Just Bought My First Thompson...
Posted 29 September 2003 - 10:35 PM
My question is how hard is it to dig up a Thompson manufactuered before 1950? ...Are there any internet or paper subscriptions I should be looking at?.......And assuming I come across one can I even own it?....I live in MA and don't have a machinegun (full-auto) permit...... If purchasing an older one is impossible......I would at least like to change the barrel on the Kahr to a normal length so my last question is: Does the paper work I need to fill out have anything to do with the state I live in and type of gun permit I have or is it just federal red tape? Sorry for all the possibly stupid questions but I'm new to Tommy Gun world.
Posted 30 September 2003 - 08:00 AM
"How hard is it to find a pre-1950 TSMG?" Not too hard. The hardest part is coming up with the money. You can probably expect to pay anywhere from a low of $5000 on up...the sky's the limit on rarer TSMGs, especially if they have any historical provenance. A couple of good places to start your search would be here, and the NFA Sale board at subguns.com. Don't forget to network either. You never know who has what stashed in their closet. One of my neighbors has a registered DEWAT TSMG that was dewatted back in the 1950s by hammering a wooden dowel into the barrel. VFW halls can sometimes be a place to find transferrable MGs too. (Taken to the extreme, I suppose you could always cruise the local retirement homes... J/K.)
Next question: "Can you own it?" State laws not withstanding, if you can legally purchase a handgun from from an FFL (21 or older, no felony convictions, not adjudicated mentally incompetent, etc...(ie., you can truthfully give the appropriate responses to the questions asked of you on a 4473)) then yes, you can own one. Before you attempt any NFA ownership, check with your state and local laws. Some states (and localities) won't allow certain NFA firearms. Personally, I can't answer for MA (I live in VA.) Probably the best thing to do is ask someone in your own state who already owns an NFA firearm about your laws. (You might try a google search...most states have their legal code online these days.)
Changing your barrel to a shorter length? Again, state laws not withstanding, the paperwork you'll need pertains to federal law. You may not change the barrel to a shorter one until you get the approved Form 1 back from the BATF. Legally speaking, you may not even posses a short barrel for your rifle until you get back the approved paperwork, lest some over-zealous agent attempt to charge you with constructive possession. As to actual paperwork, filing a Form 1 (application to make and register an NFA firearm) is no different than filing a Form 4 (tax-paid application to transfer and NFA firearm.)
Probably the best primer for entry into the NFA world is either _The Machinegun Buyer's Guide_ (you can order it from this site!) or James Bardwell's excellent NFA FAQ which can be found at:
HTH and good luck
Posted 30 September 2003 - 11:40 AM
Posted 30 September 2003 - 04:35 PM
Regarding state laws. I can say for certain that the full-auto.com site listed in the FAQ section is not correct for Michigan. Machineguns are listed as Class 2 & 3 only. However, Michigan is a C & R state. I know, I live here, I have a C & R TSMG. The subguns.com/laws section for Michigan is confusing. It recites the code. It does not make note that Michigan recognizes a C & R FFL as a legitmate Federal License for MG ownership as long as the MG is on the ATF C & R list. My CLEO was not aware of the MG laws in Michigan so I gave him a copy of the AFT list.
As for MA, perhaps others on the board can provide an answer that is based on factual knowlwdge.
Good luck and, yes, coming up with the $$$ for a full-auto gun can be the toughest part.
Posted 01 October 2003 - 12:20 AM
Posted 01 October 2003 - 04:50 PM
On the subguns website there is aTSMG for sale "on Form 4 in MA". Taken as empircal evidence, that would suggest at least C & R ownership may be available in MA. Why not call/e-mail the seller and request information? Most TSMG owners are willing to share info even if you can not afford to buy their particular item.
Posted 01 October 2003 - 07:17 PM
A type 03 Curios&Relics FFL bonifies one in the eyes of the state.
The biggest obstruction to machinegun ownership in Massachusetts is the local cheif of police who is the issuing authority of the license for the Commonwealth.
Many cheifs will not issue machinegun licenses (GREEN CARDS) as they are known in these parts.
There are some cheifs who will issue..mine being one of them in Middleboro, but most will not. Hows that for "Equal Treatment Under the Law? It's outright denial of ones rights.
I'm waiting on a renewal right now....been in process since mid May. how slow the wheels of bureaucracy turn. Funny thing is, my handgun permit which requires the exact same background check from the exact same resource was back in about 50 days. Something tells me that someone is severely dropping the ball in this process and being a major ball buster.
I will only renew one more time then I am leaving the state never to return of my own free will.