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Posted: 5/27/2001 2:57:32 PM EDT
a two part question: 1) if a police officer purchases an AR15 marked Restricted...Law Enforcement Use Only, and then later leaves the department, becoming a civilian, is he/she now unlawfully in possession of this rifle? 2) if he/she chooses to sell the weapon, either during or after their tenure, is the sale restricted to said agents? thank you.
Link Posted: 5/27/2001 3:18:20 PM EDT
Technically, the officer has to surrender the weapon. There are a couple of ways a retiring, vs aresigning officer, can retain ownership of restricted items.
Link Posted: 5/27/2001 3:23:45 PM EDT
Originally Posted By tcsd1236: Technically, the officer has to surrender the weapon. There are a couple of ways a retiring, vs aresigning officer, can retain ownership of restricted items.
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um, to whom would he surrender it to?
Link Posted: 5/27/2001 4:15:36 PM EDT
The ATF or his department. He could also sell it to a dealer, or to another LEO. The only way an officer can retain "restricted" marked equipment after leaving the force is if they either hold a reserve commission of some sort, or it is gifted to them by their department on retirement.
Link Posted: 5/27/2001 6:57:28 PM EDT
Can't the retiring officer remove the "offensive" parts, ie, the flash suppessor and bayo. lug? Thus converting the rifle to post-ban configuration. I seem to think this is also acceptable. If I'm wrong, it wouldn't be the first time [BD], and someone please correct me.
Link Posted: 5/27/2001 7:13:47 PM EDT
That issue has recently come up on several threads, and I haven't seen a satisfactory answer anywhere on the ATF site. The receiver is ALWAYS considered an LEO receiver because it is marked as such.
Link Posted: 5/27/2001 8:59:47 PM EDT
The way I read the laws regarding this, retiring officers (not resigning officers), may retain some of their evil weaponry and magazines. Check with your dept. and see what the SOP is for that kind of thing. You can't be the 1st guy from your dept. with that question.
Link Posted: 5/28/2001 11:45:25 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/28/2001 11:47:30 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/30/2001 3:27:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/30/2001 3:27:03 PM EDT by JonnieGTyler]
There it happened again. I got my b*tt kicked again.[smash] I guess that's what happens when I think. Sooner or later I might learn better. [BD] Thanks Troy
Link Posted: 5/30/2001 10:49:08 PM EDT
what a bunch of crap...but, then again, the whole idea on banning assault rifle's and high-cap mags is equally stupid. teenager shoots teacher in face with revolver: damn, better recall all of those wheelguns. retarded government. c-
Originally Posted By Troy: LEOs may NOT keep personally-bought restricted weapons or magazines when they retire. They are required to sell them to an eligable person (an active LEO or an FFL) when they quit/retire. The only restricted items that a retiring LEO can legally keep are *department-owned* items may be given to him/her on retirement. It is NOT legal to remove the offending items and keep the gun; the lower is forever a restricted item. [url]atf.treas.gov/pub/fire-explo_pub/qa.pdf[/url] P32 (O9) May law enforcement officers keep their semiautomatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices when they retire or leave their employment with a law enforcement agency? No. They may not lawfully keep semiautomatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices that they purchased or acquired as their own property. However, the law provides an exception for items that belong to a law enforcement agency and are transferred by the agency to an officer upon the officer’s retirement from, or termination of his or her employment with, the agency. Neither this exception nor the exception for official use permits officers to retain their own weapons or feeding devices after retiring or leaving the agency or to acquire additional items. Officers who retire or leave their employment with a law enforcement agency should transfer assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices that are their own property to a Federal firearms licensee or another qualified officer. [18 U.S.C. 922(v)(4), (w)(3)]
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Link Posted: 5/31/2001 5:46:26 AM EDT
Troy, You are both right and wrong. LEO's can keep certain restricted items upon leaving an agency or retiring. They just can't keep anything that they buy with their own money. I wrote the ATF in June of '99 and the below is part of their response. I would be glad to provide you with a copy if you are interested. "The law provides an exception for items that belong to a law enforcement agency and are transferred by the agency ton an officer upon the officer's retirement from, or termination of, his or her employment with the agency. However, neither this exception nor the exception for official use, permit officers to retain their personally owned weapons or feeding devices, or to aquire additional items. Officers who retire from or leave their employment with a law enforcement agency should transfer assault weapons and large capacity feeding devices that are their own property to a Federal firearms licensee, another qualified officer or to the police department for official use."
