Realizing that this is all speculation until a new AWB is actually passed AND I am not a lawyer, here's something that *might* be useful in the event of a future ban. Before a new ban passes, buy sufficient parts to assemble a lower and borrow an upper with the usual evil features from someone, then put them together, creating, for at least some period of time, a pre-ban Evil Assault Weapon (TM). Document its existence with some photos and record the date. Five minutes of evilness will be more than sufficient for our purposes. I think an upper with a flash hider and bayonet lug, plus a lower with a pistol grip, collapsible stock and a 30-rd magazine should provide plenty of evilness.
The rationale is that previously, guns that had existed in a banned configuration prior to the ban were still legal under/after the ban. Since the act of assembling the lower and borrowed upper created an EAW prior to the ban, it retained its permissible evilness afterwards, including changing the configuration. The lower is the serialized part of the gun and what becomes evil when assembled, so borrow the upper if you're short on cash. Is doing this somewhat silly? Yes, but no sillier than "rifle" lowers vs. "pistol" lowers, and failing to play that game properly can result in prison sentences.
Of course, we can hope that we manage to fight off passage of AWB II in the first place, and it's possible that a sequel might not grandfather in existing weapons or have some other rules that make this exercise pointless, but you never know and it can't hurt.
I will say that based on my reading of the original ban, if an individual owned a complete evil upper and lower prior to the ban and assembled them before the ban took effect, the gun was still legal post-ban. If he owned the parts prior to the ban, but never assembled them until after it took effect, he had committed a crime by manufacturing a post-ban assault weapon. Something very difficult to prove, but a crime just the same. Date of assembly was the key point, not date of ownership nor the configuration at the time the AWB took effect.
Again, I am not a lawyer and the details will certainly depend how any future ban is written.
Last edited by Mark-VA; 12-12-08 at 22:29
Reason: added info/attempted to clarify some points