Can somebody in the military bring home a legal captured weapon?


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Dreamcast270mhz
March 31, 2011, 10:20 PM
Just wondering, and not like a full auto AK, like a TT pistol or SKS as one might capture after a skirmish in Iraq or Iran. My friend, whose shipping out to Iraq in May, said he did not know so I wanted to know are you even allowed to?

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justin 561
March 31, 2011, 10:26 PM
"War trophies, per se, are not against the law," said Maj. Matthew W. Cord, the director of the Criminal Law Division for Marine Corps Base. "The definition of a war trophy is something we take from the enemy - not (from) enemy personnel. ... When I say we, I mean the Marine Corps. Individuals do not take it; it's done as an institution, the Department of the Navy or the Department of Defense."

contraband items:

* Personal effects of enemy fighters or prisoners. U.S. troops returning with such items could face larceny charges under military law, along with international, federal and state laws and general orders.
* Weapons, pieces of weapons and ordnance, according to Lt. Col. Thomas G. Scully, the staff judge advocate for the 1st Marine Division rear element.

War trophies that might pass muster, based on 1st Marine Division guidance:

* Uniform items - military blouses, trousers, berets, helmets, belts, sashes, boots and gloves.
* Uniform accoutrements - military rank insignia, shoulder patches, shoulder straps, epaulets and buttons.
* Individual equipment - gas masks, swagger sticks, cartridge belts, mess kits, canteens, ammunition pouches, map cases, compasses, binoculars and other optics.
* Unit equipment - unit insignia, military photos, training manuals and training posters.
* Other - nonlethal items conforming with the spirit and intent of expressed guidance.

But also read: http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=27640

bayhawk2
March 31, 2011, 10:29 PM
I don't think so.I have however,heard of soldiers breaking
the stuff down to a small size and shipping it home
that way.A trigger assembly here,a forearm stock there,
a magazine in this package,etc.Don't know if it's still
true today,but heard it happened in past wars.

Dreamcast270mhz
March 31, 2011, 10:30 PM
Hmm... Thats stupid

WardenWolf
March 31, 2011, 10:30 PM
Short answer is, not anymore. There's no legal path to get a captured weapon back home anymore. That is sadly a thing of the past. I'm not sure who we have to thank for that, either.

Travis McGee
March 31, 2011, 10:39 PM
Until at least the Viet Nam era it was very common to bring enemy weapons home. My father in law brought home two Japanese Arisaka rifles, a Nambu pistol and two samurai swords. My next door neighbor brought home a German Luger.

Dreamcast270mhz
March 31, 2011, 10:53 PM
So why is it exactly illegal to bring back a rifle that you can legally own in the states?

EddieNFL
March 31, 2011, 10:56 PM
Several years ago a USAF major tried. He may be free by now.

Dreamcast270mhz
March 31, 2011, 10:59 PM
So I wonder if it would be illegal to bring back a PSOP scope from iraq?

justin 561
March 31, 2011, 11:02 PM
"We didn't go into Iraq or Afghanistan to conquer them, but to liberate them," said Marine Capt. Bruce Frame, a Central Command spokesman. "Taking articles from those countries sends the wrong message."

From the Defense.gov article.

Dreamcast270mhz
March 31, 2011, 11:04 PM
^Disagree

BleysAhrens
March 31, 2011, 11:08 PM
I knew a Marine who brought back a few pounds of gold items back from the last Iraq invasion..

fatcat4620
March 31, 2011, 11:29 PM
Sounds like thw key here is don't get caught.

SharpsDressedMan
March 31, 2011, 11:39 PM
Weapons captured have been legitimate war trophies for individual soldiers for almost 200 years in this country. Having served during the Viet Nam years, I find it unnacceptable today, that some bureaucratic and military leaders have "decreed" that this can no longer be. The military may not be a democracy, but I say let either the people of this country or the serving soldiers decide by a vote if weapons should be allowed to be brought back as souveniers. If every person ready to enlist, and every soldier ready to re-enlist refused to do so until this personal respect and sovereignity for service rendered by our fighting men is restored, then I would be behind them 100%. I would not serve again until they paid me that right/courtesy, and a few other points of respect that have also been lost along the way in the name of "political correctness". If it was good enough for our founding fathers, my grandfather (WWI), my dad (WWII), and for myself, then it should be so for the men fighting in our behalf today.

justin 561
March 31, 2011, 11:43 PM
^^ And face: (meant for fatcats post)

A few soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division understand how serious the command is. Some soldiers tried to smuggle weapons back from Baghdad, and they have gone through courts martial. Others received Article 15 administrative punishments. "There is a whole spectrum of punishments, depending on the severity of the offense," said Maj. Robert Resnick, an Army lawyer at Fort Stewart, Ga.