Link Posted: 5/31/2001 7:50:16 AM EDT
187: They can't keep department owned items unless they're gifted to the officer upon retirement. It's at the discretion of the agency and its policies, and the officer can't just "choose" to keep his issue weapon. However, if the agency does choose to gift the officer those LEO marked items, then yes, a retiring officer may have those, even if he doesn't hold a reserve commission or any other police credential.
Link Posted: 6/1/2001 1:15:21 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/1/2001 5:06:49 AM EDT
Troy, I think I know what 187 is talking about. Here's my example: Right before my dad retired, AZ passed a law that said their Officers could buy their duty Pistol for $1.00. Obviously he did and also got the three restricted mags with them. There was no requirement for him to return the restricted mags and buy 10 rounders.
Link Posted: 6/1/2001 7:08:13 AM EDT
Troy, you are right....I need to learn how to read things in their entirety. I do the same thing when I fill out a yellow form. The question about being discharged from the military.....I almost never get to the part about "dishonorably". Ofcourse I wasn't discharged dishonorably, but they put that word all the way at the end. Sorry man.
Link Posted: 6/1/2001 7:49:10 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/1/2001 9:51:07 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/2/2001 10:15:42 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Troy: It is NOT legal to remove the offending items and keep the gun; the lower is forever a restricted item.
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You are a wee bit confused here. The Q/A section you show above refers to the activity of dealers. The law does not allow a dealer to posses semiauto assault rifles. The ATF has given them the ability to possess semiauto assault rifles for the purposes of resale through regulation. It goes against this purpose to buy assault rifles then remove the assault rifle features and sell to the public. So a post ban assault rifle that has been neutered is legal to own. It would not be restricted. In order for a object to be illegal or resticted there needs to be some law that says so.
Link Posted: 6/2/2001 10:22:34 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/2/2001 11:53:13 AM EDT
While it is indeed true that the ATF does not want a dealer to transfer a neutered post ban assault rifle to an individual it is not illegal for a individual to own such a rifle. Why does the ATF not want dealers to buy assault rifles and them "fix" them and sell to the public? Why because the ATF was kind enough to allow dealer to get them and they should not push it. You seem to be arguing that "once a assault rifle always a assault rifle", as is the stance the ATF takes with machine guns. I argue that this is incorrect. The definition of an assault rifle is found under 18 USC section 921. No where in there does it say a rifle as we describe is an assault rifle. In short a dealer is restricted in what he can do with a post-ban assault rifle. An individual can own a non-assault rifle that used to be one.
Link Posted: 6/2/2001 12:40:34 PM EDT
Ekie, I think that you are still missing one important point. We're not talking about any "assault rifle," we're talking about post-94 manufacture LEO assault weapons. These weapons have an "LE Only" marking on the reciever. These weapons, regardless of whether they have the evil features (telestock, flash suppressor, bayo lug) or not, [b]cannot[/b] be owned by the general public. It's the same as with pre-ban weapons. If I have a complete AR that had a telestock and flash suppressor before the 94 ban, it is a pre-ban assault weapon. If I put a fixed stock and target barrel on it, (thus eliminating the evil features) it is still a pre ban reciever, and I can put the evil features back on later. A post-94 LEO weapon can have the evil features removed, but it is still marked, and still is, "LE Only."
