Suppressors No ATF forms, no shooting?

Ranb

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Aug 15, 2008
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For only the second time since 2002 when I made my first silencer, I was asked for proof of registration. This was the first time I was asked in WA State. Last Saturday was one of those rare days when I forgot to bring my ATF form 1 copies with me to the range. I was told I couldn’t shoot unless I showed proof of registration. While I have no problem with proving registration of a silencer, I don't like the way it was done that day.

The range officer approached me after I fired a round and asked to see my registration forms. I told him I didn't have them with me today and offered to show my driver's license and the engraving on the form 1 silencers. He said it wasn't good enough. I told him I was not required by federal law to show the forms to anyone but the BATFE and that state law and club rules also did not require it. He disagreed with me and claimed federal law required me to carry copies with me. I told him he was wrong and asked him for the statute. I ended up giving him my card and he said he would show me the statute. I’m not holding my breath over this one.

The RO went on and on about how he was a former LEO and told a story about some guys in CA who had their NFA firearms seized. He then asked where I worked (PSNS). He also claimed asking for proof of legal ownership of firearms was at the range officer's discretion (according to the club rules it is not, although the SOP says the RO's word is law). I thought he was being rude and wondered what was going to happen when he asked for proof of legal ownership of shotguns or revolvers that I bring to the range. I have no legal documents proving ownership of some of my firearms.

I wrote to the club president after I got home and received a reply soon after. He acknowlegded the problem and invited me to speak with the club about the issue. He knows my reputation as someone who worked to change the WA law banning silencer use, so at least I'm not a nobody in his eyes. It kind of put a damper on the whole weekend. I am used to being called a criminal on the internet, but this is the first time anyone has been foolish enough to make up a non-existant law to get me away from the rifle range.

I'm going to keep the name of the club confidential unless I can't get the issue resolved in a reasonable manner.

Anyone else have this problem?

Ranb
 

bm11

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Jun 18, 2010
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Never. I've never been asked and never had anything negative happen. Hell I was at the range about a month back shooting my suppressed AIAX's, and the Maine State Police was there doing some training. They came over and asked all kinds of questions (in a firearms enthusiast sort of way) without ever asking how I acquired it, if I had proof, etc etc. I was wearing a Ranger hoodie with a Molon Labe patch and one of them noticed it and said"great patch, where did you get it, I want one!" He then went on to explain that they all felt the same way with the bullshit government gun grab attempt and that they weren't going to comply with any orders.

Never had an issue. Even with full auto, though I don't recall being at the range with my m16 with a cop there at the same time.
 

Douglas-001

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I've never made any cans, bought mine. The RO sounds like a know it all. Maybe he just wanted try it out? Bonk him over the melon with it. Dual purpose suppressor. Good joke, bad taste. Sorry to hear about the drama. I've never had anyone confront me while using cans at the range. That RO challenges you, but does he catch others who may handling firearms in an unsafe mannner?

Doug
 

NGCSUGrad09

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Ignorance and bad information are the plague of the NFA world. Despite what it sounds like you tried to convey to him; some people (especially us gun guys; and even more so ROs) don't like to admit it when we are wrong.
 

Ranb

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I attended a club meeting yesterday and was allowed to talk about the problem. It was a bizarre experience to say the least. As I was talking, the offending RO interrupted me to claim that 90% of what I was saying was false, that I had refused to show him my ATF form 4 (I have none, they are all form 1 cans) that I only had one rifle at the range, (I had three suppressed rifles and a case of handguns) and that instead of supplying me with the statute I was in violation of as promised he talked to some guys at a gun store and they told him I was required to show copies of the forms when asked. I was stunned that he was willing to remain so ignorant instead of making a small effort to educate himself on the law.

In the middle of all this one of the club members used his tablet to look up the BATFE FAQ that said silencer owners were required to show their proof of registration to the ATF and it was recommended that they have copies with them. I also had a copy of the various laws including the appropriate portions of Titles 26 and 27 as well as CFR’s parts 478 and 479 with me but didn’t have a chance to do anything with them except hold them up in the air while I spoke to emphasize that we have to obey the law, not gun shop rumors. The general consensus of the board was that silencer owners should not be singled out to prove they are in compliance with the law and that no one should be required to show proof of registration to any range officer.

