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Thread: ATF Background Check for C&R License - Kind of Weird Phone Call

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    Default ATF Background Check for C&R License - Kind of Weird Phone Call

    The head of our HR department let me know this morning that he got a call from an ATF agent doing an "investigation" ... he never used the word "background check" during their conversation and asked a lot of questions about whether or not I had travelled to Latin America or Cuba, etc.

    Anyone else experienced this? Is it usual for them to refer to an "investigation" instead of a "background check."

    I assume he was calling re. my application for a C&R license, if not...I have no idea what's up.

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    Thanks for the "heads up"...I am anxiously awaiting my 03FFL C&R license...have been waiting about 6 weeks now...still no word...BUT...I will be paying attention to the phone ringing at work from now on...

    ...and when I say "anxiously awaiting"...I mean ANXIOUSLY AWAITING!!!!
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    Not usual for a C&R. However, if something popped up on your background check, they would assign it to something called adjudication. That would entail an agent looking deeper into your background. Nothing terribly unusual, but interestiing. They would not be asking those questions unless you have an unusual travel history or your name matches someone who is on their list and they are simply attempting to verify your identity. Doing it by telephone is disturbing as your HR department should have refused to answer the questions as the agent was not present and could not identify themselves with photo id and badge. I'd ask the HR department what info they gave out in regards to id theft.

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    Quote Originally Posted by livingthepast View Post
    Not usual for a C&R. However, if something popped up on your background check, they would assign it to something called adjudication. That would entail an agent looking deeper into your background. Nothing terribly unusual, but interestiing. They would not be asking those questions unless you have an unusual travel history or your name matches someone who is on their list and they are simply attempting to verify your identity. Doing it by telephone is disturbing as your HR department should have refused to answer the questions as the agent was not present and could not identify themselves with photo id and badge. I'd ask the HR department what info they gave out in regards to id theft.
    No kidding....I would l remind HR what they can and can't say about an employee...just for the record all they can give out over the phone is "yea he works here"

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    Interesting. Nobody got any calls when I applied for my 03FFL. But then again, I've gone through more than one background check, including one by the DEA. So the Feds know all about me.

    You must be a desperado.
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    Just to clarify, they did not call me, but officials at my employer's HR department. I'm glad, frankly, the ATF is doing such a careful background check on applicants. Many of the officer's questions were about any/all connections I might have to Mexican, Latin American or Cuban entities and persons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cherokee_140 View Post
    No kidding....I would l remind HR what they can and can't say about an employee...just for the record all they can give out over the phone is "yea he works here"
    The head of our HR department is a lawyer and he told me that the guy was asking very probing questions and he had to reply to a number of them, "If you send me your questions in writing, I'll ask Paul McCain for permission to release that information."

    Hope that doesn't hold up my license!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by livingthepast View Post
    Not usual for a C&R. However, if something popped up on your background check, they would assign it to something called adjudication. That would entail an agent looking deeper into your background. Nothing terribly unusual, but interestiing. They would not be asking those questions unless you have an unusual travel history or your name matches someone who is on their list and they are simply attempting to verify your identity. Doing it by telephone is disturbing as your HR department should have refused to answer the questions as the agent was not present and could not identify themselves with photo id and badge. I'd ask the HR department what info they gave out in regards to id theft.

    Yes, I thought the same thing. How would we know the caller was legit?

    But....what may have flagged me was the fact I just got back from a two week business trip to India, via Paris.

    I don't know, that's all I could think of.

    I'm about as loyal American as you can get and frankly live a very boring life.

