Automatic guns


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Ferrari308
July 12, 2006, 03:39 PM
As some of you know, I am new to guns. I asked about good guns, and many people offered great advice. In the past week, I have been searching the web reading everything about guns I can find.

But here is a question I can't find an answer to. One website outside the USA offers to sell parts to make many popular guns go from semi to fully automatic. I'm thinking this must be illegal. If automatic guns are illegal, then it must be illegal to own the part which can be swaped out? Or is the part legal since it is not in the gun?

And why did the USA outlaw automatic guns? Some websites claim to have pre-ban guns. I am not sure exactly what that means, but they seem to think it is legal to sell those guns.

If older automatic guns are legal, how can a pre-ban be determined from a newer one. Why let only some members own pre-ban and not allow newer gun enthusiasts the chance to own the same guns?

Or am I wrong and all automatic guns are illegal no matter what year they were produced?

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Hoppy590
July 12, 2006, 03:43 PM
with out the proper license ALL automatic arms are illegal. the pre sample guns are from the 86 import ban. it is illegal to own the parts with out the proper license. soem one else can ellaborate more

Bruce333
July 12, 2006, 04:13 PM
You've got 2 different subjects mixed together. Also a lot of times the laws won't "make sense", or seem logical (because they aren't).

When "pre-ban" is mentioned they are talking about the Assault Weapons Ban (AWB), not the National Firearms Act (NFA)(which made machine guns illegal), someone else will have to explain that one. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Firearms_Act

The Federal AWB is no longer a factor, it sunsetted (expired). Certain States still have their own AWB. So In some States the "pre-ban" stuff you see for sale is legal, but they still list it as "pre-ban" because of the States that still have an AWB. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assault_Weapons_Ban

I'm not the best one to try to explain all this, it can be very confusing...we really need to move this to the Legal board...

MisterPX
July 12, 2006, 04:35 PM
First seperate 2 types of weapons. Automatic and pre-ban. First, Preban. THis means weapons made prior to one of the bans, be it the 1994 assault weapon ban (still in effect in a few states), or the 1989 import ban (still in effect). Both types will still be semi automatic.
Automatic weapons; the only ones legal for the average civilian is a "transferable" machine gun, these were registered prior to May 86, whereas any made after that were illegal for general civilian ownership. These will have a Form 3 or a From 4 accomapnying them, the forms being a proof of registration. These "transferables" will run you from $3K up. Any of these conversion parts are illegal for most people in the USA, although some other countries have no issues with them. Basically, if you want a machine gun, it'll run you at least $3K.

Punkermonkey
July 12, 2006, 04:38 PM
Like everyone else said, you have a few things going on here.

1. It became illegal after 1986 to import or manufacture machine guns for civilian sales. Everything pre 1986 is registered with the ATF and can be transferred to qualified individuals.

2. There is something called constructive possession. This means that if you have a "host gun" (a gun that is not full auto but can be made such) along with a separate "auto sear" (the part that makes the gun fire automatically) that is not registered under the National Firearms Act (a previous law that first regulated certain firearms) that would fit in that host gun, but not actually in it, you are still in position of a machine gun.

3. Any one who can own a gun can own an machine gun, baring state law. You just have to pay the $200 NFA tax.


Send me a private email through THR if you have more questions.

Chipperman
July 12, 2006, 04:39 PM
You are correct in your presumption that swapping out parts to convert guns to full-auto is illegal in the US (unless you have the proper license).

Full-auto guns can be owned by average citizens, depending on where you live. Some states allow them, others do not. You just have to jump through the hoops by filling out the proper Forms, getting fingerprinted, etc. Some states require other stuff as well. In MA, for example, I had to get a Machine Gun License before I could get any MGs.

What you would need is "transferable" machine gun. That would have been registered prior to the 1986 ban. The 1986 ban prevented new registration of transferable machine guns. It is a different ban from the 1994 ban, which affected cosmetic features of SEMI-AUTO guns. The average person does not understand the differences, and the anti-gun crowd wants it that way. They wanted people to think that when the 1994 ban expired, the streets would be flooded with full-auto Uzis and AK47s, which is nonsense. The 1986 ban does not sunset. That is why transferable machine guns cost so much, and keep going up.