As I had hoped, this was a range officer problem and not a club problem. The RO claimed he was not going to work at the range as RO anymore due to another issue. I noticed he is not on the schedule for June either. Since no one has anything to gain by knowing the name of the club or the RO, I will keep them to myself.

I was asked to put together as presentation at the next safety meeting to educate the staff on registration requirements.

Ranb
 

smschulz

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He wouldn't be the first in law enforcement (present or past) not to know the law.
Could be just being arrogant and nosey.
Good luck on future events.
 

dogman

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Sounds like you turned a negative experience into a positive for for everyone except the close-minded RO.
 

Hammertime

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I have not had any problems at the range YET, but would not be surprised if it does happen someday, especially considering where I live. It's nice to see it all worked out for you at the club and you were able to educate a group of people in the process. Good job. Also, two thumbs up for having the skill to build something the rest of us have to pay a small fortune for!
 

m1garand30064

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It sounds like you handled the situation well. I'm sorry Barney Fife was on a power trip that day and ruined your weekend at the range.
 

sniperdude

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I feel that, while about 3000 miles from you, I ran into barny fife's brother. almost a similar situation with an old retired know it all range officer. I get approached in the middle of my shooting with a loud
"that's illegal here" , loud enough to cause others to stop shooting (there were only a couple there...but still) , I did have my papers with me but due to his attitude I told him to notify the police and I would
show them whatever necessary. he asked for my range id and as for the range rules I complied then he says he need a second id, so now im figuring this guys being a fukstick now , so I show him my badge and police id
and said to him if I was violating any range rules to show me which, if not I would like to continue my shooting , this was a couple years ago. I still see him and he leaves me alone



I can see there always one out there , like mentioned above it seems you handled it well ( better than me).
 

*Nine

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Some buddies and I were shooting up on Forest Service land last year in Whatcom County and a couple of sherrifs pulled up and started talking to us. We had a few suppressors and the sheriffs asked to see our Form 4s. I reminded them that we're only required to show them to the ATF and they admitted that was true, they were just curious if we kept the forms with us. They were nice enough guys so we showed them the copies, though I don't think they even looked at them for more than a second. After that we talked about guns for a while and it turned out the sheriffs were big gun guys. That's the only time I've ever had anyone ask anything about a suppressor. Even my local fudd range has never given me any trouble about them.
 

Strykervet

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    Good job.

    But take a closer look. I think it is state law that requires you to show those papers to "anyone". And in WA, that could literally mean anyone, cop or not. It isn't federal, it is state. I'd take a closer look. I think I recall coming across it looking through my trust one day. I think it has more burden than does your carry permit.

    That is probably why he couldn't find it, then went and asked a gun store clerk who didn't know the difference but verified that. Because by federal law you are right. On the other hand, there have been issues with "former cops" pulling this shit at ranges and they weren't even RC. Threatened that even if the guy was right, he "couldn't beat the ride, so do what I say" type shit.

    If I'm wrong about the state law though, I'd like to know, but pretty sure it says they can ask.

    Also, a lot of places don't want this law changed back because of stupid people, so I think that may have something to do with it. That and we are headed towards a "papers please" society anyway.
     

    thrusty

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    Sorry to hear some of these experiences. Our range SOP requires that people be in possession of necessary paperwork and provide it as necessary....I don't think this is a bad rule either, since at any moment the ATF can show up on site - whether to inspect the on-grounds FFL or following up on a firearm complaint.

    I've seen a great deal of full autos, suppressors and SBRs...however, I've yet to say..."papers please". Though, as an RSO on range property we can if we feel necessary. I think it's all in the delivery of that request though....if you have someone being an obvious prick, then, yeah, I would be upset...especially when they themselves can't provide documentation that they are in the right.

    ATF is the only agency who can request paperwork.....though, anyone can make your life hell until ATF shows up. I keep copies of my Form 4s with me at all times and I hope to never run across an LEO who hates guns and knows nothing about firearm laws.
     

