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Old April 9, 2008, 05:23 PM   #1
Long Tom
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Law Enforcement M14, Legal?

Someone I know, knows a police officer. He has a M14 that he purchased
from his then police dept. as a semi-auto rifle in the seventys.
I assume it's considered a machine gun.
My question is, can the rifle be sold to a class 3 dealer or will it have to be destroyed.
He has all the papers he got when he bought it.
I'm told the gun is near mint.

Thanks in advance.
LT.
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Old April 9, 2008, 06:17 PM   #2
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It may very well be a semi-auto. Lots of dept's wanted centerfire rifles, but not necessarily full auto rifles. If it is actually a machinegun, chances are good that he transferred it out of his department legally. You should inquire what kind of form it is on, whether it is a form 5 or a form 4.
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Old April 9, 2008, 06:21 PM   #3
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It hurts so much to hear that word 'DESTROY.'
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Old April 9, 2008, 06:54 PM   #4
wjkuleck
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Quote:
Someone I know, knows a police officer. He has a M14 that he purchased from his then police dept. as a semi-auto rifle in the seventys.
I assume it's considered a machine gun.

My question is, can the rifle be sold to a class 3 dealer or will it have to be destroyed. He has all the papers he got when he bought it. I'm told the gun is near mint.

Thanks in advance.
LT.
If this rifle was not registered as a machine gun prior to 1986, it is contraband. The BATFE considers any and all M14s, whether M14, M14M, or M14NM, as "readily restorable" and thus remain machine guns.

There is only one exception: TRW M14 NM A/N 143711; see U.S. v. One U.S. (TRW) 7.62mm M-14 National Match Rifle, Serial No. 143711, 1980 WL 95647 (S.D.Ohio, May 20, 1980)

"In this case the trial court turns down an ATF attempt to forfeit a TRW M-14 rifle, built by TRW as a National Match rifle. The court decides that ATF failed to prove the gun was a machine gun, as ATF argued - the gun was not registered as anything. ATF claimed the gun was readily restorable to a machine gun, and tried to prove that by welding the selector lockout to the lug on a regular M-14, then restoring that gun to take a selector. However, the court found that they did not weld the lockout in the manner that was done on the NM guns, nor did they refute the evidence that the NM guns never were machine guns, but were made as semi-autos at TRW."
You indicate that he "purchased" the rifle as a "semiauto." The consequences of this vary somewhat. For example, if the M14 came from the DoD, the DoD is going to want its property back. Unless things were very different back then, the "sale" of an M14 or an M16 to a LEO agency entails continued accounting for the weapon, which remains subject to recall. In the last year or two the DoD had all the M14s "loaned" to State Rifle Associations recalled.

If the rifle's source was not the DoD (as is the case with 143711 above) but the manufacturer, it may have been a non-tax transfer to a government agency (the police department). While the rifle would not be subject to DoD audit and/or recall, a transfer to a private individual without NFA registration would have been unlawful. A PD of my acquaintance has a mint Colt Thompson M1921; they would love to sell it to the collector market to use the funds for other purposes, but they cannot do so.

Now, I'm not an NFA owner or dealer, so I don't know if a rifle in the latter case can be transferred to a SOT as a post-'86 sample, but if so, that would keep it out of the clutches of the Federal authorities.

Were I he, I would keep a very low profile .

Regards,

Walt
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Old April 9, 2008, 07:12 PM   #5
David Hineline
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Have your brother's uncle's cousin's friend

Have your brother's uncle's cousin's friend send me an email and I will either by email or phone call walk him through the legality of his rifle configuration and what his options are.

I am not interested in talking to second or third parties, have the owner of the gun contact me.
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Old April 9, 2008, 07:24 PM   #6
goste
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Hello all, I sorta had the same question...I'm a patrol officer, in a small town in T.X. My Dept has 3 m14 rifles, 2 trw,1 H.R. I found them in a back locker, some years ago. I don't know where they came from..Am I correct in assuming a Dept, would have to register them prior to 1986, for them to be legal? My Police chief at the time, knew nothing about them..

I would dearly love to own them, as The Dept. would let me have them for next to nothing,(I asked) but I just don't see how. They just sit, and I'm the only one who has fired them in years.. The other Officers see them as "mine". I wish...................seems a shame......


