VFW in Marcellus wants ATF to give back machine gun


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Drizzt
April 8, 2005, 11:02 AM
VFW in Marcellus wants ATF to give back machine gun
4/7/2005, 2:27 p.m. ET
The Associated Press

MARCELLUS, Mich. (AP) — Area residents want federal authorities to return a 1918 German .50 caliber machine gun to the local VFW Post's war museum after it was taken during a search earlier this year.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms took the Maxim machine gun as part of a broader investigation into the person who donated the weapon to the post, the Three Rivers Commercial-News reported.

Museum curator and Vietnam veteran Wilber Breseman was outraged by the Feb. 23 search.

"How many man-hours and at what monetary value did this operation cost?" Breseman asked. "Wouldn't it have been much better for one officer to approach us and tell us to make this weapon completely inoperable?

"I could have taken it to my shop and welded the barrel and breech shut, which would have taken about 15 minutes."

Four ATF agents and one state trooper arrived at the post with a search warrant for concealed weapons. Mark Hady, the ATF's resident agent in charge, said the donor was under investigation for illegally dealing in firearms.

Hady said the ATF would like to give the gun back, but legal issues surrounding the weapon must be resolved. The weapon would have to be made inoperable, and it was uncertain whether that had been done.

"When we got the orders to go to the VFW, we said, 'Oh God, that's the last thing we want to do,'" Hady said. "I'm not sure how many people were actually there, but we weren't trying to intimidate anyone."

Several hundred Marcellus residents planned to send a petition to Washington to try and get the gun back.

http://www.mlive.com/newsflash/michigan/index.ssf?/base/news-24/111289812531590.xml&storylist=newsmichigan

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Devonai
April 8, 2005, 11:20 AM
God forbid a bunch of US military vets should be in control of a full-auto. :rolleyes:

ZeroX
April 8, 2005, 11:21 AM
They've probably melted it down by now. :(

The Grand Inquisitor
April 8, 2005, 11:29 AM
We'd better keep an eye on those shifty vets...you know they're always up to no good.

This is just another example of how this administration and the last six or seven administrations (at least Rooseveldt established the GI Bill and Hoover helped vets buy homes) has called upon American soldiers to risk their lives to protect them and their monetary interests, but when the vets need something, they get ????? on.

Go to your local VA hospital, you will find second and third rate care for people who gave *everything* they had just to get nothing in return. I am sure for all of the stroking our government gives for our soldiers now about being hero's and how brave they are, but when the time comes and those men and women need the governments help, they'll get nothing in return.

Ohen Cepel
April 8, 2005, 11:46 AM
Pretty sad and stupid!

This has happened a lot lately though.

Also, just to be picky. Did the Germans have a .50cal Maxim in WWI (or ever)?
Think it might be the newspaper guy trying to get the "scare factor" out of the .50 cal BS that's going on.

Redneck Revolver
April 8, 2005, 12:01 PM
the germans had .50 cal machine guns aswell as other large caliber full autos. im pretty sure they did have a maxim version too but i'll have to check.

its such a shame the way some of the noblest people, who have literally given their entire lives for their natin are treated and looked at these days. :barf:

svtruth
April 8, 2005, 01:46 PM
If the gun has managed to stay out of trouble since 1918, it probably would have gone on being a model citizen.

spacemanspiff
April 8, 2005, 03:05 PM
i recall reading in 'A Rifleman Went to War' that the Germans did indeed have maxim machineguns.

Ohen Cepel
April 8, 2005, 03:06 PM
I'm sure the German's had Maxims, just wanted to know if they had .50cal Maxims.

foghornl
April 8, 2005, 03:09 PM
There are just some folks that need to be taken out behind the woodshed for a good old-fashioned butt-whoopin' . . .

0007
April 8, 2005, 03:58 PM
An original Maxim in .50 cal would be worth a ton of $$ I suspect...

Spreadfire Arms
April 8, 2005, 04:04 PM
let's not forget possession of an unregistered machine gun is a felony......?

dasmi
April 8, 2005, 04:05 PM
"How many man-hours and at what monetary value did this operation cost?" Breseman asked. "Wouldn't it have been much better for one officer to approach us and tell us to make this weapon completely inoperable?

"I could have taken it to my shop and welded the barrel and breech shut, which would have taken about 15 minutes."

Makes sense to me.

Spreadfire Arms
April 8, 2005, 04:34 PM
quote:

"I could have taken it to my shop and welded the barrel and breech shut, which would have taken about 15 minutes."

The receiver would needed to be torch cut per ATF regulations too. Also something about destruction of evidence, should this go to court.

Standing Wolf
April 8, 2005, 06:04 PM
Four ATF agents and one state trooper arrived at the post with a search warrant for concealed weapons.

