SIG Sauer 556 Arms Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just saw a short video clip on the Kriss pistol and the guy stated that if you put a foregrip on it-or in our case a P556-it's illegal; is this correct?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Legality on pistols in the United States

The legality of vertical fore grips on pistols in the United States is unclear. In the United States, firearms are categorized by the National Firearms Act and firearms manufactured with specific features are subject to restrictions and controls. In the case of a vertical forward grip on a pistol, the law does not explicitly define such a feature as belonging to any category.

In May 1993, in response to legal action brought by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF), the South Carolina District Court's finding of fact concluded that a pistol modified with the addition of vertical fore grips was still a pistol and not an any other weapon device.[1] Following this, the BATF dropped their charges and the case was not tried; as such no precedent was set.

In an open letter sent to Federal Firearms Licensees in April 2006, the BATF stated their interpretation of the law; that installing a vertical forward grip on a pistol is the same as manufacturing an Any Other Weapon (AOW) category firearm and subject to registration and taxation, with significant penalties for manufacturing or possessing such an unregistered weapon.[2]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertical_forward_grip - Source
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
If you don't want to test the legality of the law BATF recommends :

Adding a Vertical Fore Grip to a Handgun

“Handgunâ€
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
I remember there were lots of discussions (and opinions) on this matter when the H&K SP89 was imported into the USA. Many wanted to install the "K-grips" on these unwieldy handguns without having to go through the NFA registration process.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,251 Posts
dduck44 said:
I just saw a short video clip on the Kriss pistol and the guy stated that if you put a foregrip on it-or in our case a P556-it's illegal; is this correct?
...if it's important for you to know...address all your question to the BATF's Technologies Branch...be very clear in your letter in stating what you would like to do...including all the details...and they will send you a written response regarding on how to proceed including any legal issues...

...you may also want to address this "in writing" with your state and local authorities that have jurisdiction in such matters...and save all written responses as relevant documentation to cover your ass in the eventuality that you may be charged with a weapons violation in a jurisdiction that may be in error in doing so or have a lack of technical expertise of the weapon in question and/or of the law as it applies to you...it does happen...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
it is my belief that a pistol with a vertical fore grip cannot be an AOW as defined by the NFA - it may not fit the definition of a "pistol" any more, but it's not an AOW.

the definition of an AOW requires one or more smooth-bored barrels, and specifically EXCLUDES arms with a single rifled barrel. as such, a P556 with vertical fore-grip cannot be a taxable AOW.

now, all that said, the ATF has consistantly treated pistols with vertical fore grips as an AOW. they will arrest and attempt to prosecute people with such set-ups. i think you could win in court, but a one-time $5 tax is MUCH cheaper than what a lawyer is going to cost you. (i should note here, AOW's are $5 to transfer, but still $200 to build via Form 1)

lastly, stop writing letters to the ATF people. the ATF is going to err on their side, 100% of the time. this is how we ended up with the impropperly labeled "gemtax". there were piles of people asking if it was legal to replace or modify the tube of a suppressor, and the ATF finally came back and said "NO". now, every person that needs a can reworked for any reason, has to go through another transfer and pay another tax...

i guarantee that if you write a letter to the ATF about vertical grips on pistols, they will resopnd with something to the effect of: "...we do not advise that you install a second grip on said pistol as doing so may be a violation of 26 USC S5845E..." all you've accomplished now is a binding letter on yourself that disallows this practice, and confirms what the general consensus is.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,251 Posts
bullyforyou said:
lastly, stop writing letters to the ATF people. the ATF is going to err on their side, 100% of the time. this is how we ended up with the impropperly labeled "gemtax". there were piles of people asking if it was legal to replace or modify the tube of a suppressor, and the ATF finally came back and said "NO". now, every person that needs a can reworked for any reason, has to go through another transfer and pay another tax...

i guarantee that if you write a letter to the ATF about vertical grips on pistols, they will resopnd with something to the effect of: "...we do not advise that you install a second grip on said pistol as doing so may be a violation of 26 USC S5845E..." all you've accomplished now is a binding letter on yourself that disallows this practice, and confirms what the general consensus is.
...i strongly urge you see the above nonsense for what it really is...dangerous misinformation that may put you is serious jeopardy...

...if ever you have any questions or doubt regarding the legal status of your "intended" project...modification of a weapon...addition of a component...especially a weapon or instrument governed by the National Firearms Act...address that guestion...in writing...to the NFA Branch of the BATFE...in most cases you will be addressing it to their Technologies Section...you will recieve a written response addressing your question...

...your written request for information should include a detailed description of the weapon in question...including the manufacturer...model...barrel length...and such...and a detailed description of your intended alteration or addition....including drawings or prints as approprate...

