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View Full Version : Can someone answer this CA/Federal legality question for me definitively?


chead
05-28-2011, 1:38 PM
Is it legal to own a select-fire trigger pack for an HK firearm while also owning a semi version of the same firearm? Note that the trigger pack will obviously not fit or function in the semi receiver without modification of either the receiver or trigger pack which is highly illegal. Does this still count as "constructive possession" either under California or Federal law?

I ask for maybe the weirdest reason yet seen on Calguns: I'm an artist and I'm working on a gallery show that includes several firearms. I'd like to include a select-fire HK trigger pack as an interesting object. It's interesting precisely because of the legal issues surrounding it. You can own the trigger pack, but it's nearly impossible to purchase a receiver that will accept it. In that sense the trigger pack is inert, and for me as a non-NFA eligible gun owner (thanks, California) totally useless, non-functional and in a sense no longer a "part" of a firearm.

The wrinkle is that I'd actually love to own an HK clone with no intent of putting the two together. I've been planning on a semi V51P as my next gun well before this gallery show was conceived. Again, the two could not be mated without illegal modification that would constitute the manufacture of a machine gun.

And why isn't there a "confused" post icon here on Calguns? :p

rareair
05-28-2011, 2:31 PM
I doubt it would be legal.

Maybe this can help you. Here's a few facts about owning a Drop-In Auto-Sear (DIAS) for the AR platform:

Prior to 1981 it was legal to make and own drop-in auto sears without necessarily registering them as machineguns. BATF eventually caught on, and in 1981 issued a ruling that the sears were considered machinegun conversion parts and sears made after 1981 had to be registered (tax paid) and transfer as any other NFA item (these became the registered ones referred to above). BATF grandfathered the unregistered sears made prior to 1981, but sears made after 1981 had to either be registered or are considered unregistered machineguns - a serious felony. IT IS A FELONY TO POSSESS BOTH A PRE-81 DROP-IN AUTO SEAR AND AN AR15 - UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES CAN AN INDIVIDUAL LEGALLY USE A PRE-81 DIAS IN AN AR15. Technically, you are allowed to possess an unregistered DIAS which was made prior to 1981, but you cannot possess one if you own an AR15 - it’s one or the other, but not both. Obviously, this rule makes possession of a pre-81 DIAS useless - if you cannot own the rifle it goes in, about all you can do with them is to make cufflinks, earrings, or a very small paperweight.

The so called “pre-81” DIAS presents another legal problem, which can make the mere possession of the sear a felony - even in the complete absence or an AR15. As stated previously, only sears made prior to 1981 are allowed to be unregistered - any sears made after the 1981 ruling must be registered or will be considered by BATF to be unregistered machineguns. Because none of the pre-81 sears carry a serial number which can be definitively linked to a date of manufacture, there is no way to prove to BATF or a prosecutor that an unregistered pre-81 DIAS was actually made prior to 1981. If you are caught with one (just a sear, not even with a rifle) BATF can assume it was made after 1981, and therefore prosecute for felony possession of an unregistered machinegun. The burden of proof will fall on the owner of the sear to prove it was made prior to 1981 - very difficult to do without a serial number of date of manufacture on the sear itself. Granted, some pre-81 sears come with a letter purported to document the sears authenticity, but often these are just Xeroxed, and will not stand up to the scrutiny of a prosecutor.

chead
05-28-2011, 2:33 PM
Right, but the HK select fire trigger pack is not "drop in" by any means, and requires machining either the trigger pack or receiver. The DIAS issues is that it is truly "drop-in" and requires no modification.

Cokebottle
05-28-2011, 3:13 PM
The auto-seer is the serialized "machine gun".

chead
05-28-2011, 3:17 PM
The auto-seer is the serialized "machine gun".

Right, and the select-fire packs don't have a DIAS. The registered select-fire trigger packs are all semi packs that have been modified with an aftermarket sear. This is done so the pack will fit the semi uppers without modifying the upper or the exterior of the pack. Incidentally unlike an AR, the pack is generally modified permanently, so the converted semi pack is usually stamped and registered as far as I know.

dieselpower
05-28-2011, 3:26 PM
why are you asking a bunch of drunk or dumb (good as drunk) guys on a website. How about asking the controlling authority... its an e-mail away.

CSACANNONEER
05-28-2011, 3:28 PM
Is it legal to own a select-fire trigger pack for an HK firearm while also owning a semi version of the same firearm? Note that the trigger pack will obviously not fit or function in the semi receiver without modification of either the receiver or trigger pack which is highly illegal. Does this still count as "constructive possession" either under California or Federal law?

I ask for maybe the weirdest reason yet seen on Calguns: I'm an artist and I'm working on a gallery show that includes several firearms. I'd like to include a select-fire HK trigger pack as an interesting object. It's interesting precisely because of the legal issues surrounding it. You can own the trigger pack, but it's nearly impossible to purchase a receiver that will accept it. In that sense the trigger pack is inert, and for me as a non-NFA eligible gun owner (thanks, California) totally useless, non-functional and in a sense no longer a "part" of a firearm.

