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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Is the typical build/assembly legal in Illinois?

I am thinking either an ATF qualified "Pistol" build with a pistol lower and a barrel shorter than 16'?

What about a carbine with a rifle lower and a barrel 16" +?

Are either prohibited in Illinois?

I ASSUME Chicago / Cook County would prohibit.

Dupage County?

Thanks for the time!
 

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If someone is building and starts with a stripped lower receiver, the ATF 4473 has only three classes for firearms:
Long Gun, Pistol, Other

A stripped lower is almost always classified, and so marked on the 4473, at point of sale as an Other. That means it can be assembled as either a Long Gun or a Pistol. When you build the lower receiver, the first upper receiver attached defines what class the lower ultimately fits in:
16" or longer barrel - Long Gun
Less than 16" barrel - Pistol

You can put a 16" barrel on a Pistol lower receiver (one that was "built" - first upper attached) as a Pistol and the result is still a Pistol.

A lower receiver that was "built" with a 16" barrel cannot have a sub 16" barrel attached, or it becomes a "Short Barrel Rifle".

Now if none of that makes any sense, welcome to the world of government bureaucrats. Just for point of information, there is no official classification of Carbine - that I'm aware of. The lower is either Long Gun (Rifle), Pistol, or Other (if never assembled). Exactly how any of that works in the People's Republic of Illinois is, I'm sad to say, anybodies guess. Sorry I haven't been much help.

This doesn't even touch the stock / brace issue. Basically a Long Gun can have a stock or brace. A Pistol must have a brace. Go figure.
 

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A stripped lower is almost always classified, and so marked on the 4473, at point of sale as an Other. That means it can be assembled as either a Long Gun or a Pistol. When you build the lower receiver, the first upper receiver attached defines what class the lower ultimately fits in:
16" or longer barrel - Long Gun
Less than 16" barrel - Pistol

You can put a 16" barrel on a Pistol lower receiver (one that was "built" - first upper attached) as a Pistol and the result is still a Pistol.

A lower receiver that was "built" with a 16" barrel cannot have a sub 16" barrel attached, or it becomes a "Short Barrel Rifle".
So, if I start out building a pistol, then I can never build a rifle with that lower??? According to the above, if I put, say, an 18" barrel and a stock on that receiver, then I don't have a rifle, I have a (long-barreled) pistol with an illegal stock on it. Is that right?
 

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My first suggestion would be to post your question over on Illinoiscarry.com. Folks over their are very knowledgeable and many of the members live in downstate Illinois where life is a lot more normal than life in Chi-raq.

While I have both a non-resident IL CCL and a TX resident LTC, I do not know the rules for building a rifle. With that caveat said, if the firearm is legal, then building it should be legal. Where you get into murky waters is near the Chicago suburbs where there is preemption with magazine capacity rules. What is legal in Chicago is illegal in Northbrook and is a felony.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So, if I start out building a pistol, then I can never build a rifle with that lower??? According to the above, if I put, say, an 18" barrel and a stock on that receiver, then I don't have a rifle, I have a (long-barreled) pistol with an illegal stock on it. Is that right?
No. If you FIRST attach a 16” or Shorter barrel to a lower classified as pistol OR an “other” it will be classified as a pistol forever, regardless barrels later attached, even those longer than 16”.

You cannot attach a barrel shorter than 16” on a lower that is originally for a long Gun without a SBR stamp.

This is ignoring the stock and “arm brace” issue and OAL matters.

@OldChap, @HotGuns, and others may delineate further!
 

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So, if I start out building a pistol, then I can never build a rifle with that lower??? According to the above, if I put, say, an 18" barrel and a stock on that receiver, then I don't have a rifle, I have a (long-barreled) pistol with an illegal stock on it. Is that right?
The issue with stocks is just as complicated. However, a good rule of thumb is that a pistol must have a product sold as a brace on it. I wouldn’t put a product sold as a “stock” on it, even though all this is somewhat fuzzy logic.

The lower by itself is neither rifle nor pistol, unless sold already assembled as one or the other. A stripped lower may be assembled either way, but doesn’t ever change. It is okay to put a long barrel upper on a pistol lower, but not a short barrel on a rifle lower.

I’m sorry that sounds like I’m drunk. Maybe I need a sip to clear my head of the bureaucratic gobbledegook.
 
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Minor derail: How, outside of the nanny states that make you register firearms, will anyone know how a stripped lower was originally built up? Say I build one as a long gun. Decide I really want a pistol, so I take off the 16+ upper, replace the carbine/rifle buffer tube with a pistol tube and brace, put on a <16 upper. Who's to know?
 

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A lower receiver without a stock (pistol grip or brace) is a pistol. Barrel length does not matter.
A lower receiver with a stock is a rifle. 16" barrel or more and it is a standard rifle. Under 16" barrel and it is a SBR (NFA item).
 

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Lot of good info on pistol vs rifle but can you do it in IL?

Asking for a friend.
 
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Outside of Cook Co. The normal rules apply. There is an oxymoron.

Someone suggested checking out Illinois carry.com. Great advice. You should be able to get the latest most accurate information on Illinoiscarry.com
 
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