That’s not the way it works

As you might have gathered from reading Prince Law Office’s blog or what Sebastian had to say the ATF recently ruled that non-incorporated trusts are not considered a “person”. A careful reading of the law regarding machine guns then becomes very interesting:

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), it shall be unlawful for any person to transfer or possess a machinegun.
(2) This subsection does not apply with respect to–
(A) a transfer to or by, or possession by or under the authority of, the United States or any department or agency thereof or a State, or a department, agency, or political subdivision thereof; or
(B) any lawful transfer or lawful possession of a machinegun that was lawfully possessed before the date this subsection takes effect.

Because it is only unlawful for a person to transfer or possess a machinegun and a trust is not a person then your trust can now purchase machine guns. If the law means what it says.

But that isn’t the way thing work in our country anymore. The way things work is that many or most of the politicians and judges dispense “justice” which means not what the law says but what they want it to mean at this particular time and place. We are long past the time when the law really means what it says. You don’t believe me? Review the history on Obamacare in the last few months. Or try getting a prosecutor to bring charges against someone using 18 USC 241 or 18 USC 242 for infringing upon the rights of people exercising the right to keep and bear arms.

And they are proud of the way they dispense “justice” so don’t expect anything to change anytime soon.

10 thoughts on “That’s not the way it works

  1. So, as a practical matter, how might this (potentially) affect current and possible future Class 3 item owners, either as personal purchases or as trust fund assets?

    Being somewhat allergic to lawyer-ese, the post and follow-on discussion left me a bit non-enlightened (which may be the goal of the ruling). Anyone want to spell out the (potential) ramifications in the real world? Because the law-section posted says “transfer or possess” and there is a lot of very thin slicing of the meanings on His esquire-ness’s post.

    • My cynical side – which is fed somewhat by reports of BATFE making … interesting … “findings” – places BATFE “findings” and “determinations” in a strange quasi-mystical state wherein they carry the force of law (i.e. you can be arrested/charged/jailed for going against them), without actually being law (subject to change at any time without Congressional action).

      As such, Prince Law’s article will likely be mooted, as BATFE will no doubt “determine” that trusts are non-persons for the purpose of transfers – so they can run a NICS check on the person acting on the trust’s behalf – but that the person acting on behalf of the trust is a “person” according to the law, and therefore cannot take possession of a Hughes Amendment item on behalf of a trust.

      Or some such.

      It doesn’t matter that it makes no sense. If BATFE “determined” that a ham sandwich – being capable of holding a fire control group and magazine in between the slices of bread, regardless of practicality or functionality – constitutes a “receiver” under the law, then they could raid every Subway in the country for illegal manufacturing. They have the power; it doesn’t have to make sense.

      • Archer —

        ATF has lost big time in court when they’ve tried similarly agregious and arbitrary moves (almost always at circuit or SCOTUS level appeal level). They’ve learned not to risk getting a precedent set they don’t want to live with. (That’s why they never appealed a bunch of cases, such as the MAJOR one that got their “once a machinegun, always a machinegun” administrative determination thrown out; Vollmer v. Higgins, I believe it was.)

        I suspect that, if Prince runs a lawsuit and keeps at it through appeals, ATF will simply drop the whole “trusts aren’t persons” line.

  2. I noticed that the BLM was ready to dispense “justice”, but didn’t because too many people were ready to “dispense” it right back. Looks like a new rebellion is the only way to clean house.

  3. In the real world, you would have to get a company that sells full-auto arms to the military and law enforcement community to sell one to you (Colt, Sig, Kriss, etc.). Fat chance in hell. I don’t even know if they can sell directly to consumers, but I can guarantee you that no respectable company will want to be the first one to try to push the boundaries of these laws. It does not make business sense. Why get your name in the papers over a single sale? You don’t think that this President would jump at the opportunity to use the bully pulpit to specifically shame the company into selling “weapons of war” to free citizen. That’s really bad P.R. that no gun company wants. So although it appears that the ATF goofed up, there is no way in hell that a trust will be able to purchase a new happy-switch weapon from any legitimate company.

    • Well, there’s always conversions of existing semi-autos, you know, if this interpretation is correct…

    • Form 1 – like Prince is doing – is the way to go. 922(o) affects Form 1’s the same exact way it would a transfer. Honestly, if I _could_ Form 1 an MG, I probably wouldn’t even notice the NFA as a problem, even with all teh hassles of crossing state lines or worrying about a spouse knowing the combination to the gun safe the NFA stuff is in, thus making them a felon every time she’s home and I’m not..

  4. You know the narrative. Words absolutely mean what they mean, and nothing even ever-so-slightly slightly different, so long as such meaning serves the Progressive cause at the moment.

    Otherwise words, laws, the constitution, can mean anything whatsoever, and if you claim that they only mean what they mean, your claim is incontrovertible proof that you are a closed-minded, bigot/simpleton, an ignorant, backward, altogether sick and disgusting fool, a throw-back to primitive times and probably inherently evil, a racist patriarch misogynist capitalist puritan oppressor with violent tendencies, probably with some morbid sexual dysfunction and resulting feelings of frustration, shame and inadequacy that color your perceptions of everything. That and you’re a greedy, excessive consumer and a polluter, in bed with corporations for ever more profit at the expense of all decency. Anything you say therefore can and should be dismissed out of hand, if indeed you should be allowed to say anything at all, which you shouldn’t. You and society at large would be better off if you were dead.

    Did I miss anything or is that about it?

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