Quantcast

Customs Agents Nab "Machine Guns" in Tacoma

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Dain Bramage, Feb 25, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Messages:
    3,821
    Location:
    At The Range
    Did those rifles have "Da Switch"?

    :)

    Just my .02,
    LeonCarr
     
  2. Gouranga

    Gouranga Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2010
    Messages:
    928
    Location:
    Gaston County, NC
    Pardon my ignorance guys, had a thought...these "guns" are $350 according to that website. Assuming you could buy the few parts they said you'd need, put them in, and not end up in a hospital (either ER or morgue), what would be the total cost of this conversion (estimate) vs the cost for a standard fully auto weapon?
     
  3. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    53,300
    Location:
    0 hrs east of TN
    Legal FA M16s cost $12-$16 thousand dollars.
    Illegal ones vary.
    With a transferrable M16 you pay an additional $200 transfer tax to the fed.
    With an illegal one you don't have to pay the tax, but you have the opportunity to enjoy staying at a federal facility for 10 years with interesting people who don't like following the rules. I think there's a small entrance fee paid to a lawyer that might equal a few thousand dollars, but it's trivial expense related to the all expenses paid stay at Club Fed.;)

    Look at the NFA weapons forum for more details.
     
  4. nitetrane98

    nitetrane98 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Messages:
    534
    Location:
    Longview, TX
    LOL at this one in the comments..
     
  5. hirundo82

    hirundo82 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,001
    Location:
    The Deep South
    I can't find a definition of "zip gun" in federal law, nor anything making it illegal to manufacture one. I think that is because characteristics of a zip gun usually make them illegal under regular NFA law.

    They are usually smoothbore and may be disguised as something else, either of which would make them an AOW.

    As long as you complied with the NFA regs--eg by putting in AR15 semiauto parts and a rifle upper--I don't see how possession would be illegal. You would have simply made a Title I firearm. There may be some intricacy of NFA law that I'm missing though.

    The main issue that I see with the case at hand is with the importation and sale. The airsoft manufacturer presumably doesn't have the permits and licenses necessary to import and sell firearms, but the toys are close enough to a real AR15 that the lower (the serialized part of an AR15) qualifies as a firearm.
     
  6. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    53,300
    Location:
    0 hrs east of TN
    It's close enough that an SOT I know is trying to purchase one to find out if it's just a matter of putting parts in the lower and dropping an upper on it.

    If the lower will accept AR/M16 parts and the lower is the part defined as "gun" then the airsoft manufacturer may have inadvertently built a firearm receiver without meaning to. In the pursuit of accurately depicting an M4 for airsoft enthusiasts they may have done a good enough job that they effectively built an M4 receiver without meaning to.

    See, even I can be persuaded to change my mind.
     
  7. LS240

    LS240 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Messages:
    119
    Location:
    Grand Junction, CO
    An upper receiver can indeed be attached to these airsoft lowers without modification, or at least they used to. In fact it was one of the selling factors for the manufacturers of these. Not for practical purposes just to demonstrate how realistic they were. I haven't been in the airsoft circles quite as heavily lately so I'm a little behind, but last I heard they had been temporarily banned from import pending further investigation. Though the rumors were the ATF was simply going to allow them to change a few dimensions here and there so you couldn't just pin an upper to one without mods, then allow them to start selling them in the US again. I'm not sure how that episode worked out in the end and if the manufacturer ever changed the specs to become compliant. The older versions though definitely could work with an AR upper, and if I'm not mistaken the trigger mechanism would work as well.

    If these are post-spec-change(If that was ever even a requirement. Like I said I'm a bit out of the loop recently when it comes to airsoft.) then this is all a bunch of trumped up garbage. If these really were imported despite a prior ATF ruling, well then, they probably had it coming.
     
  8. mp510

    mp510 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Messages:
    3,045
    Location:
    PRKt
    There wa somebody on ARFCOM that had one of those airsoft guns (or a very similar competing model). When the cheapified fire control group broke, he notice the parts were the exact same specs as M16 fire control parts. He decided that replacing them with M16 parts because the real fcg would have been more durable and cheaper. Assuming what he was saying is true, I bet that they could probably be built into machineguns with relative ease. I doubt they would hold up, especially in centerfire- BUT they would probably work for at least a few shots.
     
  9. wilkersk

    wilkersk Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Messages:
    314
    Read this statement from the guy who was responsible for importing those realistic looking M4 airsoft rifles. His "background" and reasoning is painfully long-winded, but he does get to the point eventually:

    http://airsoftoutletnw.com/index.ph...ews/Airsoft-An-Industry-Without-Standard.html

     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2010
  10. Tully M. Pick

    Tully M. Pick Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    753
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Great, now owning a broom will constitute intent to build. Thanks.
     
  11. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Messages:
    5,288
    You unfortunately are not far from the truth.

