Why do so many people think machine guns are illegal?


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big inch
March 18, 2005, 12:29 AM
I have noticed that when I have been talking to friends, and even fellow gun enthusiasts, that many of them think it is illegal for a civilian to own a machine gun.

Where does this line of thinking come from? Is it just because they are rarely seen or spoken of?

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molonlabe
March 18, 2005, 12:31 AM
Because the media has convinced them of that fact due to their shoddy reporting.

SilentScream
March 18, 2005, 12:34 AM
have to agree with molon labe on this one, the media is almost entirely to blame.
they also have most of the sheep here in ************ convinced that ALL guns are illegal, you'd be surprised how many comments i get from non-shooters on that.

Standing Wolf
March 18, 2005, 01:11 AM
Actually, fully automatic firearms are completely prohibited to commoners in many states.

At the federal level, they're legal after you pay the extortion.

TheOtherOne
March 18, 2005, 01:15 AM
Two years ago when I went to buy my first handgun, I was surprised when they gave it to me right then. I thought I was going to have to wait 7 days to get it.

The media and The Simpsons (Homer: "But I'm angry right now!" :)) were responsible for that.

Guns weren't something I was all that interested in then so I didn't seek out any real information on them.

M2 Carbine
March 18, 2005, 01:48 AM
Anytime someone tells me something like, "No body can own machine guns", I tell them,
"Well you obviously don't know what you're talking about because I've legally owned a machine gun for over 20 years. You really need to stop getting your (gun) information from the talking head idiots on the TV news."

Then if the person is worth education I'll explain the laws to them and sometimes make a new gun owner. :)

saltydog
March 18, 2005, 08:44 AM
Quote:
Because the media has convinced them of that fact due to their shoddy (Shi##y) reporting.


Exactly! Enough said. :eek:

cgv69
March 18, 2005, 08:52 AM
I don't know, I'm more peeved that the opposite seems to be true around here. Thanks to the media, most people seem to think that AR-15's really are assault weapons and can fire in full auto mode.

I'm getting tired of explaining to people, after either hearing about or seeing my AR, that it is not a "machine gun". Then I have to explain the difference between Semi-Auto and Full-Auto, what an "Assault Weapon" really is and how the media and gun grabbers have distorted it's meaning. I usually do also mention that a person can buy a full-auto weapon but how cost prohibitive it generally is.

another okie
March 18, 2005, 08:55 AM
I've met people who believed both things; that is, that machine guns were illegal and that all rifles other than bolt actions or lever actions were machine guns.

jefnvk
March 18, 2005, 09:56 AM
I'm going with Standing Wolf.

Kramer Krazy
March 18, 2005, 10:06 AM
I get more of what cgv69 says. I, also, am getting tired of having to explain to people the differences between "full auto" and "semi auto" firearms....especially to gun owners! :eek: After the AWB died last year, I had all sorts of people saying that we can now buy full-auto weapons since the ban ended.....and I'm ALWAYS having to explain that my AR-15s, MAK-90s, and my SAR-8 are all SEMI auto and only fire one round per pull of the trigger......it just gets exhausting, sometimes. :mad: :( :scrutiny:

kfranz
March 18, 2005, 10:27 AM
Actually, fully automatic firearms are completely prohibited to commoners in many states.

At the federal level, they're legal after you pay the extortion.

From http://www.paladinarmory.com/LegalTips.htm


"At last count thirteen states placed some sort of restrictions on the types of NFA firearms you could own (anything from requiring a state permit to outright denial). These include California, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. "

big inch
March 18, 2005, 10:36 AM
"At last count thirteen states placed some sort of restrictions on the types of NFA firearms you could own (anything from requiring a state permit to outright denial). These include California, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. "

I am a little surprised to see Mississippi included in that list. The other states aren't so surprising. :scrutiny:

Tory
March 18, 2005, 11:41 AM
where even pepper spray/mace is considered a "firearm" for licensing purposes and requires a permit. :barf:

As do machine guns.....

kfranz
March 18, 2005, 11:56 AM
Yeah, the more I look at it, the less complete that list looks.

45auto
March 18, 2005, 12:04 PM
At the prices that you have to pay for one, they might as well be illegal. :)

WT
March 18, 2005, 12:14 PM
FWIW.

After serving as Secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Nixon and Ford, William E. Simon moved to New Jersey with a Thompson submachinegun. Sec. Simon had been a US Army infantryman at sometime during his life.

Anyway, when he went to get a permit from Somerset County Judge Michael Imbriani, Simon was told that no reason existed for a civilian to own a SMG. He was denied the permit and was required to get rid of the weapon.

Sec. Simon later moved to California. A self made multi-millionaire, he donated all his weath to charity just before he died.

Years later, Judge Imbriani was convicted of embezzlement.

