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Anyone ever had "problems" using a suppressor at a public range?

Discussion in 'NFA Firearms and Accessories' started by MCMXI, Feb 14, 2014.

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  1. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    I'm curious if anyone has ever had any problems using a suppressor at a public range ... in a state where they're legal of course. Have you ever been questioned by LE, range officers, other shooters, etc? Suppressors aren't that common so I could see a trip to a public range turning into a circus. I'm not sure if the majority of LE officers know the law (federal and state) regarding suppressors so I wouldn't expect them to immediately demand to see a tax stamp. I would imagine that they'd have some questions though, assuming they're at the range.
     
  2. martymcfly

    martymcfly Member

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    I'll find out soon enough as I just got my first stamp back. One of the ranges I go to has a sign posted that says suppressors are fine to use as long as you have your stamp (or copy) with you.

    Not sure if that means they will ask for it when I pull the suppressor out to use or not.
     
  3. Gik-tal

    Gik-tal Member

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    At our range if you show up with NFA items we need to see a copy of your form 4 or form 1 to verify you are legal to own it. Other than that you are clear to fire away. In case your wondering, the reason is to verify that everything at the range is legal, never know when someone is going to check and we don't want and illegal activity on the range.
     
  4. TIMC

    TIMC Member

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    All they have ever told me at my range is make sure you have your paperwork if the feds show up.
     
  5. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    Can anyone explain the logic in having to carry papers and PROVE that the weapon or suppressor are yours when the government already has had you apply, approved, filed, and all the information at their disposal to KNOW that you are the owner of the device? And, all of that in a land where you are "presumed innocent until proven guilty" of something?
     
  6. Aaron Baker

    Aaron Baker Member

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    The logic is that the range isn't the government and doesn't know you've been approved for anything. For all they know, you've got an illegal NFA firearm, and they don't want the bad press for their range if you get caught there with it.

    That said, my range doesn't ask and I don't carry a copy of my stamps. NFA firearms are not regulated under state law, so I don't think it's any of the local law enforcement officer's business. But I'm a lawyer and so have slightly less fear (whether wisely or not) than most people do in this situation.

    Aaron
     
  7. kelbro

    kelbro Member

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    That's my premise. It's really none of their business. No more than a thief coming out there and shooting a stolen gun. The range is under no obligation nor do they have any real reason to check. There is no law requiring them to do any such thing.

    But, private property is private property and I suppose they can do as they please as long as it's not discriminatory towards any of the protected classes.
     
  8. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    I just keep a copy of the paperwork in the case whenever I take my NFA items anywhere. Only real problem I've had is people wanting to shoot all my ammo for me. :)
     
  9. Ironman

    Ironman Member

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    You are required to keep a copy of the approved Form4 anytime you have possession of the item in public. The only person you MUST show the form to is a ATF Agent as it is a private TAX FORM and a nosey RO at the range has no business looking at it. I show them anyway as it makes them happy and I haven't met one yet that even knows what they are looking at or how to read the form.
     
  10. GarySTL

    GarySTL Member

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    This! It's a tax form and only ATF's business.
     
  11. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    From http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/national-firearms-act-firearms.html#owner-evidence

     
  12. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    Realistically, I find it hard to believe that ATF can't just run the serial number on any item they have a question about, and instantly determine whether the item is registered or not.

    Why would they rely on Gomer's photocopied paperwork anyway?
     
  13. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    So if local law enforcement asks me to provide proof that I'm the legal owner of a suppressor I can tell them that they have no jurisdiction since they're not an ATF agent. So it would be no different than if they asked me to prove that I'm the legal owner of the firearm attached to the suppressor while at a public range. If I'm not breaking the law they wouldn't have just cause or whatever the term is.
     
  14. GarySTL

    GarySTL Member

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    Papers bitte! :)
     
  15. wrc

    wrc Member

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    Sad, but true. The ATF does not claim to have a definitive database of who has which tax stamps. It's on *you* to prove it is legal. The ATF may or may not have the records of your manufacture or transfer.