AJAX22
July 12, 2006, 04:41 PM
Older machine guns (which are already regestered as NFA weapons) can be transfered with a 200 doller tax in most states. they cost a tremendous amount of money and the supply gets less every year.

New fully auto guns are possible to attain if you file the paperwork to become a class III weapons dealer and keep them for yourself as a post dealer sample (I believe) but you have to stay on top of your paperwork, if you let it lapse, then you have to turn in your samples or sell them to another dealer.

getting parts from outside the united states that allow your gun to go full auto (I assume you're talking about the selector switch for the back of glocks) would require you to file a tremendous amount of paperwork to be legal, I think you would have to become a class III weapons importer, or a class II weapons builder.

just buying it and sticking it on your gun, while possible and easy, is a good way to earn an expensive trip to club fed.

the short explanation is, if you want an NFA weapon, save up move to a state that allows them and pay your 200$ tax, any dealer who sells those kinds of weapons can walk you through the process.

If your heart is set on a modern full auto (post 1986 I believe) then you have a long and involved process ahead of you.

Do NOT just say F**k it and make your own, your life, your future, your rkba and your right to vote hinge on it.

(it is legal however to put a crank on your trigger which allows simulated full auto fire, OR just learn to bump fire the gun)

as a new gun owner that kind of thing should be one of the last considerations on your mind.

you need a good pistol or two, a good semi auto combat rifle, a good pump shotgun, and a good bolt action hunting rifle before you consider spending 10,000 dollars on a Full auto weapon.

orangelo
July 12, 2006, 04:42 PM
It may be perfectly legal for that individual to sell conversion kits to anyone in his country.

But importation into the US for anyone that is not a licensed importer intending to sell them to the government/police is explicitly illegal.

No NFA devices of any kind can be imported in the US except for use by the Govt or Police agencies.

Everything that is legally transferable to civilians was either imported before 1968 (and these dumb laws) or manufactured in the US before 1986.

Stickjockey
July 12, 2006, 04:43 PM
One website outside the USA offers to sell parts to make many popular guns go from semi to fully automatic. I'm thinking this must be illegal.

Depends. If you're talking actual, for-real-and-true full-auto parts such as autosears, then it's illegal, with certain exemptions. There are "trigger systems" out there that usually consist of a spring and a lever that, when attached to the triggerguard of the gun, will kick the trigger back forward after each shot, thus setting up an oscillation that rapidly pulls the trigger for each shot, simulating full-auto. These are legal, although most will warn you away from them as junk. Do a search here for "hell-fire system." That'll tell you all you need to know.

Ferrari308
July 12, 2006, 05:09 PM
There is so much information to digest! I was reading at different websites about ATF tax stamps, becoming a dealer, and so on. That stuff is beyond my interest. It is too much work to do just to own an automatic gun. Although it would be cool to fire on a range.

I was just curious what all the laws are. The last thing I want to have happen is to find out I've broken some law by ordering a part from a catalogue that is illegal. It would be stupid to get arrested for something which was never intended to be a crime.

Wes Janson
July 12, 2006, 08:47 PM
Well, if you live in Mogadishu, I'm sure it's entirely legal to purchase conversion kits online. Shipping might be a bit prohibitive, though. There's plenty of places around the globe in which the government either doesn't care or is too stupid to understand what a conversion kit is.

Hoploholic
July 12, 2006, 09:35 PM
The decision of American lawmakers in 1934 to require a tax for the ability to possess certain classes of weapons was based on racism and a hatred for certain groups of people. Back in 1934, a $200 tax on each class III firearm was well beyond the means of most people of color, but not beyond what the affluential whites could muster. Just in case a person of color had the means to pay the tax, they also mandated that the local chief law enforcement officer having juristiction in the area where the applicant lived sign off before a tax stamp was issued. This allowed the denial of a tax stamp to any person who might seem undesireable to the local constabulary or government who were by no means people of color. This history of gun control in America has been nefarious from the outset, and to date no tangible good has been brought to any American community because of it.

