View Full Version : Full Auto Componants*Legally Paperwork Free if parts are Surplus items?
January 1, 2005, 05:16 AM
I am confused about something and I hope somebody out there can clear this up for me. I have viewed several sites that offer for sale and is always
advertised for sale using the following heading:
"FULL AUTO PARTS KITS, EVERYTHING BUT THE RECEIVER IS INCLUDED!
FULL AUTO REPLACEMENT PARTS ARE TO BE USED ONLY FOR REPAIRING
YOUR REGISTERED MACHINEGUNS. THESE ARE SURPLUS PARTS AND IT IS
NOT LEGAL TO USE THEM TO MANYFACTURE OR CONVERT A SEMI-AUTO WEAPON INTO A MACHINEGUN". And sometimes the wording goes on and on
but means the same as posted above.
But then I see at Numrich's website, they off the EXACT same Full Auto parts and F/A Parts kits and says these parts are all BRAND NEW and they AREN'T just old surplus parts. But they say that the NEW Machinegun parts can ONLY be sold and shipped to the buyer ONLY AFTER the buyer has sent them copies of their SOT paperwork or an ATF Form 4.
What I want to know is how is it legal for anyone to buy "OLD SURPLUS" Full auto parts that are still fully functional and NO paperwork of any kind is required by any laws, but the EXACT SAME PARTS cannot
be purchased if they are BRAND NEW unless the have all the proper paperwork??? Am I missing some "legality" part of this Legal Loophole? Can somebody please clear this up for me? PLEASE!
January 1, 2005, 05:22 AM
It is my understanding that the mere possession of the fire-control parts needed to make a firearm full auto is counted by ATF as having the full auto firearm.
As example, owning the lightning link/drop in sear for the AR 15 requires the same paperwork as a full auto firearm.
At least, that is how I understand it. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
January 1, 2005, 05:39 AM
Yeah but that still doesn't answer my original questions though.
How is it that several different companies seem to all have the same
particular policy that they will ship USED/SURPLUS full auto parts to anyone without any license or paperwork whatsoever, BUT they all seem to refuse to sell NEW full auto parts without the Class three license? Is that because the Law says they can only sell USED parts to anyone but not New ones? Even though the USED SURPLUS parts might still be totally usable condition? Or am I missing some other part of the
Laws on this??? :confused:
January 1, 2005, 10:43 AM
I could very well be wrong, but I always assumed they are alright selling anything but the receiver?
January 1, 2005, 03:22 PM
Did the same company ask for paperwork on new items but not surplus? Different companies may have different policies on selling full auto components. As DT Guy said, I believe only the receiver requires paperwork, as well as any component, like a sear for the AR15 as mentioned above, that would make a gun full auto. But some companies may want to make sure that you're buying the parts for a full auto gun you actually own and not to convert(illegally) a gun to full auto. Company policies are often(but not always) more stringent than the laws to help cover their butts in a lawsuit.
January 1, 2005, 08:33 PM
YES That is absolutely correct of several companies! Numrich is offering to
sell ANY FULL AUTO CONVERSION MACHINEGUN PARTS AND PARTS KITS to
anyone and WITHOUT any paperwork or license at all AS LONG AS THE PARTS ARE SURPLUS-CONDITION PARTS ONLY! If you want to buy the EXACT SAME PARTS BUT YOU WANT THOSE PARTS TO BE BRAND NEW AND NOT SURPLUS USED, THEN YOU HAVE TO HAVE A NFA LICENSE of Class 2 or 3 status. I will repeat this, THEY WILL SELL YOU ALL THE SAME EXACT MACHINGUN PARTS IF THEY ARE USED SURPLUS PARTS, BUT NUMRICH WILL NOT SELL YOU THOSE SAME PARTS IF THEY ARE BRAND NEW AND NEVER BEEN USED BEFORE, UNLESS YOU HAVE A S.O.T. LICENSE. Does everyone understand this now? You can buy Old and used parts EVEN THOUGH THE PARTS STILL WORK FINE, but you can't but those SAME parts if they are brand new and never been used at all. Now does everyone understand what I'm asking? I'M NOT ASKING ABOUT ANY STORE'S SELLING POLICIES, ALL I AM ASKING ABOUT IS WHAT THE LAW SAYS ABOUT THESE NEW PARTS AND THESE SAME PARTS THAT ARE MOT BRAND NEW, BUT THEY ARE SURPLUS USED CONDITION, AND THESE USED PARTS ARE STILL TOTALLY ABLE TO WORK!