    This is an oldie but goodie from 2007: http://www.justice.gov/oig/reports/ATF/e0706/final.pdf

    The upshot of this, which has been discussed much, is that you cannot depend on the ATF to verify that your possession and use is legal. They may or may not have those records. If you forget or lose your documentation, there might be no backstop with the issuer of those documents.

    Whether this is due to incompetence, or a calculated choice not to be competent is a matter for debate.
     
  16. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    If you really want to know the ugly truth, BATF has had internal problems over the years "losing" paperwork. The NFA register is incomplete because of this. It has often been brought up that another amnesty may be necessary to allow the BATF to update and complete their files on EXISTING weapons. People die and do not see that their NFA weapon probate properly, etc. There are probably TONS of otherwise LEGIT NFA weapons out there. It is prudent to keep your papers secure, and a photocopy on you just to keep local cops from overzealously confiscating your gun until later proven to be legal.
     
  17. Mike OTDP

    Mike OTDP Member

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    Sooner or later, someone will challenge the NFRTR in court (probably an heir trying to keep a high-dollar item). If that happens, the whole house of cards will collapse.
     
  18. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    Many years ago I was pretty friendly with a couple of BATF enforcement agents, back when I was a SOT. They told me that the NFA files were all on paper in file cabinets and they estimated that maybe 30% of the files might be in error-- either misfiled or just plain lost. They always urged me to keep a copy of my registration/transfer paperwork with the weapons at all times. I still follow that sage advice.
     
  19. rjrivero

    rjrivero Member

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    I shoot 3 gun matches with suppressed sbr's all the time. The FBI agents and LEO's I was squadded with didn't care at all. They did want to shoot them though.

    I have never been asked to see copies of my form 4's. I just keep a digital copy of them on my phone, if anyone cares to see them. I don't even carry paper copies anymore.
     
  20. LawBot5000

    LawBot5000 Member

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    Past year or so, people have asked to see copies of my form 4s.

    Since I always bring them along anyway (in case of nosy LEOs), it's never been a problem.
     
  21. JustinJ

    JustinJ Member

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    I've never been to a range which demanded to see what I was shooting before hand. I've also never been asked for paperwork. I usually get quite a few looks, several compliments and a few questions. No biggie.

    If a LE asked to see my paperwork if I was at the range minding my own business i'd be tempted to ask to see his warrant. To my knowledge there is no law mandating we prove legal ownership in the absence of reasonable suspicion of a crime.
     
  22. KingTiger

    KingTiger Member

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    An indoor range where I used to be a member asked several of us particpating in a local Arfcom shoot for our papers. Several of us are no longer members there.
     
  23. Torian

    Torian Member

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    Never been asked...nor would I produce such paperwork for ANYONE other than law enforcement personnel whose job it is to inquire about such things.

    Range Masters / RSOs are there to control the range and keep shooters safe...such an action like asking for "papers" is way outside of their lane IMO. If this was a private range with that type of policy, I would immediately discontinue my business and ensure all my buddies were aware of their discriminatory practices.

    As far as the comment from Gik-tal about proving lawful ownership...how do you know the revolver I'm shooting isn't stolen or purchased illegally on the streets? Querying shooters just because they show up with NFA items like supressors is a head-scratching policy. So long as someone brings their own targets and knows how to control an automatic weapon, I'm going to sit back and enjoy the show.

    Speaking of a show: had a guy bring a Supercriss and M60 to our range last week. The Supercriss was unbelieveable...and apparently the guy that showed up was a manufacturer...so he brought all his toys. We were right next to him with about 6 SBRs and almost a dozen different types of suppressors...and I was still plenty envious.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
  24. weblance

    weblance Member

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    The range I shoot at, usually has someone else there, besides me, with a suppressor. Its not uncommon to compare suppressors with another shooter. They arent as uncommon as people think. At least not where I shoot. I also would have no problem showing my paperwork with anyone in authority. Why would I?
     
  25. Captains1911

    Captains1911 Member

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    I rarely visit public ranges, but if I did and some dopey employee demanded to see a copy of my Form 4 I would just leave and never return.
     
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