is ZERO criminal enforcement of the Four Rules, or anything even close! Even at crowded ranges, or on opening days of hunting seasons (when the woods look like an orange checkerboard), there aren’t cops anywhere, ever, surveilling and citing and fining and revoking for people who put their fingers on triggers before they are ready to fire, don’t assess for a safe backstop or treat guns as if they’re loaded – AGAIN, until and unless in doing so they pose a DIRECT and IMMEDIATE THREAT to SPECIFIC people (or maybe groups, like a playground full of kids). Simple, effective, respectful of rights as well as safety – Sic Utere.

        • We know that all persons are not virtuous. Do we, as a collection of individuals, deal with individual behaviors solely based on direct impact of behavior on others, or do we, as a collection of individuals, have a responsiblity to ourselves and others, to attempt to prevent potential direct impact of disfavored behavior? Without coming to a societal decision on that question, the details are irrelevant.

          In the example of motor vehicles, do we wait for the carnage, or regulate behavior so as to have the potential to prevent the carnage? In your scenario, a vehicle proceeding wrongway along the road presents only a potential danger of direct impact upon all the vehicles traveling IAW posted right-of-way. By what reasoning does the public/society have authority to sanction the wrong-way driver prior to causing actual damage to anyone?

          If one accepts that it is reasonable to promulgate some preventative constraints to behaviors, it is permissible to promulgate other preventitave constraints. And for the same reason: mitigate the necessity of dealing with the aftermath of an event that impacts directly on others. In the criminal realm, should the public be forced to await crime in order to exact punishment, or make attempts to prevent the crime?

          Once we agree (via legislation/law) on the punishment/prevention concept, we next need to address how to accommodate people unalterably opposed to either (or both) propositions. After that, we can discuss how to implement the details.

        • Sam,
          “Wait for the carnage”? Like the huge fall in annual driving fatalities (despite a large rise in population and vehicle miles traveled) since the ludicrous Federal 55mph limit went away?

          Wrongway driver: direct and immediate threat to actual, identifiable individuals or groups – absolutely analogous, for cars, to (imminent and therefore reasonable) preventive firearm-misuse laws like assault with a deadly weapon or brandishing.

          Some-vague-statistical-correlation BS like speed limits in the desert? Just like lying in wait to arrest you for muzzling your own foot in the desert (or your livingroom), and antithetical to liberty.

        • And you trust the GOVERNMENT to “selectively enforce” these laws PROPERLY to “protect the people”????

          You are literally too stupid to breathe.

        • LampOfDiogenes,
          Brilliant thinkers like Plato argued, somewhat convincingly, in favor of entrusting the “wisest and best” with broad government powers. One might even point to a handful of real historical leaders who seem to have employed broad authority wisely and responsibly for the overall good of their countries.

          Using petty regulatory administrivia to outlaw a bevy of normal activities (which are neither harmful nor immoral) takes it much further than that, and delegates discretionary authority to every minor bureaucratic functionary and every E1 dumbshit who ever made it into a podunk police department. It makes your whole life beholden, not to a philosopher-king, but to the lowest common denominator of humanity.

  12. Right up my alley this article is. Trying to find SOT stamp holders of the right variety to legally shorten 2 of my shotgun’s barrels is a right PITA. Why you ask? Allow me to illuminate. Moving out of state for one, not wishing for the hassles of “show me your papers” is another. Finally, crossing state lines regularly with them will be a thing.

    What it’s all about, is wanting to shorten the OAL on them both, but without ending up with a SBS in the end. Then the rub consists of the addition of brakes, which requires pinning & welding to take them back to non-NFA 18″ length status. Ironically, there isn’t one single mechanical operation above I couldn’t do myself aside from a refinishing requirement. Alas I cannot, because it’s an outright violation of the NFA to do it myself. It’s all bs, but it is what it is.

    Specialists only need apply, of which one is a Vepr 12, and I need a bit more than just that listed above. I am familiar with Dissident, that’s where most of my mags & my grip came from. No, they don’t offer all of the services I need, and I’d rather not ship all over creation to get every operation done. Anyone has any options, I’m all ears.

