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Posted: 2/20/2002 2:43:19 PM EDT
What are the laws regaurding pre 1981 auto sears for the AR-15? The ATF considders any M16 parts in your AR to be a machinegun, so how can it be legal for a civilian to own an autosear without ATF approval? What I mean by this is that in a few issues of Shotgun News that I have there is a guy selling pre-81 autosears and he says "No paperwork, no FFL". What exactly is the story on these parts?
Link Posted: 2/20/2002 3:35:42 PM EDT
The deal is extremely simple: They're not legal to possess if you own a rifle that they might fit into. Period. If you don't have a rifle they might fit into, they may make interesting cufflinks but that's practically their only legitimate use. The ads in Shotgun news that have people offering them often have addresses in Virginia, which is home base for the BATF, and the address may have TPF in it, which means To Prison Fast as far as anyone can tell. There is NO way to legally use one for its intended purpose. End of story. They're a waste of a penny if they cost a penny. Part of the problem is, NONE of them that were made prior to 1981 are marked with a manufacturer, part number, or manufacturing date code. Besides that, even if there was one that was marked as such, and was actually marked prior to 1981, the ATF has ruled that they're illegal anyway. Don't respond to the ads. CJ
Link Posted: 2/21/2002 3:00:27 AM EDT
JsARCLIGHT, Just do a search in "pre-81" or the such. Your question will more than be answered. Hope this helps.
Link Posted: 2/21/2002 5:35:21 AM EDT
Thanks for the feedback, cmjohnson. I had no intention of buying one as I already knew that they required all the illegal M16 guts to operate anyway. It just makes me wonder why some of this stuff is advertised, like autosears and bonded template recievers. It seems to me that Class II's are the only folks who can use this stuff and then they can't even sell it because it would be a post-86 demo model. Just more fuel for the anti-gun lobby to make us law abiding owners look like criminals.
Link Posted: 2/21/2002 2:40:58 PM EDT
There is currently no legal way to use them. Owning one is a legal risk. Half of them may well be illegal Post-81 DIASes. The only reasons I can see as to owning one would be in the far off chance that the BATF is forced to amnesty them as Transferrable MGs. Currently, as stated this is extremely unlikely. The ATF won't do it on their own, so a Federal Court Decision would be required. Since the ATF doesn't listen to any court lower than SCOTUS (As shown in Southern Mississippi where 922(o) was ruled illegal by a Federal District Court. The ATF declined to appeal it to the 5th Circuit, but still won't take a Form 1 for a MG in S. MS). Basically, SCOTUS would have to rule that the ATF never had the authority to Grandfather DIASes and therefore must amnesty previously Grandfathered DIASes. Even if they were ordered to, it is likely the ATF would make it a living hell for anybody trying to amnesty register. Likely ATF response: "We cannot confirm this DIAS is Pre-81. You are under arrest." The only other situation would be if Congress were to pass a law making certain parts MGs, but not the the guns they are on. Such a situation would be if they ruled a certain bolt, fire control, etc...to be a Machine Gun. Then, the ATF would have to amensty the current supply. Since, the gun wouldn't be a MG, you couldn't drill a sear hole. The only legal way to convert it would be with a Pre-81 DIAS or by using enough M16 parts to make it slam fire (DANGEROUS). But, all of these are extremely unlikely to happen. So, as a result I wouldn't even touch a DIAS (except an RDIAS on a Form 4) until it appears that such a decision would be made or ruling happen or law passed.
Link Posted: 2/21/2002 3:14:46 PM EDT
On the subject of amnesties, my understanding is congress has DEMANDED that the ATF repair the NFA registry (which is in a sorry state, at best) and has allocated half a million dollars for this task. It is possible that an amnesty will result from this (frankly, I doubt there's any other way to "fix" the registry.) If it happens, my plan is to transfer my AR to a trusted friend, acquire several "pre-81" DIASs, and register them (probably having to pay the $200 making tax for each one.) Hey, leave me alone-- I can DREAM can't I? :)
Link Posted: 2/21/2002 3:28:02 PM EDT
Technically, the ATF cannot create a restrictive amnesty. Basically, it says if they are amnestying 1 AR-15, they must amnesty them all. Basically, if they were to hold an amnesty...then they would have to amnesty any MG if a form was submitted. Previous amnesties have been on a different Form than a Form 1 or 4. These special Forms aren't supposed to require a CLEO signoff or any other requirements except for that the gun is otherwise legal. So, the only thing you would have to do is fill out the form and mail it in. No $200, no signoff, nada. But, there is a unique problem that arises...922(o) makes it illegal to make a MG. So, if the ATF wishes to to hold an amesty they will have to suspend 922(o). Otherwise, the act of registering would constitute self-incrimination. Therefore, anybody who failed to register could get the case overturned as they would have been compelled to incriminate themselves by registering. BTW, if they did do this...The NFA Registry would expand exponentialy overnight. The market would be flooded with millions of new transferrable MGs. You would be paying $700 for an M16 like SOTs do.