    I was just reading about an ATF agent taping two lower halves together, and supplying every other component himself and then firing it to demonstrate and determine it was a firearm. By that definition pretty much any demilled firearm is still a "firearm". Who knew demilled machineguns were still machineguns!?

    Now imagine they take a pipe, supply every component needed for a Sten gun, and say it was a Sten receiver. Or a "machinegun receiver". After all that is pretty much what a Sten receiver is: a pipe with some metal removed.
    If an agent that spends most of his time working in a lab on firearms plans it in advance, and then lays every component out, he could start the camera, start the clock, and likely build a select fire weapon out of anything within 30 minutes.

    This means just about anything falls under the "readily converted" terminology used to say something that is not a machinegun is a machinegun.
    So if they say it is a machinegun it is, because they can demonstrate it is readily converted.
    Now consider your typical juror hand selected because they know little to nothing about firearms.

    What this means is if it looks like a firearm initially, it will almost certainly be considered whatever the ATF determines it was by a jury. Whether it was a toy gun, a demilled gun, a fake suppressor they say is a real one etc
     
  12. rickomatic

    rickomatic Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Messages:
    386
    Location:
    Snohomish, WA
  13. Archie

    Archie Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    2,318
    Location:
    Hastings, Nebraska - the Heartland!
    It's pretty straight forward in legality.

    The receiver of a firearm is the 'firearm' under federal law. That has been true since the Gun Control Act of 1968. The receivers of the airsoft guns in question are exact copies of AR15/M16/M16Eetc. receivers. When I say 'exact', that is precisely what I mean. They are dimensionally correct and seem to be made of aircraft quality aluminum.

    Will it blow up? From my intimate knowledge of the AR system, it's the barrel and bolt that contain the pressure of a firing cartridge, not the lower portion. The lower portion merely holds the trigger mechanism and the butt stock. So, even if the lower is sub standard in terms of metallurgy, it will function for some period of time. In short, they are in fact usable to build functioning firearms. More than likely, one would require a complete upper receiver and barrel. It may be possible to install a proper barrel in the provided upper. (I'm not sure if the gas tube is functional.) The hand guards, sights and other furniture appear identical to those found on issue rifles.

    Yes, it has 'da switch' for full auto enthusiasts. At least, it has the machining to accept 'da switch'. There are indeed 'da switch' parts - I do not know if they are military specification parts or not. They function in like manner.

    The receivers have been seized. They were imported illegally. In this case, illegally means they are firearms being imported as toys. It is legal in general to import firearms (serious restrictions on full auto weapons as one might expect) but one must import firearms as firearms, not toys.

    At last count, there is no specific information or determination whether this 'toy' was intended as a smuggled illegal weapon or the manufacturer just did too good a copy.

    Those who wish to carry on with the jack booted thug conspiracy theories, pray don't let me disturb you. No black helicopters with blaze orange blade tips kidnapping dissidents were harmed in the writing of this posting.
     
  14. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,237
    Location:
    Morgan County, Alabama
    That's good to know .....

    With the "quality" of journalism these days, and the rather unfortunate history of some elements of Federal Agencies, it is often hard for many people NOT to be cynical of stories like this. We've all heard stories of mis identified firearms, "things that go up," and people who have been treated badly and even injured or killed by law enforcement operations that were ill planned, poorly executed, or just plain wrong from the start.
    Enough of this, and then we read of a incident where "airsoft" weapons have been confiscated and, sorry, it can be "black helicopter" time for us.
    It's life in this corner of the universe.
    I happen to own a Airsoft electric gun. It looks fairly realistic in some ways except what is wood on it is actually plastic, and the metal it's made of could never withstand real ammunition. I never have seen the types of airsoft this story apparantly involve -- and yes, the fact they exist does surprise me, as I have to wonder why any manufacturer would go to the trouble of making toys so realistic they could be converted. Maybe people in other countries like them so much there is a market for them ... but this is the first I've heard of it.

    Maybe the Feds were absolutly correct in pouncing on these. And maybe the importers really were guilty as sin.
    This is a case where "once burned, twice shy" obtains. I've heard of so many federal muck-ups, and I've read too much reporting, that has wound up being just monstorously wrong, that when I hear a story about "Airsoft" guns being confiscated because they could be "converted," guess what conclusions I jump to -- even if I am wrong.
    I only apologize once.
    But I won't worry about the black helicopters. :p ;)
     
  15. Archie

    Archie Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    2,318
    Location:
    Hastings, Nebraska - the Heartland!
    Brother Gunn, let's not get me started about 'journalists'.

    Yes, the feds and many other screw up things. I'm still angry regarding Waco and Ruby Ridge. And Kent Ballew (phonetic spelling), who was the man permanently injured for having what might have been a hand grenade (but wasn't) in Baltimore, Maryland in the late 1960s.

    This one however, is pretty legitimate. No, one cannot merely pull off the red tip, insert a magazine and begin shooting. But the receiver is a real receiver.

