According to Joshua Prince’s law blog, an attempt by the ATF to play fast and loose with regulations may have opened the door for gun trusts to purchase newly manufactured machine guns for the first time since 1986.
Feel free to read the entire article if you want to read the nuances of Prince’s argument, but the gist of it can be found in the concluding paragraphs of the post:
So, we have a prohibition on any “person” transferring or possessing a machinegun which was not lawfully registered before May 19, 1986. BUT, an unincorporated trust is not a “person” under the GCA, so this provision cannot apply to it.
In turning to the National Firearms Act, as amended, 26 U.S.C. 5801, et seq., we find that a “person” is defined as including a trust, pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 7701. Yet, there exists no 922(o)esque provision in Section 5801, et seq.
Therefore, pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 5812 and 5822, an unincorporated trust may lawfully transfer and make machineguns, as it is not a “person” for purposes of the GCA and Section 922 only applies to “persons” as defined by the GCA. And yes, this opens up a lot more issues for ATF in relation to the purchase of firearms by trusts under the GCA. Someone isn’t likely to be employed much longer…
I will continue to update our viewers, as I have already submitted a Form 1 Application for a minigun…oh hell yeah I did…
I’ll be tickled if the ATF now has to start approving new machine guns for the civilian market, as the Hughes Amendment was passed on a very controversial voice vote to begin with, and never should have become law. Likewise, I find it highly amusing that the ATF’s attempt to do with regulations what the Obama Administration can’t get done through the legislative process has backfired so spectacularly.
All that allowed, expect for this regulatory door to slam shut very quickly, with the ATF rescinding this regulatory change just as quickly as possible.
I don’t think Mr. Prince expects in the slightest for his application for a new mini-gun to be approved, but if it does manage to get one approved, I hope he enjoys it. Until the forces of good have enough clout to vote in enough right-thinking politicians to start dismantling the National Firearms Act, the Gun Control Act, and the Hughes Amendment to FOPA, fully-automatic weapons will remain the over-priced toys of the very wealthy.