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    My wife ws to go to work with the gov't resulting in gov't agents coming around talking to my neighbors about her.
    I then applied for an 07 FFL and again the BATF came around asking questions of all my neighbors of me.
    My son was assigned to fly on the E4B again the FBI came around talking to the neighbors about him.
    All this happened in 2 years, my neighbors just stopped talking to me and 2 moved away
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    Oddly enough an ATF agent came by asking me similar questions about one of my neighbors. Turns out he was a Family Guy fan too because he caught my joke about Carl "worshiping some guy named Stan..." and replied with "oh that's a typo, it's supposed to say Satan"

    Anyway, it's always semi strange to hear that the federal government is checking up on you, but eh, at least it means they're doing their jobs.
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    Many of the officer's questions were about any/all connections I might have to Mexican, Latin American or Cuban entities and persons.
    I guess he didn't get the memo that says it was the ATF ect purposely letting guns go over the border to Mexico and not the private gun owner as spewed forth by the antis.
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    that's pretty kool, mriddick. i always knew you were way more important than you let on.
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    Default HR did it right

    Quote Originally Posted by Amsdorf View Post
    The head of our HR department is a lawyer and he told me that the guy was asking very probing questions and he had to reply to a number of them, "If you send me your questions in writing, I'll ask Paul McCain for permission to release that information."

    Hope that doesn't hold up my license!!
    As a former major bank officer, your HR guy did it right. No questions besides the verification of employment -it could have been anybody on the phone, phishing your employment and travel to defraud you. I would call ATF, politely ask to speak to the "examiner" for your license application and ask to verify that it was really ATF calling. Be super polite, but say that your HR department was concerned it might be an unauthorized call rather than the real ATF.
    Also, if your license takes more than 60 days, call and politely ask the "examiner" about the delay. No rudeness, or you go to the back of the line. (I had to do that -it worked.)
    Last edited by Stalin's Ghost; 08-01-2011 at 08:08 PM. Reason: typo

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    Default What about Facebook as an alternative?

    Just think: If people posted detailed accounts of their lives on Facebook, the ATF could save loads of time by not making phone calls regarding those individuals!

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    I'd be more worried about the chances this guy wasn't ATF, but a crook trying to figure out the best time to break in your house. Have you left details of your collection, personal info and travels on the internet?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fatherandersonthepaladin View Post

    Anyway, it's always semi strange to hear that the federal government is checking up on you, but eh, at least it means they're doing their jobs.
    This may be sarcasm, but "checking up on you" is not the Fed government's job. In fact, it was intended to be the exact opposite. None of the gov actions in this thread makes me feel any better about my safety or that of our citizens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Murvihill View Post
    I'd be more worried about the chances this guy wasn't ATF, but a crook trying to figure out the best time to break in your house. Have you left details of your collection, personal info and travels on the internet?
    If that worries you just buy insurance on everything you own. Believe me, a pro can case your house, walk right in, crack any safes or load them and all your valuables in his truck and be gone without anyone noticing. That insurance companies only give discounts in the range of 10% for safes or security systems show how much they are worth, and a few hours of observation, cruising by your place, will tell the professional burglar your schedule without leaving any calls for the law to trace.

    With gun collections the problem is usually only the amateurs, especially kids, who eventually screw up and get caught, usually while trying to sell to a pawn shop, sometimes while breaking in. Calling your work or checking the internet is way beyond their capabilities. We're just fortunate in that the stuff most of us own seems very valuable to us, but to a professional thief, disposing of it at 10 cents on the dollar, its just not worth his time. If your collection does get hit by pros the long guns are bulky and go for relatively little, so they'll concentrate on handguns, if anything.

    BTW I've had multiple investigations by the FBI and NCIS for high level clearances. No complaints from anyone because there was a big military prescence in my area and they were all used to it.
    I swear by Jupiter Optimus Maximus .... in the army of the consul Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus and for 10 miles around it I will not steal anything worth more than a sestertius in any one day.

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    I see what you say but if your HR guy was asked has employee X ever been to latin america the answer should be none of your GD business.

    I do agree with your suggestion about calling the ATF....it could have been someone fishing for your info...you never know in this day in age.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shrevy View Post
    ..."checking up on you" is not the Fed government's job. In fact, it was intended to be the exact opposite. None of the gov actions in this thread makes me feel any better about my safety or that of our citizens.
    Agreed.

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    I am sorry, this doesn't add up and not saying this didn't happen, but it may not be the ATF.

    Where on a FFL03 does it say current employer? It doesn't, so why would they know where you worked, let alone the telephone number?

