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Machine Gun Scam

There were allegations of this a couple years back, but ATF is now charging someone with it:

The defendants accomplished this by “harvesting” serial numbers from older machine guns, which would be destroyed, and then welding those serial numbers onto larger, more expensive machine guns that they had manufactured. By so doing, they allegedly evaded the 1986 federal machine gun ban, which prohibited civilians from possessing or transferring machine guns manufactured before May 19, 1986. The indictment says this pattern of conduct involved 34 machine guns, allowing the defendants “to profit from the possession, transfer, and sale of machine guns that the defendants and others were otherwise prohibited to manufacture, possess, transfer, and sell.”

Stamp a registered MAC serial number onto an AR receiver = profit. ATF’s horrid lack of management of the NFRTR database contributed to this scam. And if I were the guys involved, I’d point that out at trial.

16 Responses to “Machine Gun Scam”

  1. wizardpc Says:

    By so doing, they allegedly evaded the 1986 federal machine gun ban, which prohibited civilians from possessing or transferring machine guns manufactured before May 19, 1986.

    Layers of editorial oversight.

  2. Anon R. D. Says:

    Yep — I noticed that too. Heck of a job, media.

  3. Jeff the Baptist Says:

    Basically a Ship of Theseus fraud. Happens with guns and cars.

  4. Bryan S. Says:

    “The alleged conspiracy dates back to at least 1993, and its goal, the indictment states, was “to defraud the United States of and concerning its government functions and rights, that is: the regulation of machine guns.””

    since when does the government have rights? I thought the people did, and the government has no place to infringe on them.

  5. nk Says:

    I don’t care that they scammed the government. I care that they scammed their customers.

    As far as BATF’s responsibility …. What? “Stop me before I steal more?”

  6. Kristopher Says:

    Yep. The crime here is the vendor committing fraud by claiming to the customer that the receiver was properly registered.

    As for the BATFE and their regs, they can DIAF at any time.

  7. wildbill Says:

    Good. Now we have someone with “standing” to challenge the law preventing registration of new “machine guns”. They only did this because of the inconstitutional law ;-).

  8. wildbill Says:

    uh, make that UNconstitional.

  9. wildbill Says:

    crap, unconstitutional

  10. Rivrdog Says:

    This scam has been pulled with everything that requires a title and registration, from cars (mentioned) boats, aircraft, LAND, you name it, if it has to be titled, it’s been scammed.

    BTW, no offense to the folks in Alabama, but until a few years back, the easiest way to “wash” a car title was to run it though Alabama’s DMV. IIRC, Alabama was the last state to NOT require VIN inspections.

  11. The Packetman Says:

    wildbill,

    See US v Rock Island Armory and US v Dalton

  12. Oakenheart Says:

    @Rivrdog –

    Sometimes the scam’s on the DMV end. State of TN stole my ’84 silverado I bought from an insurance auction in ’86. One owner truck, hit in the front, The original owner bought it from a GM dealer, wrecked it, his insurance totaled it, I bought it from the insurance company’s auction! I put a front cap on the truck and had it inspected to get “Salvage” off the title. Fuckers said the serial plate had been tampered with. one of the FACTORY rivets was not fully seated. Bullshit. The cab was never touched by me or anyone else that I know of. After mucho legal fees, the bastards still kept my truck.

  13. wildbill Says:

    The Packetman,
    Re: US v Rock Island Armory
    Am I reading this correctly that the court said it is unconstitutional to require newly made machineguns to be registered because previously that was for tax purposes and now since the tax can’t paid, the government can’t restrict?

  14. Will Says:

    Oakenheart,
    the VIN is always stamped in a few hidden places besides the plate itself. The dmv should have a listing by model of where to look. This was mandated by the feds, IIRC. One place is the frame, unless it was replaced by a dealer due to crash damage. Plus the engine will have a serial # that can be tracked to that vehicle. Sounds like a screwup on both sides of that case.

  15. The Packetman Says:

    wildbill,

    In a nutshell, yes. The NFA was sold as a revenue-generating measure (to avoid the pesky right-to-bear-arms problem) under congress’ power to tax. Since the government refuses to accept the tax (and the registration helped collect the tax), there is no constitutional justification for the gov to be involved at all.

    There is, of course, lots of legalese in Rock Island about how parts of a law can’t be in conflict and how earlier congresses can’t restrict later congresses (of maybe the other way ’round).

    The court in Dalton, while noting the decision in Rock Island Armory, made a much simpler case – the government says the machinegun is not taxed, but when Dalton offered to pay the tax, the gov refused to collect it – fundamentally unfair.

  16. Murphy's Law Says:

    One negative aspect is that, in looking over the property receipts for the seized guns, it appears that several legitimate Class 3 or C&R transferable guns were caught up in this mix and will now undoubtedly be destroyed (in addition to the MACs that the defendants destroyed), all so that these three jackalopec could put cash in their pockets.

    They weren’t trying to fight for our Second Amendment rights so people need to quit putting them on that pedestal–they were just trying to make money, and in so doing, they’ve brought discredit to legitimate machine gun owners and lessened the stock of transferable guns noticeably. (I saw one GM M3 with an IRS serial number in that list, and an M-249 with what looked to be a legitimate FN serial number. Those are gone forever now, too.)

    Also, every gun that they sold is now contraband and subject to seizure, with no way for the owners now to recoup their losses, even if they bought in good faith from a seller who knew that the gun was bad.
    These three guys need to be tarred and feathered and barred from anyplace that real gun owners congregate.