M14 Forum banner
41 - 60 of 73 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,197 Posts
PS Lucky, re: "By the example ATF created, would it be any harder to take an SAI or other "M1A" receiver, fabricate a stud, do a little welding and cutting and convert to full auto? "
A BIG Nope.. It would not, big part of the MKS case is "restore back" or "readily convert" back to a firearm that started life as a "machinegun". It's all in the wording.:eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,432 Posts
directly from Hahn back in the 90s, and IIRC came with the "approval letter".
Approval letters don't seem to matter to BATFE the day after they write them. Ask all the people with bump-stocks and pistol braces or any other recent " Na, we don't wanna honor that"
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,197 Posts
Approval letters don't seem to matter to BATFE the day after they write them. Ask all the people with bump-stocks and pistol braces or any other recent " Na, we don't wanna honor that"
Agreed Jack.. BUT for me, I'd rather have it (letter) and not need it, then need it and not have it.
And again, I've never heard of any Hahns or Pearls being confiscated, but several MKSs were and we have a few members here that had them taken and have posted their experiences.
One member was smart enough to talk the agent into letting him strip the rifle down and only gave the receiver. Kept all the rest of the parts.
 

·
Registered
Custom service rifle builder
Joined
·
8,731 Posts
Back 20 some years ago I worked on a half dozen MKS rifles, both welded and new production. Most came back to me to disassemble so the customers could turn the receivers over to the ATF. The ATF even contacted me to make sure I had some in my possession when they were tracking them down. They apparently were not in a hurry to get them and didn't come to my shop to pick any up. The big problem with MKS welded receivers was the fact that Kelly was including a letter from the ATF allowing the M14 receiver to be welded back together. Unfortunately for Kelly, the letter was not addressed to him or his operation and he actually did not have ATF approval to do this. It was addressed to one individual to weld together one receiver. I ave a copy somewhere in my files. The receivers (both types) included the selector bracket, sear release and connector rod. Yes, it was welded up, but the parts were installed. I should point out that I was not impressed by the quality of Kelly's work, but that is no matter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,787 Posts
PS Lucky, re: "By the example ATF created, would it be any harder to take an SAI or other "M1A" receiver, fabricate a stud, do a little welding and cutting and convert to full auto? "
A BIG Nope.. It would not, big part of the MKS case is "restore back" or "readily convert" back to a firearm that started life as a "machinegun". It's all in the wording.:eek:
Yes, it is. I would just point out that in Vollmer, the Court specifically stated that if ATF's interpretation was legitimate, it meant that ALL semi auto rifles would fit the definition of "readily restorable." This is why they determined that the agency's reasoning was not valid, nor did it meet with statutory backing. There are definite conflicts between the MKS decision, which is at the District Court level and went on summary judgement without even a full trial, and the Vollmer which went one way in District after trial and was largely overturned at the Appellate level. If anyone I know was somehow subject to a prosecution along these lines, I'd want him and his attorneys to be fully armed with the Vollmer precedent. That's the key point and why I wanted to post about it.

Approval letters don't seem to matter to BATFE the day after they write them. Ask all the people with bump-stocks and pistol braces or any other recent " Na, we don't wanna honor that"
Funny. I learned long ago that approval letters were, for the most part, not going to save you from anything. The reasonableness of the LEOs one is dealing with in a situation makes a bigger difference than the letter. If they take your firearm, all that matters is whether your particular gun functions as semi or if FTB can manipulate it to fire two or more rounds even in one instance.

I had a conversation about approval letters fairly recently, and it was confirmed to me that for a semi auto design, based on a machine gun, no ATF approval letter is required. I knew that, of course, but I got that confirmation in a face to face conversation with that former Assistant Chief of the Firearms Technology Branch himself, Rick Vasquez. Not that they are a bad thing, but they are not a legal ruling, just an opinion with no value to save your tail in court.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,197 Posts
Lucky, just want to clarify my statement above regarding adding a lug to an SAI or other. When I say Nope, not at all, I'm saying no it would not be a big deal to physically do it. Anyone who knows how to weld could do one.
Curious, does former agent Rick Vasquez still agree or stand behind the ruling regarding specifically M14s?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,197 Posts
Back 20 some years ago I worked on a half dozen MKS rifles, both welded and new production. Most came back to me to disassemble so the customers could turn the receivers over to the ATF. The ATF even contacted me to make sure I had some in my possession when they were tracking them down. They apparently were not in a hurry to get them and didn't come to my shop to pick any up. The big problem with MKS welded receivers was the fact that Kelly was including a letter from the ATF allowing the M14 receiver to be welded back together. Unfortunately for Kelly, the letter was not addressed to him or his operation and he actually did not have ATF approval to do this. It was addressed to one individual to weld together one receiver. I ave a copy somewhere in my files. The receivers (both types) included the selector bracket, sear release and connector rod. Yes, it was welded up, but the parts were installed. I should point out that I was not impressed by the quality of Kelly's work, but that is no matter.
Ted, what is your opinion of this one up on GB now? Do you see possible legal issues?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,787 Posts
Lucky, just want to clarify my statement above regarding adding a lug to an SAI or other. When I say Nope, not at all, I'm saying no it would not be a big deal to physically do it. Anyone who knows how to weld could do one.
Curious, does former agent Rick Vasquez still agree or stand behind the ruling regarding specifically M14s?
I appreciate the clarification, and that is exactly how I understood your comment. That is in line with my point, based on what the DC Circuit Court said, arguing AGAINST ATF. It suggests that anyone "could" convert most any semi auto rifle if they had the tools used by Vasquez in the MKS case, and the 8 hours time which the court in that case stated was in keeping with ATF's argument. So there are conflicting rulings on the critical details between the Vollmer ruling and MKS. In the latter, the court backed ATF. In the former, the court said that was nuts.

