Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Barrel length limit?

    As most of us know, a rifle is limited to a minimum barrel and overall length or else it becomes an sbr.

    Is there any limit going the other direction? Is there anything stopping you from using an 18" barrel on an ar pistol?

    I know, you are thinking, that seems entirely impractical.

    My question is leading to, what is to stop somebody from having a rifle length barrel, a brace, and still being allowed to keep their rifle loaded in their car? My understanding is that you can never have a loaded long gun in your car legally (even with a ltcf).

    -Zach

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Barrel length limit?

    For federal law - Handguns can have a barrel 10+ miles long, and as short as what is needed to impart rifling marks and rotation on a projectile.

    The definition of a pistol/handgun is: A firearm designed to be held and fired with one hand. ...that is it.

    For a PA defined firearm: A pistol or revolver with a barrel less than 15", a rifle with barrel less than 16", a shotgun with a barrel less than 18", or any pistol, revolver, rifle, or shotgun with an overall length less than 26".


    So, if you want to carry/transport it loaded in a vehicle and it is a "pistol" or "revolver", it better be at least under 26" OAL.

    For a rifle/shotgun, it must fall under SBS/SBR/AOW and be properly tax stamped. Anything that isn't a PA defined "firearm" cannot be transported in a vehicle loaded.
    Last edited by knight0334; March 22nd, 2020 at 07:41 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Barrel length limit?

    Thank you! That makes more sense of it legally. But it hardly makes sense logically.

    Laws are goofy regarding what you can and cannot transport loaded. Loaded 10/22 and you are breaking the law. Loaded ar pistol with a brace and you are not.

    -Zach

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Barrel length limit?

    Quote Originally Posted by knight0334 View Post
    For federal law - Handguns can have a barrel 10+ miles long, and as short as what is needed to impart rifling marks and rotation on a projectile.

    The definition of a pistol/handgun is: A firearm designed to be held and fired with one hand. ...that is it.

    For a PA defined firearm: A pistol or revolver with a barrel less than 15", a rifle with barrel less than 16", a shotgun with a barrel less than 18", or any pistol, revolver, rifle, or shotgun with an overall length less than 26".


    So, if you want to carry/transport it loaded in a vehicle and it is a "pistol" or "revolver", it better be at least under 26" OAL.

    For a rifle/shotgun, it must fall under SBS/SBR/AOW and be properly tax stamped. Anything that isn't a PA defined "firearm" cannot be transported in a vehicle loaded.
    All of the above in mind:

    Lets say a standard AR lower with a basic pistol buffer tube. From y'all's personal experience, what's the longest barrel that will stay under 26"?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Barrel length limit?

    Bizzare...

    So, a pistol with a barrel length of less than 15" but an overall length of greater than 26" is legal to own in PA but must be transported unloaded?
    Si vis pacem, para bellum

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Barrel length limit?

    Quote Originally Posted by ArmyVet View Post
    Bizzare...

    So, a pistol with a barrel length of less than 15" but an overall length of greater than 26" is legal to own in PA but must be transported unloaded?
    Incorrect
    Si vis pacem, para bellum
    μολ ν λαβέ
    What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Barrel length limit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Gixxer View Post
    Incorrect
    What is incorrect? Is it legal to own?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Barrel length limit?

    Quote Originally Posted by ArmyVet View Post
    What is incorrect? Is it legal to own?
    remember the logical operator OR, not AND:

    For a PA defined firearm: A pistol or revolver with a barrel less than 15", a rifle with barrel less than 16", a shotgun with a barrel less than 18", or any pistol, revolver, rifle, or shotgun with an overall length less than 26".

    For example a 12.5" barreled AR pistol has an OAL of over 26", but it's still a PA-defined firearm because of the one qualifying factor of barrel less than 15" and thus can be transported loaded (extra credit - because of the >26" OAL, per federal law it can have a forward grip and not be an NFA-controlled AOW (any other weapon)).

    Other example - those hilarious 16" barrel .22lr single action revolvers... those are still PA-defined firearms even with the >15" barrel due to the OAL of less than 26"
    Last edited by jthrelf; March 23rd, 2020 at 12:58 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Barrel length limit?

    Quote Originally Posted by ArmyVet View Post
    What is incorrect? Is it legal to own?
    Understandably this shit makes my fucking head hurt and I'm assuming yours as well. I'm not going to comment further because I get this stuff mixed up all the time and syntax matters but I believe if the pistol has a <15" barrel, in PA it can be transported loaded. I am nowhere near a lawyer and I believe "title 1 firearm others" are included.
    Si vis pacem, para bellum
    μολ ν λαβέ
    What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Barrel length limit?

    The definition on the SP4-113 (Application/Record of Sale) is: "Does this purchase involve a pistol or revolver with a barrel length of less than 15 inches, a shotgun with a barrel length of less than 18 inches, a rifle with a barrel length of less than 16 inches or a firearm with an overall length of less than 26 inches.

    The ATF is taking the position that because a stabilizing brace is not an integral part of the firearm, it is not relevant to the overall length measurement.

    Here is the long, thorough explanation (from the Prince Law Offices) and it is very good and worth reading: https://blog.princelaw.com/2019/07/0...ilizing-brace/
    Ron USAF Ret E-8 FFL01/SOT3 NRA Benefactor Member

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