Link Posted: 2/21/2002 4:05:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cc48510: But, there is a unique problem that arises...922(o) makes it illegal to make a MG. So, if the ATF wishes to to hold an amesty they will have to suspend 922(o). Otherwise, the act of registering would constitute self-incrimination. Therefore, anybody who failed to register could get the case overturned as they would have been compelled to incriminate themselves by registering.
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Hence the pre-81 DIAS angle--technically, as a granfathered item, one would not be making a new machine gun under 922(o) Like I said, dammit, let me dream! [:)]
BTW, if they did do this...The NFA Registry would expand exponentialy overnight. The market would be flooded with millions of new transferrable MGs. You would be paying $700 for an M16 like SOTs do.
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Here's hoping. The idea of a few million transferrable machine guns being added to the registry fills me with the warm fuzzies.
Link Posted: 2/21/2002 4:18:02 PM EDT
If they would suspend 922(o) for 24 hours, America's SOTs could produce alot of MGs in that amount of time. So, what exactly can the President do with an executive order ? I wonder if we elected a good president (Pro-Gun) if he could suspend 922(o) while Congress is in recess and give us a short breather in which MGs can be made in compliance with the NFA until congress returned. I would love to be Secretary of the Treasury. Technically, the Sec. of the Treas. can allow people to get and/or build MGs for Scientific Research. So, somebody needs to tell Bush's Treas. Sec. to get on it and write up a form that we can use to request permission to get a MG for Research. I'd like to research how it feels to own a MG.
Link Posted: 2/21/2002 4:40:05 PM EDT
That information on the BATF getting a half a million dollars to straighten out the NFA registry is correct. But, even the BATF has admitted that the records are too screwed up to be able to repair them entirely without another amnesty registration period, which for some reason they'd rather not do. BUT, (and this is the juicy part), there is but ONE authority that can declare an amnesty period, and that authority is the Attorney General, John "The Second Amendment applies to Individuals" Ashcroft, who's as close to a friend as gun owners have had in the A.G.'s office since before 1968. This is a VERY hopeful situation! Look at it this way: Congress DEMANDS that the BATF straighten out their records. The only way to do it is with an amnesty registration period. And the only one who can declare that amnesty period is decidedly pro-gun. This is NOT a complex logic puzzle. I firmly predict that there WILL be an amnesty registration period in the near future. I also predict that while it will be publicized as it has to be, it will be publicized as quietly as the government can possibly get away with. The announcement will be buried in the back of the legal notices in the most obscure government publication you can find, if they can get away with it. I don't know if it's possible to have a 'selective' amnesty registration for MG's, or if it has to be an open gate affair, branding every cow that wanders in regardless of its age, sex, and condition, even the dead ones. If it IS an open gate affair, then suddenly I see a use for all those M16 parts kits you can find on ebay at any given moment...! But the prices will climb, I betcha. Yes, I could manage 200 bucks...make that 400...(plus parts) to pay the taxes on two AR's that need just a single extra hole to accept GI autosears. But I wouldn't do it until the amnesty period came into effect (and before it ended, of course) and had sure knowledge that the conversion would be legal and registerable. However, I would not be surprised to discover that some wiseass in Congress would try to get the tax changed from 200 bucks (which was a large sum of money back in 1934) to a correspondingly large sum of money in today's terms, like maybe 2000! As we know, the basis for regulation of machineguns is tax law, and as Al Capone could have told you, tax laws can put you in jail when the criminal justice system can't. CJ
Link Posted: 2/23/2002 7:47:56 AM EDT
Cmjohnson, I don't think Ashcroft is as pro-gun as he appears to be (why hasn't he acted on the Ashcroft peition? Why did he even need to be petitioned to begin with?) but that's beyond the scope of this conversation. Unfortunately, you're incorrect about who has the authority to declare an amnesty--it's not the AG, is the Secretary of the Treasury (the BATF's boss.) As for the tax issues, cc48510 mentioned (and after checking, it seems to be true) that amnesties are tax free.... :) If this happens, I might just go looking for those full auto Glock plans... :)
Link Posted: 2/23/2002 9:30:12 AM EDT
I'm from Ashcroft's home state of Missouri and I can say that when he was in office here he did little to nothing to help the gun owners and it makes me think he won't do anything federally either. Remember that Missouri under Ashcroft had no changes to it's status as only a C&R state and the right to carry bill was voted down (but is back on the state senate floor again no thanks to Ashcroft). I seriously doubt that if he had the authority to do something like this that he would.
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