Hkmp5sd
July 13, 2006, 01:43 AM
New fully auto guns are possible to attain if you file the paperwork to become a class III weapons dealer and keep them for yourself as a post dealer sample (I believe) but you have to stay on top of your paperwork, if you let it lapse, then you have to turn in your samples or sell them to another dealer.


Nope. They are considered Post-86 dealer samples and go away with the license. A dealer can retain Pre-86 dealer samples.

Zen21Tao
July 13, 2006, 06:57 AM
The real down side to owning a registered machine gun is price. The simplest Mac 10/11 will cost you around $4000/$5000. Anything decent like an M16, an MP5 or even an AK run in the $15,000 range.

It is sickening to consider the fact that a full auto Glock 18 is roughly the same price as a Glock 17. However, since it is post-86 it can't be transfered to civilians. In fact most post-86 machine guns are very resonably priced but aren't transferable. It is only the legally transferable pre-86 guns that cost a small fortune. This is basically an economic gun ban for most people.

Henry Bowman
July 13, 2006, 10:01 AM
Ferrari: Go get yourself a copy of Unintended Consequences by John Ross [check amazon.com]. It is a novel that will give you the history of the gun culture in America and how the laws have develped. It will answer all the the questions you posed (and several you have not yet considered) and will move you miles ahead in your ability to discuss all of these legal issues.

damyankee
July 13, 2006, 11:06 AM
I could be totally wrong but I was told that certain full auto guns are considered antiques (BAR for example) and do not require the stringent license/background checks and all that jazz. Still, with an 18K price tag you gotta have some money to blow. Again this could all be wrong :neener:

shermacman
July 13, 2006, 11:10 AM
Still, with an 18K price tag you gotta have some money to blow.

Yup, money to blow. Then you have to feed the beast. A full magazine gone in less than a second. Full auto is a good way to turn money into noise...:cool:

kfranz
July 13, 2006, 11:12 AM
I could be totally wrong but I was told that certain full auto guns are considered antiques (BAR for example) and do not require the stringent license/background checks and all that jazz.

Yep, pretty much totally wrong.

M2 Carbine
July 13, 2006, 11:32 AM
I some cases just having the full auto parts in your possession can be a crime.

For instance, if you own a GI M1 Carbine it probably has some M2 (automatic) parts and some Carbines, like the Iver Johnson may be built of all automatic parts.
But these rifles DO NOT (or better not) contain ALL the parts to make them select fire.
Slides, bolts, sears, hammers, trigger housings, etc are parts that may be M2 in your Carbine.
So you are legal owning some M2 Carbine parts but you can not own all six or so that the feds consider to be a machine gun. Even if you don't own a Carbine, you still have a unregistered machine gun.

This is generally not a problem to M1 Carbine owners, that like to have a stock of spare parts, because there's no reason for a M1 Carbine owner to buy or own a couple of the M2 only parts. They have no function in a M1.
In other words, don't buy or possess a Carbine part that's not already installed in your M1.

benEzra
July 13, 2006, 12:43 PM
There is so much information to digest! I was reading at different websites about ATF tax stamps, becoming a dealer, and so on. That stuff is beyond my interest. It is too much work to do just to own an automatic gun. Although it would be cool to fire on a range.
The background check involved to get your Form 4 is similar in scope to a Secret-level government security clearance (sans only the polygraph, I believe), and now typically takes six to eight MONTHS to complete.

As far as getting to shoot one--if you can find a registered owner of a Title 2/Class III automatic weapon, he can let you shoot it under his supervision. Some shooting ranges will even let you rent them (a range I used to frequent would let you shoot a magazine from an Uzi for $30 or so.

I was just curious what all the laws are. The last thing I want to have happen is to find out I've broken some law by ordering a part from a catalogue that is illegal. It would be stupid to get arrested for something which was never intended to be a crime.
And not just any crime, but a felony punishable by ten YEARS in Federal prison...

sofltodd
July 13, 2006, 01:46 PM
The background check involved to get your Form 4 is similar in scope to a Secret-level government security clearance (sans only the polygraph, I believe), and now typically takes six to eight MONTHS to complete.

I think your statement is misleading. To get a NFA firearm you get a background check from the ATF. Don't blow it up as if it were some super secret agent thing. The time a transfer takes is now often less than 60 days since they moved to the West Virginia office.

The bottom line is as a civilian and non FFL/SOT gun dealer dealer (aka most folks)
if you can legally own a pistol or rifle you can own a Sound suppressor, Short barrel rifle, short barrel shotgun, Destructive Device, AOW or an automatic firearm registered under the National Firearms Act. The only limiting factors are if your local state laws allow it or not and your budget.

As far as some full autos being antiques... that is correct to a degree. There is a collectors / dealer license called a Curios and Relics license. This means that qualify as C&R guns can be delivered directly to a person who has a C&R license. This includes some automatic firearms. More info can be found on the BATFE Curio and Relics website (http://www.atf.treas.gov/firearms/curios/index.htm) including a list of firearms which are under C&R status.

Ferrari308 if you are interested in automatic firearms I highly suggest you check out Knob Creek Gun Range (http://www.machinegunshoot.com) in Kentucky which holds their bi-annual machine gun shoot and gun show every October and April. You can watch everything from automatic glock 18 pistols to huge 50 caliber belt-feds and mini-guns and everything in between. You can rent guns and shop around if you are in the mood for buying. There is also sub-machine gun, pistol, shotgun, and rifle competitions.

Stickjockey
July 13, 2006, 02:29 PM
There is so much information to digest!

You have no idea what kind of Pandora's Box you've opened...:evil:

Ferrari308
July 13, 2006, 03:35 PM
Ferrari308 if you are interested in automatic firearms I highly suggest you check out Knob Creek Gun Range in Kentucky which holds their bi-annual machine gun shoot and gun show every October and April. You can watch everything from automatic glock 18 pistols to huge 50 caliber belt-feds and mini-guns and everything in between.

This reminds me of something I watched on PBS a while ago. There is a man in his mid 30's with dark hair and a mustache who has a show on guns. One episode had him on a range where he fired automatic weapons. I wonder if that show in Kentucky is where he went. It looked pretty cool, they had police officers showcasing SWAT gear and they had a shooting competition where regular civilians could go up against police officers and retired military in seeing who can shoot a course the fastest. The way it worked was they had multiple targets, and you had to walk the course and hit the right targets. The one who finished the course the quickest won. It was a big course too, the contestants had to walk a good couple hundred feet and shoot around obsiticles.

I wish they still had that show on PBS. I haven't seen it on television in over six months.

Oh, that competition even had a grandmother there who did the complete course. It looked fun, and like something anyone could complete. It would be fun to try and see what times we could get and compare them to the police who are trained.

carebear
July 13, 2006, 04:37 PM
Ferrari,

Speaking of "police who are trained"...

Here's a whole nother way to spend some money. There is effectively no training available to military and police in this country that cannot be had by a law-abiding citizen with the dough.

Wanna learn to shoot Uzi's from a helicopter? There's a school with a course.

Wanna learn how to clear a house like a SWAT guy? There's a school with a course.

Wanna Australian rappel down a building and shoot in the windows upside down? There's a school with a course.

Wanna learn to use demolitions and blow stuff up? There's a school with a course.

Consistently the top shooters in almost every form of shooting competition are not military but are civilians (many are former mil, but they didn't get that good simply by being in service usually).

Think of it this way, if you have free time and money you can train 24/7/365. Cops and soldiers can't even dream of that, even if they wanted to.

Correia
July 13, 2006, 04:50 PM
benEzra, you are exaggerating. FBMG is an NFA/SOT dealer, and we do lots of transfers. The form 4 is one page, and is about as difficult to go through as getting your CCW. The wait time currently is about 6-8 weeks. When it was taking 8 months, it wasn't due to the enormity of the background check, but rather just the bureaucratic backlog of the ATF.

Hoploholic
July 13, 2006, 09:25 PM
What Corriea said. Fill out the form 4 with chief law enforcement officer sign off, have a professional complete a finger print card and have a couple of passport photos taken. The most tedius part of the LEO sign off. Send it all in and in 60's days give your agent a call and see if he or she will check your status. They will usually let you know where you stand. Some go 6 months but I think the ATF is actually doing better with lead times now.

Just for informational purposes, a polygraph is not required for a secret clearance, or top secret for that matter.

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