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Old August 31, 2010, 10:40 AM   #1
aarondhgraham
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What if you found a Thompson submachine gun?

I have a friend who has a sister whose boyfriend used to date a girl whose uncle was a shipmate of a sailor who was a distant relative of Pretty Boy Floyd.

But seriously,,,
Family legend goes that Pretty Boy Floyd left stashes of guns all over Oklahoma.

What if one of those family members was to open an old chest and find a Thompson in it?

Would they be allowed to apply for a license to keep and own the gun?

Would the possible historical significance keep it from being confiscated and destroyed?

Last week I was demolishing the floor of an old house I am remodeling,,,
I found a wooden lock box that had an old rusted revolver in it,,,
Nothing valuable even if it wasn't a ball of oxide,,,
But it got me to thinking.

When I was in high school back in the dark ages,,,
I dated a girl who was a distant relative of Pretty Boy Floyd,,,
Her grandfather always said he knew where one of the gun stashes was hidden.

I don't know this girl anymore so it's not like this could ever happen to me,,,
I am simply curious how the laws would play out if a stash were to be discovered.

Does anyone know what would or could happen to a submachine gun owned by Pretty Boy Floyd?

Just curious.

.
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Old August 31, 2010, 10:51 AM   #2
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It would not be registerable for an individual.
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Old August 31, 2010, 11:14 AM   #3
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I would attempt to donate it to a museum or something like that.
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Old August 31, 2010, 11:40 AM   #4
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Give it to the BATF like a responsible gun owner


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Old August 31, 2010, 12:01 PM   #5
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An old friend of my was remodeling a restaurant that was once owned by well known gun collector and claimed he found in the walls a Thompson Sub-machine Gun. He and one of his friends that had been an armorer in the military took it out cleaned the ???grease off it. They loaded the drums with ammunition and commenced to mow down pine trees. They dissembled, cleaned, reassembled it and repacked it in ???Grease. He claims at his death that his attorney has been instructed to send me a letter with direction to where it is hidden when he dies. Boy that had me going for a quite a while until he also shared his spy activities with me during the cold war in Europe. He told me other events in his life but I cannot share them with you as he swore me to secrecy.

Good story teller....Huh....

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Old August 31, 2010, 12:01 PM   #6
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The registry for full auto is closed. There is no way you'd legaly be able to keep it as an individual. One could only hope that once it was turned in, it would find its way to a musem collection.
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Old August 31, 2010, 12:38 PM   #7
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MadHatter and Wlidalaska are correct. An unregistered machinegun is in exactly the same legal category (contraband) as a kilo of heroin or counterfeit printing plates, or stolen goods. The only legal choice is to surrender (abandon) the gun to the BATFE or the police. I would contact BATFE since they are more likely to understand the situation than the local police, having been there before.

You can't keep the gun, have it welded up, shoot it only on weekends, or even destroy it. (Destroying it is destroying evidence of a felony, which is keeping the gun in the first place.)

The fact is that finding an unregistered NFA firearm is not an uncommon situation. Many WWII vets brought MGs and other weapons (e.g., grenades) back and simply put them away, unaware of the law. Those men are dying out and their descendants quite often find those souvenirs. So the "I found this gun" story is well-known to BATFE and as long as there is no evidence that you have felonious intent or are trying to get rid of a crime weapon, they will simply take the gun and that will be all.

If you try to play games, like "just shoot it a little bit", you would risk jail time.

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Old September 1, 2010, 01:38 AM   #8
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In Virginia it's legal to own any automatic as long as it was manufactured prior to 1986 (ATF rule) and it is not a 12 gauge shotgun.
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Old September 1, 2010, 02:24 AM   #9
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No it's not legal to have a pre 86 machinegun if it was never registered for private ownership.

In 1968 anyone who had an illegal gun could register it and make it legal, they have not had another amnesty but they could.
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Old September 1, 2010, 02:39 AM   #10
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You're right, I left out the already registered part, my mistake
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Old September 1, 2010, 02:53 AM   #11
David Hineline
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No problem only a smallish detail that could cost the man 10yrs of his life.
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Old September 1, 2010, 03:03 AM   #12
SigP6Carry
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my "I'd donate it to a museum" comment meant that I'd try to find a legal way to get the gun into an institution to keep it from getting destroyed. I'm sure a conversation with a museum or like institution would lead me to a means to donate through the BoATF (since they tend to like museums) to legally donate the weapon... I wouldn't try to fire it. I'd try to preserve the historical significance of it via historical institutions.
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Old September 1, 2010, 02:50 PM   #13
aarondhgraham
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Thanks for the replies gentlemen,,,

So how does anyone ever get a license to own a full-auto weapon?

Obviously I am completely ignorant about full auto ownership.

So here I am, a citizen of these United States,,,
And I decide I want to own a full-auto weapon of some kind,,,
How would I go about getting a license and obtaining the firearm?

I mean there must be a way,,,
I can go down to H&H gun shop in OKlahoma City,,,
And rent time to shoot any number of full-auto weapons.

How did they get to own them?

