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Old November 29, 2009, 10:39 AM   #51
olddav
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cptsplashdown,

I know this is not going to answer your question but, here it is anyway.

You may not be required by law to show the range officer any paperwork regarding your weapon, but as a priviately owned business they have the right to refuse entry to anyone. So you can either stand up for your rights and find another place to shot, or offer a small peace offering and provide them with what they ask for. I'm not big on compromises, but is this battle realy worth your time?

Hope you find the answer to your question and good luck.
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Last edited by olddav; November 29, 2009 at 12:12 PM.
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Old November 29, 2009, 02:40 PM   #52
cptsplashdown
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Wow, so many good pointe being made by all. Perhaps the scope of the thread has gone a bit haywire, but to be honest I have enjoyed the discussion more anyway. The original question was about what the law requires. I think it a specious argument to say that you can't do something because the law doesn't say you can do it musicmatty. The law doesn't specifically give you permission to do a lot of things, and those things are generally considered to be legal. Maybe not correct to do, but legal none the less. It is the nature of our laws that they are put in place to stop specific behaviors, not dictate what behaviors are unacceptable through omission of giving you permission. In any case, I think that we have really gone away from the legal answer into what could better be described as a discussion of personal freedoms and responsibility. Great move in my opinion and far more interesting.

My basic premise here is that although the police are a vital and critical part of our society, I don't want to live in a police state where a LEO can violate my rights simply because HE doesn't know the law. I served our country in the military, and I have the utmost respect for all who serve, but that doesn't mean I want to live under a military dictatorship. It seems as though some are taking my questions about whether or not a LEO or RSO is legally correct in behaving in a certain way as proof that I am some type of anarchist who would prefer we have no laws at all. Not the case, though I do believe that the government should be as unintrusive as possible. The line should certainly be drawn at enforcing a law or code which in fact does not exist (I'm speaking generally gents, not referring to this specific incident about which our opinions so widely vary.)

I worry about the state of things when so many seem quite happy to "make things easier" on themselves by submitting to a violation of their rights and perhaps the law (again speaking generally,) rather than at least engage the authorities in a discussion of whether what they are doing is "right," if not illegal. Someone posted earlier that it doesn't matter what YOU think, only what a judge thinks. I've seen some cynical responses, but man... I would submit that what YOU think is exactly what matters. It may not get you out of jail, but this is where men need to decide what matters more, spending some time in the clink, or your principles and values. Some of the posts I've seen have answered that question quite clearly. Thanks again to all who posted, whether you're a wolf, or a sheep.
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Old November 29, 2009, 04:15 PM   #53
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I was there as well when this happened.

Federal: Legally, you don't have to show the form to anyone but the DoJ and the ATF. Captslashdown.... I was wrong about the IRS.... The form *IS* a tax form, but in 2002 the authority to persecute was turned over to the DoJ.

http://www.atf.gov/firearms/nfa/nfa_...appendix_a.pdf

Relevant section:
The National Firearms Act (NFA) is part of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. The Internal Revenue Code, with the exception of the NFA, is administered and enforced by the Secretary of the Treasury. When ATF transferred to the Department of Justice under the Homeland Security Act of 2002, all its authorities, including the authority to administer and enforce the NFA, were transferred to the Attorney General In order to keep all the references throughout the Internal Revenue Code consistent, references to the Secretary of the Treasury in the NFA were left unchanged by the Homeland Security Act.

And this issue in particular:
ยง 479.71 Proof of registration. The approval by the Director of an application, Form 1 (Firearms), to make a firearm under this subpart shall effectuate registration of the firearm described in the Form 1 (Firearms) to the person making the firearm. *****The original Form 1 (Firearms) showing approval by the Director shall be retained by the maker to establish proof of his registration of the firearm described therein, and shall be made available to any ATF officer on request****.

So, according to FEDERAL LAW... The only person you need to show the Forms to is an ATF agent.

Local: Well, most local jurisdictions have laws that say that the possession of such weapons are illegal UNLESS you are following federal law.