Lonestar.45
March 18, 2005, 12:23 PM
For the same reason so many think that AK's and AR's were banned during the assault weapons ban, and are now legal again. Ignorance. The mainstream media perpetuates it.

Spreadfire Arms
March 18, 2005, 12:53 PM
in Texas the law is written in such a way that L.E. can in fact take you into custody and seize your NFA weapon, even if lawfully NFA registered and possessed.

it states in the Texas Penal Code that an L.E. officer can arrest you whether or not it is registered, but when you are arraigned if you show the judge your NFA registration form they must drop the charge.

it is written in such a way that an L.E. officer who is not well versed on NFA law can arrest you and then go back to the station to read up on the law, and it is not considered a false arrest.

also keep this in mind if you are stopped, legally with an NFA weapon and registration papers to prove it, not to tell the officer to go pound salt. he may know the law very well and can take you into custody regardless of the form in your hand and seize your weapon, at least temporarily. best policy is always to be "officer-friendly" when stopped and in possession of your NFA weapon.

be advised that alot of officers do not know whether it is legal or illegal, and sometimes their department policy further confuses them. for example, in certain counties the CLEO normally doesn't sign off on NFA items so people either incorporate or sometimes they find the right guy to sign. the bottom line is that if the officer knows their department won't sign off on it then it must be illegal in that part of the state and hence they believe it is against the law and arrest you.

i've spoken to many L.E. officers regarding NFA law and about 95+% of them have indicated they don't know what a NFA form looks like, what to look for, who to call to verify it, etc. this is due to lack of proper training. they wouldn't know the difference between a Form 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 10 for that matter, but then neither would most NFA owners either unless they are really versed in the in's and out's of NFA. i don't expect anyone to memorize something they can look up either.

given the fact that most have never had training on it (those who are versed on it are most likely gun enthusiasts or NFA owners) they simply wouldn't have any reliable information to go on. i have volunteered to do free presentations and training to agencies so if they encounter them at least they know what to look for, but haven't had any takers yet. :o

yes there are alot of misconceptions and myths about Class III weapons, not just machine guns.

deej
March 18, 2005, 05:36 PM
Actually, a fair amount of people think that fully automatic weapons ARE legal, now that the AW ban has sunsetted.

After all, it put "rapid-fire military weapons" back on the street, did it not?

Hkmp5sd
March 18, 2005, 05:57 PM
deej makes a good point. Being widely known as a gun nut locally, it is amazing the number of people that ask me how they can convert their ARs and AKs to full auto now that the "assault weapon ban" has expired. Between the news media, politicians and Brady Bunch type groups, the average Joe Blow has no idea what is legal.

Too Many Choices!?
March 18, 2005, 06:12 PM
Which eliminate 99.9% of the sound :rolleyes: are completely illegal :cuss:
Anything in the nfa is illegal if you ask the media/sheepl about it.....

A little off topic but how does a noise suppressor, incapable of firing anything but a spit ball without a firearm, become classified as a firearm/weapon :confused: ?! :cuss: !!!!!!!!!!!!

artherd
March 18, 2005, 06:21 PM
Interesting asside, there is a seperate state DOJ permit required, but machineguns ARE LEGAL to own in CALIFORNIA!

Yes, I could in theroey get a permit for a select-fire M4, but if my DIAS falls out, I have an ILLEGAL semi-auto 'assault weapon' :P

S Roper
March 18, 2005, 06:35 PM
"Actually, a fair amount of people think that fully automatic weapons ARE legal, now that the AW ban has sunsetted."

Many people you'd think would know better believe this.

I think part of it is our fault. I've often heard gun supporters say that machine guns have been illegal since 1934 when they try to explain the AWB.

Monkeyleg
March 18, 2005, 06:57 PM
Actually, I think it's better that the general public believes that machine guns are illegal, and for a couple of reasons.

One is that, if the public knew they were legal in most states, we might see a push to ban them outright. As it stands right now, the Brady Bunch and VPC have done so much to confuse the public as to full-auto versus semi-auto that they'd have a lot of explaining to do if they went for a ban.

The second reason is that it's much easier to make the case for Evil Black Rifles if you can convince someone that the ownership of full-auto's has been virtually banned since 1934.

tyme
March 18, 2005, 09:41 PM
[silencers] Which eliminate 99.9% of the sound :rolleyes: are completely illegal
A 30dB silencer does eliminate 99.9% of the sound pressure amplitude (at least I think it's amplitude that's being measured). dB = 10 * log(s1 / s2) / log(10). Any audio gurus want to blow holes in that?

c_yeager
March 19, 2005, 05:30 AM
It seems that only people who are casually involved with firearms think that machineguns are illegal. A lot of the "box a year" hunters I see have a hard time accepting that the AR15 isnt a machinegun.

By contrast a lot of sheeple seem to think that machineguns are growing on trees or available at the local 7-11. Your average person on the street sees a magazine fed rifle and simply assumes "machinegun".

