Prince Law Asserts: ATF Opens the Door for New Machine Guns in Trusts?

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According to the gun lawyers and bloggers over at Prince Law Offices, P.C. a recent ATF determination that “unincorporated trusts” are not “persons” under the Gun Control Act may have opened a way for trusts to manufacture new Post-86 machine guns.

Hit the link here to be taken to Prince’s Law Blog. There, he breaks down the legal rationale for the rather bold statement. In short, the ATF was trying to find a basis to run NICS checks on persons picking up NFA Form 1 firearms on behalf of trusts. In doing so, they defined that “trusts” were not “persons.” Since Unincorporated Trusts are not “persons” as legally defined in the Gun Control Act, trusts may lawfully make and transfer machine guns.

For good measure, Prince applied for a Form 1 to see how the ATF will formally respond. To Quote:

I will continue to update our viewers, as I have already submitted a Form 1 Application for a minigun…oh hell yeah I did…

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Nathan S.

TFB’s newest resident Jarhead, Nathan is currently working in the Defense industry in international sales. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, bull-pups, and high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries in the last three years working with US DoD & foreign MoDs. You will likely find him either in an international airport or on the local range in NE Indiana.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com


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  • Airman596

    The ATF, through the Obama administration’s direction, is trying to limit access to NFA items and they potentially just expanded access.

    • Steve

      The ATF claims a gun collecting group pushed the trust crackdown.

  • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Alex C.

    Do not make a machinegun unless you are an 07/02 manufacturer of firearms. I repeat, do not make a machinegun unless you are an 07/02 manufacturer of firearms. It is not worth 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

    • allannon

      I have no intention of doing so at the moment.

      I will keep an eye on this, just in case. It would amuse the shit out of me to see the BATFE dealing with a sudden influx of legal automatic weapons.

      “Mr. President, I’m afraid we’ve had to process and approve 157,328 automatic weapons in the last month.”

    • Airman596

      Isn’t it funny (or sad) that a rapist could spend less time in jail than a person who made their pew go pew, pew, pew?

    • Mahler

      What’s the point of making a machine gun as an 07/02 unless you have a contract with a government agency? Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not against it. I was just curious what the point was if you can’t sell to civilians.

      • John

        A gun store in Tennessee that I know of has a range inside, and rentals. They got an 07/02 FFL so they could manufacture machine guns for range use (renting) because it was easier than having to go through all the hoops to get a LEO love letter to get post-May dealer samples.

        I’m sure it’s not the only store/range that does this.

        • Mahler

          That makes sense to do.

      • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Alex C.

        Fun.

        • rockawayrich

          Nice miniature model.

      • AR-PRO

        You can sell to other dealers/LE, Military, etc. I have my 07/02 and don’t regret it at all, I can build whatever I want and keep them until I decide to give up my license. I also manufacture Suppressors/SBRs/SBSs. So its worth it.

        • Mahler

          Cool. How much of a pain is it to become a 07/02?

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Alex C.

            $2,750 a year (itar+sot) and $150 every three years. Atf inspections, dba, co, sales tax and use permit, record keeping, etc.

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Nathan S. ” Staff Writer, TFB”

            See my series to date on getting the FFL.

    • Ahmed

      We wouldn’t be reading an ATF revision article if we were planning on doing it illegally.

  • skusmc

    We all know what will happen here. The BATFE, all logic notwithstanding, will proclaim that for the purposes of the NFA , trusts are not “persons”, and for the purposes of the GCA, trusts are “persons”. Because crime.
    And it will take a lawsuit to get it sorted out.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Nathan S. ” Staff Writer, TFB”

      This would be my guess. Thank god I am pending my FFL 07/02!

    • RockawayRich

      Lol….. Crime is always the excuse even though a legal NFA weapon has never been used in a crime.

  • Jeff Smith

    I’m sure there’s a guy out there with his life savings invested in a transferable M-16 praying to God that this doesn’t actually work.

    • floppyscience

      You know there’s a reason the NRA (and most other gun lobbies, really) won’t touch the Hughes Amendment. :) I can see a lot of people being rather upset if their tens/hundreds of thousands of dollars in transferable autos becomes worthless overnight.

      • John

        They don’t ever actually become worthless, but a new in box transferable M16A2 will probably go from $35,000 to $5,000 overnight.

        The Hughes amendment is unconstitutional anyway,

        • floppyscience

          Maybe not worthless, but having a collection worth that much money drop to a fraction of its worth is definitely not ideal. Even though an original M16A2 might still be worth more than a new production automatic AR, the market will be limited to collectors who specifically want that gun. When anyone can (through a trust) buy a new full-auto AR for $800ish+the $200 stamp, I see few people paying $5000 for an original M16A2.