For example Florida:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/...20221#0790.221

790.221 Possession of short-barreled rifle, short-barreled shotgun, or machine gun; penalty.--

The relevant portion is the third section:

(3) Firearms in violation hereof which are lawfully owned and possessed under provisions of federal law are excepted.

So, it could be argued that Jim Bob local Po-Po can ask to see your Form....

Long story short.... Really only the ATF can ask by Federal Law....

But the locals could cuff and stuff you and it would be up to YOU to prove you own the weapon legally.

You can beat the rap, but you can't beat the ride.

The RO can ask anyone to leave whenever.... He was ate up like a soup sandwich saying it was "illegal to have the weapon without the paperwork", but he could ask you to leave for any reason.

So a best practice is to carry a COPY of the forms with you. You ARE NOT required to carry the originals AT ANY TIME. And to do that would be stupid since if you lose it, you will have a hard time getting another from VA.

Last edited by ssmdive; November 29, 2009 at 04:35 PM.
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Old November 29, 2009, 04:25 PM   #54
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Owning an NFA is a privilege, not a right. It is up to you to prove you are allowed to have it.


Respectfully disagree. While it has to be registered (which if you have read up on the Miller case they should not be, but critical evidence was not presented due to not having representation) it is still a firearm and it is still under the 2nd.... The SC has said that we have to jump through more hoops to own them (reasonable restrictions), but that does not make ownership a "privilege" IMO.
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Old November 29, 2009, 04:48 PM   #55
Tommy Vercetti
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I have to have my paperwork with me wherever I take the weapon
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Old November 29, 2009, 06:18 PM   #56
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For a view to broaden the perspective, Markham Park is a county (Broward) owned park. It's in South Florida, west of Fort Lauderdale and a couple of miles north of the(Miami) Dade/ Broward county lines.
The Range Officer's are current or retired Broward County Sheriff Deputies. They have a training area for the Sheriff's dept. and other local, perhaps Federal LEO's.

I personally don't know the specific law. I do know there could very well have been a ATF agent there, that particular day.
What I will say is, if the op has a firearm that requires BATF documentation/stamps, he should know what is required of him before he takes the firearm anywhere.
As many people have posted, it could have made for a very long day..... regardless of who is right or wrong.
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Old November 29, 2009, 09:02 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cptsplashdown
...I don't want to live in a police state where a LEO can violate my rights simply because HE doesn't know the law....
It is not a question of the LEO not knowing the law. It is a simple fact that possession of an NFA weapon is illegal, under federal and most state laws, at least unless the federal requirements have been satisfied. If you're standing there in broad daylight, in front of God and everyone, with a SBR in your hand, you are, prima facie, in violation of the law. That is probable cause for your arrest. The fact that you have your valid NFA paperwork back at your house isn't tattooed on your forehead, nor is it apparent from the gun or anything else in plain sight. The LEO doesn't have to assume that you've got the proper documentation, nor does he have to take your unsupported word for it. On the face of things, you're in violation of the law, and that's good enough to support your arrest.

You of course can defend the charge because you do have the paperwork. That is what is called an affirmative defense. Not the LEO, nor anyone else, has to prove that you don't have the paperwork (among other things, one can't prove a negative). You have to affirmatively show that you are legal. That's why it's called an affirmative defense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cptsplashdown
...I worry about the state of things when so many seem quite happy to "make things easier" on themselves by submitting to a violation of their rights and perhaps the law (again speaking generally,) rather than at least engage the authorities in a discussion of whether what they are doing is "right," if not illegal....
This has nothing to do with just making things easier. It's a matter of how things are in real life.

