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Thread: Full auto case law

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    OK, so there was a case in bellevue (I think) where some guy was arrested for having a select-fire M4. He beat the charge in the state supreme court because the rifle didn't have a magazine attached, and therefore could not have fired more than one round with one pull of the trigger.

    Does anyone remember what the case namewas on this, and does anyone know if this means that it is legal (via case-law)to own a select-fire rifle in WA state, so long as the magazine is never attached? If so, it might be nice to have a couple in stock for SHTF. Anyone?

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    Well, since RCW 9.41.190 is pretty explicit about "machine gun parts" in addition to the machine gun itself, I don't there's really any way to get around owning one, since to have the machine gun, you have to have the parts. Plus, the special "sear", I believe, is the part defined by the BATFE as being part of a machine gun (requiring the $200 tax), regardless of whether the whole firearm falls under the definition of a machine gun (not sure on that, though).
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    RCW also says it has to fire five rounds per second or more.
    Operative word "and" .
    Code:
    ' RCW 9.41.010(7) defines machine gun as 'any firearm known as a machine
    gun, mechanical rifle, submachine gun, or any other mechanism or instrument
    not requiring that the trigger be pressed for each shot and having a
    reservoir clip, disc, drum, belt, or other separable mechanical device for
    storing, carrying, or supplying ammunition which can be loaded into the
    firearm, mechanism, or instrument, and fired therefrom at the rate of five
    or more shots per second.'
    Does it run at 300 rounds/minute?

    OJ

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    A person can own a class 3 weapon so long as they have the class 3 weapons liscense, and play the 250 dollar tax? I have been in the understanding that someone can own such things as silencers, and machine guns.

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    Excellent point tjschul.

    I'm not super-well-versed with Federal Class III laws, but I have a semi-decent familiarization; same with state laws on Class III firearms. I think the person to consult here would be Agent 47, since he owns sound suppressors and has familiarity with FFL-workings.
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    nofoa wrote:
    A person can own a class 3 weapon so long as they have the class 3 weapons liscense, and play the 250 dollar tax? I have been in the understanding that someone can own such things as silencers, and machine guns.
    It's $200, not $250... and yes, in WA you can legally own (but not use on a firearm) a sound suppressor (aka silencer), but the state law says no machine guns, machine gun parts, short-barreled rifles, or short-barreled shotguns.

    AOW's (any other weapons) are only $5 tax stamp from the feds... such as the Serbu 12 ga Shorty.
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    In Washington it is a lack of a law banning the ownership of silencers and AOW's that allows them to be owned by individuals. Machine guns on the other hand actually are banned by specific state law. Therefore machine guns along with SBR's and SBS's are illegal for any individual to own. A person can become a licenced class two manufacturer and then is permitted to manufacturer SBR's SBS's and machine guns that are non transferable to private citizens in any state as they are not and can not be registered as a transferable machine gun. In this case the machine gun is actually owned by the company rather than by you as an individual. All this to say all NFA items are not created equal and just because you can buy a silencer does not automatically mean you can buy a machine gun. I have a class three licence for the silencers that I own but no matter how much I may want one there is no way I can ever own a machine gun.

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    I wonder what are the chances of getting that law repeal ... probably not good .

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    I do believe pigs will fly before that day comes.

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    G27 wrote:
    I do believe pigs will fly before that day comes.
    Depends on how the Supreme Court defines the 2nd Amendment next year. If they use the difinition that is outlined in the Federalist Papers, then full autos would most likely become legal under the "compatible with the military" part of the definition. Also if the NFA of 1934 were were found non-compatible with the 2nd, then state laws would be too. Beside move to Oregon, full autos are legal to own and shoot.

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    just_a_car wrote:
    nofoa wrote:
    A person can own a class 3 weapon so long as they have the class 3 weapons liscense, and play the 250 dollar tax? I have been in the understanding that someone can own such things as silencers, and machine guns.
    It's $200, not $250... and yes, in WA you can legally own (but not use on a firearm) a sound suppressor (aka silencer), but the state law says no machine guns, machine gun parts, short-barreled rifles, or short-barreled shotguns.

    AOW's (any other weapons) are only $5 tax stamp from the feds... such as the Serbu 12 ga Shorty.
    And while it's perfectly legal to OWN a suppressor in WA, it's very much illegal to actually fire a weapon with one attached.

    It's all a load of crap, really. If I go through all the hassle of getting vetted by the feds in order to own an NFA item like a supressor in this state, I should be able to use the damn thing too. That whole section of the state law is just asinine. If I want to do the paperwork and spend the money, I should be able to have a SBS/SBR, and I should be able to use a legally-owned suppressor at a local range rather than having to make the trip down to Oregon.

