What to do when the ban sets in?


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Rockrivr1
March 29, 2005, 10:16 AM
I posted on another thread that Massachusetts is looking to ban all 50 caliber rifles without a grandfather clause. Meaning a few days after it passes, a nice friendly police officer will be at my door to collect my rifle and ammo. :uhoh:

With that said, I'm thinking I either have to get the rifle out of the state or sell it. I'm not to fond of having to sell it so I'm wondering what other options I have. (I'm not moving out of state as I have to many roots here) I'm thinking more on the lines of storing it in NH, VT, CT or RI. Are there any places that anyone can think of that will legally store a firearm for you out of state? Some place like a storage unit company etc. I'm not sure if this is even legal or not. Don't want to do something illegal, but I also don't want to give up my rifle either.

What do you think?

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ZeroX
March 29, 2005, 10:20 AM
I'm not up on Massachusetts gun laws but could you just pull a "Why no sir, no .50 BMG rifles here". That's assuming they don't get to go searching through your home.

dolanp
March 29, 2005, 10:22 AM
US Constitution, Article I

Section 9
No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

Section 10
No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility.

Clearly Massachusetts needs some re-education. Of course we already know the 2nd means nothing so that may not sway them...

Third_Rail
March 29, 2005, 10:26 AM
Being an MA resident with the rifle registered to you, they'll confiscate it regardless of where in the country it is as long as you live here.

Perhaps you find it missing, stolen, just after the law is signed? You should really secure your rifles better.

0007
March 29, 2005, 10:27 AM
Unfortunately that's just more Constitutional protection that's been shot down by the black-robes... See the Lautenburg(sp) demestic violence law.

I would say good luck confiscating an item located in another state, of course we are talking about massachusettes here.

MudPuppy
March 29, 2005, 10:38 AM
"Why no sir, no .50 BMG rifles here"

Wouldn't that be a felony? And if/when they found out (because if they know you had it, they WILL want to know what happened to it--if you report it stolen, that's just a deeper hole) you'd lose the right to own ANY gun.

Yeah, best thing to do is sell it or find someplace to store it. Sounds like a business opportunity for someone in Texas or Arizona--storing guns that have been restricted elsewhere.


Man, I miss our rights.

petrel800
March 29, 2005, 11:17 AM
"Man, I miss our rights."

That's what the founders said, except they didn't move to a new state.

RoyG
March 29, 2005, 11:45 AM
I guess it's time for you to get active with letter writing and inform your elected officials they will be replaced if they vote for another ban on your rights.

Ever think of supporting a grass root gun rights group that speaks for you in your state?

No_Brakes23
March 29, 2005, 11:47 AM
Don't they just have to be registered? Or are they actually confiscating them?

It was my understanding the here in Cali, (although that is a different law,) they aren't taking them away, just forcing registration and prohibiting new sales.

I would suggest you move, but that would make me a hypocrite, since I intend to stay in Cali and fight. (I also have no EBRs, hig-cap magazines or .50cals, so it is easy for me to stay.)

Best of luck in your situation.

Rockrivr1
March 29, 2005, 11:53 AM
I'm currently supporting the NRA, Goal and I write/call my elected official. I'd love to do more, but am not sure what that should be at this point.

As to the registration question. According to GOAL, the ban is for the elimination of the 50 caliber rifle. No registration or grandfather clause. If it's passed as is you will lose your rifle.

spacemanspiff
March 29, 2005, 12:06 PM
surely you have a good friend in a neighboring state that you can 'sell' the rifle to for say, $1?

ya dig?

Control Group
March 29, 2005, 12:15 PM
If you want to stay legal, your options are either hand over the rifle or take your case to court. Keeping the rifle in the face of a law which demands you turn it in will, obviously, put you on the wrong side of the law. I agree with dolanp, this law is clearly in violation of the Constitution, but that can only be enforced through the court system. If you're willing to "take one for the team" and be the test case, then more power to you. I haven't read the law in question, but if it specifically addresses ownership of a .50 cal rifle, you're going to have to not be the owner of the rifle in order to stay legal. Sotring the rifle out of state is unlikely to pass muster.

Assuming you don't want to break the law, and you don't want to go through the hassle/cost of trying to fight it in court, here's what I recommend. Find someone here, or go to someone you know out of state and trust. "Sell" this person the rifle for a nominal fee (say $1, plus the transfer/shipping costs). Legally, the rifle will no longer be your property.

