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View Full Version : Attn AJAX: Veterans Heritage Firearms Act (HR420)


CCWFacts
01-28-2011, 6:49 PM
For the past several years, reps have been introducing a Veterans Heritage Firearms Act (http://www.nraila.org/Legislation/Read.aspx?ID=6171). What happened was some number (small or large? who knows?) of veterans brought back full-auto weapons from various wars, but many didn't know about, or care about, the NFA registration requirements. Enforcement was a lot less strict in decades past. The local law enforcement in many places had no desire to send a veteran to prison over a war trophy, and there was no ATF. But that was then, this is now, and now we have an ATF which delights in destroying the lives of veterans and others with clean records for technical violations, and who get an ecstatic pleasure from dragging a veteran out of retirement and into federal court and then federal prison.

Anyway, the Veterans Heritage Firearms Act would open up an amnesty for pre-68 never-papered imports which may be sitting around someone's garage or attic. This would apply also to heirs, so even WWI bring-backs could be covered. The act says that the documentary proof requirements will be minimal, so probably if someone had a great-grandfather who served in WWI, and has an MG 08 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MG_08) in the basement, that's probably enough to get it registered legally. Further, if someone applies for amnesty and it is denied, the person is not subject to being charged (but of course the gun is confiscated).

This only goes up to '68, presumably because everyone realizes there must be quite a lot of Vietnam War and Desert Storm era guns, especially AKs, hidden away, and there's some emotional difference between your uncle's rusty Vietnam War AK and your grandpas WWII StG 44 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturmgewehr_44). (I expect that illegal bring-backs were cut off sometime after Desert Storm when they started xraying all the mail, and I would guess it's rare to attempt it now, because it's widely known that military mail is xrayed.)

Anyway, AJAX, your Hughes Amendment videos are great and seem to have gotten quite wide attention. And now there's an act in Congress, supported by the NRA, to open a crack in 922(o).

For anyone contacting reps about HR420, maybe a reference to AJAX's video find could help? Maybe the goal of the Veterans Heritage Firearms Act could be expanded?

It's difficult to guess how many pre-68 unpapered bring-backs there may be rusting quietly in attics. Could be hundreds, maybe low thousands? Also this kind of thing would create some opportunities for "abuse" (if that's the right word, given that 922(o) itself is an abuse and a fraud). Tons of WWII-era Axis MGs are sitting in arsenals, warehouses, and private hands around the world, and anyone with a grandfather in WWII could try to paper one of those. Old German guns never die, they just go to Middle East and Africa for an "active retirement": "Demand for the ammunition (793x33) still exists, as the StG 44 is still in use by some within the Lebanese Forces militia, as well as irregular forces in some countries in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East, where captured German arms were distributed as military aid by Eastern Bloc countries as well as Yugoslavia."

N6ATF
01-28-2011, 7:36 PM
Again with the crazy bill numbering. 420? As if you'd have to be stoned to vote for this? LOL

AJAX22
01-28-2011, 8:03 PM
Very interesting.....

If that does pass it might be a great opportunity to file for an equal protection suit challenging 922(o)

CCWFacts
01-28-2011, 8:13 PM
Very interesting.....

If that does pass it might be a great opportunity to file for an equal protection suit challenging 922(o)

Perhaps. Why does this group get amnesty but other groups don't, for similar weapons? Why does someone having a grandfather who served in WWII have privileges over someone who didn't have that?

More important even than legal implications are the psychological implications. It puts a crack in a wall which has existed since 1986. It's like the first Iraqi throwing a shoe at a portrait of SH. It's liberating.

Btw I read more on the bill, and it doesn't apply to pre-1934 bring-backs. Not sure why; how many WWI bring-backs could there possibly be that are still around and operational? But anyway, the way this is set up is to cover WWII and the Korean War.

I found out one other reason why Vietnam War and later bring-backs weren't allowed: previously, it was legal for soldiers to bring back FA weapons. In Vietnam, they realized that America would be flooded with thousands of AKs, during a time of over-heated politics, and these AKs could be legally registered at the time, and maybe they thought that wouldn't be a good idea. Therefore this act wants to cover weapons which were brought back legally, but which the owner failed to register in time.

There must be quite a few bring-backs in this situation. It was legal to do it, and few people new or cared about the NFA, and the NFA probably wasn't enforced against veterans' war trophies until the ATF came along, rather recently. Until the BATF, I assume the NFA was mainly used as a tool to charge criminals, to add to sentences or to provide a way to get them if they couldn't catch them with some other evidence, or to get them out of weak state courts into Federal courts. After the BATF, it's now used as a tool to keep gun owners and conservatives in fear of technical violations and general fishing expeditions.

AJAX22
01-28-2011, 8:19 PM
Expect the price on M1 carbines to EXPLODE overnight if that passes ;)

and broomhandles....


Perhaps. Why does this group get amnesty but other groups don't, for similar weapons? Why does someone having a grandfather who served in WWII have privileges over someone who didn't have that?

More important even than legal implications are the psychological implications. It puts a crack in a wall which has existed since 1986. It's like the first Iraqi throwing a shoe at a portrait of SH. It's liberating.

