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Korean War Machine Gun Bring Back...Legal or No?

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by Nalapombu, May 23, 2012.

  1. Nalapombu

    Nalapombu Millennium Member

    Oct 21, 1999
    Spring, TEXAS....USA
    Hey all,

    Just had a buddy call and ask my opinion on the legality of a full auto arm. Turns out a buddy of his, I don't know who, had an uncle that died and he was his sole heir. The guy had a lot of guns and in his safe was what was described to me as a "Korean War souvenir full auto rifle." Have no idea what it is.

    My friend wanted to know if there was a way that this bring back could be transferred to his nephew and be legal today. I told him that if it had not been registered in the 1968 amnesty and was "off the records" until his death then it COULD NOT be transferred to an individual for ownership. Am I right? Or is there a way that his heir, his nephew, can own this souvenir and have it remain operational?

    If he can't have it transferred to his name and own it, can he sell it to a Class 3 dealer or an SOT?

    What can he do with it....turn it in?

    Thanks for the help.

  2. ChiefWPD


    Dec 25, 2004
    I don't know of any way this type of firearm can be made legal to possess now. If you think it has historical value perhaps it can be donated to a legitimate military museum.

  3. Cole125

    Cole125 Silver Member

    Apr 5, 2008
    Far West, USA
    Just tell him to shut up about it. Keep it, don't tell anyone. Don't take it anywhere and get busted with it.
  4. Wyoming


    Feb 3, 2007
    Southwest Wyoming
    If you want Internet advice I'm game.

    Need to contact a Lawyer.

    This will give you protection from prosecutions until it is determined if firearm was ever papered. The ATF will do the search and if it is detriment that it is legal to own it can be transfered to heir.

    If it was never papered then the Lawyer will have to surrender firearm and no one goes to jail.

    If your buddy keeps firearm that is full auto and is caught with it someday he will have to hire a lawyer. It will cost a lot more and hopefully be able to plead guilty to a felony and maybe get probation.
  5. 427


    Nov 23, 2009
    As Wyoming susggested, get a lawyer, a cut out, when dealing with something like this.

    No matter what happens, it would be in your "buddy's" best interest to keep his mouth shut.
  6. Nalapombu

    Nalapombu Millennium Member

    Oct 21, 1999
    Spring, TEXAS....USA
    Thanks all for the advice. I figured as much and told him so. All but the lawyer part.

    The only thing I do not know is whether he could legally sell it to a Class 3 dealer or some other legal entity like a manufacturer or such.

  7. 427


    Nov 23, 2009
    Demil the receiver, then it's just a parts kit.
  8. MajorD


    Aug 16, 2010
    if it is indeed an unregistered full auto it is illegal and there is no mechanism to make legal anymore. It needs to be surrendered or big trouble is possilbe.
  9. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Moderator Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Jan 16, 2001
    Buried in the X-files
    Having dealt with the ATF involving a superlowserial number Thompson that a law firm confiscated along with the rest of a guy's belongings in a case (something to do with unpaid fees, and they seized all his assets?) I reassembled the Thompson, determined yes, it did have a fully functional group therapy option, and immediately told them to contact the ATF.

    ATF contacted me on specifics of the piece, which was one of the best condition Thompsons i've ever seen (serial was four digit.....and started with 1), a classic vertical front foregrip M1928 Colt. Turned out to be unregistered and unpapered, etc from what they told me, though I never did find out the ending to the story.

    He needs to talk to a law firm and the ATF immediately, they DON'T play around.
  10. Nalapombu

    Nalapombu Millennium Member

    Oct 21, 1999
    Spring, TEXAS....USA
    I stressed to him that in this day of terrorsism and ner-do-wells behind every rock and people getting busted all the time for "plotting" violence against the government and its people, that the FEDS would DEFINITELY NOT play around with him if he got caught on a range somewhere shooting it and he would certainly be looking at jail time.

