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Ultimate Guide to AOW/Any Other Weapons – The Legal Brief!


Welcome back to The Legal Brief, the show
where we CRUSH the various legal myths and misinformation surrounding various areas of
the gun world. I’m your host Adam Kraut and today we’re talking about the NFA firearm
that nobody understands also known as Any Other Weapons or AOWs. AOWs are the bastard child of NFA firearms.
Unlike every other NFA firearm for which you are paying a $200 tax to transfer, you are
only paying a $5 tax to transfer an AOW. However, if you wish to make one, you will still be
paying the $200 making tax. While in some instances, they are easy to identify, other
times they can be rather confusing. Let’s begin by looking at the definition as a whole
and then we will break it down into segments. Get ready, this is a little bit more complex
than some of the topics we talk about. An AOW is defined as “any weapon or device
capable of being concealed on the person from which a shot can be discharged through the
energy of an explosive, a pistol or revolver having a barrel with a smooth bore designed
or redesigned to fire a fixed shotgun shell, weapons with combination shotgun and rifle
barrels 12 inches or more, less than 18 inches in length, from which only a single discharge
can be made from either barrel without manual reloading, and shall include any such weapon
which may be readily restored to fire. Such term shall not include a pistol or a 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.” Nothing to it right? If you’re head is spinning,
that’s ok, you aren’t alone. Let’s take a look at this piece by piece in an attempt
to clear up the confusion. The definition begins with “any weapon or device capable
of being concealed on the person from which a shot can be discharged through the energy
of an explosive.” These would include your gadget devices such as a pengun, knife gun,
umbrella gun, cane gun, belt buckle gun and so on. If you want to see a wall with a bunch
of cool AOWs, be sure to check out the International Spy Museum in Washington DC. It’s worth
the price of admission and there is a whole section dedicated to everyone’s favorite
spy, James Bond. The definition goes on to say that a pistol
or revolver having a barrel with a smooth bore designed or redesigned to fire a fixed
shotgun shell is also an AOW. An example of this is the H&R Handygun which was produced
from about 1921 until 1934. The handygun was available in 410 or 28 gauge with a 8 inch
or 12 ¼ barrel thus putting it into the definition of a pistol. And since it was originally built
in that configuration rather than being remade from a shotgun, it is not a weapon made from
a shotgun nor is it a shotgun. As a result, it is an AOW because it was a smooth bore
pistol and was designed to fire a fixed shotgun shell. The Ithaca Auto and Burglar gun is
another example of this types of AOW. But Adam, what about the Taurus Judge or Smith
and Wesson Governor? They both fire shotgun shells and are revolvers! This is true, but
the barrels on those guns are rifled, thus removing them from the purview of an AOW and
also making them a less effective shotgun. Moving along to the last part of the definition
we see that weapons with combination shotgun and rifle barrels which are between 12 and
18 inches from which only a single discharge can be made from either barrel without manual
reloading are also AOWs. The most commonly associated gun with this definition is the
Marble’s Game Getter, a gun which had a rifle barrel over a shotgun barrel that was
typically between 12 and 18 inches. As the firearm fired both shotgun and rifle ammunition
and could only shoot one round without manual reloading, it fit into this definition. There
were some versions which had an 18 inch barrel and shoulder stock. Those were not AOWs because
the barrels were 18 inches in length and the overall length was more than 26 inches. However,
if the stock was removed, you then had an NFA firearm because you had a weapon less
than 26 inches in length made from a shotgun/rifle. By way of example for current guns on the
market, the Savage Model 42 takedown which has a .22 rimfire barrel on top and a .410
ga shotgun barrel on the bottom is not an AOW because the barrel is greater than 18
inches. Lastly, the definition states that AOWs shall
not include a pistol or a revolver having a rifled bore or bores, or weapons designed,
made, or intended to be fired from the shoulder and not capable of firing fixed ammunition. With all of that said, I understand that this
can be a bit confusing. Let’s have some fun and do a little quiz to see if you guys
are learning. I’m going to toss some images up on the screen and we’ll see if you can
determine whether it is an AOW or not. I’ll give you about 5 seconds for each image and
you can feel free to pause the video if you need to. This is a wallet holster gun. Is this an AOW
or not? ATF has determined that this is an AOW when
it is in the wallet holster because it disguises the handgun and is able to be fired from concealment.
The wallet holster itself is not an AOW. This is a Springfield Armory M6 Scout and
it happens to be one of the ones that they made with 14 inch barrels. What do you think?
AOW or not? This is an AOW because it is a weapon made
from combination shotgun and rifle barrels between 12 and 18 inches in length and can
only shoot one round from either barrel without manual reloading. This is the Shockwave Technologies raptor
grip on a pistol grip only firearm. It has a 26.5 inch overall length and a barrel length
of 14 inches. Is this an AOW? For this one you’d need to know a bit more
information. Did it start life as a shotgun or not? In this instance it was a pistol grip
only firearm, as a shotgun requires that it be “designed or redesigned, made or remade,
and intended to be fired from the shoulder…” Without having a buttstock attached it doesn’t
meet the criteria of being a shotgun. Since it is not a shotgun, the barrel length is
inconsequential as it can’t be classified as a short barrel shotgun (in its current
configuration). Because it is longer than 26 inches in overall length, ATF TYPICALLY
does not consider it to be concealable on a person. I’ve included a determination
letter to this effect in the description. That said, I’d like to note that ATF did
say that because the law does not specify a maximum overall length, a firearm measuring
greater than 26 inches MAY be classified as an AOW if it otherwise satisfies the definition
and there was evidence the firearm was actually concealed on a person. Pistol with VFG This time we have two guns, a glock which
has a vertical foregrip attached and an AR-15 pistol which has a vertical foregrip attached.
Neither of them are machine guns. What do you think? AOWs or not? ATF has stated that adding a vertical grip
to a pistol turns it into an AOW because it no longer meets the definition of a pistol.
Specifically, since a pistol is designed to be fired when held in one hand, the addition
of the vertical foregrip changes its classification. I’ve included an open letter from ATF regarding
this subject in the description. Hopefully that gives you some idea as to what
an AOW is. I know it is a confusing topic so we will most likely do another episode
to dig deeper if you guys want to see that. If you guys liked this episode, you know what
to do, hit that like button and share it around with your friends. Have a question you want
answered on this show, head over to The Legal Brief section on theguncollective.com. Be
sure to check out my website adamkraut.com for more information on my quest to serve
YOU on the NRA Board of Directors. Don’t forget to like The Gun Collective on Facebook,
Instagram, YouTube, Full 30, Snap Chat and wherever else you can catch us on social media. And as always thanks for watching!