Depending on how much you trust this person, sign a contract with this person guaranteeing you the right to buy the rifle back at your discretion for $1. Put in a clause such that you have the right to use of the rifle at your discretion, provided you show up to use it. Build in a penalty for default equal to the market value of the rifle at the time you want to buy it back and are unable to. Build in a penalty for "wear and tear" equal to the cost for a professional gunsmith to put the rifle in proper condition. Whatever else crosses your mind.

This way, if you ever get the chance to own the rifle again, you can have it back. If you're ever in the area of where you're sending it, you get to use it.

I'm no lawyer, and this isn't legal advice, but I'm pretty sure this would all be legal. I'm also pretty sure you'd get plenty of takers right here on THR, since they'd have access to a fairly expensive rifle for the cost of maintenance and storage. I'm guessing you'd get enough takers that you could probably change that "nominal" fee to a real one (nothing like the cost of the rifle, of course), actually.

Greg L
March 29, 2005, 12:28 PM
Spiffy had the same thought that I did (only a few minutes sooner :p ).

These days though, where the contract of a handshake has sadly gone away, Control Group's idea isn't a bad one either.

Control Group
March 29, 2005, 12:43 PM
The problem with "a contract of a handshake" is that it might leave Rockrivr1 open to prosecution. This is a case where I think the more paper trail involved, the better. A buy-back contract makes perfectly clear that the rifle is no longer Rockrivr1's property, and could be pointed to, if need be, in court.

Now, how strict that contract is in terms of protection for Rockrivr1 and/or the buyer is a function of how well Rockrivr1 knows him, and how much he trusts him. If it were me, I know a couple people that I might sell the gun to with nothing more in the contract than a line saying I've got the right to buy it back, and that only so that the contract exists. Everything else would be trust. On the other hand, if I didn't know those people, and was putting this offer up on THR, I'd include the other clauses about damage, loss, and whatever else seemed prudent.

Either way, though, I think the written contract itself is important for legal reasons. Just like I'd make sure to get a receipt, and whatever paperwork the FFL is willing to give me to prove I sold the gun.

EghtySx
March 29, 2005, 01:06 PM
Do they have a problem with a .49 caliber rifle?

Wakal
March 29, 2005, 01:15 PM
What about rechambering it? The folks out in Kalibanfornia dug up an old wildcat that uses 50BMG brass and projectiles in sort of a .50 BMG/Improved, since the law says "...any firearm that chambers the .50 BMG cartridge..."

:banghead:

Why, no, officer, this is the .502 Improved; look, a .50 BMG round won't chamber...


Alex

halvey
March 29, 2005, 01:21 PM
Put in a clause such that you have the right to use of the rifle at your discretion, provided you show up to use it. Build in a penalty for default equal to the market value of the rifle at the time you want to buy it back and are unable to. Build in a penalty for "wear and tear" equal to the cost for a professional gunsmith to put the rifle in proper condition. Whatever else crosses your mind. Sure...who'd ever sign on to that? :rolleyes:
So your buddy get to store the rifle as a favor and you make him sign this?

Gordon Fink
March 29, 2005, 01:26 PM
If there is more than just a handful of .50-BMG rifles in Massachusetts, I suspect there will be no general confiscation, even if this version of the ban passes. I doubt the authorities are willing to sacrifice the lives of more than one or two police officers enforcing such a ban. A general confiscation would lead at least a couple gun owners to fight back, though most would surrender their weapons peacefully.

~G. Fink

fletcher
March 29, 2005, 01:27 PM
Definitely take it to court if this happens.

I do not think this law is ex post facto, as it does not make something you have done a crime, only something you are doing. Ex post facto would be something along the lines of (purely example):

1) Person A buys .50 BMG rifle in 1990.
2) Person A sells rifle in 1991.
3) Law passed in 1992 makes it illegal to own .50 BMG rifle.

Using that law to punish someone that had owned a .50 BMG rifle in the past would be a case of ex post facto, I believe.

jobu07
March 29, 2005, 01:33 PM
"this is the .502 Improved"

Wouldn't having it with a bore over half an inch make it a no no?

Control Group
March 29, 2005, 01:41 PM
Sure...who'd ever sign on to that?
So your buddy get to store the rifle as a favor and you make him sign this?
As I said in that post and clarified later, exactly what goes into the contract is a matter of how much you trust the guy. I was writing that from the point of view of selling it to someone you don't already know. That being said, even if I was selling it to the best of my friends, I'd still have us both sign a contract saying I had the right to buy it back. As I also clarified in my second post, that's to cover me if the police show up. Having that contract in hand goes to prove that the rifle is no longer owned by me, and that's how I'd present it to my friend: "I'm gonna need you to sign this so I can prove I 'sold' you the rifle." If he's really a friend, he ought to be cool with that. If he's not, maybe he's not such a good friend you should entrust him with an expensive piece of hardware?

