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Posted: 2/6/2003 11:46:31 PM EDT
Despite the recent disagreement/confusion over the status of transfers, there doesn't seem to be disagreement over what is required for exemption at the time the ban began. We've all seen it. [b]922(v)(1) It shall be unlawfull for a person to manufacture,transfer or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon. (2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to the possession or transfer of any semiautomatic assault weapon otherwise lawfully possessed under Federal law on the date of the enactmant of this subsection[/b] Two requirements. It must both 1)have met the definition of a semiautomatic assault weapon and 2)been lawfully possessed on "the date". We know that the definition of "semiautomatic assault weapon" requires that it be in firing configuratrion, not just a lower receiver. All of this is review (ho-hum). My concern is over the use of serial number [url=http://www.ar15.com/content/legal/serialNumberList.html]charts[/url] as proof that a firearm is exempt from 922(v)(1). They're fine as a guide but that's it. Let me provide a specific example. taken from the link posted earlier: [b]PWA (360) 438-3983 35222 and Below - Pre-Ban (Note:Some lowers are cast not forged. Out of business) Post-ban have a year prefix in the serial number. Rumored to have only sold lowers. [/b] I do not fault the writer for trying to be helpful and providing the best information he had available. That is exactly my intention as well. Here are the problems. PWA Inc. sold lower receivers only so there is no way for them to know which lowers would be in semiautomatic assault weapon configuration by 9/13/94. These lowers did not leave Pac West in exact serial number order so to claim all numbers below X are preban, as PWA Inc. has done, is impossible. Next, either PWA Inc. had a special secret exemption or the the number they are using was selected by someone who didn't understand the requirements. How they arrived at 35222 I have no idea. Here is the information that many of you will not want to accept - [red]*[/red]All numbers 30685 and below have the potential of qualifying under 922(v)(2). [red]*[/red]Numbers from 30686 to 33158 are mixed. Some may have the potential of qualifying under 922(v)(2) others will not. [red]*[/red]Numbers 33159 and above could not meet the provisions of 922(v)(2) as they left PWA Inc. as lowers only on or after 9/13/94. This means that numerous (a couple thousand) PWA Commando lowers may be being possessed or transferred under the misconception that they are exempt from the ban. Same may hold for other companies as well. I have no intention of explaining the above numbers. The best thing would be for you to [b]not[/b] take my word for it and begin to research the firearm(s) you own or are considering purchasing beyond just checking a chart somewhere. Again, no disrespect to those who have created the charts but "it said on a website" or "the guy I bought it from told me" isn't going to go to far if you're ever in the unfortunate situation of having to offer proof that your semiautomatic assault rifle is legal. What you discover and how you decide to handle that information is up to you. Thanks for taking the time to read.
Link Posted: 2/9/2003 8:40:38 PM EDT
I see wht you are saying and have sometimes wondered the same thing myself. But thats just about the only way ( for the out of busniess Brands ) to be " verifed " as a preban.. isnt there some thing that says that if an entire industry "does it this way" then that then becomes a legalaly accepted method of proof? What does Bushmaster and Colt say or ask when you call to verify preban status.....? Its the S/n isnt it? If Bushmaster And colt (major industty leaders and trend setters) can do that .. then can it be expected that must other small companys would use the same method.. Besides isnt the requirement to provide a "DOUBT" that is not an AW ...( and the date of manufature would help there hence the S/N lists) otherwise we (folks that own rifles from out of busbiess brands) would need a digital camrea photo of when that rifle came off the line and was shipped in order to be "legal" well... anyone know if the ATF "accepts" these lists that we all print out and carry around when we are looking for a preban .... as an accurate preban list?
Link Posted: 2/10/2003 4:33:39 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cluster: well... anyone know if the ATF "accepts" these lists that we all print out and carry around when we are looking for a preban .... as an accurate preban list?
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Yes, I know. No, they don't. The serial is immaterial unless the rifle was delivered as a complete rifle or complete kit from the manufacturer. What the list does tell you is those that are KNOWN to be post-ban. If the serial number is in the post-ban range, it's definitely post-ban. If the serial is in the pre-ban range, it *might* qualify as pre-ban. It's easiest with those rifles whose manufacturer's are still in business and can tell you if the rifle was a complete firearm or complete kit. Those that the factory says left as a receiver or lower only, but before the ban, could still wind up being pre-ban if you can get some documentation from the owner on or before 9/13/94.
Link Posted: 2/10/2003 4:55:32 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/11/2003 9:56:15 AM EDT
The way the law reads in order for a semiautomatic assault rifle be "grandfathered" it has to be legally owned on 09-13-94. So what status it was before that date don't matter. It had to be a semiautomatic assault rifle and legally owned on that one date to be "grandfathered". Most of these serial number guides give the impression that if the rifle was a semiautomatic on some day prior to 09-13-94 but not on that one day it is "grandfathered", but that is not what the actually law states. Just glad we only got about 20 more months of this B.S. In fact I am dumping my pre-bans soon, to cash in while the getten be good.
Link Posted: 2/11/2003 10:58:10 AM EDT
It's a good discussion and personally I believe what Troy said. For practical reasons the conclusion I've come to is for all practical purposes the vast majority will not have to test this law, and if so, can base the worst outcome as confiscation. Most of us don't plan on using our firearms in the commission of felonious acts, if so all bets are off. So, how will they find out? Let's say you have a house fire and a fireman finds your PWA in the closet, he hands it over to a policeman. The bored policeman "runs" it sees it could be "evil from the dark side." So he turns it over to the local DA or whatever. What's the case, you can't prove it is pre-ban but certainly could be. They can't prove it's not, and don't have to so it's 60 -40 their favor. Since that is the only charge they have on you I don't think they would pursue it. A jury could just say no for several reasons. I think they would pressure you to give it up to avoid charges. That's a sure win for them, at the least amount of effort and cost. Now, if you were cooking crack in your garage that starts the fire, you're on your own!
Link Posted: 2/14/2003 4:01:51 AM EDT
I've found the best thing to do ask for the bill of sale for the lower receiver with a bill of sale for a complete rifle kit both dated before the ban took effect with the lower purchase. It's about the only way to prove it was or could have been configured as an assault weapon before the ban. Just about everyone who bought a lower before the ban also bought a kit to build a rifle in hopes of making a killing on the price jump at that time.
Link Posted: 6/15/2003 6:45:52 AM EDT
Thanks for the info on the S/N usage. Regardless, I only paid $400, so I got a good deal. What path would you take to research this rifle's origin? PWA is supposedly out of business. Another thing I have noticed is that all of the PWAs I have seen on Gunbroker and Auctionarms are selling as Prebans.
Link Posted: 6/15/2003 9:14:33 AM EDT
Let's say you have a house fire and a fireman finds your PWA in the closet, he hands it over to a policeman. The bored policeman "runs" it sees it could be "evil from the dark side." So he turns it over to the local DA or whatever. What's the case, you can't prove it is pre-ban but certainly could be. They can't prove it's not, and don't have to so it's 60 -40 their favor. Since that is the only charge they have on you I don't think they would pursue it. A jury could just say no for several reasons. I think they would pressure you to give it up to avoid charges. That's a sure win for them, at the least amount of effort and cost.
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I'm not a lawyer--- But I believe this would constitute an illegal search, violating the 4th Ammendment and could not be used in court.
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