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Posted: 2/24/2002 6:49:44 AM EDT
I know that I am beating a dead horse here. But here is goes. I bought a lower receiver that was made in to a pre-ban rifle in Feb of 94, and have papers from the company that the receiver was made in Jan of 94. I also got a letter from the seller of the lower stated that the lower was build into a pre-ban rifle. I had him restripped the lower and send just the lower to me because I had all of my old parts from a friend rifle that the lower was damage. He send the lower to my FFL dealer and I put the rifle together. Now there is a guy on Gunbroker.com said that the lower lost it's grandfather in as a Pre-ban when it was restripped and resold. Is this true? Thanks for you time. BTN
Link Posted: 2/24/2002 10:37:02 PM EDT
That is ATFs current position that if the said preban is removed from it's evil features and sold stipped it looses it's preban status. Untill you just told us in a public forum about this rifle we all thought it was legal as pie. Thanks for ratting your self out.
Link Posted: 2/24/2002 11:20:32 PM EDT
If it says "Colt AR-15" on it, it is a named 921(a)(30) semiautomatic assault weapon and retains 922(v)(2) exemption, assuming the weapon was lawfully possessed on 9/13/1994. If it was a 921(a)(30) semiautomatic assault weapon by configuration only, then it ceased being a 921(a)(30) semiautomatic assault weapon when it was stripped, sold and shipped, and, according to a recent BATF letter ruling, lost it's 922(V)(2) exemption permanently.
Link Posted: 2/24/2002 11:30:48 PM EDT
Just one question.. Who was the stupid sonofabitch that had to go and ASK BATF if it was OK to rebuild a preban lower?
Link Posted: 2/25/2002 8:11:40 AM EDT
Glo1, They, the BATF, already had an opinion on the subject. Asking them what it was simply alerts the innocent gunowner to what the enforcers of the law might do in the event they choose to go after someone they think is breaking the law. Ignorance not being an acceptable defense to a criminal charge, remaining ignorant when the knowledge is freely and readily available would truely be the act of a "stupid sonofabitch." If you read the law, and interpret it correctly, the lower receiver for a named 921(a)(30) AW lawfully possessed on 9/13/1994 retains it's 922(v)(2) exemption independent of configuration. A lower receiver lawfully possessed on 9/13/1994 and assembled into 921(a)(30) AW congiguration on that date retains it's 922(v)(2) exemption only as long as remains in 921(a)(30) AW configuration, or as long as the owner retains sufficient parts to assemble a complete 921(a)(30) AW on that lower. If you had bothered to read the letter, you would have noted that BATF said that it was perfectly OK to dissassemble an AW for cleaning, maintenance and repair, and to replace parts on it.
Link Posted: 2/25/2002 8:49:46 AM EDT
This was one of the five commandments on the third tablet, the one that Moses dropped: The "trap" commandment: Thou Shalt Keep Thine Big Trap Shut. Nobody could have EVER proved that your lower had mutated from a legal pre-ban to a post-ban only configuration if you hadn't BLABBED. But then again, you didn't specify the brand and serial number, and you sold that one off to somebody else recently, then bought yourself a pre-ban rifle, didn't you? Of course you did. Nobody says otherwise. "I didn't do it. Nobody saw me do it. You can't prove a thing!"...Bart Simpson Wise words from Bart. Heed them. Not beating around the bush at all, here it is: If your lower is assembled in a pre-ban configuration, and it's a pre-ban lower by the ATF and manufacturer's serial number lists, then it's legal as a pre-ban configured rifle UNLESS THERE IS [red]PROOF[/red] THAT IT WAS STRIPPED AND RESOLD IN STRIPPED CONDITION. That's all I have to say. That should be enough. CJ
Link Posted: 2/25/2002 9:11:19 AM EDT
I have said it a million times and I will say it again...The opinion of some ATF Flunky is just that, an opinion. Any schoolkid who can tell you that the difference between an opinion and a fact. Hell, the difference between an opinion and a fact was question on the HSCT which used to be required to graduate high school (when I graduated). Opinion = Some ATF Flunky's interpretation of the law. Fact = The actual text of the law. Some other usefull terms: Seperation of Powers = Constitutional ban on the ATF interpreting law among other things. on the date of enactment = On the the day the law was passed. Not at any time before and not at any time after. Semi-Automatic Assault Weapon = An Oxymoron The general ATF opinion in the past is that once anything always that thing. This is how they