As to your first question, I'd sign on to that in a heartbeat. I don't now, nor will I soon, have the disposable funds to buy a .50 cal rifle. If I could get access to one to take to the range now and again for the cost of ammunition, given only that I have to sell it back when the guy wants it, I'd stand in line for the opportunity. I'd sign so fast heat buildup in the pen might scorch the paper.

This, to me, is a lot like me renting a house from a good friend of mine (which I'm currently doing). Does he trust me to pay him every month? Absolutely. Did I sign a lease? Again, absolutely - he needed to be able to prove the income for the mortgage, and I was more than happy to sign. Frankly, I don't see why you would seemingly get so offended if a friend of yours asked for the favor.

halvey
March 29, 2005, 01:47 PM
Frankly, I don't see why you would seemingly get so offended if a friend of yours asked for the favor. So your friend asks the "favor" of skirting the law? I got news for you: these $1 contracts don't hold up in court.

El Rojo
March 29, 2005, 01:49 PM
"Man, I miss our rights."
That's what the founders said, except they didn't move to a new state.CLASSIC! I so tire of people from free states telling us to just leave the state. What a beautiful response. It isn't me, but I sure might be tempted to fight this one all the way to the Supreme Court. The key is getting the big gun groups to back you financially.

Control Group
March 29, 2005, 02:08 PM
So your friend asks the "favor" of skirting the law? I got news for you: these $1 contracts don't hold up in court.
Since when? I've made several transfers of cars for $1 within my family, and the DMV hasn't even raised an eyebrow when I pay my $0.06 tax. They've given me the title without question when I was the one buying the car, and my sister the title without question when she was the one buying the car. If I ship a rifle to your FFL, and ownership is transferred, what makes the $1 price at all an issue? As usual, I'm not a lawyer, and I could be wrong, so if you can give me examples of times a sale at a very-below-value price has been deemed void, please do.

If not, you're not "skirting" any law. The law wants you to not own a .50 cal rifle. You don't, you sold it to someone else. Do you somehow think giving the rifle away would also be skirting the law? If he were to give it to his hypothetical out-of-state son, knowing full well his son would let him shoot it/give it back as possible, would that be "skirting the law?"

Let me ask you this: if I sold you a $5,000 cigar for $1 free and clear, then you subsequently smoked the cigar, do you suppose I could take you to court for damaging my property? I've got the sneaking suspicion I would be laughed out of the court room. The only possible claim I could make is that the sale represented a contract, and contracts must include comparable losses to both parties to be valid. But I'd also have to demonstrate that I was somehow coerced, or ignorant of the rifle's true value, or had otherwise been hoodwinked to make that stick.

Besides, I believe (though not completely, I welcome correction on this if I'm wrong) that a sale of property is specifically not a contract for legal purposes, so the equal losses wouldn't apply. But that's based on a business law course I took in '98, so I could be wrong.

Clean97GTI
March 29, 2005, 02:12 PM
Yeah, best thing to do is sell it or find someplace to store it. Sounds like a business opportunity for someone in Texas or Arizona--storing guns that have been restricted elsewhere.


I can think of two such places here in NV that store "illegal" weapons for CA residents.

*When I say illegal, I mean not legal to possess in CA. Everything is legal in NV.*

Nevada Pistol Academy 702-897-1100
Impact Indoor: 775-359-5599

both places will store firearms for unlucky folks in CA. Don't see why it would be a problem for a Mass resident. Give em a call.

Werewolf
March 29, 2005, 02:28 PM
From Amendment V of the Constitution of the United States of America:...nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. They may be able to ban the .50 and take them away but I sure don't see how they can do it without paying you for it.

Of course in this day and age when the Constitution is worth less than a roll of toilet paper and is less useful anything is possible. Especially in police states like MA...

Zackmeister
March 29, 2005, 03:17 PM
So your friend asks the "favor" of skirting the law? I got news for you: these $1 contracts don't hold up in court.

According to my VERY limited law knowledge, (intro BLAW course) the amount of consideration isn't looked at unless the buyer alleges fraud, duress, etc.

Most likely I am wrong, so don't hammer me for being ignorant. :o

DarkKnight01
March 29, 2005, 03:32 PM
Zackmeister You are correct, you can sell anything that you own for any amount you like. If you wanna sell a 2,000$+ rifle for 1$ you can do it, so selling the rifle to a friend in another state for 1$ would be perfectly legal.