ATBackPackin
March 31, 2011, 11:50 PM
I may be wrong, but I don't think it was ever legal. I just think that now they actually enforce and look for it. I know my grandfather told me that the Walther PP he brought back, and gave to me before he died, that he had to sneak it back and that was obviously WWII. So it was done and done quite a bit, but I think people kinda looked the other way then. With the politics around guns now I think that the military has really cracked down on it.

Tim the student
April 1, 2011, 12:29 AM
Generally speaking, no. Well, a bayonet was no problem for me, but that isn't what you're asking about.

I have heard of guys legally taking weapons back from Afghanistan, but I think only bought, not captured. Only antiques too.

HorseSoldier
April 1, 2011, 12:29 AM
So I wonder if it would be illegal to bring back a PSOP scope from iraq?

Generally, gun parts are a red flag/bad idea.

BLACKHAWKNJ
April 1, 2011, 01:30 AM
The rule in Vietnam was that you couldn't bring back anything full auto-an AK-47, e.g., or had originally been US-an M-1 Carbine, e.g. For front line troops the usual procedure was as you were outprocessing they let you pick something out of pile, filled out a form labeled "War Trophy" or something like that, and you were good to go. Higher ups, people who worked in transport, etc. had their own ways of bringing things back. No sneaking things through in duffle bags, we-us lower ranking types-didn't have them. You turned in all your TA 50 at your unit, left your ratty jungle fatigues and boots there, you (at least I did)-wore a set of khakis with a small AWOL bag. I did bring home a Chinese Type 54-copy of Soviet M1944 all wra
pped up.
Again, different today, from what I have gathered the troops aren't allowed to bring anything back.

chihuahuatn
April 1, 2011, 01:43 AM
BLACKHAWKNJ there were a few dozen Chicom AK-47, that were Vietnam war vet bring backs that made it in before the 68' law went into effect. Vietnam bring-back AKs have been known to turn up from time to time and command a previous in price.

Mike

snake284
April 1, 2011, 01:47 AM
After the end of the war in Europe in 45, my dad brougth home several pistols, such as Lugers, Walthers, a Mauser (Pistol that is). He went over on the Queen Mary and came home on the Queen Elizabeth or vice versa. As I remember it, he said there were like at least 5,000 pilots and soldiers on the ship coming home. My dad was a fighter pilot in the 8th airforce in a P-51 and a lot of them were happy they had survived the war. Of course they were looking forward to getting to go to the Pacific, because they had no clue what was about to happen with the atom bomb and they were facing another bloody battle with the die hard Japanese. So they acted like there was no tomorrow. They played pocker night and day aboard ship and my dad won some guns and lost some in the pocker games. Also he won a sizeable amout of cash too. All that's left of those guns is the one little Mauser 7.65 or 32 ACP. He let the rest slip away. He never was a real gun person. He loved to quail and squirrel hunt in East Texas where he was born and raised. But he was not a collector of firearms as he was more in to golf and other sports. So the Mauser is all I have of the bring homes.

hueytaxi
April 1, 2011, 01:57 AM
Same situation for me. I had a Viet Cong restocked SKS made with local wood and crude. Exterior badly pitted yet the operating mechanism looked pristine. I have never fired or lubricated it since 1970 and it still looks the same today.
I had to declare it as I received my orders home and could not ship it with my "hold baggage". It was wrapped in heavy brown paper and returned to me with documentation. I was required to hand transport it home. Flying commercially to SF and then Jax Fl I would hand the rifle to the stew and she would stand it in the coat rack until I deplaned. I would then carry it in the airport as I changed flights. Unthinkable today and no one ever raised an eyebrow.

BushyGuy
April 1, 2011, 02:00 AM
must be nice to bring home some war trophies! i would love to have a 9mm luger off a dead german officer!

matty-vb
April 1, 2011, 02:03 AM
can't bring anything back. even fake "antique" rifles that are for sale here in all of the bizzars are a no go unless you have a memo from your CO.