Link Posted: 6/2/2001 2:06:49 PM EDT
This question is brought up in this month's issue of 'Small Arms Review' (pg 25-26 'The Legal Side' by James Bardwell. "In the case of an AR-15 style rifle, removing the flash hider and its threads, bayonet lug, and replacing the collapsing stock with a fixed one would make it into a post-ban style weapon which you could keep. The fact that it has "law enforcement only" type markings does not make it a post-ban assault weapon, only its configuration does. While the markings might surprise some people, they do not enter into the equation of whether the gun is a post-ban semiautomatic assault weapon." As I read what Tony posted and what Mr. Bardwell published the above applies to firearms that are dept. issued and then "transferred" to the retiring officer. They do NOT apply to personally owned firearms. A personally owned arm must be sold/traded/given to a qualified owner/business/agency. For most of us this is an academic question. If you truly are in this type of situation the best advise would be to WRITE the ATF and get a WRITTEN response. That would be a better defense than "Well...somebody said I could..."
Link Posted: 6/2/2001 5:34:10 PM EDT
Okay, I will try again, even though as someone else pointed out James already answered this. In the interest of clarity I will further describe the rifle in question. What we have here is a post-94 assault rifle. This rifle is marked Law Enforcement Only...blah..blah. It has been altered so that it has only one evil feature, lets say a pistol grip. How can any of you intelligently argue that this weapon is illegal to own by Joe Average? In order to do so concisely you will need to site law or regulation of some sort to back up your claim. Good luck finding something that is not there. p.s. as close as you can get is to say that the ATF frowns on dealers transferring such weapons and you could argue that 18 USC section 921 (a)(30)(A)(iv) in reference to an AR-15 applies. I will be glad to shoot holes in either on of these....
Link Posted: 6/2/2001 11:51:59 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/3/2001 5:46:44 AM EDT
Very interesting debate. Do you guys want me to write the Tech Branch? I have written them several times for members and get pretty quick responses (I think probably 'cause I do it on firm letterhead). I tend to agree with Troy, but can't find any "real" law to back me up. I'll leave it to you guys.
Link Posted: 6/3/2001 6:24:20 AM EDT
Steve in VA, As I said in my earlier post, for most of us this is entirly acedemic question. But that's what we're here for...to learn! I say "Please write the ATF and get a final answer."
Link Posted: 6/3/2001 6:35:07 AM EDT
He said SURRENDER HA HA HA HE HE HE
Link Posted: 6/3/2001 6:36:31 AM EDT
Sure a letter would not hurt. Not sure how the ATF could derive that the rifle in question would be illegal to own. I mean seriously can anyone make up a legal argument here? I even gave a clue on one argument but it is only applicable to two rifles the 6520, and the 6721.
Link Posted: 6/3/2001 7:31:45 AM EDT
Hey Steve! Please do write that letter. I recall reading in Small Arms Review a couple of years back that a LEO could keep the personally-purchased "Semiautomatic Assault Weapon" after leaving the department if enough evil features were removed. Could be wrong, though...
Link Posted: 6/3/2001 8:28:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/3/2001 8:32:50 AM EDT by shaggy]
I tend to go with Ekie's interpretation on this one. There is nothing in 922(v) or 921(a)(30) which make prior status of the weapon (as a statutorily defined assault weapon made after '94) relevant for purposes of a conviction under 922(v). As long as the weapon in question doesn't meet the 921(a)(30) definition, I don't think a conviction would stand regardless of its prior status or receiver markings. That is not to say I think its smart to have one. I don't, especially when unmarked post ban receivers are cheaper and more available. Upon seeing the LEO notice, the local Barney Fife will probably take you and your rifle into custody for a day to figure it out. I don't know about any of you, but I don't have the time or patience for that. And of course, if Barney Fife calls BATF you may have a real problem on your hands. I can't find the letter, but as I understand it, BATF's interpretation is that if it is marked, it is not legal for a civie to possess, even in a neutered form. I think it would be a winnable case, but do you really want to spend thousands and thousands of dollars in legal fees to have a postban lower with a LEO marking on it if BATF wants to test their interpretation?
