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Legality of U.S.-made mag tube extensions on M4


MikeyZ
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Hey everyone, please don't shoot me for bringing up this emotional topic. I have been trying to get to the bottom of this once and for all (as many on this forum have, and have claimed they finally have the answer). If one reads 5 posts on this topic, they will get 5 contradicting answers, all claiming that they are RIGHT. Crazy.

 

So the big question is, is it a federal crime to install a U.S.-made magazine extension or full tube on a Benelli M4, speaking in terms of 922r?

 

Some folks have reported that this is not an issue since the sunset of the AWB, some have said that the ATF declares that adding a capacity extension to the M4 is a federal felony, and etc., etc., etc.

 

Here is something I pulled off of cal-guns.net. Please have a look:

 

"This is one of the most misunderstood and over-reactive subjects out there.

 

What you were told is true in part, but does not apply to Benellis or HK/FABARM shotguns or many other brands of imported firearms for the following reason. 922r applies to all imported firearms UNLESS the importer also holds a Type 7 FFL (Manufacturing) or better. Because Benelli USA possesses a Type 7 FFL and have for many years, all guns they import are entirely exempt from 922r. Anything Benelli imports under the Benelli USA trade name is exempt from 922r provisions. Imported firearms that are imported by Type 7 licensees are treated exactly the same as if the firearms were manufacturered domestically. This is why it is perfectly legal to add a magazine extension or even a folding stock to a Benelli (unless illegal in your state). This is why Benelli can import/manufacture and sell the Practical model (extended magazine tube) and the M4/M1014 WITH the collapsible stock. HK and their line of FABARM shotguns are another example. HK is a licensed Type 7 manufacturer and can import the FABARM line of shotguns without regard to 922r.

 

Other imported firearms do not have this exemption because their importers are not also Type 7 FFL holders in the U.S. Type 7 FFLS are expensive and require that firearms actually be manufactured for commercial sale, which is not an inexpensive or hobby endeavor.

 

Therein lies the seeming discrepancy, it's the statutory exception to 922r. Read 922rB1 - "These provisions shall NOT apply to....""

 

I have not yet been able to find 922rB1 on the web yet, so I don't know the validity of this, but it sounds like a pretty compelling argument.

 

If this is true, does it finally lay to rest the debate about whether installing a U.S.-made mag extension or full tube on an M4 results in an NFA firearm and is therefore a felony to own unless declared with the ATF on a Form 1 (which is likely not going to get approved in some states)?

 

Does anyone have information that contradicts the above statement about Benelli USA being exempt from 922r?

 

 

No offense to the ATF, but I am not surprised they would give a generalized answer about this if asked, not taking into consideration whether Benelli USA has a Type 7 FFL. After all, Impact Guns a couple years ago was selling to the public a LE version of the M4, complete with mag tube extension and collapsible stock. Obviously this is within federal law.

 

Please give me your feedback, but don't get too upset for me bringing this beaten-to-death topic up again. I have searched high and low on this forum and no one that I can see has addressed the issue of 922rB1. Thanks fellas. :rolleyes:

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922 ®

The Imported Parts Law(1990)

178.39 otherwise known as 922® 10 Foreign parts law on semiauto Rifles & Shotguns

http://www.atf.treas.gov/regulations/27cfr178.html

Sec. 178.39 Assembly of semiautomatic rifles or shotguns.

(a) No person shall assemble a semiautomatic rifle or any shotgun using more than 10 of the imported parts listed in paragraph © of this section if the assembled firearm is prohibited from importation under section 925(d)(3) as not being particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.

(b) The provisions of this section shall not apply to:

(1) The assembly of such rifle or shotgun for sale or distribution

by a licensed manufacturer to the United States or any department or agency thereof or to any State or any department, agency, or political subdivision thereof;

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Not speaking in terms of 922r, but the federal GCA of 1968 continues to mandate for non-assault weapons a fixed magazine capacity less than, or equal to five rounds.

 

The Gun Control Act of 1968, Public Law 90-618

 

(30) The term "semiautomatic assault weapon" means --

 

(D) a semiautomatic shotgun that has at least 2 of --

(i) a folding or telescoping stock;

(ii)
a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon
;

(iii)
a fixed magazine capacity in excess of 5 rounds
; and

(iv) an ability to accept a detachable magazine.