This has nothing to do with submitting to a violation of your rights. On the face of things you are publicly possessing something that in general is illegal. An LEO has no way of knowing that in your case your possession is legal unless you can show him your documents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cptsplashdown
...Someone posted earlier that it doesn't matter what YOU think, only what a judge thinks. I've seen some cynical responses, but man... I would submit that what YOU think is exactly what matters....
On the other hand, some of us live in the real world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cptsplashdown
...It may not get you out of jail, but this is where men need to decide what matters more, spending some time in the clink, or your principles and values....
If you really want to go to jail rather than carry around a copy of your NFA paperwork, be my guest. But if you are arrested for possession of an NFA weapon, you will ultimately have to produce your paperwork to successfully defend the charges against you. If that's your idea of being a "wolf", knock yourself out.
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Old November 29, 2009, 09:06 PM   #58
NESHOOTER
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Willie Lowman
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Technically only an ATF agent has the authority to hassle you over your NFA item but that won't stop cops and rangemasters.

Keep a copy with the gun.

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This was a great thread to read just waking up. To the OP, honestly, I feel you 100% and would be asking the same questions as you. I probably would have addressed those questions to the RO before leaving as well, but then, that could have very well escalated things and made it more an issue. In that respect he was doing you a favor by just asking you to leave.

In hindsight, and to anyone who reads this, it's in all our best interest just to keep a copy of the documents with the weapon, saves everyone a headache






My seller stated for the sake of complications do get a color copy front and back of NFA and mini it 3x5 keep a copy with each of the guns the can will fit on so when you go out you will not have to worry about if you got you paperwork or not. As stated you only want info what the law requires but to best keep it as an dutiful owner why would I want to express to the LEO I know more than he in this matter. What I want is to enjoy my ownership of said rifle,srb.can.c&r, so required or not I want best to be prepared for any and all questions from RO, OR LEO...regardless and once I make them feel at ease then they know I'm not a knucklehead just being an A$$ because I CAN because I am in the right.... I desire the next time the RO OR LEO request infor and paperwork from another person he/she will be better prepared with knowledge of crossing this street before and When I'm civil about it.... it may go better for the next guy that owns something like my toys....

Last edited by NESHOOTER; November 29, 2009 at 09:21 PM. Reason: add multiple quotes
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Old November 29, 2009, 10:42 PM   #59
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Willie that is not completely true. You can mount the suppressor to a weapon in Wa. You just can't shoot it.
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Old November 30, 2009, 12:08 AM   #60
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Quote:
I don't want to live in a police state where a LEO can violate my rights simply because HE doesn't know the law.
Being asked to show proof that you are in legal possession of NFA items doesn't violate your rights because you are under no obligation to comply. Of course, if you don't comply then there is no evidence to refute the charge and you will be arrested and prosecuted.

Being arrested for possessing NFA items (in the absence of any paperwork showing that you have them legally) doesn't violate your rights because possessing NFA items (in the absence of any paperwork showing that you have them legally) is sufficient evidence for a legal arrest and prosecution.
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Old November 30, 2009, 12:57 AM   #61
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[collected from three threads] it would be easier for all of us to just give Barry all of our weapons and call it a day (...) I don't want to live in a police state (...) that doesn't mean I want to live under a military dictatorship (...) whether you're a wolf, or a sheep
Please.

I've been an RO, and when someone brought an NFA weapon to the range, I asked to see the tax stamp. 99% of folks had it. Most offered it up front. I never even really checked the slip closely. If they had the stamp, they'd jumped the hurdles. Neat gun, must've cost a pretty penny...enjoy shooting it.

The other 1% are the ones to worry about. These guys would usually get very irate and argumentative about government conspiracies or somesuch. They were booted immediately. Maybe a few were just being obstinate or self-righteous, but we didn't take the risk.

(As those old "pre-82" auto sears have dried up, I've noticed a lot less of that in recent years)

If someone's walking around with an unregistered NFA weapon, what else do I need to worry about with them?

Call me a fascist or a turncoat to the 2nd Amendment, but NFA laws are nothing to play around with, and the last thing I'd have wanted is an LEO tearing me a new one for allowing an unregistered NFA weapon on the range. By allowing it, I could potentially get snared into some sort of liability.

You raised an interesting point about tax forms and privacy. It's well worth following up, and would make an interesting thread in its own right.

