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Old January 31, 2006, 12:34 AM   #1
01locksmith
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Would this be a NFA Firearm?

I have been reading quit a bit on nfa guidelines and definitions latley and I am pretty sure about what a machinegun is. "Trigger" is the term I am concerned about. Could a micro switch possibly be considered as a trigger if a semi automatic rifle trigger(in the conventional sense) is powered by an electric motor? If I want to check with ATF, how willing are they to help with classifying a customized gun? I want to stay legal and fines and/or prison are not what I want. The crank type triggers seem to be OK. The so called gatlin 22 cal. are OK. This is pretty much the same as what is availible but is motor powered rather than hand crank. This is the only place I know of on the forum for answers. 700+ rpm sounds like machinegun fire. I only takes one phone call from a anti-gun to send agents my way,from the way I understand it. This would be a truely recreational firearm. Any help or advice on how to go about checking on legality of such a firearm will help.
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Old January 31, 2006, 12:50 AM   #2
raydbonz
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You would need to write to the NFA branch of the BATFE for an opinion. You can also order the complete book of NFA laws from them for free. The address should be on their web site.

My non-legally binding opinion - As long as only one shot is fired for each time the trigger is pulled, it is not a machine gun. If you add some external device to pull the trigger really fast, it is still not a machine gun.
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Old January 31, 2006, 12:54 AM   #3
01locksmith
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Thats what I think too. Just as long as a tigger can not be thought of as an electronic trigger! But Hey! Who has ever heard of that?
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Old January 31, 2006, 01:10 AM   #4
SamD
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Already been through the mill.
A switch is a trigger, otherwise I'd have an M61, m134 and a GAU8.

Sam
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Old January 31, 2006, 07:26 PM   #5
CypherNinja
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Since its an electric motor which continues operating as long as the switch is held down, it counts as an MG I think.

Those crank triggers for 10/22s are a different story, however, since they require constant mechanical input from the user. Ditto the reproduction Gatling Guns.
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Old January 31, 2006, 07:56 PM   #6
ffxmike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CypherNinja
Since its an electric motor which continues operating as long as the switch is held down, it counts as an MG I think.

Those crank triggers for 10/22s are a different story, however, since they require constant mechanical input from the user. Ditto the reproduction Gatling Guns.
I believe that is correct (but as always, check with the ATF to be sure)

I recall someone (some site) that sold a kit to hold 2 10/22's, with a crank to pull the triggers. They had a letter on their site from the atf that said something to the effect of, it was legal with a crank, but if you used a drill to power it, it would be a machine gun, because the switch on the drill becomes the trigger.

Ridiculous, but, thats how it goes.
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Old January 31, 2006, 08:59 PM   #7
01locksmith
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ffxmike, Ridiculous is right. Thanks for everyones input, and more is welcomed.
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Old February 1, 2006, 09:50 AM   #8
shaggy
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The advice so far is correct - an electronic or other type of powered mechanisim that operates the trigger automatically IS considered a MG by BATFE. BATFE issued an advisory opinion to this effect a couple years ago. The electronic switch or the mechanisim that powers movement of the trigger becomes the new "trigger" in the eyes of the law.
January 5, 1997

Edward M. Owen, Jr.
Chief, Firearms Technology Branch
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
Technology Branch
Washington, DC 20226

Dear Sir:

I am writing to inquire what the status of Gatling Guns are, with
regard to the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act
of 1968.

Would a Gatling Gun manufactured today be classified as an NFA
firearm? If not, what are the distinguishing characteristics that
separate a Gatling Gun from its modern offspring, the Mini Gun?
Would a Gatling Gun using a motor to assist firing the weapon at an
adjustable rate be viewed any different as one without a motor?

Also, what type of ammunition feeding device would be acceptable on
a modern Gatling Gun reproduction? Magazine, links or belt,
attached feeding device?

Thank you very much for any information you could provide.

Sincerely,



DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND FIREARMS
WASHINGTON, DC 20226

E:CE:FT:GKD
3311

JAN 28 1997

Dear Mr. :

This refers to your letter of January 5, 1997, requesting
information on the status of Gatling guns under the Gun Control Act
(GCA) of 1968 and/or the National Firearms Act (NFA).

Generally, a Gatling type hand crank operated firearm, having a
bore diameter of 1/2-inch or less, as produced under the patents of
1862-1893, employing a cam action to accomplish the functions of
repeat cocking, firing, and ejecting, in a caliber for which
ammunition is commercially available, and manufactured after 1898,
would be classified as a "firearm" as defined in Title 18 United
States Code (U.S.C.), Chapter 44, section 921(a)(3), Title I of the
GCA.

A Gatling gun as described in the preceding paragraph and using an
electric motor to fire the weapon instead of hand cranking, would
be classified as a "firearm" and a "machinegun" as defined in Title
26 U.S.C., Chapter 53, section 5845(b), the NFA.

Electrically driven machineguns such as the M-134 Minigun are
firearms and machineguns subject to the provisions of the NFA.
Frames or receivers of such weapons are also machineguns regardless
of whether or not other components are present.

With reference to acceptable ammunition feeding device(s) for a
Gatling type gun, 18 U.S.C., Chapter 44, section 921(a)(31) defines
the term "large capacity ammunition feeding device" as;

-2-

(A)... a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device
manufactured after the date of enactment of the Violent Crime
Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 that has a capacity of, or
that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10
rounds of ammunition; but

(B) does not include an attached tubular device designed to
accept, and capable of operating only with .22 caliber rimfire
ammunition." The date of enactment of the Violent Crime Control
and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 referred to above is September 13,
1994.

Further, Title 18 U.S.C., Chapter 44, section 922(w)(1) provides
that "Except as provided in paragraph (2), it shall be unlawful for
a person to transfer or possess a large capacity ammunition feeding
device" and "(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to the possession or
transfer of any large capacity ammunition feeding device otherwise
lawfully possessed on or before the date of the enactment of this
subsection."

Based on the above provisions, it would not be legal for you to
manufacture any ammunition feeding device that fell within the
above definition. You would be limited to manufacturing any type
device that had a capacity of ten rounds or less.

We have previously determined that hopper type feed mechanisms as
used on certain original gatling guns or feed chutes such as the
Bruce feed mechanism are not restricted under Section 922(w)(1).

We trust that the foregoing has been responsive to your inquiry.
If we can be of any further assistance, please contact us.

Sincerely yours,

<signed>

Edward M. Owen, Jr.
Chief, Firearms Technology Branch
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Old February 1, 2006, 09:40 PM   #9
01locksmith
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shaggy, Thanks for the info. I do have another question now about the magazines mentioned in the letter above. Does this 10 round capacity limit also include the 25 rounder sold by Butler Creek for the 10/22? Some are avalible at 50 rounds! I must be missing something here because these "high capacity" mags are avalible almost anywhere.
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Old February 1, 2006, 09:44 PM   #10
kozak6
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That 10 round limit was a provision of the "Assault Weapon Ban" of 1994, which has now expired and no longer applies.
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