One guy to do the search plus four to manage the doughnuts.

Hellion Productions
April 8, 2005, 07:46 PM
.50 cal Maxim=No such thing.

Closest thing the Germans had to a .50 cal was the 13mm Mauser anti-tank rifle. Bolt-action. Basically a large Mauser 98.

German Maxims were 7.92x57. Same as the Rifle cartridge.

Media got it wrong again. :rolleyes:

Best,
John Bear Ross

DMF
April 8, 2005, 09:29 PM
People need to read for comprehension rather than looking for things to support preconceived notions. ATF is investigating someone for illegal firearms dealing. Did anyone consider that they need the gun he had given to the VFW as evidence of his illegal dealings? If that gun was transferred to the VFW in violation of the NFA, or the donor originally obtained it in violation of the NFA, then it is evidence of a crime .

Common sense people.

This isn't about punishing the VFW, it's about the gathering evidence to prove or disprove the allegations against the donor.

HighVelocity
April 8, 2005, 09:54 PM
Good thing the ATF took it. Someone might have mounted it on a power scooter and gone on a rampage. :cuss:

Zundfolge
April 9, 2005, 01:20 AM
Wonderful. A piece of history must be destroyed because of a series of stupid laws written to keep anti-alcohol agents employed after the end of prohibition. :rolleyes:

entropy
April 9, 2005, 05:15 PM
As hellion productions said, it's either a .50 or WWI German MG. The US built their .50 cal. MG from the 13mm Mauser anti-tank round, which was fired from a bolt action rifle that indeed looked like a beefed-up Gew98. Some of these were converted to 12ga. after the war, and exported. They occasionally turn up at gun shows. The Germans never fielded a .50 cal, nor did anyone else until the Russians just before WWII, with the DShK 12.7mm and the SG-43 during WWII. Either way, real tough of the ATF, taking down a bunch of vets. :rolleyes:

Nightfall
April 9, 2005, 05:29 PM
Wonderful. A piece of history must be destroyed because of a series of stupid laws written to keep anti-alcohol agents employed after the end of prohibition. Can't have people remembering what freedoms the gov't has stolen. People don't fight for what they don't feel they've lost.

Blackburn
April 9, 2005, 05:39 PM
People need to read for comprehension rather than looking for things to support preconceived notions.

^

Telperion
May 27, 2005, 10:15 PM
MARCELLUS -- On folding chairs sat the veterans, some in plaid shirts and jeans, all with medals on their VFW post caps from terrors and glory years ago.

Before them stood federal agents in suits and ties.

On Monday, the two sides argued about a rare 1918 German machine gun the veterans acquired to display in their museum. Unbeknownst to the veterans, it was illegal and evidence in a criminal case.

The gun was seized in February by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The veterans were told Monday they probably won't get it back.

...

http://www.mlive.com/news/kzgazette/index.ssf?/base/news-13/1116948079122140.xml

RevDisk
May 27, 2005, 11:00 PM
People need to read for comprehension rather than looking for things to support preconceived notions.

Yes, I think most of us understand the weapon was illegal.

Still, it could have been used in the case, torched to ATF regs (tho I thought there was an excemption on certain military related artifacts for museums and such), and returned. What will become of this weapon? Melting it down? Ending up in a warehouse for all eternity? Ending up in some agent's closet?

There's a difference between legal system and justice system. Sorry if I sound like I don't respect an un-Constitutional law, but I honestly think it could have been handled differently.

El Tejon
May 28, 2005, 08:31 AM
Yet another impetus for a NFA amnesty!

Send those cards and letters now (and write the NRA too). :)

cortez kid
May 28, 2005, 09:11 AM
What a shame it is when the Govt. ditates to destroy items that were used in the greatest battle in the history of the world. This weapon has been around for decades with no incident. The big "G" finds out then, ooooh baaad. It's an insult to the men and women of the greatest generation. Now the big push for seat belt usage(of which I agree). Does this mean that we have to cut our 57 chevys half and weld the doors because they didn't come with them?

2nd Amendment
May 28, 2005, 12:04 PM
let's not forget possession of an unregistered machine gun is a felony......?

Oh like anybody with any sense gives a damn. F-Troop once again needs to sit the hell down and shut the hell up and leave normal people alone. :barf:

dustind
May 28, 2005, 08:00 PM
The ATF looking for illegal firearms dealings and illegal possession of firearms is not just a waste of our tax dollars, it is a violations of our rights.

Unless they can find some real criminals to go after they should be severally downsized.

unixguy
May 28, 2005, 08:31 PM
Yet another impetus for a NFA amnesty!

