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Old February 6, 2012, 04:12 AM   #1
cbirunner
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WWII weapon law question

I was just wondering if anyone knew if there any particular laws and what the rules or laws were for weapons that were brought back by U.S. soldiers after WWII? Thanks
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Old February 6, 2012, 04:24 AM   #2
gyvel
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Just the same laws that would apply to any other weapons. If they're not NFA weapons, then whatever existing laws that are out there in your locale would apply. If they are unregistered NFA weapons, then you have contraband carrying potential heavy fines and imprisonment.
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Old February 6, 2012, 08:18 AM   #3
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If it is a fully automatic weapon it is illegal and there is no way at this time to make it legal. Being in possession of it could make you subject to arrest and prosecution.
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Old February 6, 2012, 08:32 AM   #4
musher
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??

were or are?
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Old February 6, 2012, 08:54 AM   #5
MTT TL
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Good point.

During WWII the rules were quite different than today. Soldiers under certain circumstances could bring back souvenirs including certain weapons. Soldiers could also buy US Army property (including weapons) under certain circumstances too. I know of no place that details these old rules.
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Old February 6, 2012, 01:07 PM   #6
cbirunner
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I was just wondering what the steps would be to register them because they were not purchased, but rather brought home as souvenirs.
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Old February 6, 2012, 02:44 PM   #7
Carne Frio
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Do you live in a state where registration is required ?
Are you asking about NFA type guns ?
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Old February 6, 2012, 03:46 PM   #8
carguychris
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Quote:
Are you asking about NFA type guns ?
In case the OP is not familiar with NFA weapons, here's some documentation on the ATF website.

http://www.atf.gov/firearms/nfa/
http://www.atf.gov/firearms/guides/i...-firearms.html (keep in mind that this is by no means a list of every NFA firearm, just many of the common ones)

Here's probably the most crucial one to read:

http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/nati...hine-guns.html

In a nutshell: Machine guns lawfully registered and possessed before May 19, 1986 may be owned by civilians. Those that weren't, basically can't. Other NFA firearms can be registered, but the process is complicated.

Be aware that the NFA and ATF define a "machine gun" as any firearm that is designed to discharge more than one shot per trigger pull, or the parts required to convert another type of firearm to do so, e.g. full-auto conversion kits for semi-automatic firearms. IOW the semantic debates about what's a machine pistol, a submachine gun, an assault rifle, etc. are meaningless here; if it goes "rat-a-tat" when you pull the trigger once, the ATF says it's legally a machine gun.

For firearms other than NFA firearms, registration is entirely a matter of state law, and the question cannot be answered without knowing your (the OP's) state of residence.
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Old February 6, 2012, 04:32 PM   #9
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The two guns would be a German Luger and a double barrel shotgun. I'm from Illinois so I am not sure about the registration laws.
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Old February 6, 2012, 04:42 PM   #10
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The Luger should not be NFA unless it's some really weird Luger I don't know about.

Some Lugers are capable of accepting shoulder stocks, which would normally make them NFA short-barreled rifles, but luckily for us, most historic Luger shoulder-stock-capable models have been specifically classified as Curios & Relics and are therefore exempted from the NFA. If the Luger is a shoulder-stock model, take a look at the ATF C&R list and scroll down to Section III; the Lugers are on pgs. 35 & 36:

http://www.atf.gov/publications/down...-p-5300-11.pdf

The shotgun should not be NFA unless the barrel(s) is (are) under 18" in length or its overall length is less than 26".

IL may require state handgun registration, but I don't know for sure, as I've never had a good reason to check.
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Old February 6, 2012, 04:56 PM   #11
cbirunner
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I don't know a whole lot about guns but I am pretty sure that the Luger is not able to accept a shoulder stock and I know the shotgun has a longer barrel than 18" and is over 26"
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Old February 6, 2012, 05:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
I don't know a whole lot about guns but I am pretty sure that the Luger is not able to accept a shoulder stock
Actually, there were some. They were called Artillery Lugers if I recall. C96 Mausers (and some Browning Hi-Power pistols) were also distributed with the stocks. Most of those are now classified as C&R which means they don't have to be registered on the federal level.
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Old February 6, 2012, 06:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
I don't know a whole lot about guns but I am pretty sure that the Luger is not able to accept a shoulder stock and I know the shotgun has a longer barrel than 18" and is over 26"
No registration in IL except Chicago. So if you are not in Chicago and have your FOID card you are good to go.
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Old February 6, 2012, 08:29 PM   #14
cbirunner
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Great, thanks for all of the help.
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Old February 6, 2012, 11:12 PM   #15
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If it did have an original shoulder stock well... the value would be extraordinary.
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Old February 8, 2012, 11:23 AM   #16
carguychris
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I'm not familiar with shoulder-stock Lugers specifically, but other pistols set up for shoulder stocks typically have a vertical slot or tabs on the lower rear grip frame where the stock would attach.

As I said earlier, AFAIK the vast majority of Lugers were not outfitted for shoulder-stock use, and IIRC most of these date from the WWI era, although I'm no expert on these pistols.
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