Posted: 3/19/2001 6:35:50 PM EST
What are the laws/regs if you are a FFL holder, and you have a Colt AR-15 Model-6920 Law Enforcement Only carbine on your books and you let your FFL lapse...
I have heard that you can keep it if when you get rid of it you sell to FFL or Law Enforcement.....is this true? What written regs are there and where? Thanks Michael
There is no provision (that I've ever seen) for a dealer to retain LEO-marked items as personal property after surrendering their license or letting it lapse.
If an item were still in stock when you lapsed your license, you MIGHT be able to argue that it's still your property, and that as long as you only sell it to a qualified person you'd be ok to possess it (you don't need a license to sell personal property) until the time of that sale, but using it as a personal recreation rifle would not be kosher. The text of the AW ban says "licensees" may possess semi-auto assault weapons for sale to qualified persons, which would tend to rule out a non-licensee possessing one, even if for resale to qualified persons, unless that non-licensee were themselves a qualified person (LEO).
The text of the AW ban is available in the ATF FAQ at their website - I suggest you give it a read. www.atf.treas.gov
Simply swap the barrel for one in post-ban configuration. Possession of a "LEO Only" marked weapon is not a crime if the rifle is in post-ban configuration. If you wish to keep the rifle, I would recommend that you contact the BATF with this question at:
Department of the Treasury
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
Firearms Technology Branch
Washington, DC 20226-0001
They will most likely say it's OK if you purchased the rifle for resale but it didn't sell, and you change it to post-ban configuration. Keep a copy of their letter with the rifle though.
A dealer may not transfer a LE SAW to himself.
A dealer is also prohibited from disassembling a LE SAW and disposing of the parts.
From the ATF FAQ:
(019) May a licensed dealer lawfully acquire semiautomatic assault weapons manufactured after September 13, 1994, remove the features that bring them within the definition of such weapons in the law, and sell the weapons to the public?
No. The law prohibits possession of semiautomatic assault weapons manufactured after September 13, 1994. However, an exception is provided for licensed dealers possessing and dealing in such weapons that have been
manufactured for and are possessed for transfer to government agencies. A dealer’s possession of the weapons for sale or transfer to the public is not among the exceptions to the prohibition on their possession. Thus, a dealer
who acquires such weapons for the purpose of stripping them of their assault weapon features and selling the modified weapons to the public violates the law. This is true even if the dealer strips the assault weapon features from the weapons so that they no longer meet the definition of semiautomatic assault weapon. The dealer may also have violated the law by making false statements to a supplier that the weapons were being acquired under an exception to the prohibition, e.g., for sales to law enforcement agencies or law enforcement officers.
[18 U.S.C. 922(v), 27 CFR 178.40(c)]
I believe that the original intent of the dealer comes into play in this case. If the intent was to sell the weapon to a qualified purchaser, but he was unable to sell it and was now going to allow his FFL to lapse, it may be permissable for him to simple remove the offending features. This is what a LEO must do with a LEO weapon when he leaves his agency. He may keep the rifle if the offending features are removed. In that case, the LE Only markings are meaningless.
The problem with the FAQs is that they are very narrowly defined and answered. The question listed by rkbar15 very clearly relates to the deliverate purchase of LE Only weapons for the purpose of stripping for parts or modifying for sale to the public. As outlined above, it appears that mat52 asks if he can keep the weapon in AW configuration after his FFL lapses and only sell it to a qualified buyer. That's an easy one. NO!
As for whether it can be altered to post-ban configuration, I'm with 6Echo255. Write a letter to the BATF and ask them. If the say it's OK, reconfigure the weapon by changing the barrel for a post ban one, replace the stock with a fixed one if there is a collapsing stock on it now, and keep a copy of the letter with the rifle to avoid problems with those who are not aware that the LE Only markings carry no legal meaning if the rifle is legally reconfigured as a post ban rifle. If they say you can't do that, sell it to a qualified buyer before the FFL lapses. Worst case, donate it to your local PD. You might be able to take a tax deduction for the full retail value. Ask your tax preparer about that one.
