Via SayUncle, we learn of some disturbing interpretations of the NFA on the part of the ATF. I do believe that the ATF has long held that “one a machine gun, always a machine gun” in regards to firearms that have been converted to only fire semi-automatically. Thus an M14 receiver is always a machine gun, no matter what you do to it subsequently. The argument being that it is readily converted to fire full auto.
I’m more disturbed about the short barreled rifle (SBR) charge. I’ve long considered registering my AR-15 carbine as an SBR, then using an M4 style upper. But I also have another AR-15 that I did not intend to convert. Does this leave me vulnerable to ATF prosecution? Remember, I hold a type 03 FFL, so the ATF can ask to inspect my records and inventory, so this is an important deal for me. It’s one of those things you’d be tempted to get a letter from the ATF saying it was OK, but we know what those are worth.
You want to talk reasonable gun control? Does the Brady Campaign want another opportunity to “work with the NRA” to “strengthen our nations laws on machine guns?” How about undertaking a major restructuring of federal law so that the ATF can’t, at whim, turn someone from a law abiding collector into a felon looking at ten years hard time in Club Fed? It’s long time to codify what “readily converted” means, in hard, clear language, that’s not easily open to interpretation by federal agencies. It’s long time to reexamine whether there’s any reasonable connection to the SBR and SBS law and public safety. Is that rifle more dangerous because it has a barrel an inch and a half longer than another one? Is that pistol more deadly because someone clipped a stock onto it? Come on Brady’s, if you guys can spin this last thing as gun control, surely you can spin this as the same. So how about it? Let’s pass some more “reasonable” laws together.