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    I agree with Bear 45/70. A Second AmendmentSCOTUS winwill force ALL laws to be re-examined in the light of a recognized individual right.But only if we push.

    In this particular time and place in history, the momentum is with us. Nearly all states have concealed carry laws or reformed them in the recent past, the ones thathave not are notorious for their high crime rates (After all, Washington D.C. is the point of the SCOTUS case) and anti-gunners have been losing across the board. So badly have they been losing that it is only the low level Dem's who are talking about gun control. NOT ONE of the Dem's presidential candidates are talking about implementing significant gun control, especially somekind of mass registrations/ban/seizure like we saw under Clinton. Even the "Gun Show Loophole" laws have almost no traction. The "stand your ground" laws and their political success are an even better barometer of the political temperature. Their simply is not any political oxygen supporting restrictive gun laws. A Supreme court win will crushvirtual banslikeD.C.'sas well as filter down to change Federal laws (such as the Hughes Amendment, which banned manufacture of new Machine guns.)

    Strong politicalaction by us, moving quickly after a SCOTUS win by the filing of laws sweeping aside machine gun bans, will catch WashCeasefire off guard and demoralized. WAC and other pro-guns groups (Like opencarry.org) should consider what types of laws should be enacted after such a win. IfWAC 9.41.101 (7) could be swept aside (especially since my 45 ACP fulfills a few of theprongs of thisfour tier test! Notice the "or's"). The law could be simplified as well as individual freedom enhanced.


    Confusion to the Enemy!


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    Helter wrote:
    And while it's perfectly legal to OWN a suppressor in WA, it's very much illegal to actually fire a weapon with one attached.

    This has been hashed over time and again and is common knowledge. Although it is also true that nobody has ever beenconvicted for using a legally owned and properly registered silencer in this state. And I guarantee this is not due to people just not using them.

    (1) Every person who:

    (a) Manufactures, sells, or disposes of or possesses any instrument or weapon of the kind usually known as slung shot, sand club, or metal knuckles, or spring blade knife, or any knife the blade of which is automatically released by a spring mechanism or other mechanical device, or any knife having a blade which opens, or falls, or is ejected into position by the force of gravity, or by an outward, downward, or centrifugal thrust or movement;

    (b) Furtively carries with intent to conceal any dagger, dirk, pistol, or other dangerous weapon; or

    (c) Uses any contrivance or device for suppressing the noise of any firearm,

    is guilty of a gross misdemeanor punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.

    (2) Subsection (1)(a) of this section does not apply to:

    (a) The possession of a spring blade knife by a law enforcement officer while the officer:

    (i) Is on official duty; or

    (ii) Is transporting the knife to or from the place where the knife is stored when the officer is not on official duty; or

    (b) The storage of a spring blade knife by a law enforcement officer.

    This is the interesting part, Exceptions are made for LEO's to use switchblades only while on duty but it is still illegal for the SWAT team to use their silencers. Also I can almost guarantee that any one of your larger pocket knives fall under this law as they can be made to open by a downward, outward or centrifugal thrust movement. so if any one of you own a pocket knife like this you may as well have gone to the range and fired off an entire case of ammo through a silencer. Also the laws mentioning of "Contrivances" coupled with the lack of an exception for LE on the law seems to indicate that the lawmakers never intended to prohibit the fireing of professionally manufactured and legally owned silencers. Rather the law was intended to ban the use of any contrivance ( homemade or implemented device ) ie. shooting through a pillow, pop bottle or any of the other countless Hollywood implementations for silencing a firearm.


    And to all the idiots who have said using a silencer will lead to you loosing your gun rights.

    (2) Gross misdemeanor. Every person convicted of a gross misdemeanor defined in Title 9A RCW shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a maximum term fixed by the court of not more than one year, or by a fine in an amount fixed by the court of not more than five thousand dollars, or by both such imprisonment and fine.

    As a gross misdemeanor is not a crime that the judge could imprison you for more than one year your gun rights are safe.

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    It would seem that part (c) would also make the use of ear plugs illegal as they are a device for

    "supressing the noise of a firearm."

    Jim

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    I know WA state law prohibits machineguns. But there was a case ruling that dismissed a select-fire M4, because the police didn't confiscate a magazine with it, and therefor the gun could not fire more than one shot per pull of the trigger. I'm trying to figure out what that case law means, and if it is relevant, because if so, we can own select fire weapons, but we can't use them or store them with a magazine.