dealt with MGs even though there is no such text in the NFA, Rifles even though once the stock and barrel are removed it no longer ahs the features to be a rifle, pistol even though it can also be stripped of the necessary features. If the ATF were to apply this opinion across the board then, once the barrel and stock are removed from a rifle it would no loger be a rifle and could be rebuilt w/ no stock and a 7.5" barrel. Try doing that sometime and you will be arrested for having a Short Barrel Rifle. Here is the more important one. If you take a pistol and remake it into a rifle, it retains its pistol exemption. Therefore, you can remove the stock and drop the barrel back below 16" w/o having an SBR. So, no matter what the ATF supporters here say, the ATF has not kept their opinions straight. SBR Pre-Ban status is a perfect example of ATF Lunacy. They issued an opinion that SBRs lose Pre-Ban status upon becoming SBRs. But, that opinion was directly contradicted by a later opinion. Now, here is the most important thing. Seperation of Powers. Constitutionally, the ATF has no authority to issue opinions. IN fact, this is a violation of the seperation of powers. They cannot interpret the law or make laws. They can only enforce it. Similarly, Congress cannot interpret or enforce law. Nor can the courts, enforce or make laws.
Link Posted: 2/25/2002 9:22:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/25/2002 9:24:12 AM EDT by cc48510]
Here is the original post. [url]http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?id=74364[/url]
Link Posted: 2/25/2002 9:31:30 AM EDT
Just because the ATF thinks they can write a letter stating that pre-ban lowers, if not specifically named, will lose their pre-ban status if disassebled and/or sold without pre-ban features, does not make it "law"...
Link Posted: 2/25/2002 9:34:20 AM EDT
Why our beloved Dave_G wrote that letter. Dave_G, ATF doesn’t have an official opnions until someone such as yourself forces them to make a determination, or they’ve published it in the past. That’s the reason pro-gun groups suggest people like you don’t bother them with your petty insecurities. Prior to this, there was no written determination on the subject, (that I’m aware off). Furthermore we’re all aware of the nature of ATF letters of determination. Well, maybe you’re not. As for the whole “named” concept. I’ve read [b]your[/b] letter several times. At least the one you claim was the entire letter. No where does it suggest that “named” semi-auto assault weapons are somehow immune to the issue of forfeiting status. In fact the letter appears to suggest that even a “named” weapon would loose it’s status if broken down into parts an sold. Unless of course you lied to me and that was not the complete letter. Dave_G, you don’t appear to be reading and comprehending the letter correctly. May I suggest you let sleepy dog lay next time. R/K
Link Posted: 2/25/2002 9:41:09 AM EDT
Here's the letter in question. Dave_G, could point out the exact place where in excludes "named" semi-auto assault weapons?
Originally Posted By Dave_G: DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND FIREARMS WASHINGTON, DC 20226 NOV 1 6 2001 Dear Mr. XXXXXXXXXX: This refers to your letter of March 19, 2001, in which you ask about the status of certain semiautomatic assault weapons which have been altered to another configuration. As defined in section 921(a)(30), of Title 18, United States Code (U.S.C:), the term "semiautomatic assault weapon" includes certain named weapons and certain semiautomatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns that have a combination of enumerated features. Title 18 U.S.C. section 922(v)(1) prohibits manufacture, transfer, and possession of semiautomatic assault weapons; however, section 922(v)(2) provides that any semiautomatic assault weapon that was lawfully possessed under Federal law on September 13, 1994, is excluded from the prohibition. A frame or receiver of a semiautomatic assault weapon, meets the definition of a "firearm" in 18 U.S.C. section 921(a)(3); however, a firearm frame or receiver alone, without the additional qualifying features, does not meet the definition of a "semiautomatic assault weapon" in section 921(a)(30). Therefore, a firearm frame or receiver does not meet the exemption in section 922(v)(2). We have also determined that a semiautomatic assault weapon in knockdown (unassembled) condition consisting of a receiver and all parts needed to assemble a complete semiautomatic assault weapon are subject to regulation if the parts are segregated or packaged together and held by a person as the parts for the assembly of a particular firearm.
