Pre-ban mags in post-ban gun?


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Dionysusigma
October 10, 2003, 08:23 AM
While at a new gun store (to me, anyhow) the other day, I was ogling the CETMEs and MBRs and so forth, until I found something I've wanted to see for a long time--a Bushmaster M17s Bullpup. After a salesman noticed my interest and handed it to me, I then asked if they had any hi-cap preban AR-15 mags so that I could see how it looks with one in the well.

His response?
"You can't do that--it's against the law."

According to his beliefs, putting a pre-ban mag in a post-ban rifle isn't kosher, but this doesn't sit right with me. I've got an SAR-1, with which I use 40rders with all the time. The date of manufacture, plainly etched upon the side, is 2003. Nobody has ever said anything against it, and plenty of people have seen it so. It was shipped with the mag, plus a 10rder, and after the purchase I didn't have any mysterious black vans follow me home. :uhoh:

So I'm wondering, What's the deal? Is this guy wrong, or what? His logic goes against everything else I've seen or heard... :mad:

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PAshooter
October 10, 2003, 09:17 AM
The guy's just plain wrong.

There can be an issue with some imported semi-autos (such as your SAR-1) with number of foreign-made vs. number of U.S. made parts if you use foreign-made pre-ban full-cap mags (and most AK full-caps fall into this category). Century imported SARs, to be specific, have enough U.S. made parts to permit the legal use of imported mags.

As for U.S. made rifles (like your Bushmaster) - if it's legal for you to own the mag it's legal for you to use it in any firearm (pre or post ban) it fits.

I am not a lawyer, nor do I pretend to be one. But I can read. And I'm pretty certain of the accuracy of the above "opinion." YMMV.

Tamara
October 10, 2003, 09:18 AM
*sigh*

This is one of those guys who gives gun store clerks a bad name.

Yes, he's just plain wrong.

gun-fucious
October 10, 2003, 11:00 AM
you can't be buying a post september 1994 manufactured "high capacity" magazine

but access to the preban ones is fine, dependant on any State restrictions

keederdag
October 10, 2003, 11:09 AM
What a dink; theyre still importing high-cap mags that were manufactured pre-1994:cuss:

RustyHammer
October 10, 2003, 12:01 PM
:banghead:

Rebel Gunman HK
October 10, 2003, 01:04 PM
Just say thanks dummy and walk out.

Chipperman
October 10, 2003, 01:14 PM
Go back to the store. Tell him that he should give a discount on the rifle becuase you can't use hi-caps in it. :evil:

Hkmp5sd
October 10, 2003, 01:23 PM
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND FIREARMS
WASHINGTON, DC 20226

OCT 28 1997
E:CE:FT:RAT
3311


Dear :

This refers to your letter of September 4, 1997, in which ask about using a large capacity magazine in a semiautomatic rifle.

A large capacity magazine having a capacity of more than 10 rounds can be used in any semiautomatic rifle, provided that the magazine was lawfully possessed prior to September 14, 1994. It is unlawful for an individual to possess or transfer a large capacity magazine which was manufactured after September 13, 1994. We have included for your perusal additional information on semiautomatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices.

We trust that the foregoing has been responsive to your inquiry. If we may be of further assistance, please contact us.



Sincerely yours,
[signed]
Edward M. Owen, Jr.
Chief, Firearms Technology Branch

http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/user/wbardwel/public/nfalist/atf_letter26.txt

PAshooter
October 10, 2003, 01:30 PM
Is it just me, or is this letter intentionally unclear?

1) You can use a hi-cap in any rifle, provided it (the magazine) "was lawfully possessed prior to September 14, 1994."

2) "It is unlawful for an individual to possess or transfer a large capacity magazine which was manufactured after September 13, 1994. "

OK - what about a magazine that was manufactured prior to September 13, 1994 that you only acquired recently? We all know those are perfectly legal to acquire / use (depending on individual state laws) - but this letter doesn't address that situation... does it?

