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Demonstrating yet again that NFA restrictions are arbitrary, capricious, and absurd, here in Texas the Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office is auctioning off some seized firearms. Imagine our surprise when we discovered that hidden in the mix is at least one Any Other Weapon (AOW).

You see, firearm laws are such a labyrinth of nonsensical gobbledygook that not even a law enforcement organization knows what is and isn’t legal. Yet the federal government via the ATF, which at best should be nothing more than a branch of the IRS charged with setting taxes on certain categories of products (as it was when it was created), will enforce the violations seen below with a 10-year federal prison sentence and a $250,000 fine.

That, folks, is a pistol. BUT WAIT! It has a vertical forward grip on it. Uh oh! The addition of a second grip — a handguard doesn’t count, though, nor does an angled forward grip…for some inexplicable, nonsensical reason ATF only considers a vertical grip to be a grip for this purpose — makes this pistol an “Any Other Weapon” or “AOW” and puts it under the purview of the 1934 National Firearm Act (NFA).

You see, the 1968 Gun Control Act (GCA) defines, as far as the .gov is concerned, what a “pistol” is, and that’s . . .

Gun Control Act Definitions
Pistol

18 U.S.C., § 921(A)(29) and 27 CFR § 478.11

The term “Pistol” means a weapon originally designed, made, and intended to fire a projectile (bullet) from one or more barrels when held in one hand, and having:

      • a chamber(s) as an integral part(s) of, or permanently aligned with, the bore(s);
      • and a short stock designed to be gripped by one hand at an angle to and extending below the line of the bore(s).

As I’m sure you know, ATF decided that “when held in one hand” means that a pistol can only have a single grip. Because if a pistol has a second grip then it was designed/made/intended to be fired when held in more than one hand (two or three or four hands, presumably) and is, therefore, not a pistol.

Quick digression, bear with me…here’s the ATF demonstrating for us how they train their agents around the obvious fact that a pistol is intended to be fired “when held in ONE hand”  . . .

R.I.P., Rex
R.I.P., Spot
R.I.P., Fido
R.I.P., Whiskers
R.I.P., Benji
R.I.P., Fluffy

Anyway…because the resulting gun above apparently can’t be a “Pistol” due to the vertical forward grip, and no other gun category definition makes any sense for it, they call it an “Any Other Weapon,” which is, obviously, a catch-all category.

BUT WAIT! AOW is actually one of two catch-alls, because the definition of AOW doesn’t encompass all guns. You see, to classify as an AOW the firearm must be “capable of being concealed on the person.” Title 26 of the Internal Revenue Code says that means a gun that’s under 26 inches of overall length.

Did our benevolent overlords choose 26 inches because they were working on Title 26 of the law and they had the number 26 on the brain? Why not!? That makes about as much sense as any of the rest of this.

The law was also written back when the average bloke was like a foot shorter (not a foot shorter than Dan, but definitely a foot shorter than me) and for some reason they measure overall length in the gun’s longest configuration (e.g. folding or telescoping stock in its longest position).

Don’t expect anything to make sense here, okay?

So this AR-15, also in the same auction, definitely isn’t a pistol. It has two grips (again, the handguard with the rail covers to make it more comfortable in the hand doesn’t count, but the vertical forward grip does). If it’s under 26 inches of overall length it’s an AOW and therefore a 10-year federal felony. It’s it’s over 26 inches long then it’s a firearm.

Sorry, a “Firearm.” That’s right. The other catch-all definition is simply called “Firearm” and it encompasses a bunch of shooty bois that aren’t Pistols, Rifles, Shotguns, Short Barreled Rifles, Short Barreled Shotguns, Destructive Devices, Machine Guns, Silencers, or Any Other Weapons.

One time, in what’s definitely a made-up story that’s purely for your entertainment and edification, I had a co-worker who showed me a photo of his Smith & Wesson M&P15-22. He purchased it in pistol flavor back when they offered it with nothing on the rear (no pistol brace). He later bought an AR-15 shoulder stock and put it on the gun and that’s how it was configured when he showed me the photo.

I informed him — much to his complete and honest shock and surprise — that he committed a major felony and he should delete those photos and never speak of it again. I then sold him a pistol brace.

The point of creating this made-up story for you is to further illustrate how these laws are so inanely idiotic that it doesn’t occur to most normal people that they might be violating one of them. It doesn’t even occur to a Texas Sheriff’s office that they have at least one, maybe two illegally-configured guns not only in their possession, but up for sale!

