The so-called ‘small arms expert,’ here, as noted in “The Rundown” linked from “The Woodpile Report,” here, is either an idiot, or has had his interview quotes thoroughly taken out of context through selective editing to increase the sensationalization to make him purposely look like an idiot. If the latter was the goal, the reporter succeeded.
The Navy vet quoted in the piece claims the Dayton shooter (self-identified as ANTIFA) was using an illegally modified AR15 turning it into a SBR (Short Barreled Rifle) which are, in fact, illegal to own unless registered with the BATFE with the appropriate tax paid and owner background checks completed. Right up front in the article the ‘small arms expert’ is shown to have very little ‘expertise’ by the first quote:
“A pistol/rifle hybrid is completely illegal on every level,” Jack Maxey told The Rundown. “It’s clearly illegal in its current configuration.”
In a word, “NONSENSE!”
It was used illegally to murder people, but as it’s configured, it’s pretty safe to say that it was built as an AR pistol.
So, as quoted, the ‘expert’ obviously NEVER heard of or has seen an AR PISTOL. Mr. Maxey, if quoted incorrectly, should demand a retraction and subsequent correction, and if quoted correctly, take a firearms identification course and apologize to, ‘The Run Down.’
In the photo released by the Dayton PD, the firearm is easily identified as an AR pistol by ID of the Shockwave Blade Pistol Stabilizer in conjunction with the apparent 10.5″ barrel, which further indicates the configuration as an AR pistol, NOT an SBR, at least by appearances. The only way it can be judged as a SBR is to see if the lower receiver was registered as a ‘pistol receiver.’ If it wasn’t, then it’s a SBR; if it was, it’s an AR Pistol.
Additionally, stabilizers, such as the one in the crime photo, cannot be installed on AR 15 carbines or rifles, because the installation shortens the overall length of the firearm below the legal minimums, again, making it a SBR.
The stabilizer itself sells for under $25 at most major firearms accessory retailers, and the one in the photo is thusly described: “The Shockwave Technologies Blade Pistol Stabilizer is a lightweight, ergonomic, BATFE approved AR-15 pistol enhancement. This high-strength polymer brace fits all pistols equipped with a standard AR-15 pistol buffer tube (up to 1.25″ in diameter), for a secure, worry-free fit.”
Again, AR pistols are completely LEGAL so long as the owner registers it as a pistol when he or she meets the legal requirements to own it and follows their state protocol for registration when taking possession through a licensed FFL, who, by the way, is not going to risk legal jeopardy themselves by allowing a SBR to be possessed by a prospective owner that doesn’t have the appropriate clearance and approval.
Once the lower is registered as a pistol receiver, it cannot legally have a rifle upper installed on it without having the legal description changed from pistol to rifle, and then again, the owner must have BATFE notification of intent to change the designation and with their approval. If the AR Pistol owner doesn’t jump through those hoops and installs a rifle upper on the pistol lower, or installs a rifle stock on the pistol lower, he or she has just converted a legal pistol to an illegal SBR.
From what I understand, it’s a PITA to jump through all the hoops to get an AR Pistol lower reclassified, being much easier to simply buy a new lower and build a new AR carbine/rifle.