Link Posted: 6/3/2001 9:06:12 AM EDT
Keep in mind that the ATF interprets the statute(s) and promulgates rules that are enforceable. Technically a lower or upper is neither preban nor postban. It only matters when they are assembled into a functioning rifle that determines whether the rifle is a legal SAW, just a semiautomatic rifle or an illegal SAW. In any case as Shaggy pointed out why would anyone want a LE/Export marked lower anyway. Steve, start drafting your letter. Any bets that the ATF rules that the intent of the markings was to restrict the rifle to LE/Export and that it is illegal to sell or transfer to non LE.
Link Posted: 6/3/2001 12:10:31 PM EDT
Shaggy Well stated and reasoned post. Much better done then mine. One thing though, I am quite sure that the fuzzy letter you are thinking of is the answer in the Q/A section of the 2000 edition of the Federal Firearms green book. The one Troy quoted from before that gives the ATF's opinion the a FFL dealer would be in deep doo doo if he were to transfer a LEO rifle to Joe Average regardless of the evil features count. Okay, I can make a argument that a ATF could prosecute Joe Average for possession of a LEO marked rifle that only had the one evil feature (pistol grip) if the rifle in question was a 6520 or a 6721. Both of these rifles are marked AR-15. In the definition of an assault rifle found in 18 USC section 921 you will find that a AR-15 is indeed a evil rifle. The AR-15 (6721, 6520) is evil based on being marked such. I would hope that any student of firearms laws here could make a very good defence for such a charge. That being the case a prosecutor would have to be either ignorant of past case law dealing with bans that specify rifles by name or one that thought he could win the case based on the total situation.
Originally Posted By rkbar15: Keep in mind that the ATF interprets the statute(s) and promulgates rules that are enforceable.
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That is a joke, right, I laughed.,hehe Many here are under the assumption that it is illegal for Joe Average to own such a rifle, and that the ATF will say so in letter form if asked. I will not bet on what opinion they will give, ATF letters are not always accurate in terms of interpreting law but they are good indication of what their stance is on various issues, and are therefore useful. Any one care to speculate how the ATF would state their case that this rifle is illegal to possess? I came up with one hypothesis but it is limited in scope to two rifles. I am quite sure the letter would not take the legal stance that "I submit that Bardwell's opinion is incorrect", or "I read somewhere that it is illegal to own". Neither of these is a legal opinion of any type. There is another avenue that the ATF could use in answering the question. No response. If I were in charge over at ATF and this question came in it would go in file 13, along with other questions I would not want to be true full with. For example there are two issues that pop in my head right now that there is NO way the ATF will answer. Here are two, in rough draft form (needs better grammar and some legal mumbo jumbo sprinkled in liberally); In order for a rifle to be qualified as a assault rifle it must accept a detachable magazine. If I were to manufacturer a rifle that did not accept a detachable magazine but instead was belt fed it could have multiple features such as a bayonet lug, folding stock, etc..blah, blah, here are some sample drawings, etc, etc.... So this rifle would not meet the definition of an assault rifle and would not be restricted..... The ATF currently interprets 18 USC section 922(v) in such a manor that an AR-15 in complete "knock down" form that if assembled meets the standard of an assault rifle and is grand fathered if possessed in such form on or before Sept 13th 1994. This being the case it is reasonable to assume that an individual that owned a "MAK90" rifle and a say a folding stock on or before Sept 13th 1994 would in fact have a grand fathered assault rifle.
Link Posted: 6/3/2001 2:51:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/3/2001 2:49:49 PM EDT by rkbar15]
Originally Posted By rkbar15: Keep in mind that the ATF interprets the statute(s) and promulgates rules that are enforceable.
