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Gun laws and Iraq

I’ve noted in the past how gun laws (notably the Assault Weapons Ban) had made it hard for troops to get adequate supplies. For example, the military magazines for the M9 pistol had spring issues and there was a shortage of the magazines and springs because there was no civilian market for regular capacity magazines (see here and here). Also, there were reports that AR15 regular capacity magazines were harder to come by because the Army’s supply was old and no one was making new ones without an interest from the civilian market.

Now, gun laws are again having a detrimental effect on the efforts in Iraq. An acquaintance of mine has accepted a job as a contractor in Iraq. He is a policeman and has been contracted to serve in a consulting capacity with Iraqi police forces for one year. It’s a sweet deal in that he gets a pretty healthy salary; three trips home for vacation; and his wages are exempt from federal taxation. Of course, it does run the risk of getting him killed. There are many, many other policemen doing the same thing.

He must provide his own weapons for the job (though I would assume he’d have access to some when he gets there). As such, I was asked if I could build him some AR15s, if he bought the parts then I would assemble them. He wants an AR15 for a variety of reasons but notably because with the US military there, parts can be found. He wants two AR15s. One with a 10.5 inch barrel and telescoping stock (at least the AWB is gone, and he can get a telescoping stock legally) for use inside a vehicle; and one with a 16 inch barrel for longer range stuff. I informed him that the 16 inch would be no problem at all. However, to get a 10.5 inch barreled AR, he would have to go the National Firearms Act route and fill out an application to make a short-barreled-rifle; pay the $200 tax; get approval from the chief law enforcement officer in his area; and then wait for 3 to 6 months for approval from the ATF. He’s leaving sooner than that. And I won’t build one because I’d go to jail.

It never came up, but I’m sure he would want them to have full-auto/three shot burst fire control groups as well. If I were in Iraq, I would. Of course, if I built one of those for him, that would be making a machine gun and he and I would go to jail. And, since 1986, there can be no new transfers of machine guns to civilians.

So, we have a guy going to Iraq, contracted by the feds, who can’t equip himself with the weapons he needs/wants. Now, he can wait and get those weapons when he arrives in Iraq. And he could spend about $100 on an AK-47 off the street while he’s there too. However, he wants to get his weapons now so that he can function test them, take them to the range, break them in, and familiarize himself with these weapons before arriving in the combat zone. It’d suck to get there and realize your AR was faulty.

12 Responses to “Gun laws and Iraq”

  1. Kim du Toit Says:

    He should just shoot off a couple of AKs while he’s here, and pick a good one up when he gets there.

    No need to build him something in a poodleshooter chambering, after all.

  2. SayUncle Says:

    I recommended he get one of the Springfield M1A SOCOMs. Nice, civilian-legal and plenty effective without being full-auto.

  3. GMontag Says:

    He is getting ripped off!!!

    As only your $80,000 is exempt from fedtax (IIF you meet the 330 day rule) he must be making less than that while there!

    Tell him to stay home or find a different firm.

  4. SayUncle Says:

    Guy, special exemption, the full amount is tax free. Plus he gets free room, board, and grub. ‘Bout $150K cash for the year. Considering the average East Tennessee cop makes about $25K, not too bad.

  5. Gullyborg Says:

    This is a very insightful and informative post. I’d like to include this one in the next Carnival of Cordite (you can submit additional posts if you like–we can print more than one).

    Thanks for bringing this issue to our attention.

  6. SayUncle Says:

    Feel free to include it.

  7. robert Says:

    At Least Sarah Brady is happy.

  8. Fox Says:

    She isn’t… not yet.

  9. Sigivald Says:

    More accurately, no machinegun made since 1986 can be transferred to a civilian.

    New transfers of older guns are legal.

  10. SayUncle Says:

    You are correct, sigivald. Typed in a rush.

  11. The Comedian Says:

    Have him put the 10.5″ upper on an only-ever-a-pistol AR Receiver. Function testing can take place on the pistol lower.

    Put the upper on a stocked AR only after he hits the ground in Iraq.

    That way he never made an SBR while in a territory covered by the NFA.

  12. SayUncle Says:

    I suggested the same thing 🙂