    • I don’t understand the issue unless the barrel cannot be removed from the receiver. Removal of the Vepr barrel is difficult, but not impossible if you have the right tools. Maybe your gunsmith doesn’t have an adequate press. If the gunsmith only has the barrel(s), cutting them shorter doesn’t make it an SBS until their are united with a receiver. Adding the permanently attached brakes makes them be included in the barrel length by the time the barrel is reunited with the receiver.
      Once the barrel is removed, you could do the rest yourself. Make sure the receiver isn’t around, and you have the brake and pinning/welding tools and consumables on hand before you cut the barrel short. That makes a charge of constructive intent difficult if they happen to raid you in the middle of the process.

      • If you knew the particulars of my current legal quandary, you’d understand why I have to go about it this way. They are trying to throw the book at me over a bs charge stemming from a legitimate DGU, and I need everything absolutely and provably above boards for the time being, preferably with documentation to back it up. More difficulties, I don’t need, nor want.

        Additionally, it’s not all I require. Profiling & polishing the BCG, tuning the FCG (break is to vague for my tastes on my ALG Ultimate), nitride work, among other small niggles. Might as well get it all done at once.

  13. If things go sideways this fall democrats will want every gun treated with NFA guidelines. And watch them try to increase the 200 stamp tax.

    Before anyone says that’s impossible think about what an EO can do. While the order is fought in the courts it is law of the land. And don’t be so sure a court victory is in the works.

    So if you’re pissed off your bump stock can declassified then you’re gonna be real unhappy when most if not all guns are subjected to the kind of red tape other countries have and expense to boot. We’ve got it good here and they intend to change that.

    • A lot of weman bought gunms this time around. I don’t think they will take kindly to someone taking their property. The meanest cats in the cage are female.

  14. The simple fact is that the ATF, in enforcing ANY of its “colorable” regulation(s), is in breach of the U.S. Constitution and that document’s ABSOLUTE commands. Said constitution is the “supreme Law of the Land” to which ALL of government is bound (re: Article VI). Any valid statute enacted by Congress, the only government body that can lawfully “legislate” (re: Article 1, Section 1) must be made “in pursuance thereof” (re: Article VI). Those statutes that are not “in pursuance” of the constitution’s mandates are “null and void” (re: Marbury v Madison, 5 US 137). Nowhere in the text of Amendment 2 does it dictate that government(s) (federal or states’) have the ability to restrict this fundamental and individual right (D.C. v Heller, 554 US 570) in any fashion, only that they ‘shall not infringe’ upon it (enact statutes to restrict and regulate it). Therefore, any statute, color-ably enacted by congress, is unlawful. And since government bureaucracies (the ATF, are not constitutionally charged with legislating and enacting law, all of its in-house regulation is unconstitutional on both Article I and Amendment 2 grounds and are therefore unbinding upon “the people” of this republic. This short explanation renders any/all gun-laws ever enacted by Congress and/or color-ably enacted and enforced by any governmental agency (the ATF, police dept,, a criminal act (“Deprivation of Rights” that are secured by the Constitution, a felony) perpetrated on an individual/the people by said Congress or agency (re: Title 18, USC, Section 242, Deprivation of Rights secured by the U.S. Constitution). Learn your Constitution people, because most of the “laws” government requires us to follow are unconstitutional and we have remedy and recourse against such “colorable” regulation. Furthermore, a lawyer will not tell you any of this because their loyalty lies with the court (government). If you don’t believe me, check out Corpus Juris Secundum (CJS), Volume 7, Section 4 at any law library. While you’re there, American Jurisprudence 2d, Volumes 16 & 16A are worth your time. They’ve tried to hide these books (knowledge of the law) from us so that they can rule over us as they will.

    • I agree with all you wrote, however…..

      We are where we are. What is the avenue of appeal to restore the realm to the original words of incorporation? Why hasn’t this line of reasoning been employed long ago to stop the spaghetti plate of laws and regulations that exist?

      All legislation of Congress signed into law is considered to be constitutional until otherwise determined to be “null and void”. Declared by whom?