    Ranb

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    The RSO insisted that it was federal law he was talking about and not state law.
    But take a closer look. I think it is state law that requires you to show those papers to "anyone". And in WA, that could literally mean anyone, cop or not. It isn't federal, it is state. I'd take a closer look.

    Here is an example of an affirmative defense exception in the WA RCW. RCW 9.41.190: Unlawful firearms ? Exceptions.
    (1) It is unlawful for any person to manufacture, own, buy, sell, loan, furnish, transport, or have in possession or under control, any machine gun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle; or any part designed and intended solely and exclusively for use in a machine gun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle, or in converting a weapon into a machine gun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle; or to assemble or repair any machine gun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle.
    (3) It shall be an affirmative defense to a prosecution brought under this section that the machine gun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle was acquired prior to July 1, 1994, and is possessed in compliance with federal law.

    Here is the silencer law. RCW 9.41.250: Dangerous weapons ? Penalty.
    (1) Every person who:
    (c) Uses any contrivance or device for suppressing the noise of any firearm unless the suppressor is legally registered and possessed in accordance with federal law, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.
    I'm not a lawyer so I can't say if the silencer law exception is an affirmative defense. But if I was threatened with arrest for using a silencer, I would show my ATF form 1.

    Ranb
     

    Cosmoline

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    You have to show your Forms to the range master at any Wildlife Management Area shooting range here in Georgia. Last time I went I forgot a couple of my Forms and even though I shot the silencers and SBR for near an hour the range master decided to ask me if I had the Forms, since I didn't he asked that I not shoot them. Kinda stupid because I had two other silencers with the Forms and I was OK'ed to continue shooting those.
     

    mike in pa

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    I know that here in PA all NFA is illegal unless Federally registered. That being said, if any form of LE that wants to see it, better see it and if someone that can cause an issue with the LE needs to see it, like a range officer, etc you need to show them or expect to be hassled.

    Personally, I have never been asked by anyone to see my Form 1s or 4s.
     

    Strykervet

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    I looked through my trust, where I thought I saw what I told you, and I couldn't find it. It has relevant parts of the federal and state law, so it should have been in there. I didn't go cover to cover, but skimmed well (there is a lot there). I did see some of the stuff you quote though. I wonder where I read that. I thought there was a part to the state law that said you had to show your tax stamp to whoever asks for it.

    I'm wrong? That is nowhere in the state law? I suppose I could have called the lawyer that did my trust, but too late now. Now I'm totally interested for curiosity's sake.
     

    bhart89

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    I'll show my forms to anyone who asks.... After they provide me with copies of their W2's.

    I keep business card sized copies of my forms in my wallet but they are so small you would need a magnifying glass to read the serial numbers.
     
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    KYS

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    If he is not a LEO or Federal Agent then he cannot ask for such documents unless you are occupying his personal property. Your best bet was to ask for upper management and tell said RO to pound sand.
    Don't let anyone bully you because you exercised your right to own a suppressor.
     

    MosesTheTank

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    With one exception I have always found LEOs to be quite gun friendly. And I always let them take a spin on my guns when we engage in conversation. But I have always lived in gun friendly states. However, I have had a few unfortunate run ins with ROs. The best was when I was with 2 of my sisters. Both of them were trying out their Daniel Defense SBRs, and I brought along my 308 equipped with an AAC MK13. This was a public range in southeast LA. The RO got so spun up that I sensed his approach before he even got to us. All in a tizzy he said my sisters had illegal firearms and that I need to produce paper work for the can. We all produced paper work, and then my sisters both produced their badges; US Customs and New Orleans PD, respectively. They were all smiles with the RO and wanted to know if there was anything else he needed help with.

    As the ROs have a responsibility for range safety, I feel it is the club's responsibility to ensure their ROs are equipped with both sufficient knowledge and an appropriate demeanor. I always keep a 50% reduced and laminated copy of my paper work with me. It's easy enough to have done at Staples, and I prefer to just produce the paper work and shrug it off than argue. At least most of the time.
     

    427Cobra

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    I carry 25% sized copies with me, only once has a LEO asked to see my permit, I informed him I had no permit or license, as those documents infer its a privilege not a Right under the 2nd, he looked perplexed and I said I have a copy of my Form 4 with Tax Stamp with me. Frankly I think you screwed up, having a copy with you would have settled this at the start of it, making know it all look dumb, weather it's required by law or not, having copies with you is a good idea.
     