          • John

            Really, the only guns that will significantly drop in value are guns that can be easily acquired as machine guns today. MACs, Uzis, AKs, M16s, 10/22s, etc. will all drop heavily in value. The truly collectible stuff, like, say, dual M2 HMGs on an anti-aircraft mount, M2 carbines, Thompsons, WW2 bringback machine guns, AC556s, FNCs, Stoner 63s, etc. will retain their value because those guns are not available in any form on the civilian market anymore (I don’t count the garbage Kahr Thompsons). MP5s as well will drop in value but they still won’t be cheap due to expensive parts kits.

            I know a guy who in 1991 bought a chopped and converted HK94 for $6000 and sold it in 2008 for $19,000. That’s a pretty good return on his investment, and sure, people who dropped 15 grand on an Olympic Arms M16 with out-of-spec pins so you need a punch to swap upper receivers will “lose” a lot of money (rule #1 in investing: it’s only a loss if you sell it), I’m sure the overwhelming majority of machine gun collectors would welcome the registry being reopened with open arms.

            IF this supposed loophole ends up being real (unlikely, if it is the government will surely shut it down somehow) it would be nice, because machine guns would finally be semi-affordable to me.

            But I’m not holding my breath.

          • floppyscience

            I really doubt the older, more collectible stuff that isn’t available anymore (like M2s, AC556s, FNCs, etc) will not lose value as well. If they retain their value completely that would mean that being transferable autos had no effect on their worth, which is absurd. They’d certainly still retain a lot of value but nothing near they did originally.

          • salty

            stock market ROI has been pretty dang decent recently (after crash, and with good mutual funds) to the tune of 32% or so, so sure mgs were a decent investment, but i doubt most guys think that way (might tell wives other wise)

          • Anon. E Maus

            I’d pay good money for an M16A1.
            But I think I’d end up with a bunch of cheap AR’s as well.

      • hydepark

        And we should care about that why exactly? Unless you’re one of the ones that owns such an item. If so, sorry, but my rights trump your (perhaps unwise) investment.

        • floppyscience

          No, I don’t have any transferable autos. I agree that everyones rights trump the investments of a few.

    • Tenacious221

      And that guy is a selfish bastard. Firearms are an investment, they can lose value like anything else.

      • JT

        I can understand someone paying that much because it’s the only way, but paying that much to invest in it and then wanting the system to stay in place for them is very selfish. And they’re being part of the problem instead of the solution (full legalization for everyone).

      • Anon. E Maus

        It’d still be worth maybe one or two thousand dollars once NFA Trust machineguns start creeping into the market (and by god I hope they do).

    • Airman596

      I hear this argument all the time, but it doesn’t make sense. If one wants a machine gun enough that he or she willing to spend $20,000+ on one, he or she is a full auto enthusiast. If the price of machine guns comes down to $5,000 or less, that means enthusiasts can buy more of them and have more money for ammo. Everyone wins.

    • salty

      no he would be happy as hell about all the new MG’s he could produce… you are talking about prob 1 in 100 mg owners think that way. they are doctors and lawyers etc and follks who can afford to eat that kinda money. your f150 depreciates 12000 or so according to KBB, so who cares about 16000 over night, as long as you can build that 10/22 MG, and everything else you been wanting

  • Mike

    Lol! ATF, you so silly. I’m looking forward to getting a GAU-19.

    • Delivery Boy

      GAU-19… Yuuup!!!… How much do i have to save up?! I’ll have a couple years before said lawsuits are wrapped up haha

  • Tenacious221

    I would love nothing more than to buy a $50k machine gun and have it be worth 1200 over night. It would certainly suck financially, but freedom has no price

    • BillC

      Uh, freedom costs a buck oh’five.

      • gunslinger

        if you don’t throw in your buck o’five, who will?

  • http://zeos386sx.blogspot.com/ Insane_Penquin

    I saw this the other day on another blog and it seems to me like wishful thinking. Best case scenario they will refuse to do paperwork until they find a judge that agrees with them and then make you destroy your new machine gun, best case scenario.

    • Cynic

      I think it’s a great way to challenge the atf’s rules making and their policy becoming ex facto law. As when they say that a trust is a person for gca and isn’t for nfa purposes then if we find a judge who can and will rule on jut the merits of that double standard the atf will be opened to allot of their petty rules being challenged.

    • ThatGuy

      Prepare thy anus!

      • BryanS

        Better bring a farm jack…..

  • chuck

    I’ve got a m11 on transfer right now. Saved up 6 months of deployment money for it. I would seriously be ecstatic if this went threw. Granted i “only” spent 5500 on a used piece of bent up sheet metal, but i would still be happy to see our rights restored to us. Machine guns shouldn’t be an investment. They should be used to bring joy to all.

