(fact or fiction) BATF trying to certify Semi-Auto Rifles same as Full Auto?


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Uncle Richard
December 2, 2012, 04:04 PM
http://video.foxnews.com/v/2005266599001/president-to-bypass-congress-on-semiautomatic-weapons-ban/?playlist_id=903226511001

The news video makes allegations that the ATF is attempting to define semi-auto rifles (aka assault weapons) as the same class as full-autos. This way the current administration can institute an assault weapon ban by executive order while bypassing congress. As a result, possession of our beloved ARís and AKís would require the same fees and paper work as a full-auto. Has anyone heard about this (fact or fiction)?

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def4pos8
December 2, 2012, 04:53 PM
I saw the same report and came here to find out if there's anything to it.

I guess we're on our own.

I suppose that BHO could do it but NRA, GOA and the others would likely have an injunction on it before the toner took a set.

Sarcasm alert! At $200 per firearm, BHO could run the country on the backs of Black Rifle owners for at least a day and a half! ;)

AlexanderA
December 2, 2012, 04:53 PM
Fear-mongering. Can't be done without an act of Congress.

But let's go along with this just for argument's sake -- The rationale that Snyder mentions is that certain semiautomatics (like AR's and AK's) would be reclassified as Title II machine guns on the ground that they're "easily convertible" to fully automatic. First of all, this flies in the face of 50 years of ATF precedents. But, if they were to be reclassified, it would mean an absolute prohibition under the Hughes Amendment freeze on new registrations. It's a classic "Catch-22." Obviously Snyder hasn't thought this through. I'm also leery of his unnamed "confidential sources." That's what people say when they're just making things up.

AlexanderA
December 2, 2012, 05:03 PM
Here's a further thought -- to get around the Hughes Amendment, there would have to be some kind of amnesty. But if there's an amnesty, all kinds of "real" machine guns could be registered as well. Heck, while we're at it, we might as well convert the semis to full autos since there would be no legal difference.

All this, of course, is silliness. The ATF (and by extension the Administration) would never open up such a can of worms.

Uncle Richard
December 2, 2012, 05:34 PM
I agree this could be made up to instill fear and or 15 minutes of fame; however, the administration will have to take actions outside of Congress to regulate firearms due to lack of support for passage of anti-gun legislation. We have recently seen this. For example, EPA trying to regulate ammunition with lead, and ban shooting on federal lands in the midwest (forget what state) are attempts to drive firearms/ammunition costs up and reducing areas to target practice, which in the long run reduces gun ownership.

Jorg Nysgerrig
December 2, 2012, 05:44 PM
This "gun expert" has a youtube channel that almost nobody watches:
http://www.youtube.com/user/gundean?feature=watch

He has a blog that I suspect almost nobody reads:
http://gunpolicies.wordpress.com/

Most references to him being an expert are on his own site or sites like infowars.com and beforeitsnews.com.

Yet somehow this relative nobody has confidential information about what the administration might do?

It seems like Fox News got taken.

Also, for those who clicked on his youtube channel, does it look like he's sitting in front of a blown up photo of a bookshelf? :rolleyes:

Uncle Richard
December 2, 2012, 05:49 PM
Jorg

If you feel the source is unreliable, the thread can be closed. I won't be offended.

M-Cameron
December 2, 2012, 06:26 PM
Also, for those who clicked on his youtube channel, does it look like he's sitting in front of a blown up photo of a bookshelf?


looks that way to me.

in one of his videos(here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qHfRdigKhQ&feature=BFa&list=UU_o13NB50_dMPNC0cBq368A)), theres a spot of sunlight gleaming onto the backdrop that illuminates the surface in a way that tells you its a flat surface.

Swing
December 2, 2012, 07:37 PM
Also, for those who clicked on his youtube channel, does it look like he's sitting in front of a blown up photo of a bookshelf?

LOL! Yep it does.

Carl N. Brown
December 2, 2012, 08:29 PM
It all seems to trace back to:

http://gunpolicies.wordpress.com/
John M. Snyder, "Obama May Skirt Congress to Ban Semiautomatic Firearms", Gun Rights Policies with John Snyder, 27 Nov 2012:

According to confidential information, forces linked with the administration suggest the government classify semiautomatic firearms and multiple capacity ammunition feeding devices as Title 2 National Firearms Act items under the Gun Control Act of 1968. ... Some gun-grabbers view the designation of Street Sweeper shotguns as Title 2 items during the Clinton administration as precedent for such a move. ...

Drail
December 2, 2012, 08:35 PM
If you don't have enough criminals you make them.:scrutiny:

Twiki357
December 2, 2012, 10:57 PM
Executive orders that affect the ATF's interpretation of existing law is what concerns me. I have no idea of what the repercussions would be, but it would not surprise me if he does try it. Don't forget that he is a politician and activist from one of the most anti-gun cities in the country. AND, he has proven that he has no respect for any law that he disagrees with. His amnesty (Deferred deportation) of illegal aliens is a good example. And he no longer is concerned with reelection, unless he thinks he can change that too.

dogtown tom
December 2, 2012, 11:53 PM
I have it on good authority that ATF actually bought out George Soros' interest in the Cerebus/Freedom Group.