    I don't know the guy that has the firearms, but the guy that called me, I have been best friends with him for over 30 years and he calls me all the time with gun questions. He wanted to know because the guy that inherited it and the rest of the guns is wanting to sell them. The guy offered it to my buddy for $1,700 cash. I told him my personal opinion was to stay clear. One reason is that I have already helped him 4 times go through NFA processes to get his 4 suppressors. Someone that is already on the books, so to say, with NFA items that are totally legit has no business putting himself and his family in the position of financial ruin and a felony record with jail time. It's just way too chancy to even consider for me.
    At the end of the conversation he told me he was going to pass, but I can't control what he does, just give him my personal warnings and advice should he proceed with buying it. I don't think he will buy it, but my feeling is that the guy that inherited it is a country guy and doesn't know much about the law and will either keep it or sell it to some other redneck.

    The ONLY thing I did tell him on a positive side was that he could shut his mouth, keep it, and hope that another amnesty comes about, which is VERY SLIM hopes considering that the last and only one was in 1968. Even then the ATF would be bound to question whose possession it was in for the last many years until that pie in the sky amnesty occurred.

    If I was close to my Uncle or family member and were in the same situation, it would kill my soul to have it destroyed. I think I would have it demilled and try to keep it.....or keep my trap shut about it for the rest of my life.

    Thanks all for the REAL info.

    Glad I told him right.

    What a resource GT is and always has been.

  11. DFin


    Mar 22, 2008
    He could consider hiring a lawyer to contact the ATF to see if it was ever registered.
  12. nbkky71


    Jun 24, 2003
    Davidson, NC
    If the gun is lawfully registered as an NFA firearm then it is possible for a legal heir to take ownership.

    If it's not a legal gun, then I believe there is little recourse but to surrender it.
  13. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
  14. My first step would be to confirm it is full auto capable. The average non gun person looks at an AK and assumes its a machine gun.

  15. Decguns


    Dec 29, 2003
    NC Uncertainty about the registration status of decedents’ firearms. In some cases, anexecutor or administrator of an estate may be uncertain whether the decedent’s firearms are registered to the decedent in the NFRTR. Perhaps the executor or administrator is unable tolocate the decedent’s registration documents. As discussed in
    Section 9.2, if the decedent’s firearms are not registered to him/her in the NFRTR, the firearms are contraband and may not be lawfully possessed or transferred. If the executor or administrator cannot locate the decedent’s registration documents, he/she should contact the NFA Branch in writing and inquire about the firearms’ registration status. This inquiry should be accompanied by documents showing the executor’s or administrator’s authority under State law to represent the decedent and dispose of
    the decedent’s firearms. Although ATF is generally prohibited from disclosing tax information, including the identity of persons to whom NFA firearms are registered, ATF may disclose such information to persons lawfully representing registrants of NFA firearms. Unregistered estate firearms. Should an estate contain NFA firearms not registered to the decedent, these firearms are contraband that may not be lawfully possessed or transferred. Where these are found within an estate, the executor or administrator should contact his/her local ATF office and arrange for their disposal.
  16. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    The newest American Rifleman I just got (online) tells about a water cooled machine gun found in a library's storage area. It was one of the ones captured by Sgt. Alvin York. the library had no idea of what to do with it since it couldn't be transfered and had to be destroyed. Ultimately, they were able to donate it to a museum in TN as that was the only acceptable place for it to go other than to destroy it.
  17. WoodenPlank

    WoodenPlank Who?

    May 15, 2010
    NW Florida
    Surrendered or rendered inoperable per ATF procedures for that specific weapon. As someone else mentioned, if it's rare, or otherwise of historical significance, it could possibly be donated to a museum.

    The Hughes amendment really needs to be ****ing repealed.
  18. mboylan


    May 11, 2007
    If it's part of an estate, most likely someone knows about it. If someone knows about it, they could talk. It's not worth several years in prison.

    See if it has bring back papers or is amnesty registered. Get a lawyer yesterday.
  19. It can be done if the gun was registered by the person that brought it back. A friend of mine did so with a Chinese burp-gun that her father brought back and had registered. She just sold it for $12000.00.
  20. The_Gun_Guru

    The_Gun_Guru Build the Wall

    My "holy grail" is a Vietnam War Amnesty AK-47 bring-back:wow:

    I have only seen one for sale in the past 25 years and it was $15,000!!!!:faint:If I ever win the lottery it will be one of the first things I buy!

    My quest continues......