Shadow 7D
April 1, 2011, 04:16 AM
um, not captured (that was turned in for evidence in their trial -100% serious)

But I know of two guys, one bought all sorts of knifes and bayonets, and for the bayonets there was some paperwork, as that raised the MP's eye

The other one got stuck on the plane for 3 hours waiting for the JAG, Airforce SP and an ATF inspector, along with customs, decide if he had the proper paper work, and if so, if it was filled out correctly, all that for some old Martinis he bought at a local Bazaar, but, the one that walked customs with NO Problems, was a demilled Henry Martini, done by either a EOD or SF foreign weapons guy and papered as such, that hung on the orderly room wall. The brigade had captured weapons, the were demilled before they left the country and papered as War Trophies, technically the belonged to the Division museum, And the latest one I saw was from Grenada.

Grapevine
April 1, 2011, 08:36 AM
I brought a Chicom Type 56 SKS from Vietnam home with me. I have the temporary export license, War Throphy Registration and a copy of my orders with the rifle listed on them. After I had been home for about 6 months, my Dad called and told me I had an official looking letter from The Republic of Vietnam. It contained the Export License from The Republic of Vietnam on official letterhead stationary. I think maybe my paperwork is worth more than the SKS with non matching numbered parts.

Grapevine
Phu Cat AFB RVN Mar 70-71

leadcounsel
April 1, 2011, 08:49 AM
In a word, no working captured firearms.

I consider myself an authority on the matter after this Iraq deployment when this question was asked and I researched the heck out of it.

General Order #1 prohibits the personal possession of personal firearms and munitions in Iraq and Afgahnistan and presumably elsewhere. With notable exception to Afghanistan in 06, when pre-1898 "antique" firearms could be purchased on the market and brought home under an exception to the General Order. However, then there are customs issues and possibly ATF issues and then homestate issues (if any).

For a Servicemember to be able to bring home a weapon, he'd need an exception to the General Order #1. That's generally a nonstarter. Assuming he got that, he'd need clearance from customs. And then any other pertinent federal and state agencies.

Now, a Battalion or larger size unit can accept a gifted weapon on behalf of the US Government, but there is a lot of paperwork involved and sadly the weapon is permanently demilled. They weld a steel rod in the barrel, weld the crown shut, remove the firing pin, and welt the bolt shut. The are letters from the Command, gifting unit, a legal review by JAG, and then off to customs for authorization. A real PITA for a wall-hanger.

Sad, really on several counts, to include the fact that Uncle Sam is so paranoid about servicemembers bringing home bolt action rifles and handguns.

Now, as to bayonets and other non-weapon memorabilia, there is an allowance for this stuff - but it also requires approval paperwork from the Command.

Also - I will add to tell your friend to distance that thought from his head about bringing home a firearm. No legal way to do it for most folks. And he should never consider smuggling it. He will get caught. Customs is so thorough they make everyone feel violated, frankly. And customs is on to the tricks and gimmicks. After a decade they got pretty good at finding hidden compartments, false box bottoms, the 'firearm in the printer', and mailing a rifle home in pieces. Everything is searched and Xrayed and a $300 firearm isn't worth prison or a dishonorable discharge.

Gordon_Freeman
April 1, 2011, 10:38 AM
Soldiers fighting wars should be allowed to bring home captured guns be they full auto or not. They deserve that much at least.

Devonai
April 1, 2011, 11:02 AM
To echo what Leadcouncil said, I've heard from guys in my unit who've returned from theater that customs is no joke. They also complain about the confiscation of booze and energy drinks with ephedrine.

Tim the student
April 1, 2011, 11:27 AM
Customs is definitely no joke anymore.

They also complain about the confiscation of booze and energy drinks with ephedrine.

Booze is definitely contrary to General Order #1, and I think ephedrine is too.

essayons21
April 1, 2011, 01:08 PM
Now, a Battalion or larger size unit can accept a gifted weapon on behalf of the US Government, but there is a lot of paperwork involved and sadly the weapon is permanently demilled. They weld a steel rod in the barrel, weld the crown shut, remove the firing pin, and welt the bolt shut. The are letters from the Command, gifting unit, a legal review by JAG, and then off to customs for authorization. A real PITA for a wall-hanger.


While this is technically true, it is widely ignored by units. If a CSM or First Sergeant wants to bring a weapon home in the weapons conex, it happens. A few units, who will not be named, brought back a few guns, including a M1919 sans feed tray cover.