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Link Posted: 2/25/2002 9:42:23 AM EDT
Cont:
Originally Posted By Dave_G: You describe an AR15 type rifle that met the definition of a semiautomatic assault weapon and was lawfully possessed on September 13, 1994. At some subsequent time the rifle was temporarily reassembled in a configuration such that it no longer had the qualifying features of a semiautomatic assault weapon. You asked if the original components could then be lawfully reinstalled on the rifle. Provided that the original components were held by the owner and reinstalled on the rifle, it is our opinion that the rifle would still qualify as an exempted semiautomatic assault weapon even though it had been temporarily assembled in a different configuration. We note, that mere disassembly of a semiautomatic weapon by an owner would not remove the firearm from the definition of a semiautomatic assault weapon nor would the reassembly constitute manufacture of a prohibited semiautomatic assault weapon. Your second question concerns a semiautomatic assault weapon that also meets the exemption in section 922(v)(2). However, this firearm was disassembled and the receiver, without other components, was sold. Since the receiver is no longer possessed with all parts necessary to assemble a complete semiautomatic assault weapon, it no longer meets the definition of a semiautomatic assault weapon. The receiver does not meet the exemption in section 922(v)(2) and assembly of this firearm in the configuration of a semiautomatic assault weapon would be prohibited under section 922(v)(1). If you are interested in determining the status of a particular receiver or semiautomatic assault weapon, you should contact the manufacturer or importer and ask about the date that it was manufactured and the configuration at the time of sale. It may also be necessary to contact subsequent dealers and owners who possessed the firearm. We regret the delay in responding to your inquiry. If you have further questions concerning this matter, please contact us. Sincerely yours, Curtis H.A. Bartlett Chief, Firearms Technology Branch
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Link Posted: 2/25/2002 10:15:35 AM EDT
Originally Posted By cc48510: Similarly, Congress cannot interpret or enforce law. Nor can the courts, enforce or make laws.
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FYI... The courts can make laws. Congress can look at what the courts have done and enact statutes codifying the decisions or reduce the decisions to worthless paper if they so choose.
Link Posted: 2/25/2002 10:18:19 AM EDT
So, is that letter stating that if you have a pre-ban receiver, that was never assembled with more than one evil feature, then you cannot ever convert it to a pre-ban configuration???
Link Posted: 2/25/2002 1:29:57 PM EDT
The BATF's "self-enacted right" to both make and enforce laws may not be Constitutional (it isn't), and may not even be legal (it isn't) in any way that is traceable to the powers of Congress or the Constitution or Bill of Rights (they're not), but their legal interpretation of the laws, and enforcement of them, IS backed up in most courts. Being right and being in jail with an unjust felony conviction is still being in jail with a felony record, right or wrong. Don't write checks you're not totally willing to have cashed. Don't break the law (good law or bad law) unless you're willing to pay the price. Assume that the odds of getting caught are against you. I think that's pretty solid advice. CJ
Link Posted: 2/25/2002 2:10:07 PM EDT
Nope, the law says it had to have been assembled in AW Config. on 9/14/1994. It doesn't matter what happened to it before or after that date (NFA, etc... excepted). If a receiver was never built then it can only be a Pre-Ban if it is a named Receiver. For example, a Colt AR-15 Receiver even if never assembled is a Pre-Ban. But, an Armalite that has never been built is a Post-Ban. This dicussion is whether the exemption is forever. Based on the pistol/rifle and machine gun rulings by the ATF it should be a permanent exemption. Basically, if it was assembled as an AW on 9/14/1994, then it is always a Pre-Ban no matter how it is reconfigured. But, the ATF believes that once you configure it as a Post-Ban it permanently loses Pre-Ban status. The issue I bring up is that an AK with no stock and a 10" Barrel can be a Pistol or a Rifle depending on how it was assembled on the receiver. This means that if you take an AK receiver and build it w/o a stock and a 10" Barrel then it is a pistol. But, you can add a 16" barrel and stock and it becomes a rifle. But, you can change it back to a pistol by removing the stock and using a 10" Barrel. But, if it was originally built with a stock, then removing it doesn't make it a Pistol. And, making it in the exact same config. would constitute an SBR. So, essentially, once it is assembled as a Rifle it is always a rifle. So, it cannot be made into a pistol or it would be an SBR. But, if it was originally made as a pistol then it can be made into a rifle and later be made back into a pistol even though it was no longer a pistol. Why ? Because, it is always a Pistol. The Receiver takes on the quialities and exemptions of the 1st complete gun it was built into even lacking the necessary features. Basically, Pre-Bans are like Pistols. They can be reconfigured as Post-Ban and later reconfigured as Pre-Ban because they are always Pre-Bans. Much like a rifle, a Pre-Ban non-named receiver can never be made into a pre-ban unless it was that way on 9/14/1994 no matter when the receiver was made.