      • The first thing you should know about me Sam is that I’m an iconoclast regarding institutions that act above their clearly designated and specified power. I just want to destroy them and I have a plan to do it. (After my saying that, please don’t confuse me with these ANTIFA punks or the anarchists among us. I am simply a pissed-off constitutionalist watching OUR republic being slowly transformed into some kind of third-world shit-hole if the un-American progressives among us get their way.

        Sadly, our government and judiciary long ago become the usurpers of the people’s freedom and power through a cadre of “colorable” edicts and somehow we must return OUR republic to the constitutional government with which the framers provided us. This will take time, energy, and possibly our fortunes.

        My plan is kind of “scorched earth” and maybe kinda hard to follow, but here goes:

        As you probably know, the court’s (all courts) have a single constitutional duty to perform. Before anything else, they are to uphold OUR constitution’s mandates. That is the mandated oath that judges and other officers of the court take. When the court (prosecutor and/or judge) willfully subvert or ignorantly ignore that duly sworn duty, we have the obligation to charge them criminally and then file suits of equity against them. Since all courts are subsidiaries of the state, when the states are a “Party” to “Cases”, the constitution mandates that the SCOTUS singularly possess’ “original jurisdiction” (re: Article III, Section 2). Simply put, a state court has no jurisdiction when it itself initiates or is a “party” to any case. This is true from seat-belt infractions to speeding tickets, et. al. Whenever the state names itself plaintiff to any case, it forfeits its jurisdiction in that case. Whereas the constitution specifies that the judicial power is vested in “one supreme court”, there cannot be multiple supreme courts created by congress and if that court were to be forced, as specified by the constitution, to exercise its constitutional responsibility and assume “original jurisdiction” in all “Cases” initiated by a “State”, it couldn’t hear the millions of cases of that type every month. Do we have the right to demand positive performance on provisions of said constitution? If it’s in that document, we have the right to demand that it’s carried out to the letter. If every American began filing felony charges and suits of equity against judges and prosecutors that abused their sworn oath by fraudulently assuming “original jurisdiction” in “Cases” where the constitution specifies otherwise, and these judges and prosecutors were convicted and sent to Leavenworth and the poor-house as a result, judges everywhere would begin to heed the mandates of the constitution. Also, the case-load of the SCOTUS (with jury trials per Article III/Amendment VI) would then grow to an unmanageable size in which they’d most likely begin to strike down every “colorable” law on the books to reduce their case-load. Either way, we’d eventually restore this constitutional republic to the framer’s intent through attrition. (Fewer judges, prosecutors, and thousands less pages of unconstitutional statutes). And on the up-side, we‘d own all their stuff through the suit of equity. I know, you say that this plan can never happen. Damn straight it won’t happen if patriots don’t get off back-sides and start asserting their constitutional guarantees against these modern usurpers.

        • I do undedrstand your thinking, but, as before, we are where we are. In plain language, the hydra is too massive to defeat. What you propose, regarding the legalities of states being “party” to legal actions is not a new theory. Unfortunately, the argument has changed nothing. That leaves only one remedy, which, since 1985 has resulted is what can be considered zero response from “patriots”.

          Truth and fact are, we, as a people, as a nation, are far beyond that which the founders would have permitted. To borrow a phrase from a legend of the Senate, paraphrased: “Humans have a limited ability to cope with people behaving in ways that depart from shared standards. When unwritten rules are violated over and over, societies have a tendency to “define deviancy down”—to shift the standard. What was once seen as abnormal becomes normal.

          We are left with only the ballot box, and the presidential election is a minor stage show compared to the battle all down the ballot. Currently, the voting public (which is not all of the eligible voters) is about evenly split on the direction the country should take. Even a simple majority in our favor cannot reverse the slide into Venezuela. A few hundred more sympathetic federal judges will not reverse the course. It will take a complete renovation of the spirit of the people. And then it will take a massive determination to obliterate politically any party bent on destruction of the nation.

          In the end, what is simply amazing is how quickly the threat to our Republic grew to size, and how quickly the public accepted it. It is written, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! “. We are seeing that assemble before our eyes in almost the blink of those eyes.