I know of another unit, division level, that restored and brought home a Korea era US tank that had somehow made it into Saddam's inventory, and I know the gun wasn't demilled before leaving Iraq.

And don't forget the Glock 18 recovered by SF and presented to GWB for his presidential library. I know that it is now property of the US government, but I highly doubt it was brought out with the proper paperwork.

For every soldier caught smuggling a weapon, there is at least one more who make it. Smuggling it on your person or in your effects is a losing proposition, but there are pretty well known smuggling methods that are still effective. For example, a M203 tube makes a handy compartment for Cuban cigars, and they don't show up even when the weapon is x-ray'd.

And yes, all personal issue weapons are x-ray'd twice before leaving country. As a soldier, it really gives you pride to think of how much your government trusts you.

Shadow 7D
April 1, 2011, 03:53 PM
Easyon
kinda
I had the distinct privilege (and that is said MOST SARCASTICALLY)
of helping supply do customs
they had a printout of the MTOE from stateside (and yes that includes SN's)
And so did the guy from Division, and it took a while to show the paperwork for what got replaced, destroyed etc. So yeah, it gets kinda funny when you have a pair of NOD's that hanging up the entire connex, cause two battle buddies got theirs mixed up. Interestingly, the customs guy was fine, everything was on his list, it was the command/division who wanted to know where the missing one was...

Now that said, there are ways, I know of what walked, but, honestly it isn't worth it, especially since all the fun stuff is illegal anyways...

HarleyFixer
April 1, 2011, 04:02 PM
No, our government has decided that we are allowed to die for our country but are not allowed any captured weapons. When I came home you could not even bring home bayonets or knives.

KimberUltra
April 1, 2011, 04:14 PM
Its possible to get things back to the states. The mailing it in small pieces wrapped in socks is still working for some people I've heard about.

Rembrandt
April 1, 2011, 04:25 PM
There are limitations to what can be brought back....my son shipped back a couple Martini-Enfield rifles and bayonets he purchased at a Kabul gun shop on his first tour of Afghanistan. The restrictions on these was that they were produced prior to 1898. I also have the proper signed military paperwork that was needed to ship it back to the states.

Here's a pic.....not something you would call usable or captured. (Built 1873)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Martini5.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Martini6.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Martini7.jpg

DammitBoy
April 1, 2011, 04:25 PM
I know plenty of guys in the Air National Guard who have 'brought' weapons back from Turkey and other hot spots in the middle east.

Not getting caught seems to be much easier if you have your own airplane.

SharpsDressedMan
April 1, 2011, 04:27 PM
If I were a soldier, I would not respect any government or military that doesn't respect me. It's a mutal thing, unless one really DOES have a low opinion of one's self.

ehanger
April 1, 2011, 04:29 PM
Bringing home enemy weapons is perfectly okay, just ask George Bush.

http://artfularticulations.blogspot.com/2009/07/president-bush-saddam-hussein-and-glock.html

"Before Mr. Bush left the White House in January, he made arrangements for the gun to be shipped to a national archives warehouse just 18 miles north of his new home in Dallas. His foundation said a final decision had not been made on including the gun in the presidential library. But his associates and visitors to the White House said Mr. Bush had told them of his intention to display it there.

For nearly five years, Mr. Bush kept the mounted, glass-encased pistol in the Oval Office or a study, showing it with pride, especially to military officials, they said. He also let visitors in on a secret: when the pistol was recovered, it was unloaded. ..."

SWAT1911
April 1, 2011, 04:59 PM
That poor martini....

Shadow 7D
April 1, 2011, 06:09 PM
Bringing home enemy weapons is perfectly okay, just ask George Bush.

actually it wasn't his...
look up federal gifting regs

ILikeLead
April 1, 2011, 06:16 PM
The military...as led by today's politicians... don't even let soldiers carry their sidearms on base, so why in the world would they allow them to bring home enemy weapons???

I disagree with both policies. My grandfather brought home a Luger from WW2 with a holster and German soldier's name written in pencil inside!

John E.
April 1, 2011, 06:23 PM
So why is it exactly illegal to bring back a rifle that you can legally own in the states?

My reasoning might elicit a lot of non-High Road responses and aspersions on my manhood, but I don't care.

Here's the answer:

Because stealing stuff is wrong - even if you are a US soldier and the other guy was shooting at you.

