Blackfork points to a petition to reverse current practice of destroying surplus M14, and allow them to be sold through the CMP after being converted to semi-auto firearms.Â This would fly in the face of ATF’s “once a machine gun, always a machine gun” rule, but an Act of Congress could easily fix this.Â Somehow I doubt this will be high on Nancy Pelosi’s list of things to work on in the next Congress.
12 thoughts on “M14 Petition”
It wouldn’t take an act of Congress, merely an EO, since the current problem isn’t the law, but an interpretation by a regulatory agency of the Executive Branch.
I’m sure our new President will see how unfair this is for us. Let us all hope he’ll change it. ;)
I was a gunner’s mate in the Navy. During my enlistment in the 1990’s, the USN used the M14 rifle as a line-throwing device for the purpose of getting ship-to-ship operations started while each vessel was underway. (The M14 would get loaded with a blank cartridge and fitted with a heavy rubber cylindrical weight apparatus attached to a coil of line and at the muzzle, sort of like the way rifle grenades were once used in the past before separate launchers for them were developed.) Of all the M14’s that I ever got to see during my time in the USN, only ONE of them had a selector switch, and it was in an armory at a Naval Station which held weapons for a Seabee unit. I was lucky enough to get a chance to fire that M14 on full-auto one time, but with blanks only, because the indoor range at this armory wasn’t built heavily enough for 7.62 rifle rounds. The rest of all the M14’s in that armory were semi-automatic to begin with. They were just used by firing parties for salutes at military ceremonies.
The other branches of the armed services may have had select-fire M14’s, but they were not commonplace in the USN. I have one younger friend who went to Iraq as a soldier with the USA, and he told me the M14 was their sniper rifle over there after it was fitted with a telescopic scope. I’ll have to ask him if any of them were select-fire.
Anyway, my whole point is that the DoD surely must still have some M14’s which are not select-fire, ones which could be readily sold to civilians. Furthermore, all it would take to convert a select-fire M14 back to semi-automatic would be different set of fire-control parts, and maybe a new receiver where the hole is drilled for the selector switch.
I think this petition went around a couple of years ago. I doubt it will go anywhere but I signed it anyway.
This petition will go nowhere due to two reasons:
1. The current political climate.
2. Since the GWOT started, virtually all M-14s that the military retains have been taken out of mothballs for use in the sandbox. They are in high demand for use as designated marksman rifles.
Maybe President Bush can “issue a pardon” for these criminal rifles.
That would be a nice legacy
1994 – Clinton gets the gun ban through Congress. Issues an executive order directing the Army to cease transfer of surplus-to-needs weapons and ammunition to the Department of Civilian Marksmanship. Also orders the Army to dispose of stored M14’s by foreign sale or destruction, in order to prevent their future sale through DCM.
1995 – Clinton issues executive order shutting down DCM permanently.
1996 – A newly elected Republican controlled Congress (primarliy due to Clintons’ gun ban) gives Clinton “the finger” by resurrecting the DCM as a congressionally chartered private corporation; the CMP. For political reasons the CMP is not chartered to sell the thousands of 1911’s surplussed by the switch to the M9. Doesn’t have much practical impact, though, as the company in Anniston that had been bandsawing Garands and M14s, and crushing 1911’s, had been running 3 shifts for more than a year. There are, for all practical purposes, no 1911’s left. Destruction of Garands and M14’s is halted. Remaining rifles returned to storage.
2004(ish) Army notes desperate need for long range rifle system for designated marksman program. Remaining M14’s, including most of the guns used by the USN for linethrowing and security, are returned to the depot at Crane for overhaul and re-issue to the Army.
Clinton managed to get rid of nearly 750,000 M14’s through foreign sales (at a dollar apiece) or destruction.
The domestic supply of M1 Garands was exhausted about 3 years ago. Rifles sold through CMP since then are lend-lease returns from foreign governments. Once those are gone, or if re-import is halted, thats’ it. Get ’em while you can!
The Army is still short of DM rifles, and certainly isn’t destroying any serviceable M14’s at this point. Rumor has it that attempts are being made to repurchase some of those that were dumped overseas.
+1 for Mark@sea’s observations. CMP just this year recalled all club-held M14s to be reissued to the military. M14s will never be sold to civilians by CMP or anyone else because the BATmen hold that “once a MG, always a MG”. By the time that regulation is likely to be recinded, all the M14s are likely to be long past their service life.
BTW, all but 1000 were select-fire by virtue of the lug at the rear of the receiver only. Whether the connector, sear and selector were present is immaterial. Those 1000 were designated as the original NM M14s and some received a special dispensation as semi-autos only IIRC. The whereabouts of only a few of these is known.
Why end their status as machineguns?
They were all made before May of 1986. Have the ODCMP sell them as MGs. Buy submits a print card and photo, and the ODCMP fills out a Form 5 and signs the LEO crap as a government agency.
Bush can also order the NFA registry to move them to the top of the stack, in order to get them all sold before the inauguration.
The ban is on new registrations for transferable machine guns. When the machine gun was made doesn’t matter. What matters is whether it was registered prior to May 1986. CMP couldn’t surplus them unless Congress passes a law authorizing them to be registered as transferable, and to update CMP’s charter to be able to transfer machine guns to the general public.
I don’t think you’re right on that sebastian.
Its’ complicated, and based on the idea that the whole NFA thing is a tax, not a ban. Congress just barred ATF from collecting the tax on post-86 guns for transfer to civilians.
Notwithstanding the section of the Constitution that flat out disallows tax for any purpose other than revenue, if the whole story of the last-minute, not enough votes but we’ll pass it anyway, flat out illegal additions to the ’86 FOPA were more generally known, or about anything other than machine guns, SCOTUS would have struck it down within a few months. Unfortunately the black-robed ones were able (and willing) to ignore it.
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