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Redeemed Sinner. Deep Roots. Southern Heart.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Repeal On Short Barrel Rifle Ban Passes The State House...So?

SBR with a 7.5" barrel

House Bill 2 passed the House on Thursday, January 28 by a 97-2 vote. It now moves to the Senate for consideration. Sponsored by State Representative Jeremy Oden (R-11), HB2 would repeal the section of the Alabama statute that prohibits the possession, sale, receipt, or use of rifles with barrels less than 16 inches long. These rifles are already legal under federal law when properly registered.

I'm having difficulty understanding why some folks think this is so cool. For those of you that come to this discussion and are so mature as to not know what this means, allow me to enlighten you.

In the United States, it is a federal felony to possess an SBR without ATF authorization. In some states, like California, it's completely illegal period. But down here in the South, it's legal.
So I'm wondering, what does this bill accomplish?
It's already legal from a federal perspective, so why is the state being redundant?

Either way, I never understood SBRs. I mean, yeah, they're concealable, but if you're using it as a personal defense weapon, I'd want something a little more high powered!

OK, I admit.... they are cute! But you can throw practicality out the window.

If I am missing something, please enlighten me!

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Blogger Johnson said...

Because Noveske makes a 12.5" bbl that shoots under 4/10" at 100 yards - with the velocity of a chrome-lined (14.5 or 16, can't recall) inch barrel from LMT : ).

That's the short answer . . .

February 4, 2010 at 9:19 AM  
Blogger Kyle said...

Stephen, I guess I don't get it. How is this so important? (Or is that your point?)


February 4, 2010 at 10:03 PM  
Blogger Stephen Boyd said...

But, for the same amount of money, you could get a 16" that will shoot that group out to 500 yds...
On the other hand...I had no idea one could get that kind of accuracy from a SBR!!!

It seems to me that this was a major softball thrown to the legislators. The way I understand it is: they voted to make something legal that was already legal.

Thanks for the comments, guys!

February 5, 2010 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger The said...

Stephen, would you mind clarifying something?
You said that SBRs are legal in the South. Is this based on legality from a federal, rather than state, perspective? If so, why does that not apply to the rest of the nation - like CA?

If fed law overrules state law, then yeah, passing a bill like this is redundant. But the fact that CA, and other states, say that SBRs (and "high-capacity" magzines . . . and "assault type" rifles) are illegal, even though the AWB has ended, would seem to indicate that state law trumps fed law. I don't know how all this works . . . just asking.

As to practicality:

Yes, the 16" barrel will reach out much further. The deal is, an SBR is a purpose-oriented tool, much like a Mk11. It is not a Swiss Army knife. But it fills its limited role very well. For operating in very tight terrain (read: heavy Alabama thickets . . . hog paradise . . .) one doesn't require a round to reach out more than a few dozen yards. You can take a standard 16" . . . or if you have the money and inclination, a 12.5" with a suppressor.

I think also people get somewhat fixated on the idea of a 5.56 SBR, which I will agree, fills a very limited role (although the Dynamic Duo might differ . . .). However, a 12.5" 6.8 SPC with a suppressor is in some ways (I would imagine) more flexible than a standard 16" 5.56.

And personally, if I had a need for a true PDW, an SBR makes good sense. Even if shooting lowly .223, the velocity and penetration is going to be much better than 9 mm, which many people trust their life to when carrying concealed. And in a PDW, how high powered do you really need something to be? We're talking personal defense . . . not hostage intervention : ).

February 5, 2010 at 7:20 PM  
Blogger The said...

One other point:

Yes, I would concur that for most of us, an SBR is completely impractical. So is a .50 BMG. Heck, when it comes down to it, so is an AR-15 with high-cap mags - unless you run 3-gun, and can make money doing it. How many of us actually put meat on the table with our dynamic, tacti-cool, tricked out, flashlighted, VFGd rifle?

The issue for me is not so much practicality as it is the right of the people to bear arms in their own defense. Once that right is limited, based on what is considered "practical," some amount of liberty has been lost - perhaps not irrevocably, perhaps not immediately noticeably - but lost nonetheless.

The British considered cannon entirely impractical for ordinary civilian usage. That's why they marched to Concord . . .

So yes, I am excited about this bill.

BTW - if you are aware of any error in what I have said, please let me know. Keep up the good work, bro!

February 5, 2010 at 7:35 PM  
Blogger Stephen Boyd said...

As to your first query, I'm not sure. I know that in AL and surrounding states SBRs are legal, along with 16" barrels, and hi-cap mags.
I'm no expert on the gun laws of CA and NE states, but I'm pretty sure it's illegal to own even a 16" barrel in CA. As we both know, CA has some weird laws. Maybe they're subject to more stringent gun laws, but you are right, it doesn't make sense. I was just quoting what the bill said: "These rifles are already legal under federal law when properly registered."
I guess in the end it comes down to what works for you. I'm not a fan of suppressors or .22 caliber weapons for CQB.
As to putting food on the table with a "dynamic, tacti-cool, tricked out, flashlighted, VFGd rifle", I would contend that this is not the purpose for these rifles. Their sole purpose and design is to kill people.

I appreciate your discussion!

BTW...who are you?

February 5, 2010 at 10:15 PM  
Blogger Johnson said...


"The" is me - Johnson. I have no idea why it changed my profile name . . . really weird. I didn't even notice it had swapped the name until I skimmed your response . . . when you asked me who I was! Sorry about the confusion.

February 6, 2010 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger Stephen Boyd said...

No problem!
I just got your email. The short answer is "I'm Sorry!".
I actually just skimmed your comment because it was late and I had to get up early the next morning.
Suffice it to say, I agree with you and will try to reply soon.

February 6, 2010 at 8:54 PM  
Blogger no1bassfan said...

I'm not sure where the comment came in that SBR's are legal in Alabama. They are not legal in Alabama. The Federal law says it is illegal to have an unregistered SBR. Alabama says they are illegal, period. It doesn't over-ride the Federal law because what they prohibit is different. Even an SBR registered with ATF is still illegal in Alabama. I think if someone can pass the background check for the ATF they should be able to own the rifle or shotgun. A short barrel shotgun makes a lot of sense for home defense. In response to the short barrel rifles losing a lot of velocity. They do lose a lot of velocity but unless you are using a high powered scope it won't matter anyway since it will be very difficult to hit a target at that range anyway. Shorter guns balance better to.

February 17, 2010 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger Stephen Boyd said...

This was a mistake on my part, I redressed it in this post here:

Thanks for the comment.

February 17, 2010 at 4:40 PM  

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