SharpsDressedMan
April 1, 2011, 06:50 PM
John E.: Ever been a soldier, or in a war? Maybe you'd understand. It's a whole nuther way of life, and thus a whole nuther way of looking at life. It gives you a certain "entitlement", totally different than the entitlement that people on welfare, etc, seem to have. You risk your life for your country, and they honor you with letting you bring home a few spoils of war; little curios and relics that you can reminisce over after you are lucky enough to come home. A little reward that doesn't cost the government anything to let you have, as a compensation for the number that the war will do on your mind and soul. It isn't much, but they sure as hell do not need to deny you that, if you WANT to bring home some souvnirs. After taking the enemy's life, taking a souvenir is really nothing, is it?

S.W.G.
April 1, 2011, 06:55 PM
Because stealing stuff is wrong - even if you are a US soldier and the other guy was shooting at you.

How could you possibly consider that stealing?

Soldiers have been bringing home war trophies since we were cavemen, there's nothing wrong with it.

Tim the student
April 1, 2011, 07:11 PM
I think a lot of it may be that we don't have a conventional battlefield now, and most Iraqi men have AKs and other guns. IMO, there are plenty of s-bag soldiers (to include NCOs and officers) that would feel "entitled" to seize a gun for the sole purpose of bringing it home.

FWIW, the weapon I brought home legally was a bayonet. While I would like an AK instead, the bayonet serves its purpose as a souvenir. It isn't like those are hard to get home.

This whole entitlement thing trips me out. Entitled to what? Being able to do what they signed up to do? You know, go to war?

SharpsDressedMan
April 1, 2011, 07:21 PM
I'm still thinking the people who find it "illegal" or object to it are people who have not experienced war. I would give any standing to "objection" to those that have paid the dues.

EddieNFL
April 1, 2011, 08:00 PM
Because stealing stuff is wrong - even if you are a US soldier and the other guy was shooting at you.

To the victor go the spoils. Losing sucks.

Such attitudes would have sent most combat veterans of the greatest generation to prison.

WardenWolf
April 1, 2011, 10:36 PM
There are limitations to what can be brought back....my son shipped back a couple Martini-Enfield rifles and bayonets he purchased at a Kabul gun shop on his first tour of Afghanistan. The restrictions on these was that they were produced prior to 1898. I also have the proper signed military paperwork that was needed to ship it back to the states.

Here's a pic.....not something you would call usable or captured. (Built 1873)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Martini5.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Martini6.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Martini7.jpg
Though for all you know, it may have been built last week at a Khyber Pass factory. You do realize they make copies of old guns like that, of varying quality, that can, at best, be indistinguishable from the real thing. They even put fake date stamps on them. I would highly suspect that any "old" rifle like that from Afghanistan is, in fact a fake. These rifles generally are not safe to fire, as the metallurgy on them is usually poor and they're often manufactured from materials such as melted down railroad rails and spikes, or any other scrap metal they can get their hands on.

Shadow 7D
April 2, 2011, 12:14 AM
Yeah, BUT, some of that steel is better quality than what the originals were made with...
now if you could only find some old nitro stock film to make the traditional bullets with....

You really do have to know the proper stamping to find what is real and what isn't, I think SOG or one of them had a batch of Khybers, I forget, but they were good enough to get past a professional buyer.

Ignition Override
April 2, 2011, 01:25 AM
Full-automatics must be highly illegal as "prizes".

About a year ago a coworker in either the ANG or AFRES told me that one or two guys in a C-17 or C-5 squadron (McGuire AFB, Dover or Charleston?) were in serious trouble.

All he said was that they sneaked an AK or two back from Iraq.
If this is true, and If they were charged, it might have been in a civilian court.

Young guys don't seem to realize that somebody always talks about an illegal activity, and somebody always notices unusual or suspicious behavior.

Forklift352
April 2, 2011, 02:56 AM
One of the best reasons(for me) to go into battle WOULD
be the opratunaty to collect all the guns I could..LOL
Be it a pistol or a full auto.I would be willing to reg.,pay the
BS tax, and shipping.

But we can't do it ,so I just won't enlist......sorry suckers

Grunt Medic TXARNG
April 2, 2011, 05:37 AM
Actually forklift, if you don't feel the desire to enlist just to serve, then we don't want you. We 'suckers' will just have to do the best we can on our own...

You can find the 'opratunaty' to own whatever firearms you like by working and saving up your pennies just like the rest of us do - even those of us who have the privilege of wearing the uniform.

