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Any Hassles In Public?


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#1 Gunner

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Posted 19 November 2003 - 11:22 PM

I'm the proud new owner of a WH 1928-- about 2 weeks now. I'm fortunate that I live near an outdoor range that allows full auto -- in fact even has a 'machine gun shoot' once a month.

However, I was thinking about taking my new toy to a gun show in a couple of weeks. (I'm having a hard time with the fit of my WH L drum, and one of the dealers will have a Seymour L I'd like to try on.) Then that little paranoid button got pushed. I started thinking about all the cops that will be there, at the entrance and elsewhere, and I seemed to remember hearing stories about guys with legal Class III weapons getting a lot of harassment from the local constabulary.

I've been advised to always keep my Form 4 with the gun. However, I'm also going to get a copy made and get a notary to certify it, so I can keep the original in a safe place.

Have any of you guys had bad experiences with cops or others? If so, any good pointers? Thanks.
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#2 must

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 02:51 AM

I've had my WH M1 Thompson in many displays at gun shows here in Utah with no problem. My 2 cents. laugh.gif
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#3 USMC-2-USN

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 07:39 AM

In my experience, about 95% of the people at the gun show will not even know it is a machine gun. The cop at the door is only concerned about putting a plastic tie on it, and the cops inside only care about drinking their coffee and watching the 'young blond bimbos with big tatas'.

Point being, it is hard to tell the semi-auto variant from the fullauto variant...and if someone asks how much for the thompson...you say "10k" they look at you with big eyes and say "i can get one over there for 800 dollars"...you tell him it is full auto...and he says you can own one of those

So in general don't be worried about carrying it to a gun show...just keep a low profile, bring a copy of your form 4, and be prepared to answer stupid questions

Good luck
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#4 Bill in VA

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 09:00 AM

Same here. I've never had a problem with anyone over my TSMG. The closest I've come was once at our local range by some USN SEAL wannabe (you know the type....buzzcut hair, black BDUs and SEAL T-shirt with the pimped out SKS blasting away at the 25 yardline butts, and being Mr. Know-it-all Firearms RKI for his two buddies...) I had my TSMG and a Luger P.08 with me at the range one day and after I'd finished and was heading out he stopped me and asked "what was that German gun you were shooting?" "My Luger? It's a 1942 byf, made at the Mauser Oberdorf plant..." "No, the full-auto." "Oh you mean the TSMG? It's an American, TSMG, made in 1986 by AO WH." His huffy, smart-aleck response: "I thought you needed a license to one of those." (How did he know I DIDN'T have a "license"?)

Other than that I've never had anyone hassle me about it; law enforcement, range officers, gun show attendents, etc... Heck, I've even brought it into my classes (both college and high school, I'm a teacher BTW) a few times for "show and tell" when we discuss WW II, with no problems whatsoever. Still, I always keep photocopies of my Form 4 and VA green ticket in the butt trap, and a folder of "papers to keep me legal, just in case" with additional copies of all of my Form 4s and VA green tickets, a few legal letters, excerpts from state and federal law, and copies of my FFL. In short, if you're legal, don't sweat it. And if you are hassled, be polite, show your paperwork, and take the time to educate the ignorant (and possibly win another convert to our side.)
YMMV
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#5 John Jr

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 01:25 PM

I remember a long time ago, I read and took Bills advice on putting a shrunk up, laminated copy of the form 4 in the buttstock well. Its been there every since.

Jr

When they ask you if you have a license for your MG, show them your drivers licence and say "will that do?"

LOL


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#6 Chip

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 01:25 PM

Gunner,
You might want to be carefull if the gun show you're going to is in another state. Besides state laws, I believe the ATF requires paperwork in advance before you take it out of state. Other than that people, in general, are fascinated by a thompson.

Chip
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#7 Bruce L

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 07:09 PM

Here in LA (lower Alabama) about the biggest hassle with taking your Thompson to the gun show is folks wanting to fondle it (the Thompson).
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#8 john

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 07:30 PM

Yo!
Copy of form 4 doesn't have to be notarized. I just make decent photocopies and stamp "COPY" on each page with one of those red stampers.
I had a guy at a DNR range say that "I thought you needed a license for that" statement....
My reply:
"Who are you....a Fed"???

He scampered to his car and left!!!

Have had Deputies and Cops pull into various ranges and ask about the gun....never had anyone look at my form 4 copies.....

The Law knows the law....and others need to be informed!! You'd be surprised how many cops want to shoot it!!!

john
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#9 full auto 45

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 10:03 PM

You would be suprised at all the Police Officers that don't know they are legal! I just went to a local show about 4 weeks ago with my M1, and the boys at the door thought it was a semi until I explained it to them. The old guy on the force, who knows me, just smiled and listened. As I walked on he told them, and I quote, "You should know what your talking about before you open your mouth." I couldn't turn back to say anything, I just smiled and felt good. I carry a copy of my form in the buttstock and one on me and one in my truck. The original is in the safe.
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#10 Waffen Und Bier

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 11:30 PM

ATF suggests keeping a photocopy of the Form 1, 4, 5, etc with the gun when you have it out and about. The original should be kept in a safe location. I display my Thompsons at shows and sometimes at schools (with permission from the head administrator per Florida statutes). Florida law says MG's are illegal. It then goes on to say, those possessed in compliance with Federal law are okay. Good idea to carry those papers to show proof they are possessed in compliance with Federal law. It helps to avoid that whole "beating the rap, but not the ride" thing.

Hey Bill in VA, in your description of the gunshop commando (who we've all run across at one time or another) you forgot to mention the obligatory cheapo pistol or revolver in the shoulder holster or low slung tactical holster biggrin.gif

And USMC 2 USN, I happen to also enjoy looking at blonde bimbos with big tatas tongue.gif Some are almost as nice to look at as Thompsons smile.gif
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#11 Sgt

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 11:43 PM

rat-a-ta-ta
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#12 DougStump

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 07:04 AM

I've never had any problems with my M1A1, but the best comment I've heard was one day when we took a friends 08 Maxim on the sled mount. After firing and clearing it, one guy looks under the front end, "there's water leaking from your gun?!?!?!?!?"

Doug

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#13 USMC-2-USN

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 07:41 AM

I have NEVER complained about the presence of 'blond bimbos with big tatas' at gun shows

Infact...we should offer free admission to attract more of them into the sport. I would be more than happy to bring a few to the range to 'show them the ropes'...maybe in more ways than one!
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#14 fred

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 08:48 AM

It is amazing, but at the indoor range where I usually shoot, 50% of the other shooting patrons will ask what I am shooting and 50% act like nothing unusual is going on. I guess the interested folk ask...
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#15 Earle

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 09:20 AM

Last week at the Va Beach Outdoor range my friends and I set up next to a Va Beach SWAT team officer in uniform who was sighting in his scope. He didn't bat at eyelash when we broke out two Thompsons and a M1919a6. Just smiled and kept on working on his rifle. Some of the other shooters eventually wandered over to talk about class 3 ownership. It is fun to watch people when they realize they too could be having this much fun.

I am however, very careful to make sure I have copies of the F4 and Virgina registrations with me whenever the guns leave the house.

Regards,

Earle
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