        • So, you’d forego my more peaceful and gradual approach of getting this republic back on the straight and narrow by destroying the warped judiciary as it is and do what – jump straight to armed insurrection (revolution)? By the way you describe the current condition of the republic in your reply, and I don’t disagree with you, that’d be the only other way to return this nation to the Framers intent. The government backed educational system, from the 1930s (or before) on, has indoctrinated the majority of the population to believe that we live in a democracy rather than a constitutional republic with a supreme and absolute law that can be changed (bastardized) if a majority of voters are in favor. There is no changing that fact and as a result of it – the courts are operating contrary to their oaths. For that exact reason (the indoctrination of the populous), the change we seek will never happen at the ballot box. We then are left with only two options: forcing the judiciary to perform their constitutional duty, which will eventually force this republic to revert to the Framer’s intent, or to follow Jefferson’s option found in the Declaration of Independence: “But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.” We have only these two option.

        • “So, you’d forego my more peaceful and gradual approach of getting this republic back on the straight and narrow by destroying the warped judiciary as it is and do what – jump straight to armed insurrection (revolution)?”

          Nope. As noted, the time for armed insurrection is long gone, and nothing happened. The founders would not have put up with their new government acting as our current does. The ballot box is all that remains. If you don’t control the Senate, you cannot alter the judicial appointments. If you don’t control the House, you do not control the culture (not to mention the configuration of the entire judiciary), and v-v.

          Control of the political future of the nation is not lodged in the presidency, but in the other offices, state and local. On this, the nation is about equally split. Only an overwhelming majority of voters who value the constitution can ensure a positive future. A simple majority will not get the job done. The “originalists” must win so decisively that it will be another two hundred years before any anti-American political party can prosper.

        • As I (or tried to) explained, because of the educational system’s dumbing-down (indoctrination) of the populous, I don’t believe that we can or will ever achieve the numbers you refer to (super-majorities) in both houses of congress to effect the change that we need, so that option is, in my opinion, a pipe-dream. My option of destroying the felonious judiciary (convicting judges and prosecutors of federal felonies and reducing them to poverty) through provisions available to us in the U.S. Code is in my opinion worth a shot. After all, are they not (or supposed to be) subject to the same law that we are? But the only way my plan can ever work is if an overwhelming amount of educated people start calling these judges on their crimes and filing felony charges against them for their usurpations of power that directly contradict the explicit provisions of the U.S. Constitution, a document that these liars are sworn uphold. But then again, what I propose might also be a pipe-dream due the indoctrination/dumbing-down of the populous.

          As for your assertion that “… the time for armed insurrection is long gone…”, may I remind you that there are more of us than there are of them and that the U.S. has not been able to win a guerilla-war in its history – and that’s exactly what a modern revolution would be. (With that statement, do not misunderstand me – I seek no such conflict unless it is unavoidable, but the ball is in their court.) As far as it goes, we are now on the edge of fighting such a war with socialist malcontents in the American streets. But the pussies in our government will do nothing to stop them. (I’m not speaking President Trump, because I believe he wants them stopped.) Trump aside, this shows me that government either don’t have the inclination or the guts to do so. So much for the rule of law! But I know that a large portion of the populous, ones that are of my mind (the modern three percenters and their support), would like to see a return to strict constitutional principals. This will eventually be lost forever if the socialist movement is allowed to takes hold. This type of situation is exactly why the Framers endowed us with Second Amendment. A socialism form of government, in this case, is completely antithetical to the U.S. Constitution. If socialism ever does take hold here, it will do so with help from the existing government and armed insurrection will then be unstoppable.

        • “My option of destroying the felonious judiciary (convicting judges and prosecutors of federal felonies and reducing them to poverty) through provisions available to us in the U.S. Code is in my opinion worth a shot.”

          Which requires overwhelming political power to implement. There must be a reason your tactic has not been tried before now.

          No, there are not “more of us than there are of them”. If that were so, most of the articles and opinions that appear here would be unnecessary. Using the presidential election as an analog for the mood of the nation, there is a near even split. On the kinetic side, the alleged 100million gun owners are not all (or even most) activists for recovering the constitution.