Shadow 7D
April 2, 2011, 05:39 AM
PLEASE
forklift

STAY AWAY from anything that requires 'service'
you need a few years and a new attitude.

Rembrandt
April 2, 2011, 10:09 AM
Though for all you know, it may have been built last week at a Khyber Pass factory.....I would highly suspect that any "old" rifle like that from Afghanistan is, in fact a fake.......they're often manufactured from materials such as melted down railroad rails and spikes, or any other scrap metal they can get their hands on.

It's been authenticated, no fake.

leadcounsel
April 2, 2011, 04:23 PM
What everyone should realize is that the modern military is a large entity that is prolifically paranoid and mistrustful of its Soldiers and is strongly anti-gun, and is wholely risk averse. Combine all of these and it's no surprise that Soldiers cannot have 'bring backs.'

While I strongly disagree with the policy of 'no bringbacks', there is SOME legitimacy in the policy. Imagine if Soldiers were allowed to bring these back, there could be serious issues with looting, alleged looting, and even Soldiers getting injured or killed out on 'hunting missions' for their war trophy. The enemy could seize on this mentality and booby trap arms... Again, I don't fully buy into this, but there is some legitimacy to be made from it. We need Soldiers focused on the mission, not their war trophy...

Java51
April 2, 2011, 05:11 PM
I sent a Chinese SKS home in a big box of books from Can Tho, RVN in 1972.
I remember getting the MACV War Trophy documents from the MP's, getting our CO's signature, and off it went. My father picked it up from the Seneca Army Depot in Ovid, NY. a few weeks later. My Father told me that my high-school aged brother (a gun nut like me) went with him and couldn't wait to get his hands on it. Believe me when I tell you that SKS's were a very, very rare item in those days and my brother took it to many of our gun friends for a show and tell. When I finally arrived home in 1973, I bought a box of 7.62 x 39 from the old Creekside Gunshop in Holcomb, NY. It was in a non-descript white box marked with the caliber and made by Lapua, IIRC.
DC

SharpsDressedMan
April 2, 2011, 05:56 PM
Above is an example of why the policy allowing captured enemy weapons to be brought home by G.I.'s has legitimacy. Here, Java51 did the paper, brought it home, all legit, no problems, no crimes. What is wrong with that? If there were provisions for doing it, honest soldiers would follow them. They don't alow it now because it just bothers some people in positions of authority, not for any new valid reasons.

EddieNFL
April 2, 2011, 06:13 PM
They don't alow it now because it just bothers some people in positions of authority, not for any new valid reasons.

Sad, but true.

Stevie-Ray
April 2, 2011, 06:15 PM
Short answer is, not anymore. There's no legal path to get a captured weapon back home anymore. That is sadly a thing of the past. I'm not sure who we have to thank for that, either.Just a hunch, but I would bet Jimmy Carter. A buddy of mine "liberated" an SKS from one of the soldiers he came face to face with in Vietnam. He was able to bring it home. I have a Luger that was "Captured Enemy Equipment" and the original certificate for it from WWII.

Dreamcast270mhz
April 2, 2011, 06:37 PM
Whatever the reason, it is dumb. But I wouldn't serve in our military either, because of the corruption of this nation and the neglect of our soldiers, one such neglect is evident on some MREs: Not suitable for prison use is stamped on them. Before I hijack my own thread, lets cut the whole serving arguement short.

If they ever enact the draft and I get drafted hell i'll do whatever I see fit (within reason) over in another country, because my right to say no has been taken from me.

Ignition Override
April 2, 2011, 07:50 PM
leadcounsel:

A guy who runs often at Shelby Farms saw two guys using a semi-auto AK when they saw a deer. This area is laced with trails, roads and suburbs. Check it on Googlearth.

The main problem is that they were only 100-200-300 yards from multiple dirt jogging/biking trails, which parallel and go to the Wolf River.

This guy Tom said he told them "Cease fire! cease fire!" when he heard multiple shots. They ran to their truck which had "Marines" stickers and scooted away in reverse on the levee. Any deputy might have confiscated their rifle and truck.
Tom had the impression that they had recently served in combat in "the Sandbox" and might have felt very gung-ho and fearless after being in dangerous operations.

I would have thanked the young guys very much for their service, but pointed out that lots of people were at risk from a stray bullet.

HorseSoldier
April 2, 2011, 09:00 PM
Soldiers fighting wars should be allowed to bring home captured guns be they full auto or not. They deserve that much at least.

