The Best Kind of Correct

Ce n’est pas un fusil

It is what you get when you have to rules-lawyer around a 80-year old law intended to prevent ownership of anything that wasn’t a hunting or fowling piece by the poor, then clumsily edited by politicians to exempt handguns when it turned out that an effectively-complete ban on anything that was smaller than a breadbox was politically untenable.

Now, Linoge notes that there are two pieces of arcane interpretation of unclear law that make this a pistol instead of Any Other Weapon or a Short-Barreled Rifle; and that the BATFE could change their minds at any time. I have to wonder, though, if the BATFE is wary of doing so given that the arcanities of the GCA that separate those three categories are actually quite hard to explain to the layman judge; and that they might have some difficulty keeping a prosecution based on where the lines were drawn in their own admin proceedings these days…

Historically, the BATFE has preferred to rule by interpretation rather than regulation, probably because there’s less oversight on that process. But it has bitten them in the nethers a few times, and with the decade-long trend of various pro-firearms-rights organizations willing to actually make federal cases out of infringements, I have to wonder if the BATFE permanent leadership is a little leery of what might happen in a real court instead of their administrative proceedings.

As a side note, I want one; but may not have one as long as I live in NJ. As a pistol, it’s way over the line of being an “assault firearm” (A semi-automatic pistol with a detachable magazine that has a magazine outside the handgrip, barrel shroud, weight of 50 oz or more, AND is probably a semi-automatic version of a fully-automatic firearm, well more than the 2 strikes permitted). Which reminds me, does anyone know why the federal ban and its imitators has that odd weight restriction?

6 thoughts on “The Best Kind of Correct”

  1. The SBR and SBS restrictions could be struct down pretty easily with the right judge I would think. I’m hoping we can get them and suppressors off the NFA list in the next ten years.

    1. The wrong judge could completely hose access to a lot of fun things, though.

  2. Why? Possibly because they have no concept of the constitution and the intent of the founders.

  3. Me, I’d never own an AR with a “Pistol Stabilizing Brace” and a short barrel, ATF letter or not.

    Because they can change their mind tomorrow, and the plain text of the NFA is on their side if they do so, especially if you, as owner, can ever be shown to have used it as a shoulder stock (which would be evidence for “intended for …”).

    (I’m amazed the ATF ever wrote that letter, given that I take one glance at the PSB and its complete, extraneous-to-stated-purpose suitability as a shoulder stock and think “Who the hell do they think they’re kidding? That’s a shoulder stock.”.

    I mean, I applaud thumbing one’s nose at the ATF, in theory.

    I just don’t want to be the guy going to jail over it.)

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