I would like to address three commonly asked questions regarding firearm customization. Many firearms are excellent right from the factory, but there also may be times when you would like to modify your firearm to help it better suit you.
Is customization legal or illegal?
The answer to the question depends on the customization. Let me give you a couple of examples. If you want to modify your trigger pull in Missouri, that is a perfectly legal customization. If you want to shorten the barrel of your shotgun to less than 18 inches, it would be an illegal customization. A shotgun with a barrel length of less than 18 inches is a “short-barreled shotgun (SBS).” Short-barreled shotguns require a $200 NFA tax stamp, special paperwork, and approval to transfer or manufacture. Absent the NFA tax stamp and approval, short-barreled shotguns are illegal.
Not everything for sale is legal. I once assisted a client facing federal charges for purchasing a modification online that made his pistol fully automatic. That of course is highly illegal. Be careful not to buy something online that makes an illegal modification to your firearm. Just possessing such modifiers can be a serious felony offense.
Can you modify the stock of your rifle to switch from a wood to a composite stock?
In Missouri, you can make many such legal modifications to your rifle stock. Be careful of other state’s laws. A firearm that is legal in Missouri might be illegal in California.
What is the law regarding bump stocks?
Bump stocks are now illegal under federal law. If you own a bump stock, it was to be destroyed or turned into the ATF by March 26th, 2019. The ATF website contains additional information regarding the proper destruction of bump stocks.
If you plan to make modifications to your firearm, make sure the modifications are legal. You don’t want to risk criminal charges over an innocent mistake.
For any other questions, contact U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.
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