Angled Foregrip Legal in CT?

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I know a pistol grip of any kind is a no-no on any rifle that takes detachable magazines in CT but what about the angled foregrips? If you have a rifle that takes detachable mags but has no pistol grip, no evil features, can you put an angled foregrip on it and still be legal in CT?
 
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In particular I am looking at this Magpul AFG2:

https://www.magpul.com/products/afg-2

I mean the law states no "forward pistol grip" and defines that as follows:
“Forward pistol grip” means any feature capable of functioning as a grip that can be held by the nontrigger hand.

Well, that's really vague and stupid. The straight fore end on grandpa's 30.06 bolt action hunting rifle serves as a grip that can be held by the nontrigger hand. That's the point, to allow you to hold up the front of the rifle with your nontrigger hand to control the gun! Are they expecting us to now shoot our rifles one handed? Yeah, that offers good control of the weapon, real safe. I know that's not what they mean but that's what they wrote (typical politicians).

The angled fore grip is not shaped like a traditional pistol grip, doesn't look like a traditional pistol grip and doesn't allow you to wrap your hand around it like a traditional pistol grip. That makes me think that the angled fore grip is ok but I'm not 100% sure.

So I was wondering if anyone had any extra insight into it.
 
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CTpatriot

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I mean the law just states "forward pistol grip" but doesn't define what they mean by that. So since the angled fore grip is not shaped like a traditional pistol grip and doesn't look like a traditional pistol grip I am pretty sure the angled fore grip is ok. I just was wondering if anyone had any extra insight into it.
you can contact the state police but their opinion is not a legal opinion. You will need to convince a jury that your grip was legal. You can likely use it on a preban rifle
 
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you can contact the state police but their opinion is not a legal opinion. You will need to convince a jury that your grip was legal. You can likely use it on a preban rifle

Thanks for the reply. I just edited my post because the law actually does define forward pistol grip but not very well.

I may contact the state police or the Special Licensing and Firearms unit but like you said, even if I get an answer it probably won't mean much legally other than the law is vague and I made a true good faith effort to obey it.
 
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you can contact the state police but their opinion is not a legal opinion. You will need to convince a jury that your grip was legal. You can likely use it on a preban rifle

The gun I am thinking of putting it on is a Chinese SKS-M (takes AK mags). I don't have any paperwork that prove year of manufacture but before the serial number on the receiver it says 92 which is supposedly the year of manufacture but I'm not sure that's proof enough without a way to back that up. It does have a Norinco import stamp in Ponkonkoma NY.

I am not sure which ban "pre-ban" refers to. If it refers to the 1994 ban then my 1992 gun is pre-ban but it if refers to the 1989 ban it is not. That said, my gun was imported sometime after it was made in China in 1992 so it must not have been banned in 1989. That would mean it wasn't banned until 1994 so it must be pre-ban. Either that or it was banned in 1989 and it wasn't really made in 1992 but sometime prior to the 1989 ban. Bottom line is, it had to have been made before the ban (whichever one, 89 or 94) or it could not have been imported so doesn't it have to be pre-ban just by it's mere existence in the US with a valid import stamp? Now I'm really confused.
 
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Thanks warwickben, that might help my case somewhat but CT often defines things differently from the ATF. I suppose if I actually had to go to court over it the fact that CT law is vague and doesn't address the afg specifically or define the forward pistol grip very well at all, having an ATF ruling in my favor might help but it's no guarantee. Do you happen to have a reference to that ATF ruling?

I wrote an email to the CT DESPP, lets see if they offer any clarification, or if they answer at all.
 
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warwickben

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Thanks warwickben, that might help my case somewhat but CT often defines things differently from the ATF. I suppose if I actually had to go to court over it the fact that CT law is vague and doesn't address the afg specifically or define the forward pistol grip very well at all, having an ATF ruling in my favor might help but it's no guarantee. Do you happen to have a reference to that ATF ruling?

I wrote an email to the CT DESPP, lets see if they offer any clarification, or if they answer at all.