444
March 19, 2005, 10:45 AM
"Actually, a fair amount of people think that fully automatic weapons ARE legal, now that the AW ban has sunsetted."

Fully Automatic Weapons ARE legal now that the AW ban has sunsetted. They WERE legal before the AW. They WERE legal during the AW ban. And they ARE legal now that the ban has sunsetted.


I think many gun owners, even ones responding to this thread don't fully understand that machine guns ARE legal and ALWAYS have been. They even say they understand this and then make statements that kind of hint that they don't really believe it. I also think that a lot of people think that because it takes a couple hours to do the paperwork that technically it is legal but this is only just in theory. They think that because they haven't done it, it is sort of a fantasy: like you know you CAN win the lottery or you know that in theory anyone can be President of the US, but it won't really happen.

Daemon688
March 19, 2005, 04:19 PM
My guess, because they're so expensive most of us can't afford to own them. When few people own them, it leads them to draw the conclusion "it's illegal".

deej
March 19, 2005, 08:32 PM
Fully Automatic Weapons ARE legal now that the AW ban has sunsetted. They WERE legal before the AW. They WERE legal during the AW ban. And they ARE legal now that the ban has sunsetted.


You're right, I misspoke. Well, they aren't legal in California, unless you work for the government, or Stembridge.

Most non-gunowners, however, are under the impression that you can purchase fully automatic weapons over the counter now that the AW ban has sunsetted. There.

444
March 20, 2005, 01:05 AM
"My guess, because they're so expensive most of us can't afford to own them."

I take exception to that statement also. I would be willing bet that most of us could afford to buy a machinegun: IF that is what we choose to do with our money. Instead, we buy boats, ATVs, travel trailers, plasma TVs, surround sound, swimming pools, motorcycles, cars beyond basic transportation, even a whole lot of other guns. Machine guns arn't all that expensive. Yeah, some of them are really expensive, but if you wanted A machinegun, you could probably swing it. Machine guns that I consider expensive (M16-MP5 range) cost about the same as the toys most of the people I know and work with own.
I could buy a machine gun for what most of the people I know spend on a vacation.

Sunray
March 20, 2005, 01:16 AM
"...from the talking head idiots on the TV..." Most people only ever see firearms of any kind on TV. And they think what they see on TV is real.

TheOtherOne
March 20, 2005, 03:56 AM
I take exception to that statement also. I would be willing bet that most of us could afford to buy a machinegun: IF that is what we choose to do with our money. Instead, we buy boats, ATVs, travel trailers, plasma TVs, surround sound, swimming pools, motorcycles, cars beyond basic transportation, even a whole lot of other guns. Machine guns arn't all that expensive. Yeah, some of them are really expensive, but if you wanted A machinegun, you could probably swing it. Machine guns that I consider expensive (M16-MP5 range) cost about the same as the toys most of the people I know and work with own.
I could buy a machine gun for what most of the people I know spend on a vacation.Yeah, if I sold every single gun I own, I could buy me a MAC-10! :) I would have a hard time doing that for a POS gun so at my current income level, they might as well be illegal.

444
March 20, 2005, 09:25 AM
So, you could afford to buy a machine gun, and it isn't illegal.
You choose not to. You feel that other things are more important to you for you to spend your money on. But, if you happened to really be into machine guns, you could buy one.
I know guys that are like that: they don't own guns for hunting, personal defense, etc. They only guns they have any desire to own are machine guns.

GigaBuist
March 20, 2005, 01:15 PM
Heck even I know know all that laws in MI it seems. I thought for sure the only way to play with NFA stuff was to be a Class III dealer. I thought I'd looked into it pretty well... apparently not.

I got some comments on m blog from an older guy in Michigan who is now telling me that C&R machine guns are OK if you have the C&R and do the ATF paperwork. I need to look into this more and start a "machine gun fund" savings account I think. Then again, THAT stuff is going to be a lot more expensive than a MAC-10...

The whole "too expensive" thing is probably the wrong way to phrase it. If we -really- wanted to plenty of us non MG gun owners could probablyl make it happen... but there's something about paying $3,000 for somethin that we KNOW is only really worth $300 when you remove all the goverment restrictions. I couldn't make an AR-15 receiver for myself for what they legally cost... but I bet I could find a way to make an M3 Grease Gun receiver for a whole lot less than a legal one could cost.

Sorta like buying pre-washed jeans (or whatever they call 'em now) -- most of us just don't want to pay extra for something when we know its TRUE value.

Firethorn
March 20, 2005, 02:12 PM
The miltary pays something like $3-500 to replace an M-16A2.

