View Full Version : ATF: Do they really have jurisdiction?

July 19, 2000, 11:06 AM
If I were to make a SMG and not take it out of state, wouldn't the ATF not have jurisdiction? I know this is a legal/political question, but that forum seems to be down.

I twist the facts until they tell the truth

July 19, 2000, 11:46 AM
if I made a SMG without prior approval from
BATF I would lose my guns and alot of money
and freedom.and never be able to possess any
guns again.I see those UZI and STEN kits for
sale and THINK it would so simple to make a
STEN, just a tube with a slot cut and a ejector,BUT its a bust! semi auto is okay and
no legal hassles, much cheeper too.

July 19, 2000, 12:55 PM
On what legal grounds do they exactly regulate in-state manufacturing? I thought their jurisdiction was completely based on inter-state trade?

I twist the facts until they tell the truth

July 19, 2000, 01:35 PM
state laws apply, federal laws apply since they stopped selling Thompson SMGs from your
local hardware store.BATF has the power to
regulate in and out of state manufacturing
of SMGs, also import and export. it might be
illegal to possess a SMG or suppresor in your
state.you have to contact BATF or go to their
website www.atf.treas.gov/index.htm (http://www.atf.treas.gov/index.htm)

July 19, 2000, 02:18 PM
The ATF has the authority to regulate the manufaturing, sale and transportation of firearms. Theirs is a discrectionary power extended by congress through the ability to levy taxes. If you really look at the ATF regulations the locus of authority comes from the power to tax and regulate taxable manufactured goods. I do not know if this power has ever been challenged up to the SUpreme Court. It should be a case for the Supremes because it is a Constitutional issue, a matter of taxes and interstate commerce. But so far, the justices have stayed away from anything that has to do with the Second Amendment.

I agree with Zot. You are asking for more trouble than it may be worth. If you are dead set on doing this, get the proper forms, pay the $200 fee, claim you are making the sub-gun for "experimental, educational and historic" purposes, wait your six months for approvals, then go for it. There are plenty of LEO's and ATF agents who would simply love to do their part in getting you free room and board at the local pen for having an illegal machine gun. Even pro-2nd leo's I know wouldn't think twice about busting someone with an illegal firearm.

In a nutshell: 1) forget it, go semi-auto. -or- 2) buy one and file the proper paperwork. -or- 3) jump through all the hoops, pay the fees and wait for permission and do a "U-build it". The choice is yours.

You can find the price of freedom, buried in the ground.

July 19, 2000, 03:29 PM
I thought the gun control was under the idea that "gun violence impacts interstate trade/commerce".

You're right, the power to tax is the power to destroy. The $200 tax isn't THAT unobtainable; but in the 1986 gunowners protection act (if I'm not mistaken) they banned the BATF from accepting applications to build fullautos.

In short, I think building your own is out of the question.

Forget going to jail, the only NFA violations I've seen reported on TV (Waco (allegedly), Ruby Ridge) have resulted in deaths. Okay, paranoia, just this is one they really enforce/crack down on and is to be taken very seriously.


[This message has been edited by Battler (edited July 19, 2000).]

July 20, 2000, 02:55 AM
I have no intentions of building an SMG at this point, they are not really very useful to me for defense of my home, and I don't have a military need for them at this point. To top all this off, I don't have the equipment to build them. Still, clearly they have no jurisdiction and are still applying authority here, this should be taken to the supreme court, but I'll wait to push the matter until we get a less scummy president.

As for Waco and Ruby Ridge, yes, those were guys supposedly violating VERY minor items and yet they were killed for it. I'd hate to see how many family members the ATF would kill at my home were I to come into possession of a grenade. We are lucky in Iowa, our ATF representatives here are nice people, but they are still out of their jurisdiction.

I twist the facts until they tell the truth

James K
July 20, 2000, 04:00 PM
To make a machinegun, BATF approval must be obtained through a Form 4 and a $200 tax. But BATF states that it will not approve manufacture except for sale to a law enforcement agency or the military. In other words, you can't legally make a machinegun for your own use.

The other way a person can manufacture a machinegun is to obtain a manufacturers license ($1000), show an intent to engage in the business of making and selling machineguns for law enforcement or military use, and show actual interest in the product from a law enforcement or military agency, domestic or foreign. Of course, then you will be competing with H&K, Walther, etc., with almost no chance of getting orders.

Also note that if the manufacturer's license is surrendered, any unsold guns must also be abandoned to BATF, since the former business owner cannot buy them as an individual.


July 20, 2000, 08:06 PM
yeah, abandon guns so they can use them to kill more "cultists" great idea. If closed down a business like that all my guns would go in the furnace before they'd go to the ATF.

I twist the facts until they tell the truth

Henry Bowman
July 20, 2000, 08:23 PM
Look up U.S. vs Rock Island Armory, we WON! but??

Badger Arms
July 20, 2000, 10:21 PM
No, they don't have Jurisdiction. Yes, they will burn you. The deal is, no state will defend you and most states have laws against Class III or they say in order to have one, you have to comply with federal standards. My opinion is it AIN'T WORTH THE RISK. Of course, that's MY opinion.

July 21, 2000, 03:19 AM
I'm not too fond of the Mormon religion, nor am I too fond of Texas's "I am god on my own property" type thinking, but when it comes to the ATF bullying everyone around, I often wished I lived in states that still show regard for the RKBA. Iowa's not so bad though, I could be in The People's Republik of Kalifornia, our country's socialist guinea-pig state. Kali probably wouldn't just let the ATF come kill you, they'd probably help.

I twist the facts until they tell the truth