January 1, 2005, 08:53 PM
If the ATF considers and machinegun part or combination of machinegun-type of parts to be Illegal and is considered by law to be a machinegun,
Then HOW are several companies even the big one like Numrich and Federal Arms, HOW are so many well-known businesses legally able to sell all of these
UN-REGISTERED "machine gun parts and Machinegun replacement parts kits
tpo anyone without any paperwork or any legal hassle at all??? Don't say that they are doing it Illegally because the major companies that do it are too well known to have stayed in business for this long if they ever broke the law in any way.
January 1, 2005, 09:31 PM
The answer is actually simple, even though the explanation may be a bit complex. (NOTE: This is a long and fairly complex posting on a complex issue. Please do not flame me for trying to answer a question. I did not make the law; I don't work for BATFE; I am not anti-gun; I am not responsible for Waco, Ruby Ridge, or the decline of American civilization as we know it. If you have a reasonable question, I will try to answer, but read the whole posting first.)
Basically, it depends on when the part was manufactured and when BATFE determined that it fell under the definition in the NFA, which states that the term "machinegun" includes: "...any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun, and any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person."
It is left up to BATFE to determine specifically which parts those are and what constitutes a "combination of parts". Up until BATFE makes that determination, the parts involved are just parts and can be bought and sold freely. Once BATFE determines that a part or combination of parts falls into the category of a "machinegun", the old parts are still not "machineguns" since they were not determined to be at the time of manufacture/import. But all such parts subsequently manufactured/imported must be registered and can be transferred only on the same terms as a machinegun.
That was the case with the Lightning Links and Drop-in Auto Sears. They had been sold for some time with no paper work, though it was illegal to install them on a rifle to make it full auto. Once BATFE declared those parts themselves to be machineguns (whether or not they were installed on a rifle), they came under the machinegun law. Ones made before that date can be sold and transferred with no paperwork, but it is still illegal to use them to make a machinegun, something that advertisers ignored while telling buyers the parts were "legal to buy and own". That is true; they never said they were legal to install, and that buyers who did so could be prosecuted.
So, surplus parts, made before the BATFE decision, can be sold with no paperwork; they just can't legally be used to assemble a machinegun.
New parts, made after the BATFE decision, are machineguns in and by themselves, and have to be transferred accordingly. Since the maufacture or importation of machineguns for sale to individuals is now banned (since 1986), new parts cannot be transferred to individuals, and I don't think BATFE will approve a Form 4 unless the parts were registered after the BATFE decision and before 1986.
When was that decision made? Was it one decision or several? I don't know; if there is a question, I can only suggest contacting BATFE in writing for further information.
January 2, 2005, 05:13 PM
For the most part Jim Keenen has it correct, but allow me to clarify and correct some things.
The surplus parts you see sold by Numrich, Sarco, IMA, etc. are parts from old machineguns that have been torch cut and properly deactivated. The parts are available to make replica weapons, and as spare parts for legally registered machineguns. You cannot use those kits to make a new machinegun without having an 07 FFL & SOT or a specific exemption by the Secretary of the Treasury for weapons to be manufactured for sale the US government.
Numrich, Sarco, IMA, etc do NOT sell machinegun conversion parts. Machine conversion parts are parts that can be used to convert an existing firearm or parts set into a machinegun, and they are regulated and transfer exactly as a live machinegun would.
