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Thread: SBR question

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    NW Ohio but Montana is always home!
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    I do not believe this is correct. I've never seen anything in writing from the ATF or a knowledgeable source stating such. AFAIK, a rifle is either an SBR or it isn't. One isn't more of an SBR than another.
    You may be correct. As I said it's been a few years (about 15) since I've had any involvement in sbr'ing a rifle.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bret View Post
    I do not believe this is correct. I've never seen anything in writing from the ATF or a knowledgeable source stating such. AFAIK, a rifle is either an SBR or it isn't. One isn't more of an SBR than another.
    This is my understanding as well. I too am not a lawyer but i did alot of searching before filing my form 1 and i just put down the shortest length that i had. I do keep mine in that configuration but i have thought about buying a 12.5 to shoot on it too. I would just say that honestly no one is going to care but then again i understand where you are coming from with the vagueness of the NFA laws and a criminal about to take over that agency.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    A lot of questions can be answered here: National Firearms Act Handbook

    To answer the original question: No, you are not married to the original configuration. It is never a bad idea to 'make' the firearm in the exact configuration that has been approved as that removes all doubt as to your intent because you meet any/all of the conditions of the relevant laws/registration requirements. There are a LOT of people who don't do that, however, and they haven't had any issues at all...and they won't.

    There is a lot of confusion about what/when the ATF NFA Division must be notified about things related to NFA firearms...and most of the confusion is due to the ATF itself.

    Example: If you read the minutia on the Form 1/4, in the "Important Information for Currently Registered Firearms" section, it reads in relevant part:

    Change of Description or Address: The registrant shall notify the NFA Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, 244 Needy Road, Martinsburg, WV 25405, in writing, of any change to the description of the firearm in item 4, or any change to the address of the registrant. Notice the "shall".


    In numerous formal written opinions and FAQ postings on its website, ATF explicitly states that the "notification" is purely voluntary - most especially notifying ATF should the firearm be "removed from the NFA list" (e.g., the configuration is "permanently" changed to a configuration that is not regulated by the NFA - such as disposing of a short-barreled upper and 'permanently' attaching a non-NFA upper on an AR). Also, if you have a REALLY slow day and want to read the relevant laws, there is no requirement in the law that you notify ATF about anything once you are legal.

    As with many things in life, if there is confusion - especially on something that could result in a federal felony prosecution - compliance with the most restrictive guidance - even if not definitively mandatory - is never a bad idea. All it takes is a quick letter to the NFA division should you move and/or make a change to the registered configuration that a reasonable person would think is 'permanent'. Do that and regardless of what is said anywhere else by anyone else, you are definitively in compliance, and not only will you not have any issues, you CAN'T have any!

    If you want to be contrary and/or obstinate and not do any notifications, that seems quite alright as well. No one is going around knocking on doors verifying compliance with the black-letter laws, rules, and/or regulations. Plus, for lots of reasons, no one is going to.

    There is some incorrect info in the thread, but it has generally been corrected by others.

    Example: An SBR is an SBR and the SBR barrel length is irrelevant (e.g., you can go shorter than the registered configuration without issue. See the comments above about notifying the NFA Division after a 'permanent' configuration change).

    There is also great information presented in a good way.

    Example: the comment about "constructive intent" being hypothetical.

    If 'constructive intent' is the great boogeyman that a lot of people seem to think it is, no one could ever be in possession of both a 'regular' rifle or shotgun and a functional hacksaw and every gunshop in the country that had AR-based pistols in their racks with carbine buffer tubes and stocks that would fit those tubes on their shelves would be closed within days and every employee on the premises prosecuted. Clearly, that doesn't happen.

    In my many years of involvement in these matters as an LEO, I am not aware of a single prosecution for "constructive intent", and only a handful of voluntary forfeitures in the few cases where 'constructive intent' could have been a viable argument. "Constructive Intent" is a fun talking point but it is essentially a non-issue. The way to avoid even the remotest possibility of it is really, really simple: Have a way to assemble every component you possess into a legal configuration at all times. Do that and even the idea of constructive intent is completely irrelevant.

    FTR, even if you land on the wrong side of the NFA due to misunderstandings or confusion, prosecutions of individuals for NFA violations are actually extremely rare. One-time violations are essentially NEVER prosecuted unless there are other extraordinary reasons (e.g., a notorious drug dealer in possession of an unregistered machinegun being the sole example I am personally aware of where a non-licensee was prosecuted).

    Typically, when an NFA violation is suspected, there is a cursory investigation - NFA violations aren't exactly difficult to prove - followed quickly by an offer to have the possessor voluntarily forfeit the firearm in question. It's a pretty straight-forward offer - either forfeit the thing in an agreement for ATF to not prosecute or they will bring the weight of the entire federal criminal justice system down upon your head like the waves of the ocean crashing upon the shore during a hurricane...and this is a one-time offer...and you need to pick one, right now.

    Smart people know what to do and it all goes away with a stroke of a pen and the firearm you were likely never going to get back anyway eventually being turned into a manhole cover or similar when it is sold as scrap after it was chop-sawed into multiple pieces.

    Hope this helps,

    Last edited by MJN1957; 07-24-21 at 14:03.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    2 (100%)
    Quote Originally Posted by czgunner View Post
    How do you update a form 1? I will need to do that.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
    Should be more or less the same as a Form 4.
    It's hard to be a ACLU hating, philosophically Libertarian, socially liberal, fiscally conservative, scientifically grounded, agnostic, porn admiring gun owner who believes in self determination.

    Chuck, we miss ya man.


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