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Posted: 10/5/2002 6:26:51 PM EDT
With all of the BS hype the ATF is doing by parading out AR-15's and the like over these Maryland killings, I thought that I would share with you what happened to me. I wanted to build an STG-58 off of an Imbel receiver and Austrian STG-58 parts kit. So, being the consciences citizen that I am I called the local ATF office here in Kansas City to find out just what parts and how many I needed to build a legal gun? The first guy I talked to had no idea what I was taking about. He didn't even know what type of gun I was taking about even after I went into detail and was explaining to him it was an FAL variant. He told me that his department was only responsible for chasing after the "bad guys" (his exact words) and passed me on to someone else in the office. But, he was polite and honest. I talked to a pleasant woman who also had no idea of what was going on. She gave me the phone number of a special division at ATF HQ in DC that handles these types of issues. So, I called the number. The person on who I talked to at least knew what type of rifle I was talking about but did not know what US made parts were required. His advice, "don't worry, the gunsmith or company that you send it to have it built will know." After this experience, it is no wonder that these guys are so clueless in dealing with makes and models.
Link Posted: 10/5/2002 6:31:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/5/2002 6:37:40 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/5/2002 6:42:48 PM EDT
Well, it did not bother me so much that the field office people didn't know which parts to use. What surprised me is that neither one knew what an FAL is. It is probably number two or three for use by the military in countries around the world behind the AK. Also, how can these guys make a decision in the field whether to arrest someone or not if they can't tell if the gun is a legal preban or not? The guy's answer at ATF HQ seemed a little irresponsible on their part. I'm sure that if for some reason I ever ended up in court over this because the gunsmith I hired only used 8 instead of 9 parts they would try to put the blame on me that I was suppose to know the law.
Link Posted: 10/5/2002 6:46:11 PM EDT
It is not in the ATF's best interests to help you. They "only go after the bad guys". One you have screwed up by misassembling the weapon you are a bad guy, and suddenly they will become quite knowledgeable in the area of parts numbers and FALs. It was nice of you to call them first and let them know that you might not be building a properly configured rifle. But then I have been accused of being overly cautious, so maybe this is the paranoid ranting of a mildly diseased mind that is eager to avoid federal prision.
Link Posted: 10/5/2002 7:41:50 PM EDT
My BATF experiences have run from one end of the spectrum to the other. I've talked to people who were not much more than bodies answering the telephone, to guys who're gun nuts as big as me. Hard to say what you'll encounter.
Link Posted: 10/5/2002 8:29:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/5/2002 8:31:02 PM EDT by Arock]
My last misadventure with BATF was importing a 1886 vintage English shotgun. As BATF does not have jurisdiction over firearms manufactured prior to some date in 1892, I attempted to CMA by calling the Dallas BATF office and speaking to a mildly interested agent. He sent me to an office in DC to get a Form (6?). Duly received and filed months ahead of anticipated import date. Finally received the returned form and lo and behold it is stamped NOT APPROVED. What the h-e-double-l? Called my lawyer and he says they stamp it that way because they can't APPROVE or REJECT it cause it's out of their jurisdiction so they stamp it NOT APPROVED which doesn't mean anything. Dumbasses. Edited to add the only reason I went through the exercise is Customs wouldn't release the shotgun without the ATF form 6. Dumbasses too.
Link Posted: 10/5/2002 8:43:53 PM EDT
So what became of the shotgun?
Link Posted: 10/5/2002 8:57:14 PM EDT
This US parts count thing is a technicality, who the hell in the field is going to know what parts they are, know how to disassemble your weapon, and know how to spot the US vs imported parts? Barely anyone at the ATF knows because even if they all did they couldn't do jack shit about it. Law is only there to tack extra charges onto someone that they bust for something else...
Link Posted: 10/5/2002 9:18:08 PM EDT
You don't call local ATF offices with a technical firearms question. In order to get a "somewhat" correct answer, you must submit your question in writing to the chief of the Tech branch, which is called the "compliance" branch or some such now, IIRC.
Link Posted: 10/5/2002 9:59:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/5/2002 10:07:39 PM EDT by Arock]
Originally Posted By Jim_Dandy: So what became of the shotgun?
View Quote
Brought it in through a guy in CT. Slicker'n owl snot. Just shipped it direct to me like a pair of old shoes. It's an 1886 Boss & Co. serial in the 3XXX range. It's nice. George Caswell over in Enid wants it but I'm hanging on to it. George can suffice with a matching pair of my Arrietas. You can see THEM at... [url]www.champlinarms.com/gundetail.cfm?id=868[/url] [img]http://www.champlinarms.com/gunphotos/arrietapry985.jpg[/img] Shameless promotion...
Link Posted: 10/5/2002 10:17:19 PM EDT
This is in the end why I dont bother being anal over it. 9/10 the only people who are going to report you for violations are other gunners who are obsessed with the letter of the law. In the past four years, three gun purchases from major papered dealers have been of rifles I later learned were violating secion 922r of the BATF code, one of the dealers has been audited by the ATF in that time and got a clean bill of health when I SAW, clearly 922r violation rifles in their shop on display during such audits. I've made it a point to talk to ATF agents on as many occasions as I could. To be honest if you cant beat 'em, I figured I might look into joining the tech branch. Lets me play with guns for a living right? Anyhow, as these posts have confirmed what I discovered, they're more concerned with the proper form than what you've got in your gunsafe at home. Do something to piss the government off otherwise? Watchout, like Elliot Ness and Al Capone. They may never pick you up on a AWB violation but if they pick you up for something else they'll fry you with every violation in the safe as well as every time you ever spit on the street or j-walked. Of course, I dont actually own any guns either. Lost during a tragic fishing accident. I took my safe along to hold my beers and it fell overboard. Tragic tragic accident. Crater Lake Oregon too- one of the deepest around. ;) Ryan
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