    Yes, if I know where you work, then I could google your work, and call and ask these questions, but I can't see an ATF agent calling to verify what you stated. It would tip their hand if they were doing a background investigation.

    This isn't the cold war where they would want to know that you were traveling to and from Russia or east Germany (that was a no-no if you had a security clearance, back in the 80's).

    So, it is hard for me to believe this has anything to do with an FFL03; in fact I would call the local office and ask to speak to the Head Agent and ask if there had been a call about you. Tell them what you said here, impersonating a Federal agent is a criminal offense I believe. And if they are calling for an 'investigation' (you might want to double check and see if that was the words the caller used), I would want to know what you were being investigated for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shrevy View Post
    This may be sarcasm, but "checking up on you" is not the Fed government's job. In fact, it was intended to be the exact opposite. None of the gov actions in this thread makes me feel any better about my safety or that of our citizens.
    It actually was sarcasm on my part (I don't mind them looking into criminal records, and to a lesser degree I understand why they would be concerned about travel to Latin America, but calling an employer to ask about travel schedules is just out of bounds). I would've genuinely thought that they would have been able to check that with the airlines (it's not like your passport isn't serial numbered and traceable). I don't like the ATF in any way, shape, or form. I don't like what they do or how they do it, but if one of them came by to ask me some questions in order to get my Form 4's processed faster, after verifying that they really ARE with the ATF I would gladly answer their questions (to a degree) and that would be that.

    When they asked me about my neighbor, I got the agent's name, called the Dallas field office, and confirmed that they were with that branch, and then answered very general questions about him (name, how long he's lived there, and if I had noticed any suspicious activity, which is when I sarcastically commented about him worshiping "some guy named Stan"). Everything more detailed than that (if he's been married multiple times, if he takes extended vacations, ever mentioned his political affiliations) I referred directly to my neighbor himself, and justified that to the agent by saying that it was not my place to release sensitive information about anyone but myself. Rest of the neighbors did roughly the same and the gentleman left looking more than a little frustrated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by edward tinker View Post
    I am sorry, this doesn't add up and not saying this didn't happen, but it may not be the ATF.

    Where on a FFL03 does it say current employer? It doesn't, so why would they know where you worked, let alone the telephone number?

    Yes, if I know where you work, then I could google your work, and call and ask these questions, but I can't see an ATF agent calling to verify what you stated. It would tip their hand if they were doing a background investigation.

    This isn't the cold war where they would want to know that you were traveling to and from Russia or east Germany (that was a no-no if you had a security clearance, back in the 80's).

    So, it is hard for me to believe this has anything to do with an FFL03; in fact I would call the local office and ask to speak to the Head Agent and ask if there had been a call about you. Tell them what you said here, impersonating a Federal agent is a criminal offense I believe. And if they are calling for an 'investigation' (you might want to double check and see if that was the words the caller used), I would want to know what you were being investigated for?

    Ed
    If they're doing a detailed background check they might grab tax records to "verify that he's lived at that address for X amount of years", which would probably contain the W2 forms, thereby giving them the name of his place of work. That's how I would do it at least...
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    But then that is an investigation, and I am unsure how work pertains to a C&R license?

    I have been in and around the LE field for a long time and asking questions for a background check, i.e. a security clearance is one thing, but checking for a C&R, I would have thought that was out of bounds?

    Ed

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    Quote Originally Posted by edward tinker View Post
    But then that is an investigation, and I am unsure how work pertains to a C&R license?

    I have been in and around the LE field for a long time and asking questions for a background check, i.e. a security clearance is one thing, but checking for a C&R, I would have thought that was out of bounds?

    Ed
    Agreed. I'm not sure what they're playing at, but something isn't kosher there.
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    Nothing like that happened to me. In fact I got my C&R in five weeks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjk308 View Post
    If that worries you just buy insurance on everything you own. Believe me, a pro can case your house, walk right in, crack any safes or load them and all your valuables in his truck and be gone without anyone noticing. That insurance companies only give discounts in the range of 10% for safes or security systems show how much they are worth, and a few hours of observation, cruising by your place, will tell the professional burglar your schedule without leaving any calls for the law to trace.

