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Old October 27, 2009, 09:12 AM   #1
full.tang.halo
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What to do when you see someone pulling a NFA "dumbass"?

What do you do if you see something for sale that you are more than pretty sure is against the law, but seems to be a "stupid kid" not knowing what's been made is not legal.

Aka a too short shotgun, pistol with a stock attached
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Old October 27, 2009, 09:16 AM   #2
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What do you do if you see something for sale that you are more than pretty sure is against the law, but seems to be a "stupid kid" not knowing what's been made is not legal.

Aka a too short shotgun, pistol with a stock attached
We had just such an event a little while ago. Since the young man in question INSISTED that he had just bought it from a gun shop in exactly that configuration (and nobody had a ruler) the rest of us present agreed on the following course of action.

"We didn't see nuthin, go lock that back in your trunk until you measure it and are SURE it is of a legal length".

The young man agreed and did so.
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Old October 27, 2009, 09:19 AM   #3
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If it's an honest mistake, and not someone intentionally making a/o selling a firearm that they know to be illegal, I'd warn them. But do so in a manner that won't leave a record (i.e. don't send them an email), just in case.
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Old October 27, 2009, 09:36 AM   #4
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Last edited by full.tang.halo; October 27, 2009 at 10:31 AM. Reason: meh
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Old October 27, 2009, 11:17 AM   #5
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I have seen more than a few auctions on Gunbroker for illegal SBS, SBR...

I usually send them a e-mail stating that what they are selling is illegal and if someone bought it they would BOTH go to prison.

More often than not I get a message back to the effect of "Thanks man! I didn't know this was illegal. You saved my ass!" Then I check the auction and it says SOLD!
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Old October 27, 2009, 03:23 PM   #6
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I look at it this way. I don't work for BATFE. And I just don't give a dern about policing those people who violate NFA laws. What do I really care if some guy has a shotgun that is two inches too short? Or, has a stock or foregrip on his pistol? Can anyone, even law enforcement, tell me why someone else having these things should be any concern whatsoever to me?
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Old October 27, 2009, 03:28 PM   #7
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If I see it posted in a forum (usually where I see these things) I usually reply with the standard, "Please tell me you have a tax stamp for that".

Then when the person says, "What's a tax stamp?" you know there's a problem.
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Old October 27, 2009, 03:47 PM   #8
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I don't get all worked up. I just let them know what's going on. I remember one case where a guy said it he had a sawed off shotgun. I told him that anything under 18" and its a felony due to the 1934 NFA(which I then explained). He just looked at me and didn't say anything else. I just added that it he could do whatever but that was the law.
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Old October 27, 2009, 04:40 PM   #9
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I mind my own business.
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Old October 27, 2009, 06:17 PM   #10
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Can anyone, even law enforcement, tell me why someone else having these things should be any concern whatsoever to me?
It all depends upon your view of your community and your role in it.
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Old October 27, 2009, 06:28 PM   #11
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I think that if it's a friend and you have info that would keep him out of trouble you should share that info. Otherwise, let your conscience be your guide.
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Old October 27, 2009, 06:51 PM   #12
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I am of the mind that ignorance of the law is no excuse.But if it is a close friend i would inform him/her.Other than a close friend i leave it alone.Not my business.
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Old October 27, 2009, 07:00 PM   #13
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State & Federal firearms regulations are far from simple. What is legal here is illegal there. Purchase something as innocent as a magazine in one state requires not even a drivers license, yet in another state possession of the same item is a felony.

Pretty much everyone knows that a "sawed off shotgun" is illegal, right? Well, it's not- if you have a tax stamp for a Short Barreled Shotgun. But what length makes it a "sawed off"? Ask your non gun loving buddies (if you have any) and don't be surprised at the answers.

I understand why some would just mind their own business. That's their choice.

I was raised a little different I guess. If I see that someone, through ignorance of the law, is about to violate a firearms law, I'll let them know because it's the right thing to do. I would appreciate it if it were me in similiar circumstances.

One of the more common NFA violations I see on GunBroker is with the Browning Hi Power and a wood stock/holster (either repro or original). I love me my HP's , so I have a habit of running a search almost every night for the Hi Power. Quite often, I see someone offering a 1960's or '70's vintage FN Hi Power or 1940's fixed sight Inglis for sale that shows the Inglis style stock/holster attached. Both would be NFA violations. (Unless you have a SBR tax stamp).

To understand just how illogical and somewhat arbitrary NFA rules are takes a bit of background:

Just before the Germans overran Belgium and the Fabrique Nationale factory, the Allies moved several FN engineers to Canada to continue production of the Hi Power at the John Inglis Co. The Inglis Hi Power was produced not only for issue to the Canadians, but also the Chinese, British and Australians.

