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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 6/25/2002 9:16:35 AM EST
How paranoid am I being? A couple of months ago, a buddy of mine decided that he was going to swap out his pre-ban AR to make it a "groundhog's nightmare". He decided to go with a longer bull barrel, full stock, etc. He came to the realization that everything he wanted to do could be done on a post ban receiver, and he owed me some money from a previous loan. He offered me the pre-ban lower in leiu of payment. After receiving some excellent advice from you all, I ended up buying a pre-ban CAR parts kit, and selling the kit to him. Later that day, I bought the pre-ban rifle, now in CAR configuration, from him for the same price that I had sold the parts kit to him for. As near as I can figure, we're now completely above board, and this is a true pre-ban weapon. But, I can't help but be worried that BATF might have a different take on things. Am I being paranoid? Has anyone heard of a situation where someone was required to prove pre-ban status, above and beyond the pre-ban serial # on the lower? TIA, Tom
Link Posted: 6/25/2002 9:21:13 AM EST
The only part of the rifle that has a true pre or post ban status is the lower receiver. The rest are just accessories. It's just that a pre-ban lower has a wider choice of legal accessory configurations.
Link Posted: 6/25/2002 9:34:33 AM EST
Reading more into your question.... No, it does not matter that your rifle started life in a certain pre-ban configuration. You can reconfigure it pretty much as you like. Some will argue that if you set it up in a post-ban compliant configuration you have lost it's pre-ban status. The regs read that to be pre-ban it had to be assembled into pre-ban configuration (or bundled with the appropriate parts so assemble it into pre-ban configuration) before the Magic Day in '94. Nothing (that I'm aware of) is said about it loosing this status if it happens to wear post-ban parts sometimes.
Link Posted: 6/25/2002 9:54:30 AM EST
All that matters is that you can show that the lower was part of a complete weapon at the time the ban went into effect. This is how is has been described to me. Say you purchased two PWA ar15 lowers a year BEFORE the ban went into effect. You put both in your gunsafe. Two months later you use one of those lowers to build a complete rifle. The other lower stays in your safe. Then Sept. 13, 1994 rolls around. The lower that is part of the "complete" rifle has pre-ban status at this time. As for the lower that still sits in the gunsafe... from that day forward it would be illegal to assemble it in a pre-ban configuration. Because it was not part of a complete weapon when the ban went into effect its status is now the same as a post-ban. Both lowers were "pre-ban". But as of 09/13/94 only the lower in the complete rifle is considered pre-ban. Now, say you have a Colt pre-ban lower that is sitting in the gunsafe. You decide after 09/13/94 that you want to make a complete rifle with it. You can. Colt sold only "complete" rifles. So the lower had to have left Colt as a omplete rifle. As long as you can prove that it was a complete rifle before the ban you are good to go. On another hand. They have to prove that you r weapon was not part of a complete rifle before the ban... or do they ? I have a friend who ownes a PWA and I own a Colt. We have dicussed this topic many times.
Link Posted: 6/25/2002 10:17:24 AM EST
Hmmm. Not sure how to 'prove' that it was a full rifle prior to the ban. I know it was, but don't know what documentation my friend might have. Any idea of what is generally accepted as proof? Unfortunately. it's a DMPS (DPMS?), not a Colt. Thanks for your help.
Link Posted: 6/25/2002 11:55:22 AM EST
Everybody is wrong. Any AR15-type rifle marked "Colt AR-15" is a semiautomatic Assault Weapon (SAW). Any non-Colt AR15-type rifle that meets the criteria that defines a SAW in [url=http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/921.html]18 USC 921(a)(30)[/url] is also a SAW. If the Colt AR-15 or the 921(A)(30) AR15 clone was actually in SAW configuration on or before 09/13/1994, then it has an exemption under 922(v)(2) and is a "preban" SAW. Here's the twist. The "Colt AR-15" marked 922(v)(2) exempt SAW remains exempt even if the configuration is changed or the receiver stripped and sold as a stripped receiver. The 922(v)(2) exempt clone remains exempt only as long as the rifle remains in 921(A)(30) SAW configuration or the owner retains all the parts required to reassemble the fully functional weapon in 921(a)(30) SAW configuration. If the 922(v)(2) exempt clone is stripped and the stripped receiver sold without all of the parts required to assemble a functional 921(a)(30) SAW, then the clone receiver is no longer exempt and may only be assembled as a "postban" weapon. That is BATF's position on the issue. They have the ball, bat and all the gloves. It's their ball game.
Link Posted: 6/25/2002 3:23:26 PM EST
Originally Posted By tommytrauma: Hmmm. Not sure how to 'prove' that it was a full rifle prior to the ban. I know it was, but don't know what documentation my friend might have. Any idea of what is generally accepted as proof? Unfortunately. it's a DMPS (DPMS?), not a Colt. Thanks for your help.
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You could call the manufacturer to verify if it was indeed part of a complete rifle. There's no other sure way of telling. Even if you look up the serial #, you won't know for sure. As long as the manufacturer verifies it as a true pre-ban, then you are safe.
Link Posted: 6/25/2002 8:35:26 PM EST
Read Dave G's post. That is the current interpretation from the ATF. Someone had posted a letter from the ATF stating this position. Now, the fun part. I am not a lawyer but I believe the ATF is wrong. The ATF does not set law they procecute as per thier intrepretation. So you need to figure out what are the chances thier intrepretation is correct plus the chances of you being arrested and procecuted for it. For the law to be set, someone has to be charged with the crime, procecuted and a judgement handed down. Even that could be overturned on appeals and taken all the way to the Supreme Court. A fun time to be had by all. It all boils down to what risk(s) you are willing, or not willing, to take.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 11:53:30 PM EST
A Colt can be un-married from it's pre-ban style accessories but a clone can't.... .. why am I thinking that some ATF tech-writer has a closet full of old Colts that he's protecting the value of?
