Registering a WWII Gun

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Account216, May 12, 2021.

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  1. Account216

    Account216 Member

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    I’m sure you’ve heard this story before, but my mom recently inherited a gun from her grandfather and we’re unsure about how to legally register it. It’s a Nazi Youth Rifle, so it was brought back as a souvenir and was never registered. What’s the best course of action? (This is in California, if that changes anything.)
     
  2. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Unless it meets the CA AW designation, it requires no registration. Generally. Mostly.

    If it's one of these--a .22 "trainer" rifle:
    pix823508341.jpg
    Then it likely needs nothing at all in CA. There's no federal requirement for registration.

    Now, if it looks like this:
    1200px-Sturmgewehr44_noBG.jpg
    All bets would be off. (STW 44 are seldom described as "youth rifles")

    Photos of the rifle you are asking about would be extremely helpful.
     
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  3. armedwalleye

    armedwalleye Member

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    In addition to being highly interesting!!!
     
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  4. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    Registry is the biggest misconception when it comes to guns. There is no registry, and legally there cannnot be a registry. The system was built with a means of traceability but no mechanism for the government to identify gun owners for confiscation purposes. The only things that are registered are NFA items, so unless you have a short barreled rifle or shotgun, an “any other weapon”, destructive device, or a fully automatic firearm then you basically don’t have a weapon that is required to be registered per federal law. State laws infringe upon that regularly and there are state laws that are much more stringent than the federal law. California is one of the more stringent and I have no experience with California law, so I am not going to comment on that other than to say your best bet is to find a buddy with a law degree, and have him figure it out and make any calls to the government. If there is something illegal that could get you in trouble, they can’t ask him for your information but he can tell you to lose that gun in a lake after it’s been under a chopsaw a couple times. Most likely it’s fine, and there’s nothing that you need to do.
     
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  5. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    "There is no firearm registration requirement in California except for assault weapon owners and personal handgun importers."

    https://oag.ca.gov/firearms/pubfaqs#24

    As a fellow Californian, my best advice would be to do nothing. You have no legal requirement to contact the government regarding your rifle - assuming it is not an "assault rifle" - and are far better off not intentionally putting yourself on California's radar.
     
  6. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    The only red flag that the term "youth rifle" would raise for me would be that the barrel length might be less than 16 inches. With the bolt closed, insert a cleaning rod until it butts up against the face of the bolt, mark the cleaning rod at the muzzle, and measure. If less than 16 inches, you have a "Short Barrel Rifle" that needs to be registered with the ATF.
     
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  7. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    And would be completely illegal in California.
     
  8. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Or anywhere. I do not know of a provision to register a "found" NFA, you must have prior approval.
     
  9. Account216

    Account216 Member

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    Thank you so much for the advice! As requested, here’s a photo:

    It’s a single shot Belgian 22 and it does pass the 16-inch requirement.

    As a follow-up question, are there any courses/ certifications, etc. that you need to have or take to own this gun? (The background check is covered, but is there anything else?)
     
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  10. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Not where I live. This is something you would reasonably start out a grammar school student with and training would be left up to Grandpa.
     
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  11. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Ought to be good with anything not an MG, since that specific Registry is closed.
    Might need to use a "making" form for SBR or AOW.

    CA regulations on such things being a different matter.
     
  12. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Not to own. If you intend to hunt with it, you need to check with your state wildlife agency.
     
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  13. DocRock

    DocRock member

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    Nothing required whatsoever. Your natural right to keep and bear arms simply exists. If you would like to become proficient in its use, and can find some ammunition, simply take it to the public range and ask for some help. All manner of cranky old gun bugs will suddenly turn friendly and, if you can stand being bored to tears, you will likely learn something.
     
  14. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Now, you might want to take a Hunter's Safety course, or an NRA rifle course. These will give you good background. But are generally not required.
    Whether a background check is required is down to CA, (I want to remember, not, for inheritances) as you probably already know if your Mom is a Prohibited Person.

    Now, CA might have something to say about how you transfer the arm from your Mom to yourself. If it's a simple loan, that is likely ok.
     
  15. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Back in the day (pre-1986), "found" MGs were being registered all the time. The way it was done was to find a "friendly" SOT manufacturer who would "nominally" demil the gun and then "nominally" weld it back together (adding his markings of course). The ATF wasn't too rigorous in its inspections in those days. When I was doing WW1 reenacting, one of the guys got a call from someone wanting to sell him a Maxim sled mount. When the seller showed up, lo and behold, the mount had the gun attached! Nobody said anything, and sometime later, the gun magically reappeared, properly papered!
     
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  16. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    A classmate registered a DEWAT Maxim MG 08/15 during the 1968 amnesty in the hopes that he would be able to get it shooting again. I never heard back from him, though. I wonder what the dormitory maid thought about a machine gun in his room.
     
  17. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Unlike what I described earlier, that's totally legit. A registered DEWAT can be restored to firing condition today upon payment of a "making " tax.
     