Companies like Bushmaster will sell you new M16 parts to replace those in an existing registered M16 if you provide them with a copy of your F1 or F4, or FFL/SOT. If you obtain M16 fire control parts and you also posess an AR15, you are in possession of an unregistered machinegun (even if the parts are not installed) and can be prosecuted for a felony.
The difference between the ways these companies do business and sell parts is simply a difference in company policy. Bushmaster may more concerned about potential legal entanglements than SARCO is simply by nature of the parts they sell, what weapons those parts are used in, and where the legal line is for creating a new (unregistered) machinegun for that type of weapon. For an AR15, all you need is simple possession of M16 fire control parts and you've got a felony. For something like a 1919 parts kit from Sarco, you'd need to fabricate a right hand side plate after you acquire the parts, so its more involved to cross the legal line into an unregistered MG with those parts.
As far as conversion parts are concerned, once BATF determines them to be machineguns, they are machineguns regardless of the date of manufacture. Drop in auto-sears for example, were once unregulated parts. Once BATF determined them to be machineguns, they had to be registered as such or were considered to be unregistered machineguns. Of course, you can still find them for sale, unrestricted, in the pages of SGN which may belie BATF's willingness to prosecute, or it may be a simple resource allocation problem, or as some speculate, it may even be a BATF set-up. It is not as Jim Keenen says that they are grandfathered and legal to possess; they are machineguns by themselves. Nowhere in the National Firearms Act, 922(o), or other federal statute will you find authority for BATF to grandfather certain machineguns and exempt them from the registration and transfer requirements of the NFA based merely on the date of manufacture. When BATF issued Revenue Ruling 81-4 (IIRC) which grandfathered DIAS's made prior to 1981, they never considered the fact they couldn't legally exempt ones made prior to the ruling from the requirements of the NFA. In US v. Cash in 1998, they were reminded of the limits to their authority by Judge Easterbrook and the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals. At least in the 7th circuit, if you are caught with an unregistered DIAS (pre-81 or not), you will be prosecuted for felony possession of an unregistered machinegun. When/if the issue is ever addressed by another circuit, I have little doubt they'll follow Easterbrook and the 7th Circuit. YMMV.
January 2, 2005, 08:22 PM
Thanks to all who replied with their input. I especially wish to thank Mr. Keegan and Shaggy for their particular insight and knowledge relating to
Items falling under the control of the rules of the NFA. I have one other question that is somewhat similar. This is relating to Multi-Burst Trigger
Activator Devices such as the Hellfire System, Hellstorm2000, Tac-Trigger,
Tri-Burst systems, and various other devices that are designed to simulate
Machineguns by making most any semi-automatic weapon able to fire in
fully automatic mode. :D These particular devices are always sold and accompanied by a "Letter of BATF Approval". ;) Now my question is, since
the items can cause semi-auto rifles to fire in full auto mode, exactly HOW
are these items EXEMPT from the NFA Regulations? And is that BATF
Approval Letter really issued by the ATF? Or is it just something that has no
legal bearing at all? I currently both the orignal Hellfire Device, as well as
the orignal Tri-burst activator, and just recently I purchased a neat little
item called the *Gat Trigger System*. All of these devices actually DO the tasks that they are designed to do. With only minor adjusting occasionally
needed, they all make you, and other people around you, think you're really firing off a machinegun! :D Sometimes at the open shooting ranges, small groups of people have gathered behind me and watch when I'm using one on my Rifle.
January 2, 2005, 09:15 PM
Silent Predator wrote - -Now my question is, since the items can cause semi-auto rifles to fire in full auto mode, exactly HOW
are these items EXEMPT from the NFA Regulations? The devices you mention are designed and set up to rapidly actuate the trigger repeatedly, which is NOT the same as full automatic fire.
This has much the same SOUND as full automatic fire, but there is a difference. ;)
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