    Ranb

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    Frankly I think you screwed up, having a copy with you would have settled this at the start of it, making know it all look dumb, weather it's required by law or not, having copies with you is a good idea.
    Since I normally carry copies of my forms with me when shooting I could have partially resolved the issue if I had them that tday.

    But the real issue is that I actually did everything right while the RO did everything wrong. I obeyed the letter of the law, he falsely accused me of breaking federal law and club rules. If you had to pick a side, what side would it be?

    Ranb
     

    MosesTheTank

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    Ranb, 100% on your side. It was an unfortunate incident due to sheer ignorance. As I said previously, I believe the organization that put that RO in place is really to blame. The RO has some sort of deficit and I believe you did the right thing by taking it up with the club.
     

    Conrad101st

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    I just shot an image of my form 4's with my iPhone. I do that with my passport, car insurance verification, plane tickets, etc.

    Need them, scroll through, show screen and tell him to have a groovy day.
     

    normbal

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    I just shot an image of my form 4's with my iPhone. I do that with my passport, car insurance verification, plane tickets, etc.

    Need them, scroll through, show screen and tell him to have a groovy day.

    That's an excellent idea.

    I have copies of each of mine protected with map seal, folded inside a small zip lock in the buttpad pocket of the long guns they're married to and a set inside my range bag. That said, I've dealt with my share of range nazis over the years regarding other issues. My favorite was testing some handloads on my way home from work by firing ten rounds into the berm at 100 yds. I got chewed out because I didn't use a target. Wasn't a rule for it and I told him so, packed up and left.

    I've never been asked for my Form 4s. Kind of like bringing an umbrella and it never rains. Just that once though...
     

    Arbiter

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    On our range we do require owners of NFA items to produce the associated forms when requested if they wish to shoot.

    That being said, we don't typically ask regulars to provide forms for things that are obviously legal. We have refused individuals who claimed to be law enforcement but couldn't produce ID or forms for their items, and we've also refused individuals who clearly were in possession of illegal SBRs or other questionable items.
     

    Altnews

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    The RSO insisted that it was federal law he was talking about and not state law.


    Here is an example of an affirmative defense exception in the WA RCW. RCW 9.41.190: Unlawful firearms ? Exceptions.


    Here is the silencer law. RCW 9.41.250: Dangerous weapons ? Penalty.

    I'm not a lawyer so I can't say if the silencer law exception is an affirmative defense. But if I was threatened with arrest for using a silencer, I would show my ATF form 1.

    Ranb

    RCW 9.41.190
    Unlawful firearms — Exceptions.


    (1) It is unlawful for any person to manufacture, own, buy, sell, loan, furnish, transport, or have in possession or under control, any machine gun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle; or any part designed and intended solely and exclusively for use in a machine gun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle, or in converting a weapon into a machine gun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle; or to assemble or repair any machine gun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle.

    (2) This section shall not apply to:

    (a) Any peace officer in the discharge of official duty or traveling to or from official duty, or to any officer or member of the armed forces of the United States or the state of Washington in the discharge of official duty or traveling to or from official duty; or

    (b) A person, including an employee of such person if the employee has undergone fingerprinting and a background check, who or which is exempt from or licensed under federal law, and engaged in the production, manufacture, repair, or testing of machine guns, short-barreled shotguns, or short-barreled rifles:

    (i) To be used or purchased by the armed forces of the United States;

    (ii) To be used or purchased by federal, state, county, or municipal law enforcement agencies; or

    (iii) For exportation in compliance with all applicable federal laws and regulations.

    (3) It shall be an affirmative defense to a prosecution brought under this section that the machine gun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle was acquired prior to July 1, 1994, and is possessed in compliance with federal law.

