View Full Version : full auto and civilians?

November 7, 2001, 01:23 PM
Can anyone out there explain the laws concerning civilians owning fully automatic weapons? Is there a cut off date? Or are they completely illegal to own?

I guess what I really want to know is:
Is there ever a chance that I could legally own an MP5 in the USA?

What about sound suppressors?
I've always just assumed I could never own anything like that.

Any comments?

November 7, 2001, 01:39 PM
You could never own an MP5 unless you stole it from the Bundeswehr. Under certain conditions, you could own an HK54 though or a sear gun.

Where are you?

November 7, 2001, 03:07 PM
I'm currently in Ohio, but that could change.
What about an SP89 with a full auto sear? I remember reading somewhere about registered auto sears for sale for the SP89. ??

Is having a full auto like having pre-ban hi-cap mags? Anyone can buy, lets say, an M-16 as long as it was made before a certain date? Or is it more complicated?

I don't know much about full autos. The only experience I have with them was shooting a rental Sten (IIRC) 9mm full auto at a range once. That was a fun experience! I would like to have my own full auto someday, but if it's impossible, I guess I'll have to settle for a semi-auto SP89 and just pull the trigger really fast. ;)

November 7, 2001, 04:02 PM
May 1986 is the date you are think about. As long as you can get the Form 4 signed.

November 7, 2001, 07:58 PM
http://www.atf.treas.gov/ is the place to start to find who can answer legal questions about Title II ownership.

The Rock
November 7, 2001, 11:02 PM
Yes, you can own an MP5. They aren't cheap, but yes, you can own one.

You can also buy and own suppressors.

Ohio is a Title II state, so you should be good to go.

Just find an Title II dealer and bring your checkbook. :D

Rick (Title II salesdude @ The Armory)

November 8, 2001, 05:06 PM
No, unless the laws change, you cannot own an MP5. It was banned from import for civilians by the GCA68, which prohibited the import of foreign made machine guns (Even though it had not yet been invented yet). The GCA86 banned the manufacturer of US made machine guns for civilians, but HK never made the MP5 in the US, so there are none here for civilians.

Those that claim to have an MP5 really have an HK-94 that was legally converted, or an SP-89 that was legally converted with pre-GCA86 parts. Some with these weapons even go so far as to have the weapon stamped "MP5". If the HKPRO BBS ever comes back to life, you can view the archives for more info.

The Rock
November 9, 2001, 12:42 AM
Actually the 86 ban was part of the "Firearm Owner's Protection Act"



November 9, 2001, 01:58 AM
Not flaming but asking...

Everyone who claims to have an MP-5 is mistaken - it's not really an MP-5, it's a conversion?

Does that include the hundreds of MP-5s in various configurations that are owned by SOT-bearing civilians, the pre- and post-86 registered weapons? Not to mention the thousands more currently owned by LE agencies, many of which will be sold to other SOTs?

Those aren't conversions, they're the real thing. Probably my interpretation of "civilian" is different, but IMO SOTs are civilians.


And here's a "conversion" analogy - a guy drives into a mechanic's shop with a '98 Camaro. The mechanic is a recognized Camaro expert. The guy wants his run-of-the-mill Camaro converted into a Z-28. The mechanic uses only certified Chevy/Camaro Z-28 parts, rebuilds to spec what he doesn't replace. When he's finished the guy's car is a Z-28, in every way possible. Only an expert could tell the difference, and that's after taking the car apart.

That's the MP-5 conversion issue? That I can own - in every other way - an MP-5, except it was not really an MP-5... only made by the same company, to the same mechanical tolerances and cosmetic quality; that it looks, smells, recoils, takes the same accessories; can be worked on by HK smiths; uses the same replacement parts as other MP-5s; that unless you're an HK expert, no one else would ever know the subgun you're shooting was not an original MP-5? That you'd have to check the ATF Form 4 to see what it really was? And you're gonna make a point of that, after I spent $6.5-10k on it (depending on model and condition)?

I dunno - not to flame anyone or anything - but it seems damn trivial. Maybe technically important - for historical purposes. But I've got a line of shooters who'll tell you they own MP-5s - they sure aren't SP-89s or HK-94s.

Kinda like telling a guy who's been fat all his life that he's still fat - when he's down to 185 and a triathalete.

November 9, 2001, 09:24 AM
CC, yeah, O.K., I can get picky. The MP5 is what the Bundeswehr labeled it. (Quick, class, what was the MP1?).

