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Machine Gun Scam

Over at subguns, they’re talking about ATF confiscating some machine guns. Seems that some dishonest people take the serial number of a cheaper machine gun (like a MAC) that is registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR – the national database that contains a list of transferable MGs and other NFA weapons) and convert said cheap weapon to a more expensive weapon. In the case, someone took the transferable MAC (worth about $3K) and fudged paperwork so that it was a transferable Browning (worth $15K). Four years later (and after congress told ATF to get it’s NFRTR shit together), ATF realizes that the gun registered was in fact a MAC and not a BAR. ATF shows up to take the gun. A few things:

1 – there are some shady dealers of NFA weapons out there so be careful;

2 – the guy involved is out his money, his gun, and any parts he could sell to offset losses. He’s a out a good chunk of change;

3 – A machine gun transfer takes any where from six weeks to six months to be approved by ATF. If the monkeys at ATF are not actually looking at the paperwork (which in this case would say this item was BAR with serial number XXXXX) and comparing it to the NFRTR (which would say it’s a MAC with serial number XXXXX) then they are being beyond negligent in their job. I would think as part of the supposed background check (which is just a NICS check any way) that takes so long, they could at least verify that the weapon is transferable and that the paperwork corresponds to an entry to the NFRTR. But, then, this is the sort of incompetence we’ve come to expect from ATF and their record of stellar performance. Personally, I think someone should sue.

4 – There is now one less transferable machine gun out there, which is probably the goal.

5 Responses to “Machine Gun Scam”

  1. Dan Says:

    My understanding was that this was a common, LEGAL addition of a different caliber to the same gun. Full-auto M-16s get converted to .22 LR and there’s a way to notify the ATF that you’ve added that caliber to the gun. Likewise HK’s can fire 9mm and .308 off the same sear and trigger group in different rifles. I’d heard of people using MAC recievers for SAWs and registered it as a conversion to .223, and everything was on the up-and-up.

  2. mostlygenius Says:

    Just goes to prove that if you tax something enough you create a black market. I don’t imagine that the goal of getting a $15,000 BAR was to hold up a liquor store or light up a school.

  3. Ravenwood Says:

    NFA transfer time is actually improving. I read in an issue of Small Arms Review recently that it was down to about 6-8 weeks, with 5320s (permission to travel) forms being processed in 2-3 weeks. That’s lightspeed compared to what it used to be.

  4. SayUncle Says:


    There are these things called computers now. These should be done 1) instantly and 2) correctly every time.

  5. EFI Says:

    The NFA laws need to be repealed. Until they are, anyone violating them for their own personal gain needs to swing from a tall tree.