Midwest
December 3, 2012, 07:44 AM
There has been a precedent where the Striker 12/Streetsweeper class was redefined as an NFA destructive device AFTER it was considered a regular firearm and sold over the counter. Not sure if they could pull out a similar ruling with common 'black rifles'.

It shot shotgun shells, but it was ruled as non sporting and came under the classification of an destructive device. How they could escalate a regular rifle to an NFA item as an DD or a MG...I can't see how it could be done. How would they make the ruling on it?


Just be aware that there have been cases where the BATF has reversed decisions.

http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-240357.html

(Below comes from a government source and should have copyright issues)


http://www.atf.gov/regulations-rulings/rulings/atf-rulings/atf-ruling-2001-1.html


18 U.S.C. 921(a)(4): DESTRUCTIVE DEVICE

26 U.S.C. 5845(f)(2): DESTRUCTIVE DEVICE (Nonsporting shotgun having a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter)

The registration period for the USAS-12, Striker-12, and Streetsweeper shotguns will close on May 1, 2001.

ATF Ruling 2001-1

Pursuant to ATF Rulings 94-1 (ATF Q.B. 1994-1, 22) and 94-2 (ATF Q.B. 1994-1, 24), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) classified the USAS-12, Striker 12, and Streetsweeper shotguns as destructive devices under the National Firearms Act (NFA), 26 U.S.C. Chapter 53. The NFA requires that certain "firearms" be registered and imposes taxes on their making and transfer. The term "firearm" is defined in section 5845 to include "destructive devices." The term "destructive device" is defined in section 5845(f)(2) as follows:

[T]he term 'destructive device' means . . . (2) any type of weapon by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, the barrel or barrels of which have a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter, except a shotgun or shotgun shell which the Secretary finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes; . . .

The USAS-12, Striker 12, and Streetsweeper shotguns were classified as destructive devices pursuant to section 5845(f) because they are shotguns with a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter which are not generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes.

Pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 7805(b), ATF. Ruls. 94-1 and 94-2 were issued prospectively with respect to the making, transfer, and special (occupational) taxes imposed by the NFA. Thus, although the classification of the three shotguns as NFA weapons was retroactive, the prospective application of the tax provisions allowed registration without payment of tax. ATF has contacted all purchasers of record of the shotguns to advise them of the classification of the weapons as destructive devices and that the weapons must be registered. ATF has registered approximately 8,200 of these weapons to date.

Held, the registration period for the USAS-12, Striker-12, and Streetsweeper shotguns will close on May 1, 2001. No further registrations will be accepted after that date. Persons in possession of unregistered NFA firearms are subject to all applicable penalties under 26 U.S.C. Chapter 53.

Date signed: February 2, 2001

alsaqr
December 3, 2012, 08:44 AM
Fear-mongering. Can't be done without an act of Congress.

Bingo!!!

Its sop for those who don't know how the US government functions.

I'm also leery of his unnamed "confidential sources."

When writers use the term "unnamed confidential sources" they are usually lying or distorting the truth.

No gun has been banned from importation by executive order. Three US administrations have banned guns from import under the "sporting purposes" clause of the GCA 1968.

RatDrall
December 3, 2012, 09:13 AM
There has been a precedent where the Striker 12/Streetsweeper class was redefined as an NFA destructive device AFTER it was considered a regular firearm and sold over the counter...

Thank you so much for providing this information.

Way more useful than "Blah blah fear mongering..." or "Blah blah the UN is coming..." ;)

Frank Ettin
December 3, 2012, 12:12 PM
Note, however, that, as quoted by Midwest (post 14), in reclassifying the Striker 12/Streetsweeper ATF relied on a statute (enacted by Congress and signed by the President) (1) generally describing the characteristics of the class; and (2) specifically giving ATF the power to make make a determination (26 USC 5845(f)(2), emphasis added):...(2) any type of weapon by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, the barrel or barrels of which have a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter, except a shotgun or shotgun shell which the Secretary finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes; and...

In other words, in the case of the Streetsweeper, ATF was able to decide only because Congress specifically gave ATF the authority.

gfanikf
December 3, 2012, 12:59 PM
Note, however, that, as quoted by Midwest (post 14), in reclassifying the Striker 12/Streetsweeper ATF relied on a statute (enacted by Congress and signed by the President) (1) generally describing the characteristics of the class; and (2) specifically giving ATF the power to make make a determination (26 USC 5845(f)(2), emphasis added):

In other words, in the case of the Streetsweeper, ATF was able to decide only because Congress specifically gave ATF the authority.
Looks like something useful came out of crazyboy's blog posts. I was always wondering what occurred with the Street Sweepers and USAS-12's back in the 1990s, for a legal authority pov.

