Discussion in 'Legal' started by ShroomFish, Jun 30, 2011.
My Sears Ranger (a Stevens M416) built in the late 30's, no serial number.
There are probably some very inexpensive firearms built prior to 1968 that have neither manufacturer markings or serial numbers.
Something like a SKS, I have never seen an example of a SKS that did not have manufacturer markings and a serial number.
Now if someone grinds off serial numbers, I think that is a total different issue.
Probably not relevant to this discussion, but absolutely true.
I know a machinist who's turned a few '80%' receivers into functioning AR's.
I have seen lots of SKS's that were brought back from Viet Nam without papers.
I left Vietnam in 1969. The MPs tossed everyone when you checked your luggage and even took GI batteries guys had in flashlights. No way you could have tucked away a SKS. There was also no need to smuggle it. Guys that had SKSs, Tokarevs, or any permissible war trophy "without papers" were directed to Customs upon arrival at McChord to fill out forms (took about two minutes) and they were on their way to Fort Lewis for processing (new duty assignment or discharge). No need to smuggle it in.
I will agree that some SKSs avoided any paperwork entirely and those were probably Air Force crews that were making runs between Vietnam and the States.
I would assume that they are grandfathered in? Lots of people have Lugers that came back in duffle bags. My neighbor has a modest collection that he displays at the local gun show and nobody ever bothered him.
Correct me please, but a firearm that was brought into the US that was not marked by the importer (after laws in affect requiring it) is an illegal firearm and it would be illegal to own/posses… Correct?
Not necessarily. If it was brought in by a commercial importer the answer would be yes. If someone is immigrating to the US and owns firearms that are legal in the US they wouldn't need import marks. Guns purchased legally by members of the US Armed Forces wouldn't need one either.
I'm sure there are other exceptions.
Thousands of GI's brought home souvenirs from the World Wars long before the GCA of 1968.
There was no requirement for these guns to be marked. No grandfathering needed.
if you bring back a weapon, you do so illegally, and WILL be prosecuted
No full-auto bring-backs were grandfathered in. They are legal ONLY if they were registered in '68, or during the amnesty period after the '86 Hughes amendment passed.
If you know anyone who has an unregistered full-auto bring-back, they need to say nothing to anyone about anything concerning that weapon. They need to call their senators immediately and have them co-sponsor Sen. John Tester's bill that proposes another 90-day amnesty period for registration of htese weapons.
I don't know the bill number off hand, but the text is linked here: http://www.gun-politics.org/showthread.php?t=1238
They can ask, but since when am I required to keep even a reciept for a gun in my posession?
Let alone a pedigree or import record, that's just silly.
The fact that it was imported in a non-sanctioned matter doesn't make the gun a criminal ... it remains a gun and lacks any culpability or free will.
Technically correct, but if it was manufactured before 68 I think it would be pretty hard to prove. I have a No4 Mk2 Enfield that has no import marks on it anywhere, it was made in Britain so it had to of been imported at some point.
A spoil of war is now a item of historic value for the US military, and is taken BY the military, NOT a person/individual, and there is about 3 reams of paperwork, done in triplicate to make it official, when you see WWII stuff come up for auction, you will see a number of them with 'capture papers' as in official documentation of when and where and how it came in to the GI's possession, well, now a GI can't capture it, the ARMY does, and the DOD keeps it.
I don't feel like wading through DOD regs this late at night, but I can tell you that Udari range in Kuwait is littered with stuff that was abandoned by units that failed to get their paper work to the proper HQ by the cut off.
I have an early Arisaka 99 that my grandfather mailed back from Okinawa. It's not papered because they disabled it by removing its firing pin before they let him send it back and thus it was sent back as a non-functioning piece. Well, I tracked down parts for it about 8 years ago, and that old gun can SHOOT.
to the VICTOR belongs the spoils
That we didn't, well, that cause we're the US.
There is no blanket answer: people do have in possession and shoot at ranges all manner of semi-auto "bring-back"s without import markings and with no or lost war trophy paperwork. With guns of certain ages, it's hard to tell what the origin was.
I would not want to get caught with a recent "sneak-back" that would require documentation or markings to be legit, especially knowing it was illegally snuck into the country. Bad juju.
A lot of M1 carbines and M1911 pistols were "sneak backs" concealed in duffle bags of returning GIs from WWII. A relative had a "bring back" SKS with proper paperwork as a war trophy. As vets of WWII, Korea, and VietNam die and heirs inherit their property, war trophy paperwork may be lost, blurring the line between illegal "sneak backs" and legal "bring backs" and guns that may have been bought on the commercial market back in the 1950s or 1960s.
In times past it was not uncommon for a GI to have a souvenir Luger or Nambu. Today the military takes a harder stance on what constitutes a proper "bring back".
But to the opening post, requiring import marks on foreign military (model, caliber, country of origin, importer) is a relatively recent regulation and appears to be dedicated to aiding in controlling current international export/import and in preventing illegal trafficking. (I have a 1950s import with the only added stamp country of origin.) There are a large number of legitimate curio and relic type military arms that never had current style importer marks, including some models now on the surplus market with full markings.
IF the papered bring-back was full auto, the WWII paperwork could be recognized by the ATF to allow entry on the National Firearms Registry: one Tennessee congressman had his dad's WWII Reising SMG hung on his office wall for years, a "bring back" with paperwork signed by his dad's commanding officer. (That takes a lawyer familiar with the NFA work with the ATF. There are also procedures for surrending contraband without consequences but it requires being open and cooperative with the ATF, again best done with a lawyer familiar with the NFA.)
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