Modifying Your Gun? These are the Rules You NEED to Follow
People like to tinker with things. Gadgets, gizmos, and equipment is just plain fun to mess around with. Modify it to create something new or just a little bit better.
Have you ever thought about modifying some of the firearms in your collection? There are some rules to follow if you want to make changes to a gun you have in your own stock. Or, if you have made some modifications, this is a good guideline to follow to make sure that your weapon is still safe — and legal — for you to use.
Let’s look at the rules and regulations regarding gun modifications that you need to know.
The Importance of the National Firearms Act
The National Firearms Act was created in 1934. It was in this declaration that outlined certain rules and regulations about firearms in America. This Act is vital to understand because it specifies what is legal and what is definitely not. Violating this could easily have your firearms taken away, and you could ultimately serve jail time if convicted. You do want to be very careful by not making any of the following modifications.
Keep in mind as well that, if you use your handgun in any type of self-defense scenario, this gun is going to be analyzed very carefully by the police. Therefore, you want to make sure that everything is in place so that you can legally use this weapon in a worst case scenario.
What’s Not Allowed
- Rifles and shotguns need to be over 26 inches long. That basically means no “sawed off” shotguns. The reason this is illegal is due to the faster proposition of the ammunition with a shorter barrel. On a rifle the barrel itself needs to be at least 16 inches in length. For shotguns, they need to be at least 18 inches in length to be legal.
- No machine guns. That’s pretty easy to understand. You can’t make a fully automated gun out of one that shouldn’t be.
- Do not change the trigger pull on a handgun. Some people find that a lighter trigger helps them to shoot easier. Just buy a handgun that’s better suited to you if this is the case.
- No extended magazines. It looks cool, but it’s not legal.
Modifications You CAN Make
- Cosmetic modifications such as engraving the metal or making the woodwork custom is allowed.
- Upgrades with accessories like night sights or trigger springs.
- Caliber conversions can be made to rechamber or rebarrel for a new caliber.
- Make your firearm more accurate (accurizing).
- Modify a military style gun for legal sport hunting (sporterization).
Ultimately if you have any questions about the legal complexities of modification, it may be helpful to take your firearm to a licensed gunsmith to analyze in person what you can and cannot do. Overall for the safety and legal requirements of the gun, it’s just better to stay on the side of caution with any tinkering you might want to do with your firearm collection.
~ Ready to Fire News