    (4) Any person violating this section is guilty of a class C felony.
    *****
    Note that the machine gun, SBR or SBS must be federally licensed AND OBTAINED PRIOR TO July 1, 1994. Also note it's an "affirmative defense" for Joe Civilian (not a dealer or manufacturer selling to LE) which for the benefit of those who don't know what that means, it means that possession IS a "prima facie" crime and they CAN arrest you on the spot for possession, seize the weapon, charge you, take you to jail, hold you pending arraignment, force you to post bond and bring you before a judge. At which point you produce the BATFE paperwork to the judge and the judge dismisses the case. If they want to...which they will if you cop an attitude with them.

    This means that ANY SBR or SBS manufactured after that date is NOT LEGAL TO POSSESS in Washington state, and it's a Class C felony.

    And all LE officers in WA are REQUIRED to seize any machine gun, SBR, SBS or parts thereof as contraband. It's not optional.

    RCW 9.41.220
    Unlawful firearms and parts contraband.


    All machine guns, short-barreled shotguns, or short-barreled rifles, or any part designed and intended solely and exclusively for use in a machine gun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle, or in converting a weapon into a machine gun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle, illegally held or illegally possessed are hereby declared to be contraband, and it shall be the duty of all peace officers, and/or any officer or member of the armed forces of the United States or the state of Washington, to seize said machine gun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle, or parts thereof, wherever and whenever found.

    Then, if you had it prior to July 1, 1994, you spend a couple of months trying to get your machine gun or SBR back because the cops will likely stonewall you till your lawyer files a lawsuit.

    The concealed carry law in Colorado was an "affirmative defense" statute for a very long time, which resulted in, believe it or not, off-duty State Patrol officers carrying concealed being arrested and jailed by Denver PD cops (some of the most brutal and corrupt cops this side of Chicago), as well as citizens being arrested and jailed until they appeared before the judge, as a method of harassment by cops and DA's (particularly our gun-hating, criminal-loving former Governor Bill Ritter, who was Denver DA for a long time) merely because they could.

    The new CCW law enacted a few years ago changed that "affirmative defense" to "not a crime" and put an end to the harassment.

    But as for silencers, the WA statute clearly EXCEPTS properly-registered cans, so it is NOT a crime to possess one.

    I saw nothing in the statutes requiring anyone to show any paperwork to anybody. My interpretation would be that unless you are arrested for committing some other crime, your possession of a silencer that's properly marked is perfectly legal, and therefore no police officer has either reasonable suspicion or probable cause to demand that you produce the paperwork, or for that matter seize the silencer pending a show of evidence in court.

    Unfortunately, that won't stop some ignorant cop (or just one who doesn't like civilians having silencers) from either ticketing you or seizing your can and forcing you to show up in court and prove it's licensed.

    My practice is to be polite to the police (because I was one) but firmly inform them of the law and state that I am committing no crime by being in possession of a silencer because it is properly registered as required. When they insist on seeing the paperwork, invoking the AFT regs as well as the Fourth and Fifth Amendments (search and seizure...remember your tax stamp is a private paper...and self-incrimination) is the final step. Done authoritatively and with conviction, but with exaggerated respect for the officer will usually win the day. However, there's always one asshole cop out there who will be determined to harass you in any way he can just because he doesn't think civilians should own silencers, and when you run into him, THEN you pull the BATFE forms out and trump his ignorance.
     

    cruzie27

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    I know that here in PA all NFA is illegal unless Federally registered. That being said, if any form of LE that wants to see it, better see it and if someone that can cause an issue with the LE needs to see it, like a range officer, etc you need to show them or expect to be hassled.

    Personally, I have never been asked by anyone to see my Form 1s or 4s.

    Nationwide having a unregistered NFA item is illegal,.. PA allows all types of NFA items. Please tell me the relevant statutes in PA law that say I HAVE to show my forms to anyone other than BATFE agents.

    Joe blow on the firing line can go pound sand if they give me any kind of attitude while showing gross ignorance of the laws that govern NFA items.

    That being said I have been asked several times "how" it is legal to own by individuals, so I basically give them a brief run down of the process. This includes LEO's at the state & local level to include Pennsylvania Game Commission WCO's, who are to date are the only ones that have ever even asked to see the forms. Now I explain that federal law requires that I show my paperwork to BATFE agents,. but out of professional courtesy I will give them a brief overview of all the NFA forms they are likely to encounter in performance of their duty. (I keep my a NFA binder in my go bag) In this particular case the WCO thought I had a MG, I showed him that it was not and even let him fire it so he could see for himself. Once the weapon was made clear & safe I disassembled it to show him what to look for in this particular type of firearm that would make it a MG.