And attaching any such requirements may or may not hold up well in court, thats easily solved by selling it to someone you trust.

Or what I would probably do is sell it for its full value to someone out of state, and then go buy an AR an AK and a few other toys... and shoot the hell out of them... and go show my new toys to the guy that wanted to take my .50BMG and say something along the lines of.... more capacity and cheaper to shoot ! :neener:

Hkmp5sd
March 29, 2005, 03:33 PM
It will not be illegal for you to own a .50 rifle, but to possess one in the state of Massachusetts. Go to a nearby state where .50 cal rifles are legal and rent a storage cubicle/locker/container and deposit the rifle there in storage. There is no requirement to tell them what you are storing as long as it is legal.

Many folks in places like CA along with folks with NFA weapons have done this when either a state bans their guns or they are moving to a state with a ban. You can even store NFA (machineguns, suppressors, etc) in this method as long as you inform ATF of the location the weapons are being stored.

I would not use the "sell to a friend" method, but that is just me. However, it is also perfectly legal to store a firearm at a friends residence, even if that friend lives in another state. This is also legal for NFA weapons if you lock the weapon in a locker and the "friend" does not have the ability to open it.

Control Group
March 29, 2005, 03:45 PM
It will not be illegal for you to own a .50 rifle, but to possess one in the state of Massachusetts.
Ah - that's the answer, then. I didn't read the law, I just made an assumption (making an a** out of me and umption) that it made ownership of the rifle illegal. If it's just possession, storing it at an out-of-state facility is clearly the easiest/best way to go.

stealthmode
March 29, 2005, 04:12 PM
sounds like you need to have another tea party

Rockrivr1
March 29, 2005, 04:16 PM
I'm trying to find the actual bill that was submitted to see what it exactly says. Problem is that it hasn't been assigned a number yet as it's pretty early in the session. Once I find it I'll have to do some reseach on whats legal and whats not.

Either way I'll either store it out of state or "sell" it to a friend. Can't let them win though. I've emailed GOAL and told them I'll volunteer to help out any way I can. I'll keep you all posted. Thanks for the advise.

Standing Wolf
March 29, 2005, 05:08 PM
I've been storing guns in bank boxes for decades. Of course, it'd probably take a fair-sized bank box to hold that rifle, but...

ajkurp
March 29, 2005, 05:37 PM
Move or comply.

bamawrx
March 29, 2005, 09:42 PM
I just finished reading "Enemies Foreign and Domestic" Rockrivr1, you need to read that book if you have not already. It will "sound" familiar to your situation.

Strings
March 29, 2005, 10:55 PM
Hey... I gots a free dollar here... :D

R.H. Lee
March 29, 2005, 10:57 PM
And remember, registration does not lead to confiscation. :rolleyes:

Gordy Wesen
March 29, 2005, 11:31 PM
Lots of people give guns away so just give your gun to an out of state friend. Skip the legal contract stuff. Most good friends would have no problem helping you out while respecting "your" property.
Someday you may be able to return the favor.

Darkmind
March 29, 2005, 11:39 PM
<Tinfoil hat on>

And everybody wonders why I keep a coffin ready to go in my garage. Silly people. :p

<Tinfoil hat off>

Can't be too careful the .gov already knows too much. :scrutiny:

UnintendedConsequences
March 30, 2005, 12:22 AM
I am a Class 01 FFL licensed gunsmith in Missouri and I am willing to give asylum to the persecuted .50 caliber firearms, rifles and handguns. I am willing to store them for anyone who needs them stored. I am able to provide a signed copy of my FFL for proof of license to any dealer you wish me to send it to to prove credentials.

MudPuppy
March 30, 2005, 02:40 PM
"That's what the founders said, except they didn't move to a new state."

I didn't mean to imply that anyone should move to a new state. I do think its obvious that while we all love our rights to keep and bear, we have had incredible encroachments on our consititutional rights and for the most part, bend over and take what the government gives us.

No new legal, registered FA, no handgun laws in NY, Chicago, etc, the AWB (that thankfully expired--but wasn't repealed), the various bans in CA and other states.

I mean, sure, we all get indignant and write our letters and hopefully vote some pro-gunners in, but in the end, our rights are still sliding downhill FAST. I'm not advocating anything illegal at all, but, despite our wants, desires, and protected rights, it seems like we're on the same course as England, Canada, France, and Australia. Politicians are doing it nice and slow, but they're surely doing it.

We've seen glimmers of hope with the AWB sunset and CCW laws seeming to gain favor, so perhaps its not too late yet.

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