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I hate to rain on anyone's parade but, read that section of 922 carefully. Before anyone goes out and breaks the law.

 

What section (b)(1) says is if a licensed manufacturer(type 7 FFL) assembles a prohibited firearm for use by the United States government, a US federal agency, a state government or a state agency it will be legal.

 

I was wondering if it would be legal to put a +2 extension on my M3 Super 90 combat but it looks like I won't be able to without more US made parts or removing the pistol grip. :(

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Interesting, so i can put a tube extension on as long as I remove the pistol grip stock??? or vice versa..

According to the strictest interpretation of the federal Gun Control Act of 1968 by the BATFE, correct :( . However, there is no magazine restriction under CA law as it pertains to shotguns (restrictions expired in 2004 with the AWB). Put it this way: CA under Proposition 215, legalized marijuana for medical use. The Supreme Court overturned Proposition 215 five years later. So can I, or can I not obtain a doctor's recommendation for medical marijuana? So can I, or can I walk into a local marijuana dispensary with recommendation in hand and buy a bag of weed for my medical necessity? A number of associates of mine have chosen to believe that they can and have proceeded with their convictions. Check with your local and state resources and come to your own conclusions as to what you may, or may not do with your shotgun.

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Ok, I'm confused... is this just for semi shotguns? or does it affect pump as well? I have a Supernova I installed a +4 mag extenion on 8+1, I live in NJ... am I breaking the law?

 

I'd like to know too as i'm buying an M4 configured with the standard stock, and I'm going to be installing an extension tube as well. I live in NYC...

 

in the research i have done, nowhere it mentions anything about magazine capacity

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Mr. Shotgun,

Call your local ATF office and call your state DOJ, and ask them, don't count on just us here... record the call and tell them you are recording, that's about it...

 

have fun shooting

 

 

I called my local ATF office and they told me about the assualt weapon ban which expired. They then referred me back to my local rifle/shotgun licensing division where I got my rifle/shotgun permit.

 

I called them a few months ago and just got to speak to a bunch of morons....when I finally got a hold of someone who knew something, he said well, whatever the form says when you applied for your permit.

 

 

I'd like to see the law in writing however....

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Thanks all for your thoughts and feedback.

 

I simply find it hard to believe that installing +2 extensions are a federal offense, since at least a half a dozen companies are making them and selling them all over the country specifically for the M4. Obviously this is does not prove legality, but I also don't believe they're just burying their head in the sand and presuming all the people that are ordering them are either LE or have registered their M4 as an NFA firearm. An analogy would be if someone from CA tried to order high-capacity pistol mags. Most (if not all) companies will refuse to ship them, knowing it's illegal in CA to own them. Now, 922R and the CGA are federal laws, but the point is the same.

 

Anyway, I'm not done with this. I am going to try to talk to several companies, even Benelli USA about this, and maybe even a pro-gun rights attorney. I would try to deal with the ATF, but I know that will be a looooooong process and in the end I will likely get nothing but boiler-late jargon (no offense to any ATF agents - it's the system, not you).

 

Thanks again fellas, and if there is anyone out there who knows for sure whether Benelli USA is in fact exempt from 922R because they hold the right FFL (or whatever), please post.

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922 ®

The Imported Parts Law(1990)

178.39 otherwise known as 922® 10 Foreign parts law on semiauto Rifles & Shotguns

Sec. 178.39 Assembly of semiautomatic rifles or shotguns.

(a) No person shall assemble a semiautomatic rifle or any shotgun using more than 10 of the imported parts listed in paragraph © of this section if the assembled firearm is prohibited from importation under section 925(d)(3) as not being particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.

(b) The provisions of this section shall not apply to:

(1) The assembly of such rifle or shotgun for sale or distribution

by a licensed manufacturer to the United States or any department or agency thereof or to any State or any department, agency, or political subdivision thereof;

 

Where is all of this coming from I looked up 18 USC 922® and it does not have the language from this 178.39 section you are citing, the best I can tell is it is from the CFR, (this is agency rules-which do have force of law) 922® is in the Federal Code. I did a search online of the CFR and could not find that citation and looked in the bound versions of the CFR at the local law library and none of them have a 27 cfr 178

 

Here is what 922® currently says as of the sunset of Assault Weapons ban and as of me looking it up on Westlaw this morning-