Twenty-six inches or more? No problem. But 25.9 inches? FELONY! A major felony. Good times.

#Freedom #ATFShouldBeAConvenienceStore

 

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42 COMMENTS

    • It’s just the insanity that rides along with Gun Control wherever it’s been or wherever it goes. If course perpetual insanity comes with any agenda rooted in racism in genocide. That said I better have my Home Depot tape measure calibrated by Brown and Sharpe.

  1. I just went to the range this morning with a buddy of mine to practice holster draws. He brought out a variety of pistols he recently assembled (PMFs), which in the State of CA are bigly no-nos and super, duper, turbo, I-really-mean-it, seriously illegal. Newsom and the Demokrats in Sacramento say so. He put them all through some testing (as they were new builds) and zeroed their RMRs, but otherwise was satisfied with them. No failures or mishaps from any of them.

    But they’re super unsafe, unregistered, and otherwise bad according to TPTB.

    Then again, we were literally right next to a group of off-duty LEOs going through their own training. Did any of them notice or care? No.

    But don’t let Newsom or the AFT see. Even my buddy LEOs hate the AFT, and have told me a couple of stories of times they’ve seen unsuspecting people get bothered by plainclothes agents cruising the range acting acting as Joe Six Packs for the purpose of making arrests.

    As for what I brought to the range today…my EDC listed on my CCW, and another item. Both legal. But no different that my buddy’s PMFs.

      • I was training with Jeff Gonzalez in my home state a few years ago. Also taking the training was a group of SWAT dudes from a local police department. This was at a time in Washington when state laws were such that it was legal to possess a suppressor, but illegal to actually attach it to a firearm and shoot it.

        There was no exception or exemption for law enforcement. While chatting with some of the SWAT guys during a break, I pointed out to them that they were committing a felony by using their silencers in the class – they made lame excuses and then ignored me for the duration of the class, but obviously didn’t like being called out on it. Funny thing is, my two friends and I pretty much out-shot the lot of them. Which was also annoying I’m sure.

        • I watched some local SWAT officers trying to zero in their new ultra-sniper rifles with humongous scopes able to detect the sex of a gnat at 500 yards. They went through 60 rounds of Federal match .308 ammo trying to get on cardboard at 100 yards. I could have told them how to zero their rifles in with about five rounds but they were all pretty smart ass, so I minded my business. After their session they gave me their once-fired Federicos match brass which I accepted. They still hadn’t gotten on paper. The scope must have been misaligned or some such. (:>)

          At another session, I was range master for a DCM shoot in order to qualify for a DCM M-1. Sheriff’s SWAT team showed up to qualify. Fortunately for them, all you had to do was fire off 50 rounds to qualify. You didn’t have to hit paper at all which was a lucky thing for the whole team except for the team leader who could shoot. It must have been frustrating for him to watch them blaze away. I hope they have improved since then.

        • friend of mine had an elaborate shooting range that was often used by the cops and SWAT teams…felt he was pretty safe “because he knew so many cops”…not sure if he has gotten out yet…..

    • “There should be no NFA in the first place.”

      While I agree, the reality is, in the ‘Heller’ decision (authored by the Blessed St. Scalia, R.I.P.) implies it’s perfectly constitutional –

      “Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those
      “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition
      of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.”

      Like, machine guns.

      Here’s a little thought exercise for you –

      The NFA is repealed, and an angry Leftist Scum ™ (is there really any other kind?) puts a full-auto ‘switch’ on his G17 and goes wherever people congregate and begins mowing down as many people as he can with his pockets stuffed full of 30-round magazines.

      Let that happen a few times and I assure you, even Right-leaning politicians will agree they have to go, like it or not… 🙁

      • The trick here is that the ATF and government in general will consider something “unusual” because they, themselves, have restricted or banned it.

        sbrs? We can regulate them because they’re “dangerous” (a highly subjective term) and unusual- heck, they’re only 2% (or whatever) of known guns in the US!

        …because we made it so people have to jump through 11 hoops, pay hundreds of dollars for them and can’t take them across state lines without permission, plus they’re banned altogether in a number of states.”

        funny how that works

      • “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition
        of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.”