100 thoughts on “Ultimate Guide to AOW/Any Other Weapons – The Legal Brief!

  1. Does a serbu super shorty also classify as an aow or doesn't it because the use Remington 870 and mossberg 500 receivers and has a folding vertical grip? For the matter what about the black aces dt?

  2. All this video and you didn't bother to cover the franklin armory xo26 which is basically a pistol but with a vfg that maintains 26oal so it's not a aow nor a pistol but a firearm. Come on adam. So many people don't know about the firearm classification

  3. that hair cut should help with moving forward in your career. trust me my hair was down to middle of my back. job options increased once I cut it.

  4. YOU SHAVED AND GOT A HAIRCUT? I miss getting legal advise from a guy who looked like he just dived into my building's dumpster and talks about FEMA deathcamps.

  5. As a Machinist, I would be interested in hearing more about the procedures before manufacturing an AOW (such as a cane gun) or manufacturing a silencer (from a squeezed 3-liter bottle on the end of a .22 rifle, to a home smithed suppressor)

  6. Someone tell brownells this is not a glock http://www.brownells.com/shooting-accessories/holsters-belt-gear/holsters/inside-the-waistband-holsters/semi-auto-summer-special-2-prod9922.aspx

  7. I see you got the Stinger already, but I believe the belt buckle gun at 2:15 isn't an AOW either. It's just a regular mini-revolver clipped into the belt buckle. You have to pop it off to fire it.

  8. Adam. it is my understanding if you build an AR15 from a stripped receiver with a barrel less that 16" but has a OAL of over 26" the addition of a vertical grip would not classify it as an AOW . Is this true? I thought I saw a letter from the ATF some time 2011 classifying such weapons as "firearms" not pistols or rifles or SBR's or AOW.

  9. I love your videos. Could you maybe do something about how Trump may be able to deconstruct the NFA laws or at least what will be required to do this in general?

