Have you ever wanted your firearm to look like the ones in the movies? Independent Program Attorney Edwin Walker is letting pro-2A people like you know what’s legal and not legal to add to your firearms under federal law, so you can lawfully have the most tricked-out gun around.
Firearms are becoming more and more modular. This means that you can add or attach many different devices and accessories. But you may wonder, are any of these illegal? Do they make my firearm illegal? Currently, under federal law, all accessories are legal to have and attach to your rifle…for now.
Are Bump Stocks Legal?
You may have heard about bump stocks. It’s a plastic stock with a piece that covers the trigger. The Department of Justice has recently proposed a federal Second- Amendment-related regulation that would redefine the word “machinegun” to include: “bump-stock-type devices that allow a semi-automatic firearm to shoot more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger by harnessing the recoil energy of the semi-automatic firearm to which it is affixed so that the trigger resets and continues firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter.”
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If this proposed 2A-related regulation is made final, and becomes effective after the mandatory comment period, it will require all bump-stock-type devices currently possessed by law-abiding, pro-2A citizens to be surrendered, destroyed, or rendered permanently inoperable. Even though this 2A accessory has been produced for almost 10 years and has previously been approved by the ATF as a completely lawful device.
Unfortunately, when it was used in the October 2017 Las Vegas shooting, and the news media and politicians continuously stated that a bump stock turns a semi-automatic rifle into a machine gun, its fate was sealed.
Legal Handgun Accessories
Most accessories you may want to add to your handgun are legal under federal law. However, there are two big exceptions. If you 1. add a vertical foregrip or 2. stock to your handgun, you have made it a NFA weapon. This is illegal to make or possess without ATF approval and a tax stamp.
AR-15 Pistol Accessories & AR Attachments
This has caused many pro-2A people to wonder about attaching a stabilizing arm brace to a handgun, in particular, attaching them to AR pistols. The ATF has determined that as long as you use the stabilizing brace as it was designed and you do not alter it for the purposes of intentionally using it to fire the handgun from your shoulder, you are NOT breaking the law. This shows how accessories can be legal, but its misuse may be illegal.
For example, to answer the question “Can I have a laser-guided grenade launcher?” The ATF says “Yes, if it has been designed or redesigned for use as: a signaling, pyrotechnic, line-throwing, safety, or similar device.” However, if you possess a grenade or rocket launcher in conjunction with any anti-personnel projectiles, such as rockets, grenades, beanbags, or cartridges filled with pellets or balls, it is an ATF-regulated NFA destructive device. So, you can have the launcher, but just be careful what you launch out of it.
Stay tuned for part 2 in our next 2A Times newsletter, where you’ll hear from your pro-2A Independent Program Attorney on what the laws of your state say regarding adding accessories to your firearms!
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I have an ar rifle and it came with a vertical grip from the manufacturer, does that mean it is now illegal?
Mark — the injunction was for AR pistols, not rifles.
No, as long as it is a legal rifle with a Barrell of 16″ or longer. If the barrel is within the legal guidelines, attaching a vertical foregrip is completely legal. However, I will say check with state and local laws before doing so, as some states and municipalities may say otherwise
What does NFA stand for?
Hi Jim. Thank you for your comment. NFA stands for National Firearms Act.
Here is a link the the ATF’s website explaining common questions relating to the NFA https://www.atf.gov/qa-category/national-firearms-act-nfa
NJ is considering an assault weapons ban with stricter standards… even 1 cosmetic feature, such as a pistol grip would be a prohibited rifle. Wouldn’t currently owned rifles have to be grandfathered? I thought ex post facto laws were unconstitutional.
Is it legal to attach a glock to the front of an ar pistol
I would love to get your input on attaching a 37mm flare launcher to an ar15 pistol with a stabilizing brace, I cannot seem to find any info on this subject. All I can find is vertical foregrip is a no no, everything else is fine. This flare launcher is strictly for signaling. You ask why would I do this? For fun, I think it would be cool but I want to make sure it’s legal first. Thanks in advance!
He already addressed this issue above.
“AR-15 Pistol Accessories & AR Attachments…
For example, to answer the question “Can I have a laser-guided grenade launcher?” The ATF says “Yes, if it has been designed or redesigned for use as: a signaling, pyrotechnic, line-throwing, safety, or similar device.” However, if you possess a grenade or rocket launcher in conjunction with any anti-personnel projectiles, such as rockets, grenades, beanbags, or cartridges filled with pellets or balls, it is an ATF-regulated NFA destructive device. So, you can have the launcher, but just be careful what you launch out of it.”
I have an DDM4 PDW and I was wondering ifbit was legal to add a foregrip that has the laser light combo on it, or does this make it illegal
I am wanting to build an AR pistol from a stripped lower that was never a rifle. Is adding a “SB Tactical SBA3 Adjustable Stabilizing Brace” and a “Magpul AFG 2” angled fore grip legal without an NFA Tax stamp? I have considered not adding these accessories to the firearm and applying for a tax stamp if that is my only/best choice.
does anyone know if a shotgun mount for an AR is legal.
That would depend, but considering it has to have an over all length greater than 26” to be a shotgun, then strapping it to an Ar if nothing else, would be cumbersome
I’m putting together my first AR-9 pistol and I’m wondering if a F.A.B. VTS-M Rubberized M-LOK Compatible Versatile Tactical Support. Versatile functionality, can be used as a Stand Alone hand stop or as a thumb break in conjunction. Not a hand grip…