I've read the ATF letter , if I find it I'll link you it. It was on weapons guild .
If I rember right the sks that take ak mags are China so it's def pre 94 . Sksray would know better . I've wanted to get one my self .
 
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The gun I am thinking of putting it on is a Chinese SKS-M (takes AK mags). I don't have any paperwork that prove year of manufacture but before the serial number on the receiver it says 92 which is supposedly the year of manufacture but I'm not sure that's proof enough without a way to back that up. It does have a Norinco import stamp in Ponkonkoma NY.

I am not sure which ban "pre-ban" refers to. If it refers to the 1994 ban then my 1992 gun is pre-ban but it if refers to the 1989 ban it is not. That said, my gun was imported sometime after it was made in China in 1992 so it must not have been banned in 1989. That would mean it wasn't banned until 1994 so it must be pre-ban. Either that or it was banned in 1989 and it wasn't really made in 1992 but sometime prior to the 1989 ban. Bottom line is, it had to have been made before the ban (whichever one, 89 or 94) or it could not have been imported so doesn't it have to be pre-ban just by it's mere existence in the US with a valid import stamp? Now I'm really confused.

Guns imported from China after 1989 were modified to make them "sporting weapons". Such guns would not have enough AW features to count as an AW under the 1994 ban unless they were modified after import by someone in the US. So the rifle you own may or may not be a preban rifle. Most SKS don't have enough features to trigger the AWB under the feature criteria, the only ones I know of that do are paratrooper models with bayonet + folding stock and the 59/66 that had grenade launcher + bayonet. Otherwise, your standard SKS lacks a detachable mag, pistol grip, grenade launcher, or a threaded muzzle.
 
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Actually this one originally had a thumbhole stock (it now has a regular SKS stock I modified to fit with metal mag well liner) and the detachable mag but no bayo or bayo lug or anything else on the evil feature list. So even with the thumbhole stock it still should not have triggered the AWB criteria. I just get confused with what was banned in 89 and 94 as far as banned to own in the AWB vs banned for import and then there is the whole 922r mess but I have replaced enough foreign parts with American parts that I should be ok with 922r.
 

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Actually this one originally had a thumbhole stock (it now has a regular SKS stock I modified to fit with metal mag well liner) and the detachable mag but no bayo or bayo lug or anything else on the evil feature list. So even with the thumbhole stock it still should not have triggered the AWB criteria. I just get confused with what was banned in 89 and 94 as far as banned to own in the AWB vs banned for import and then there is the whole 922r mess but I have replaced enough foreign parts with American parts that I should be ok with 922r.
if you had it in your possession before the ban, I'm sure you made it an assault weapon with the required features legally.[wink]
 
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Nope, just bought it a few years ago, before the 2013 Sandy Hook AWB in CT. At that time the thumbhole stock was ok because you could have 1 evil feature with the detachable mags. Now you can't have any evil features so the thumbhole stock was removed and sold off to a guy out of state with one hand and really needed it.

So, it has no evil features now unless the angled fore grip counts, that's what I am trying to figure out. The whole pre-ban thing is just too confusing and if you ask 3 people you will get 3 opinions and how it applies and all 3 of them will be 100% sure they are right.
 

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Nope, just bought it a few years ago, before the 2013 Sandy Hook AWB in CT. At that time the thumbhole stock was ok because you could have 1 evil feature with the detachable mags. Now you can't have any evil features so the thumbhole stock was removed and sold off to a guy out of state with one hand and really needed it.

So, it has no evil features now unless the angled fore grip counts, that's what I am trying to figure out. The whole pre-ban thing is just too confusing and if you ask 3 people you will get 3 opinions and how it applies and all 3 of them will be 100% sure they are right.

IIRC if you registered it as an AW with the state then you can still have it in the neutered configuration previously allowed in CT. The new law with zero features would only apply to new purchases. Preban (meaning the 94 ban) are good to go as far as features, transfer, not needing a special reg, etc. The weapons from in between the bans are fine to keep with 1 or less evil features (if registered). That's what I remember anyway so... Please don't rely on my word alone.
 
