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My experience with LE and a home built AR15 Pistol

Posted 02-07-2014 at 9:48 AM by Germz
Updated 02-07-2014 at 9:51 AM by Germz

This is where you can shun and ridicule and mock me. so get your popcorn ready

I was in the process of moving on base and part of that is to register all weapons (with base only; doesn't go to state or DOJ).

I called ahead and informed "someone who answered the phone" that I had home builds and they said, "its ok we just put your SSN in place of a S/N"

There was my first mistake...trying to "document" my "homebuilds". I'm not a stupid person no matter what my actions may show, just a good Marine trying to do the right thing.

Bear in mind I was registering my weapons with a branch of the Law enforcement department of the base that deals with weapons registration on the daily.

Everything goes fine for all my other weapons (even my 80% homebuild AR RIFLE) and then comes out the pistol. The guy checking in my weapons says, "hmm...I don't know if this is allowed due to the barrel length"

I show him the relevant flow charts, describe the difference between a pistol and a rifle, walk him through how this came into my possession and his response was, "i need to ask my supervisor"

We go into his boss's office (who I come to find is obviously not very gun friendly) and I re-explain all the pertinent Flowcharts, Penal codes, and explanations and he compared it to his (calguns) flowchart.

He got real hung up on my (PHASE 5) buffer tube as being a stock. I explained that a centerfire AR platform cannot function without a buffer tube as the bolt needs space to reciprocate...that being the buffer tube. He doesn't buy it and keeps trying to show me that I COULD shoulder the weapons like this ( as he demonstrates).

So, he calls the DOJ to get clarification. this is LITERALLY how he describes my firearm to the DOJ and how I know my life is about to get turned upside down:

"Hi this is xxxxxxxxx from Camp Pendleton xxxxxxx, i have a Marine here with what looks like an M16 AR15. YEAH, It looks just like the ones in the armory but its really short, has like an 8 inch barrel and something that looks like a stock but we're not sure. yeah it has a bullet button but the magazine looks like it holds 30 or 40 rounds

it was a colt sporter 5 round magazine

"he says the stock is a buffer tube but i mean you really could just stick it in your shoulder"

this goes on, they tell me I'm not getting my weapon back until they get a response from the DOJ.

So this guy then takes the weapon around the department and starts asking every swinging dick what they think this is (aka hes asking uneducated fearful people what they THINK this 30 caliber ghost gun is)

everyone is like "thats a rifle" "not sure never seen it" at one point a junior Marine jumped into to interject "OK! OK! (the room fell silent) thats a button release (now touching my bullet button ) and those are ILLEGAL IN CALIFORNIA"

the FUD was very thick in the air.

Finally, I have the great pleasure of meeting Officer Lt. Anderson (or something).

The guy that had the pistol asked the Lt what he thought of it and he replied, "That? thats a toy! Oh its real you say? well, if its real, thats a rifle and if you point it at me I would shoot you" (keep in mind this is one cop talking to another)

I step in and begin to say "Sir, this is actually configured and classified as a pistol becau...."

I am cut off with, "ACTUALLY I've been in law enforcement for 42 years so lets get that straight right now SON, and If I say its a rifle, ITS A RIFLE! This is an illegal felony weapon in CA and aboard Camp Pendleton"

to which I replied, "Wow, I had no idea thats how the law worked".

Seeing as things were getting unecessarily hostile we removed ourselves from their presence and went back into an admin office.

At this point a Gunnery Sergeant came and started harrassing me about why I would have this, why do I need this, why do I need a red dot on a pistol..and at one point joked, "how much do you want for it"

He seemed like he was "on my side" at first and we began talking, while I wait for the bureaucracy to continue with the DOJ. I began once again explaining all the pertinent PCs, Flowcharts, and rules for AR Pistols and Homebuilds.

Everyone was so hung up on the fact that the buffer tube was a stock and that just because it didnt have an "official" stock on it, didn't negate the fact that the buffer tube ITSELF was not a stock. at one point he started gettting fustrated as I was crushing him with written laws (I myself am very annoyed at this point but I really did my best to maintain bearing and composure) and said, "You even know what this is right here?"

It was a free float rail so I said, "its an ATI carbine length free float rail"

"Really, and what does it do?"

"it is a free floating handguard that [as an entire assembly] also mounts the barrel to the upper receiver"

"Is that all it does? NO, It turns this into an illegal ASSAULT WEAPON that makes it easier to Kill innocent people! So explain that to everyone else in here and your local democrat"

I was puzzled and confused as I couldn't understand if he was angered with me, or just being sarcastic as he stormed off.

So ironically long story short, I was given two options:

wait for the DOJ to get back to them (which meant my weapon would go into an evidence locker) or have a representative from my command come and sign for it.

So I had someone come sign for it, and praise be to the Higher Power it was returned to my possession. I hadn't committed any crime, and I received no reprimand.

In all fairness, I KNEW what I what I was walking into, but I DID NOT know how badly logic and reason fail first hand. It was very humiliating and embarrassing the way I was treated, and I just had this hope that 1.) Military 2.) Weapons registration would know the law that pertains to their jobs.

So now there is a picture of my 80% pistol floating around at the DOJ possibly with or without my name attached to it, but I do have my gun back. However, my official response to this event is that I no longer have a pistol, but I pile of part and not even an assembled upper reciever. I have a lead plugged 8" barrel and thats my story and I'm sticking to it until I can figure out how to send a letter to the ATF to get them to clarify this for me to bring to them.
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