    IF,. and only IF the shooting club or range I was at had it in their range rules that I have to show it to range personnel I would. But I do not go to any ranges or clubs like that. Also if you are on someone's private property then out of basic respect you show the land owner if they ask.
     
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    mike in pa

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    Nationwide having a unregistered NFA item is illegal,.. PA allows all types of NFA items. Please tell me the relevant statutes in PA law that say I HAVE to show my forms to anyone other than BATFE agents.

    Joe blow on the firing line can go pound sand if they give me any kind of attitude while showing gross ignorance of the laws that govern NFA items.

    That being said I have been asked several times "how" it is legal to own by individuals, so I basically give them a brief run down of the process. This includes LEO's at the state & local level to include Pennsylvania Game Commission WCO's, who are to date are the only ones that have ever even asked to see the forms. Now I explain that federal law requires that I show my paperwork to BATFE agents,. but out of professional courtesy I will give them a brief overview of all the NFA forms they are likely to encounter in performance of their duty. (I keep my a NFA binder in my go bag) In this particular case the WCO thought I had a MG, I showed him that it was not and even let him fire it so he could see for himself. Once the weapon was made clear & safe I disassembled it to show him what to look for in this particular type of firearm that would make it a MG.

    IF, and only IF the shooting club or range I was at had it in their range rules that I have to show it to range personnel I would. But I do not go to any ranges or clubs like that. Also if you are on someone's private property then out of basic respect you show the land owner if they ask.

    Since you seem to have an attitude on who should and should not be able to see your Form 1 or 4, I will not waste any more time especially looking for "Statutes".

    I like how you say that you will only show your Forms to the BATF, but then say that you will show it to LEOs, WCO, and even range officers if necessary. So much for consistency in your post.

    Oh BTW not all NFA is legal in P.A., P.A. does not allow exploding DDs, only large bore DDs.
     

    KYS

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    30
    Lexington, KY
    Nationwide having a unregistered NFA item is illegal,.. PA allows all types of NFA items. Please tell me the relevant statutes in PA law that say I HAVE to show my forms to anyone other than BATFE agents.

    Joe blow on the firing line can go pound sand if they give me any kind of attitude while showing gross ignorance of the laws that govern NFA items.

    That being said I have been asked several times "how" it is legal to own by individuals, so I basically give them a brief run down of the process. This includes LEO's at the state & local level to include Pennsylvania Game Commission WCO's, who are to date are the only ones that have ever even asked to see the forms. Now I explain that federal law requires that I show my paperwork to BATFE agents,. but out of professional courtesy I will give them a brief overview of all the NFA forms they are likely to encounter in performance of their duty. (I keep my a NFA binder in my go bag) In this particular case the WCO thought I had a MG, I showed him that it was not and even let him fire it so he could see for himself. Once the weapon was made clear & safe I disassembled it to show him what to look for in this particular type of firearm that would make it a MG.

    IF,. and only IF the shooting club or range I was at had it in their range rules that I have to show it to range personnel I would. But I do not go to any ranges or clubs like that. Also if you are on someone's private property then out of basic respect you show the land owner if they ask.

    Any LEO or Federal agent has the right to ask for the forms....
    If you are on private land, the owner can ask to see it......
    If you are on a privately owned range, you may be asked to show the forms to make sure you are in compliance with the laws, so it does not affect their means of business.

    Have a F*** you type attitude towards everybody will get you only a few things when firearms are involved.
    1. Put in handcuffs
    2. Thrown off a range and told not to come back
    3. Make YOU look like a prick

    Let's try to be helpful and compliant so we (gun owners) don't look bad.
     

    cruzie27

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jul 13, 2008
    228
    1
    43
    (570) PA.
    I totally agree with you about the about the land owner having the right to ask to see your forms to make sure you are not bringing anything illegal onto his property. Ranges that clearly state you must show the proper documentation that your property is legally owned have every right to do so. if you disagree with this shoot somewhere else.