I didn't realize Rick was the FTB agent on the MKS case until I read it at the link you provided. (Thanks for that, by the way!) He is one of the good guys, based on all my experience with him and his overall history that I am aware of. I will ask him about it if I see him at SAR in December. He's usually there, and was often at Knob Creek and SHOT as well. I'll also make sure I have a copy of Vollmer v. Magaw to give him too, lol.

It seems that leaving the selector lug (or stud or whatever you call it) on the MKS receivers was the kicker. Even welded up, that was all but begging for trouble. Ted's description from seeing actual examples only confirms how close to the edge they were in the current legal environment. I bet most anyone on this forum could have replicated what Vasquez did in about the same amount of time. That lug should have been removed, and I doubt anyone here is going to disagree with that. The MKS case clearly relies on less on the definitions and their interpretation than on the actual conversion done. I think bringing Vollmer in would have helped, but maybe not enough to change the ruling on those particular receivers.

Vollmer wreaks havoc on ATF's grotesque expansion of definitions without providing any legal basis for that authority. They clearly called BS on it, and did so in a comprehensive sense that was not specific to any particular firearms design. It's all about statutory limitations and agency overreach. That's what makes it so important. In contrast, now that I'm more up to speed on it, MKS is about those specific receivers, with specific features and the ease of how they could be converted. Even our theoretical version where one welds a selector lug to a commercial semi receiver is far more involved, but I used that to illustrate what the Vollmer ruling stated about stretching reality in how things are defined. If ATF crosses that Rubicon, every semi auto rifle becomes NFA.

Complete receiver, and their stupid rule of once a machine gun, always a machine gun.
Have you read the Vollmer v. Magaw case?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,383 Posts
Hey Ted Brown. Remember all the back and forth argument over the MKS receivers on the Gun and Knife Forum and all the threats made? I know that there were some unkind statements directed towards you, but in the end you were right. There were 2 camps, the "Once a machine gun always a machine gun" and those who said the the receivers were legal because they were put back together from demilled receivers. At the end of the day, those who purchased the receivers had to forfeit then to the ATF. Mike Kelly went to prison.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,617 Posts
Been many years since I have even thought about the mks dilemma.

As silly as it sounds I think it was the sequence that was used to weld, cut, weld, or weld weld cut, was why the mks receivers were confiscated.

There was a specific sequence that the atf required to make sure while rewelding that the receiver could not be used as a mg while process was being completed. The process that mks used and self admitting how it was done is why the receivers were not deemed legal. Same difference in the end.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
378 Posts
I would ensure that if ATF or Congress ever "banned" SBR's or suppressors for instance (I don't own any NFA items) that before I handed it over it would be rendered inoperable......just so THEY couldn't use it themselves personally. I'd do it out of spite. I'd hand them a receiver or suppressor cut in half, crushed, drilled a million times, etc.

Yeah, in all likelihood the majority of agents wouldn't keep it for themselves but you know damn well there are those who would seek to squirrel one away for their personal collection, and I'd deny them that ability. They'd collect unusable junk.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,432 Posts
before I handed it over it would be rendered inoperable......just so THEY couldn't use it themselves personally. I'd do it out of spite. I'd hand them a receiver or suppressor cut in half, crushed, drilled a million times, etc.
I had a SS80 crack and Glock Store said to cut it and sent them a picture. I split it end to end, they said they had never seen anyone do that before. Told them I was just turning trash into a tool. Now I have a cutaway or trigger tuning tool.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
This is a fascinating thread. Thanx to the guys who have plenty of institutional knowledge.
I do have a question.. How do folks weld up PPSH's, Bren, BAR and a host of other guns from cut receivers and weld them back together and manufacture a semi auto. Wouldn't this fall under the premise mentioned above, once a machine gun always a machine gun?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,745 Posts
This is a fascinating thread. Thanx to the guys who have plenty of institutional knowledge.
I do have a question.. How do folks weld up PPSH's, Bren, BAR and a host of other guns from cut receivers and weld them back together and manufacture a semi auto. Wouldn't this fall under the premise mentioned above, once a machine gun always a machine gun?
In order to reweld an NFA receiver it has to first be demilled properly .Once that is achieved its considered scrap metal.

Before any reweld starts all features that made it an NFA receiver are to be removed and certain types especially open bolt designs have to have denial blocks that prohibit use of original bolts and sears.

Most of these kits are imported so guidelines are strict . For personal use individuals do not need permission or approval letters.

None of the good M14 rewel d candidate receivers (two piece) torch or saw cut were demilled properly. That was the big issue with M14 plus as in MKS they did not have permission as a manufacturer and did not meet demil requirements .

The M14 receiver today can be rewelded but Unfortunatly because of the demil requirements it would be near impossible to make a nice receiver .
Based on the latest demil standards Bob Bowman has done to say BM59 receiver .
Torch cut through sight base, through mag well , through barrel threads .

The M14 receiver would be same requirements , NOT impossible but Guarenteed difficult to produce any quality receiver.

The three piece shear cut receivers were considered at one time legal US demils but may or may not be acceptable .Most had so many cracks wouldn't worth the trouble.
 
41 - 60 of 73 Posts
Top