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The ATF ruled the afg is not a vertical grip so it's legal to have on a ar15 pistol with out turning the pistol into a aow.

Holy crap...

It never occurred to me that a forward vertical grip could turn a post ban AR (without flash hider, bayonet mount, folding/telescoping stock, threaded muzzle, etc) into a banned rifle.

Serious question: Does a forward grip count as a second banned item, since there are *two* pistol grips?
 

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Holy crap...

It never occurred to me that a forward vertical grip could turn a post ban AR (without flash hider, bayonet mount, folding/telescoping stock, threaded muzzle, etc) into a banned rifle.

Serious question: Does a forward grip count as a second banned item, since there are *two* pistol grips?

A forward vertical grip on a pistol makes its a aow (any other weapon) cheaper stamp then sbr etc,
 
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IIRC if you registered it as an AW with the state then you can still have it in the neutered configuration previously allowed in CT. The new law with zero features would only apply to new purchases. Preban (meaning the 94 ban) are good to go as far as features, transfer, not needing a special reg, etc. The weapons from in between the bans are fine to keep with 1 or less evil features (if registered). That's what I remember anyway so... Please don't rely on my word alone.

It never fell under any AWB in 89, 94 or 2013 because it has no evil features. So it was never registered, no need for it to be. I just need to make sure that the angled fore grip doesn't qualify as a pistol grip because then it would be classified an AW. If so I won't add that, I wouldn't be able to. Or if it qualifies as pre-ban and if so does being pre-ban allow me to add evil features to it now? I'm not so sure it does.
 
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Holy crap...

It never occurred to me that a forward vertical grip could turn a post ban AR (without flash hider, bayonet mount, folding/telescoping stock, threaded muzzle, etc) into a banned rifle.

Serious question: Does a forward grip count as a second banned item, since there are *two* pistol grips?

In CT, a forward pistol grip is one of the evil features. So yes, in CT a standard forward pistol grip is a no-no. That said, in CT you can't have an AR anyway unless you already had it and it is registered, which is what I am assuming you are talking about.

I don't know if having a second pistol grip on a registered AR is a problem or not. Was a forward pistol grip counted as an evil feature prior to the 2013 ban or was it added then? My thinking is that if it was allowed prior to the 2013 ban and you owned your AR prior to that and it is registered than maybe you can have the second pistol grip. Not sure, you should definitely research that though.
 

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Unless it's over 26", correct?

Nope vertical grip on pistol makes it a aow.
Some how bi pods are legal tho. The grip pod I wouldn't chance it.

The 26" is for rifles . If the over all length isn't over 26 it's a sbr even if it has a 16.25" barrel. I've been working on a bullpup and will need to use a 18" barrel to make it non sbr ..
 
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Here is the response to my email question about the angled fore grip:

The Chinese SKS-M rifle generally has a two digit prefix as part of the serial number which indicates the year of manufacture. (i.e., 93-123456, meaning a 1993 manufacture). The "M" is reported to stand for "monte carlo" stock which is a sporting stock without a pistol grip. Other versions also had a thumbhole stock... Depending on date of manufacture, this firearm may be subject to the provisions of C.G.S. 53-202m. As far as the angled fore grip, without knowing the specific make model etc, I cannot offer an opinion as to its compliance with Connecticut Law. The Magpul angled fore grip referenced in your email however, does not seem to meet the definition of a forward pistol grip.

I hope this answers your question, please feel free to contact me should you require any further assistance.

Sincerely,

Unit Supervisor – Firearms Section
Connecticut State Police
Special Licensing and Firearms Unit (SLFU)

He gave his name but I wasn't sure if it is cool to post that so I took it off for now. It seems like it should be fine but I just took it off to be safe.

I know this is not a legal guarantee but it's something to go on. Like I said before, the law is very vague and this is at least a statement from the SLFU that says it doesn't seem to meet the definition of a pistol grip.