Later....Caspar

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Old April 10, 2008, 02:54 AM   #7
rkba_net
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Your dept can register then at any time on an ATF Form 10... they will ONLY be transferable to other PD's and Gov't agencies... not even to Class III dealers...
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Old April 10, 2008, 04:39 AM   #8
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Laws written by idiots can be reversed by similar folks....
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Old April 10, 2008, 08:50 AM   #9
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I have to ask myself, does it really make since that we are even discussing this? I mean obviously the law is unconstitutional, a violation of liberty, and the law is actually illegal. What the ATF does is immoral, and unethical. I'm not advising anyone to get in trouble. I myself try to avoid that. But seriously, we are talking about M-14's for Christ's sake. Even if they are fully automatic, what's the issue? You aren't killing anybody are you? Why do you even want to make it public that you own it? It isn't like somebody is going to approach you on a range and ask you for your papers.
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Old April 10, 2008, 11:42 AM   #10
Long Tom
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If the post is read carefully. You will see I DO NOT OWN this, someone else does
The rifle was purchased like I said.
The rifle was offered for sale with the paperwork.
I advised that he should contact a dealer. Was I wrong?
I would love nothing better than to own such a nice item, but.
It's not like any M1A I ever saw. I think it would attract a Lot of attention
from my fellow shooters, much less the range master.

My question was is it possible to sell such a rifle to a class3 dealer,
and then the dealer be able to sell it as a legal machine gun.

He bought the item several years ago, before 1985.
Several others did the same thing. Are they gold or junk.
LT
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Old April 10, 2008, 12:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
My question was is it possible to sell such a rifle to a class3 dealer,
and then the dealer be able to sell it as a legal machine gun.
No. If it wasn't registered as a transferable MG prior to 1986 then it can never be transfered to any non-dealer.
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Old April 10, 2008, 03:24 PM   #12
Long Tom
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Thank You.
I guess it's not worth more than it's parts?


LT.
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Old April 10, 2008, 04:15 PM   #13
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AFAIK, NO M14 rifles were sold to police departments or to individual officers. Some were loaned to departments but were still considered U.S. property and could not be sold to anyone by the department, since the department didn't own them. (I am talking here about a GI M14, not a civilian semi-auto clone. An M14 is legally a machinegun, whether it fires full auto or not.)

If the department did somehow own the rifle, and the rifle was registered prior to 1986 and is transferrable, it could only sell the gun on a Form 4 just like any other owner of a registered NFA firearm. So the officer should have a copy of the approved Form 4 transferring the gun to him. If he does not, it is possible that he is not the legal owner, but that is not your problem. Unless he can show a lawful transfer to him [Form 4, not just a bill of sale], your action should be to run, do not walk, away from any deal. If he tries to sell the gun to a dealer, and does not legally own it, the dealer should call BATFE; he would suspect a set-up and would want to protect himself.

If he is the legal owner, he can sell directly to a buyer within his state, state law permitting. He does not have to go through a dealer.

Just as a note, more than one police department misunderstood the deal with those guns, and were or are under the impression that they belong to the department and can be sold. Some even thought that they could sell or even give auto weapons to individual police, and some got them as retirement gifts, no papers. BATFE has had to straighten out quite a few PDs and individual officers on the law.

Jim
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Old April 11, 2008, 07:07 AM   #14
VUPDblue
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I guess in my original post, I was trying to get across the fact that a lot of people/departments get the nomenclature wrong. I was thinking that it could possibly be an M1A, not necessarily an M14
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Old April 11, 2008, 01:08 PM   #15
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Might be an M1A. Also, didn't TRW make some semi M-14s as VIP gifts?
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Old April 11, 2008, 01:13 PM   #16
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I was under the impression that some M-14s were made as semi auto only...as in every one in my ships armory, with the exception of two, were built as semi-auto only, no full auto ability. Does ATFE consider these rifles, constructed as semi-auto only, without the provision to convert, as full auto machineguns?
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Old April 11, 2008, 03:26 PM   #17
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Quote:
I was under the impression that some M-14s were made as semi auto only...as in every one in my ships armory, with the exception of two, were built as semi-auto only, no full auto ability. Does ATFE consider these rifles, constructed as semi-auto only, without the provision to convert, as full auto machineguns?
Quote:
Might be an M1A. Also, didn't TRW make some semi M-14s as VIP gifts?
M14s were issued with the selector lock pinned to the selector shaft in lieu of the selector, rendering them operationally semiauto only. However, the lock can be easily removed, one roll pin, and replaced by the selector. Thus, even though your M14 appears to be semiauto only, it lacks only the selector to be full auto. The BATFE considers all M14s to be machine guns.