.
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Old September 1, 2010, 03:09 PM   #14
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The short version is that you must find for sale a SMG that was properly registered at the time of manufacture prior to 1986 or in the short amnesty at the end of 1968. Then do the paper work, get approval, pay for the gun, and pay a $200 transfer tax. There is not a license to own, pe se. Each individual gun is handled individually.

There is no way for an American Commoner to buy a new SMG made after 1986 or to get a "discovered" SMG into the registry. Which is why a Thompson will sell for something like ten times its free market value; artificial scarcity by government fiat.
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Old September 1, 2010, 04:08 PM   #15
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As corrupt and irresponsible as the federal government is they would never know if I found a Thompson. But neither would anyone else, I would keep that resource to myself. Now the truth has been told!!!!
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Old September 1, 2010, 04:38 PM   #16
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I work in prison. I have zero desire to live here. A phone call would be made to ATFE.
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Old September 1, 2010, 06:03 PM   #17
Willie Lowman
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Quote:
I mean there must be a way,,,
I can go down to H&H gun shop in OKlahoma City,,,
And rent time to shoot any number of full-auto weapons.

How did they get to own them?
Have you asked them? If they have them to rent then they can transfer them too... But bear in mind, the cheapest full auto you will find will cost over $3000 most likely. All the really desirable ones will be $7000 to $25000.
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Old September 2, 2010, 06:12 PM   #18
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Aaron, there is currently no federal "license to own a full-auto weapon" - HOWEVER there is a tax stamp.

License implies permission and renewal. You do not renew a tax stamp on your machnegun.

Also, some states have their own laws that require special licensing on a STATE level. They are typically blue.

If you want a transferrable, expect to spend in the low 5 figures.

Most rental machineguns are post samples - built after 1986 and will never go to civilian hands. Should the owners of the business choose to shut down, all their post samples will be turned to scrap.
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Old September 2, 2010, 06:52 PM   #19
James K
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So what about those rentals? In the first place, renting an MG is not like renting a car - you can't drive away with it. It only means you can use it for a while; it still belongs to the rental range and must be used on their range, under their supervision. It may even be chained to a bench or to the floor.

Since there is no transfer of ownership, there is no problem with BATFE; anyone who legally owns an MG can allow someone else to use it as long as the owner is present and in control of the gun.

Some rental ranges are licensed manufacturers and/or dealers, who can obtain MGs; they just cannot sell them to individuals.

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Old September 2, 2010, 10:46 PM   #20
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This topic reminds me of a special tour that I took a couple years ago on one of our WWII Battleships. Small group, 12 people maybe, guided thru the bowels of the ship. Lots of stuff still in storage onboard, and in one room close to the brig(imagine that one), There were hundreds of helmets and other items, strewn in boxes. I happened to notice, but didn't say anything to anybody else, and nobody else noticed I assume, 4 Thompson barrelled receivers simply lying on the floor collecting dust. No rust, just covered in dust and paint chips. All from WWII. Ship was mothballed in '48, I believe. Much more stored there, but those barrelled receivers just had my eyes popping out.

Last edited by sixgun67; September 2, 2010 at 10:56 PM.
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Old September 2, 2010, 11:47 PM   #21
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Here ya go..... ogle ALL YOU WANT!

http://www.sturmgewehr.com/webBBS/nfa4sale.cgi

To own one of these, you contact the owner, pay the man, get fingerprinted and mugshot and get your nice local police official to sign a letter that he will "allow" you to own the weapon (good luck with this one), submit an application to BATF along with $200 for the tax stamp, and commence to waiting.....and waiting......and waiting......for the approval of the transfer. Then go to the dealer and collect your gun and start to HAVE FUN!!!!!

Oh by the way, leave your credit card with the nice man at the gun store who sells ammo. Saves you time taking it out of your wallet so often.
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Old September 3, 2010, 04:21 PM   #22
aarondhgraham
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This is serendipity,,,

Just today in a different forum (www.okshooters.com) I saw an ad for a Thompson with extra 30 round magazines,,,
$12,000.00

Click here please,,,


I don't think I have stumbled on an ad for a SMG before.

.
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Caje: The coward dies a thousand times, the brave only once.
Kirby: That's about all it takes, ain't it?
Combat: "A Silent Cry"
Aarond is good,,, Aarond is wise,,, Always trust Aarond! (most of the time)

Last edited by aarondhgraham; September 3, 2010 at 04:28 PM.
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Old September 6, 2010, 07:17 AM   #23
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They're out there. That's a West Hurley gun, made in the 70's and 80's by an outfit that had assumed the Auto Ordnance name, but was not a successor company. $12k is about right for these, and they're nice shooters.

A "real deal" M1 or M1A1 will run around $15k - $20k, and an original 1928A1 (like the one shown) more than that.
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Old September 7, 2010, 09:53 AM   #24
demigod
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Quote:
What if you found a Thompson submachine gun?
I'd buy a bunch of 230 grain FMJs and get to loading ammo on my Dillon.
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Old September 7, 2010, 10:36 AM   #25
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Just a thought...

Wouldn't you love to hear the local news interview the latest lottery winner and have him/her tell the reporter that the first thing on their purchase list would be a Thompson? The look on the reporter's face would be priceless.

I wonder how many of them are owned (legally or no) by wealthy individuals who have always had the urge...
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