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AR pistols in WMAs that prohibit rifles?

The trials and tribulations of the great outdoors.
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flcracker
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AR pistols in WMAs that prohibit rifles?

Post by flcracker » Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:40 am

I'm looking for feedback from anyone who has actually had a conversation with a Florida FWC officer about the use of AR-platform pistols in Wildlife Management Areas that otherwise prohibit hunting with centerfire rifles. I don't want to be the test case, and I understand that I can contact their office directly, but I wanted to find out about real-world experience first.

According to WMA rules on the individual WMA brochures, several Florida WMAs have rules that prohibit hunting with centerfire rifles altogether, presumably due to their proximity to residential areas. Most WMAs that offer a small game season (which often includes wild hogs) also forbid the use of centerfire rifles. The rules don't say "centerfire rifle calibers/cartridges/ammunition". They say "centerfire rifles".

Presumably, the more common handguns in the past would have been multiple-shot revolvers and pistols in 357/44 mag, 454 Casull, 50S&W, 10mm, 45ACP, etc., with some single-shot T/C Contenders thrown in for the purists. I have never once heard anyone claim that it was OK to hunt on a rifle-restricted WMA with a 44mag single-shot T/C Contender, but not one chambered in 30/30, 223, 243, or any other rifle cartridge. But then again, I haven't stood around a check station talking to the FWC officers at 5 AM just to find out what they think about the subject.

Fast forward to today, when AR-platform pistols are about as common as 357mag revolvers were in my Dad's day. Does anyone have actual knowledge of how the FWC views the use of an AR pistol in 300BLK during a small game hunt that allows the taking of hogs, but prohibits hunting with centerfire rifles?
....and some rin up hill and down dale, knapping the chucky stanes to pieces wi' hammers, like sae mony road-makers run daft — they say it is to see how the warld was made!
Saint Ronan's Well - Sir Walter Scott, Bart. (1824)

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flcracker
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Post by flcracker » Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:28 pm

OK well I went ahead and submitted a request for an answer on the Ask FWC site and they replied back within about 90 minutes! :o

I plan to carry a printout of this answer with me when I hit a couple WMA small game seasons with my 10" 300BLK pistol loaded with 110grn Barnes Tac-TX this spring! :D :D :D
Mr. flcracker, as you point out, centerfire rifles are prohibited during small game season on Wildlife Management Areas. This prohibition is specific to rifles. As a result, centerfire pistols are allowed unless there is an area-specific rule that prohibits them. I hope this answers your question.

Create Date: 2/5/2019 11:54:39 AM

Reference # W093674-020519

Customer: flcracker

Category: Hunting

Description: I am seeking clarification on Wildlife Management Rules regarding the use of Thompson/Center Contender pistols and AR-15 pistols in Wildlife Management Areas that prohibit hunting with centerfire rifles.

QUESTION: Is it legal during a small game hunt on a Wildlife Management Area which allows the taking of hogs but prohibits hunting with centerfire rifles, to hunt with a single-shot T/C Contender pistol chambered in .223, .30/30, or .45-70, or with an AR pistol chambered in .223 or 300 Blackout?

Several WMA brochures have rules that prohibit hunting with centerfire rifles altogether, and many WMAs offer a small game season (which often includes wild hogs) during which hunting with centerfire rifles is prohibited. The rules don't say "firearms chambered in centerfire rifle calibers/cartridges/ammunition". They simply say "centerfire rifles".

Presumably, handguns in 22 LR/mag, 357/44 mag, 454 Casull, 50S&W, 10mm, 45ACP, etc., as well as single-shot T/C Contender pistols in calibers such as 357/44 mag are allowed. Is there a restriction on the caliber/cartridge in which a handgun is chambered in when used for hunting in these areas?

Thank you for helping to clarify this for me.
....and some rin up hill and down dale, knapping the chucky stanes to pieces wi' hammers, like sae mony road-makers run daft — they say it is to see how the warld was made!
Saint Ronan's Well - Sir Walter Scott, Bart. (1824)

Arkhangel5
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Post by Arkhangel5 » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:32 pm

FlCracker,
Good info.

Question, do you think an FWC officer would actually know what constitutes an AR pistol? And does your pistol have just the buffer tube or one of the new 'braces'?

Curious, because I have an AR 'pistol' also.

SY

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flcracker
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Post by flcracker » Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:00 pm

Arkhangel5 wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:32 pm
FlCracker,
Good info.

Question, do you think an FWC officer would actually know what constitutes an AR pistol? And does your pistol have just the buffer tube or one of the new 'braces'?

Curious, because I have an AR 'pistol' also.

SY
Arkhangel5 -

Thanks!

No, but maybe, if I have the documentation in hand.

Just a tube, on a LAW folder.

I highly suggest exploring options for multiple home-built uppers in multiple calibers and lengths!!! 😎
....and some rin up hill and down dale, knapping the chucky stanes to pieces wi' hammers, like sae mony road-makers run daft — they say it is to see how the warld was made!
Saint Ronan's Well - Sir Walter Scott, Bart. (1824)

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Lastrites
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Post by Lastrites » Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:35 am

Well at least FWC's reply was consistent with what I asked on this same topic over 5 years ago on their internet site. I never did test the fwc ranger with it though.

TC6969
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Post by TC6969 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:31 pm

Is there a (documented*) barrel length rule that designates a pistol?

If not, one could simple remove the butt stock from a 16" or even a 20" AR and easily skirt the no rifle rule.



* Documented means in print somewhere and not anally retrieved information.

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Lastrites
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Post by Lastrites » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:37 am

TC6969 wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:31 pm
Is there a (documented*) barrel length rule that designates a pistol?

If not, one could simple remove the butt stock from a 16" or even a 20" AR and easily skirt the no rifle rule.



* Documented means in print somewhere and not anally retrieved information.
Federally and in FL there is no barrel length restriction in regards to pistols.

If your firearm was originally built as a rifle it cannot be used as a pistol, if it started out as a pistol first then it is allowed to made into a rifle and then return it back to it's pistol form.

TC6969
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Post by TC6969 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:35 pm

Lastrites wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:37 am

Federally and in FL there is no barrel length restriction in regards to pistols.

If your firearm was originally built as a rifle it cannot be used as a pistol, if it started out as a pistol first then it is allowed to made into a rifle and then return it back to it's pistol form.
I know this applies to the actual construction of ARs, but where did you get the information as it applies to hunting?

Can you link to some sort of documentation that shows a written rule or law that supports what you're saying? (See anal retrieval comment above.)

What if I built a 16" barreled pistol?

How would it be different from a 16" rifle with the stock removed?

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Lastrites
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Post by Lastrites » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:25 pm

What your trying to do is take a rifle orignal built as a rifle and make it into a pistol which is illegal.

https://www.atf.gov/firearms/docs/rulin ... s/download

TC6969
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Post by TC6969 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:47 pm

Lastrites wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:37 am

Federally and in FL there is no barrel length restriction in regards to pistols.

If your firearm was originally built as a rifle it cannot be used as a pistol, if it started out as a pistol first then it is allowed to made into a rifle and then return it back to it's pistol form.
So according to what you posted above, if I built a 16" barreled pistol I could add or remove a stock and call it whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.

I could add the stock and run a 3 gun match on Saturday, pull the stock and go hunting with my "pistol" on Sunday?

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