M14NM rifles were built by SA (the real one, not the commercial company in IL that appropriated the name) and TRW. TRW did give some of its contract overrun M14NM rifles to employees, vendors and customers. These rifles were manufactured with the selector lock welded to the selector shaft, with other weldments rendering the rifles semiauto only. They never were machine guns. However, the BATFE position was, has been, and remains that these M14NMs are also machine guns.

There is only one exception: TRW M14 NM S/N 143711; see U.S. v. One U.S. (TRW) 7.62mm M-14 National Match Rifle, Serial No. 143711, 1980 WL 95647 (S.D.Ohio, May 20, 1980)

"In this case the trial court turns down an ATF attempt to forfeit a TRW M-14 rifle, built by TRW as a National Match rifle. The court decides that ATF failed to prove the gun was a machine gun, as ATF argued - the gun was not registered as anything. ATF claimed the gun was readily restorable to a machine gun, and tried to prove that by welding the selector lockout to the lug on a regular M-14, then restoring that gun to take a selector. However, the court found that they did not weld the lockout in the manner that was done on the NM guns, nor did they refute the evidence that the NM guns never were machine guns, but were made as semi-autos at TRW."
This decision is binding only on this particular rifle, and the precedent, if one can be argued, applies only to the Southern District of Ohio. The trial judge seems to have been persuaded by TRW engineers' testimony that the modifications to the receiver that rendered the rifles semiauto only were done prior to heat treat, that is, prior to the point that the receiver could be considered a firearm. Further, she was not moved by the ATF's clumsy attempt to show how an M14 could be welded and unwelded to go from select fire to semi to select fire again. The judge noted that since the rifle had never been a machine gun, the "readily restorable" criterion did not apply, because you cannot "restore" something to a state in which that something never was.

The Army, prior to GCA '68, considered a modification to existing M14s, welding the selector lock, with the designation "M14M." However, this strategem was rendered ineffective by the passage of GCA '68 and the program terminated.

It sucks, but that's the way it is.

Regards,

Walt
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Old April 11, 2008, 10:58 PM   #18
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Back in the early '90's the NRA had a proposed bill to reclassify to amend the law to exempt M-14s that had been converted permanently to semi by Anniston Arsenal from the NFA. It never took off and it gave Clinton the motivation to start crunching them all. I wish it had come to pass.
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Old April 11, 2008, 11:09 PM   #19
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The M14 is not a machinegun nor was it ever to include the full auto models. It is a "Battle Rifle". The full auto M16 A1 and the M16A2 with the three round burst is not a machine gun either, it too is a "rifle". I was a marine and my job was "machinegunner'. A M2 50cal and an M60 E2 and E3 are machineguns.
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Old April 12, 2008, 12:27 AM   #20
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Darndest thing...Appearently you dont have to agree with the law for it to still be applicable, Patrol. The Military at the time of the adoption of the U.S. Rifle, M14, wouldnt have ever heard the civy coined term "battle rifle" at that time, nor was it ever nomenclature for the weapon. The M14 in its basic form was select fire, and it was up to the unit using them as to whether a selector switch or selector lock was installed on each rifle. In the Army each fire team had a designated automatic Rifleman(served the same purpose as a WW2 BAR'man) and his rifle would be equipped with the full auto selector,M2 bipod, The E2 buttstock, and a slip on compensator to better control the 750rpm cyclic rate.
(Federal and State law does define the G.I. M14 as a "machinegun". Just as a Thompson M1 SMG while not resembling a belt fed M60 or M240 either...is a machinegun by law as well.
Just the naked stripped M16A2 lower receiver with the hole for the auto sear drilled into it(and no form 4/tax stamp with your name on it) will send you to a grand tour of our fine countries legal system.and cost you thousands of dollars in legal expenses. You really do need to read up on what they believe, as it will be what will take your freedom away.(regardless of what you think)
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Old April 12, 2008, 01:48 PM   #21
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In 1963, the Army initiated a program to weld selected M14 rifles to a permanent semi-auto configuration and sell them through the DCM to civilian high power competitors. They even produced an Army Regulation* as to how this was to be done once the program was approved.