There is no technical/mechanical reason that a select fire AR should cost any more than about $20-40 more than a pure semi-auto. The actual purchase price might be a bit more, if you expect to get the same warranty coverage and period, given that rock&roll is more stressful on the firearm. But then again, the dedicated bump-firer with a mechanical magazine reloader could put more rounds through the barrel than somebody firing select fire and reloading mags by hand.

NHBB
March 20, 2005, 02:38 PM
"Yeah, if I sold every single gun I own, I could buy me a MAC-10! I would have a hard time doing that for a POS gun so at my current income level, they might as well be illegal."

actually I own a fully legal registered MAC-10, and it is hardly a POS. it is a great toy if you are in the mood for a bullet hose, as well as a great investment. no more legal full auto receivers are being made for the public, and the prices are climbing rapidly. mine is already worth much more than what I paid for it less than a year ago.

benEzra
March 20, 2005, 02:56 PM
They are indeed "banned" in a sense, in that no new full autos are allowed to be manufactured for non-LEO civilian sale. That's the same sense of "ban" that we use to refer to the AWB. Sound suppressors aren't, even though they are subject to the NFA transfer tax and registration requirements, because the suppressor registry is still open, whereas the machine gun registry is not.

A ban does not have to be absolute in order to be a ban. Guns aren't banned in England, but just try to get one...

The fact that a non-automatic AK lookalike costs $350, but an automatic AK costs ~$15,000 or more, is a de facto ban for most of us of average means.

Yes, full-autos are legal in most states (though not here in NC, I understand), but a lot of us have never seen one except on display somewhere.

Too Many Choices!?
March 20, 2005, 03:26 PM
So a suppressed MP5 DOES sound like a ,"silent fart"(sorry mods no real other way to convey this)like in the movies?!.....I can see why sheeple are scared of them.....I was under the impression that a suppresssed firearm simply had a different signature unless you went to the extreme(uber expensive model,uber sub sonic speacialty "ninja" ammo, and a tuned gas system if semi automatic :confused: ? I don't own any suppressor however, so I am not the definitive source on the subject. What I have heard from range visits(actually with my ears and from talking to people) most suppressors only change the sound without the other above mentioned modifications....... :) Possible exception for .22lr, which does not have much to ,"silence" to begin with.....

myrockfight
March 20, 2005, 04:30 PM
I was having this whole conversation with my parents just yesterday at lunch. My Dad didn't know that you just needed to apply to get a permit to be able to purchase and own full-autos. Not that he knows that much about shooting in general. Sometimes I just take a lot of information that I am aware of for granted. Most people just kind of amble around their lives, not really absorbing any factual information - getting all of their information from the "talking heads" so to speak. It is sad really :(

big inch
March 20, 2005, 07:59 PM
Sometimes I just take a lot of information that I am aware of for granted.

I know what you mean. I have a saying that I think goes along with this: "I would rather know a little about everything than a lot about nothing." I love to learn, not just exist.

tyme
March 20, 2005, 08:11 PM
Too Many Choices, nope. Our ears operate on roughly a logarithmic scale just like the decibel scale, so it doesn't sound 1000 times quieter to us even though it's 1000 times less pressure.

saltydog
March 20, 2005, 08:25 PM
Quote:
"One is that, if the public knew they were legal in most states, we might see a push to ban them outright. As it stands right now, the Brady Bunch and VPC have done so much to confuse the public as to full-auto versus semi-auto that they'd have a lot of explaining to do if they went for a ban."

Actually I would think that the Govt would place an outright ban on Automatic Weapons last. It wouldn't be good to show the public that registration leads to confiscation. :uhoh:

BTW, I own a "so called POS" original Ingram M10/45. I paid $239.00 in 1980. If you want the facts from someone who owns one, I have, over the years, put about 4000 rounds through it without a single "Hick-up, Zero malfunctions" and with the majority of the ammo I use being reloads. After awhile, 3 round bursts become easy! :)

444
March 20, 2005, 08:31 PM
"you just needed to apply to get a permit to be able to purchase and own full-autos."

No permit is required. You pay a two hundred dollar transfer tax. You get back your application with a stamp on it, valued at $200. No permit involved.

Spreadfire Arms
March 20, 2005, 11:45 PM
benEzra wrote:

"They are indeed "banned" in a sense, in that no new full autos are allowed to be manufactured for non-LEO civilian sale. That's the same sense of "ban" that we use to refer to the AWB. Sound suppressors aren't, even though they are subject to the NFA transfer tax and registration requirements, because the suppressor registry is still open, whereas the machine gun registry is not."

for clarification:

"no new full autos are allowed to be manufactured for non-LEO civilian sale"
-Law Enforcement Officers are not allowed to purchase post-1986 machine guns either. only the police agency can buy them.

"Sound suppressors aren't, even though they are subject to the NFA transfer tax and registration requirements, because the suppressor registry is still open, whereas the machine gun registry is not."
Imported sound suppressors are not legal for civilian purchase.

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