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2nd Ammendment Issues

Current Status of "Assault Weapons" in the USA

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Current Status of "Assault Weapons" in the USA

Postby DangerousFat » Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:45 am

I honestly didn't know where to put this, I didn't want it buried this deeply, but this seemed like the most appropriate place to put it. Mods, if you know a better place for it, I would be more than happy to have it properly relocated. On to the point...

People talk on and off about the current state of "Assault Weapons" in the USA, but I can't find anything new about the issue. I find the whole thing confusing, barrel length, overall length, magazine capacity, bayonet lugs, barrel threading for silencers/suppressors. Can anyone, kindly either explain the current state of the issue or point me to somewhere that covers it. Like I said, I just can't seem to find anything modern and relevant about it.

Thanks in advance.
"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms."
- James Madison
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Re: Current Status of "Assault Weapons" in the USA

Postby wickersham » Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:51 am

DangerousFat wrote:I honestly didn't know where to put this, I didn't want it buried this deeply, but this seemed like the most appropriate place to put it. Mods, if you know a better place for it, I would be more than happy to have it properly relocated. On to the point...

People talk on and off about the current state of "Assault Weapons" in the USA, but I can't find anything new about the issue. I find the whole thing confusing, barrel length, overall length, magazine capacity, bayonet lugs, barrel threading for silencers/suppressors. Can anyone, kindly either explain the current state of the issue or point me to somewhere that covers it. Like I said, I just can't seem to find anything modern and relevant about it.

Thanks in advance.


Since you are in Texas, there are no funny (aka "Commie") laws other than Federal.

Minimum Barrel length = 16" for rifle, 18" for shotgun
Mag capacity & Bayo lugs = non issue
Suppressors = NFA, must have stamp, same for full auto

Since your question covered a lot of area, did you have something more specific in mind?

ps.: moving to 2nd ammendment section...
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Re: Current Status of "Assault Weapons" in the USA

Postby DangerousFat » Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:24 am

No, I had no specific questions, just looking into certain weapons and wondering what the laws were regarding them. I was interested in the Kel-Tec RFB and though I assume they wouldn't sell something that was illegal, since it's a bullpup, I just wanted to make sure the barrel length or overall length were good. I know there's also a lot of talk on the HK forums about modding an SL8 into a G36 clone and a lot of back and forth about barrel length, overall length, and an issue with modifying the receiver without moving the serial number. I was interested in that mod since the aftermarket folding stock for it, when folding blocks the ejection port, which I thought was dumb. I just wanted to make sure when I purchase my first "Evil Assault Weapon" that it's on the up-and-up and that I am fully aware of what modifications I am allowed to make to it, should I choose to.

P.S. - Thanks for moving the topic here, this was my first choice of locations, but I second-guessed myself. lol
"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms."
- James Madison
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Re: Current Status of "Assault Weapons" in the USA

Postby wickersham » Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:23 am

If you can readily buy it at a store, you should (emphasis added as it may not be the case) be good to go. I would stay away from Bubba trying to sell you a sawed-off shotgun out of his trunk though.

Barrel length is the only length to worry about as far as I know, but please research to verify as I would not want to steer you wrong.

I think it's all kind of stupid really - like a 14.5" barrel is more dangerous than a 16", but I guess they had to come up with a number to differentiate between a legal rifle and an "evil assault style" :roll:

As far the HK scenario you mentioned, its a whole new can of worms because they were imported and thus have even more rules. For example, If I put a extension tube on my Benelli M2 to make it a 7-8 rd capacity I have broken the law because it has a pistol grip, was made in Italy and imported. I can have a mossberg with pistol grip and 8rd capacity though because it was made here.

Same thing for an AK - I can't get a real, 100% foreign made one because law requires a certain # of US made parts to make it legal over here, I forget the exact count - 14 perhaps? THis is also the reason we can't get real Tavors.
.
I am unsure why foreign pistols seem to pass muster so much easier, but I am not going to complain.

Of course if you live in AWB states (California comes to mind), there are other considerations - no pistol grip rifles at all, fixed instead of detachable mags, 10rd pistol mags, etc.