As it stands now, it's simply much easier to carry a copy of the stamp and live with the minor inconvenience. Is it right? No, but it beats the monumental amount of hassle that could be the alternative.

Trust me, if I were President (Vote Servo 2012!), I'd sign an executive order suspending enforcement of the NFA. Until then, we have to deal the hand we're dealt.
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Old November 30, 2009, 01:35 AM   #62
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Sorry fiddletown,

I think you completely forgot to read the part of my post that said I was not referring to this particular situation, but that the thread had gone off course towards a more general discussion of rights and freedoms. My comment about a LEO not knowing the law would apply to any LEO that DOESN'T know the law, no matter the circumstances. It has everything to do with the knowledge of the officer. A nice time to start a thread on how ridiculous it is to have so many laws that even a police officer can't know them all...

In specific response, the NFA weapon was not illegally possessed, which you just can't seem to wrap your head around. Many people MAY be breaking the law at the range, would you run a background check on all of your customers to ensure that they were not felons? Being a felon at the range would be a violation of the law and perhaps expose the range to liability as well... Just a slippery slippery slope. And sorry, but everything you have pointed to seems to be purely for the purpose of making things easier on yourself, as opposed to really getting to the bottom of the actual law. Which is all beside the point that it is in all probability legally improper for a local LEO or RO (at a public range) to ask for your papers anyway, in the same manner that not all LEOs are allowed to ask for immigration documentation, even from people that they are quite certain are breaking the law.

So my position would be that: 1. You are not committing a crime simply by being in possession of an NFA firearm, so long as it is registered, even if the paperwork is not in your immediate possession. 2. It is not appropriate for anyone other than a BATF or DOJ agent to even ask you to produce that paperwork, as it is beyond the scope of the laws that any other LEOs are chartered to enforce. Yes, it is true, not all LEOs are certified or permitted to enforce every law in existence, and it should be up to the LEO, as well as the citizen, to know which is which (coincidentally the exact reason I started this thread, to increase my own knowledge of the law.) If you are a LEO or RO who thinks you should be allowed to inspect NFA paperwork, go to your congressmen and get them to change the law to make it legal, don't invent powers for yourself, you are simply not entitled to enforce some laws even if they are being broken. You are certainly not entitled to arrest someone for NOT breaking the law, even if you can get away with it.

We all live in the real world, some of us just don't allow that to stop us from standing up for our rights. The little inconvenient freedoms that you willingly give up today lead inexorably towards the diminishment of ALL freedoms. That's just how the cookie crumbles. I certainly would suggest that anyone in this day and age that has the courage to stand up to our increasingly authoritarian government is a wolf in his own right.
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Old November 30, 2009, 01:59 AM   #63
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Quote:
In specific response, the NFA weapon was not illegally possessed...
You're (intentionally?) missing the point. It goes back to my self-defense analogy. In that analogy I had not broken the law but the evidence made it appear that I had. Since I chose (legally) not to provide the evidence which would have showed my innocence I should expect to be treated like a murderer--arrested and prosecuted. Any LEO who let me go just because I claimed I was innocent would be terribly negligent.

Possession of an NFA weapon is illegal without the proper paperwork (just as shooting someone is illegal without the proper justification) and so in both cases (without the proper paperwork/justification) the persons in question should expect to be treated as if they have committed a crime.
Quote:
Many people MAY be breaking the law at the range...
If any of them APPEARED to be breaking the law then I would DEFINITELY expect any LEOs present to act appropriately.

What you are refusing to acknowledge is that this is not about someone who "may be breaking the law", it is about someone who is giving every appearance of breaking the law.
Quote:
1. You are not committing a crime simply by being in possession of an NFA firearm, so long as it is registered, even if the paperwork is not in your immediate possession.
Even assuming that's true, that doesn't mean you will not/should not be TREATED as if you have committed a crime until you present your defense--i.e. your paperwork.
Quote:
2. It is not appropriate for anyone other than a BATF or DOJ agent to even ask you to produce that paperwork, as it is beyond the scope of the laws that any other LEOs are chartered to enforce.
Assuming that there is no state law that is appropriate--and in many states there are laws which "back up" NFA laws.
Quote:
You are certainly not entitled to arrest someone for NOT breaking the law...
You don't get a trial right on the spot. LEOs do not determine guilt nor are they required to determine guilt in order to fine/arrest. They operate based on probable cause. If you provide probable cause (and give them no evidence to prove that you are innocent) then you will be fined/arrested.

