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California 2nd Amend. Political Discussion & Activism Discuss gun rights activism and 2A related political topics here. All advice given is NOT legal counsel.

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  #1  
Old 03-09-2013, 8:45 PM
Bolt_Action Bolt_Action is offline
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Default legal to build pistol OLL into a rifle?

I've been searching a bit for this but I haven't been able to figure out how this works. If you were to purchase an OLL which is registered as a pistol, but you wanted to build it into a rifle, can you do so (i.e. attach a stock assuming you use a barrel longer than 16")? And if you configured your pistol as a rifle, does it temporarily become a rifle, legally speaking? In other words, if you built it as a "featureless" rifle, would that be OK, or would you still be in possession of an "assault pistol" (because of the detachable mag outside the grip)? Finally, once you've configured your pistol OLL as a rifle, can you later reconfigure it as a pistol again, or does it somehow lose its pistol status permanently when you rebuild as a rifle?
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:05 PM
dfletcher dfletcher is offline
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Here's the ATF letter:

http://www.atf.gov/regulations-rulin...ing-2011-4.pdf

Short version is that ATF's position has evolved over the past 21 years or so and it is legal to assemble a handgun to a legally configured rifle and then back to a handgun - at least outside CA. Whether the reconfigured handgun becomes a rifle or is merely a handgun assembled as a rifle, I'm not sure. ATF is very good at splitting hairs. Your question as to whether the AR lower, purchased as a handgun, retains any of it's "handgun status" even when assembled as a rifle & if featureless has pistol AW features is a good one. I don't have an answer.

My interest in the subject is based on T/C single shots - no AW concerns there. To play it safe I have an Encore handgun frame, an Encore rifle frame, a Contender handgun frame and a Contender rifle frame. I bought them all before ATF came to their present decision and being lazy have just gotten used to the convenience.
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:27 PM
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Quiet Quiet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bolt_Action View Post
Finally, once you've configured your pistol OLL as a rifle, can you later reconfigure it as a pistol again, or does it somehow lose its pistol status permanently when you rebuild as a rifle?
Even though the BATFE has changed their position and now state that handgun -> rifle -> handgun is legal, CA DOJ still holds the old ATF viewpoint that handgun -> rifle -> handgun = SBR.

Handgun made into a rifle, is now a rifle.
That rifle made into a handgun, is now a weapon made from a rifle (which is a SBR) [PC 17170(c)].
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Last edited by Quiet; 03-09-2013 at 11:30 PM..
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Quiet View Post
Even though the BATFE has changed their position and now state that handgun -> rifle -> handgun is legal, CA DOJ still holds the old ATF viewpoint that handgun -> rifle -> handgun = SBR.

Handgun made into a rifle, is now a rifle.
That rifle made into a handgun, is now a weapon made from a rifle (which is a SBR) [PC 17170(c)].
Yeap hes right I wish CA doj agreed with ATF but they dont
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:54 PM
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Besides all the classification issues...
Why in the world would you do this when it is much easier (in CA) to get a rifle lower?

Are you exempt from the roster? If you are not you are probably not going to be even able to "purchase an OLL which is registered as a pistol" (unless its a PPT of an already completely built AR pistol) so it makes the rest of your question kind of mute...
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quiet View Post
Even though the BATFE has changed their position and now state that handgun -> rifle -> handgun is legal, CA DOJ still holds the old ATF viewpoint that handgun -> rifle -> handgun = SBR.

Handgun made into a rifle, is now a rifle.
That rifle made into a handgun, is now a weapon made from a rifle (which is a SBR) [PC 17170(c)].

So if I take an AR pistol, make it into a rifle, then decide I want the pistol back again, and change it back, who would know these changes were done except me? There would really be no way for them to track anything, as whenever they would "catch" you, it would be configured as one of the other and legal. Am I missing something?
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Old 03-10-2013, 1:12 AM
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JDay JDay is offline
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Originally Posted by jcwatchdog View Post
So if I take an AR pistol, make it into a rifle, then decide I want the pistol back again, and change it back, who would know these changes were done except me? There would really be no way for them to track anything, as whenever they would "catch" you, it would be configured as one of the other and legal. Am I missing something?
This post and others like it being used as circumstantial evidence, especially with the parts required to do it and no corresponding pistol and rifle lowers in your possession for the different uppers. The general rule of thumb is to have a pistol lower for every pistol upper (SBR) that you have and to have a rifle lower for every rifle upper. State and Federal constructive possession laws come into play here. California may not have any constructive possession laws but people have recently been prosecuted for just that.
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Old 03-10-2013, 8:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcwatchdog View Post
So if I take an AR pistol, make it into a rifle, then decide I want the pistol back again, and change it back, who would know these changes were done except me? There would really be no way for them to track anything, as whenever they would "catch" you, it would be configured as one of the other and legal. Am I missing something?

You have graduated successfully from the "How Manny Dead Hookers Can I Have in my Trunk if my Taillights Work and Tags Are Current" school of law.
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  #9  
Old 03-10-2013, 9:15 AM
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Originally Posted by bwiese View Post
You have graduated successfully from the "How Manny Dead Hookers Can I Have in my Trunk if my Taillights Work and Tags Are Current" school of law.
In the seven years of browsing cal guns, I have not seen a tag line worthy until now. Thanks Bill! Oh BTW thanks for helping poor bastards like me navigate the legalities in a sage manner.

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  #10  
Old 03-10-2013, 9:16 AM
Bolt_Action Bolt_Action is offline
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Originally Posted by Chaos47 View Post
Besides all the classification issues...
Why in the world would you do this when it is much easier (in CA) to get a rifle lower?

Are you exempt from the roster? If you are not you are probably not going to be even able to "purchase an OLL which is registered as a pistol" (unless its a PPT of an already completely built AR pistol) so it makes the rest of your question kind of mute...
The previous owner I believe had already registered it as a pistol, it has the shorty buffer tube on it and everything, but the barrel, handguard, and a few other things have been removed. It's a consignment sale. It's a long story, but I want to build this particular brand of lower into a heavy barrel rifle, and that's all I ever really intend to do with it (for the foreseeable future). If the DOJ is really going to consider it a rifle (forever) once I attach a stock and 20-24" bbl to it, I might as well transfer it as a rifle when I DROS at the dealer, thereby avoiding all the extra BS that comes with a pistol purchase (SSE, registration, potential "AW" status of featureless rifle build, transportation rules, etc.). It might be worth getting as a pistol if I could configure it back and forth like a Thompson Contender, but since that seems to be potentially illegal, I think I'll just skip out on that idea.
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Old 03-10-2013, 1:08 PM
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Grumpyoldretiredcop Grumpyoldretiredcop is offline
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Originally Posted by bwiese View Post
You have graduated successfully from the "How Manny Dead Hookers Can I Have in my Trunk if my Taillights Work and Tags Are Current" school of law.
I'm sorry, Bill, I've had to seize that line and add it as a signature tag, just couldn't resist!
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