Skip to comments.This is how the BATFE keeps us safe
Posted on 05/27/2009 4:37:55 AM PDT by marktwain
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE, commonly shortened to ATF) is a busy agency. What with railroading owners of malfunctioning rifles into prison and "arresting" gun parts, they're hard-pressed to trace the guns seized in Mexico ("700-weapon backlog"), which themselves compose a tiny fraction of those seized (think about what that says about the "90%" lie).
One would think, then, that the agency would be careful to concentrate on priorities; to--I don't know--focus on dangerous criminals (well, those, and people whose semi-automatic rifles malfunction). One would be wrong, though.
Wrong, that is, unless one agrees with the BATFE's apparent position, that attaching a handle to a pistol is such a nefarious, sinister action that it justifies a 10 year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine.
I'm not making this up--from the BATFE themselves:
ATF has long held that by installing a vertical fore grip on a handgun, the handgun is no longer designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand. Therefore, if individuals install a vertical fore grip on a handgun, they are making a firearm requiring registration with ATFs NFA Branch. Making an unregistered AOW ["Any Other Weapon"--kind of the feds' catch-all term for firearms that do not fit neatly in their legal definitions of traditional firearm categories like handgun, rifle, and shotgun] is punishable by a fine and 10 years imprisonment. Additionally, possession of an unregistered AOW is also punishable by fine and 10 years imprisonment.
To lawfully add a vertical fore grip to a handgun, a person must make an appropriate application on ATF Form 1, Application to Make and Register a Firearm. The applicant must submit the completed form, along with a fingerprint card bearing the applicants fingerprints; a photograph; and $200.00. The application will be reviewed by the NFA Branch. If the applicant is not prohibited from possessing a firearm under Federal, State, or local law, and possession of an AOW is not prohibited in the applicants State of residence, the form will be approved. Only then may the person add a vertical fore grip to the designated handgun.
The above photo is of my Kel-Tec PLR-16, kind of a cheap "assault pistol," that I bought mostly for fun, although I reckon that at farily close range, I could use it in such a way as to be a real problem for anyone with bad intentions. Being paraplegic and confined to a wheelchair, however, with very limited lower trunk strength, anything I can do to improve stability would be very useful, which is why I was interested in adding a vertical fore grip to the gun.
That's when I did a bit of research and found out that just attaching the thing could be used as justification to lock me up for a quarter of the time I've existed so far.
The possibility of the BATFE going after someone for "felonious addition of a handle," or whatever they want to call it, is not just some arcane, alarmist theory--they have charged people for doing it.
24. The 9 millimeter and .22 caliber pistols seized by ATF were modified by adding an additional grip.
25. Title 26, United States Code Section 5845(e) defines "any other weapon" as:
... any weapon or device capable of being concealed from which a shot can be discharged through the energy of an explosion ... Such term shall not include a pistol or revolver having a rifled bore, or rifled bores, or weapons designed, made or intended to be fired from the shoulder and not capable of firing fixed ammunition.
26. A "pistol" is defined in Section 5845 as
A weapon originally designed, made and intended to fire a projectile (bullet) from one or more barrels when held in one hand, and having (a) a chamber(s) as an integral part(s) of or permanently aligned with, the bore(s); and (b) a short stock designed to be gripped by one hand and at an angle to and extending below the line of the bore(s). 27 CFR 178.11 (emphasis added).
Granted, the U.S. District Court of South Carolina ruled against the BATFE's interpretation in that case, but that doesn't stop them from trying to get by with it elsewhere, and they haven't, to my knowledge, changed their position.
To sum up, then, we are to believe that--Constitutional questions aside (even forgetting shall not be infringed, what Constitutionally enumerated power of the federal government justifies federal regulation of attaching handles to firearms?)--the American public is made safer by the impositions of these bizarre, arbitrary restrictions. We are, in fact, apparently expected to believe that a firearm configured in such a way that a paraplegic can fire it more accurately poses an unreasonable threat to public safety.
Anyone who wants to remind me that there is a way to do it legally should save their breath. Paying $200, or $5, or 5 cents, for that matter--not to mention the fingerprints, photographs, and all the other privacy-crushing hoops, for the "privelege" of attaching a handle to a gun--is not for liberty-loving, patriotic Americans. I might be reduced to biting at the BATFE's ankles, but I'll be damned if I ever lick their boots.
So have I attached the handle (to that pistol, and any others I've acquired since)? I won't be saying here. After all, I don't have the advantage of being a politically connected gangsta' rapper.
Any sane person looking at this realizes that here is a law that should be done away with.
I’m having a hard time trying to figure out how you would attach a “handle” to a handgun?
Never played with such a rig, but it would seem to be an awkward set-up. Then again, I've always been happy with my retro AR-15 (a faux XM16E1) and revolvers. :-)
“There are AR-15 “pistols” with a barrel length < 14.5”.”
Yea, I’ve seen these. As you say, they do look a bit awkward.
Recently expanded to Explosives, it seems to me.
Ironically, it’s the NFA stuff - stuff with real military use on par with or exceeding the equipment of our enemies - which the Founding Fathers truly intended “shall not be infringed”, as contrasted with petty “sporting use” stuff.
The foregrip/slide of a shotgun sometimes has a vertical grip. Not unusual for “tactical” arms.
Not very difficult with this one, which is the pistol the article concerns:
I have one, and the magazine makes for a perfectly fine, legal vertical front grip, if one would desire to use it that way...
Yer missing the ENTIRE POINT of the Batfags.
Nothing to do with guns at all atall.
It’s all about TAKING AWAY OUR GUNS, dummies!
It is all the ATF we need.
Just spitballing here.......
Even though the two lowers are physically identical. (sigh)
And don't get me going about a certain lawmaker describing a barrel shroud as a "shoulder thing that goes up"....
The “case deflecting operating handle” is a neat idea.
Something like this would look good in a movie going full-auto.
1. As someone already pointed out, the mag makes a nice handle.
2. When the Shumer Hits the Fan, and you may need that handle, that there may not be any Controlling legal authority to care that you have a handle on there or not?
[Or am I just pointing out something that's just too bloody Obvious?]