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Old April 7, 2015, 07:00 AM   #1
evan price
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Curio & Relic: What if gun is too new by accident? ATF answer:

I asked a question on here a month or so ago-
What if I bought a gun that was supposed to be a C&R and it turned out it wasn't (too new) by no deliberate action on the buyer or seller's part? Basically, the best answer I got was "Ask ATF" so I did, and here's their answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by evan price
-----Original Message-----
From: evan price [mailto:<REDACTED>]
Sent: Thursday, April 02, 2015 3:34 PM
To: FIPB Regulatory Email Inquiries
Subject: Curio & Relic eligibility question

Hi, I have a curio & relic ffl. I recently was going to purchase a Smith & Wesson revolver from the Gunbroker auction site. The seller sharers my question and identified the gun as a 1963 which would be c&r eligible. Before I could bid, the seller sent another email and said they had made a mistake and it was actually a 1968 which is not c&r eligible.
My question is, if I had purchased the gun in good faith as c&r, had it shipped to my home, and then discovered the gun was not c&r eligible, what should I do? I can't legally receive a gun that is not c&r. Obviously nobody wanted to get arrested or lose their license! Thanks for your answer.


The ATF's Reply:

Quote:
Thank you for your inquiry to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). This is in response to your recent email, in which you asked about receiving a curio and relic firearm.

In the particular scenario that you mention, you could simply treat it as you would any other firearms acquisition that you utilize your C & R license for. While the shipping and receiving of a non curio & relic firearm may be a violation of the regulations, nothing would be gained by returning the firearm to the shipper.

Please be aware that there may be State laws that pertain to your proposed activity. You need to contact your State’s Attorney General Office to inquire about the laws and possible restrictions in your State concerning firearms. A list of their offices is available online at www.naag.org.

We trust the foregoing has been responsive to your inquiry. Should you have additional questions, please contact your local ATF office. A listing of ATF office phone numbers can be found at: http://www.atf.gov/content/contact-us.

All I can say is, Wow. That's not really what I was expecting the ATF to say. Not that I don't like the answer, quite the contrary. It's just that LOGIC and the federal bureaucracy don't usually go together!
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Old April 7, 2015, 07:31 AM   #2
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Yeah, regulations are not intended to make criminals out of citizens who make an error in good faith. A man need not go to jail for shoplifting if he forgets to pay for an item in his cart. To commit a crime, intent must be considered. Common sense is rarely common, but it does rear its head from time to time.
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Old April 7, 2015, 09:21 AM   #3
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Its a trap!!!!! they want you to admit you received it so they can send in the SWAT team.
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Old April 7, 2015, 12:10 PM   #4
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I'm not surprised. On the 3 occasions I've called the ATF regarding C&R query's, they've always been polite,respectful and helpful to me.

Maybe it's because they're in West Virginia. Mountaineers are absolutely the best people I know!
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Old April 7, 2015, 12:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ash View Post
Yeah, regulations are not intended to make criminals out of citizens who make an error in good faith.
That's debatable. I get the impression, more and more, that all these regulations ARE ultimately intended to make criminals out of otherwise law-abiding citizens. And whether that's actually true or not, they are sometimes used in that fashion, just ask some folks that have had a semi-auto malfuction at the range on go into a burst mode.
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Old April 7, 2015, 12:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimSr View Post
Its a trap!!!!! they want you to admit you received it so they can send in the SWAT team.
LOL,good one !!!!!
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Old April 7, 2015, 01:47 PM   #7
deadin
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Quote:
just ask some folks that have had a semi-auto malfuction at the range on go into a burst mode.
After the third or fourth week of having the same "malfunction", I sometimes wonder.....
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Old April 7, 2015, 02:47 PM   #8
M-Cameron
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Wow....that policy seems far to sensible and reasonable for a Government agency. Honestly i would have thought there would be some forms and FFL transfers that they would make you do.
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Old April 7, 2015, 03:35 PM   #9
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Can you scan your letter and their reply, black out any personal information, and post the images?

Mike
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Old April 7, 2015, 04:47 PM   #10
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You'd better save that letter, just in case...
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Old April 7, 2015, 07:46 PM   #11
evan price
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It was an email, not a paper letter, so I can't do anything but repost it. I did so, except where I redacted my personals.
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Old April 7, 2015, 08:10 PM   #12
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Old April 7, 2015, 09:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
I'm not surprised. On the 3 occasions I've called the ATF regarding C&R query's, they've always been polite,respectful and helpful to me.
I agree with this. I have called the ATF with similar stuff (UPS lost a package) they have always been courteous and practical. The guy on the phone at 1-800-ATF is not the guy trying to make a case and a name for himself.
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Old April 8, 2015, 11:23 PM   #14
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"To commit a crime, intent must be considered. "

Actually that is not always true, depending on how the law is written.

