Auto Sear Legality

Discussion in 'Class III / NFA' started by texasgrunt, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. texasgrunt

    texasgrunt New Member

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    Jun 25, 2009
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    Couldn't find it discussed in any other thread. I have found on other websites it is illegal no matter what to make a new "machine gun" since 1986. However, I have seen alot of full-auto videos (juneteenth and Leona) that APPEAR to have "new" full-auto firearms. Are new MG's illegal, or is there a new NFA option? Can you purchase an new auto sear legally?

    Thanks for your patience!
     


  2. ducksps

    ducksps Active Member

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    Austin, Houston
    No civilian transferable guns since May 1986

    The machine guns that are still available for civilian purchase were all registered with the NFA prior to May of 1986. The guns you see in videos are either those or machineguns owned by Class III dealers as post 86 dealer samples.

    GOPA - Law enacted May 18th 1986 freezing the NFA registry preventing any additional civilian transferable machinegun from entering the market. Those weapons registered with the ATF before that date are still lawful to transfer and command a premium price. An example of the price increase is evident in the ability of a law enforcement agency to buy a fully automatic M16 type rifle for the same price ($900-$2200) as a civilian AR15. For a Civilian to purchase the same M16 style rifle it would have had to been listed in the registry prior to 5/18/1986 and those prices range from $9,000-$20,000 depending on conversion or collectability.

    Transferable - Refers to Machineguns on the NFA Registry before enactment on the 1986 Gun Owners Protection Act.

    Pre-86 Dealer Sample - Machineguns which came into the US after the 1968 Gun Control Act and were restricted to Military, Law Enforcement, or Class III distributors. These weapons are less expensive than fully transferable machineguns but significantly more than Post 86 dealer samples. These premium charged for these is due to the ability of a Class III FFL to keep the weapon if the FFL license is no longer maintained and the person no longer is in the firearms business.

    Post-86 Dealer Sample - Machineguns only available to Law Enforcement or Military buyers. For a Class III dealer to receive this weapon a demo letter is required from an authorized purchaser requesting a demonstration. Should a Class III dealer drop their FFL these must be immediately transferred to an authorized entity such as the Military, Law Enforcement or another Class III dealer who has a demo letter
     
  3. SC-Texas

    SC-Texas Moderator Moderator

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    The newer firearms are Dealer samples.

    Here is a veide from Leona with lots of Post 86 dealer samples and a few pre-86 dealer samples
     
  4. jwise

    jwise New Member

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    The auto sear IS the machinegun. The "host" firearm is NOT a machinegun. Once the auto sear is removed from the host, the host remains a normal firearm, and does not need to be registered with the ATF.

    In addition, a machinegun lower receiver could be mated to a brand new upper (for AR-15s.)

    Does this make sense?
     
  5. jwise

    jwise New Member

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    In addition, you CANNOT buy a NEW DROP IN auto sear legally. You CAN buy a standard auto sear if it is to be installed in an already registered machinegun.
     
  6. SC-Texas

    SC-Texas Moderator Moderator

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    By standard do you mean a pre-1986 transferable DIAS (Drop In Auto Sear)?
     
  7. ducksps

    ducksps Active Member

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    Couple of notes;
    1. A drop in sear is considered the machinegun. Such sears to be available to civilians had to be registered with the NFA before May of 1986.
    2. Depending on the firearm hosting the sear it may also need to be registered if the sear is removed and the firearm now is in a SBR configuration. The sear allows use of a shorter than 16inch barrel when in the firearm but if removed and you have a stock and short barrel on an HK SP89 you have just created a new and possibly unregistered weapon meeting SBR specs. Best to have this or similar firearm registered properly if you plan to move your sear around.
    3. As stated above “In addition, you CANNOT buy a NEW DROP IN auto sear legally. You CAN buy a standard auto sear if it is to be installed in an already registered machinegun.” The previous statement is absolutely correct. An example of which is my registered receiver MP5 does not have a registered sear but the frame itself is the registered machinegun. I am able to purchase a working sear from HK or anyone else selling original parts and use those as a replacement for mine if required. This replacement sear however is not the type of registered sear that was used in pre86 machinegun conversions. The just of the matter is if you make a new machinegun or a part to convert (a conversion part is considered a machinegun) an existing firearm into a machinegun you have violated federal law according to the NFA.
     
  8. SC-Texas

    SC-Texas Moderator Moderator

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    DUCKSPS:

    Your caution about the host firearm also being an unregistered SBR is absolutely correct and very important.

    A machinegun has no minimum barrel length requirement or overall length requirement. But when the RDIAS or regisrtered sear/triggerpack is removed, you may well have an SBR.

    You could also, have a unregistered machinegun. i.e. you are running an RDIAS in an AR15. to run the RDIAS, you have to install M-16 fire control group i.e. trigger, sear (the RDIAS isn't the sear in the M16 system), M16 bolt carrier, etc. With the RDIAS outm that AR15 may actually be a machinegun in and of itself if it will fire more than one round with one pull of the trigger. This is a condition known as slam fire and it will occur with M16 FCG parts in an AR15. It can also happen in an HK system.

    Standard Sear: I guess that I am confused by your using the term "standard sear". I see that you are referring to a full auto sear.


    Maybe it is semantics, such as my refusing to allow customers and clients to refer to or call a form 1 or form 4 a "License", but I feel that it is important to use the same languange to describe commonly encountered items.

    There are Transferable Sears that were registered prior to May 19, 1986 commonly referred to as Pre-1986 transferable machienguns.

    Some are commonly referred to as Registered Drop In Auto Sears (RDIAS). these are used in AR-15 style lower receivers.

    Tehre are actual Registered Sears. You generally see these items in H & K trigger packs and are commonly found in H & K MP5 style weapons and HK 91 and 93 style rifles.

    There are also registered sears that were made for FNC CAL rifles. Generally, you find these alone as there were far more sears than CAL rifles.

    Sometimes, the RDIAS or the sear has been "Mated" or "married" to the host weapon which limits the ability of the owner to transfer the sear from one host weapon to another.

    Another flavor of sear is an RDIAS that is a pre-1986 dealer sample. Transferable amongst dealers without a demo letter.

    Finally, we have the post 1986 dealer samples that are transferable to LEO and government agencies or other dealers with a demo letter.

    So, when you say a "STANDARD" sear, you are using language that I am not familiar with to describe an unregistered sear that goes into a registered trigger pack or registered receiver.

    Anyway, The point is be careful when you pull a RDIAS or registered sear out of a host weapon.

    You could be left with an unregistered SBR or Machinegun.
     
  9. I used one in my AR-15, you have to change out your trigger, sear, hammer and safety to M16 parts as well. The DIAS usually has to be timed to the weapon as well.
     
  10. ducksps

    ducksps Active Member

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    Sean,
    When referring to a "standard sear" I was trying to create differentiation for non registered sears which could be used or replaced in a registered receiver machinegun. This would be when the trigger pack or sear is not married to the receiver and any original parts are allowed. This scenario is the case when I wish to change parts in my registered receiver MP5 to various other trigger configurations. These sears or trigger packs as original equipment differ from the sears/trigger packs used as conversion parts and are not interchangeable with semi auto firearms allowing automatic fire. I agree semantics are vitally important and I have not been exposed to a term defining those sears which are considered spare parts.
    The entire NFA process can be quite confusing and we are lucky to have an attorney with a deep knowledge and interest in NFA items to help clear that confusion. Between registered receivers, registered sears, registered trigger packs and the possibility the previously listed items can be married to one another makes this a very complicated subject.
    Glad your here Sean,
    chris
     

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