You're treating this like police have some magical guilt determination equipment available to them--that they can somehow look at you and tell you're innocent even though you appear to be committing a crime. How, exactly is that supposed to work?
Quote:
...you are simply not entitled to enforce some laws even if they are being broken.
I don't think that's entirely true. I believe you will find that in many cases it is completely legal and proper for one LE organization to apprehend and hold a person for crimes committed under the jurisdiction of another LE organization. They just can't prosecute them--they can only turn them over (per the proper procedures) to the LE organization with jurisdiction.
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Old November 30, 2009, 02:22 AM   #64
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Sorry cptsplashdown, you're just completely off base.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cptsplashdown
...In specific response, the NFA weapon was not illegally possessed, which you just can't seem to wrap your head around....
What you can't seem to get your head around is that it's your responsibility to show that the NFA weapon was legally possessed. What you can't seem to understand is that it is prima facie illegally possessed unless it has been properly registered. Registration is an affirmative defense and thus your burden to demonstrate. That's simply what the law is, whether you like or understand it or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cptsplashdown
...Many people MAY be breaking the law at the range,...
Perhaps, but unless their violations are open or there is otherwise a reason to believe they are violating the law, there's nothing to do.

But on the other hand, openly having an NFA weapon in your possession is, on its face, illegal. It is only legal if you have properly registered it, and that is not something that is obvious. Your proper registration is something that you must show.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cptsplashdown
...it is in all probability legally improper for a local LEO or RO (at a public range) to ask for your papers anyway,...
It is legal for the RO to ask you anything he wants. It is legal for him to ask you the most personal or embarrassing questions you can think of. He may not be entitled to an answer, but he can ask. And it would be within his discretion to eject you from the range. (Whether you'd have grounds for a civil suit depends on the exact situation. And it's also possible that the range itself had rules about possession of NFA weapons and a need for the user to show compliance with federal and/or state law. We don't know if that is the case here, but it's something I would certainly recommend to range management if NFA weapons were allowed.)

And it would be entirely proper for an LEO to arrest you if you could not show, with proper documentation, that your possession of the NFA weapon was lawful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cptsplashdown
...in the same manner that not all LEOs are allowed to ask for immigration documentation, even from people that they are quite certain are breaking the law....
An LEO doesn't have to be "quite certain" one is breaking the law. He only needs probable cause, i. e., a reasonable belief.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cptsplashdown
...You are not committing a crime simply by being in possession of an NFA firearm, so long as it is registered,....
But your open possession of an NFA weapon is probable cause to arrest you unless you can show that you indeed are in lawful possession. The fact that you may have properly registered the weapon is not obvious, and an LEO has no obligation to assume that it has been properly registered. You will need to demonstrate that it has been.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cptsplashdown
...You are certainly not entitled to arrest someone for NOT breaking the law,...
But an LEO is entitled to arrest someone who reasonably appears to be breaking the law. Again, that's what probable cause means.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cptsplashdown
...We all live in the real world,...
Really? JohnKSa and I (as well as perhaps some others) have repeatedly and in detail explained why you are wrong. I think John may have a law enforcement background, but I'm not positive. In any case, I know from reading his posts over the years that he understands the law and how it works.

I understand the law and how it works because I'm a lawyer and have practiced law for over 30 years.

You might want to consider, given what JohnKSa and I have written, that there are perhaps some things about the law and how it works that you don't understand.
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Old November 30, 2009, 02:22 AM   #65
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Props to JohnKSa for his well-thought out and articulated comments. He is correct on his knowledge of the law and issues of probable cause.