    With gun collections the problem is usually only the amateurs, especially kids, who eventually screw up and get caught, usually while trying to sell to a pawn shop, sometimes while breaking in. Calling your work or checking the internet is way beyond their capabilities. We're just fortunate in that the stuff most of us own seems very valuable to us, but to a professional thief, disposing of it at 10 cents on the dollar, its just not worth his time. If your collection does get hit by pros the long guns are bulky and go for relatively little, so they'll concentrate on handguns, if anything.
    You are right - the big problem is the amateurs. The ones who have heard a rumor that you have guns. Except for a small portion make the others hard to find. The small portion (junk type, etc.) should be kept in the open. So when the amateurs break in and are faced with a time problem because of the alarm going off, they see the guns (in the open) and grab them think that they have them all.

    This probably would not work on a pro.
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    I'm sure its just a trigger in reaction to the border gun issue. They saw his South American travel and are just confirming details. Happens all the time.

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    You guys are beginning to get me worried! I have NOT travelled to South America since 1993. Perhaps it was my trip to India recently?

    Who knows?

    Just as long as they give my C&R.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amsdorf View Post
    Just to clarify, they did not call me, but officials at my employer's HR department. I'm glad, frankly, the ATF is doing such a careful background check on applicants. Many of the officer's questions were about any/all connections I might have to Mexican, Latin American or Cuban entities and persons.
    Not sure how such careful checks would help anything... is there a high incidence of criminals patiently applying for C&R licenses? Isn't that like patting down costumed people entering a Star Trek convention looking for E and prophylactics ? Or maybe like interrogating and giving breathayzer tests to people showing up for a voluntary defensive driving course? Yup... those nerdy types are really dangerous.

    All jokes aside, hope all goes well for you. Probably just just someone with a bit of "over-enthusiasm".
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    Default Costa Rica and Mexico?

    Well, I went to Costa Rica last year and Mexico a bunch of times in the last year and ATF didn't ask about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amsdorf View Post
    You guys are beginning to get me worried! I have NOT travelled to South America since 1993. Perhaps it was my trip to India recently?

    Who knows?

    Just as long as they give my C&R.
    During the Cold War I got a Top Secret clearance after taking a cruise on a Soviet ship, the MS Mikhail Lermontov, to Bermuda. (It was all we could afford at the time) The FBI and NCIS had no problems with that because they're experts at analyzing background information. so why is the ATF playing at junior G-man and doing such a poor job of it?

    I think its time to write your representative and senators to complain about their wasting the taxpayer's time and money with their ineffectual amateur snooping of collectors of old guns.
    I swear by Jupiter Optimus Maximus .... in the army of the consul Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus and for 10 miles around it I will not steal anything worth more than a sestertius in any one day.

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    apparently ATF is running a pilot program of doing interviews with C&R applicants prior to the license being approved/issued. This has been discussed on Calguns.net. The pilot program is just in the Los Angeles area.

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    All the talk about the ATF "doing their job" by doing an investigation seems to indicate that most of you feel that the GCA of 1968 (the principle raison d'etre of the BATFE) actually has improved the "safety" of our country.

    Nothing in my experience or reading suggests that the GCA has reduced the access of crooks to firearms or enhanced public order in any meaningful way. The adminstration of the GCA does serve as a nice jobs program, though.
    Last edited by The Expert; 08-06-2011 at 08:28 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MilSurpFan View Post
    Isn't that like patting down costumed people entering a Star Trek convention looking for E and prophylactics ?
    Honestly... I'd recommend doing that to everyone at that convention, simply because I can't understand how anyone that isn't stoned out of their minds (or already planning to never get laid again) could even go near a Star Trek convention.

    A Star Wars convention on the other hand...
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Expert View Post
    All the talk about the ATF "doing their job" by doing an investigation seems to indicate that most of you feel that the GCA of 1968 (the principle raison d'etre of the BATFE) actually has improved the "safety" of our country.

