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  • question about automatics

    i have a quick question about automatic weapons. i was under the impression that the manufacture of automatic weapons for the civilian market was restricted to imports from before a certain date. But on the show "sons of guns" they take a semi auto weapon and make it full auto. how does that work?

  • #2
    Without going into a long post:

    As a Class III manufacturer he is licensed to create fully automatic weapons for LEO, Goverment and other Class III dealers with proper paperwork. NOT FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC. Any fully automatic firearm legaly able to be owned by a civilian would have had to have been created and registered prior to teh FOPA and date of 5/19/86

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    • #3
      Exactly.

      It's kind of a messed up situation. For example in the last "Sons of Guns" episode he modified an M2 Browning back into full auto configuration. He wasn't bashful in the slightest about stating that it was "his" toy. It wasn't an LE demo or a military contract. It was just something for him to play with. Of course HE can't actually own it. His company owns it and if he ever surrenders his FFL/SOT he has to sell, destroy or surrender the weapon.

      There are a ton of rules that a SOT has to go through, but none are really "fair" when you compare them to the laws binding average citizens.
      "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
      8541tactical.com - Ammo Wallets

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      • #4
        Yeah, I've got a friend of mine that is a class III mfg, and he has plenty of "personal" toys. I was shooting an MP5K, UMP and an 8" suppressed upper on an M16 lower. Pretty sweet loophole, haha. He can also buy and sell machine guns with other class III dealers/mfg all he wants.
        Eat Meat, Build Mass!

        www.centralfloridaammo.com

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        • #5
          Problem is, though, if you don't actually sell some of them to eligible buyers, BATFE will decide that you're not really a dealer and revoke your license.
          "Son, you are a walkin' violation of the laws of nature...But we don't enforce them laws."

          I am just a country boy tryin' to make some sense
          But I'd like to ask the Congress, I'd like to ask the President
          "Can ya tell me where all the money went?"
          We might not be broke but we're badly bent!


          The Tractors -- "Badly Bent" from the album Owner's Manual

          "Common sense. So rare, it should be a super power." Exodus 259

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          • #6
            Short lesson.

            In 1934 the National Firearms Act was passed that required a $200.00 transfer tax for the transfer of Title II weapons (Machine Guns, Suppressors, Short Barrel Shotguns and Rifles) to the public. Any Other Weapons (AOW) are a $5.00 transfer tax.

            In 1968 the Omnibus Crime Control Act, also known as the "1968 Gun Control Act" prohibited the importation of Title II weapons, except for government agencies and dealers. The manufacture of new machine guns was still allowed. Title II weapons imported after 1968 were restricted to sales to PD and dealers, but it was allowed. These guns were called "Dealer Samples."

            In 1986 the "Firearms Owner's Protection Act" was passed which outlawed the transfer of newly manufactured machine guns to the general public. These weapons could still be manufactured by Class II manufactures and sold to Class III dealers or government agencies. For a Class III dealer to get one of these "post 86" weapons, a letter from a law enforcement agency was needed. In these letters LE requested that the dealer demonstrate the weapon to the department. These guns are referred to as "Post 1986 Dealer Sample." If a dealer shuts down they have to dispose of the 1986 Post Samples, by transferring them to another dealer, a government agency or destruction. If it is a "Pre 1986 sample" they may retain the weapon.

            Class II manufactures do not need the LE Letter to manufacture the post -86 machine gun. They can make as many as they want, but there is little market for them and they get traded or sold between dealers for "demonstrations." Obviously there are no PDs that are going to buy a post sample German WWII MG-42 for use, but there are departments that want demonstrations of the operation of these weapons.

            When talking to dealers the LE letters are often referred to as "love letters." BATFE has restricted the number of the same type of demo weapons per dealer to one to two, which does cause some grief for dealers who are actually demonstrating the weapons.

            The 1986 law is stupid and had resulted in a decrease in new machine guns being developed by the smaller shops as there is little market for them to make profit. It has not made the world any safer, but it made the anti gun people happy.
            Ut humiliter opinor

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            • #7
              thanks for the replies! Yes it was the episode with the M2 .50 cal machine gun that had me confused... he kept saying it is "MY" toy

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              • #8
                There is is a possibility that the .50 is transferable. When they passed the law in 1986 there were a number of Class II manufactures made a bunch of receivers and registered them before the deadline. RAMO made .50 cal during that period of time and I think they registered a bunch of side plates.

                The right side plate on .50 M2 MGs is "registered" part, IIRC, and there is a possibility that the side plate was transferable. When I watched the show the side plate looked completed and would have to be transferred to the Red Jacket. In other words, the guy just can't come in a plop it down on the counter and give it to Red Jacket. But it is TV and they sure do not explain the BATFE paperwork real well on the show.
                Ut humiliter opinor

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ddurkof View Post
                  The right side plate on .50 M2 MGs is "registered" part, IIRC, and there is a possibility that the side plate was transferable. When I watched the show the side plate looked completed and would have to be transferred to the Red Jacket. In other words, the guy just can't come in a plop it down on the counter and give it to Red Jacket. But it is TV and they sure do not explain the BATFE paperwork real well on the show.
                  On the show they actually talked about the portion that they had to machine out of the side plate to allow it to fire full auto. I don't believe this was a transferable. IIRC what he said it was worth was nowhere what a transferable M2 would go for. I believe it was old M2 parts and new side plates that they built into a newly manufactured machine gun.
                  "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
                  8541tactical.com - Ammo Wallets

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                  • #10
                    Before congress critters now is actually legislation to ammend the rules to allow licensed ammunition manufacturers ability to possess post sample machineguns because of a need to product test their product ammunition in firearms that they are designed to function in.

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