View Full Version : What if?

June 8, 2000, 11:54 AM
I have a question...
What if someone was given a WWII era, fully functional German MG42 and it had never been registered? What if it were a gift from a relative many years ago who was a War verteren and the weapon in question was a war trophy.
Is there any way to legally register it and, more importantly, KEEP it and keep it the condition it is now?

June 8, 2000, 02:01 PM
I'm no expert, but I think it's contraband. A person in that situation could lay low and hope for another amnesty period sometime down the road -- and also hope that something didn't happen in the meantime to uncover his possession of an illegal machine gun. Or, he could play it safe and turn it in. Does anybody know if you would have to turn in the whole gun, or just the receiver? And would BATF return it to you after it had been rendered inoperable?

June 8, 2000, 02:10 PM
That's about what I thought. Well, IF that person was me...<g>....then that's what they should do. Lay low, wait and see if there is an amnesty period down the road.

James K
June 8, 2000, 03:06 PM
Laying low might be OK, but I can almost guarantee there will be no more amnesty periods.

Trouble is that if one should have a problem, like a fire in the house, and the gun is found... That happened to a friend of mine; he got five years, but 4 were suspended.

I would suggest that anyone in that position should either destroy the gun, throw it in a deep lake, or call an attorney and arrange to abandon it to the police or BATF. Keeping the parts and just abandoning the receiver might be allowed. Abandonment should present no problems, but that is why the person's attorney should be present. Of course the person should do this as soon as possible after finding or recognizing the gun; a delay could raise questions. So if a person were in such a fix, the person might say that the gun was found "yesterday" or "over the weekend", not that it was found two years ago and has been fun to shoot.


Oleg Volk
June 9, 2000, 03:57 PM
Whatever you do, do not bring it to an ATF office with a belt hanging from the receiver, a #2 holding the belt and the bolt back! They might not get the joke.

Art Eatman
June 9, 2000, 06:35 PM
I'm pretty sure the law says there's no way to make it legal; further, it give a whole new meaning to "jail-bait".

About the only way one could openly have one would be to weld it internally such that it was completely and permanently non-shootable. The claim could then be made that "It was always that way."

I guess.

:), Art

June 9, 2000, 06:41 PM
It is possible to donate the gun to a legitimate museum. Perhaps your state has a military museum.


June 9, 2000, 09:29 PM
I am not 100% sure, but I believe that if the weapon is inherited, and the person that you inherited it from was a legal owner, then you may legally own it. Don't hold me to that though!

June 10, 2000, 04:27 AM
If you dont rob 7-11s dont worry. Just shoot it a littleso they cant get a fix on your position

Mulio Rex
June 10, 2000, 07:42 PM
...hmmmm.. after I got done giggling like a madman I would procure myself a large airtight container and store said MG42 and several thousand rounds of ammunition in a hole in the back yard. You never know....

Actually something very similar to this happened to an acquaintinace of mine......

Big Guns again
No speakee well
But plain.

James K
June 10, 2000, 07:44 PM
Hi, guys,

A lot of misinformation here.

Art, in 1968 the law was changed so that even DEWATs and welded up guns had to be registered. If they weren't registered at that time, they are illegal, just like a live gun.

Tankertom, you can't donate something that is illegal to own. If you surrender it, you might be able to arrange for BATF or the police to put it in a museum.

PreserveFreedom, if the Title II firearm is legally owned and registered, it can be inherited, but the heir has to file a Form 5 for non-tax transfer and wait for approval before selling it. Again, if it is not registered, it can't be owned legally, no matter how it was acquired, or who the owner is (except a governmental entity).

OldJimbo, no, war vets cannot legally own machineguns they brought back unless they registered them prior to or during the 1968 amnesty.

If this should be a matter of staying out of jail, DO NOT, repeat DO NOT, take the word of anyone on this site. They will not go to jail if they are wrong, you will. And, AFAIK, none of us are qualified to give legal advice and no responsible attorney would give legal advice on a web site.

If in doubt consult an attorney familiar with firearms law.


June 10, 2000, 08:29 PM

Get a firearms-savvy lawyer NOW. Don't take the word of us yahoos. And be aware that not everyone reading your post is friendly.

June 12, 2000, 02:22 PM
I agree with REX. Find a nice quiet spot to rest the MG42, make sure it's air/water tight and don't forget where you put it!

I would be hard pressed to let a fine weapon like that fall into the wrong hands (BATF, FBI...)

James K
June 13, 2000, 11:02 PM
Let me do a parable. "My uncle died and in his effects I found a dozen foil wrapped packages of white stuff. What should I do? Should I turn it in? Find some street dealers? Keep it in case I want to become a junkie? Start sniffing? By the way, if I sell it, how do I cut it and with what?"

Sound silly? You think no one would be stupid enough to post something like that? Well, folks, to the law, an illegal machinegun is in the same category as that "powdered sugar".

In the described situation, talk to an attorney and arrange to abandon the gun.

BTW, folks, OldJimbo has no listed e-mail address. If he listed it, I wonder if it would end with ".gov".


4V50 Gary
June 15, 2000, 10:55 PM
Concur with Jim. Tennis Lessons or back rubs in the shower by Bubba at Club Fed isn't my idea of fun.

Jonathan Chenault
June 16, 2000, 11:36 AM
keep it...