          Treasure can be lost in the blink of an eye, but it is tough sledding to replace it.

        • Only 50% of the electorate vote in any presidential election, and barely any in mid term and off year elections. Of that 50% that vote for president, about 24% consistently vote Republican and 24% consistently vote Democrat. The president is selected by the 2% of half the population who swing back and forth between Democrat and Republican.

          Thinking that an election is an indicator of the number of Americans with generally “conservative” or generally “liberal” values is a mistake, let alone thinking it indicates who supports the constitution and who supports socialism. I didn’t vote for a Republican or Democrat candidate for president from the time I was old enough to vote until 2016 because there didn’t seem to be much point. I voted for congressmen and senators and state offices, but for President I either left it blank or voted Libertarian or Constitution party, depending on where I lived and who each parties candidate was. Sometimes I didn’t even bother to vote at all. I couldn’t tell the difference between the two parties. I’m 49 years old and 2016 is the first time I voted for a major party candidate for president.

          In Pennsylvania the Constitution Party can’t even get on the ballot due to the corruption of both the democrats and republicans who have rigged the election to make anyone but them getting on the ballot virtually impossible. The Libertarians manage to get on every 4 years, and sometimes in between. But you won’t see any of the other parties here that I used to see on ballots in Texas. So that 2% of half the population that picks the president is really only allowed to pick between whatever two criminals or morons the Rs and Ds have put up.

          So you cannot use elections to figure out what most Americans believe and support.

          I would suggest that is because most Americans correctly see both parties as corrupt and criminal power mongers with little difference between them except an arbitrary list of positions issues they each oppose or support but neither really believe in. The mask thing has become a clear illustration of how arbitrary those lists are. During the course of the pandemic, initially the left was anti mask and the right pro mask, and then it switched and now the left is pro mask and right is anti mask. And it has solidified to the point that antifa screams “Where is your mask?” and “Wear your mask!” at people and many on the right refer to masks as a “muzzle”, accuse people wearing them of bowing to tyranny, and say such stupid and physics illiterate things as “If you can smell a fart through it then it can’t stop a virus.”

          There is no room for someone who believes we should voluntarily wear masks but it should not be compelled by law or edict, and there should be no force applied to someone not wearing one. Based on my conversations with others and my observations about how mask Not Zs (either pro or anti) stand out when encountered I tend to believe the majority position is exactly that. Most people I see in public wear a mask when around others, and yet leave everyone else alone about it.

          You can’t use a presidential election to gauge anything more than which team 2% of half the population believes will be less damaging or more damaging to their particular personal interests at the moment.

        • “You can’t use a presidential election to gauge anything more than which team 2% of half the population believes will be less damaging or more damaging to their particular personal interests at the moment.”

          Voting patterns are indeed a good indicator. The mere fact that voting is so low a percentage of the eligibles tells us what we need to know: those who don’t vote forfeit their moral right to complain. They have indicated that they are either satisfied with the results, or don’t really care. These dispirited souls cannot be counted upon for anything.

          However, the issue remains….why has your tactic not been tried in the past? Who will take up the prosecution of the cases? Where will they be tried? (hint: in the very courts you wish to purge) Who will launch impeachments? Who will financially sustain those impeachment efforts? Which politicians will take up the impeachment banner? Which judges will agree that the constitution is virtually absolute, and that judicial reasoning as to it not being absolute is a violation of office?

          What you propose is to use the legal system to achieve a political goal (nothing new there). That requires overwhelming political power. That requires winning, convincingly, at the ballot box.

        • I did not propose that, someone else did.

          As to the rest of your contentions about the electorate I disagree. Those who don’t vote quite correctly don’t see a major difference between the two parties and don’t see their vote as accomplishing anything. It does not indicate that they are satisfied with the results or that they don’t care. It indicates that do not feel that they can affect change by voting, and in fact there is no change being offered on the ballot.