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Originally Posted By Ekie: That is a joke, right, I laughed.,hehe
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It's no joke when the ATF (Commissioner of the Treasury) has the authority to interpret the law and fill in the gaps as they see fit. Then it's up to the judiciary to decide if the ATF has correctly interpreted the intent (amongst other things) of the legislation if you want to appeal after conviction.
Link Posted: 6/3/2001 2:55:34 PM EDT
Nuff said. I'll draft it in the a.m. before court (done by 7:30 a.m. est). If anyone wants to take a look at the query before it's sent, pls email me your fax number and I'll send it to you. If you have any suggestions regarding edit, just drop me a reply via email or the fax. Either way, I'll send it off before 5pm.
Link Posted: 6/3/2001 3:07:38 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Ekie: In order for a rifle to be qualified as a assault rifle it must accept a detachable magazine. If I were to manufacturer a rifle that did not accept a detachable magazine but instead was belt fed it could have multiple features such as a bayonet lug, folding stock, etc..blah, blah, here are some sample drawings, etc, etc.... So this rifle would not meet the definition of an assault rifle and would not be restricted.....
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Interesting thought but I don't think that would fly as linked ammo is classified as an "ammunition feeding device" and is restricted to ten rounds with postban links. I guess the question is would the upper be considered a detachable ammunition-feeding device (magazine)? Steve; any thoughts on this?
Link Posted: 6/3/2001 3:18:44 PM EDT
Ekie - Let me take your hypos in reverse order... With the MAK90 and folding stock, I'd think you have a good point, if it weren't for 922(r)...or could somehow be completed prior to '94 in a 922(r) compliant form. The beltfeed... BATF may very well decide its not a "detachable magazine", and you could add all the assault features you wanted. But they could also issue a ruling that defines a detachable mag in such a way as to encompass any device that could feed linked or belted ammo (after all, post-94 links are hi-cap feeding devices). You are then left to take the US gov't to court and have the BATF rule invalidated as arbitrary & capricious. Possible, but not easy. Now, the name specific provisions of 921(a)(30). As I recall, PennArms and Navegear lost the bill of attainder portion of their appeal, primarily because the court could find the law did not specifically punish them; only the specific activity of manufacturing semiautomatic assault weapons. Although currently ignored, this is, IMHO, the most potentially damaging part of the '94 AWB. At the present, companies like Bushmaster can make copies of the "Colt AR15", but a new administration could easily enact an EO which could direct BATF to vigorously enforce 922(v) with a crackdown on manufacturers of "copies or duplicates" of the guns listed in 921(a)(30)(A).
Link Posted: 6/3/2001 3:25:51 PM EDT
Originally Posted By rkbar15: It's no joke when the ATF (Commissioner of the Treasury) has the authority to interpret the law and fill in the gaps as they see fit. Then it's up to the judiciary to decide if the ATF has correctly interpreted the intent (amongst other things) of the legislation if you want to appeal after conviction.
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Okay now I get it, I was confused for a minute there.
Link Posted: 6/3/2001 3:46:23 PM EDT
Shaggy Good point about 922(r) but remember that 922(r) only applies to the act of assembly. The imaginary "MAK90" was not assembled with the folding stock on Sept. 13th 1994. Yes links are high capacity feeding devices but detachable mags they are not, at least at the moment. So you would have to use pre-ban links. The description of an assault rifle in 921 could clearly be read to mean that all AR-15 clones regardless of manufacture markings and the number of evil features are assault rifles. While the bill was still a bill that is how I read it. Seems to me that the ATF was not about to go around on Sept 13th 1994 and put several manufactures out of business and instead took a very liberal interpretation in totally ignoring parts of the law. It may very well be that they think that name specifics provisions are blatantly unworkable law and would rather not go there.
Link Posted: 6/4/2001 2:08:46 PM EDT
I sent the letter off late this afternoon on my firm's letterhead. I specifically mentioned Bardwell's article. I still tend to agree with Troy for the reasons cited by Archangle. BTW: I was in federal court this afternoon on a drug conspiracy case and, before the sentencing hearing, ran this by a AUSA that I know pretty well. He looked at me like I was speaking Chinese- I just said nevermind. He is part of the Exile team and does a good job. In my opinion, it is a good program focussing on real criminals.