    Most of my shooting with NFA items, especially MG's is done on private land, the land owner has some very nice MG's as do a few of the friends I shoot with. The private range I belong to does not ask questions or require proof of anything other than your valid hunting permit IF you plan to hunt on their grounds.

    Now making the assumption that everyone in this thread has a NFA item, and we have read the NFA hand book it may be pointless to post this information here,. but here it is.
    If you do not have a copy of this it can be downloaded for free from the BATFE website. Home | ATF

    Printed copies are not available anywhere,. if you want to print the handbook to have something in black in white to show those that do not know about the NFA you will need to do so at your own expense.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Section 3.4 ATF disclosure of NFA registration information

    3.4.1 Restrictive use of information. The NFA provides that no information or evidence obtained from an application, registration, or records required to be
    submitted or retained by a natural person (individual) in order to comply with the NFA or the NFA regulations shall be used directly or indirectly as evidence against
    the person in a criminal proceeding with respect to a violation of law occurring prior to or concurrently with the filing of the application or registration.50 Filing
    false information is an exception to this prohibition.51


    3.4.2 Prohibition on ATF’s disclosure of tax returns or tax return information. NFA forms are treated as tax returns and registration information in the NFRTR is
    considered to be tax return information. ATF is generally prohibited from disclosing tax returns and tax return information.52 However, firearms registration
    information may be disclosed to registered owners/possessors of the firearms.


    3.4.3 Determining the registration status of an NFA firearm. The situation may arise when a person finds in his or her possession an NFA firearm and is uncertain
    whether the firearm is lawfully registered. Naturally, the person will want to query the NFA Branch to determine the registration status of the firearm. Because of the
    restriction on disclosure of NFA registration information discussed in section 3.4.2, ATF will not respond to the person’s telephone request for the registration
    status of the firearm. To communicate with the person, the NFA Branch will respond to the request if the person verifies his or her identity to the Branch in writing.
    If the firearm is registered to the person in the NFRTR, the Branch will so advise the person and, if the circumstances warrant, provide the person with a copy of the
    registration. See also Section 3.5 on lost or stolen registration documents.


    Section 3.5 Lost or stolen registration documents. <<snipped>>

    Section 3.6 Correcting incorrect registration documents. <<snipped>>


    Section 3.7 Maintaining registration documents. A person possessing an NFA firearm registered as required by law must retain proof of registration, that is, the
    document showing the person’s registration, which must be made available to ATF upon request.55




    CHAPTER 12. RECORDKEEPING

    Section 12.1 Maintaining proof of registration. The NFA requires that a person possessing a firearm registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer
    Record (NFRTR) retain proof of registration which must be made available to the Attorney General, specifically an ATF agent or investigator, upon request.184
    Proof of registration would be on a Form 1 registering a firearm to its maker, Form 2 registering a firearm to an importer or manufacturer, or a Form 3, 4, or 5
    showing registration of a firearm to a transferee.


    12.1.1 Manner in which registration documents must be kept. NFA regulations require FFLs/SOTs maintain their registration documents in chronological order
    at their place of business.185
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________




    Please pay attention to the wording,. the devil is in the details as they say. (12.1.1 is an excellent idea for non FFL holders,. but I am a bit OCD)

    In the course of this thread it has been implyied that some states require you to show proof to state and local LE as part of the state allowing you to have the NFA item. Last I knew, and only speaking for my state we did not have this requirement. If we are now legally required to do so by the state or federal goverment that is quite a signifigant change that hopefully can be found in the state or federal statues concerning the NFA.

    I have always gone out of my way to be respectful to all LEO's as I have several in my family and among my friends. As it has been pointed out in this thread already there are a number of LEO's that do not know each and every rule about firearms, much less NFA regulations. It is our duty to know and comply with these laws, rules and regulations, enforcement is their job.

    My apologies to Mike in PA for not being able to articulate what i was trying to get across. You are absolutlely correct about the exploding DD,my mistake for leaving that out. PA will allow you to own everything else,. but no golden nuggets for the 40 mike mikes or anything else. (killjoys!)
     