PART 178--COMMERCE IN FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION
§178.57 Discontinuance of business.
(a) Where a firearm or ammunition business is either discontinued or succeeded by a new owner, the owner of the business discontinued or succeeded shall within 30 days thereof furnish to the Chief, National LiceNsing CenteR notification of the discontinuance or succession. (See also §178.127.)
(b) Since section 922(v), Title 18, U.S.C., makes it unlawful to transfer or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon, except as provided in the law, any licensed manufacturer, licensed importer, or licensed dealer intending to discontinue business shall, prior to going out of business, transfer in compliance with the provisions of this part any semiautomatic assault weapon manufactured or imported after September 13, 1994, to a person specified in §178.40(b), or, subject to the provisions of §§178.40(c) and 178.132, a licensed manufacturer, a licensed importer, or a licensed dealer.
(c) Since section 922(w), Title 18, U.S.C., makes it unlawful to transfer or possess a large capacity ammunition feeding device, except as provided in the law, any person who manufactures, imports, or deals in such devices and who intends to discontinue business shall, prior to going out of business, transfer in compliance with the provisions of this part any large capacity ammunition feeding device manufactured after September 13, 1994, to a person specified in §178.40a(b), or, subject to the provisions of §§178.40a(c) and 178.132, a person who manufactures, imports, or deals in such devices.
[33 FR 18555, Dec. 14, 1968. Redesignated at 40 FR 16835, Apr. 15, 1975, and amended by T.D. ATF-48,44 FR 55842, Sept. 28, 1979; T.D. ATF-290, 54 FR 53055, Dec. 27, 1989; T.D. ATF-363, 60 FR 17453, Apr.6, 1995; T.D. ATF-383, 61 FR 39321, July 29, 1996; T.D. ATF-411, 64 FR 17291, Apr. 9, 1999]
Hey! That pretty much sums that one up!
Yes, but how ridiculous is it to make such a fuss over a bayo lug and a flash suppressor!
I like the part about the leo having to take the offending parts off! I guess we can thank that soggy cigar sucking draft dodger for this $hit!
Well, you're supposed to sell it to FFL or LEO. "But mister ATF agent I have been trying to sell it in the local paper, but nobody will pay my asking price of $7500.00. See, here's the ad where I've tried to sell it."
An FFL can transfer an LE rifle to himself if he happens to be a cop. Also I've never heard of a cop having to remove "evil features" from his LE rifle upon retirement. SOMEONE PLEASE SHOW ME WHERE THAT IS WRITTEN! Every cop I've ever heard of who retires is given a reserve or honorary commission upon retirement, thus making him/her still a law officer and still able to possess the gun.
sf46: Retirement is different from retaining LEO marked weapons after your FFL lapses.
If the LEO quits, or retires and isn't considered a cop anymore, and the LEO marked stuff wasn't gifted to them upon retirment, they can't keep it.
Go to the ATF website, and download the FAQ "qa.pdf" - your answers lie therein.
Maybe that's the way they do it in your state, but in most others, the officer simply retires. In many jurisdictions, the officer is granted CCW, but some, like Florida, require all officers, active and retired to apply for a CCW like everyone else.
With regard to the "remove the evil features" requirement Small Arms Review published a letter from the Firearms Technical Branch of the BATF indicating that an officer who purchased an LEO AW, on leaving the agency, must relinquish the weapon to the department or remove the evil features to keep it.
(Edit to correct spellin')
The letter that Small Arms Review published pertained to an LEO SAW that the officer legally purchased and later altered to legal, post-ban configuration. As I read the law, 18 USC 922 (v)(4)(C), it allows the retiring officer to transfer the SAW to his agency prior to retirement, then have the agency transfer it back to him on retirement, keeping the evil features intact. I think the FAQ needs reworking.
What do you say? Should we write our own letter to the BATF or leave it for a retiring officer?
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