  10. The wife and I schedule range time late enough on Saturday or Sunday night so that after we could go and eat dinner. As you get older a night out like this is a great break from the routine and we both shoot so its a win win anyway (2A)

  11. Would a 12 gauge shotgun with a 8inch barrel that could be attached to the hand guard of a rifle be a sbs or a aow or no and as a 16 year old in my state i can legally carry a 1863 pocket revolver for the protection of me and my family and 1 ex and 1 current lawyer said it is technically legal but if seen would be questioned (talking about concealed carry) what is your opinion on weather I should carry or not

  12. So the ATF says adding a VFG to a pistol changes it to an AOW, but if you read the definition of AOW, a pistol with a AFG does NOT fit any of the criteria. How then can ATF say it's an AOW if it doesn't fit the AOW definition according to the NFA? It's a firearm. Not a rifle, not a pistol, and should thus not be NFA regulated unless they change the actual law.

  13. Good work, Adam. Speaking as a class 2 manufacturer for the past few decades, I would surmise ATF considers the 18" Marble Gamegetter to be a handgun when the stock is removed, and a traditional combo rifle/shotgun when the stock is attached. To argue otherwise would be hypocritical because ATF has a policy of removing certain antique NFAs from the federal registry when they are considered more curiosities than public threats. Such examples which have been exempted include slotted gripped models of the Luger, Astra 900, Mauser 1896, and Inglis Hi Power pistols, all of which can accept detachable shoulder stocks. If the 18" Marble has not yet been exempted, one can petition the ATF to remove it (assuming it has been classified as an AOW) using the aforementioned grounds as justification.

  14. I was thoroughly enjoying this until I learned a wallet holster would make my bitty 380 an AOW. WTF. I assume gluing a small piece of leather over the muzzle end of holster making it impossible to fire the pistol unless unholstered would make it no longer an AOW? Kind of like my wife's holster purse.

  15. You forgot to mention that you can add a vertical grip to a pistol so long as the pistol's OAL is greater than 26"

  16. Thanks for posting. Are AR AOWs currently legal in California? Are they considered Assault Weapons in that state?

  17. I have a mac 11/9mm (reading some forums its considered a pistol) so adding a foregrip will be a aow?

  18. Adam, the picture that you showed at 2:12 of a "pen gun" is actually a Braverman Stinger. This is not an OAW but is actually classified as a pistol due to it's rifled barrel and grip extending at an angle below the bore of the weapon.

  19. All I want to know is how can they enforce these laws on firearms if let's say. Someone were to buy the Shockwave and a full stock separate?

  20. Firearm made from an ar 15 reciever that has never been had a stock,and is not intended to be fired from the shoulder,with an overall length of 27 inches,a rifled barrel,and a vertical foregrip?Is this an aow?

  21. Great explanation, but still confusing. For CA, an AR pistol that's OAL is greater than 26" can ya put a little verticle grip on it and just mind your own business without anyone f….. with ya.

  22. So I bought a Mossberg 500 years ago and it was purchased with a pistol grip already attached. In fact, I never even received a shoulder stock from the gun shop when I bought it.  The barrel length is 20 inches. 
    Is this technically a pistol or a shotgun? Can i legally install a shorter barrel?

  23. So I watched the pistol video as well. So I guess one could put a barrel greater than 18 inches on there ar pistol lower and by definition they aren't making it an aow or a rifle. And aren't breaking any definitions that it's still a pistol. Correct? What do you think?

  24. Is there any chance NFA can be repealed? I'm doing an sbr now and when you stop and think about it, it's such bullshit . Let's start by contacting our congressman. I know there are other battles to fight, but this one seems to be worth it.

  25. @theguncollective when measuring an AR pistol with a SBM4 brace, do you measure from the buffer tube or the end of the brace? I'm seeing a lot of conflicting answers as the ATF letter states that you measure with the stock fully extended, but an AR pistol would be utilizing a brace; so I'm confused if that doesn't apply here. Thanks in advance!

  26. So if you have a flare gun with a subcaliber device seperated in you pack the law could come down on you? Because if you can join the two to make it a single shot firearm it would be considered an AOW?

  27. Can you explain how you can use the mossberg shockwave at the shooting range legally? Most ranges require all guns to be covered when bringing them in to shoot. Wouldn't that be concealing the firearm? Therefore changing it into an AOW. Also once you buy this from any store, once you bring it out while in the box, wouldn't it be considered an AOW?