Originally Posted By Energizer: So, is that letter stating that if you have a pre-ban receiver, that was never assembled with more than one evil feature, then you cannot ever convert it to a pre-ban configuration???
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Link Posted: 2/25/2002 5:03:08 PM EDT
A few points: First, BATF (or any federal agency, for that matter) DO have some authority to interpret the law and make determinations necessary to carry out the duty of enforcing the law. When Congress writes a law, they usually leave out lots of details. In enforcing the law, the agancy has to 'fill in the blanks' to apply the law to specific circumstances. Basicly, the law is very general; Congress can't make a law that addresses every possible factual scenario. Its up to the agencies to apply the law to the facts of a particular situation, and that usually involves some level of interpreting the law and applying it to the facts. Second, when it comes to these determinations, the federal courts give strong deference to the agency opinion. The courts view the agencies as expert in their particular field and hesitate to get involved in technical matters best left for the 'experts'. Accordingly, the standard of review for challenging most agency determinations is 'arbitrary and capricious'. Third, whether a letter is written to BATF or BATF has issued an advisory opinion on a certain matter is irrelevant to the scope of what you can or cannot legally do. Even without a prior formal ruling or even a prior advisory opinion, an agency can make such a determination as they are in the process of a first-time prosecution. That is; they can make their opinion as they are prosecuting you. Getting an advisory opinion merely alerts you to their current thinking on the matter. There is no requirement that they have a formal ruling or advisory opinion on a specific issue before they can prosecute on it. Finally, I have to agree with CMJohnson - its good advice...
Don't write checks you're not totally willing to have cashed. Don't break the law (good law or bad law) unless you're willing to pay the price. Assume that the odds of getting caught are against you.
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Link Posted: 2/25/2002 6:06:44 PM EDT
Thanks. Incidentally, the BATF is unique in that it is the only agency that both interprets AND enforces the laws within its jurisdiction. This is, of course, a highly dangerous situation that lends itself to abuses of power. I would welcome a Presidential order or Congressional decision that strips enforcement authority from the BATF and hands it to the FBI, which is as it SHOULD be. No agency should be able to make up laws or rules on the spot! But that's what the BATF can and DOES do! It's highly illegal, but try to get anyone in power to listen... CJ
Link Posted: 2/25/2002 7:25:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/26/2002 4:07:36 PM EDT by Dave_G]
Road Kill, Perhaps I am giving you credit for being smarter than you actually are. I'll try again...Oh! And I could care less if you disapprove of my use of the acronym "SAW" in this context. [b]As defined in section 921(a)(30), of Title 18, United States Code (U.S.C:), the term "semiautomatic assault weapon" includes certain named weapons and certain semiautomatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns that have a combination of enumerated features. Title 18 U.S.C. section 922(v)(1) prohibits manufacture, transfer, and possession of semiautomatic assault weapons; however, section 922(v)(2) provides that any semiautomatic assault weapon that was lawfully possessed under Federal law on September 13, 1994, is excluded from the prohibition.[/b] A named 921(a)(30) semiautomatic assault weapon [blue](hereinafter, "SAW")[/blue] is [b]always a SAW[/b], and if lawfully possessed on 9/13/1994, is 922(v)(2) exempt regardless of configuration. Read 18 USC 921(A)(30). It reads in part: [b](30) The term ''semiautomatic assault weapon'' means - (A) any of the [b]firearms[/b], or copies or duplicates of the firearms in any caliber, known as - ... (iv) Colt AR-15; [/b] Therefore, a stripped AR-15 receiver, a firearm by definition under 18 USC 921(A)(3), is a SAW under 18 USC 921(a)(30). 