    Again, no word on this was deliberate or just too good a copy. As far as I know, no arrests yet. There may be no arrests; this is one of those cases where the item itself is the problem.

    And thanks for looking at it with an honest eye. I really think everyone should ask all sorts of questions - as long as they're willing to listen to the answer.
     
  16. Skillet

    Skillet Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Messages:
    462
    Location:
    Idaho
    :banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead:

    you get my point?
     
  17. esquare

    esquare Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Messages:
    305
    Archie - from the info posted from the imported, the airsoft trigger pack can't strike an AR-15 firing pin and an AR-15 trigger pack can't be fitted to the airsoft lower because it actually isn't an exact replica (different pin locations?). So, I'm still not understanding the issue. Is it that the entire lower has to be operational as a drop in replacement to make the upper work? I honestly don't know, but it seems that if you had to supply a new trigger pack (and upper) and also perform substantial milling to make it work, it really isn't an easily convertible firearm.
     
  18. Aaron Baker

    Aaron Baker Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Messages:
    695
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    Two points to think about:

    1) These airsoft guns don't have to be full-auto-ready in order to be illegal. If they could function as semi-auto firearms with a few components changed, then that would be just as illegal--they'd be firearms with no serial numbers, imported as toys.

    2) Folks that are really into AR15s will be familiar with the concept of 80% receivers. There is a point where the raw materials become the actual receiver, and that point is somewhere in between a rough casting and the actual finished product. So it may be possible that even if these receivers required some shims and some extra drilling or milling, they were still complete enough to be considered an actual firearm receiver.

    From memory, it seems that AR15 receivers can be considered "80% receivers" (and therefore not yet a firearm) if they are completely milled but no holes drilled, or with holes drilled, but still need the fire control group pocket milled. It sounds like these are completely milled in the fire control group pocket, and also have some of the holes drilled. So they're more than 80% complete. That might make them technically a firearm.

    It also doesn't matter that the gas tube doesn't work. Even with no upper at all, it could be a firearm, because the lower is the firearm on an AR15.

    Aaron
     
  19. Victor1Echo

    Victor1Echo Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    424
    The ATF is as corrupt as they come. This is an organization doing what ever it wants with no one telling them to stop. If you want to understand the ATF watch the movie Waco:the rules of engagement. A joke, and slap in the face to all law abiding peoples.
     
  20. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    6,051
    Location:
    Burlington, VT
    V1E, and that has what to do with customs seizing items that were possibly illegal to import.
     
  21. Drail

    Drail Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    5,985
    So an M 16/M 4 is just a easily modified air soft toy gun?
     
  22. Grayrider

    Grayrider Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    997
    Location:
    Missouri Ozarks
    See this discussion on an airsoft site:

    http://www.arniesairsoft.co.uk/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t182316.html

    Has pics showing that AR/M16 parts will not fit into these receivers. Many dimensions are way off. It would probably be easier to start with an 80% receiver as the criminal making the machine gun would have to remove metal rather than add it where it did not exist. Someone at the ATF was bored that day.

    John
     
  23. LT LunchSpecial

    LT LunchSpecial Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Des Moines, WA
    "Under Federal Law, airsoft guns are not classified as firearms and are legal for all ages."

    "Airsoft guns' trademarks must be removed where the manufacturer does not have an existing license agreement with the manufacturer of the real fire arm. For example: Classic Army has a licensing agreement with ArmaLite, so the trademarks can stay on imported replicas of ArmaLite's weapons."

    So it Looks like a REAL firearm but dosen't fire Bullets, sounds like a Replica to me.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_issues_in_airsoft#United_States

    The only reason those should have been confiscated was the lack of orange tips.


    "A replica is a copy that is relatively indistinguishable from the original."

    "Because of gun ownership restrictions in some locales, gun collectors often create non-functional legal replicas of illegal firearms. Such replicas are also preferred to real firearms when used as a prop in a stage performance, generally for safety reasons."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Replica

    Does this mean i should buy a gun safe for my airsoft guns? I mean they are "easily converted" in to real "Machine Guns." (Sarcasm)
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2010
  24. Officers'Wife

    Officers'Wife Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    3,450
    Location:
    A long way from heaven and too close to Chicago
    When I was eleven or twelve, my brother made a model M-16 in the machine shop. The barrel was a solid aluminum rod, it chambered a modified piece of 3/8 copper tubing and used shotgun primers to power the action when fired. While he paid great attention to detail the whole thing was basically milled aluminum.

    When he finished and demonstrated the toy, my sister (an attorney) advised him to melt it down as even though it could in no way shape or form fire bullets and was no more than an over-glorified cap gun it could fall under the heading of a machine gun.

    The law has no place for common sense.
     
  25. harmonic

    harmonic member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Messages:
    1,247
    Somebody on another forum posted these pics. I still say they're just pictures, not proof. What do you think?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    BTW, uppers are interchangeable:
    [​IMG]
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice