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Old December 27, 2009, 01:25 AM   #1
roklok
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Transfer of NFA weapon

I stumbled across some information that surprised me today. I am interested in purchasing a transferrable full -auto and have been researching the subject. This is what I read:

" Many people believe that it is OK to let someone else use your Class 3 weapon if you are present. A careful reading of the NFA show that the word transfer includes this type of action and thus is prohibited under the NFA."

I never suspected that letting someone else fire a NFA weapon with the owner present would constitute transferring said weapon. What is everybodys take on this ? Has anybody ever been prosecuted for letting someone else have a bit of trigger time if they (the owner) are present ? What about the machine gun rental buisness ? How can they rent and make a buisness on rentals of NFA weapons if it is illegal ? Different licensing ? Are these rental places dealers that are under different guidelines ?

It would take a lot of the fun out of ownership of a full-auto if it was a federal felony to let friends and family try it out.

Thoughts please.
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Old December 27, 2009, 01:56 AM   #2
freakshow10mm
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They are wrong. Next time, punch them in the wiener. That will set them straight.
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Old December 27, 2009, 11:01 AM   #3
richmondtx
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There has been a lot of debate about this, on a lot of different forums...for example if your NFA weapon is owned by a corporation...then anyone that is on the board or an officer can have happy trigger time. The problem is with the definition of the word "possession." Anyone that has a NFA weapon, must always be the possessor of it...this verbiage was baked in, so that I can't register a weapon and then give it to my felon friend Johnny Six pack to go rob a bank with. I don't think anyone is going to prosecute you if your friends or family shoots your toy in your presence. A high school friend of mine now works for BATFE, and he gave me the example of the Knob creek shoots and several other MG shoots where all kinds of people shoot NFA weapons that "technically" aren't registered to them. Your example of ranges that own F/A guns and renting them is also a good one. The thing that the bureau cares the most about is that the weapon be legal and registered. As long as you are there in person, supervising while the weapon is in operation, You should be good to go, any "rational" person is going to have a hard time bringing charges against you as long as you aren't engaged in any sort of illegal activity like robbery etc etc etc.
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Old December 27, 2009, 11:12 AM   #4
hoytinak
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I think richmondtx summed it up pretty good. I've let several people shoot my M16 out at our range while I was there. Including several of the local Sheriff's Deputies, Highway Patrols and one FBI personal. No one here's ever given me problems about it.
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Old December 31, 2009, 02:10 PM   #5
WoofersInc
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We have some big group shoots here in the desert. A lot of the guys have NFA items. Everybody winds up shooting everybody else's stuff all the time.
We occasionally will have BLM Rangers show up. But that is only to see if they can get some trigger time in on the fun stuff. Never anything said about who owns what. In fact I have never even seen them ask about copies of the ATF forms proving that the guns are legal.
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Old December 31, 2009, 02:24 PM   #6
Skans
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I haven't heard of one instance where BATFE has defined "possession" to only permit the owner to handle/shoot the gun. In fact, if you want to take the "possession" requirement to its extreme, you might as well duct-tape that machine gun to your body, even when you take a crap or go for a swim.

On the other hand, I believe that there are plenty of drug cases where people were convicted of possession of narcotics even when the drugs were not physically on their bodies.

I wouldn't get too hung up on the definition of possession, though. It's generally understood that so long as you are within a physical distance where you can exercise control over who is shooting/handling the weapon, you're ok.
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Old January 10, 2010, 07:41 PM   #7
medalguy
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I think the key is "constructive possession" meaning you are in the area of the weapon and control who holds it and who uses it, not out of sight of the weapon. Constructive possession is a legal fiction to describe a situation where an individual has actual control over chattels or real property without actually having physical control of the same assets. At law, a person with constructive possession stands in the same legal position as a person with actual possession. For example, if you take a weapon to have it refinished, you need to be in the plant with the weapon, but most folks won't let you go back into the actual finishing area because of safety regulations. As long as you are in the same general area as the weapon and can "control" it, you are OK. As mentioned, otherwise you could never let the weapon get away from you. What about when you go to work and leave the thing in your vault, and your wife is at home. Who is in "possession" of it then?
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Old January 11, 2010, 03:43 PM   #8
James K
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Medalguy is right. Some of those terms, like "possession" and "transfer", used in laws and regulations have legal meanings that are implied. Many people and even many ATF agents don't fully understand that, thinking that if I hand someone my registered TSMG to look over, I have made an illegal transfer.

