Vertical forward grip

Vertical forward grip

A Vertical forward grip (somewhat self-defining) is a vertical grip that is designed to attach to a firearm for the forward hand (or "off hand"). These aid in the maneuverability of the firearm, since the natural angle of a persons outstretched hand is more oriented to grasping objects at a vertical angle, rather than a horizontal one perpendicular to the body.

Legality on pistols in the United States

The legality of vertical fore grips on pistols in the United States is unclear. In the United States, firearms are categorized by the National Firearms Act and firearms manufactured with specific features are subject to restrictions and controls. In the case of a vertical forward grip on a pistol, the law does not explicitly defined such a feature as belonging to any category.

In May 1993, in response to legal action brought by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF), the South Carolina District Court's finding of fact concluded that a pistol modified with the addition of vertical fore grips was still a pistol and not an any other weapon device. [ [ U.S. v. Davis, Cr. No. 8:93-106, Report of Magistrate] ] Following this, the BATF dropped their charges and the case was not tried; as such no precedent was set.

In an open letter sent to Federal Firearms Licensees in April of 2006, the BATF stated their interpretation of the law; that installing a vertical forward grip on a pistol is the same as manufacturing an Any Other Weapon (AOW) category firearm and subject to registration and taxation, with significant penalties for manufacturing or possessing such an unregistered weapon. [U.S. Department of Justice, Open letter to Federal Firearm Licensees concerning [ Adding a Vertical Fore Grip to a Handgun] . Published April 10, 2006.]


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