View Full Version : Question about "possesing" fully automatic firearm

October 2, 2011, 09:17 PM
If I am at a range, and a person who legally owns a fully automatic weapon allows me to hold and shoot the gun by myself, is that OK?

Coach Z
October 2, 2011, 09:26 PM
Yes fully legal. The gun is still under the owner's control

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

October 3, 2011, 07:51 AM
As long as the owner is there with you, you're good to go.

October 3, 2011, 08:44 AM
What the others said - if owner and paperwork is present (or copy), you're fine.

October 14, 2011, 07:29 AM
if owner and paperwork is present (or copy),

This point has been argued to death before, but, per BATF regulations, it is not necessary to have the paperwork with you when you are shooting your NFA weapon. It is also not required to show your paperwork to any LEO other than an ATF or IRS agent since it is a tax document.

Now, having said that, it is highly recommended to have your paperwork with you, because there are an awful lot of anal sphincters out there who really don't know the law and tend to abuse their power and make your life miserable.

October 14, 2011, 07:49 AM
gyvel, I don't disagree with you - what you said is technically correct. But, let me ask you this - would you EVER shoot someone's full-auto gun at a range if they had no paperwork with them?:eek:

October 14, 2011, 07:59 AM
Good question Skans. We have a machine gun shoot twice a year here in northern AZ and I have shot many NFA weapons without asking for papers. No one has ever asked me for mine, either. I suppose it depends on the situation.

As a rule, I keep my paperwork with me just to avoid problems with the "uninformed."

If the guy had an accent and was covered with tattoos, I would probably not fire his gun.

October 14, 2011, 08:06 AM
If the guy had an accent and was covered with tattoos, I would probably not fire his gun.

Everyone has an accent.

October 14, 2011, 01:17 PM
1. The issue is 'custody and control" - if the owner hands you the gun and wanders off, there could be a technical violation (depends on how anal the cop is). If he/she is right there, and clearly exercising control of the firearm, you are OK.

2. The other issue is, most cops have never seen a Form 4, or any other ATFE paperwork. Many think that only cops should be allowed to have any guns!
It's best to know your state law, and respectfully ask the officer to look up Section XXX of the State laws.

If some officer insists on arresting you for having a legal firearm, DO NOT RESIST (or you get charged with resisting arrest, even if the arrest was illegal). Try to remain calm, and ask for a supervisor so you can explain the situation. And think about the big settlement check you will be getting from the agency for false arrest and interfering with your civil rights under color of law (42USC1983).

James K
October 14, 2011, 01:35 PM
I have posted this before, but it is a point to keep in mind, that the gun doesn't have to BE a machinegun to raise questions. In a case several years ago, a young man installed one of those dummy selectors on an M1A. (He later said that he just wanted to "needle the pigs". He did.) A police officer saw the gun, concluded it was just like the M14 he had carried in Vietnam, and took the man in for questioning. He did not make an arrest, which turned out to be good. The man kept telling them it was legal, but strangely, cops don't believe protestations of innocence. There is no doubt that "probable cause" was there - the gun looked like a machinegun, and the man had no papers. (Federal papers may not have to be with a machinegun, but MD state registration papers do.)

They got the police firearms identification expert off the golf course on Sunday and, even though unhappy, he told them the gun was legal and the man was released. But he came close to having an arrest record over nothing more than his juvenile desire to stick it to the cops.


October 14, 2011, 01:35 PM
The general rule is the original owner must be present. And have proper proof of allowed ownership.