Regs & 922(R)
The 1994 federal "Crime Bill," signed into law by President Clinton on Sept. 13, 1994, included the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. That Act included provisions amending the Gun Control Act (GCA, 1968) to make it a federal crime for a private individual to possess or transfer (sell, give, etc.) an "assault weapon" manufactured after that date. [18 U.S.C. 922(v)]. "Assault weapons" manufactured on or before that date are "grandfathered," meaning that the law does not prohibit their possession or transfer. Government agencies and their agents (the military, police departments, etc.) are exempt from the law. To distinguish between "pre-ban" and "post-ban" firearms, the law requires that "assault weapons" manufactured after Sept. 13, 1994 be stamped with their date of manufacture.
The law defines firearms as "assault weapons" by one or both of two methods: name and description. [18 U.S.C. 921(a)(30)]. All told, the law affects more than 175 semi-automatic rifles, pistols and shotguns and revolving cylinder shotguns a cross-section of firearms of various sizes, shapes, and calibers/gauges. Under the law, the term "semiautomatic assault weapon" means:
"Large capacity ammunition feeding devices"
The law also prohibits a private individual from possessing or transferring a "large capacity ammunition feeding device" manufactured after Sept. 13, 1994. Government agencies and their agents (the military, police departments, etc.) are exempt. The law defined that term to include "a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device . . . that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition; but does not include an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition." Such "devices" manufactured prior on or before Sept. 13, 1994, including those manufactured outside the United States, remain legal to possess, transfer and import. Such "devices" manufactured after that date must be stamped with the date of manufacture. The law places the "burden of proof" upon the government, not the individual, in the event of a criminal charge relating to possession of such a "device."
Post-law variations of "assault weapons"
Under the law, a firearm is not an "assault weapon" if it does not meet the criteria pertaining to firearm characteristics. Thus, firearm companies may lawfully produce, and consumers may lawfully purchase and possess (unless restricted under state or local law), firearms that are identical to "assault weapons" except for a change of name and/or the absence of one or more of the listed physical features. For example, an Olympic Arms SM-1, (top photo, below) is an "assault weapon." However, the Olympic Arms PCR ("Politically Correct Rifle," bottom photo) is not an "assault weapon," and is not affected by the law, because, though identical to the SM-1 in every other respect, the PCR has only one of the listed features. As the photos show, the distinction between the two rifles is superficial:
Assault weapon" with:
2. bayonet mount
3. flash suppressor.
with "conspicuous" grip
18 U.S.C. 922(r), imposed in 1990, prohibits "assembling from imported parts any semi-automatic rifle or any shotgun which is identical to any rifle or shotgun prohibited from importation." BATF's regulation [178.39, Commerce in Firearms] prohibits using more than 10 "imported parts," from a list of 20 parts, such as trigger, hammer, barrel, etc. (BATF had proposed prohibiting using more than two imported parts.) The provision was adopted to prohibit restoring modified rifles to pre-ban configuration after importation.
c. for the purpose of this section, the term imported parts are:
receiver, receiver castings, forgings or stampings.
3. Barrel extensions
4. Mounting blocks (trunions)
5. Muzzle attachments
7. Bolt carriers
8. Operating Rods
9. Gas pistons
10. Trigger housings
16. Pistol grips
17. Forarms, Handguards
18. Magazine bodies
18 U.S.C. 922(v)(1)
If a person is in possession of a frame or receiver for a semiautomatic assault weapon on the date of enactment, may the person acquire the rest of the parts and assemble a complete semiautomatic assault weapon?
No. It is unlawful to make such a weapon after the laws effective date.
In 1986, the GCA was amended to prohibit the manufacture or importation of "armor piercing ammunition," defined as "a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium." The 1994 crime bill added to the definition, "a full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile."
Regulations and requirements relating to Federal Firearm Licensees
The law requires an FFL applicant to submit fingerprints and photographs to BATF and notify his chief local law enforcement officer of the application. An applicant must certify that the business to be conducted under the license is not prohibited by State or local law, that no business will be conducted until in compliance with State and local laws, and that such laws will be complied with within 30 days after approval of the FFL. Licensees must report to BATF and local law enforcement authorities the theft or loss of a firearm within 48 hours and respond within 24 hours to a BATF request for information about the disposition of firearms related to a criminal investigation. BATF must notify state and local law enforcement authorities of the names and addresses of persons to whom an FFL is issued, and may inspect licensees' records during a criminal investigation. The law extends to 60 days the period BATF has to act on applications.
Restrictions relating to juveniles
The law prohibits the transfer to, or possession by, a juvenile (person under age 18), of a handgun or handgun ammunition, with certain exceptions relating to employment, target practice, hunting, firearms training, service with the Armed Forces or National Guard, in defense against an intruder into the residence of the juvenile or a residence in which the juvenile is an invited guest, and other circumstances with prior written consent of the juvenile's parent or guardian.
The 1994 Crime Bill also imposed a 10 year imprisonment penalty on individuals who, "during in and in relation to any crime of violence or drug trafficking crime (including a crime of violence or drug trafficking crime which provides for an enhanced punishment if committed by the use of a deadly or dangerous weapon or device) for which he may be prosecuted in a court of the United States," uses or carries a "semiautomatic assault weapon." This penalty is imposed on top of the penalty for the violent or drug trafficking crime. Second and subsequent convictions for carrying or using a "semiautomatic assault weapon" during such a crime are punishable by 20 years imprisonment. [18 U.S.C. 924(c)]
Other federal laws affecting "assault weapons" and other semi-automatic firearms
18 U.S.C. 925(d)(3), imposed by the GCA and later amended, requires the Treasury Secretary to approve for importation any firearm that is "generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes . . . ," with certain exceptions. BATF has regulatory authority to interpret what that language means. In early 1989, following a crime committed with an imported semi-automatic rifle, President Bush ordered BATF to suspend the importation of 43 makes and models of foreign-made semi-automatic rifles (all previously approved for importation) and to review their eligibility for importation. BATF later stated that the rifles were no longer eligible for importation due to their having a folding or telescoping stock, a pistol grip separate from the stock, a bayonet lug, a flash suppressor, etc. BATF found insignificant the fact that such rifles have been used for a half century in formal target shooting competitions, such as the NRA National Championships and the Civilian Marksmanship Program National Matches (the latter conducted under the auspices of the federal government until 1996, on a private basis since). Later, manufacturers and importers removed the attachments from their rifles and BATF approved the modified rifles for importation. In 1998, President Clinton ordered BATF to suspend the importation of about 50 makes and models of modified rifles. Treasury and BATF later co-issued a report finding that the rifles were ineligible for importation because they could use preexisting "large capacity" ammunition magazines.A Partial List Of Firearms Classified as "Assault Weapons"
1. AO-9 Assault Pistol
63. Egyptian Maadi Thumbhole AKM
129. Olympic Arms CAR-45
U.S. Department of Justice
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Office of Enforcement Programs and Services, Firearms Programs Division
2005 - FEDERALFIREARMS REGULATIONS REFERENCE GUIDE
D and D
Sales & Manufacturing
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