18 U.S.C. 922 ® (which is still good law and in effect)

It shall be unlawful for any person to assemble from imported parts any semiautomatic rifle or any shotgun which is identical to any rifle or shotgun prohibited from importation under section 925(d)(3) of this chapter as not being particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes except that this subsection shall not apply to--blah blah blah

 

so we look at 925 (d)(3)

is of a type that does not fall within the definition of a firearm as defined in section 5845(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and is generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes, excluding surplus military firearms, except in any case where the Attorney General has not authorized the importation of the firearm pursuant to this paragraph, it shall be unlawful to import any frame, receiver, or barrel of such firearm which would be prohibited if assembled; or

 

 

that then leads us to 5845(a) of the IRC (internal revenue code):

(a) firearm:The term “firearm” means (1) a shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length; (2) a weapon made from a shotgun if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length; (3) a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length; (4) a weapon made from a rifle if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length; (5) any other weapon, as defined in subsection (e); (6) a machinegun; (7) any silencer (as defined in section 921 of title 18, United States Code); and (8) a destructive device. The term “firearm” shall not include an antique firearm or any device (other than a machinegun or destructive device) which, although designed as a weapon, the Secretary finds by reason of the date of its manufacture, value, design, and other characteristics is primarily a collector's item and is not likely to be used as a weapon.

 

 

 

The gist of all of this is you can not manufacture a short barralled shotgun under 18inch barrel or under 26 inches total. There is absolutely zip zero in 922® contrary to what everyone is posting on the forums about not being able to put a full length tube on it.

 

If someone could guide me to the whole 10 part thing and where it actually appears in the United States code or in the CFR I would love to look it up. But as of what I have seen so far I don't see where that is in either of those two spots- meaning it is no in force.

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Well, that's extraordinarily interesting. I don't know what the **** is going on. Let me take a look at where I found this 922r code that I posted and see how dated it is. Is it possible that I (most of us) have been looking at code that is outdated? That is, pre-post-AWB?

 

Thanks for pointing this out, and I hope you're right. :eek:

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Not speaking in terms of 922r, but the federal Gun Control act of 1968 continues to mandate for non-assault weapons a fixed magazine capacity less than, or equal to five rounds.

 

The Gun Control Act of 1968, Public Law 90-618

 

(30) The term "semiautomatic assault weapon" means --

 

 

 

(D) a semiautomatic shotgun that has at least 2 of --

(i) a folding or telescoping stock;

(ii)
a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon
;

(iii)
a fixed magazine capacity in excess of 5 rounds
; and

(iv) an ability to accept a detachable magazine.

To make it a little more interesting all of the aforementioned is no longer valid law as it died along with the sunset of of the assault weapons ban. In fact if you look it up in westlaw it says it is repealed.

 

So after thinking about it most of the day, here is what could be the only hang up in all of this if there is a CFR section that interprets "of this chapter as not being particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes" or in any way interprets this section of the code to the whole 10 part thing. But if there is an administrative rule it would have to be in the CFR, I could not find it, but if you want to look the whole thing is totally public just google CFR Code of Federal Regulations. Essentially those are agency made rules which expand and more fully flesh out the USC. I just wanted to look this stuff up myself, too much of the gun control "law" floating around on the web was valid as of 2004, but with the end of the asault weapon ban it is no longer in force.

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Here is the ATF report from 1989, the 10 parts count is not an actual law as passed by Congress and signed by the President but administrative law concocted by the ATF.

 

doubleudoubleudoubleu.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/usr/wbardwel/public/nfalist/atf_1989_report.txt

 

replace the 'doubleu' with w, this idiotic thing won't let me post the URL

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LOL - yeah, you haven't been "sworn" in yet with enough posts.....

 

I can't seem to access the page you supplied the URL for. Could you please check that out? It tells me 'permission denied...'

 

Could you possibly supply me with the path I take from, say the Carnegie Mellon Computer Science home page? Not sure why an ATF law is sitting within this site.......

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Do a google search for 'atf 1989 report'.

It will be the very first result.

 

It has a sample set of questions that the ATF runs foreign firearms through to determine if it is 'suitable for sporting use'. It's more likely they just pick and choose which ones on a whim. The Swiss Arms PE90 is even considered sporting in Canada and Europe, but banned from importation here.

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