18 USC 922(v)(1) & (2) apply to weapon that is a SAW by configuration under 921(a)(30) only while they are so configured. The BATF theory is that once the weapon no longer meets the configuration criteria, 922(v)(1) & (2) no longer apply and the exemption, if any, is lost. I don't necessarily agree with the last part, but it is consistant with their other opinions on the subject. If you dispute my interpretation of the BATF letter, write your own letter to the Firearms Technology Branch, give them a very detailed question and await their response. As for the SBR question, the second opinion corrected the first erroneous one. It was the appropriate thing to do when the mistake was discovered. And I agree with shaggy. cmjohnson's advice is right on target. An afterthought...The FAA writes and enforces the FAR's. In virtually every instance of disciplinary action taken against a pilot, there is no right to an appeal outside the FAA's adjudication process. Be happy that the BATF must prosecute you in the relatively neutral grounds of the federal court system.
Link Posted: 2/25/2002 10:16:13 PM EDT
From the letter:
Originally Posted By Dave_G: A frame or receiver of a semiautomatic assault weapon, meets the definition of a "firearm" in 18 U.S.C. section 921(a)(3); however, a firearm frame or receiver alone, without the additional qualifying features, does not meet the definition of a "semiautomatic assault weapon" in section 921(a)(30). Therefore, a firearm frame or receiver does not meet the exemption in section 922(v)(2).
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The paragraph doesn’t differentiate between a “named” semi-auto assault weapon or one with “qualifying features”. It simply stated “a frame or receiver of a semiautomatic assault weapon.”. Thus it could be construed that a Colt AR-15 receiver without the “qualifying features” does not meet the exemption. I’m not saying the above statement is correct, only that it’s a possible interpretation. More notable, no where does the letter specify that “named” models are exempt from losing their exemption 922(v)(2). As you would have people believe. If anything, your letter has destroyed the guaranteed exemption that a named model once possessed.
Link Posted: 2/25/2002 10:31:08 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cmjohnson: This was one of the five commandments on the third tablet, the one that Moses dropped: The "trap" commandment: Thou Shalt Keep Thine Big Trap Shut. Nobody could have EVER proved that your lower had mutated from a legal pre-ban to a post-ban only configuration if you hadn't BLABBED. But then again, you didn't specify the brand and serial number, and you sold that one off to somebody else recently, then bought yourself a pre-ban rifle, didn't you? Of course you did. Nobody says otherwise. "I didn't do it. Nobody saw me do it. You can't prove a thing!"...Bart Simpson Wise words from Bart. Heed them. Not beating around the bush at all, here it is: If your lower is assembled in a pre-ban configuration, and it's a pre-ban lower by the ATF and manufacturer's serial number lists, then it's legal as a pre-ban configured rifle UNLESS THERE IS [red]PROOF[/red] THAT IT WAS STRIPPED AND RESOLD IN STRIPPED CONDITION. That's all I have to say. That should be enough. CJ
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NO FUCKING SHIT! when will we learn that the 5th ammendment is to remind us to shut our stupid traps!
Link Posted: 2/26/2002 4:14:30 PM EDT
Road Kill, A Colt AR-15, so marked, is always a semiautomatic assault weapon and 18 USC 922(v)(1) and, if appropriate, 18 USC 922(v)(2) allways apply. If you dispute my interpretation of the BATF letter, write your own letter to the Firearms Technology Branch, give them a very detailed question and await their response.
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