  • Jow Blow

    Yet if compared to ammo hoarders/resellers and semi-auto ____ price gougers(capitalists in some people’s eyes) having the market fallout from under them recently…. No one would feel bad for them. There is karmatic justice and more people able to enjoy that part of the sport, will lead more people to have a vested interest. Instead of a screw the rich boys club attitude(how many shooters did we loose when they couldn’t buy ammo for the past year or afford to pay that much, quite a few… ). How many kids aren’t able to shoot their .22 rifles learning and enjoying that part of gun ownership because of a**holes lining their pockets?

    When people can’t ever own anything due to being cut out of the market, a so what, who cares if they ban or require them to_____ attitude forms. Foolishly not realizing that is the stepping stone to their level of guns being next but I digress about how fudds don’t think their high powered sniper rifles are anything like an evil black rifle…. SO NFA people loosing their value will be butt hurt but they are an elite crowd. IS that lost elite-ness so bad for the common man/masses? The rich have to share the sport with blue collar worker workers…. boo hoo hoo…

    People buy cars and house they wind up upside down in for money owed/paid verses resale, so why is that any different than guns.All objects which supply and demand set prices right? Think of all the AR and/or ak owners who bought $500 rifles that for $1,5000 still trying to keep the price up there. How pissy they get when pointed out why would i buy your used rifle when I can buy new for half off or more in price… Sick of them trying to sell to some new sucker on gun forums and gunshows yet? Suddenly people would start selling stuff they have locked away to buy new items bring out rare items back to market.
    The flood in the market would be good but won’t last, everyone will panic buy if available creating the same lack of supplies we’re just getting out of, most will barely get under a deadline before they reban or make the laws worse. We’ll fighting about semi-autos and standard capacity magazines(and even 10rd clips in some states) and sound suppressors( a hearing safety device), a full NFA win is not reality.

    Think the media has scare ratings with “assault weapons” now, wait till they run the scare ratings on “machine guns” becoming legal again and all the gangland shoot outs….Think gun spraying bullets in the on screen picture of said gun. They have the idiot crowds in panic begging for more theatrical protection type laws again….

    Everything will climb again in value, simple fact.See the enfield, the sks, even the mosin has started…., if you bought high because you thought there would never be cheaper you gambled and loss. Man up dawg.

    I don’t think this will really work but it may help show in court that the BATFE is making things up as they go along and whatever pleases their bosses. Not on solid and fair guidelines that are defined fairly. Although justice is determined by who has deeper pockets and political power….. A battle victory but not a war win. It will only slow the every ongoing erosion of our rights.

    Now if I own had 2 more people and the money for a trust and machine gun…….I be willing to take the lost risk.

    It is a perceived value, if that machine gun can’t be sold and/or given to anyone and must be destroyed at the end of the single owner’s life then what value would it have? To a young man more than an old man as the law cut off date approaches…..but in the end it would be worthless legally….I fear that day is more likely our future.

    ….To have the glory days once again(or for the first time, for all the younger people who got screwed by being born too late) we can dream right?……with cheap import ammo and full part kits not demilled…. .I said it was a dream.

  • gunslinger

    no politics, huh? :-)

    while i can see some peopel getting upset about their collection losing value, oh well. sorry. buying MGs as an “insurance policy” or something, not so much.

    and besides, as has been stated, only a loss if you sell. get your 10k (or more) out of it then sell it. economics, how it dun work?

    so, things to think about…BAR, M2 50cal, M134?

  • Doom

    Please god…oh sweet babby jesus… If this happens I am converting my SGL 21 and 10/22 before they can finish saying this is cool and good to go. (they better really stretch out saying it during the 8-12 month wait, more than likely more like 24 month wait if they approve this magical-ness)

  • petru sova

    Lets not forget the ATF does not uphold the law they make up the law as they go along and I am sure they will hand down another ruling to prevent any ownership by trusts or anyone else for that matter of currently manufactured full auto weapons. Its just not going to happen especially under the current administration.

  • Sledgecrowbar

    I can’t believe nobody’s said the other two magic words yet, so they can all be on the same page at the same time.

    Belt fed.

  • HK_USP_45

    ANY entity, person or business, needs a FFL Type 7, and a SOT, to build an NFA item. Doesn’t that make what this guy is trying to do a moot point?

    • Cymond

      No, an individual or trust can build a suppressor, SBR, SBS, or AOW on a simple Form 1 with a just a one-time $200 tax.

  • salty

    2 thoughts,
    1- shoulda have went with something less obnoxious, say a marlin model 60 22 conversion.
    2 MG are kinda also for the “gee whiz look what i have” crowd. and they can always one up you so matter what they will be happy.

    im excited!!

  • Ahmed

    Hopefully this pulls through. Ridiculous that only rich people and government can own fully automatic firearms.