They soon learn better, but can be a PITA until they do.

Jim
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Old January 11, 2010, 04:00 PM   #9
Willie Lowman
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Quote:
They are wrong. Next time, punch them in the wiener. That will set them straight.
Best answer ever.
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Old January 11, 2010, 08:36 PM   #10
RAnb
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Quote:
" Many people believe that it is OK to let someone else use your Class 3 weapon if you are present. A careful reading of the NFA show that the word transfer includes this type of action and thus is prohibited under the NFA."
I think it is completely false. If this claim was true, then those businesses advertising machinegun rentals on freeway billboards and at airports would be in serious legal trouble.

Ranb
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Old April 1, 2014, 09:27 PM   #11
razor488
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I apologize for bringing back an old topic, but I am thinking about purchasing a suppressor using a trust, and this issue is of slight concern.

Do you guys have an issue going down range and changing your target while leaving your suppressed rifle 100 yards away back up at the bench?

I don't want to over analyze but I don't want to get in trouble either.

Thanks!
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Old April 1, 2014, 09:36 PM   #12
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I have no issue leaving my NFA stuff on the bench that i dont have with standard guns.

Im lucky that my range is members only and during the week (when i go) i usually have it all to myself.

Im guessing that your heartburn over leaving it unattended is a theft based one?

I would be much more cautious on a busy range, but a word to the range officer about your concerns might put you more at ease

As far as legal issues, your fine to walk down range and change tgts. Just dont get out of sight. Like going to the restroom and leaving it unattended might cause an issue
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Old April 1, 2014, 10:06 PM   #13
razor488
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Thanks for the response. I was more worried about legal issues rather than theft.
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Old April 1, 2014, 10:11 PM   #14
Theohazard
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Welcome to TFL! I can't quote the applicable law, but I've worked at an FFL/SOT and I've talked to a few ATF agents, and I can tell you that the law is interpreted to mean that it's OK as long as you're in the immediate vicinity. It's fine to let your buddies shoot your NFA items, just stay nearby. As far as leaving them on the shooting bench and walking downrange, you're fine as long as you're not worried about theft. Me, I wouldn't leave my suppressors on my shooting bench unattended, but I don't shoot at a private range like Sharkbite does.
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Old April 1, 2014, 10:19 PM   #15
Sharkbite
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Ohh....

Now you make me sound snobby....lol

So you finish a string of fire. The range is called cold and guys head downrange to paste and change tgts.

What do you do with your hot suppressor??
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Old April 2, 2014, 01:17 AM   #16
Theohazard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkbite
Now you make me sound snobby....lol
Ha, yeah I guess I did! Sorry about that!

But no, I don't belong to a range only because I prefer shooting out in the woods or at a gravel pit somewhere. So there I just keep it on the gun until it cools off.

On the rare occasion where I shoot at a range it's at the indoor range where I used to work, so I just press a button and my target comes to me. None of this walking downrange stuff!

Though I do have to make sure when I set my rifle down I let my SDN-6 hang off the table. I also make sure to keep it away from any targets. I've come close to starting a fire a couple times now...
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Old April 2, 2014, 06:29 PM   #17
Beretta686
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Worrying about letting someone handle your NFA goodies, is like worrying about the Zombie Apocalypse. Sure it could happen, but there's plenty of other more realistic problems to worry about.

Contrary to the NRA's propaganda and fundraising efforts, most ATF agents aren't Jack-Booted-Thugs busy inventing things to arrest you on and are actually pretty laid back and more concerned about actual criminals, not if you're letting your buddy shoot your MG.

Over the years I've shot at many ranges and taken NFA items to many gunshows and I've never had anyone give me any hassle for them. So relax, step back and just enjoy your toys without worrying about black helicopters and such.
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