View Full Version : statute of limitations questions...

July 11, 2008, 05:24 PM
Is there a "known" statuate of limitation on PREVIOUS possible infractions of BATF laws? Ie... homemade silencer than thrown away but someone has photos of you having it. Or sawed off shotgun owned by relative in the 70's but they are in fear that a photo may exist.
Just curious...
Also can a person be held responsible for providing verbal instruction on how to make such devices if the maker gets busted with the creation?

July 12, 2008, 05:54 PM
The BATFE will never forget something like that, methinks...if you had a felony because of it, goodbye gun ownership...

James K
July 12, 2008, 07:03 PM
BATFE can be "gung ho" at times, but I can't see them trying to make an arrest based on a photo with no other evidence, then trying to convince a U.S. Attorney to bring such a silly case to court. I wouldn't worry about it.

The question of providing information is trickier. Because of freedom of speech and freedom of the press, just telling someone how to do something is usually not illegal unless it is directed toward a specific crime. Showing how a bank vault is made is not a crime; drawing a detailed map of the Last National Bank vault, with the intent that it be used in a robbery, is a crime, accessory before the fact. The people who tell you how to make a suppressor usually say the information is for "amusement only" or some such, and seem to manage to stay out of trouble.


July 12, 2008, 07:24 PM
Neither of these situations resulted in charges... Just making sure that neither party would have to waste time lookin back at the past.
Thanks... Brent

July 14, 2008, 05:03 AM
as long as its for educational use then there is no reason why you cant know how to convert an ak to full auto......like i said, for educational purposes only!

July 14, 2008, 11:25 AM
there is no way to make a conviction based on a photograph alone. someone would need to testify, to the facts of the case. (ie. real gun or stage prop).
as far as the statue of limitations, it runs from the day of the crime. if the persons quit possessing an illegal gun in the 70's, i'm sure the time limit for charging him has expired. most minor felonies have a 5 year limitation. your fine go ahead and run for public office.

James K
July 14, 2008, 01:11 PM
If you do run for public office, the opposition will not only dig up the pictures, they will pay a dozen people to testify to the "crime" and post this exchange on one of their blogs. Those of us who responded will be arrested for misprision of a felony and forced to testify before a Senate committee writing a law to ban all guns and execute their owners.


July 20, 2008, 09:16 AM
I do not think a photo is going to be good evidence by itself. A mere photo is not going to show the difference between a fake silencer and a real one. It will not also reveal that a short barreled shotgun is not registered unless it shows the serial number in the photo. The lesson here is do not be foolish and stay legal.

I do not think anyone can be held accountable solely for giving instructions on how to make a silencer. If that were the case, then the people who made the silencer drawings at the US Patent Office could find themselves in hot water over the drawings they post on their US government website. Remember there is freedom of speech in the USA, just use it wisely. :)


July 21, 2008, 11:03 AM
The statute of limitations on violations of the NFA is three years (possibly six, depending on circumstances showing a willful violation). See 26 U.S.C. sec. 6531. The statute of limitations does not begin to run on possession offenses until the possession stops.
As long as you possess the contraband item, you are in danger of being prosecuted.