To preface: I've got 17 years in uniform between the active and reserve side of things, so when I talk about what troops should or shouldn't be able to do I'm also talking about what applies to me, not just armchairing this.

That said -- there are some of the finest people you'll ever meet in the military and also some of the worst scumbags imaginable. People do deserve credit and praise for going in harms way even if they're utter scumbags (and I've served with some scumbags I want with me kicking in a door, even if I don't trust them around my car stereo and dread their test results on a unit UA). That doesn't mean they aren't coming back from a deployment and getting out (or staying in) and setting up meth labs (seen those in barracks -- kind of an awkward power point slide for the Zeros to float by a battalion commander at weekly training meetings . . .) or otherwise going off the rails wholesale. One of my problem children racked up seventeen felony charges in one ridiculously ill considered evening -- give that guy a bring back AKM to play with too? Are you high? :confused:

When we're giving out waivers for gang tats and all sorts of wonky criminal backgrounds it would be insane to say you can enlist for a few years and then roll back onto the block with the AK and PK MG they hauled back from downrange.

Now, if the government wanted to look at some sort of program where 20 years of creditable service and an honorable discharge making you eligible for a take home M4 or M16, I could maybe get behind that. Sticking with the job for two decades and not going off the rails would at least greatly decrease the odds of you busting back out your Crips/Bloods/Latin Kings/blah blah blah colors and getting back into slinging drugs on the corner or jumping on your Harley and going all 1% Outlaw Biker. But even that's a pipe dream (and even if they let it happen, someone would manage to screw it up pretty quickly I'm betting).

7thCavScout
April 2, 2011, 09:03 PM
No dice when I was in the sand box. We couldn't even bring home captured night vision devices.

Mike OTDP
April 2, 2011, 09:45 PM
Part of the problem is GCA '68, IIRC. Up until then, it was pretty easy to bring back small arms. Almost customary, even. If you really wanted to be a stickler, you could file formal paperwork.

I understand that nobody asked questions for the rest of the Vietnam War...but by the time that the Gulf War rolled around, bringbacks were out of the question. Although I have heard a lot of rumors...and know for a fact that some of our pilots were carrying personal sidearms.

My own opinion? Go back to the old system, allow everybody to bring back ONE non-NFA firearm. Better honest war trophies than smuggling.

SharpsDressedMan
April 3, 2011, 12:29 AM
HorseSoldier, if the military can't clean their own house of felony offenders (druggies, etc), they have no right to complain or deny a soldier who legitimately applies for returning with an otherwise legal weapon. Even if they decided to allow AK's and other full autos to those who qualify NFA background checks, etc, that should be possible and could legitimately be done with an exemption for those serving in the military. In other words, if it ultimately legal to own any given weapon here, why not let those who qualify bring them back? Any soldier who would qualify after an NFA background check should be able to bring back a full auto weapon. If full autos were illegal, there wouldn't BE a National Fireams registry.

gym
April 3, 2011, 12:40 AM
Nothing says you can't send it with a phoney name to an address like a business. The liklihood of getting caught is low. Besides you can't control what someone sends you, only what you send.

Rocketmedic
April 3, 2011, 12:56 AM
Actually, a lot of it ties into safety. The vast majority of the weapons in the nations we're currently fighting in are not safe to shoot, nor are they of quality. Those that are are mostly owned by the local government or legitimate owners, and allowing bringbacks would quickly result in a lot of theft (believe me, I was tempted when I was left alone in a roomful of Iraqi Glocks) but I really believe we should leave the bringback policy in the dust.

That being said, I really hope that when M4 and M16 are replaced, they go to CMP.

Birdmang
April 3, 2011, 12:57 AM
Once a machine gun, always a machine gun. I don't think that they will go CMP.

HorseSoldier
April 3, 2011, 01:05 AM
HorseSoldier, if the military can't clean their own house of felony offenders (druggies, etc), they have no right to complain or deny a soldier who legitimately applies for returning with an otherwise legal weapon.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm not opposed to guys being allowed to bring back stuff like Maks, bolt guns, or other stuff that's legal under US law and with some sort of rational system in place to allow it. I'm just very much aware that allowing guys to bring back AKs will result in a portion of those AKs being used for criminal enterprises.

Even if they decided to allow AK's and other full autos to those who qualify NFA background checks, etc, that should be possible and could legitimately be done with an exemption for those serving in the military.

