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New registration of an old MG

Discussion in 'NFA Firearms and Accessories' started by Brakechute, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. Brakechute

    Brakechute New Member

    I have searched for information on this and come up empty, was hoping someone here might point me in the right direction.

    An elderly relative has mentioned a WWII "souvenir" that he intends to pass along; a German-made machine gun recovered from a battlefield. I am pretty sure there has never been any paperwork on this weapon relative to FOPA registration, and I have never actually seen it but I assume it was not demilitarized and is still a working weapon.

    Two questions:
    1- Is there any known way to make this weapon legal to own now that some 27 years has passed since the deadline?
    2- Barring #1, is there any practical way to avoid being charged as illegally possessing the weapon if I were to simply try to dispose of it so I am not illegally in possession of said weapon.

    Would prefer to have it legally, but would really prefer to avoid a stay in a federal prison. Any assistance is appreciated.
  2. Bubbles

    Bubbles Well-Known Member

    1) No, it's illegal and contraband.

    2) Strip the parts (they can be sold and some are quite valuable), torch cut the receiver into small pieces, and dispose of them.

    You also missed the stickied topic at the top of this forum:
  3. ^^^This is correct on all points. Do NOT try to register the gun. Possession of it intact is a crime.
  4. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    I'd strip it and very cleanly cut the receiver into 4 pieces with a skilled gas torch man all though I heard Plasma arc is legal as destructive heat is involved, like yesterday! In THAT condition the fully legal items would sell for $1000 on Gunbroker if it was say an MP-38 or MP-40.If an MG 42 double that at least!
  5. JTW Jr.

    JTW Jr. Well-Known Member

    What they said....

    if its an Mg08 , and you list the LEGAL parts on gunbroker , let me know !
  6. Kramer Krazy

    Kramer Krazy Well-Known Member

    I knew a guy who destroyed a receiver and sold the parts back in the 90s. Some of those kits are going for some big bucks. I've been seeing non-matching MP40 kits going over $2000. A numbers matching may go for a decent amount more....

    If you want to keep it and make it legal, from what I've read, you have to convert it to a semi-auto and modify it so that it cannot easily accept FA parts or be easily converted. I believe an open bolt firing configuration is not acceptable, so it would bave to be converted to a closed bolt, striker, or other configuration. A conversion may require it sent to the BATF for their blessing after the conversion, and if it fails, the receiver is confiscated and destroyed. I've been doing a lot of reading lately on a builder's site that is full of some really good information on making SA firearms out of these SMG kits, and they are sticklers that the conversions and builds are done legally in every step of the process.

    If the conversion is desired, the first step is to destroy the receiver to a point where it is no longer considered an FA receiver and then rebuild it in a manner in which it cannot be categorized as an FA during the rebuild. It's a touchy subject and you don't want to be caught in possession of it in a condition that is not considered demilled while in your possession.
  7. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Well-Known Member

    Nope. Only and SOT can do that, from a legally registered mg.

    The tax was never paid. It's contraband.
  8. Kramer Krazy

    Kramer Krazy Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  9. mboylan

    mboylan Well-Known Member

    Torch cut the receiver. No gun is worth 10 years in Federal prison.
  10. crazy-mp

    crazy-mp Well-Known Member

    But wait there is more!!!

    You can call the ATF and say "I have a machine gun I wish to surrender" if you voluntarily give the gun up you will not get in trouble. Some museums have received weapons that have been surrendered in this way. Just because a gun is surrendered does not mean that it will be destroyed.

    If you are afraid to surrender the weapon here is the BATFE guidelines for torch cutting the receiver these are you only two legal options.

  11. hatchetbearer

    hatchetbearer Well-Known Member

    I wonder, if you do go the donate it to a museum through the ATF route, could you get a receipt for that, and then claim it on your taxes as a donation for the street price of a transferable one. $10-15,000 write off could fund A LOT of legal firearms.
  12. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Whoa, most of that advice is wrong and could get the Brakechute a vacation in Club Fed!

    If that is a machinegun, and it is not registered, it is contraband.

    NO, you MAY NOT make it semi-auto and keep it.

    NO, you MAY NOT throw it away. (That is destroying evidence of a felony, which is itself a felony.)

    NO, you MAY NOT cut up the receiver and keep or sell the parts. (Same reason.)

    The only thing you can do is to contact BATFE and abandon (surrender) the weapon. The might allow you to strip the receiver and abandon only that, but if they don't, don't push the issue. If you strip the receiver before you contact them, then you are profiting from contraband, sort of like smoking that pot and turning over the ashes. (I suggest BATFE instead of the local police because BATFE is used to the situation - you are far from the first to have that problem - and local police might go off the deep end and try to make an arrest just for the fun of it. BATFE will also check to make sure the gun is not registered, where the local police might not.

    If you want, you can hire an attorney to handle the abandonment, but it really is not necessary.

  13. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Well-Known Member

  14. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    That post suggests trying to find a registration form. That is fine, but my assumption was based on the lack of papers and that BATFE did not find the gun in the NFRTR.*

    The "give it to a museum" advice is not good, either. If the gun has historical value, BATFE or the police may donate it to a publicly owned museum, but the owner of the contraband does not get to make that choice. You don't negotiate by telling BATFE that you will give the gun to a museum to avoid arrest. It doesn't work that way. If you don't give up the gun, you will be arrested and the gun confiscated. That means you lose the gun AND have an arrest record. Good deal? I think not.

    Please, folks, try to understand. An unregistered NFA item is contraband. It is like a kilo of heroin, or counterfeit money. There is no way you can legally keep it.

    *There is a problem in some cases where the gun owner had an amnesty registration paper (no, they don't have stamps) but the gun was not in the NFRTR. As a rule BATFE does NOT accept the paper as proof of registration; there have been too many forgeries, and to do so would be to admit that they screwed up back in 1968. In one case (there may be others) a court ruled that the paper was valid and ordered that the gun be registerd, but that was an exceptional case.

  15. el Godfather

    el Godfather Well-Known Member

    Why not just refuse the elderly relative and not receive the gun period?

    Really an unfortunate state of affairs.

    If I was in your shoes, I would avoid the gift. Secondly, I would tell the elderly relative to hire an attorney and have him prepare the surrender of the gun. I am an attorney myself. Generally, attorneys in their respective fields know how to handle these routine matters. Doing the right thing is best, but to do it correctly is important.

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