Dilemma of Federal gun laws

Sad story:

Being commander of the Catholic War Veterans Post 370 on Illinois 159 south of Belleville hasn’t been particularly trying for Mike Anthony — until they found the machine gun.

“In January, when they found it, the guys called and said they needed to talk to me,” Anthony said. “They showed me what they had. I thought it was a beautiful relic but I wondered what we could do with it.”

What they had was a Lewis .30-caliber machine gun, manufactured in 1917 by the Savage Arms Co. in Utica, N.Y., according to markings on the gun.

“I found out it was illegal to have it,” he said. “Not only that but there was a $250,000 fine and 10 years in prison. So I thought, ‘Well, it doesn’t work but previous cases showed that if it could be made serviceable, you still could get in trouble.'”

Some guys thought maybe they could give it back to the Savage company, which wanted it for its museum. But that isn’t legal either.

Instead, Sheriff Mearl Justus was able to take it off their hands, legally. But the sheriff’s department’s options are limited as well.

“We can register it and keep it, we can send it to Alton to have it melted down or we can give it to the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosive) and it will be destroyed,” said Sgt. John Fulton, administrative assistant with the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department.

Also from the article:

Capt. Charles Chandler with a Lewis gun and Lt. Roy Kirtland, seated in a Wright Model B Flyer in 1912 after the first successful firing of a machine gun from an airplane. Chandler was the first leader of the Aeronautical Division of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, which would later evolve into the U.S. Air Force:

The ATF should be a convenience store–not a government organization that destroys historical artifacts.


9 thoughts on “Dilemma of Federal gun laws

  1. I have a friend who deals in antique weapons. I don’t understand why someone like him wouldn’t be able to buy the gun. It just doesn’t make sense to me. (He has the highest level FFL license.)

    There is definitely a problem when people think they need to melt down historical weapons.

  2. Did anyone notice the Sheriff’s name? I live in the county where he’s sheriff and the first time I saw his name I thought they were joking. Followed immediately by wondering if he was any relationship to Buford T. 🙂 Isn’t the world of NFA great. At least the Irish Protestant War Vets can feel safe from the Irish Catholic War Vets. Why
    doesn’t this count as an illegal transfer? Frankly, I’d *like* to see the ATF rack up some great publicity rounding up the old War Vets for unlicensed posession. This is a very blue area politically. Maybe a little personal experience with reasonable regulations beyond FOID cards might get some attention. Don’t even get me started on ISRA pushing for concealed carry *permits* with misleading information at their rallys.

  3. Isn’t there some way to “de-mil” the gun, make it permanently inoperable? Weld a plug in the breach that can’t be removed without destoying the gun, but does not detract from its appearance?

    I suppose the Sherrif knows what he’s doing . . .

  4. I guess you can’t fix stupid. Even if you believe that civilians shouldn’t own Class III firearms, there’s really no way destroying a piece of history is a form of “reasonable gun control”. It’s a shame that they can’t just donate it to the NRA museum or some other appropriate institution that knows how to care for and preserve historic firearms.

  5. They’ll want to destroy it just to show who’s in charge. It’s a simple as that, people. Don’t over-analyze it. If you believe civilians should not own machineguns, you’ve never understood America, where the power is inherent in the people. Either that or you do understand America and you’re opposed to her founding principles. It’s best you figure it out one way or the other.

  6. I wonder if the sheriff can register it, and then donate it to the Savage Co.? There have been a couple of amnesty registration periods over the years. I think there was one fairly recently?

  7. F the ATF, and every rotten turd that would be their crony. This is “reasonable gun control” at its finest. Ditto lyle, they just have to destroy artifacts to keep the peasents down.

  8. Or, repeat OR the sheriff could just keep his oath. You know, tell ATF to go ATF themselves they have no jurisdiction to abuse the constitution and any that try will be arrested. Oh, what???? Oathkeepers isn’t operative now? BFS (big fucking surprise)

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