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ATF Response to Legality of Full Length Mag Tube on Benelli M4


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1993.. If you bought your M4 with the collapsible stock attached you're GTG as 922® only applies to the assembly of parts not mere possession, which is one reason why you see such a premium for M4s w/ collapsible stocks and/or full length mag tubes on gunbroker.com et al.

not good for me then!!:mad: my m4 w/ flag on receiver was made in 2004 i believe. thanks for info though. skeeter

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Please take the time to read all of this post. Now realize that the decision making process of the ATF is typical of our Federal Government. Also notice that the ATF agents are often referred to as "over zealous". Now tell me you want to turn your healthcare over to an agency fo the Federal or State government!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey All,

I received my response letter from the ATF today. I had sent my inquiry letter to them on 8/1/09. So it was about the same 6 week response time that MeanGreen had experienced. I also got the same list of 13 parts that would need to be reduced to 10 or less to be in compliance. Has anyone else received their response recently?

 

Take Care,

Hookster

Edited by Hookster
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Hey again, I noted one slight difference in my letter's list of the 13 imported parts that comprise the Benelli M4. Part # 10 is listed as:

 

Buttstock (with interregnal pistol grip)

 

I believe that to be a typo and they meant integral pistol grip. Anyway, I just thought I'd put that out there for those among us who like to read the tea leaves in these letters.

 

Later,

Hookster

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Buttstock (with interregnal pistol grip)...

 

Ha! Now you are truly screwed! If you dare show your gun in public without the ATF approved "Interregnal Pistol Grip" they'll put you away for ten long years.

 

Unfortunately for you "Interregnal" is a real word. It means; "any period during which a state has no ruler or only a temporary executive." The ATF has reduced it to writing giving it the force of law!

 

This is getting really creepy now. Is the ATF trying to send us coded messages? Are they in fact disputing the legitamacy of Obama? Is America currently in an Interregnal period? Is it possible that they are telling us that any shotgun with a pistol grip purchased since the sham inauguration is somehow different that those purchased earlier. Is it only a coincidence that the new Dan Brown Novel "The Lost Symbol" was released last night at midnight. Is it significant that midnight is neither AM or PM?? Where IS my tinfoil hat??:eek:

Edited by OhioM4
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I just thought I'd put that out there for those among us who like to read the tea leaves in these letters.

 

Yeah, I've been on the phone with Benelli Customer Service all day. They insist they don't have any interregnal grips in stock.:confused:

 

I think you're right though, the ATF is sending us coded messages. I have an old set of TV rabbit ears I'm going to duct tape to my foil hat later tonight. hopefully that will help me decipher the communications. :rolleyes:

 

Hookster

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It also begs the question of why there are Benelli +2 extensions in the US now

 

You can make any kind of parts you want (with some notable exceptions), and sell them to unsuspecting users who don't have a complete picture of the legal implications of using them. For firearms covered by 18USC922®, the user is responsible for knowing how to use the parts within the law.

 

Unfortunately for you and me, the sellers of parts don't tell us we could be falling into a very deep hole should we make use of their wares in our enthusiasm to improve our guns.

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The way I interpret the whole thing is that if you buy a new imported gun from a dealer it is by definition compliant with 922®. If you can buy it, it is a gun suitable for sporting purposes. As soon as you start adding parts you are considered to be "assembling" a gun from imported parts.

 

You are exactly correct. Each and every imported firearm is examined by the ATF (the design, that is) and the ATF in its sole discretion determines whether it is suitable as a sporting firearm in configuration "X". If "yes", it can be sold to the public. If "no", then it can only be sold to LE/Mil **AND** (this is VERY important) the configuration becomes a "prohibited" one that you cannot build with no more than 10 imported parts.

 

Note that if your firearm is imported, and you want to mod it, and the mod is still a "sporting configuration" (eg, you are changing choke tubes, or getting a shorter LOP non-collapsible stock), then the 10 parts count rule *does* *not* *apply*.

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It has been repeatedly stated that the letter only applies to the person it is addressed to.

 

Yes, by people who have no legal training or information. I don't know where this stuff comes from, but people just throw it out there and other people believe it.