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  18. Twiki357

    Twiki357 Member

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    If you are going to shoot it, make sure you have the correct ammunition. You said that it’s a 22, but with the age and purpose, it may be only a 22 short instead of long rifle.
     
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  19. Quiet

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    Under CA laws/regulations...

    Before 2014, there was no requirement to register non-prohibited firearms with CA DOJ.

    If she received the rifle before 01-01-2014, then legally nothing needs to be done about this, due to the transfer complying with all CA laws at that time.

    If she received the rifle after 12-31-2013, then legally within 30 days of receiving the firearm, she must report it to CA DOJ.
    Currently, as long as it is reported, there is no penalty for reporting after the 30 day window. The statue of limitations for not reporting is 3 years from the time of the transfer.
    If she wants it registered to her and...
    ... if it is between 0-3 years from the time of the transfer, then she needs a valid FSC or exemption to the FSC and she should submit a completed Report of Intra-Familial Firearm Transaction.
    ... if it is 3+ years from the time of the transfer, then she needs a valid FSC or exemption to the FSC and she should submit a completed Firearm Ownership Report.

    If she wants to give it to you and you are both CA residents, then legally...
    1. You need a valid FSC or exemption to the FSC.
    2. She hands you the firearm.
    3. Within 30 days of receiving the firearm, you submit a completed Report of Intra-Familial Firearm Transaction to CA DOJ.



    Historically in CA...
    08-07-1924 = CA Dealer Record Of Sale (DROS) of handguns is registered with CA DOJ.
    01-01-1991 = All firearm transfers must be done through a CA FFL dealer.
    01-01-1992 = Operations of law & intra-familial transfers of firearms are exempt from the CA FFL dealer requirement, but the transfer of handguns must be reported.
    01-01-1997 = CA DROS submissions must be done electronically.
    01-01-1997 = CA C&R FFLs must report C&R handguns acquired while out-of-state and brought into CA.
    01-01-1998 = New residents of CA must report all handguns they bring to CA.
    01-01-2014 = CA DROS of long guns registers it with CA DOJ.
    01-01-2014 = Operation of law & intra-familial transfers of all firearms must be reported.
    01-01-2014 = CA C&R FFL must report all C&R firearms acquired while out-of-state and brought into CA.
    01-01-2014 = New residents of CA must report all firearms they bring to CA.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2021
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  20. Quiet

    Quiet Member

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    Under CA laws/regulations...

    There is no training/certificate requirement to own or possess a firearm in CA.

    There is a requirement to have a valid Firearm Safety Certificate (FSC) or an exemption to the FSC, in order to legally be able to acquire a firearm in CA.


    Historically in CA...
    01-01-1994 = a Basic Firearm Safety Certificate (BFSC) or exemption to the BFSC was required in order to legally acquire a handgun in CA.
    01-01-2000 = the BFSC was made void and a Handgun Safety Certificate (HSC) or exemption to the HSC was required to legally acquire a handgun in CA.
    01-01-2014 = the HSC was replaced with the Firearm Safety Certificate and a FSC or exemption to the FSC is required to legally acquire a firearm in CA.
     
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  21. Quiet

    Quiet Member

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    Under current CA laws...

    The transfer of firearms in CA must be done through a CA FFL dealer.

    The transfer of ownership of a firearm between immediate family members* and spouses** is exempt from needing to be done through a CA FFL dealer, but the transfer must be reported to CA DOJ. The immediate CA family member receiving the firearm must be 18 years of age or older and have a valid FSC or exemption to the FSC.

    The loan of a firearm between family members*** and spouses** is exempt from needing to be done through a CA FFL dealer; as long as the loan is infrequent and for less than 30 days and the person receiving the firearm is 18 years of age or older and that person has a valid FSC or exemption to the FSC. In addtion, if the firearm being loaned is a handgun, then it must be registered to the owner/lender of the handgun.

    The loan of firearms between non-prohibited persons in CA, that are 18 years of age or older, is exempt from needing to be done through a CA FFL dealer; as long as the owner/lender of the firearms is physically present for the entire duration of the loan.

    *Immediate family members = grandparent, parent, child, and grandchild relations, but does not include step or in-law versions of those relations.
    ** spouse includes registered domestic partners.
    ***family members = immediate family members and siblings and step or in-law versions of all of those relations.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2021
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  22. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Member

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    I'm not a lawyer, so you don't have to take my advice, but I AM a freedom loving American citizen who served his nation in uniform for 28 years to endure that freedom, so were it me... I wouldn't say a damn thing to any government official... ever.

    My father-in-law's uncle brought back a Brazilian Mauser from Italy. Dad got it when Unkie died, he gave it to me, now my boy has it.

    It's none of their business. No matter what state you live in.

    BTW, Sorry for your loss.
     
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  23. brickeyee

    brickeyee Member

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    Same thing in Virginia, and many other states.
     
  24. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    Being in CA changes everything, as I'm sure you've figured out.
    That's a nifty little rifle!
    By this time, I should be better versed in CA law, but I'm not. I'm also not licensed there. That said, it looks like some THR members who are knowledgeable about CA law are helping out.[/QUOTE]
     
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