Again, I can get behind the idea of allowing trophy machineguns to come in if someone wanted to go the NFA route (or a modified one, I suppose, since it would mean a new MG getting added to the mix) and treated as such.

My bone of contention was the premise that just because a guy deployed he should be allowed to bring back. That's bad business practice. A guy who deploys and goes through some sort of vetting process more stringent than the sometimes boggling and seemingly non-existent process to get into uniform is a different thing than just saying "here's your combat patch now go pick out an AK from the stack over there."

finz50
April 3, 2011, 11:40 PM
We had a SNCO get caught when he tried to bring one back for the snack bar.....still got an Article 15/NJP from the two star general...

razorback2003
April 4, 2011, 03:05 PM
I had relatives that brought weapons back from WWII. They were treated like heroes instead of like children from what they told me.

It is sad that most guys in the military can't bring back weapons from the sand boxes because we might hurt the other side's 'feelings'. I think the higher ups worry more about taking care of the other side than putting our people first and that's not just our military service members who are treated like children.

War is horrible. I wish it on no one. Our military guys should never have to go through the disgrace of customs or X rays or any of that crap. If they find a pistol or knife overseas while fighting, then so be it. They are heroes and should be treated like it. When we fail to honor those who protect us and treat them like children, where will we end up?

mgmorden
April 4, 2011, 04:39 PM
Personally, I see the policy against it as a good thing.

I have no issue with the buying and owning of guns in this country - of any type. IMHO I would completely repeal the laws against full-auto ownership etc.

That said, it sends the wrong message. You go to a country to fight to either defend this country or one of it's allies. We're not going over there to slaughter people for prizes or trinkets.

War is an ugly thing, but is often necessary. We should maintain an army of professional soldiers - not a bunch of mercenaries and thugs out to bring back "trophies".

Just my personal opinion. Naturally anyone is free to hold their own opinion on the situation but the current powers that be seem to be in agreement over the issue.

Other the other hand, if they wish to legitimately BUY weapons while they're over there, I wouldn't subject them to any hassle bringing those weapons back into the country.

EddieNFL
April 4, 2011, 08:06 PM
Naturally anyone is free to hold their own opinion on the situation but the current powers that be seem to be in agreement over the issue.

These same "powers" require GIs to register personal firearms and in some cases are prohibited from keeping them in on-base quarters (housing, not barracks). If the "powers" decided GIs should not own firearms, you would be okay with that?

Bringing back a souvenir, firearm or not, does not make one a thug or mercenary. I have non-firearm souvenirs; my grandfather and two uncles have/had firearm souvenirs from WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Your terminology is insulting...even more so as these souvenirs were taken while defending your right to have such opinions.

essayons21
April 4, 2011, 10:17 PM
Because stealing stuff is wrong - even if you are a US soldier and the other guy was shooting at you.

Last I checked, killing people, blowing up buildings, and generally causing mayhem and destruction are considered to be wrong in polite society, but those are necessary aspects of war.

War essentially inverts the contemporary Judeo-Christian moral code. Necessity makes right and wrong. Weapons are not left on the battlefield. They are "stolen" from the enemy, and for the past 3000 years or so of warfare have been kept as trophies. Now we spend resources to destroy them.

Nushif
April 4, 2011, 10:28 PM
Another interesting standpoint is that when you recover weapons from the battlefield they aren't yours. They belong to the Army.
As someone above pointed out most acts during an average firefight are quite "wrong" in civilized society and the only reason one is allowed to do them is because it happens under the umbrella of a socially legitimized (in a variety of ways) organization.
Thus any "loot" that happens from this doesn't belong to the individual, but rather the organization. In theory none of the equipment a soldier carries is theirs. Much like the weapons they bring back after a mission.

Just thought I'd bring that up.

Short Answer:

No, currently no war trophies can be brought back legally. As there is no such thing.

JShirley
April 4, 2011, 10:32 PM
Asked and answered. Most of the this thread is off-topic.

I sent back a rifle to a curator contact at the Army Museum while in Afghanistan in 2006. I could do so after it was inspected and certified that it appeared to be a pre-1900 piece (almost certainly a decent copy- it looked exactly like the rifle in post 35).

I am closing this thread because (1) the question has been completely answered, and (2) not only are many of the replies OT, but also because disciplinary action/clean-up will almost certainly be required if this stays open.

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