In TX there is a law on the books called 'Prohibited Weapons,' which covers most of the NFA goodies suchs as SBS, SBR, auotmatic fire, and suppressors.

It's hard to see where you're going with this "police with no knowledge of the law" remark when I, as a police officer and NFA owner, would do exactly as JohnKSa describes and arrest you if you fail to produce the tax stamp. (Not that I too wouldn't like to see NFA rules relaxed, it's just that it would be a major liability issue given the current laws and the rarity of the items).

The way the laws and regulations are written in TX, you give officers probable cause to believe you are committing the offense of possessing a "Prohibited Weapon" unless you can show a defense to prosecution, i.e. your tax stamp. As stated before, technically even then you could be arrested temporarily since it is only "a defense to prosecution," not arrest.
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Old November 30, 2009, 02:37 AM   #66
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Pretty good points John. I think this one could be batted around ad infinitum. I would suggest the mere presence of an NFA firearm should not set off the emergency call out alarm for the RSO. They are in fact quite common in FL, owned legally by many many citizens, and I don't believe that simply having one is either cause for concern or should constitute probable cause for anyone to give you a hard time.

I would further suggest that NFA firearms are in most cases not any more inherently dangerous than any of the other weapons at the range and are frankly not that big of a deal. A novelty perhaps, but not one that should instantly draw the attention of every RSO within a 100 mile radius. I understand you don't get a trial on the spot, I just don't think that changes the fact that if a LEO knows that you are not violating a law, he should leave you alone, period.

I understand what you are saying about the LEO not knowing if you are in violation, but I would point to the NFA as the final arbiter of what a LEO is allowed to pursue or not. It just comes down to knowing the law. I'm not going to argue what a LEO should or shouldn't do if he doesn't know with certainty what is going on (other than to say he should know the law better than most,) and of course he should act to promote the public safety. I would just argue that having a gun at a gun range that happens to be an NFA weapon should not constitute evidence that a crime is being committed. I know you may not agree, it's just my opinion (supported by the fact that still, after all these posts, not a single LEO, RSO, or other poster has pointed to any section of the NFA that makes it so.)

Just because bugging law abiding citizens with legally owned firearms at the range is what many LEOs or RSOs happen to do, my point is that they are essentially going beyond the scope of their powers. If someone has a specific reference to a law that makes it otherwise, please share (I'm sure in some states such laws do exist, and it would probably be very helpful for all of us to know which states do have such laws.) Still, all I have heard is what many people THINK should be done, and much discussion about what LEOs are doing in practice. None of these things make it legally or morally correct for them to do so.
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Old November 30, 2009, 02:43 AM   #67
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Great post Saboteur. Very helpful indeed. My reference to any LEO that didn't know the law should be read as "a LEO should not arrest someone who is not committing a crime." Again, not a statement specific to this discussion, just a comment on what I believe would be a great LEO SOP.
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Old November 30, 2009, 02:44 AM   #68
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And sorry, but everything you have pointed to seems to be purely for the purpose of making things easier on yourself, as opposed to really getting to the bottom of the actual law. Which is all beside the point that it is in all probability legally improper for a local LEO or RO (at a public range) to ask for your papers anyway,
I wasn't law enforcement; I was placed in charge of private property by the owner. I had a legal right (and obligation) to refuse service to anyone, including people who were just too uptight. I also booted people, at various times, for wearing offensive clothing, having swastika tattoos, being intoxicated or acting irresponsible.

Not having documentation for an NFA weapon? That was also on the list. File it under, 'covering one's posterior.'

There is an alternative to complaining, which rarely changes anything. It involves getting politically active and doing something about the issue. Develop a relationship with your congressman. Consider joining any of the 2nd Amendment groups active in your area.