The wrinkle is that I'd actually love to own an HK clone with no intent of putting the two together. I've been planning on a semi V51P as my next gun well before this gallery show was conceived. Again, the two could not be mated without illegal modification that would constitute the manufacture of a machine gun.

And why isn't there a "confused" post icon here on Calguns? :p

First, I'm sorry if you can not own any type of NFA firearms in CA. But, some regular people can and do legally own certain types of NFA registered firearms in CA. In fact, just last month, I was legally shooting a couple of privately owned AOWs next to my hottub.

To answer your question, I think you should write a letter to ATF asking them. You will get back an opinion letter answering your question.

Quiet
05-28-2011, 3:31 PM
Is it legal to own a select-fire trigger pack for an HK firearm while also owning a semi version of the same firearm? Note that the trigger pack will obviously not fit or function in the semi receiver without modification of either the receiver or trigger pack which is highly illegal. Does this still count as "constructive possession" either under California or Federal law?
AFAIK...
Not legal in CA.
Because under CA laws, a functional H&K select-fire trigger pack, by itself, could be considered a MG. [PC 12200]


Penal Code 12200
The term "machinegun" as used in this chapter means any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can readily be restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. The term shall also include the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun, and any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person. The term also includes any weapon deemed by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms as readily convertible to a machinegun under Chapter 53 (commencing with Section 5801) of Title 26 of the United States Code.

chead
05-28-2011, 3:40 PM
AFAIK...
Not legal in CA.
Because under CA laws, a functional H&K select-fire trigger pack, by itself, could be considered a MG. [PC 12200]


Penal Code 12200
The term "machinegun" as used in this chapter means any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can readily be restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. The term shall also include the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun, and any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person. The term also includes any weapon deemed by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms as readily convertible to a machinegun under Chapter 53 (commencing with Section 5801) of Title 26 of the United States Code.

Right, but that means a DIAS for example. The "parts" aren't machine gun parts until they're machined to be used as such. Unmodified they cannot be used.

Droppin Deuces
05-28-2011, 3:45 PM
why are you asking a bunch of drunk or dumb (good as drunk) guys on a website. How about asking the controlling authority... its an e-mail away.

How dare you. I graduated highschool and I haven't had a drink in days.

Quiet
05-28-2011, 3:50 PM
Right, but that means a DIAS for example. The "parts" aren't machine gun parts until they're machined to be used as such. Unmodified they cannot be used.

Unmodified they can be used in a registered reciever MP5 MG.
So, they are MG parts.

chead
05-28-2011, 3:51 PM
Unmodified they can be used in a registered reciever MP5 MG.
So, they are MG parts.

Sure, but you can't own a registered receiver in California.

chead
05-28-2011, 3:54 PM
First, I'm sorry if you can not own any type of NFA firearms in CA. But, some regular people can and do legally own certain types of NFA registered firearms in CA. In fact, just last month, I was legally shooting a couple of privately owned AOWs next to my hottub.

To answer your question, I think you should write a letter to ATF asking them. You will get back an opinion letter answering your question.

Who should I address the letter to? Do they have an email address set up for this purpose? Can I just call them?

Do you know how long it takes to get a decision back? I hope to do my show fairly soon as it's my MFA thesis show and I really would like to be graduated FINALLY. I'm going to do a backflip when I get my stupid degree.

chead
05-28-2011, 3:57 PM
You know what, the same thing I ordered has been posted on Calguns for sale to California residents by the vendor themselves. It took a lot of digging. I assume they also know the rules?

dieselpower
05-28-2011, 3:59 PM
How dare you. I graduated highschool and I haven't had a drink in days.

you got me by a hours...its the weekend... I start drinking with my morning coffee...little dash of vodka I learned from the Russians wakes you right up.

Quiet
05-28-2011, 3:59 PM
Sure, but you can't own a registered receiver in California.

Certain persons can own/possess them in CA.
FFL/SOT dealers, Gov/Mil/LE agencies and a person with a Dangerous Weapons Permit for a MG.

chead
05-28-2011, 4:02 PM
Certain persons can own/possess them in CA.
FFL/SOT dealers, Gov/Mil/LE agencies and a person with a Dangerous Weapons Permit for a MG.

Yes, but I can't. If I did have one, I'd already be committing a crime regardless of my possession of a trigger pack.

Quiet
05-28-2011, 4:08 PM
Yes, but I can't. If I did have one, I'd already be committing a crime regardless of my possession of a trigger pack.

Since the part is used in a MG and can be used to convert a Title 1 firearm into a MG, the part by itself can be considered a MG under PC 12200.
Under PC 12200, you do not have to possess/control a firearm that part can be used with, in order to be in possession of a MG. Because the part by itself is considered a MG.

arsilva32
05-28-2011, 6:08 PM
why are you asking a bunch of drunk or dumb (good as drunk) guys on a website. How about asking the controlling authority... its an e-mail away.



lol WELL I NEVER


since i don't drink were does that leave me in your comment he he

WAIT ! don't answer that