There was no problem with (then) ATTD. The United States was the legal manufacturer and owner of the rifle, and the manufacturer would simply have been issuing a new model, to be designated the M14M. The second "M" would be marked on the receiver once the conversion had been done. Some rifles were converted, but NONE were ever sold.

Well, on November 22, 1963, an event occurred that had many consequences. One was that the Secretary of the Army cancelled the M14M program, ordered that NO M14Ms were to be sold, and that while the sale of M1903A4 rifles could continue, the scopes were to be taken off and broken up with the lenses used for "educational purposes." The whole thing was CYA politics by the Army and the Johnson administration. (For those who aren't old enough to remember, there was legislation introduced to ban all hunting, ban all guns, ban all rifles, ban all scope sights, round up NRA members and hunters to be put in "re-education" camps, etc. It was sheer insanity and there was no way the Army was going to sell "machineguns" and scope sighted rifles in that political atmosphere.)

M14Ms and M14NMs were in fact later loaned to state associations for use by their teams, but none were ever sold; they remained the property of the U.S., the same as those M14s loaned to police departments.

Just as a tickler, there is NO legal reason the M14M program could not be revived today. It is not likely it will be. The 1986 ban on machinegun registration would not apply, as the M14M would not be a machinegun.

*That AR crops up every once in a while, and some folks say it requires the Army to release M14s for sale; it does no such thing and an AR does NOT over-ride Army policy or federal law.

Jim
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Old April 12, 2008, 04:04 PM   #22
Long Tom
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The rifle was a US Rifle M14. Apparently a legal entity sold such an item to a private individual, and as one member wrote other's also have.
What can be done with such a rifle, with a bill of sale from a Police Dept.
stating it was a semi-auto not full auto weapon?

I think my next advice may be to get his chop saw out of the garage
and fired up.

LT.
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Old April 12, 2008, 09:01 PM   #23
James K
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Believe it that a bill of sale, even from a police department, does NOT trump federal law, no matter what it says.

Some time back, a fellow got himself appointed police chief in a small town and promptly ordered a couple of dozen MGs and SMGs which he sold to his friends. BATFE wondered exactly how much crime there was in a town of less than 1500 people and investigated. The ex-chief may still be in jail; the guns were seized and presumably are now in the hands of legitimate LEO's.

Just one more note on the subject of police M14s. A while back, someone advertised an ex-police M14 for sale, supposedly converted to semi-auto by the Army and legal to sell. Just for fun, I called him and he assured me that he was the owner of a gun store, that the gun was legal and could be shipped to any FFL dealer. But that was the second call. On the first call, I forgot about the time zone difference, and called an hour too early. The voice mail kicked in to tell me that "AGENT Smith is not at his desk." AGENT?

A sucker would have bought the gun, then a few weeks or months later, the feds would have shown up with "information received" that there was an illegal machinegun on the premises. BATFE gets credit for arresting a "potential terrorist", the local cops bask in the reflected glory, the press gets a story involving machineguns, and everyone is happy. Oh, except for the sucker, who if he is lucky may get probation and a big fine instead of jail time.

Jim
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Old April 13, 2008, 05:28 AM   #24
David Hineline
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No one has contacted me yet

Plenty of opinions, most of them understand part but not all the advice/rumors they are putting forth, some suggest a chop saw, which might or might not be destroying a gun worth $15,000 because they are so afraid to find out the legal staus of the gun.
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Old April 24, 2008, 09:45 PM   #25
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Is there the sight possibility that this is an Armscorp M14S (which would be semi-auto) I mean the Springfield's are M1A's, the Norinco's and Polytechs are stamped M14S along with the Armscorp versions. I wasn't sure if I caught any exact info on that? I know it said in the 70s', not sure when the others started making theirs to ship into the US? Everyone could be bantering over nothing if it turns out this is actual a civilian semi auto version to start with!
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