        🤔…..”prohibiting the carrying of”……🤔

        I’m not interested in EDCing an M134 miniguns.
        There should not be ANY restrictions on owning it.
        Also……..
        The silencer part of the NFA was NOT EVEN DISCUSSED by legislators before the law was passed. That fact alone should get silencers removed from the NFA immidately.

        If only the NRA gave a crap. Having them removed would have probably cost less then Wayne’s suits and his girlfriends condo. 🤔

      • those little “switches” are proving to be ATF’s worst nightmare…partly because the people that have them are likely to use them and they can’t do a damn thing about it except prosecute after the fact…if they can manage to catch the perp…

    • gangsters were the terrorists of their times…and the cops, often outgunned…pushed hard for some relief from the feds…thus the NFA…which was not widely opposed at the time except for the handgun restriction which never made it into the law….

      • Rodney: I wonder if you wished you hadn’t hit “send” after you posted this? Not asking posted an amusing scars tic comment and you respond with rage and vulgarities. Off your meds this morning?

      • despite that a lot of folks still fool around with these things…remember lecturing a friend of mine back in the eighties who had just bought an AR-15 for his kid because he wanted a “machine gun”…[this after he had just bought him a ’63 split-window corvette because he wanted that too]…then they sat down at the kitchen table and with the aid of a parts kit and a drop-in auto sear, made his wish come true using nothing more than a butter knife!

    • Whether or not you care about the ATF is less important than whether or not the ATF cares about you.

      Unlike fictional entities, the ATF can still have a pretty significant effect on your life even if you don’t pay attention to it

      • Absolutely true and they will try to make examples from some poor schmucks like us…..however as we’ve seen plainly over the last several years, non-compliance on a large scale DOES work. They can’t arrest everyone. Of course, there is a personal risk. See “Jan 6th” non-sense where political prisoners have been sent to the gulag. Guess my point is, there is a choice to be made. Comply and be rightfully ashamed or stand up and accept the risks.

      • That’s why it is so important to know the damned rules. At our local gun club range I had a complete stranger brag to me that he had a full auto kit for his M-1 carbine that I had been admiring. I told him he should be more discrete about discussing various unusual and interesting items related to firearms as he could never tell who might be listening and take an active and adverse interest in his “collection.”

      • yeah, they can…happened to a couple of buddies of mine…one did time and the other got off on a technicality…you really don’t want to ignore these guys….

  2. Not to worry, because the ATF is likely busy making more insanely stupid rules/laws concerning handguns and long guns that will in effect make most all firearms illegal to own in one way or another. Just watch ’em……..

  3. As Kansas City attorney and avid 2A supporter Kevin Jamison is prone to pontificate, ” It doesn’t have to make sense. It’s just the law.”

    “One of the notable aspects of the democratic process is that one need not know anything about a subject in order to pass laws about it.” – the late Col Jeff Cooper

    • To SOME extent, this is necessary. There are lots of things that are totally arbitrary but still secure law.

      Age of consent is one. Is there some magical difference between someone being one day older? No, but there’s really no other way to make a law about it, so it has to be arbitrary. Same with speed limits. Is 27 miles an hour in a school zone more dangerous than 25? What about for someone who has better brakes? The law can’t work like that.

      • You are correct, but the examples you cited do make sense- just the specific detail is arbitrary. In the case of guns they make no sense and are immoral.
        A 14″ barrelled AR is not more ‘dangerous’ than a 16″, etc. These rules were created (and constantly tortured) to control not to protect.

    • witness the new law in my state that made it illegal to have a frame around your license plate..then again I remember having an argument with a sheriff’s deputy who said “you can’t register a sawed-off shotgun…I know the law!”….yeah, right……

  4. From the same people who endlessly argue the lack of clarity in “shall not be infringed” come these so insane and inane rules that any kindergarten kid would tilt their head and ask “huh?” upon hearing a federal agents attempt to explain.

  5. I actually informed a Sheriff’s Department here in AZ of this exact thing earlier this year. They had a knockoff Mac-10 with a quad-rail forend being auctioned with a grip pod. It wasn’t attached in the photos, but it was being sold with it. The listing disappeared fairly quickly.

  6. a lot of police departments acquired automatic weapons..[mostly Thompsons ]..back when companies and corporations were forced to dump them because of union contracts imposing restrictions on the “goon squads”…despite the NFA many were never papered and remained with the department for decades…often becoming something of a curiousity…dragged out on occasion then put back in storage….

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