RatDrall
December 3, 2012, 02:56 PM
In other words, in the case of the Streetsweeper, ATF was able to decide only because Congress specifically gave ATF the authority.


Isn't the following:

...(2) any type of weapon by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, the barrel or barrels of which have a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter, except a shotgun or shotgun shell which the Secretary finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes; and...

...Basically a blank check of authority as far as regulating shotguns goes? It sounds like they could find any shotgun with a suitable bore diameter (20 or 12 gauge fit) not "particularly suitable for sporting purposes".

Frank Ettin
December 3, 2012, 03:24 PM
Isn't the following:

...(2) any type of weapon by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, the barrel or barrels of which have a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter, except a shotgun or shotgun shell which the Secretary finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes; and...

...Basically a blank check of authority as far as regulating shotguns goes? It sounds like they could find any shotgun with a suitable bore diameter (20 or 12 gauge fit) not "particularly suitable for sporting purposes".Except --

The exact language is "...generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes." That would give a court something to work with. If ATF tried to classify a Browning Superposed as a destructive device, a court would have no trouble tossing that nonsense as being outside ATF authority. The court would note that there are multitudes of Browning Superposeds on trap, skeet, sporting clays and hunting fields all over the world.


In law it's well established that the exercise of such authority is subject to a standard prohibiting an abuse of discretion.


In any case, it is what it is.
But also, please be advised that an extended discussion of 26 USC 5845(f)(2) would be off topic for this thread. A better question would be whether there's anything in statute giving the ATF the authority to classify semi-automatic rifles as machine guns.

Skribs
December 3, 2012, 04:18 PM
Hmmm, so on the one hand, something has to be "sporting". So if we have a sport for it, it should be okay. My semi-auto pistols are fine then because I can use them in IDPA. We just need to add a pocket pistol division so my LCP is fine. My benelli SuperNova is fine, because as a pump-action, I can't use it in mass murder (using anti logic, of course), but my Mossberg 930 I guess I'll have to *say* I do 3-gun with it? How can I claim that without a rifle? Oh, guess I got to get a rifle.

Let's start a sport called NFA Tactical, which only uses NFA firearms. Therefore we can claim sporting purposes.

On a more serious note, if such a ban went into effect on semi-auto firearms, do they have any idea just HOW HARD it would be to enforce? It would make prohibition look like a law enforcement picnic. A very good portion of my firearms are semi-auto, and once I can fund some new ones and then sell off the old, I'm going to have ONLY semi-auto firearms. Barring winning the lottery and being able to afford a MP5SD, of course.

Shadow 7D
December 3, 2012, 04:33 PM
Well, look how Cali did it

dogtown tom
December 3, 2012, 09:17 PM
Skribs Hmmm, so on the one hand, something has to be "sporting". So if we have a sport for it, it should be okay. My semi-auto pistols are fine then because I can use them in IDPA....
Sorry, ATF doesn't use the modern concepts of "sporting", instead they use the term as it was commonly used in 1968 when the Gun Control Act was passed.

In ATF's view sporting purpose means killing animals or holes in paper, not IDPA, three gun, etc.

Frank Ettin
December 3, 2012, 09:46 PM
Hmmm, so on the one hand, something has to be "sporting"...That discussion of "sporting" had to do with the statute giving ATF the authority to decide if a smoothbore firearm was a destructive device for the purposes of the NFA. Can you cite something in applicable law that gives it a broader application?

Jim K
December 3, 2012, 11:28 PM
Traditionally, the anti-gun gang has tried to define "sporting" as synonymous with "hunting", specifically waterfowl hunting. It seems several wealthy supporters of gun control are duck hunters so double barrel Purdeys are OK; rifles for deer hunting are "used by assassins", semi-auto rifles are "assault weapons", and handguns are "used only for murder." That is what the Democratic Platform means when it says that sporting firearms are OK, but there should be "reasonable restrictions" (i.e., a total ban) on other types of guns.

Would the administration try to work around Congress on gun control? Sure, if they can get away with it, but probably not to the extent of calling semi-autos machineguns. Their actions will be more subtle, like revoking FFLs for miniscule errors on a 4473 or cutting NICS personnel (reduce government spending, right?) to create hours or days of delay in sale approval.

Jim

DMF
December 3, 2012, 11:47 PM
That discussion of "sporting" had to do with the statute giving ATF the authority to decide if a smoothbore firearm was a destructive device for the purposes of the NFA.Please, don't interrupt a bunch of hysterical ignorant ranting, especially when it's an attack on the ATF, with things like facts.

;)

blarby
December 4, 2012, 12:05 AM
I could go for another period of amnesty..........

I have a dremel and a pin punch, and I know how to use them.........


That non-withstanding, when will this guy go AWAY ? He's like the irritating flu with a tin-type baseball cap.....

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