Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Question about buying complete AR pistol lower

    I'm looking to pick up a complete AR lower with the SB tacticle sba4 pistol brace to make an AR pistol from PSA. I know the lower has to go through FFL, would this be considered a pistol transfer that needs a handgun record of sale or just a firearm transfer without handgun record of sale?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Question about buying complete AR pistol lower

    I THINK that it's still supposed to be marked as "other" because it's not a pistol OR a rifle until you slap a barreled upper onto it - thus making it one or the other. (or an SBR if so choosing)
    LOVE - It's what makes AR15s SO DARNED SNUGGLY! :)

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    Default Re: Question about buying complete AR pistol lower

    It is not a handgun and has to be transferred as an Other. Make sure that your FFL holder knows the laws and doesn't try to make up their own...

    https://forum.pafoa.org/showthread.php?t=329943
    Last edited by ArmyVet; February 7th, 2021 at 01:46 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Question about buying complete AR pistol lower

    Quote Originally Posted by Emptymag View Post
    I THINK that it's still supposed to be marked as "other" because it's not a pistol OR a rifle until you slap a barreled upper onto it - thus making it one or the other. (or an SBR if so choosing)
    So once i put say a 10.5 barreled upper on it, do I need to do anything extra such as bring it back to FFl to complete handgun record of sale? Not looking to SBR it.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Question about buying complete AR pistol lower

    Quote Originally Posted by Emptymag View Post
    I THINK that it's still supposed to be marked as "other" because it's not a pistol OR a rifle until you slap a barreled upper onto it - thus making it one or the other. (or an SBR if so choosing)
    Quote Originally Posted by ArmyVet View Post
    It is not a handgun and has to be transferred as an Other. Make sure that your FFL holder knows the laws and doesn't try to make up their own...

    https://forum.pafoa.org/showthread.php?t=329943
    Absolutely correct!

    Quote Originally Posted by Will3212 View Post
    So once i put say a 10.5 barreled upper on it, do I need to do anything extra such as bring it back to FFl to complete handgun record of sale? Not looking to SBR it.
    No sir, just enjoy your non-recorded firearm.

    If you ever sell it in pistol configuration it must go through an FFL, if you were to strip it down or take the upper off I'm actually not sure if it would or would not require an FFL transfer...

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    Default Re: Question about buying complete AR pistol lower

    Typical of our modern age passing existing law by, and existing law enforcement trying to apply their laws that really do not cover the situations. So the law gets stretched into absurd attempts at making it work. Citizens should not be encumbered with the ineptness of governing bodies that creates unintended breaking of law.

    Off the top of my head, I think once a lower has been assigned the task of carrying a rifle upper, it is not changeable to a pistol. A pistol lower can become a rifle, but never a pistol again. That is where the confusion has me without looking it up. Am I right or wrong?

    ETA- I'm wrong. V V V
    Last edited by Bang; February 7th, 2021 at 05:46 PM.
    There are only two kinds of guns. Those I have and those I want.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Question about buying complete AR pistol lower

    Quote Originally Posted by Will3212 View Post
    So once i put say a 10.5 barreled upper on it, do I need to do anything extra such as bring it back to FFl to complete handgun record of sale? Not looking to SBR it.
    My god, NO!
    LOL!

    After you put that 10.5" barrel on it, and either a basic pistol buffer tube, or a pistol brace, it's a pistol.
    If you should decide to sell it like that, it has to be transferred at an FFL.

    That said, if you should choose to change it into a carbine/rifle by adding a 16"+ barrel and a stock, you can do so.
    AND you can switch it back into a pistol again if you wish.

    If you FIRST build it into a rifle, it always must be a rifle. (aside from doing an SBR)
    LOVE - It's what makes AR15s SO DARNED SNUGGLY! :)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Question about buying complete AR pistol lower

    Just remember, a stripped lower, or a complete lower with a pistol brace OR a rifle buttstock is transferred to the buyer as an "OTHER". Once it has an upper receiver put on it's gender (pistol or rifle) is now set.

    If it is made into a rifle, by law, it cannot be made into a pistol without doing a ATF Form 1, and YES, you have to do a Form 1 to convert ANY (AR platform included) rifle into a pistol. Or you do a Form 1 to make a rifle into a Short Barreled RIFLE. The difference is that if you do the Form 1 to make it into a PISTOL (short barrel and pistol brace or bare or foam covered buffer tube) then you can make it back into a rifle. If you do the Form 1 to make it a Short Barreled RIFLE, you can make it back into a standard rifle and back into a SBR because you already did the Form 1 and it is registered with the ATF as a SBR. BUT if you want to make a SBR into a pistol, guess what, you have to do another Form 1. The SBR IS A RIFLE NOT A PISTOL and falls under the same constraints as a regular rifle. I have verified this with the NFA Division in the past.

    Remember AR Rifle to AR Pistol - Form 1. AR Pistol to AR Rifle, no form needed and you can revert it back to a pistol as many times as you want. BUT, don't make it back into a pistol without changing the buttstock back to a pistol brace FIRST (otherwise you have illegally made a SBR).

    Also, remember that these laws were written LONG before the advent of the AR platform and the ATF has never changed them. The AR platform and what is considered the "firearm" threw a wrench into the whole process the minute the first one was sold to a civilian.

    Don't get hung up on just looking at AR's. Just a small example, Remington XP-100 PISTOL - take the barrel and stock off, put a 16" barrel on and set it into a rifle stock, perfectly legal rifle now and you can remove what you did and revert it back to a pistol. Perfectly legal. Now, take a Remington 700 rifle, remove the action from the stock, remove the barrel, put a short barrel on it and put it into a pistol stock you made (or modified from a rifle stock) - you have just created an illegal pistol if you did not do a Form 1 and have it approved. Now, if you bought a virgin Remington 700 action (and you can/could do this) it would be transferred to you at a FFL as an "OTHER" and then you built a pistol from it, that is perfectly legal. And you could make it into a rifle and back into a pistol if you wanted.
    Ron USAF Ret E-8 FFL01/SOT3 NRA Benefactor Member

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Question about buying complete AR pistol lower

    Quote Originally Posted by Xringshooter View Post
    The difference is that if you do the Form 1 to make it into a PISTOL (short barrel and pistol brace or bare or foam covered buffer tube) then you can make it back into a rifle.
    I have a question on the bold:

    A brace from SB Tactical (SB3 or SB4) uses a standard 6-position buffer tube. If I am in possession of stocks and braces for multiple builds and mount the short-barreled upper to the lower after the tube is mounted but before the brace is attached, am I now in (constructive) possession of an SBR?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Question about buying complete AR pistol lower

    No, because you have and can prove that it is for the brace.

    That said, who knows what the ATF would do in the above situation. I truly think that the average ATF person doen't know all the laws. I know that I have asked questions to the IOI's (Industry Operations Investigators) for my region and they didn't have a clue what I was asking and had to get back to me. They did and with the correct answer (I did the work of finding it when they couldn't). However, in my interactions with them over the years, (in 3 different states where I have had my FFL), the BATFE law enforcement agents are generally pretty knowledgeable and actually do understand some of the intricacies of the AR platforms, even though the higher ups don't.
    Ron USAF Ret E-8 FFL01/SOT3 NRA Benefactor Member

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