          Even I voted for Trump and will do so again, not because I expect him to do anything useful, but merely because I expect him to be substantially less bad than the offered alternative. An alternative so ridiculous that at this point I can only think the democrats want Trump to win again. I can’t speculate on the reasons why they would but I can think of no other reason for a Biden/Harris ticket.

        • “…I can only think the democrats want Trump to win again.”

          Listening to Biden twice note how his VP will important because of his age, it seems the Dims really want Joe in the WH so as to have someone completely malleable. Harris is designed to lock-in the black vote (even though she is not African-American). Got a feeling that the puppet masters think they can control Harris as well.

          The people who don’t vote because they think their votes don’t matter also aren’t forming to build a new party that has the votes to win. Giving up means you don’t care anymore. And…if those who gave up aren’t a large enough block to actually change things, then we are back to the two parties where votes don’t count. In the end, the problem is not in our stars (candidates), but in ourselves.

        • “Your plan won’t work. Your expecting dishonorable people to honor an oath.”

          Not at all. Just the opposite.

      • The Founders never envisioned a world of nine billion people either. Humans must learn to live as Bee’s or perish in a world radiated. I myself am to individualistic to be a Bee. Maybe I could be a WoodBee, but that’s not a Bee it’s a Beatle and if I was a Beatle I’d write songs about Love. So maybe humans should learn to live like a Beatle, nah that won’t work either, too many people would be rolling shit balls in the moonlight.

  15. I’ve never studied these laws except in passing. After all, all such arms are illegal in California.

    But speaking about NFA items, I hear that there is opposition in Congress to a law that finally will allow US manufacturers to export silencers to Europe. Which is weird. Don’t these Congress critters know that silencers are legal in Europe and not regulated? Obviously not, or they have less intelligence than a lowly rat.

    • “Don’t these Congress critters know that silencers are legal in Europe and not regulated?”

      That is entirely irrelevant. The point of the prohibition is declaring the moral high ground of not exporting our evil gun culture to more peaceable nations. Silencers make crime more attractive. We, our morally superior selves, cannot possibly be complicit in making crime in Eurpoe more attractive.

      Government is totally insensitive to ridiculousness of legislation, rules, policy. Can’t tell you how many times rules and regulations in the Air Force (Chair Force for you Marines) demanded that some activity be “minimized to the maximum”.

  16. After reading the article, and having a intrest in some fairly old firearms, how would a Luger with the butt stock / holster and /or the Broom Handle Mauser be viewed? Is it a SBR?

    • “After reading the article, and having a intrest in some fairly old firearms, how would a Luger with the butt stock / holster and /or the Broom Handle Mauser be viewed? Is it a SBR?”

      Putting on my federal bureaucrat hat, I would say that the answer depends upon “intent”.

      If you purchase the Luger with the wooden stock, the intent is that the unit be used as a rifle. If you purchased the wooden stock after the fact, it would be constructive possession of a machine gun (bump stock reasoning). If you purchased the items together, but destroyed the wood stock immediately upon possession, the Luger would still be an SBR because it was originally intended to be such.

      As a bureaucrat, I would find a way to have your purchase declared an SBR. Besides, $200 to the treasury is still $200.

        • “Sam, see the ATF explanation below.”

          I did. Was just demonstrating how twisted the federal mind can be. However….

          Considering how bumpstocks become complete machine guns in an instant, the prior rulings on antique firearms and wood stock holsters is open for reinterpretation by BATFEE, at any moment.

        • “…a broomhandle Mauser, with or without a stock, isn’t in the budget”

          I hear ya’, bro. I have to settle for reading about them, or seeing vidoes from actual owners.

    • The ATF website states
      If a person has a pistol and an attachable shoulder stock, does this constitute possession of an NFA firearm?

      Yes, unless the barrel of the pistol is at least 16 inches in length (and the overall length of the firearm with stock attached is at least 26 inches). However, certain stocked handguns, such as original semiautomatic Mauser “Broomhandles” and Lugers, have been removed from the purview of the NFA as collectors’ items.
      [26 U.S.C. 5845, 27 CFR 479.11]

      Ian on Forgotten Weapons has discussed removable shoulder stock holsters several times, I believe, regarding some of these pistols considered non-NFA collectors’ items. In order to be non-NFA, the stock must an original item, not a modern reproduction reproduction. The Inglis High Power pistol and holster-stock are another model considered collectors’ items not under the purview of the NFA.

