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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If someone receives a WWII bringback weapon (FA) from a grandparent, but they have no paperwork for it, and would like to sell it, how would one go about doing this in a legal fashion (for both the buyer and seller)?
 

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It depends on your meaning of FA. Is that firearm or full auto? Non-full auto no problem. Sell through normal channels. Full auto. The only legal route is to simply turn it in to the local ATF office. Say good bye to it as it will get chopped up. But if you happen to be in your boat headed to the ATF office and it falls overboard (never to be seen again) no one will be the wiser.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Gotcha! Thanks. That was FA as in, forget about it (now that I know the response). ;)
 

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It may be possible to convert it to semi-automatic only, that would make it legal. Since the gun has been stashed away for so long, who's to say when the conversion took place?
My uncle came back from WWII with a schnellfeur and a drilling in his duffle bag, so there are probably quite a few such war trophies out there that nobody knows about. However, there whereabouts of these items are unknown today.
He had a small fire in his house back in the 70's. After the firefighters left, he took inventory and the aforementioned items were MIA. It is believed that they were stolen by one of the firemen, but since he wasn't really supposed to have them anyway, he couldn't exactly report them stolen..............:(
 

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Once a Machine gun always a machine gun in the eyes of the BATF. You cannot simply convert it to semi and say it's ok. That is why you do not see surplus M-14's or M-2 carbines being sold through the CMP.
A local cop came in one day and asked about the gun his neighbor lady gave him. It was an MP-40. Her now deceased husband brought it back from WW-II and she did not know what to do with it. I cannot for the life of me remember his name. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
There was an amnesty period for the registration of such weapons but that expired 35-40 years ago.
 

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No Paperwork

Are you sure your grandfather did not register this weapon with the feds back when he could and should have, or during the amnesty period back in 1969, I think it was? Maybe he registered the gun but didn't save the paperwork or somehow the paperwork got separated from the gun and you don't know about it?

Yeah, probably not. Its a stretch, I know.

I heard that there is a provision for people to register and eventually legally own a machinegun when they were left a full-auto weapon in a will or when they get it by being the heir of a person who died without a will. But that's assuming it was legally registered by the deceased prior owner.

If it has much historical value, you could contact BATF and turn it in while at the same time looking for a military museum that may be able to accept it. But somebody would have to pay for it to be made inoperable-- a DWAT (deactivated war trophy). That way maybe a valuable piece of history doesn't get melted down for scrap.
 

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ATF only has one way of dealing with such weapons, DESTROY THEM. If it is a piece of history, please try to get it donated to a museum. Otherwise it WILL be scrapped.
 

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There has been several Congressional efforts to amend the law to allow registration of unregistered veterans bringbacks by legal heirs. All have failed so far. Don't expect the Democrat controlled House and Senate to bring it up.
 

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IF the weapon has been registered (think last amnesty was 1968) it can be transferred by the executor to an heir (go thru a Class III dealer to do this) without paying the transfer tax. If it has not already been registered, it cannot be. Cutoff date for new reglistrations of full autos was May 1986. The weapon must be surrendered to the BATF for destruction. Sorry guys- and NO- it cannot be "converted" to semi- as the man said- once a machinegun, always a machinegun. SOME parts may be sold, but the RECIEVER for sure cannot be if it is not already papered. Would not advise holding the weapon while researching this, penalties for possessing unregistered full auto are SEVERE- 10 yrs, and all the money you will ever have.
 
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