 

And, by the way, getting a letter is good due diligence, but the reality is, you can't avoid getting arrested on this issue (modding an imported firearm in violation of 18USC922) if you have a piece of paper to waive in front of an "overzealous" ATF agent. They aren't firearms examiners. I fully suspect if they want your ass in their briefcase, they will arrest you, take your modded M4, and *later* you will be able to sort things out when the firearms expert "back at headquarters" looks at all your receipts and pieces of paper and hopefully realizes you are indeed legal.

 

The real question is: what are the chances of running into such a fired up BATFE commando? or, perhaps equally, that you will use your modded M4 for "personal defense" only to find the DA not so sympathetic to your cause, and uses the 18USC922 violation ("oh, 13 parts? Sorry, it's 14 -- two gas pistons", or "... it's 15 parts, the pistol grip and buttsock are two parts; they detach from one another, don't they?") as a sentencing enhancement or plea bargain hammer-over-your-head.

 

Stop kidding yourselves people. You mod your M4, you'd better be very, very sure you want to mess with this kind of potential hassle. For my part, I am very happy with 5+1+1 rounds; two more isn't worth a potential 5-year Federal bid given the wrong circumstances.

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I have two little boys and a wife and the last thing I want to do is come anywhere within a 1000 miles of commiting a felony for two extra rounds.

 

Buying a US-made shotgun, then, would be a good choice. You can add magazine tubes and all kinds of other stuff, make them "non-sporting" and never have to worry about 922. And, yea, you are right, not worth it for two extra rounds. My conclusion exactly.

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Buying a US-made shotgun, then, would be a good choice. You can add magazine tubes and all kinds of other stuff, make them "non-sporting" and never have to worry about 922. And, yea, you are right, not worth it for two extra rounds. My conclusion exactly.

 

The truly crazy (and ironic) thing is that only the law abiding are worrying that they'll to jail for the silliness of simply adding two extra rounds to a shotgun's capacity when you can do the same thing to a US shotgun (if it doesn't come so enabled) just because it's made in CONUS. The laws are so f'd up.

 

The acceptance of the bureaucracy though is scary. I recall the coach of my college rifle team, an Army combat hero, saying that the reality is no one would fight or challenge the rules and would turn in their weapons rather than risking peril to their family structure. Personally, I find this a similar attitude. I prefer to stay within the law, but grow some balls, fight the bureaucrats in their own arena, and not roll on to my back and raise my ass and whine that it's not worth 5 years in jail etc. We aren't criminals and we don't have to be pussies either. I want to know ALL the rules and get them explained over and over again. I'll also seek the additional parts to stay totally compliant with the law and flip the bird to the a-holes that are back-handly trying to screw with my rights. Oh, and I'm not planning on abdicating my rights just because someone might unjustly arrest me until they get their act together. That 's a VERY slippery slope.

Edited by BigHat
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A couple comments in no particular order:

 

1) 922r was enacted Nov 1990 to close a legal loophole created by the Bush import ban of 1989. For that full year, it was perfectly legal to import a banned firearm as separate parts and assemble it after importation. The original importers of the Chinese Polytech and Norinco AKs used this to great effect. This is why the parts list reads like a disassembled AK. 922r applies only to firearms imported after Nov 1990.

 

2) Registering any rifle or shotgun as a "Short Barreled Rifle" or "short barreled shotgun" through the ATF Form 1 will alleviate the applicability of 922r since the gun would then fall under the National Firearms Act and thus would be non-sporting by definition. The Gun Control Act of 1968 created the concept of sporting purpose by defining three categories of imported firearms: NFA, military surplus and firearms "suitable or readily adaptable to sporting purpose." The text of 922r only avails itself to firearms "suitable of readily adaptable to sporting purposes" since it was only this category being circumvented by importers of banned firearms. Nowhere in the text 922r does it specify NFA or military surplus firearms as being applicable since NFA firearms are not importable and military surplus firearms are only importable if C&R. In this case, MILSURP guns are not sporting firearms, but collector guns and their collector value is wholly derived by their remaining unmodified per ATF Ruling 85-10. Since you cannot import an NFA gun for civilian use and you cannot modify an imported C&R military surplus gun, there was just no reason to include these two categories in 922r.

 

3) 922r prohibits the act of modifying the gun, it does NOT prohibit possession of the modified gun itself. It is not a 922r violation to simply possess the improperly modified imported gun, they would need to prove you did the actual modification, as opposed to someone else, before there is a 922r charge. The gun would be confiscated regardless, but 922r charges are another matter entirely.

