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View Full Version : Once a MG always a MG questions


RANGER295
11-11-2009, 8:19 PM
This question is purely hypothetical on my part. I have never done any of these things though I was talking to someone that may have and was debating with him about the potential ramifications. As I understand it, BATFE says that once a machinegun always a machinegun.

Letís say that someone does something temporary to make a weapon fully automatic that made no permanent modifications to the weapon. Some examples would be a Lightning Link, DIAS, the old shoe string around the bolt handle and trigger, or something like that.

Here is the question. Ignoring the legality of the initial act, would the weapon that had one of these devices installed in it be considered a MG even if the device were long since gone and destroyed? If they were to somehow be able to prove that you had done it at one point, could the still pop you with a MG possession charge even if the statute of limitations was up for the initial manufacture/installation of the device?

Now, letís take this a step further. If you have a weapon that has something break or wear that causes it to go full auto, it is considered illegal to keep it that way. I am aware of a particular .22lr rifle that was made in the 1940ís that is notorious for having this type of problem. I have also known an SKS to break and go full auto as well as a couple of ARís. If BATFE considers these to be MGís and the once a MG always a MG applies to the weapon that once had some kind of illegal device in it, would it not stand to reason that the same would apply to a weapon that had once been broken so that it malfunctioned as full auto?

One possible alternative to the first scenario would be that the device itself could be considered the NFA item rather than the weapon that it was installed in. For example Lightning Links and DIASís could be registered as MGís prior to í86. It is considered that the host weapon to a registered device becomes part of the device rather than the device becoming part of the weapon.


:confused::confused::confused::confused:

God Bless The Mauser
11-11-2009, 8:43 PM
I think it depends more on how the agent interprets the law.

bwiese
11-11-2009, 8:55 PM
This is one of those "if they didn't see me do it, is it illegal?" questions.

dustoff31
11-11-2009, 9:01 PM
Here is the question. Ignoring the legality of the initial act, would the weapon that had one of these devices installed in it be considered a MG even if the device were long since gone and destroyed? If they were to somehow be able to prove that you had done it at one point, could the still pop you with a MG possession charge even if the statute of limitations was up for the initial manufacture/installation of the device?

I think the problem they would have in any prosecution would be in proving that the gun was at one time a MG. How can anyone look at say, a semi-auto AR-15 and say with certainty that once upon a time it contained full auto parts. Or that an HK91 once had a full auto trigger pack installed.

Now, let’s take this a step further. If you have a weapon that has something break or wear that causes it to go full auto, it is considered illegal to keep it that way. I am aware of a particular .22lr rifle that was made in the 1940’s that is notorious for having this type of problem. I have also known an SKS to break and go full auto as well as a couple of AR’s. If BATFE considers these to be MG’s and the once a MG always a MG applies to the weapon that once had some kind of illegal device in it, would it not stand to reason that the same would apply to a weapon that had once been broken so that it malfunctioned as full auto?

I may well be wrong, but I believe a malfunctioning or broken gun is a defense.


It is considered that the host weapon to a registered device becomes part of the device rather than the device becoming part of the weapon.

It depends. Sometimes the parts and the firearm are "married". In other cases, the registered sear/trigger pack or whatever can be moved from gun to gun.

PolishMike
11-11-2009, 9:12 PM
I may well be wrong, but I believe a malfunctioning or broken gun is a defense.





"Aliens did it" is also a defense. Neither has worked in the courts though.

CHS
11-11-2009, 9:17 PM
To the first part of your question: No. The device itself used to make the gun go Full-auto is the MG, not the gun.

Case in point, even if you have a legal transferable DIAS, when you put it into your AR, your AR does not become a machinegun. Sure, it shoots full-auto, but it's the DIAS that is the machinegun for purposes of the law and the whole "once an MG, always an MG".

To the second part of your question, no. Those are not MG's. Those are simply broken guns.

The ATF is referring to actual parts and/or guns DESIGNED and MADE to be full-auto.

For instance, the M14. M14's are very easy to PERMANENTLY render into semi-auto status. An M14 rendered semi-auto that way would be identical to a commercial M1A, receiver and all. But because the receiver was an MG receiver at some point, the BATFE refuses to acknowledge that it could ever be anything else.

Conversely, an M16 receiver can't really be modified without some serious welding to be a permanently fixed semi-auto AR-15 receiver.

This rule is utter crap too.. I would love a CMP M14 :(

dustoff31
11-11-2009, 9:25 PM
"Aliens did it" is also a defense. Neither has worked in the courts though.

If one has obviously broken parts to show, at the time ATF see's it, why wouldn't it work?

Now if you are a person with previous weapons violations, and has a library of how to make semi to FA conversions all over your house, with some FA FCG parts still in the gun, and do the "I know nothing" thing as in a recent case, then yes, you are likely to have problems.

PolishMike
11-12-2009, 7:56 AM
If one has obviously broken parts to show, at the time ATF see's it, why wouldn't it work?
.

Tell that to David Olofson. He got 30 months. They wouldnt even let him examine the gun during the trial, even after showing a video of an agent test firing the rifle that they acknowledged was edited.

dustoff31
11-12-2009, 8:13 AM
Tell that to David Olofson. He got 30 months. They wouldnt even let him examine the gun during the trial, even after showing a video of an agent test firing the rifle that they acknowledged was edited.

Olafson is precisely the guy I was referring to.

Now if you are a person with previous weapons violations, and has a library of how to make semi to FA conversions all over your house, with some FA FCG parts still in the gun, and do the "I know nothing" thing as in a recent case, then yes, you are likely to have problems.

PolishMike
11-12-2009, 8:22 AM
Olafson is precisely the guy I was referring to.


Completely normal to have an m16 BCG in your AR. ****, half of the people on here don't know the difference. The thing was 20 years old. It was worn.

Read through that case. There is some really ****ed up **** in there. What happened to him can happen to anybody.

dustoff31
11-12-2009, 8:28 AM
Completely normal to have an m16 BCG in your AR. ****, half of the people on here don't know the difference. The thing was 20 years old. It was worn.

Read through that case. There is some really ****ed up **** in there. What happened to him can happen to anybody.

I have read the case. From various sources. Not just from some militia website. One of the big issues was that his rifle had FA fire control parts in it, not an M16 bolt carrier. As well as the other things I mentioned.

And no it can't happen to anyone. It only happens to people who play stupid games with their rifles and the ATF.

Sgt Raven
11-12-2009, 8:44 AM
Conversely, an M16 receiver can't really be modified without some serious welding to be a permanently fixed semi-auto AR-15 receiver.


Some Colt semi-auto lowers have what looks like a sear pin from the outside, but it's holding a sear 'block' in the inside. It's weird looking cause the hole is drilled in the same place where a sear pin would be. From the outside it looks like its a FA lower. :eek: :p

CHS
11-12-2009, 9:03 AM
Tell that to David Olofson.

Olofson was also a complete retard and the biggest example of "What NOT to do" I've ever seen.

He had a gun that knowingly had M16 FCG parts in it, that occasionally malfunctioned and made the gun burst fire FOR YEARS. He KNEW about this. He even told people about it, and never took any steps to fix the problem.

THEN, he loaned his malfunctioning burst-firing gun to another person.

I have no sympathy for David Olofson. He did everything wrong you could possibly do in the book.

Olofson could have prevented his problems with less than $50 in parts by taking it to a gunsmith and going "Hey, what's wrong with this thing?".