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Do class 3 licenses draw extra 'scrutiny' from law enforcement/ATF?

Discussion in 'NFA Firearms and Accessories' started by leadcounsel, Jan 13, 2012.

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  1. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    So, I recently learned that some individuals who legally register and own Class 3 gear, such as select fire weapons, suppressors, SBRs, SBS, etc, may draw a lot of extra scrutiny and attention from LEO...

    Well, "so what" you may say... but consider this.

    In a conversation I had with a LEO agent, he said that you are automatically on the radar and that IF LEO had a reason to come and knock or investigate at your home for any reason, that if you had a Class 3 item, that it would elevate the situation to either:

    1) SWAT team involvement or
    2) NO KNOCK team entry...

    :what::what::what::cuss::cuss::cuss:

    So it's almost like a note to the ATF to pay extra attention to you!

    Anyone here have any thoughts or information on this?
     
  2. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Not true
     
  3. Rail Driver

    Rail Driver Member

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    Sounds like BS to me. I know several people that legally own class 3 gear and none of them have expressed any issues like this. One of them even lives in a VERY rough neighborhood where things happen involving law enforcement on his block fairly regularly. Basically if they don't have any reason to investigate you, they're probably not going to waste the time investigating you.
     
  4. NOLAEMT

    NOLAEMT Member

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    Pure BS.

    Probably just a cop who doesnt like mere mortals owning those kind of weapons.
     
  5. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    Ive had a number of NFA items for over 25 years now, and the only time I ever dealt with the ATF was when I contacted them.

    As far as the local cops, I always kept a loaded mag or two for them to shoot if and when they showed up. Sometimes they did, and, they did. :)
     
  6. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Member

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    Whover you talked to is a fool and "learned" you wrong.
     
  7. larryh1108

    larryh1108 Member

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    Do I think you are under scrutiny if you have a class 3 license? No.

    That being said, I do believe you will fall into a "computer sort" that could put you on a list that you would otherwise not be on. What I am saying is if a bank was robbed within 50 miles of you and class 3 weapons were used and they drove off in a black Suburban and you live within 50 miles and own a black Suburban I would bet your door would be knocked on. Is that fair? No but I would bet it happens.
     
  8. M-Cameron

    M-Cameron member

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    something i have learned.....LEO are some of the WORST people to seek legal advise from.....they are right up there with most handgun instructors, the counter guy at the local gun shop, and posts on internet forums.......

    if you ever want to get an actual answer.....you either have to read the laws yourself...or find a lawyer.
     
  9. Quiet

    Quiet Member

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    No such thing as a "class 3 license".
    So, if someone mentions it, they do not know what they are talking about.

    A "class 3" is a Special Occupational Taxpayer (SOT).
    Only a person with a Federal Firearm License (FFL) can be a SOT.

    There are three kinds of SOT.
    Class 1 = importer of Title 2 firearms
    Class 2 = manufacturer of Title 2 firearms
    Class 3 = dealer of Title 2 firearms

    So, a NFA firearms dealer would typically be a Type 01-FFL Class 3 SOT.

    Federally, there is no extra scrutiny for a person who legally owns a Title 2 firearm (AOW, DD, MG, NS, SBR, SBS).
    Just have a copy of your paperwork/tax stamp, to show that it is legally owned.


    Some states may have extra requirements for persons who legally own Title 2 firearms.
    Such as CA... which has extra requirements due to mandatory state licensing for certain Title 2 firearms (DD, MG, SBR, SBS), mandatory transportation restrictions and mandatory storage restrictions. These additional requirements along with annual inspection audits to ensure compliance of the extra requirements, may be construed as "extra scrutiny" from state LEOs (CA DOJ BOF).
     
  10. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Aaach. As much as we try to be somewhat understanding about poor semantics and firearms vocabulary, this gets old.

    There is no such thing as a Class 3 gun. Machine guns, silencers, SBR/SBS, destructive devices, and AOWs are National Firearms Act, Title II registered firearms.

    You do not get a Class 3 license to own one. When you purchase one of these, you register it with the BATFE in your name in the NFA registry. You do not hold ANY kind of license because of this. All you are doing is registering that one weapon. If you want another one you have to register that one, separately, as well.