"mens rea" (Latin for "the intending mind") used to be required for conviction. Depending on the individual law it may or may not be required to conviction.

IANAL so that is all the further I am going.
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Old April 9, 2015, 07:41 AM   #15
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Intent must be considered, I stand by that. Depending on the crime, of course, but in the case of a dead man on the ground it is the entire consideration (was it self-defense, the intent being protection, was it recklessness, the intent not being to kill, was it murder, the intent being in the heat of the moment, or was it murder, the intent being behind a well-planned and orchestrated event). On one end, the killer gets off because intent was self-protection. On the other end, the killer gets executed because the intent was premeditated.

I did not steal the jump drive that I left in the cart at Walmart, I simply did not notice it and did not pay for it. I did not shop-lift. Once I realized the jump drive was still in the cart, I was obliged to take it back in an pay for it because at that point it would have been theft.

Intent is obviously important to those of us here as we all get outraged when someone is arrested for a firearms crime they did not intend to commit (such as driving through a state).

If we live in a country where laws are designed to criminalize us for routine exercise of our freedoms or rights, we are in dangerous times. I agree, it seems some regulations are intended to create criminals out of us. It is nice when the powers-that-be don't wander down that rabbit hole. The shame is we fully expect them to do just that.
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Old April 9, 2015, 12:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
Intent must be considered, I stand by that.
George Will would beg to differ:

When Everything Is A Crime

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinio...fe5_story.html
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Old April 9, 2015, 12:48 PM   #17
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And still I state that intent is what can get you off or get you executed. Don't just take it out of context in the whole thing.

I also said "If we live in a country where laws are designed to criminalize us for routine exercise of our freedoms or rights, we are in dangerous times. I agree, it seems some regulations are intended to create criminals out of us. It is nice when the powers-that-be don't wander down that rabbit hole. The shame is we fully expect them to do just that."
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Old April 10, 2015, 05:05 AM   #18
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I also will make a statement I'll stand by:
"It depends".

The vast majority of government officials and law enforcement do not actively look for ways to make criminals out of the population. But the system and those who work for the system WILL expand their revenue stream and authority. You're likely to get a fair trial if you're up for murder. If, however, you're in court trying to fight a traffic ticket, you'll have a much harder time. The simple reason is that the judge is a county or city employee and your potential fine is income.

All the talk we hear of the high incarceration rate for drug related crimes, why is that? Because local agencies are permitted to confiscate property use in the commission of those crimes. Auctions are income. The jail time is just an unfortunate consequence.

If conviction means jail time, intent matters. If conviction means you pay a fine, "Ignorance of the law is no excuse".
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Old April 10, 2015, 05:53 AM   #19
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I don't imply ignorance, which is no excuse, but I get what you are saying. And, while I read your post - before I got to the fines part - it was occurring to me that we are all criminals if we have ever gotten a ticket. And we do know of places where speed limit signs are designed to cause a man to get a ticket (or yellow lights being shortened, an event that caught me more than a decade ago in my small town).

I was thinking about the big picture, where jail time is at hand. Confiscation is also a big thing in hunting enforcement. Having a shouldered rifle during hunting season, even if you are not hunting, can lead to losing the rifle, the truck, and everything in it.

Intent still is the guiding force on major crime, but when laws become revenue, then we all become criminals. Since I have gotten a few tickets- even though they were for largely trivial (or wrong in one case - couldn't have run a stop sign if I never was on that street) - I am a criminal. I must be, because I was given the choice of paying a fine or going to court. Upon paying the fine (as the court issue was designed to be arduous), I admitted to my dastardly ways.

And the often capricious ways some places enforce gun laws (or the IRS with paperwork errors), it is still quite refreshing that the ATF didn't have a cow over the issue. There is a time when reason can actually rear its head.
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Old April 11, 2015, 10:23 AM   #20
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Maybe the ATF realizes it will be a C&R within three years and not worth the effort. Besides, you have a C&R FFL which means you've been checked out thoroughly by the ATF and would pass a NICS anyway.

I just wouldn't make it a practice. That would show intent.

Woody
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Old April 11, 2015, 10:45 AM   #21
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I think you're overlooking something of key importance. The anit-gun groups do this to the NRA as well, when they try to demonize what the NRA is doing. They treat it like it's some mysterious entity instead if realizing it's made up of millions of individual Americans.

The ATF is made up of thousands of individual government workers. Sure, some have a propensity to go overboard, but the majority of those individuals are just regular people who get up when the alarm clock goes off, drive to work, muddle through their day, and then go home. They're not out to get anyone, they're not part of some conspiracy, and they're not trying to trap anyone.
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