  28. In order to be an aow shotgun it had to come from the factory with a pistol grip u can turn a aow into a short barrel shotgun but u can't turn a short barrel shotgun into a aow

  29. Wait until we are all in a museum.
    Here is an Irish America, here is an African American, here is a Polish American, here is a Russian American, here is a Chinese American. here is a weapon the constitution said would protect them all. Sadly That weapon was deemed illegal & so was the constitution… A Nice museum though, wouldn't you say?

  30. That successfully confused me. Excuse me please while I watch that again…. Maybe I should take notes too…

  31. If my Kriss Vector measures 26" with a maxim Defense pdw brace fully extended, can I add a vertical foregrip to the vector without making it an AOW??

  32. Well, does the wallet gun also have a rifled barrel and a pistol grip in there somewhere? If so, then it's a pistol, not an AOW. If it's not a pistol, then it's an AOW but why should I care? I can make 1 of those, some asshole can figure that out, arrest me for keeping and/or bearing that arm, then I can arrest that asshole for deprivation of rights under color of law. We can hold handcuffs and skip off to to see the magistrate together. Fuck it.

  33. What I'm curious about is something you mentioned several times about the 26" limit and sort of, between this and another video, implied that you could use a vertical fore grip on something if it were over 26" like a slightly longer OAL AR pistol, that would then not be a pistol but a firearm, etc?

  34. Any help with homemade rail guns? My buddy and I want to build one for fun, but I'm not sure at what point a FFL is required.

  35. What is a firearm that is called " OTHER AR lower with a pistol tube, Ar upper with a 12" barrel and a pistol grip So, not a pistol as it has a forward grip? not a rifle has not a shoulder it is not an AOW has a Rifled bore. so it is a firearm or OTHER. NOT NFA

  36. can you do a video on adding a foregrip onto a pistol that has an over all length of over 27 inches, theres some confusion and potential mis interpritation that id like to see cleared up

  37. THATS WHERE IT GETS TO BE BULL SHIT , THE PISTOL WITH THE VERT. FOREGRIP SHOULD NOT BE AN AOW . CAUSE IT TAKES TWO HANDS FOR GUN CONTROL, NOT ONE .

  38. So if you take a virgin ar15 receiver and make it more then 26 inches and use a bartel between 12-18 inches and vertical forgrip that’s cool ?

  39. Main problem how do you legally carry a any other weapon do you have to carry it in the open can you carry it concealed can somebody help me with this

  40. Why is all this needed again>?
    This feels like infringement …
    Isn't there something important in the Constitution about infringement?

  41. Virgin receiver to start with, a pistol brace,10.5” barrel, angled grip, and a overall length greater than 26” is this an AOW or just a firearm.

  42. Since the definition of a handgun states "designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand", why is it legal to shoot the gun with both hands on one grip?…like everyone who ever shot a handgun has done…

  43. Didn’t answer my question or I missed it. If I build an ar pistol, 10.5” barrel, when the pdw brace is collapsed it measures less than 26 inches but extended measures more than 26 inches is it an aow? Does the flash hider if not pinned or welded count in this over all length? Also if it is over 26 inches is it still considered a pistol or at any rate is it illegal in any way.?

  44. I am building a AR pistol with a 10.5 inch barrel and a SB A3 brace. I want to add a Law Tactical folding stock adapter to it. I believe this will add 1.3 inches to the length of pull. Will this violate any laws? I’m told if you go over 13.5 inches it is now illegal. Is this correct?

  45. NRA is so corrupt and needs to be completely gutted. Hope you find your way there even though it seems the board has very little power

  46. Help me out on this one… AR15 pistol with 11.5 inch barrel and SBA3 brace that has overall length of over 26 inches and vertical pistol grip becomes a "firearm" as it doesn't meet definition of a pistol. Now add a law tactical folding stock adapter where the "firearm" can be folded to a length of less than 26 inches and still has a vertical grip. Is this an AOW?

    The ATF has said to measure the length of rifles with the stock folded out and the stock extended but recently seized weapons in Connecticut with folding pistol braces as they had vertical grips on them and the overall length when folded was less than 26 inches. They haven't really issued a ruling or letter stating much about measuring pistols with braces attached, whether they need to be extended, unfolded, and whether or not this counts to overall length.

    Also have thought about attaching the BCM vertical grip to the "folding firearm" to get around this. The ATF has stated in one of its letters that it considers a vertical grip to be 90 degrees perpendicular from the bore of the rifle. If the BCM grip is less than this, say 80 to 85 degrees, is it still considered a vertical grip by the ATF? (Even though BCM calls it a vertical grip)

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