The contract for the Chinese was a Hi Power with a tangent style rear sight and a slot cut in the backstrap for the attachment of a wooden stock that doubled as a holster. This is called an Inglis MK1. This would enable it's use as a pistol or carbine. Most of these "Chinese contract" HP's never made it to China BTW. Inglis also made HP's with a fixed rear sight (the MK2) and a very few of these had the grip frame cut with a stock slot. Both versions were issued to the Allies and many were subsequently sold as military surplus for quite some time after the war.

What does this have to do with a violation of the National Firearms Act of 1934?

The NFA prohibited a rifle with a barrel of less than 16" without the possession of a tax stamp. ATF has determined that a handgun is just that, a gun intended to be fired with one hand. Therefore in the eyes of the ATF, attachment of a stock to a handgun makes it not a handgun and brings it under the NFA. It doesn't make it illegal, as long as you pay the tax for an SBR.

The ATF however, has determined that CERTAIN handguns with a wooden stock/holster are exempt from the NFA: (Luger, Mausers, Berettas, and Browning HP's among them)

http://www.atf.gov/firearms/curios/1...7/section3.pdf

Quote:
The Bureau has determined that by reason of the date of their manufacture, value, design and other characteristics, the following firearms are primarily collector's items and are not likely to be used as weapons and, therefore, are excluded from the provisions of the National Firearms Act.
Further, the Bureau has determined that such firearms are also curios or relics as defined in 27 CFR 478.11. Thus, licensed collectors may acquire, hold, or dispose to them as curios or relics subject to the provisions of 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44 and 27 CFR Part 478. They are still "firearms" as defined in 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44.

I've edited those firearms that are not Hi Powers

Belgian, Pre-war mfd. Hi Power pistols, in cal. 9mm having tangent sights graduated to 500
meters, slotted for shoulder stock, having S/Ns of less than 47,000 without letter prefixes
or suffixes and accompanied by original Belgian mfd. detachable wooden flat board type
shoulder stocks.

Browning Hi power pistols, 9mm having tangent sights graduated to 500 meters, slotted for shoulder
stock, having S/Ns less than T200,000 etched vertically on the right side of slide, barrel, or
frame and bearing crest of Emirates of Muscat & Oman, or mirror image of such crest,
accompanied by original detachable wooden flat board shoulder stocks.

Canadian, Inglis No. 1, Chinese Contract, Hi Power pistols, cal. 9mm parabellum, having a
tangent rear sight adjustable from 50 to 500 meters, slotted for shoulder stock, and having
the letters C in the S/N and accompanied by original Canadian mfd. detachable wooden
holster/shoulder stock.
In the last couple of months I've seen these NFA violations:
Inglis #2 Hi Power with an Inglis stock. (only the tangent sight version is exempt from the NFA)
Browning 1994 Hi Power with an Inglis stock. (not legal without a tax stamp)

I sent both sellers an email advising them of the possibility of being in violation. One thanked me, one didn't respond. Both pulled their auctions.

I'm convinced I did the right thing.



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Old October 27, 2009, 07:45 PM   #14
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By issuing such a warning to someone, I learned there is no NFA stamps in Puerto Rico. They can have SBRs and I think some AOWs but no SBS or machineguns.
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Old October 27, 2009, 09:45 PM   #15
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We had a younger kid come into the range where I work with a revolver with a shoulder stock. He had carved one side of the grips into a full stock from a piece of good wood. Obviously good workmanship. We asked if it was an SBR, neither he nor his family had any idea what we were talking about so we made him leave the range. Shame, it was neat (L frame S&W IIRC) but not worth trouble for us.
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Old October 27, 2009, 10:59 PM   #16
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Shame, it was neat (L frame S&W IIRC) but not worth trouble for us.
That does seem really neat! It's also quite tragic that we can't have nice things.

I see weird homebrew NFA stuff about once every three months. Usually, the conversation ends with, "OK. If you don't believe me, show it to a cop. See what he says. In any case, get it out of here. Now."

Case in point: a guy came out of the range complaining that his "223" was jamming. Turns out it was a bolt override. Fun.

He'd bought a Bushmaster AR-15 pistol from a competitor, then slapped a full-length buffer tube (but not the buffer) and a stock on it. As soon as I saw it, I stopped short and asked for his Form 4. He gave me a blank look.

It was obvious that he didn't know he was committing a crime, nor did he believe me when I told him so. He became very argumentative until I said, "no, I'm not even touching it. I don't want my prints on it." He kept his indignant air, claiming he was going to take it back to the competitor's shop and "give them what for."

Good luck with that.

On the flip side, I had a nice lady bring in some of her recently deceased husband's guns to sell. One was a Street Sweeper which, of course, the husband hadn't deigned to register in '86. It fell to me to explain to the poor lady that she couldn't sell it, and in fact, couldn't even legally own it.