I replied with a little more details, we'll see if he responds with anything further.
 
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NO PROBLEM.

Hey. Glad I could join the party late.

So here is my take. Please correct me if I get anything wrong in the assumptions.

1) The gun in question is a Chinese SKS that is probably pre -ban. It would be in your best interest to try to find out if that is correct. Because if it is pre-ban, then nothing else matters. Its not an AW and you can put whatever you want on it. (The SKS is not named in the text of PA 13-3)

2) If the gun is post ban, then we get into feature counting. But again, this shouldn't matter since an angled foregrip is not a pistol grip. If the gun was legal without it, its legal with it. If the gun was illegal before its installation, its still illegal.

Bottom line is the AFG will not change the status of the firearm under any circumstance I can come up with.

Don

p.s. Text of PA 13-3: https://www.cga.ct.gov/2013/TOB/S/2013SB-01160-R00-SB.htm

hit <ctrl> <F> to bring up a page search box and search on "avtomat" and it will bring you to the list of guns banned by name.

Here is a link to a state police document that explains that pre-94 ban guns are not AWs, even if they are named.

http://1drv.ms/1TTLVOW

Our attorney at CT carry actually read it a bit differently. She felt that pre-ban guns were not AWs UNLESS they are named. But either way. If the state police says they aren't AWs, then we can all proceed with that.

Look at it this way. A state police opinion had no weight of law. So if they say something is illegal and you ignore it, you can be arrested, but their opinion will have no bearing on if you are acquitted or convicted.

However, if they say something is legal, and you use that guidance, even if its wrong, you are squeaky clean. So the bottom line is that if you can make your own legal judgements, its not unreasonable to cherry pick police legal opinions.

- - - Updated - - -

[/U][/B][/FONT]He gave his name but I wasn't sure if it is cool to post that so I took it off for now. It seems like it should be fine but I just took it off to be safe.

I know this is not a legal guarantee but it's something to go on. Like I said before, the law is very vague and this is at least a statement from the SLFU that says it doesn't seem to meet the definition of a pistol grip.

I replied with a little more details, we'll see if he responds with anything further.

POST HIS NAME.

Was it Det.Kenneth J. DaMato of the SLFU, Shield #615, [email protected] ??

Yes, his letter is a pretty rock solid legal guarantee. It demonstrates that you exercised due diligence and regardless of any disclaimers, the DESPP led you to believe that the firearm was pre-ban.

JUST DO IT!!!!. Seriously. You are so squeaky clean its not funny. This kind of afraid of your own shadow way of doing things is exactly what they want to happen.

Remember, our law is based on English Common Law. Laws don't grant rights. They limit them. If something is not explicitly prohibited, then it is allowed.

Also, the laws that relate to this are not vague like you say. If there is something that seems vague to you, please bring it up so we can hash through it.

Don't become like these MA people parsing every comma trying to come up with a way to imagine a one in ten million chance where they could get in trouble. If that is how you think, stick with single action revolvers and bolt action rifles.

/rant.

Again, just do it.

Please don't take any of this as an intent to demean or offend. I just get so frustrated at what PA 13-3 did to the ability of CT residents to exercise their 2A rights. Prior to the passage of this post Newtown law, you could pretty much do anything you wanted in CT provided that you had a pistol permit, and were wiling to spend a few bucks.

Don
 
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Don, separate question.

If an SKS is not an AW and exempt (pre-ban) can you convert it to accept AK mags and it still be legal? This assumes of course you have declared mags.
 
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Don, thanks for your input and no offense taken. To be honest, I already bought the AFG and installed it because I agree with you, it wasn't specifically disallowed so I saw it as allowed. I figured I would throw the question out anyway to see if anyone had heard of any updates to the law or cases where they decided to call the AFG a pistol grip. Then I decided I might as well see what the SLFU had to say. The email I got came from Sergeant William A. Kelly.