At any rate, if you have questions that we cannot answer here there are tons of other sites/resources out there to help.
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Re: Current Status of "Assault Weapons" in the USA

Postby L5K » Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:06 pm

The Federal law for imported high capacity semiauto firearms is called 922r. This law only applies to imported firearms. Here is a link to better explain how all this works. http://home.comcast.net/~navy87guy/home/922r.html

All of my experience is on the AK side so I don't know for sure but I believe the defining characteristics are things that fell under the 1994 AWB. For example, a Saiga, is a Russian made AK. It doesn't have any of the "evil" features such as a pistol grip, folding stock, removable muzzle device, bayonet lugs or high capacity magazines. This allows it to be imported. Once it's here however, it's perfectly legal to turn it into a configuration that would not be allowed to be imported. In order for this "conversion" to be legal, you have to have a certain number of US made parts, and that varies by what parts the rifle has.

On these now evil rifles you are allowed only 10 imported parts. Possible parts under the law are:

Receiver
Barrel
Barrel extensions
Mounting block (front trunnion)
Muzzle attachment
Bolt
Bolt carrier
Operating rods
Gas Piston
Trigger housing
Trigger
Hammer
Sear
Disconnector
Buttstock
Pistol grip
Forearm/handguard
Magazine body
Magazine follower
Magazine floorplate

As you can see, there are more than 10 parts on this list, so that means with any imported high capacity evil rifle you have, there will be some parts to change. What exactly you change can vary by however you want to do it. If a firearm does not have a certain part that is listed, then it just does not count as a foreign or US made part, and therefore makes it easier for you to have a legal rifle. AK's are lucky as they don't have that many parts, and the ones people change out are easy to swap.

I'm in the process of converting my own Saiga in 5.45, my 922r list is as follows:
X indicates foreign, US indicates US made, NA indicates not applicable.

NA Barrel extensions (I do not have one)
NA Operating rods (on an AK, this is part of the bolt carrier so does not count)
NA Trigger housing (doesn't exist on an AK)
NA Sear (part of the trigger on an AK)

So right away I have knocked off four of the possible 20 parts, that means I have 16 parts left, so I need 6 US made parts. I pick things that are easy to remove and swap out. Some people use magazine parts to make us US parts, but I like my cheap commie mags too much lol.

US Muzzle attachment
US Gas piston
US Trigger
US Hammer
US Disconnector
US Pistol grip

These US made parts are readily available, and cheap because everyone uses them, they are the most common. My remaining Foreign parts are right at 10 parts, which is perfectly legal.

X Receiver
X Barrel
X Mounting block (front trunnion)
X Bolt
X Bolt carrier
X Buttstock
X Forearm/handguard
X Magazine Body
X Magazine Follower
X Floorplate

Hopefully that didn't confuse you too much lol. It's really not difficult at all, it's just some hoops you have to jump through for the .gov The best part about this though, is that as long as you are 922r compliant, and your barrel is 16" or longer for a rifle, you are good to go under federal law. For shorter barrel's and silencers and such, those are NFA items and require a tax stamp and paperwork if your state allows them. You should check your state laws for anything such as overall length requirements, and folding stocks. Up here in Iowa, we have a requirement that your rifle must be a certain length. The good thing about our law on that is that if it's a folding stock, you measure it with the stock open. But yeah, this is mostly for builders. If you buy a rifle from a manufacturer or a dealer selling it new, the builder will take care of all this for you, but if you're buying one used, or from a private owner, it would be safe to check up and ask them about the rifle in question.

For US made guns, just have fun, there aren't any of these bureaucratic hoops for you to dance through aside from bbl length. Just know the laws in your state, and any state you take the firearm to. The 1994 AWB expired, so we can once again have "scary" guns. As long as you are 922r compliant or US made gun, you can have folding stocks, bayonet lugs, pistol grips and high capacity magazines without worry, as long as your local laws don't say otherwise.
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Re: Current Status of "Assault Weapons" in the USA

Postby DangerousFat » Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:28 am

Awesome guys, that's exactly what I've needed cleared up. I have heard the 922r stuff a lot and it just never clicked with me until you really ran me through it. So, with the HK SL8, they've done everything on their end to make it out of the box US legal? Same with any Sig or other foreign manufacturer that imports into the states. As for the tax stamps and whatnot, do they accept "zombies" as a valid reason on the application form? lol

wicker, as for your wondering about why we have so much trouble with assault rifles and not pistols, as I have discussed with friends before, we believe it has to do with the purpose of the weapon. Pistols are short range weapons almost explicitly used for defense, standard rifles are almost completely used for hunting, but assault rifles and smg's were meant to kill people. They don't really hunt well and in general aren't as efficient for home defense. That's where the stigma comes from as I see it.
"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms."
- James Madison
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Re: Current Status of "Assault Weapons" in the USA

