NOTICE REGARDING MICHIGAN MACHINEGUN POSSESSION
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has reviewed Michigan
Attorney General Opinion No. 7183, issued December 27, 2005, which sets forth the opinion of
that office as to the State’s criteria for lawful possession of machineguns by private individuals
in the State of Michigan. As a result of that Opinion, applications to transfer certain machineguns
from Michigan residents who do not possess a Federal firearms license can now be processed by
A machinegun is a “firearm” as defined by the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA) and the National
Firearms Act (NFA). Firearms subject to the NFA are regulated more strictly than non-NFA
firearms and as such, the transfer, possession, importation, registration and making of such
firearms must be approved by ATF. Specifically, transfer of a machinegun under the NFA is
controlled, in part, by 26 U.S.C. § 5812, which states, in relevant part, that to lawfully transfer a
machinegun, a person must receive the appropriate approved application from ATF and an
application shall be denied if the transfer, receipt, or possession of the firearm would place the
transferee in violation of Federal, State or local law.
Furthermore, 18 U.S.C. §922(o), makes it unlawful for any person to transfer or possess a
machine gun, except a transfer to or by, or possession by or under the authority of, the United
States or any department or agency thereof or a State, or a department, agency, or political
subdivision thereof; or any lawful transfer or lawful possession of a machinegun that was
lawfully possessed before May 19, 1986.
In light of these provisions, in order to approve an application to transfer a machinegun to a
resident of Michigan, ATF must determine that: (1) the subject machinegun was lawfully
possessed before May 19, 1986; and, (2) the transfer and possession would not violate Michigan
law on machinegun possession.
Michigan law (MCL 750.224) states, in part, that a person shall not manufacture, sell, offer for
sale, or possess a machinegun or firearm that shoots or is designed to shoot automatically more
than 1 shot without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger unless they are a person
manufacturing firearms, explosives, or munitions of war by virtue of a contract with a
department of the government of the United States or a person licensed by the Secretary of the
Treasury of the United States or the Secretary's delegate to manufacture, sell, or possess a
machine gun, or a device, weapon, cartridge, container, or contrivance. (Emphasis added).
OAG 7183 addresses what qualifies as a person licensed by the United States and concludes that
the holder of an approved ATF application for transfer and registration of a machinegun is a
person licensed by the United States for purposes of MCL 750.224. Therefore, a Michigan
resident with an approved ATF application to transfer and register a machinegun submitted
pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 5812 may legally possess a machinegun under the “license” exception
set forth in MCL 750.224.
The NFA Branch is now processing applications for transfer and registration of a machinegun
received by ATF and the NFA Branch from Michigan residents will be processed according to
the information provided above.
Please note that MCL 750.224 provides the prohibitions and exceptions for the manufacture,
sale, offering for sale or possession of machineguns as well as mufflers, silencers and bombs.
OAG No. 7183 however, only addresses the transfer and registration of a machinegun. ATF has
formally requested clarification from the Michigan Attorney General on whether the rationale set
forth in OAG No. 7183 also applies to other NFA firearms. Applications received by ATF from
Michigan residents for items other than machineguns will be held until the requested clarification
is received from the Michigan Attorney General.
For questions related to a new or pending ATF Form 4 Application, please contact:
National Firearms Act Branch
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
244 Needy Road
That's awesome! Now if only I had the money to buy one!
I wonder why the local news, especially ch 2-the problem solvers-havn't covered this story yet, are they waiting for the fall elections? "Evil Machine guns on Michigan Streets!" I was thinking it would be better to have this story break now and get the media sh--storm over with. While I am no fan of AG Cox, anything is better than Granholm.
IB"The NRA doesn't do anything for me"
Form 3 processing. Form 4 waiting for form 3.
Fuck it, I'm moving to the 9th circuit all together in a year.
Actually it wasn't the NRA that did it. It was our own "C&R full auto" guys here in Michigan. Bustoff from the ARFCOM Hometown Michigan forum lead the fight on this.
To Bustoff and Michigan AG Mike Cox!
Now we just have to get the silencer clarification and we can buy cans!
to Bustoff for all his hard work.