Btw I read more on the bill, and it doesn't apply to pre-1934 bring-backs. Not sure why; how many WWI bring-backs could there possibly be that are still around and operational? But anyway, the way this is set up is to cover WWII and the Korean War.

I found out one other reason why Vietnam War and later bring-backs weren't allowed: previously, it was legal for soldiers to bring back FA weapons. In Vietnam, they realized that America would be flooded with thousands of AKs, during a time of over-heated politics, and these AKs could be legally registered at the time, and maybe they thought that wouldn't be a good idea. Therefore this act wants to cover weapons which were brought back legally, but which the owner failed to register in time.

There must be quite a few bring-backs in this situation. It was legal to do it, and few people new or cared about the NFA, and the NFA probably wasn't enforced against veterans' war trophies until the ATF came along, rather recently. Until the BATF, I assume the NFA was mainly used as a tool to charge criminals. After the BATF, it's now used as a tool to keep gun owners and conservatives in fear of technical violations and general fishing expeditions.

cbn620
01-29-2011, 12:23 AM
My dad says he actually knew guys sending an M16 or a 1911 back to the states piece by piece in the mail. He always (jokingly) says he completely regrets not shipping a 1911 back. Of course stealing government property is sort of a bad idea, but the fact that so many got away with it clean and simple makes him feel like a sucker for being an honest person.

N6ATF
01-29-2011, 12:45 AM
I can't see any good reason why weapons looted from enemy corpses shouldn't be sent back home. If even in parts to not get caught by unconstitutional laws.

glbtrottr
01-29-2011, 6:18 AM
I can't see any good reason why weapons looted from enemy corpses shouldn't be sent back home. If even in parts to not get caught by unconstitutional laws.

Victory.

War is an ugly business. To the victor go the spoils. Today you rest your lilly broad arse on your oversized lazy boy watching Bruno drinking bud because some hapless veteran picked himself up by the bootstraps, perhaps even a little scared, and went off to some godforsaken land, perhaps outnumbered, to fight for your freedom and mine.

He toiled, perhaps wet, perhaps hot, perhaps in countries full of malaria or who knows what disease, in the very name of FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY whose teats you liberally chug from now. After a long night, with blasts going off around him and many trying to rip his bowels out because he calls himself and AMERICAN and wears a US flag in your name, swearing to defend your constitution, after a sneak attack, a visit from a sapper, or an ambush, in a moment of grace, in a contest, he is able to emerge alive to fight another day, beaten and victorious, able to call himself a man (or a woman these days)...and you would deny him a memento of his plight because of your finer sensibilities?

MrPlutonium
01-29-2011, 6:35 AM
Victory.

War is an ugly business. To the victor go the spoils. Today you rest your lilly broad arse on your oversized lazy boy watching Bruno drinking bud because some hapless veteran picked himself up by the bootstraps, perhaps even a little scared, and went off to some godforsaken land, perhaps outnumbered, to fight for your freedom and mine.

He toiled, perhaps wet, perhaps hot, perhaps in countries full of malaria or who knows what disease, in the very name of FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY whose teats you liberally chug from now. After a long night, with blasts going off around him and many trying to rip his bowels out because he calls himself and AMERICAN and wears a US flag in your name, swearing to defend your constitution, after a sneak attack, a visit from a sapper, or an ambush, in a moment of grace, in a contest, he is able to emerge alive to fight another day, beaten and victorious, able to call himself a man (or a woman these days)...and you would deny him a memento of his plight because of your finer sensibilities?

I think you need to reread the post you're replying to...

wooger
01-29-2011, 8:21 AM
Too much coffee this morning?

CCWFacts
01-29-2011, 9:48 AM
My dad says he actually knew guys sending an M16 or a 1911 back to the states piece by piece in the mail. He always (jokingly) says he completely regrets not shipping a 1911 back. Of course stealing government property is sort of a bad idea, but the fact that so many got away with it clean and simple makes him feel like a sucker for being an honest person.

This Veterans Heritage Firearms Act certainly will not allow someone to register stolen US Government property, even if it was stolen decades ago! I'm sure there are hundreds or perhaps thousands of stolen Vietnam-era M16s and 1911s sitting around, and they're hyper-illegal and always will be.

It will only apply to war trophies, meaning German and other Axis WWII-era guns mainly, and also Korean War guns, which were themselves WWII leftovers.

No AK-47s were used in the Korean War, so this Act wouldn't add any AKs to the registry (which I'm sure is part of their intent). Apparently the North Koreans made use of Thompson subguns which had been donated to the Chinese anti-communist forces previously. I don't know what would be the legal status of those, if they would still be US Government property. (Maybe this is similar to the questions about the Korean M1s they want to sell back here as surplus - are they unencumbered Korean government property, or were they a loan and therefore still US property?) If not, then they could be war trophies and would be highly valuable with NFA registration. I'm sure plenty were brought back and not papered.

There must also be a fair number of Korean War PPSh-41s around. Not pretty, but it would be of some value if properly papered.

But mainly this will cover a bunch of unpapered StG44s sitting around, and I know there are quite a few out there. They are well-made and many will be operational for a long long time.