Postby L5K » Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:01 am

For the HK SL8, it is not considered to be a "non sporting" rifle, as it does not come with a pistol grip (thumbhole stocks are not pistol grips under ATF rules), it does not come from the factory to accept high capacity magazines, doesn't have a bayonet lug, folding stock, etc... They come into the country in a "sporting configuration" which lets them have all foreign made parts. In order to have any of the evil features you have to be sure to meet the 922r requirements. As they come, they are completely foreign, but as a sporting arm, they are fine. So, you either have to convert it yourself and pay attention to 922r, or you have to buy one someone else converted, and make sure they paid attention to 922r. Most companies who do these conversions and sell them will list the compliance parts they replaced to make it ok under 922r.

As far as "zombies" being an accepted answer on NFA tax stamps, yes, I have heard that it IS ACCEPTED, and seen pictures of the forms online. Are they fake? I don't know, I really hope not! :D

http://img294.imageshack.us/img294/1120/zombies011.jpg
http://www.everydaynodaysoff.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/ZombiesForm1.jpg


It's true in my eyes that these "assault weapons" are for killing people. However, so are swords. They were designed for killing people. Sure, they can be for "sporting" such as competition shooting and such, but by and large, they are for killing. Some of the stigma comes from this. I have no qualms with this fact however, and I make no excuses for my AK's. That's one of the reasons I have them, the other is for my own enjoyment, I just like shooting, and militaria and history. I believe that if it wasn't for people owning firearms, then we'd be British. I also sincerely doubt that I will ever fire a gun at another human. I hope I never have to. I think the stigma gets attached to them and not handguns because they are simply scary looking to people. Handguns account for the vast majority of gun crimes, with "assault weapons" being used in only a fraction of gun crimes. It's a problem of exposure and education. People are not exposed to guns, therefore they are not educated about guns. They aren't educated about guns, and they are afraid of what they aren't familiar with. People need to be taught that the presence of a firearm does not mean there is also danger. As it is, when people see or hear about guns, they hear about bad people using them in bad ways. A news report has never said "Today a man legally carried a concealed handgun to work and then went home and nothing happened."
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Re: Current Status of "Assault Weapons" in the USA

Postby DangerousFat » Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:32 am

Gotcha' about the SL8 being sporting, makes sense. Would the Mak-90 be the same way? As for "zombies" being an acceptable excuse on the tax stamp, I never imagined that the ATF had that level of humor/understanding and I certainly hope they do. Otherwise, what are good reasons, acceptable reasons? Target shooting? Home defense? I'm with you, I just like guns, I've been shooting them since I was like 6 and I respect the hell out of them. I pray that I will never have to point one at another person out of anger or defense and certainly never have to pull the trigger. Zombies on the other hand... no problem popping Zeds. :)

I understand you point about assault rifles and I think a lot of people would honestly agree with the fact that they aren't the problem. As the old adage goes "Guns don't kill people, people do." The gun is an instrument, they are fundamentally no worse than a baseball bat, a kitchen knife, a sword, or a car for that matter. Education IS the key, teach people to respect them, to understand them, to operate them properly, and a lot of that evil will probably go away. Heck, I think showing people exactly how powerful and dangerous they are would be more likely to deter their use against other people that encourage it. I know what a gun can do to water bottles and coffee cans and the like, I've seen the images of what it does to a person and I have no interest in using one for that purpose... of course, I'm not a bad person. lol
"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms."
- James Madison
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Re: Current Status of "Assault Weapons" in the USA

Postby L5K » Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:03 pm

For the MAK90 it would depend on the year I believe. Guns that are "Pre-ban" are grandfathered in, as they entered the country before the bans, therefore, they are 100 percent legal to own without 922r worries about imported parts. These rifles however will demand a premium price as in some states, they are the only "assault" rifles they can get. I'm not exactly sure about what the cut off years are, as I have never looked into pre-ban weapons as it's easier and cheaper just to swap out a few parts.

I think another issue with education is the fact that people seem to think that assault rifles fire some type of ultra super explosive rounds that will totally blow people or animals in half, when that is sincerely not the case. Assault rifles use intermediate cartridges that allow a higher ammo capacity without carrying all the extra weight of more "standard" rifle cartridges. If people realized that these guns aren't some super powerful weapons that will just blow through steel, concrete and armor.

Here's a video I always liked about the 7.62x39 cartridge and some other old hunting rifles and cartridges.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vgr3kTU68uw
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