Link Posted: 6/27/2002 7:46:44 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/27/2002 7:47:32 AM EST by Dave_G]
A Colt actually stamped "Colt AR-15" is defined as an Assault Weapon by name in [url=http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/921.html]18 USC 921(a)(30)[/url], and remains an assault regardless of configuration. A Colt marked only "Match Target" or "Sporter" can only become a 921(a)(30) Assault Weapon by configuration. The only thing that could change this, outside the BATF reinterpreting it, would be for the courts to assume that legislative intent was to make all non-named "prebans" 922(v)(2) exempt in perpetuity rather than only as long as they remain in 921(a)(30) configuration, and incorporate that intent in their rulings. The BATF interpretation is consistant with the law as written and prior letter rulings.
Link Posted: 6/27/2002 3:30:11 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/27/2002 3:33:57 PM EST by Amish_Bill]
Originally Posted By Dave_G: ...The BATF interpretation is consistant with the law as written...
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I'll have to disagree with this part of your post. The portion of the code you seem to be referencing starts like this:
(30) The term ''semiautomatic assault weapon'' means - . . (A) any of the firearms, or copies or duplicates of the firearms in any caliber, known as - . . . . (i) ....(insert named list here)....
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It does not make any specific differentiation between the named firearms and "copies or duplicates" of them. The ATF may have taken a different stance, but I don't see how it's consistant with the letter of the law.
Link Posted: 7/1/2002 1:12:23 PM EST
As an almost new owner of the Colt Sp-1, I had some serious questions as to whether I should first do a serial number search, to insure that its lower was built as a completed weapon before the 94 ban. But, if I understand your previous posts correctly, the Colt lower never left the factory unless it was manufactured as a completed weapon. Would this insure that you could trust the Colt receiver's serial numbers as reliable pre-ban indicators? Hope that's not too confusing. Thanks!
Link Posted: 7/5/2002 2:56:18 AM EST
If it's marked as an SP1, it's preban by definition. The SP1's were all made before 1994. You don't have to prove anything. That's why I put up with the slab side reciever, and takedown screw on mine. Otherwise I'd have sold it off years ago [:D]
Link Posted: 7/7/2002 4:14:49 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/7/2002 4:15:33 PM EST by Ekie]
Originally Posted By Dave_G: That is BATF's position on the issue. They have the ball, bat and all the gloves. It's their ball game.
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That is fine and dandy, but they are not even playing the game, they might write cool letters and all, but they don't show up to play ball when it comes to 18 USC section 922(v), been about eight years now, two cases and they lost one. Things that make you go hmmm.
Link Posted: 7/7/2002 11:01:30 PM EST
sham, If it's marked "Colt SP1" or "Colt Sporter," then it isn't a named SAW. It can only be a SAW by configuration and the BATF letter applies. Ekie, Actually, more than two cases have reached the appeals court level. The two thrown out that i'm aware of were drug cases involving the weapons, both SKS's that didn't qualify as a 921(a)(30) SAWs. There can be a number of convictions that weren't appealed.
Link Posted: 7/9/2002 3:57:31 PM EST
I enjoy a good informed conversation involving 18 U.S.C. section 922(v) as much as anyone else here, but lately discussions here have taken a extremely bizarre twist considering the actual application of this law. Sure you sent a interesting question to the ATF in regards to the possibility of a pre-ban losing it's status and got an even more interesting response, and yes it does somewhat reflect the letter of the law, but at some point we need to step back from such letters and take a look at the actual reality of the situation. The reality I refer to is actual court cases, and actual practices. A studied look at court cases involving 18 U.S.C. section 922(v), and a glance around a gun show near you quickly shows a different situation. So what is this reality, nothing that resembles the fantasy land letters put out by the ATF, and the hypothetical debates taking place here. Walk around a large gun show and what do you see? Do you see 18 U.S.C. section 922(0) violations displayed on dealer's tables (yes, they can be found but you will have some difficulty finding one)? No, such dealer would be arrested and sent to the big house. You will see multiple 18 U.S.C. section 922(v) violations though, for example at the April 2002 Tulsa show I happened to spot the following: Steyr StG 58 kit on a Hesse receiver, unmodified flash hider/grenade launcher, there was at least two of these Steyr StG kit 58 on a type III Enterprise receiver, unmodified flash hider/grenade launcher Colt's Match Target with a 20" barrel, flash hider, and "bayonet mount" Bushmaster XM15E2S serial number 222,XXX set up as a "CAR-15" My personal favorite was two Romanian MK2s that a person that I will not name, removed the serialized numbered trunions from, installed Bulgarian AKSU kits on with no butt stock, he then engraved AK PISTOL on the trunion, and they were being sold as pre-ban assault pistols. This is a slick one that I would not expect a ignorant ATF agent to spot, because there are no markings on the receivers of these rifles, but any individual with a working knowledge of Kalashnikovs can spot this in a minute, oh yeah and the removed parts where on display for sale as well, hehe. In regards to actual court history consider US vs Indelicato, while this case did not involve a 18 U.S.C. section 922(v) prosecution it did address the grandfather clause found there in. The court found that the grandfather status of a pre-ban is lost once it is transferred to another individual. In short a more relevant and interesting issue involving 18 U.S.C. section 922(v) then the latest and greatest goofy letter put out by the ATF is the lack of enforcement. Why is it that the ATF is more interested in putting out letters, writing regs, and putting out "info" on their web site and in their dealer guide book then actual enforcement of 18 U.S.C. section 922(v)? In what will soon be eight years we know of three documented 922(v) prosecutions that being US vs Spinner, US vs Starr, and US vs Valentin. What are the two SKS cases you refer to?
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