    An FFL-holder gun DEALER who wants to sell machine guns, silencers, and other NFA-regulated weapons applies and pays the Special Occupational Tax, Class 3 to do so. (SOT3) So, you can, in the common shorthand, become an SOT3 FFL dealer. But being licensed to SELL these guns is very different from merely owning one.

    An FFL-holder gun MANUFACTURER who wants to MAKE machine guns, silencers, and other NFA-regulated weapons applies and pays the Special Occupational Tax, Class 2 to do so. (SOT2) So, you can, in the common shorthand, become an SOT2 FFL manufacturer. But being licensed to MAKE these guns is very different from merely owning one.

    If you can legally buy a firearm, you can buy an NFA-Title II weapon -- if your state allows it. The process is more complicated but the requirements are not actually stricter. Some states that do allow them do have special requirements like holding a state permit or registering those items with the state as well as the BATFE.

    Having said all of that, the fact that you own a machine gun or silencer does not increase your "profile" with law enforcement. You do not give up ANY 4th Amendment rights, your collection and/or home are not subject to inspections. You are not inviting no-knock raids or any such crap.

    Whoever told you this knows NOTHING about the matter, which seems to be the common situation when you ask a local law enforcement officer any question on firearms law. Doubly so if you're asking something about NFA issues.
     
  11. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    Some of you are missing the point -

    The point isn't my semantics or even the LEO's semantics or the translation of same...

    The POINT is that
    1) Owning said items puts you on lists that make it more likely that you will be talked to and
    2) IF they come and talk to you, you might expect more of an armed response than otherwise...
     
  12. Mot45acp

    Mot45acp Member

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    I don't own any NFA items.

    The Mot45acp trust now, is a different story.
     
  13. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    Based on what?
     
  14. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Maybe we're not missing the point after all. The point is, with perhaps a few exceptions (like CA, and maybe MD, though I've never heard of it in MD) there are no special lists and you should NOT expect any different treatment than 'otherwise.'

    Your LEO pal is full o' poo.

    Except in the two or three states where you make special application to the state regarding Title II items, there is NO special list for the LEOs to check. The 'special list' is the NFA registry held by the BATFE. And they don't call up to BATFE and ask, "by the way, we're going over to Eddie's house today, does he have happen to have any machine guns?"

    IF they find you in possession of a machine gun or other Title II regulated item, then they can determine whether you possess it legally, by looking at your stamped Form 4 (or Form 1) and verifying with the BATFE if they feel the need. (That's problematic, though. The Form, with the stamp, in your hands IS your proof).

    But that's it.
     
  15. crazy-mp

    crazy-mp Member

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    You will be the “registered owner” of that silencer, which is recorded on a “list.”
    But remember, you have a social security number, which is a “list”; you are registered
    to vote, which is a “list”; you pay your taxes, which is a controlled “list.” From
    your birth, the government has had ways of identifying you. S o relax, take a deep
    breath, and exercise your right to buy a silencer.

    *taken from SilencerCo Silencers are legal brochure*

    I do not know of any state that has laws regarding mobilization of a Special Reaction team to deal with a individual because they own a legally possessed firearm. If the police had information that you were building illegal machine guns and selling them there is a good chance your front door will come off the hinges unannounced.

    Sounds to me like your "LEO agent" either does not know the law, thinks common people shouldn't have title II items, or is really a 16 year old blowing smoke on a forum.
     
  16. Aaron Baker

    Aaron Baker Member

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    Saying it doesn't make it so.

    Talk to all the people who really do own NFA items. Most of them have never talked to an ATF agent or any other type of law enforcement because of their ownership of NFA items. Just because the ATF has a registry doesn't mean that they're using it to harass law-abiding citizens.

    And if "they" do come and talk to you, then it's not going to be an armed SWAT response unless you've got something more than NFA ownership going on.

    Now, I can imagine that if the ATF gets wind that you're making illegal machine guns and you're on the registry with a bunch of NFA items, then when they get a warrant from a neutral and detached magistrate, they may decide to do no-knock service (which thanks to the US Supreme Court is possible with ANY warrant) and use a SWAT team. However, it really isn't the registered NFA items they're worried about in that scenario, it's the illegal machine guns. And without those, they have no cause for a warrant.

    As already stated, the 4th Amendment still applies to people who own items on the NFA registry.