    Nothing in my experience or reading suggests that the GCA has reduced the access of crooks to firearms or enhanced public order in any meaningful way. The adminstration of the GCA does serve as a nice jobs program, though.
    That's a given. The only gun control laws that I or any reputable researcher has found to have an effect are really gun decontrol, the Shall Issue concealed carry permits. Unfortunately until we get rid of a whole pile of politicians we just have to live with crap like the GCA.
    I swear by Jupiter Optimus Maximus .... in the army of the consul Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus and for 10 miles around it I will not steal anything worth more than a sestertius in any one day.

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    got to dissagree a little. think how manymore machineguns would be out there if the GCA hadn't happened. that many more out there would be that many more for punks to liberate/steal. there would be that many more punks with machineguns, and with thugs running around shooting things up with machineguns, i suspect the whole of gunowners rights to own any gun would be completely different.
    " Dude with a pencil is worse than a cat with a machinegun"... Bo Diddley

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    Here in Jersey they did the interview angle as well with me. An ATF agent came to my home to interview me. That was late 2010. Had no problems with it, the agent brought all the books, papers etc. and within a week I had the license.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sakosf View Post
    apparently ATF is running a pilot program of doing interviews with C&R applicants prior to the license being approved/issued. This has been discussed on Calguns.net. The pilot program is just in the Los Angeles area.
    Here in Jersey they did the interview angle as well with me. An ATF agent came to my home to interview me. That was late 2010. Had no problems with it, the agent brought all the books, papers etc. and within a week I had the license.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Expert View Post
    All the talk about the ATF "doing their job" by doing an investigation seems to indicate that most of you feel that the GCA of 1968 (the principle raison d'etre of the BATFE) actually has improved the "safety" of our country.

    Nothing in my experience or reading suggests that the GCA has reduced the access of crooks to firearms or enhanced public order in any meaningful way. The adminstration of the GCA does serve as a nice jobs program, though.
    The GCA1968 included the sporting purpose clause for imported firearms. That clause has been used by anti-administrations to block/cut off the importation of many firearms. ATF is currently trying to do it with shotguns they claim are not for sporting purposes. As time goes by the sporting purposes only clause will be used to tighten the rope around the necks of future gun owners. The GCA1968 is not good in any form.

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    Quote Originally Posted by falm16 View Post
    got to dissagree a little. think how manymore machineguns would be out there if the GCA hadn't happened. that many more out there would be that many more for punks to liberate/steal. there would be that many more punks with machineguns, and with thugs running around shooting things up with machineguns, i suspect the whole of gunowners rights to own any gun would be completely different.
    The GCA1968 did not outlaw full auto weapons. Full auto firearms are tightly control via the NFA1934. There has only been a few incidents of a registered NFA weapon ever used in a crime and one of those was by a police officer.

    Your full auto thinking is similar to the antigunners who claim that the streets will run with blood, wild west shoot outs at every corner if the private citizen is allowed to be issued concealed carry weapons. As you probably know the concealed carry blood bath has never happened in any of the 40+ shall issue states. Just as concealed carry legal possession of full auto does not mean blood in the streets. The full auto ban of May 1986 is about power(government power over the lawful citizen).

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    Quote Originally Posted by creeks View Post
    The GCA1968 did not outlaw full auto weapons. Full auto firearms are tightly control via the NFA1934. There has only been a few incidents of a registered NFA weapon ever used in a crime and one of those was by a police officer.

    Your full auto thinking is similar to the antigunners who claim that the streets will run with blood, wild west shoot outs at every corner if the private citizen is allowed to be issued concealed carry weapons. As you probably know the concealed carry blood bath has never happened in any of the 40+ shall issue states. Just as concealed carry legal possession of full auto does not mean blood in the streets. The full auto ban of May 1986 is about power(government power over the lawful citizen).
    Amen!
    Kittens are like potato chips - you can't have just one and they crunch when you accidentally step on them.