      I am not a lawyer and the above is not considered legal advice. Consult the current ATF NFA policy interpretations before attaching a pistol stock.

      • Thanks for the response, I was just curious………
        Considering neither of those is in my (small) firearm budget……

  17. Why would you buy a SBR?. Just buy your AR or AK in a pistol format and install an Arm brace. You really think the ATF is in the woods or at your gun range checking if you shoulder an arm brace? OK maybe back east but in free states it’s never going to happen. Problem solved. Why complicate things. We all need to wake up.

  18. I read once that the way the NFA was sold to the public was this:

    “Machine guns and sawed off shotguns are the weapons of organized crime. By requiring registration of those weapons, we can easily arrest the criminals that use them for not having them registered. We can just say, ‘Where is your permit?’. When we get rid of their weapons, organized crime will cease to exist.”

    Boy, that sure worked well!

    The intent of the original legislation to include handguns as well makes it all make sense. The $200 tax stamp was equivalent to the price of a brand new Thompson Machine gun at the time.

    • I guess not. I have big plans to repeal the NFA, GCA, and the Hughes Amendment. If I ran for my county sheriff’s office and won, I’d probably deputize all the law-abiding citizens so at least the NFA and Hughes wouldn’t apply to them, and hold a town hall deciding whether or not to become a 2A sanctuary.

  19. As the NFA and all gun control is un Constitutional,do away with the infringement known as the NFA,as well as any politician or deep stater who would appose restoration of the Constitution as written.

  20. Great, it’s a stupid infringement, we all get it. Preaching to the choir.

    The window to do something about it ended in November 2018. Our dear leaders did nothing. They know we’ll vote for them anyway because they’re better than the alternative that wants to take it all away, right now.

  21. NFA should be one of the easiest laws to overturn as unconstitutional. It was upheld in Miller based on lack of judicial notice (personal knowledge of the Justices since no arguments were made and no evidence presented in defense) that a SBS had a reasonable relationship to the militia. It can be demonstrated that ordinary infantry are routinely issued machine guns, SBSs, destructive devices, and suppressors. Somebody might be with examples of SBRs (short barrel machine guns are still just machine guns) and AOWs too.
    The problem is that to have standing to challenge the law, you need to be charged with violating the NFA (up to 15 years and $260k if you lose). Not wanting to pay the tax prior to creating an NFA item doesn’t seem to be enough. You have to make the argument against NFA and citing Miller in the initial trial and 2A, Any other argument might win, and the NFA wouldn’t need to be addressed by the court. You have to have a willing court for any appeals, and the prosecution has to pursue an appeal anywhere you win. If you get an unfriendly court that either won’t rule.properly, or won’t grant cert on your appeal, you’ll pay the penalty. If you get to the SC, they take less than 2% of the cases, and it usually has to be either conflicting decisions in different Districts (some else has to have done it in a remote state and gotten a different result), or something 4 Justices are interested in. If you get there, Roberts has shown himself to be unreliable in the interpretation of the law, and he’s cited stare decisis in a cases that he says was incorrectly ruled and he had previously dissented on. Assuming you win, there’s still a ton of legal fees. I’m not willing to be that test case on purpose. Most people who are caught and charged under NFA are criminals guilty of something else, as Miller himself was, so the charges aren’t fought or are pleaded away. What’s 10 more years tacked onto a life sentence for murder, drug dealing, etc?

    • “NFA should be one of the easiest laws to overturn as unconstitutional.”

      One wonders why an easy win has not surfaced.

  22. I’m only running one short barrel and it’s cost me a lot more than $200 and almost got me killed a time or two and the ATF isn’t interested in it LOL

  23. “Just last year, the ATF issued new measurement guidelines that transformed some conventionally legal pistols into presumptively illegal “any other weapon(s),” depending on how they were configured and accessorized.”

