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Another Nfa Amnesty? Is There A Chance?

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I came across this recent article in Shotgun News:






     Gibbons Files

  War Trophy Bill


By Neal Knox


WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 18)--Last week Rep. Jim Gibbons (R-Nev.) and 52 co-sponsors re-introduced H.R. 3807, “The Veterans' Heritage Firearms Act,†a bill to allow mainly Korean War and World War II veterans and their families to register war trophies--including live machine guns.


The bill will give heartburn to politicians of all stripes who claim to support veterans, gun ownership, the Second Amendment--and even those who say they “only†want guns registered.


Presently, if the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record does not show a veteran's firearm in the known-to-be-flawed registry, the relic may be seized and destroyed. The veteran or an heir may be held criminally liable--and subject to a 10-year prison sentence--though believing that the war trophy, shipped home by the U.S. Government, sometimes with a written permission slip signed by a military commander--was perfectly legal.


H.R. 3807 provides a 90 day amnesty, 90 days after enactment of the bill, for veterans who served overseas between June 26, 1934 (the end of the National Firearms Act amnesty) and October 31, 1968 (the beginning of the little-known Gun Control Act of 1968 30-day amnesty) to register their firearms without fear of prosecution.


In a nice twist, the bill calls for notices of the amnesty and registration forms to be available in post offices, VFW halls and American Legion posts.


Although GCA ’68 calls for additional amnesty periods, there has never been one.


Such amnesties have been opposed by BATF and its predecessors on the ground that an amnesty period might disrupt current investigations or prosecutions.


Knowing that Rep. Gibbons planned to introduce his amnesty bill, a couple of years ago I asked BATF spokesmen about war trophies during their seminar at the SHOT show. The person in charge of the registry referred to such guns as “family heirlooms in the attic†and said they had no interest in prosecuting such owners. But she repeated the “might interrupt investigations†mantra when I asked about an amnesty.


Veterans have been prosecuted, and with rare exceptions, their war trophies have been destroyed--including some historic designs. Years ago, the late Val Forgett, who founded Navy Arms and Service Armament, told me that a collection of rare experimental machine guns--which had hung on the walls of an European manufacturer, even during the Nazi occupation--had been taken from his New Jersey office and destroyed.


Under Gibbons’ bill, any such firearms seized by BATF must be made available to qualified museums, including private museums.


It would permanently decriminalize any attempt by a qualified veteran or his heir, to register afirearm after the amnesty expired, by prohibiting ATF from prosecuting them for at least 30 days after BATF told them they were at criminal risk for unlawful possession, and that they could avoid prosecution altogether by giving up the gun.


Every gun collector has heard of many such guns--like the Reising subgun and Nambu Light Machine Gun former Sen. Jim Sasser (D-Tenn.) told me his father had brought back from the Pacific in World War II.


During lunch in the Senate Dining Room years ago he asked me what they were worth. I told him “$10,000 … fine and 10 years imprisonment, unless you’ve got the right papers.â€


He insisted they weren’t illegal for the Reising had a bent magazine, stomped by Japanese troops who had killed his father’s best friend, while carrying his father’s borrowed gun. And he “couldn’t get ammo†for the Nambu LMG. I reminded him of those guns (which others have told me he kept in his Russell Building office closet) when he cast a hypocritical vote for the 1994 ban on semi-auto “assault weapons.â€


The bill’s many co-sponsors include House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-Cal.) and Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs, Alan Mollohan (D-W.V.).


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Yeh, everybody wants to co-sponsor the bill because it "looks good" but is 99% worthless. Unless they amend it to include everything any GI ever brings back as registerable to the GI or the GI's immediate family or heirs at any time, the legislation is weakened and flawed. The bill should also allow any "closet/attic" guns such as those in police departments that were never registered to become registerable so the PDs or others can sell them on the open market, if they so choose.


My opinion.

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yeah i know, some people think this bill is a piece of shit. does anyone else here have a bill pending to repeal the 1986 ban????.....................................buellor, buellor? no


this is a step in the right direction. but do you actually think congress is gonna vote to repeal the 1986 ban? i don't think so, at leat not for a while.


we can all whine and bitch about this bill and get NOTHING, or maybe just maybe get get a tiny tiny bit of the brass plated ring (hell not even solid brass LOL).



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do you think if i knew of someone who could benefit from this bill that I would post that fact on an open forum?? especially one that has an ATF agent as a member?


jesus, that could put you in a serious predicament. admitting you know someone committing a federal offense. you knowing of someone committing a federal offense and not alerting the authorities is illegal in itself.




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PhilOhio: Elsewhere in the world they cut your hand off for stealing or stone you (females only) for committing adultry. Here in Ohio, the law requirers Judges to sentence most 1st time felony offenders (F-5 and F-4) to probation rather than prison. Our prisons are filling up because the criminals could care less about the law. If you want to stop murder, then make it against the law to murder, and if that dosen't work then make it against the law for anyone under 21 to own a handgun and if that dosen't work make it against the law to bring a gun to school and if that dosen't work then ban high capacity magazines and assault type rifles and if that doesn't work then make all law abiding people submit to records checks before they can purchase a firearm and also ban gunshows. Surely if we pass enough laws the bad guys will quit murdering people. Of course we could do away with all of the above laws except for the law against murder and then if found guilty, quickly fry the bastard in public, but I doubt the liberals or the feel good politicians would ever agree to anything so drastic. http://www.machinegunbooks.com/forums/invboard1_1_2/upload/html/emoticons/ph34r.gif
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allright we've had your fun here, lets back to pitting the colt thompson owners vs. the rest of the thompson owners. http://www.machinegunbooks.com/forums/invboard1_1_2/upload/html/emoticons/biggrin.gif http://www.machinegunbooks.com/forums/invboard1_1_2/upload/html/emoticons/biggrin.gif



I know one dealer in my state hears stories of unregistered MGs by vets often. he is a board member of a museum up here that takes unregistered MGs, registers them on form 10s and puts them in the museum. sad to say but they have done this more than a few times. crying shame.


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Hi guys,

A buddy of mine is an attorney and was in the 101st Airborne in the 60s. He has had dealings with these unregistered weapons you speak of. The last one was a like new milled receiver MP38 brought back by a WWII vet. The vet said it was surrendered to him by an old man at the tail end of the war in Germany. The old German was a member of the home guard. He approached the vet with his hands up and unarmed, a very wise thing to do given the circumstances. The old German then led the vet to a tree where he left the MP38. The vet brought it back home after the war with a permission slip, but did not register it in 1968 for some unknown reason. The weapon along with the original mags and ammo was surrendered to the local PD by the attorney after he brokered a "no questions asked" deal.

My dad was in the 82nd Airborne in WWII. On a recent visit, he produced his original issue switchblade knife in very good condition. On my advise, he has since donated the knife to the D-Day Museum in New Orleans. It is a shame that the MP38 was not donated to a museum as well so we all could enjoy it.


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