  43. #43
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    Which, regardless of one's political view, is why the Tea Party members are so vilified in Washington - by both parties. This is not a post in support of the movement, but an observation. This is the first time in quite a while where citizens rose up in large groups and addressed their grievances with the government. Arguments have been made that big money was involved, but unlike other cases where money was used to buy protesters, for the large part those who came arrived of their own accord and with personally-driven reasons and were not lured by a free bus ride. Their actions - again whether those here agree with them or not, this is not a political issue beyond the basics of citizens in a republican government - willfully demonstrating their will, brought the ire of the government and many smears with it. Many of those members chose to open carry at events. Whether wise or unwise, they were peaceable and did not threaten anyone (as opposed to at the polls in some precincts of the previous election).

    Lets NOT debate whether Tea Party ideas are right or wrong. The same observation could be an uprising of Blacks refusing to sit at the back of the bus, or even theoretically Japanese Americans refusing to move to an internment camp. One significant element of the Tea Party is its explicit non-violent civility as compared with the words leveled against it. I will confess I have not personally gotten involved with it, myself, so my observations have been from the outside.

    I have debated on sharing my own personal experience with more local government (not the ATF, which has been fine with my dealings thus far). I am still not ready, and though I have alluded to events somewhat cryptically, the result is that through violating no laws, nor the bad treatment of wife or kids (I'm a deacon at my church, a member of the Gideons, an Eagle Scout, a Ronin Scout leader, with the worst traffic offense on my file being running a red light), now I no longer own my WWI or WWII example collection and from a collection that at its height involved some 60 Mosin rifles and carbines is now to less than ten, the best Finnish examples. My Revoluationary War through Mexican War sword collection is dark in a closet now.

    At this point, trust in the government must be limited. Trust in the law must be limited. Expectations of protections in the Bill of Rights must be limited. Theory is always trumped by reality, and reality does not have to ever play by rules.
    Rise of the Dark Son - by Davis E. Riddle
    Fiend Fighter - by Davis E. Riddle
    Skein of Shadows - by The Wandering Men (member, Davis E. Riddle)

    “A citizen may not be required to offer a good and substantial reason why he should be permitted to exercise his rights. The right‘s existence is all the reason he needs.”—Judge Benson E. Legg

  44. #44
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    There are probably hundreds if not thousands of bringback machine guns in priviate hands that have not, nor can they be registered now because of the 1968 law. I can't recall how many times, but there have been many, in my 50+ years of collecting that I hear of someone trying to sell one that is not papered.
    Two things about the this that puzzles me and I don't understand the governments thinking. Especially since these older guns are not the type of guns criminals would want to use.
    If they could be registered, ATF and the government would then know who has them, they don't know now. Also isn't registration what antigunners seek so I can't see them opposed to reopening up registration again.
    2nd, additional revenue would be generated at $200 per gun for the initial registration and which gets repeated each time the guns get bought and sold. Anyway, just my thoughts, Ray

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by falm16 View Post
    got to dissagree a little. think how manymore machineguns would be out there if the GCA hadn't happened. that many more out there would be that many more for punks to liberate/steal. there would be that many more punks with machineguns, and with thugs running around shooting things up with machineguns, i suspect the whole of gunowners rights to own any gun would be completely different.
    The only thing hand carried full auto is good for in civilian use is burning up a lot of ammo. It has limited use, mostly in armies with poorly trained draftees, because of the ammo expenditure, weight of a combat load, and logistics problems. In criminal hands its mostly been used for terror, drive by shooting up of homes and businesses, because everyone just dives for cover when the shooting starts. Even during the gangster era when anyone could buy a Thompson, very few murders were committed with them.

    If you want the ultimate example of the drawbacks of automatic weapons read up on the Feb. 28, 1997 North Hollywood Bank Robbery shootout. The heavily armored robbers used full auto AKs but were pretty much anchored to their car by the 3,300 rounds of ammunition. Both robbers ended up dead, and the 18 injuries of police and bystanders were not life threatening.
    I swear by Jupiter Optimus Maximus .... in the army of the consul Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus and for 10 miles around it I will not steal anything worth more than a sestertius in any one day.

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