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Old November 3, 2009, 09:27 PM   #1
B. Lahey
Senior Member
Join Date: March 17, 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,853
Argument with a Federal Prosecutor

I had to convince a fed today that all NFA arms are not completely illegal.

He didn't buy it at first. To be fair, he does practice almost entirely in Michigan, where just about all NFA stuff is illegal, and where all the SBSs and the like he has run across were certainly illegally owned. But I have to say I was a bit shocked by his ignorance. He isn't a green lawyer by any stretch of the imagination, he's been doing this for 30+ years and is a head honcho of some sort.

Apparently, some ATF agent told him it is "nearly impossible" to register an NFA firearm, and he took that as gospel. In fact he ridiculed me a bit for suggesting that in a large number of states it's only a matter of $200 and a few forms.

"If you ever try to do it, you'll find out it's not that easy."

After I talked him through the process of CLEO signoffs that brings state law into it (didn't get into trusts, he was having a hard enough time understanding individual ownership), the background check, tax, fingerprints, and whatnot, he seemed to understand, but stayed a bit incredulous. It took about 20min just to get it through his skull that not all states are as oppressive as Michigan, or that state law has anything to do with it in the first place.

It was fairly maddening. The man prosecutes NFA violations at least a half dozen times a year, but had no clue that many people own them legally.

Grrrrrrr! Freaking unbelievable. Just had to vent...

Anyone else ever run into a situation like this where a high-level fed, who deals with this stuff constantly, was completely ignorant of the basic facts of the ownership of these intensely entertaining arms?
"A human being is primarily a bag for putting food into; the other functions and faculties may be more godlike, but in point of time they come afterwards."
-George Orwell

Last edited by B. Lahey; November 3, 2009 at 09:44 PM.
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