This is what I consider vague and stupid in the law:

Sec. 53-202a (6) “Forward pistol grip” means any feature capable of functioning as a grip that can be held by the nontrigger hand"

https://www.cga.ct.gov/2015/pub/chap_943.htm#sec_53-202a
You have to scroll down a tad t get to definition (6).

So by a strict interpretation of the definition of pistol grip by someone looking to take away rights and/or doesn't have a clue about guns (such as the politicians who wrote this garbage and their lawyers) an "Angled Fore Grip" can be seen as a feature capable of functioning as a grip (it is called a "fore grip") that can be held by the nontrigger hand.

Yes, I do over analyze things (drives my wife crazy), I am an analyst by profession. That said, in the liberal moonbat state of CT it doesn't take much for some gun grabbing attorney to take the term "angled fore grip" and say "it's a grip by its own name and it can be held by the nontrigger hand so that fits the current definition". Yes, it is splitting hairs but that's what politicians and lawyers looking to push their agenda do.

I think law would be far less vague and stupid if it were to say something like this (only better worded maybe):

“Forward pistol grip” means any feature capable of functioning as a grip that can be held by the nontrigger hand and where the fingers of the nontrigger hand can be wrapped around the grip in a similar manner to the gripping of a pistol".

Something like the angled fore grip would clearly not fit that criteria under any interpretation. The problem in the current law is how people can interpret the definition of grip differently. The angled fore grip to me isn't a grip at all, it's a fore end (Magpul would do better to call it an "angled fore end").
 
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And yes, I also get very frustrated with this law and how crazy it makes law abiding citizens, and of course does nothing to curb violence of any kind.

As far as I can tell my gun is pre-ban anyway. The serial number prefix is 92 which would mean 1992. I don't know how to prove that's what it means but SGT. Kelly said it means that so I think I am good there. If it came down to it the ATF could look up the import records from Norinco to see when it was imported and if it was prior to 1994 it would have to be pre-ban. I think the 1994 ban included a ban on importing the Chinese SKS of any variant so the fact that it's here with a valid import stamp would seem proof enough that it is pre-ban.

All that said, I wasn't sure if that meant I could add banned features that it didn't already have. The way the law is written (see below) it seems like you can do whatever you want with a pre-ban gun as far as transfers and no registration so I guess there would be no way for them to enforce anything regarding adding banned features to a pre-ban gun after the ban went into effect. The letter from SGT. Kelly seems to back that up.

Sec. 53-202m. Circumstances when assault weapons exempt from limitations on transfers and registration requirements. Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, sections 53-202a to 53-202l, inclusive, shall not be construed to limit the transfer or require the registration of an assault weapon as defined in subdivision (3) or (4) of subsection (a) of section 53-202a of the general statutes, revision of 1958, revised to January 1, 2013, provided such firearm was legally manufactured prior to September 13, 1994.


 
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Carl, your citation is irrelevent. Your citation refers to aws that were registered after 94. Which applied only to named firearms. What you have is not an assault weapon. So none of that matters. Get it?

Even if you don't. Keep reminding yourself that your SKS, per CT law is a RIFLE not an ASSAULT WEAPON.

re your citation on vagueness - good point. It could apply to a simple forend. Although that certainly isn't the writer's intent.

But again, your firearm is pre-ban. So you could install a bona fide forward pistol grip if you wanted.

Don.
 
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Yes, my rifle is pre-ban and not named so I can do what I want, I get it. I just am analyzing the issue from a couple different angles because that's what I do. Also it might benefit folks who have a similar situation but don't have a pre-ban rifle. Not sure what rifle would fit that scenario but just discussing the issue in general. I have my answers so thanks for your help.

xtry51, converting a standard SKS to accept AK mags is doable but it's not easy to get it right to where it feeds smoothly and reliably, etc. I have never tried it myself but I have read descriptions by folks who have. Not trying to discourage you, not at all, in fact I encourage you to try it as long as you do your research and make sure you have the tools, materials and ability necessary. If you do try it best of luck and keep us posted on how it works out. There are some SKS dedicated forums that might help you out, I can send you some links via PM.
 
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