Link Posted: 6/27/2001 5:09:17 PM EDT
Just got the new issue of SMALL ARMS REVIEW. On page 26 James Bardwell states; "The fact that it has "law enforcement only" type markings does not make it a post-ban assault weapon, only its configuration does."
Link Posted: 6/27/2001 6:46:04 PM EDT
Hey guys, If I wasn't scared before I found AR15.com, I sure am now. I like all you guys alot and think you all are very knowlegable but you are scarying the piss out me. I don't know if I am a ciminal now or not. I am just a simple guy with very little legal experience but here is what I own. I bought a AR15 in 1983. I bought an upper from Sarco in 1984 and a lower in 1984. I put them together and have been using it since then. In July of 1994, I bought AR15 chambered in 7.62. Am I legal or not???? Ever since I have been reading these threads, when I walk the dogs at night I find myself looking behind every tree thinking some government SWAT guy is going to jump out and screem, drop your weapons, or I'll shot....Eh gads....I am scared as piss....
Link Posted: 6/27/2001 8:02:17 PM EDT
I am concerned that you might suffer from sleep depravation due to your anxiety related to owning these firearms. In order to help you out feel free to send these rifles to me, I will even pay for the shipping.
Link Posted: 6/27/2001 9:22:34 PM EDT
There are plenty of "dealers" who buy the LEO only Colt M4's, remove and replace the upper with an HBAR of some sort, and then sell the M4 upper (without the bolt) for about the same amount as what they paid for the complete firearm to begin with.
Link Posted: 6/27/2001 11:44:35 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/28/2001 9:05:58 AM EDT
I'm still waiting for my response from the tech branch.
Link Posted: 6/28/2001 6:32:48 PM EDT
the only way an officer can keep the weapon is if it was given to him by his LE dept. the catch is that thay can't gift him a gun the dept never owned.
Link Posted: 6/28/2001 7:24:15 PM EDT
Originally Posted By KMA: the only way an officer can keep the weapon is if it was given to him by his LE dept. the catch is that thay can't gift him a gun the dept never owned.
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then they also can't keep a weapon that they never owned.
Link Posted: 7/6/2001 8:55:43 AM EDT
Originally Posted By tcsd1236: That issue has recently come up on several threads, and I haven't seen a satisfactory answer anywhere on the ATF site. The receiver is ALWAYS considered an LEO receiver because it is marked as such.
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no way. a receiver can bear any markings at all... you can restamp your AR an M16... doesn't change things. You can't change the SN is all... nothing restricted about a stripped LEO marked AR receiver. Nothing restricted about a stripped mag body marked LEO either (as long as you don't have the rest of the bad parts like the spring, floorplate, etc).
Link Posted: 7/12/2001 6:38:38 AM EDT
Gentlemen, I have received a message from ATF. According to the legal department, If the LEO marked lower has AR-15 stamped anywhere on it you would be in violation of the AW ban. If it doesn't have the AR-15 stamp you will legal. It is still consider a gray area. (But what the hell isn't these days?) I have looked at RR and BM LEO lowers, They have no AR-15 markings. I am looking for info on Colt and Oly LEO lowers now. If any of you own one or have information on them please let me know. Thanks, Dave
Link Posted: 7/12/2001 7:53:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Ekie: Okay, I can make a argument that a ATF could prosecute Joe Average for possession of a LEO marked rifle that only had the one evil feature (pistol grip) if the rifle in question was a 6520 or a 6721. Both of these rifles are marked AR-15. In the definition of an assault rifle found in 18 USC section 921 you will find that a AR-15 is indeed a evil rifle. The AR-15 (6721, 6520) is evil based on being marked such.
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Ah ha, I thought of that one, kind of scary ain't it?
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