I've got an attorney that specializes in such cases, but no matter what, she'll have to relinquish it with no compensation.
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Old October 28, 2009, 08:07 AM   #17
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It all depends upon your view of your community and your role in it.
My point of view is that I don't like idiotic nonsense laws. While I will abide by them because I'm not one of those guys who basically has nothing to lose and I also don't have any desire to go to jail for breaking the law, I will not participate in enforcing those laws by policing others, WHEN it doesn't affect me. Now, if I see a blatent violation at the semi-private range I shoot at, I might say something because I don't want the range to disapear (has never happened, so I'm just speculating).

To me, this is similar to telling your neighbor who replaced his own roof without pulling a permit that he is breaking the law.
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Old October 28, 2009, 08:53 AM   #18
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Has it occurred to anyone that it could be a setup? It can and HAS happened. I was at a gun show in the '80s in Hollywood, FL when some prominent news reporter (I forget who it was; I want to say Dan Rather) sent his underaged, out of state son in to try and purchase a weapon. Not exactly an NFA sting, but the principle is the same. I wouldn't put BATF past anything.

This particular story has a happy ending, however: The Hollywood PD arrested the kid (or so I was told) and embarrassed the hell out of the big shot newscaster. I think they paid a fine and the charges were reduced somehow, but, still, justice was served in this particular case. Of course, it was completely hushed up and nothing was ever heard after.
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Old October 28, 2009, 09:42 AM   #19
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You know, I always read about people describing possible ATF "sting" operations. Most of them concerning machinegun parts, parts sets, DIAS, lightning links, silencer parts, etc, etc. And, I've heard of ATF busting folks for being a dealer without an FFL, especially at gun shows. But, I've never heard of a 1st hand or even 2nd hand account of someone who has actually seen one of these sting operations. Nor have I ever heard of anyone being arrested or pursued by ATF for posting anything, including pictures of things that violate NFA.

I figure it's got to be one of several things:

1. BATFE is really good at running sting operations, and then wisking the perp off to a secluded prison where that person never has any contact again with the outside world;

2. BATFE arrests and punishes these perps, but then uses mind control drugs on them to make them forget the entire experience;

3. I'm an idiot living in a protective bubble because 50% of the folks I converse with on internet gun boards have personally had bad experiences with BATFE;

4. I'm just an idiot

5. BATFE is still gathering data on everyone who is potentially violating NFA, trolling internet sites and is waiting for a time when they can make the "Big Bust"

6. BATFE emplyees are just glad to have their government paycheck and government benefits and other than doing their 9-5 job description, just don't care what NFA laws are being broken;

7. BATFE is just a fictional government entity that doesn't really exist, sort of like the New Orleans Police Department.

8. There's no one out there breaking NFA laws and business for the BATFE is really bleak.

9. Unless the violation of NFA laws involves the import/export of over 100 illegal machineguns and munitions official BATFE policy is "don't ask don't tell".
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Old October 28, 2009, 11:36 AM   #20
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I don't know about all that but I have seen a guy at one OGCA meeting with a USAS parts kit on his table with about 200 buckshot shells. Nothing else. When I asked about the parts kit he leaned in close and told me that he "knew where a receiver was. The only problem is, there's no papers for it."

When I asked how he came to have such a thing but no form 4 he told me that he had won it in a shooting match in Colorado back in the late 60's! He threw in a few more details that didn't make sense and didn't seem to fit with the rest of his story. At that point he told me he would trade me the parts kit for my 03-A3 and "We can work out a deal on the receiver later."

I walked away. I don't know if he was a Fed or a local cop or some jerk trying to sell an unregistered DD. Seemed like a trap to me.
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Old October 28, 2009, 11:54 AM   #21
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Yeeahh, walk away from those guys. Don't touch their wares, don't show any interest, don't drop no dimes. MYOB and keep walking. Might be a sting, might be someone who is ignorant of the laws.

There's enough fun to be had in legal weapons, who need bad NFA crap?
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Old October 28, 2009, 12:42 PM   #22
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Inform the person of the illegality and remove yourself from the item ASAP
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Old October 28, 2009, 01:23 PM   #23
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In the USAS-12 scenario, is it a violation of the law to purchase the parts set - not the receiver, just the parts set? I have a registered USAS-12 and I could see where I'd be very tempted to just buy the parts.
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Old October 28, 2009, 01:59 PM   #24
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I don't think the USAS parts are controlled. Just like a Bren parts kit or a Sterling kit. The receiver is the gun, legally.

In the few years after my encounter with the guy and his suspicious USAS deal, I have started to wonder... If it were really a agent/cop trying to set someone up, how would he have reacted if I told him I would trade for his parts and he could keep his illegal receiver.
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Old October 28, 2009, 02:30 PM   #25
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A recent event showing what happens to someone w/out the right paperwork.

FORT PIERCE, FL — A 39-year-old Vero Beach man was arrested Saturday after being found with a short-barrel assault rifle outside a gun show at the Havert L. Fenn Center in Fort Pierce, according to a recently released arrest affidavit and a sheriff’s official.

full story - http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2009/oct/...-weapon-outsi/
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