...if allowed...and after having completed your project....regardless of it's nature...you should keep the origional response (the letter from the BATFE) in a safe place and a copy of the letter with the weapon...for the reasons i have already mentioned...i would rely "ONLY" on the information given to me by the BATFE and so contained in the response letter...not information gleened off the internet...a Class 3 dealer or any other class of dealer...manufacturer or even an attorney...and you need to take this seriousely...

...in the event that a question arises regarding the legality of your weapon...and your possession thereof...for whatever reason or set of circumstances...not only will the "response letter" from the BATFE be a viable defense IMO...should the modification or addition come into legal question..but you have also demonstrated due diligence in that you have taken the approprate measures to insure that "whatever modification or addition" you have made will in fact be in accordance with the law in effect during that time in which the question was addressed...

...as a have also mentioned...you should also check with your state and any local authorities...

...a "weapons charge" ...especially one that involves the alteration of the weapon to a different configuration than origionally distributed by the origional manufacturer is a very serious matter...and even if eventually found innocent...may cost you hundreds of thousands of dollors in legal expenses...and if found quilty...for whatever reason...will pretty much change your life as you know it...including the fact that you are now a felon...and will most likely do some jail time...usually measured in years...

...under the law...as i understand it...you...and only you...will be held accountable for your actions...or lack thereof...and you will be the one that will be prosecuted and judged...and suffer the consequences for your acts...and ignorance has never been a viable defense...

...i'm not an attorney or legal specialist...and am not qualified to give legal advice and that is not my intent here...if you feel you need legal advice...you should retain an attorney...and also contact the BATFE with any questions you may have...

...BTW...the people over at the BATF are there to help you...they are a great resource of information that you should take advantage of...they're not the "bad guys" that they are so often made out to be by the ignorant and the uninformed...in fact...they are quite willing to help you and a great bunch of guys and gals...i've dealt with them often over the years...and they have always gone out of their way to help me...just saying...

...here's a linky to get you started if you so desire...including their address and phone number...

... http://www.atf.gov/firearms/nfa/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
ullie said:
i would agree with you if we were talking about a new firearm design, or something on the fringes of NFA law; like a RR M16 converted via DIAS or the divorcing of said sear.

in this instance we are dealing with a matter that can easily be researched and the general consensus can be easily found - writing a letter on this matter helps nobody. in fact, MOST NFA questions can be answered easily WITHOUT a letter.

as an aside, i've been in the NFA game (and the gun business) for quite a few years now. i'd appreciate you not patronizing me.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,251 Posts
ullie said:
...if ever you have any questions or doubt regarding the legal status of your "intended" project...modification of a weapon...addition of a component...especially a weapon or instrument governed by the National Firearms Act...address that guestion...in writing...to the NFA Branch of the BATFE...in most cases you will be addressing it to their Technologies Section...you will recieve a written response addressing your question...

...a "weapons charge" ...especially one that involves the alteration of the weapon to a different configuration than origionally distributed by the origional manufacturer is a very serious matter...and even if eventually found innocent...may cost you hundreds of thousands of dollors in legal expenses...and if found quilty...for whatever reason...will pretty much change your life as you know it...including the fact that you are now a felon...and will most likely do some jail time...usually measured in years...
... http://www.atf.gov/firearms/nfa/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,727 Posts
No offense intended, but I'd stick with ullie's advice every time.

Seriously.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
Having some interest in this area

because, short of writing to the BATFE, the general consensus of many FFLs and Smiths I've talked to state adding a vertical foregrip is illegal.

Suggesting not writing BATFE with a question is what we should do - if they give information that is contrary to law it can allow for us to expect them to provide the correct answer. They are not to be feared as some skeptics would want you to...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
284 Posts
You can argue legalities all day long. One could even make a plausible argument that the NFA is itself unconstitutional. When the founders gave the congress the power to regulate commerce between the several states (the meaning at the time was to 'make regular', or to 'normalize' trade between the states), I doubt they intended to create a federal police state where possession of constitutionally protected property is infringed upon as a matter of course.

That being the case, BATFE has in the past found it necessary to kill people and their families of those suspected of being in possession of an unregistered NFA weapon. We can argue legalities all day long, but I'd err on the side that won't result in the possibility of your loved ones being murdered.