    Well, that scared the crap out of me. I clicked through and read the post from the lawyer. Turns out it was something I was aware of and had avoided.

    Nothing wakes you up in the morning like the thought that you might have unknowingly been reclassified into a federal felony.

    • Avoiding this sort of reclassification is exactly why I have considered filing a form 1 and just getting a tax stamp for the braced pistol. Then reading stuff like that would not be a scare and I wouldn’t have to spend time checking and double checking that nothing has changed.

  24. Back when it was believed the Orange Man was pro 2A ATF actually drafted a letter supporting repeal of suppressor and SBR regs as there are no additional public safety or crime considerations and they were afraid of Trump. Turned out ATF could be more aggressive under him than Obungo.

  25. The tragic farce is that if we leave aside the “scary” black rifles which give our lib politicians and media hacks PTSD from their very mention, a revolver with a 2″ barrel is legal under our laws, but a levergun chambered for a revolver round with a 12″ barrel is apparently the equivalent of an ICBM with a nuclear warhead. As Charles Dickens’s Mr Bumble says in The Pickwick Papers, “…the law is a ass – a idiot.” Sadly, we have lawmakers who think that this legal idiocy is actually profound. Their bureaucratic minions agree wholeheartedly with them, too.

  26. Furthermore, “Law” NOT “… in Pursuance thereof;” the constitution’s mandates, have no force in law. I addition, Article I, Section 1 – “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a congress…” Therefore, any regulation(s) made and enforced unilaterally by a bureaucracy is “colorable” and thereby “void” (re: Marbury v Madison, 5 US 137).

  27. Wanting sensible gun laws don’t make me anti-gun.
    Just like wanting sensible traffic laws don’t make me anti-car.

    Guns are for killing. This is their purpose; this is what they are meant for and designed to do. Guns should have sensible regulations.

    Sensible gun laws! These could be done immediately.

    -UNIVERSAL BACKGROUND CHECK for ANYONE purchasing a gun, especially those with mental issues.
    -Close the Gun Show Loophole (make it illegal to sell person to person without a Background Check i.e. private sales.)
    -Have to be 21 to purchase all long & handguns.

    • There have to laws & regulations regarding deadly weapons of WAR. The cutoff is 16” because of the ability to conceal, it’s that simple. Guns are for killing. That is their purpose; that is what they are meant for and designed to do. Guns should have sensible regulations.

      Wanting sensible gun laws don’t make me anti-gun.
      Just like wanting sensible traffic laws don’t make me anti-car.

      Sensible gun laws! These could be done immediately.

      -UNIVERSAL BACKGROUND CHECK for ANYONE purchasing a gun, especially those with mental issues.
      -Close the Gun Show Loophole (make it illegal to sell person to person without a Background Check i.e. private sales.)
      -Have to be 21 to purchase all long & handguns.

      • Hmmm

        Given that the 2nd Amendment is an unalienable right (driving a car is not) and it contains no exceptions, exemptions or limitations regarding our right to keep and bear arms, your demands to foist exceptions, exemptions and limitations on our unalienable Constitutional Right to keep and bear arms absolutely, positively does identify you as an anti-Constitutional insurrectionist.

        One can also readily make the case that you and everyone who is demanding that citizens submit to your attempts at dismantling the Constitution and thus deprive all Americans of their unalienable Rights and Freedoms by way of legislative, executive and judicial fiat rather than the Constitutionally proscribed method of seeking to have a Constitutional convention are in fact actual real life Domestic Terrorists…

        Make note of the fact that the phrase “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, is unequivocally a subordinate clause to “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

        “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”


    • Phuck you.

      We will not comply! Will you be in the stack to kick in my door?

      Traffic laws were established by tradition thousands of years ago because people didn’t want to get run over by horses and wagons and wanted efficient movement. Government came along later and codified them. But by the time government codified the traffic laws they were already well established.

    • There are no sensible gun laws. Criminals don’t obey laws, and the government always exempts themselves. And since governments kill more people than any other cause there is nothing sensible about only them and criminals having guns.

      So you are anti gun, and you are a communist.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here