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I found this on the web site for a San Jose california newspaper. It's a coupe of years old but it might have interesting implications for the DYI gun smith.


From 'Mercury News' San Jose, CA


Posted on Thu, Nov. 13, 2003


Appeals court overturns machine gun conviction




Associated Press


SAN FRANCISCO - A federal appeals court Thursday overturned a Mesa, Ariz. man's federal conviction of possessing five machine guns.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals of San Francisco reversed the conviction, ruling that the congressional ban does not apply to homemade machine guns and their parts because they were never in the stream of commerce.

The court ruled that there was neither a transfer nor sale of the weapons or their parts, so Congress did not have the power under the Commerce Clause to regulate homemade guns crafted from scratch.

Robert Stewart was sentenced to five years imprisonment for being a felon in possession of firearms and of possessing illegal machine guns last year.

His attorney, Thomas Haney of Phoenix, said the decision doesn't mean much for his client or for the gun movement. Few people have the skills to build a weapon from scratch, as Stewart did, Haney said.

Haney said most states, including Arizona, also have state bans against rapidly firing machine guns that would withstand judicial scrutiny regardless of whether the weapon was homemade. "It might not be viable for anyone to think they can start making their own," Haney said.

Stewart, meanwhile, faces about a 20-year sentence next week after being convicted this summer of soliciting a fellow prisoner at the Federal Correctional Institution in Phoenix to kill U.S. District Judge Roslyn Silver, the judge who last year sentenced him to five years on the weapons violations.

The case decided Thursday is United States v. Stewart, 02-10318.




Any one heard of this?

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Yup. It's old news and has been hashed over here, at subguns.com, gunboards.com, and a dozen or more boards. Short answer is that no, you cannot build your own MG. The Stewart case has been passed up to the SCotUS for certiorari, but SCotUS hasn't yet decided whether or not to grant certiorari. (It looks like they'll most likely decide the Raisch case before they even look at the Stewart case.)

Without going back into a lot of detail, if SCotUS does decide to grant certiorari to the Stewart case, one of two things can happen. Either they will uphold Stewart (i.e., the 9th CC's opinion), in which case those in the 9th CC's jurisdiction only could build homemade MGs (provided of course that they'll still have to register them under NFA '34, and that their home state will allow possession of an MG); OR, they'll overturn Stewart, which will more or less carve 922(o) in stone for all eternity. OTOH, if SCotUS does not grant certiorari, the 9th CC's ruling would still stand, again being valid only in those states within the 9th CC's jurisdiction.

(Before you go shouting for joy, remember two things about the 9th CC: 1) it is the most overturned federal circuit court in the land; and 2) it is noted for declaring that the Second Amendment is not an individual right.)

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This has been on so many boards in the past - in short - hold your water - this is the 9th CC you are talking about...
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