    Aaron
     
  17. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    Technically, your forms "are" a tax form, and in that realm.
     
  18. Lawdawg45

    Lawdawg45 Member

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    I can't speak authoritatively for other states, but in Indiana a "No knock" warrant is extremely hard to get and requires mounds of evidence be presented to a Judge, so I think that comment was exaggerated or pure BS. As far as the heightened response when serving a warrant, why the heck not? It's no different than you, I, or anyone else when we know a danger exists, like when we venture into a ghetto we are more likely to carry a large caliber, high capacity weapon, and not a .22 revolver. Lot's of paranoia out there under the banner of Pro2A, sift through it carefully.

    LD
     
  19. Iramo94

    Iramo94 Member

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    ^This.
     
  20. Aaron Baker

    Aaron Baker Member

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    Lawdawg is probably correct that "no knock" warrants require additional evidence before they are granted in almost every, if not every, state.

    However, the Supreme Court ruled in Hudson v. Michigan that the exclusionary rule does not apply to violations of the knock-and-announce rule. That takes all the teeth out of the requirement to knock and announce your presence as police before entering a home on a warrant. If there are no consequences (like exclusion of evidence) for simply ignoring the knock-and-announce requirement, then ALL warrants might as well be no-knock warrants, because there's no penalty to police for not knocking.

    Trusting law enforcement to be on its best behavior has never been good public policy, regardless of how upstanding individual officers may be.

    I'm getting a little off topic, but my basic point is that if there's any reason for police to get a warrant for your home, you may as well assume that they will be entering in full riot gear with no warning. Thankfully, simply owning an NFA firearm is NOT probable cause for a warrant, and our Constitution still requires one.

    Aaron
     
  21. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    No no no no. Did I mention no?

    Seriously, I have owned fully automatic weapons for many years, pre-1968 amnesty in a few cases. I've had LEO out to my place several times for break-ins and other issues, and never did they even know I owned these beautiful, fun weapons. Silly to think they would know everyone who might own a machine gun, silencer, SBS or SBR. DD maybe, especially if it were wheeled and sitting in the front yard? Might cause a question about that.
     
  22. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Member

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    leadcounsel wrote:

    Absolutely untrue. I have owned NFA weapons continuously since 1975, and I have had no untoward experiences of this kind. The only time ATF visited me was when I had an FFL and SOT, and they were doing a routine compliance check. (The compliance inspectors were nice, unthreatening ladies.) As far as "lists" go, yes, in Virginia there's a State Police registry of machine guns, but they don't do anything with it and (as I learned) it's not even necessarily up to date. Actually, law enforcement authorities are aware of all the hoops and background checks that NFA owners must go through, and so the presumption is that we're the "good guys."
     
  23. Arp32

    Arp32 Member

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    I'm not trying to be disparaging of the OP, but it does seem like there are a good number of posts postulating on the relative likelihood of extremely unlikely firearm-related events occurring to one of us. This seems like one.


    I'm guessing that if you divided the annual number of search warrants into the population of my local metro area, it would be an extremely small fraction. Take out the number of folks with prior criminal records, I'm guessing that number drops even further. Mistakes happen, but I'm sure the likelihood of it occurring to any of us is probably extremely, extremely small.

    Now compare the for the number of erroneous search warrants that were served on folks who also happened to possess registered NFA items, and compare the number of those that were no-knock warrants versus "polite" service... You get the point. Even if we had the statistics, is the sample size even enough to draw a conclusion? How often does this occur across the entire nation? Once a year? Once every two years? There's a Powerball winner most weeks.
     
  24. GoingQuiet

    GoingQuiet Member

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    There is no such thing as a class 3 license or class 3 gear. Class 3 is a tax bracket or a railroad, it is not something you can buy.

    LE is full of FUD. That is simply not the case. There is no spot on ATF Form 4 that has a checkbox that says "Do you waive your rights to fourth amementment/due process etc."

     
  25. Bovice

    Bovice Member

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    If I was on the receiving end of a no-knock raid while I'm eating dinner and abiding by the law, I just might shoot back, having no idea why the hell armed people are running through my house.

    That does not seem like a logical response just to tell me that there's a car parked the wrong way in the street in front of my house.
     
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