Buying a foreign deactivated machine gun?


October 4, 2006, 01:41 AM
There is a deactivated bren listed on gunbroker, but it is located in the UK. Is that legal to buy if you are in the states?

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harvester of sorrow
October 4, 2006, 02:40 AM
I looked through the Machine Gun Dealer's Bible for an answer, and here's what I came up with. I'm not completely conversant with details of a transaction like this, but it looks like dealers, manufacturers and large importers are the people who generally have the wherewithal to do what you are describing. As I understand it, you would be dealing with the State Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Customs Service to bring these parts here. Looks kind of complicated. To begin with, you would fill out a BATFE Form 6 "Application and Permit for Importation of Firearms, Ammunition, and Implements of War," which you can do as an individual, but I can't find anything else on the process in writing. Even if there is a pretty substantial difference in price, my guess is it will be easier and cheaper to just find a Bren parts kit that has already been imported and buy it.

evan price
October 4, 2006, 03:38 AM
IIRC,the Euro standards for demilling do not count in the USA, the BATFE views the receiver as once a machinegun, always a machinegun. I assume you mean it is welded, barrel filled, firing pin removed, etc? Well, the BATFE says it can still be repaired!
If it was "Deactivated" as specified by the BATFE, then it is no longer a gun and can be imported; the receiver is "the gun" in the eyes of the BATFE; however, their definition of how a Bren needs to be dealt with is fairly aggressive and involves torch cutting the entire gun in three pieces, with the cuts rather narrowly defined as to where they must intersect & destroy certain key components, and require a minimum of 1/4" of metal to be blasted away from the cut sites using the gas axe... Basically, it won't be capable of firing ever again. You can possibly remove the receiver and barrel, leave them in the country of origin, and take the rest of the parts, mount up a dummy barrel and receiver, and have a nonfunctional display replica, but that's about all. If you are serious about importing this I advise contacting the BATFE NFA technical branch and confirming what parts are allowed to be imported, to save yourself a trip to Federal Pound-you-in-the-@ss prison.

IIRC there are Bren parts kits already in the USA that are legal. Check out Inter Ordnance.

IIRC Historic Arms LLC was making Semi Auto Brens from parts kits, there are quite a lot of parts that need to be bought including a new receiver. Not cheap.

October 4, 2006, 08:26 AM
Real stickey situation. Some non machinegun parts are not even legal to import. Local guy that is a board member here (USMCSilver) got a call from the ATF about some parts he bought off E-bay for a Walther .22 that were imported illegally and they paid him a visit to pick the parts up. Oh, he also got a summer intern job with the BATFE and I think that's why he no longer visits here.

October 4, 2006, 10:10 AM
If it is old spec (Pre 1995 deactivation) then a lot of the internals will be intact. Over here, that is enough to make it legal, as us Brits don't have access to lots of gun parts and other cool gubbins that you guys do.

Bren guns are cool. See A Bridge Too Far, or Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels for proof of this. :D

October 4, 2006, 10:34 AM
I saw Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and I remember that part. Thinking about that made me laugh this morning. My friend lived in Germany and he said he could have machine guns, he just couldn't have the barrel. Told me it would have been real easy to make a working machine gun if he could sneak the receiver over since we have a bunch of parts kits with barrels around.

I was just browsing around at guns I can't buy right now and I noticed that bren and just got curious. There is another guy from argentina trying to sell a working FN 42(?). I am curious though as to whether these guys know that we can't buy them like that?

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