Edited by Monkey
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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi,

I am going to purchase a Benelli M4 camo edition from a private seller. I want to have the local law enforcement check the serial # for me. Can someone tell me the exact location of the serial # on the M4? There is a number near the trigger and near the barrel.

 

Also,

I have read all of the reply threads about the number of imported parts on the M4. I am still unclear as to the answer. How does an ATF agent or law enforcement agent know if a part is imported or US made? Is each part stamped with "Made in...."

 

Can you add a higher round magazine to this gun? Do you have to remove some of the factory parts that are imported and replace them with USA made parts? If so, what are the easiest/cheapest parts to swap out?

 

Thanks!

Edited by knowles24
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Knowles,

 

According to the letter I received it is 13 imported parts. Under 922r, you if you want to change your gun to a non-sporting configuration, you need to have no more than 10 imported parts. That means you'll have to swap out three parts if you want to extend the magazine or add an extension. Luckly there are enough US made parts to do this. There are US made full lenth tubes or extensions, followers and forends. With a soon to be released US made fixed pistol grip stock from Mesa Tactical. So you'll be fairly safe with four soon.

 

As to how to prove somethings US made, that's anyone's guess. I suggest writing to the Firearms Technology Chief in Needysburg, WV. Call your local ATF office for their address. Ask them all of these questions to make sure you are on the right track.

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Originally Posted by Talyn

In 2011 California will begin requiring fingerprints for all ammo purchases.

 

In my book that one beats 922r.

 

Been in northern California all of my 52 years. Maybe I'm getting old, but IMHO, this state has gone to *ell (for many reasons.) When my son-in-law returns from Afghanistan (God willing), I know he's going to be pressing for a move to Montana, and I'm seriously considering following him...but I'm wondering about the gun-friendliness of other states, i.e., Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming? Colorado? Texas? I'm looking for a shall-issue state. Any suggestions or opinions? Thanks in advance,

Robert

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Seek job opportunities first. Decide what climate you want. No snow. Loads of snow. No rain. Lots of rain. Desert adventure. Forest adventure. Arizona, Texas, Utah, Idaho and Montana would be my choice.

 

Not to name names, but certain areas require you to adhere to certain religious groups or expect to be treated like an outsider and have limited job opportunities.

 

Anywhere is better than California - The Bankrupt State.

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Seek job opportunities first. Decide what climate you want. No snow. Loads of snow. No rain. Lots of rain. Desert adventure. Forest adventure. Arizona, Texas, Utah, Idaho and Montana would be my choice.

 

Not to name names, but certain areas require you to adhere to certain religious groups or expect to be treated like an outsider and have limited job opportunities.

 

Anywhere is better than California - The Bankrupt State.

 

This is why I went into medical. All 50 states want me.

 

I saw a book at a local range, it detailed in short, all 50 states gun-laws and had a little "sliding-scale" showing how strict they were. Alaska was slid all the way to the "friendly" side to the max.

Edited by Unobtanium
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after 40 yrs of CRAZIFORNIA, i moved my family to n. texas 2 yrs ago and its been the GREATEST MOVE EVER!!! jobs are plentiful not that i needed one, and the gun laws? well, you CAN OWN ANYTHING HERE!!! full auto,silencers,grenade launchers, bazooka's,cs grenades as well as REAL GRENADES etc.!! basically EVERYTHING!!!! I LOVE IT HERE!!!:D so good luck w/ whatever you choose!!:)

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A few months ago several members sent off letters to the ATF to get a confirmed parts count. We had previously seen 11, 13, and 15 parts enumerated on letters. Has any of the recent batch of letters received a response? I had suggested sending a copy of the letter that was posted claiming 11 parts and requesting confirmation. Have the ATF responses been consistent?

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Just got my letter back today. The two gas pistons on the M4 only count as one imported part.

 

The pertinent part of the letter states, "where a single item contains a combination of multiple "parts," it still shall only count as one item. The A.R.G.O. counts as one part."

 

Sound familiar? The one piece non-telescoping pistol grip buttstock is a single item which contains a combination of multiple "parts," which is why it only counts as one item.

 

ATF responses are consistent. 13 part count for the M4 with the standard field buttstock/ one piece non-telescoping pistol grip buttstock. 14 part count for the M4 with a separate pistol grip and a separate buttstock.

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