    Hardmix

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Mar 18, 2009
    109
    0
    Cumming, Ga
    Good conversation on a decision most of us will face at some point. In my range bag I keep a reduced stamp that has been laminated, I also like the electronic idea.

    By the way I think you handled it pretty well.

    Hardmix
     

    bohem

    PVA's HMFIC
    Commercial Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jan 6, 2009
    7,773
    2,228
    Southeast, PA
    www.patriotvalleyarms.com
    I keep several copies of all my stamps with me in my data book, range bag, hunting bag, hunting tag holder, etc. I do my damndest not to be without it.

    I've been questioned for it by an RSO and I asked the guy for his ID prior to showing personally identifying information.

    "I'm the RSO, you're on my range, you need to show it"

    "I'm the owner, my privacy is at stake, so show me your USDOJ badge and ID that specifies you to be an ATF Agent."

    "I'm not."

    "OK, then show me in the published range rules where I need to show it upon demand to a non-ATF Agent"

    "It isn't there"

    Then you don't get to see it. ATF Agents are the ONLY law enforcement that can mandate you show the ID.

    Everyone else gets to refer to the ATF. I don't care who you are or what your responsibility is at the range. Invasion of privacy is sacred, whackadoodle Range Safety Nazi's are just as bad as the moonbats and I won't suffer their incompetence or ignorance. If the range rules specifically state that I must show it upon demand to an authorized RSO on a privately owned range it is a different story and I can choose to patronize the establishment or not.

    I think the OP handled it well both on the range and with the meeting. I'm trying to learn, but patience for the ignorant (especially arrogantly ignorant) is not my strong suite.
     

    limamike56

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 9, 2008
    330
    1
    Western North Carolina
    This is a slippery slope, indeed.

    It's a sad day when a member in good standing of his shooting club has to prove he is not doing anything illegal when he comes to shoot. What's next providing proof every time you shoot that you have not recently committed a felony and can therefore own and shoot a firearm? As a retired LEO, I am fully supportive of the need to show all the proper forms and ID, when there is probable cause that someone has committed a crime, and that is about it.
     

    Altnews

    Full Member
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Oct 9, 2010
    125
    0
    68
    Boulder, CO
    This is a slippery slope, indeed.

    It's a sad day when a member in good standing of his shooting club has to prove he is not doing anything illegal when he comes to shoot. What's next providing proof every time you shoot that you have not recently committed a felony and can therefore own and shoot a firearm? As a retired LEO, I am fully supportive of the need to show all the proper forms and ID, when there is probable cause that someone has committed a crime, and that is about it.

    The key is "when there is probable cause." Mere possession of an NFA device that is not prohibited by state law (ie: not permitted or must be registered) is NOT probable cause, or even reasonable suspicion of a criminal act, therefore a law enforcement officer does NOT have authority to demand registration paperwork. A police officer approaching you in a situation where you're not being investigated for a specific crime, like trespassing or illegal shooting, can initiate a voluntary contact with you, but cannot detain or arrest you without either reasonable, articulable suspicion or probable cause...which doesn't mean they WON'T do so...just that they aren't supposed to.

    Some cop comes up to you at a legal firing range and starts demanding ID and papers, they are violating your civil rights, but usually they are doing so in a LEGAL manner by very subtly making it a "voluntary contact" and eliciting a confession to committing a crime from you while you are NOT in custody.

    He may of course ASK for it in a way that sounds very much like a command, which is what LE officers are trained to do, but you can always ask "what happens if I respectfully decline your request?" If he says "I'll arrest you" then either show him the registration or take it up with the judge because you will NOT likely be able to play roadside lawyer and convince him he doesn't have authority to demand your papers. He will just ignore your pontifications and advice and hook and book you...because he can. And because he knows that the chances that you will file a civil rights claim against him closely approach zero. And once he's hooked you, he's got your can, your gun and everything else, which the department and prosecutor will hang on to just about forever (which brings up an interesting question if a street cop is guilty of being illegally in possession of an NFA item when he seizes it...) until all appeals are exhausted, and then they will stonewall your demand for return, and if they are really good, they will "lose" your can "in the system" and offer you their sincere apology...while their tac team shoots the shit out of your can on the QT.

    And they won't pay you for it either.