Dionysusigma
October 10, 2003, 03:08 PM
MDShooter--

Can anything be posessed before it's manufactured?;)

GSB
October 10, 2003, 03:53 PM
Is it just me, or is this letter intentionally unclear?

It's not you. It's a poorly written letter that doesn't cover the most important question: pre-bans bought post-ban.

PAshooter
October 10, 2003, 03:57 PM
dionysusigma:

I think you missed the point I was trying to make. What about a mag that was manufactured before 9/13/94 (making it a "pre-ban") but that you didn't possess until after (perhaps well after) that date? A situation many of us are in which does not seem to be addressed by this letter.

Or perhaps I'm splitting semantic hairs ;)

PAshooter
October 10, 2003, 03:58 PM
Thanks GSB. You expressed my point much more clearly than I did :)

AJ Dual
October 10, 2003, 04:34 PM
Note that the ATF letter merely says "Lawfully posessed prior...", NOT "Lawfully posessed by YOU prior...".

That means pre-94 mags would be legally posessed by whoever, the manufacturer, the distributor, the retailer, then you. You were all in legal posession throughout the magazine's existance.

As long as the pre-94 mag functions in the original firearm it was designed for, it is legal to use in any other type of firearm, pre or post that accepts it, at least from a Federal law/ATF standpoint.

A post-94 .gov/LEO only magazine would be "lawully posessed" by the manufacturer, the distributor, the retailer, then .mil or LEO. But the minute you joe-citizen posesses it, it's illegal.

Barring som major unforseen backstabbing in the House of Reps, we'll be able to put all this silliness behind us, for awhile at least, when the ban expires in Sept. 14 '04.

Smoke
October 10, 2003, 05:26 PM
"You can't do that--it's against the law."

A common interpretation.

I beleive it to be wrong. Until someone can show me that it is illegal I will continue to use all my hi-caps that I bought after the '94 ban.

GSB
October 10, 2003, 10:40 PM
Note that the ATF letter merely says "Lawfully posessed prior...", NOT "Lawfully posessed by YOU prior...".

Oh boy, if we have to parse everything that fine, those of us not lawyers are in trouble. That's probably exactly what it means though.

Hkmp5sd
October 11, 2003, 12:04 AM
The purpose of this letter is to request determination regarding the legality of using high capacity magazines in imported semiautomatic rifles.

1. Is it allowable to use high capacity magazines (i.e. 20 round, 30 round, 75 round) in semiautomatic rifles currently being imported into this country (i.e. Bulgarian SLR-95, Egyptian Maadi ARM, Romanian WUM-1, Century Arms FAL Sporters)?

2. If a semiautomatic rifle was imported after 1989, does the date of import of a semiautomatic rifle have any bearing on the legality using high capacity magazines in the imported semiautomatic rifle? If so, please provide the criteria for determining which configuration would be allowable or examples of allowable configurations.

harpethriver
October 11, 2003, 11:38 AM
Of course he's wrong-my new Para P-14 came w/14 rd. pre-ban mags. If it was even remotely illegal Para wouldn't have shipped them, the gun shop wouldn't have sold them and I wouldn't have been able to even buy them. If you're still not sure why don't you contact the ATF-they'll give you an honest, objective opinion, after all they're the government and they're here to help!!

C.R.Sam
October 11, 2003, 01:17 PM
Since it is subject to interpretation;

I would NOT show that ATF letter to inquisitive law enforcement as backing for possession of a pre-ban made, post ban acquired mag.

Sam

jrhead75
October 11, 2003, 04:14 PM
A SAR-1 comes NIB with one 10 rd mag and one 40 rd mag. Considering all the trouble Century goes through to replace the proper number of parts, I kind of doubt they'd then throw in an illegal magazine...

State law's one thing, but the feds are only after that brand new post '94 LE only hi-cap some civilian's got in his/her Beretta.

Aikibiker
October 11, 2003, 05:34 PM
The ATF said
If we may be of further assistance, please contact us.
Oh man is this ever tempting.

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