I happen to be intimately familiar with the NFA and its history. It's bad law on many levels, and it needs to be challenged. In the meantime, we're left with an oppressive system that assumes criminal wrongdoing in the absence of a plausible defense. The best defense is to simply have your paperwork on you.
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Old November 30, 2009, 02:51 AM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cptsplashdown
...if a LEO knows that you are not violating a law, he should leave you alone, period....
Yes he should. But the point is that if you are openly in possession of an NFA weapon, the LEO has no way to know that you aren't violating the law (unless you can produce your tax stamp and show him that you aren't).
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Old November 30, 2009, 03:02 AM   #70
cptsplashdown
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Great responses gents. Thanks again for sharing all of your knowledge as LEOs, RSOs, and concerned citizens. I have learned a lot and hope to be better prepared to deal with these types of situations the next time they arise. Cheers.
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Old November 30, 2009, 07:07 AM   #71
blume357
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I've tried to read through this whole debate and the one thing

I see is at least on paper, you are only required to show the paper work to an ATF agent... the one thing I see is, what is to stop a local LEO from 'detaining' you until an ATF agent shows up?

I believe a law enforcement officer has that right....
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Old November 30, 2009, 09:04 AM   #72
fineredmist
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Just look at it this way, if you are stopped for a vehicle violation and you cannot present a valid drivers license it is prima facia evidence that you are unlicensed and you will be arrested. You will not be allowed to continue your trip as the officer will be responsible for "permitting the unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle" and if you are involved in a accident after he permits you to continue he is cupable. This also applies to a officer who has prima facia evidence that the device is illegal and does not take approiate action. Carry your driver's license when you drive, carry your NFA paperwork when you are in possession of the device. It is really simple, don't look for problems as there are enough that will find you.
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Old November 30, 2009, 09:07 AM   #73
Powderman
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Quote:
So my position would be that: 1. You are not committing a crime simply by being in possession of an NFA firearm, so long as it is registered, even if the paperwork is not in your immediate possession. 2. It is not appropriate for anyone other than a BATF or DOJ agent to even ask you to produce that paperwork, as it is beyond the scope of the laws that any other LEOs are chartered to enforce.
So, let me break this down for you...according to the laws in the State of Washington, aka the Revised Code of Washington...

You show up at a range in our State. I just happen to be there, throwing some lead downrange when lo and behold! I hear the unmistakable sound of a giggle switch being engaged (read as: full-auto or burst fire).

I discreetly walk over, and first look for a legal trigger attachment, such as a Hell-Fire or similar device. I see none.

I then look carefully to see if you're bump-firing. If you are, kewl beanz! If not...I contact the RSO, identify myself, and tell him that I am going to contact you. I then walk up while you change targets, and I ask to talk to you. I show my credentials, and ask you if you are a law enforcement officer.

You say no.

I then ask if you are a licensed manufacturer/SOT, and if that is a dealer's sample.

You say no, you are a private citizen, and that the firearm is registered to you.

I say, OK. I will then ask you to turn around quietly and place your hands behind your back. I will handcuff you, and tell you that you are being detained, because you are now the focus of my investigation into a possible violation of RCW 9.41, which states specifically that full auto and SBS/SBR are ILLEGAL in the State of Washington. I then read you the Miranda admonishment, and ask you if you have your tax stamp.

It really doesn't matter, because you've broken the law. I will contact the parent jurisdiction, and they'll take it from there.

Any questions?
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Old November 30, 2009, 09:18 AM   #74
Conn. Trooper
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Here our state laws are an almost exact duplicate of NFA laws, and people are allowed to have properly registered NFA weapons. If they are not legally owned NFA weapons ( tax stamps, etc.) there is a state charge for that. Don't need an ATF agent to enforce state law.

I always carry a copy of my stamps.

I think I get what the OP was trying to say, I know I am legal, why do I have to prove it? And at face value I take his point, why indeed? But, in the real world nobody knows you are legal and there are some boneheads running around with illegal weapons. How do you tell a legally owned weapon from an illegal one?
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Old November 30, 2009, 12:06 PM   #75
ssmdive
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JohnKSa

Quote:
Even assuming that's true, that doesn't mean you will not/should not be TREATED as if you have committed a crime until you present your defense--i.e. your paperwork.
WOW!!! really? I thought in the US you were innocent till PROVEN guilty?
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