Legality of military pistols and others

Discussion in 'Legal and Activism' started by svenweb86, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. svenweb86

    svenweb86 New Member

    6
    0
    0
    Friend of mine and I were going through some of his uncles old stuff. We found quite a few older pistols but one is getting us curious.

    From what I can remember off the top of my head, its a .45 M1911 US Army pistol, pristine condition, but has age. Says "Property of US Army".

    But the main question is, is it legal for a citizen to own a pistol like this? It has a serial number (i think, not too much of a gun nut) so can it be registered or? I have tried looking up some information but i cannot find anything on this subject that directly answers my question.

    We also found some belt feeds filled with bullets for some sort of a machine gun, as well as a shell of a M1919 Browning.
     
  2. Chainfire

    Chainfire Well-Known Member Supporter

    5,366
    593
    113
    The government sells all kinds of stuff that is marked U.S. Government property. It is not unusual to have a "legal" pistol marked like you described. If your friend's uncle was not a crook, I wouldn't worry about it.

    If the "shell of a machine gun, includes a reciever that is not registered, that I would worry about; in fact I wouldn't want to be in the same house with an illegal machine gun. I am far to pretty to spend the next 10 years in prison.
     

  3. svenweb86

    svenweb86 New Member

    6
    0
    0
    What do you mean receiver? What it looks like is the stand, the barrel and the base, but it looks like the trigger(s?) are missing, as well as some internal parts I would assume. I looked up some pictures of a fully built one and some of the peices sticking out of it are missing on the one thats there.
     
  4. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    21,445
    557
    113
    The receiver of a firearm is the frame. In the case of a 1919A4 Browning machine gun, the receiver is the rectangular boxy part between the trigger and the barrel. It is usually the part with the serial number.

    1919A4-M2.jpg Click the pic to enlarge

    By law, the receiver IS the gun- everything else is parts. Possession of an unregistered machine gun is a SERIOUS violation of Federal law, carrying long prison sentences, and breathtaking fines.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
  5. svenweb86

    svenweb86 New Member

    6
    0
    0
    by looking at your picture, the slide is missing, trigger, all those parts are empty holes and the inside looks almost empty. Should we turn it in to someone or?
     
  6. Chainfire

    Chainfire Well-Known Member Supporter

    5,366
    593
    113
    If you have an illegal machine gun receiver, you had best talk to an attorney before doing anything including "turning it in to someone."

    There is a chance that your friends uncle registered this thing in the 1960s in which case it would be worth a lot of money.

    If it were me, and I knew, or strongly suspected that it was illegal, I would take a saw and reduce the reciever to several pieces then throw it away, and I would do it right now, not tomorrow. The other parts have some value, and it would not be necessary to destroy them.

    The government does not play when it comes to illegal machine guns.
     
  7. svenweb86

    svenweb86 New Member

    6
    0
    0
    Glad it isnt in my house. His uncle recently passed, hence why we are going through things for his aunt. I think he used to have a federal gun permit due to him going to gun shows across the country and needing to transport them across state lines, would that expire upon his death? or would his aunt still have the papers if it IS registered?

    edit: the bullets would be ok right?
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
  8. texaswoodworker

    texaswoodworker New Member

    10,198
    0
    0
    The bullets are .30 caliber right? I don't know of any laws that would make owning them a crime.

    As for the Browning. Hide the thing, talk to an attorney ASAP, and if it is illegal, destroy it and despose of the pieces. It would be sad to destroy a gun like that but it's not worth the risk of going to prison.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
  9. opaww

    opaww New Member

    4,868
    0
    0
    MOstly up until the vietnam war Military who were getting out were allowed to buy there service rifle and/or pistols from the government if they wished. This was more so as we go back in time many after the Second World War took theirs home.

    The Actor James Earl Jones took his M1 Garand and .45auto home after he was discharged from the MIlitary.
     
  10. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    20,110
    19
    38
    Consult an attorney familiar with nfa laws. Not just any attorney. You nor your aunt will get in trouble for the gun if it is illegal by just tuening it into the police. At the least the police department might find a use for it.

    If it is a legal full auto your aumt or yourself would have to go through the nfa proccess. A legal full auto 1919 is worth between 15-25k$ so it would be worth it to find out.

    You can also call the atf with the serial number and if its legal it will be in the registry they will tell you. If its not you can turn it in. Destroying a reciever has to be done correctly in accordance to batfe regulation. Just beating it with a hammer isnt enough.

    Search his effects very carefully the registration stamp is attached to a form that is 8.5x11 sheet of paper. The stamp is bluish in color and attached to the upper right corner. It will have the guns serial number etc. Inherited nfa stamps often get tossed because people assume they are worthless or dont recognize it as valuable.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
  11. Jpyle

    Jpyle New Member

    4,828
    0
    0
    No you cannot own anything like this. As a friendly gesture I will take the blame, send it to me at your earliest convenience...hurry before Cane gets here.




    Just kidding, others have chimed in with good advice, I'm just razzing you. That 1911 is worth some serious bucks so don't part with it too easily...
     
  12. moonpie

    moonpie New Member

    174
    0
    0
    it's also possible the uncle was building a display piece with a dummy receiver. are there are any markings or serial numbers .
     
  13. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

    21,833
    3
    0
    I don't think this is a problem.

    Note the dust cover roll mark on this current Colt offering to the public.

    [​IMG]

    The Colt 1911 Anniversary Model O1911ANVIII.

    The Colt 100th Anniversary Models
     
  14. svenweb86

    svenweb86 New Member

    6
    0
    0
    Quick update.
    Come to find out, all of the parts for the Browning are real except for the "receiver". His aunt says when he had the gun shop, he built the receiver to imitate a real one then used the rest of the parts and had them as a showpiece in the showroom. She says some people DID report it to police thinking it was real so he had to show them several times it was fake except for the barrel, stand, etc..

    Crisis Averted, no SWAT team coming to the door haha. Thanks alot for the help. and you say the 1911 might be worth something? What about the REAL parts for the Browning?
     
  15. Jpyle

    Jpyle New Member

    4,828
    0
    0
    Any valuation is subjective and depends on the condition, age and authenticity of the entire gun but generally speaking an original Colt M1911 in mint condition will be would several thousand dollars. Do you know anything about the gun's history, is it a WWII takehome? Go online and enter the serial number into a Colt database to determine manufacture date. Some of the other members here are 1911 experts and will be able to help you determine the value but nothing will replace having a trustworthy, experienced collector look it over.

    Yes, the real parts for the Browning will have value to a collector. Original parts to anything that is no longer being manufactured has some value...
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011
  16. svenweb86

    svenweb86 New Member

    6
    0
    0
    Next time I head out that way, I will take some pictures for the condition and check the serial number. It appears to be almost flawless from what I saw, dont know if there is any little things to look for.
     
  17. Jpyle

    Jpyle New Member

    4,828
    0
    0
    Should look like the top one, correct?

    [​IMG]