The GSCs who claim to own a dozen or so "MP5s" have either stolen them from the German Army, own HK54s by paying SOTs (tricky), or have sear guns with a 4. BTW, a sear gun is not the same as the HK54 durability wise.

Small potatos I know, but what do you want to talk about--the office???:eek:

November 9, 2001, 12:17 PM
The only ones that must be conversions are the civilian ones that are in the NFA database, for the reasons I mentioned. LEO, Class III dealer samples, etc, can all be real MP5s.

Conversions and real MP5s are not made from the same parts. This is becuase in order for the HK-94 or SP-89 to be imported into the US as a Semi-Auto weapon, it had to meet BATF approval to NOT be easily converted to full-Auto. Therefore, the conversion to full auto could not be as simple as parts replacement. It needs custom parts to be made. So to use your own Z-28 example, the mechanic is not really using genuine Chevy Z-28 parts for the conversion.

Jake 98c/11b
November 9, 2001, 01:13 PM
KS, just a guess (too lazy to look it up) but wasn't it the Uzi?

I thought the MP5 was produced in 1965, my understanding was that there are a few dozen or more pre 68 guns out there.

The Rock
November 11, 2001, 11:35 AM
I was under the impression that there is a couple of the pre-68 guns around, too.

Hmm. Need to ask that on subguns


November 12, 2001, 11:29 PM
gbelleh, if you have the money and can get a CLO signature on your form 4 send it and a check for $200 to the ATF and after a complete background check you can own a MP5 or a MP5SD that's the factory suppresed model. I sell machineguns for a living and keep up with these things. There are certain states that will not private ownership of class3 weapons but I think you can in Ohio, I know there are several dealers from that state. These guns are not cheap but they are nice.
KS I have 3 German MP5's in my safe now and they are not sear guns.
For anyone interested here is a site that you can ask more questions and find machineguns for sale: http://subguns.biggerhammer.net/
If you find a gun you want contact a sealer in your state and he can purchase the one you see on the forum.
If you do wish to own a MG you had better hurry the market is drying up and the picking are getting slim.

Good luck.

November 14, 2001, 12:15 PM
Keith, really? I knew there were a few pre-November 1968 around. Are these pre 5/86 or dealer/LE/militree only? How many came in before 11/68?

Thanks for info!

November 14, 2001, 12:28 PM
I would be interested too. I am unaware of any genuine MP5s for civilian use. Some HK54s, yes, but all MP5s I know of are for MIL/LE use only and not transferable.

MP5 Imports (http://streetpro.com/usp/hkmp5.html)

November 15, 2001, 01:22 AM
There's a few, about as scarace as hens teeth. I've seen a couple at Knob Creek for sale and one or two on Tom Bowers board at about 10 - 15K each. The pre guns and sear guns are cheaper if you want to call $5000-$8000 cheap. they're nice, but not that nice, to me anyway. ;). I have just as much fun shooting my ppsh41. :D.

November 15, 2001, 09:02 AM
Keith, no exact number in the registry? Hell, ATF doesn't know for certain either.

You make the distinction between pre and sear. Is this something that my Title II guys are not telling me? (inside insider jargon?) What's the difference it was always my understanding that since the Nov. `68 cut off that all "pres" (pre-5/86) for this weapon would be sear guns?

Please advise. I thank in advance for your time and cooperation.

November 15, 2001, 11:42 PM
KS, your correct the ATF doesn't know exactly what's out there.
Some people hoped for another amisty so the ATF could start their regestry over but I don't think they'll ever do that agin. The pre guns I talked about were pre 86 Dealer samples, dealers are allowed to keep them if they give up their FFL most all the rest are sear guns. Here in MO. a lot of people use a C&R to own title ll weapons because we have to have some type of federal license to obtain any of the good stuff. Your lucky where that's concerned. Missouri is kind of funny about title ll stuff, we can own MG's and AOW's but no superssors unless you are a class ll mfg I could never figure that one out. I don't know all there is to know about the subject but am always willing to listen and learn.
You seem to pretty well versed on the subject, have you ever been to Knob Creek? It's a hoot. :D

November 16, 2001, 08:02 AM
O.K., I thought the "pres" you were talking about were Form 4 pre-5/86, not dealer guns. Two separate tracks of thinking.

Yes, I have attended the Creek for a very long time. Maturing gun nut. I'm STILL on the list for the firing line (I will be old and gray).

I've been down there professionally as well. Lots of guns and ammo. Good time even if it is derided as "junkyard shooting." Still fun for me.

Say hello to Col. Herschberger (the thin balding guy on the trucks with the `19s) for me.

Thank you for the info on Missouri. I am very familiar with it.