Just my $0.02
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
listen, there is no argument about the fact that VFG's on pistols are treated as AOW's. i told everyone right off the bat that VFG's on pistols is a no-go, despite my opinion on what the law says.

the problem comes in writing letters to the tech branch for every little question or concern, when the answers can be easily found otherwise.

to the OP and everyone else, if you have NFA-related questions, go elsewhere for your information. check subguns and sturm (though their formats will make your eyes bleed, the folks there have VASTLY more NFA experience). check the class III forums on AR15.com. check over on uzitalk. silencertalk, while being full of some of the most abrasive folks on the internet, is a goldmine of NFA and NFA related info.

this board is one of the most NFA ignorant gun boards, and there is nothing wrong with that as it is a board dedicated to a particular weapon system. people come here looking for SIG info. it SHOULD be SIG specific.

tech branch letters are binding only on the person that they are issued to, and only for the weapon in question. tech branch letters are NOT legal protection, nor have they ever been, and they are frequently subject to change. hell, several people have received conflicting answers, on similar letters, submitted at nearly the same time. anyone involved in the NFA game for any amount of time would know this.

feel free to take ullies advice "every time", but this thread wouldn't play the same on boards that are full of guys that have actually gone head-to-head with the ATF in court. you know what they'd tell you? they'd tell you that, despite anyone's interpretation of the law, a pistol with a VFG will be treated as an AOW, and a tech-branch letter on this issue is a waste of everyone's time, at best.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,251 Posts
bullyforyou said:
listen, there is no argument about the fact that VFG's on pistols are treated as AOW's. i told everyone right off the bat that VFG's on pistols is a no-go, despite my opinion on what the law says..
...IMO..this tread has evolved beyond the issue of adding a VFG to a pistol...

bullyforyou said:
the problem comes in writing letters to the tech branch for every little question or concern, when the answers can be easily found otherwise...
...everyone has an opinion...i choose to err on the side of caution when posting advice...especially on serious matters...

bullyforyou said:
to the OP and everyone else, if you have NFA-related questions, go elsewhere for your information. check subguns and sturm (though their formats will make your eyes bleed, the folks there have VASTLY more NFA experience). check the class III forums on AR15.com. check over on uzitalk. silencertalk, while being full of some of the most abrasive folks on the internet, is a goldmine of NFA and NFA related info..
...some good...some not so good...some downright dangerous and stupid...

bullyforyou said:
this board is one of the most NFA ignorant gun boards, and there is nothing wrong with that as it is a board dedicated to a particular weapon system. people come here looking for SIG info. it SHOULD be SIG specific...
...really..."ignorant"...you would be "absolutely" amazed by the backgrounds of some of the members here...they just don't wear "their background" on there shirt sleeve...

bullyforyou said:
tech branch letters are binding only on the person that they are issued to, and only for the weapon in question. tech branch letters are NOT legal protection, nor have they ever been, and they are frequently subject to change. hell, several people have received conflicting answers, on similar letters, submitted at nearly the same time. anyone involved in the NFA game for any amount of time would know this
...the above is not entirely correct...and they do offer you a certain degree of legal protection...including immunity from prosecution in some cases...and at the very least...indicate to those judging you that you have made every reasonable effort to stay within the boundries of the law...and who better to ask than the very agency that makes these determinations...

bullyforyou said:
feel free to take ullies advice "every time", but this thread wouldn't play the same on boards that are full of guys that have actually gone head-to-head with the ATF in court. you know what they'd tell you? they'd tell you that, despite anyone's interpretation of the law, a pistol with a VFG will be treated as an AOW, and a tech-branch letter on this issue is a waste of everyone's time, at best.
...i find this amusing...i would think the idea is to not end up in court...

...somehow i get the feeling you have a "dog" in this somewhere...your advice is reckless and dangerous and "may" place people in jeopardy...

ullie said:
ullie said:
...if ever you have any questions or doubt regarding the legal status of your "intended" project...modification of a weapon...addition of a component...especially a weapon or instrument governed by the National Firearms Act...address that guestion...in writing...to the NFA Branch of the BATFE...in most cases you will be addressing it to their Technologies Section...you will recieve a written response addressing your question...

...a "weapons charge" ...especially one that involves the alteration of the weapon to a different configuration than origionally distributed by the origional manufacturer is a very serious matter...and even if eventually found innocent...may cost you hundreds of thousands of dollors in legal expenses...and if found quilty...for whatever reason...will pretty much change your life as you know it...including the fact that you are now a felon...and will most likely do some jail time...usually measured in years...
... http://www.atf.gov/firearms/nfa/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,394 Posts
Anyone ever heard the term, "better safe than sorry" ? I have personally talked with Ullie at length about various subjects and would trust his advice without hesitation. He has no goal here other than to help a member to do the right thing, without a concern of "wasting time" which sometimes equates to being lazy or bitter toward a particular person or organization from past bad experiences. No offense bully but I don't personally know you and although you may be very knowledgeable, you seem very passionate about not conferring with BATF which IMHO is a sure fire way to end up in trouble.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top