Bleh. I think you should have spelled it r-e-p-e-a-l.

TheOtherOne
May 28, 2005, 08:55 PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/kzgazette/index.ssf?/base/news-13/1116948079122140.xml

The veterans complained about the ATF raid on the museum, in which four ATF agents and a state trooper came to seize the gun.

"This is how you would treat terrorist cells," Breseman, who identified himself as a "PDF: Pretty Dumb Farmer," told Hady. "That violated our dignity. And why did you describe it as concealed?"

"That was just legal talk for 'located,'" Hady said. "And if I believed it was a terror cell, we would have brought 40 agents. Five is a small number."


Ahhh... Concealed = Located

Legal Talk? More like sounds scarier for the evening news.

Hypnogator
May 28, 2005, 09:43 PM
This reminds me of the great ATF raid on the VFW post in Keosauqua, Iowa, where I grew up. Used to go to Boy Scout meetings in the VFW post. They had two Colt 1895 machine guns on tripods and an old Lewis gun, all of which had been rendered inoperable.

Well, in the early Clinton years, the ATF conducted a "raid" on the unoccupied building, with a dozen teams in full armor, automatic weapons, etc. I think they later didn't send that many to the Branch Davidian compound. Anywho, folks around home thought it was the biggest joke they ever heard of. :p

It took the intervention of our state senator to get the weapons returned, even though there was no law broken by the VFW having them. :rolleyes:

Not one of ATF's prouder moments. At least no women and children were killed in that raid! :evil: :evil: :evil:

RevDisk
May 29, 2005, 12:59 AM
Well, in the early Clinton years, the ATF conducted a "raid" on the unoccupied building, with a dozen teams in full armor, automatic weapons, etc. I think they later didn't send that many to the Branch Davidian compound. Anywho, folks around home thought it was the biggest joke they ever heard of.

The ATF should have been praying to every God or Gods in thanks that the VFW was empty. Imagine a Waco style siege against people that actually knew how to shoot.

hifi
May 29, 2005, 01:03 AM
"How many man-hours and at what monetary value did this operation cost?" Breseman asked. "Wouldn't it have been much better for one officer to approach us and tell us to make this weapon completely inoperable?

"I could have taken it to my shop and welded the barrel and breech shut, which would have taken about 15 minutes."

He's willing to destroy this historical artifact himself. Sounds like the ATF wanted the honor though.

Stan
May 29, 2005, 02:53 AM
Wonderful. A piece of history must be destroyed because of a series of stupid laws written to keep anti-alcohol agents employed after the end of prohibition.+1

pete f
May 29, 2005, 10:27 PM
I just want to know who squealed.

and Who cares if the Maxim still works, BFD, as in BIG DEAL, How about we get a Federal Government that instead of effing around with a group of peace defending soldiers who came home and brought a toy home with them, we actually use this level of effort to stop the thousands of people illegally crossing the border everyday. let see, for 85 years this gun has remained a memorial to the effort of thousands of american soldiers who bailed England, and France out of a war they did not want. So all of a sudden this gun is now a threat? grow up and get a life.

cracked butt
May 30, 2005, 03:43 AM
People are getting all bent out of shape without knowing the facts.

What if the 'illegal gun dealings' happened to be stolen property that was sold to the VFW, that belonged to someone else? If someone stole your guns, wouldn't you want to get them back?

If everyone else can make assumptions and rationaliazions, I can too. :neener:

toivo
May 30, 2005, 06:19 AM
I think that if they investigate and find the gun wasn't stolen from anybody, they should make it inoperable and give it back to the VFW. I say inoperable because (a) if it's on display in a glass case it doesn't need to be shootable, and (b) if it's in shootable condition, it should be securely stored--hard to do when it's on display.

I'm wondering if the day will come when we start to see WWI re-enactors. Has anybody heard of anything like that? Maybe the idea of digging all those trenches puts a damper on the idea.

My local VFW has a WWII torpedo on display out in front of the hall. I hope that sucker is deactivated, because it's right out there by the highway. If someone ran off the road and hit it head on, they might just "sink" the VFW hall.

On the "historical" theme, has anyone heard the story of the guy who held up a bank with a black powder .44 revolver? (Happened in Rochester, NY in 1992.) Now there's a bank robber with a sense of history. Wonder if he planned to get away on horseback...

cracked butt
May 30, 2005, 09:41 AM
On the "historical" theme, has anyone heard the story of the guy who held up a bank with a black powder .44 revolver? (Happened in Rochester, NY in 1992.) Now there's a bank robber with a sense of history. Wonder if he planned to get away on horseback...

Or... maybe he was a felon and wasn't able to buy a firearm but could buy a black powder gun.

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