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    expvideo wrote:
    I know WA state law prohibits machineguns. But there was a case ruling that dismissed a select-fire M4, because the police didn't confiscate a magazine with it, and therefor the gun could not fire more than one shot per pull of the trigger. I'm trying to figure out what that case law means, and if it is relevant, because if so, we can own select fire weapons, but we can't use them or store them with a magazine.
    Could you cite the case for us?

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    Trigger Dr wrote:
    It would seem that part (c) would also make the use of ear plugs illegal as they are a device for

    "supressing the noise of a firearm."

    Jim
    LMAO

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    heresolong wrote:
    expvideo wrote:
    I know WA state law prohibits machineguns. But there was a case ruling that dismissed a select-fire M4, because the police didn't confiscate a magazine with it, and therefor the gun could not fire more than one shot per pull of the trigger. I'm trying to figure out what that case law means, and if it is relevant, because if so, we can own select fire weapons, but we can't use them or store them with a magazine.
    Could you cite the case for us?
    Read my first post. That's what I am hoping someone can help me to do.

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    FOUND IT!!!

    Quoted from The Highroad 12-16-05 from Mainsail:


    WA Courts Rule: Not an Auto w/o the Mag


    IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON

    DIVISION II

    STATE OF WASHINGTON,
    Appellant, NO. 32514-4-II

    v.
    PUBLISHED OPINION
    MARCUS A. CARTER,
    Respondent.

    Van Deren, J. -- The State appeals the dismissal of a machine gun possession charge,

    contrary to RCW 9.41.190(1) and .010(7), against Marcus Alton Carter. The trial court

    dismissed the charge because the State lacked sufficient evidence to prove that an ammunition

    supply device, defined by RCW 9.41.010(7), was present at the scene. The State argues that the

    statute does not require it to show the presence of an ammunition supply device and that the trial

    court erred in disregarding its evidence that such a device was present. Because RCW

    9.41.010(7) contemplates a weapon accompanied by an ammunition supply device and because

    the State did not respond with an affidavit containing evidence of an ammunition supply device,
    the trial court did not err in dismissing the State's case on Carter's Knapstad1 motion. We affirm

    and construe the trial court's dismissal to be without prejudice.

    1 State v. Knapstad, 107 Wn.2d 346, 729 P.2d 48 (1986).

    NO. 32514-4-II

    FACTS

    Carter was the chief instructor of a certification course for firearms safety instructors.

    Two investigators from the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney's office, Bruce Jackson and

    Frank Clark, attended the course. As part of the instruction, Carter asked the students to

    familiarize themselves with a firearm and prepare for practical training presentations. These

    included demonstrating how to operate the weapon.

    From the available firearms, Jackson selected a Colt AR-15 rifle that Carter had identified

    as his personal rifle. Having owned an AR-15 since the seventies, Jackson was familiar with its

    normal functions. He noticed that the safety/selector switch was not characteristic of the AR-15,

    instead it resembled one from a military M-16 that could be moved to a full automatic fire

    position. He then opened the weapon and found a non-standard "auto sear block," which

    suggested that the weapon had been modified to fire as a machine gun. Clerk's Papers (CP) at 2.

    He also noticed that the standard hammer had been replaced with a M-16 hammer.

    After class, Jackson and Clark asked Carter if he had modified the rifle for automatic fire.

    He admitted that he had. When they told him that possessing such a weapon was illegal, he

    offered to demonstrate that it would not function in automatic mode but said that he needed to

    "get some ammunition first." CP at 45. During the investigators' ensuing attempts to confiscate

    the rifle, Carter insisted on his constitutional right to bear arms, and his teenage son claimed that

    the law against possession of automatic firearms was stupid because semi-automatic fire was more

    accurate and effective, while automatic fire "just sprayed a lot of bullets everywhere." CP at 48.

    Jackson and Clark eventually seized the rifle without an ammunition supply device. The

    Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory examined it and found that it contained "the following

    parts from an M16 rifle--Safety (selector),

    2

    NO. 32514-4-II

    Disconnector, Trigger, Hammer, and Bolt Carrier." CP at 32. Examiners also test-fired it after

    they inserted an ammunition supply device and determined that it was capable of automatic fire at

    an average rate of 787 rounds per minute.

    The State charged Carter under RCW 9.41.190(1) and .010(7) for possession of a

    machine gun. The trial court initially suppressed the weapon as unlawfully seized, and we

    affirmed. State v. Carter, noted at 112 Wn. App. 1046 (2002). The Supreme Court reversed and

    remanded for trial. State v. Carter, 151 Wn.2d 118, 129-30, 85 P.3d 887 (2004).

    Carter then brought a Knapstad motion to dismiss on the ground that the rifle did not

    meet the statutory definition of a machine gun because it did not have a '"reservoir clip, disc,

    drum, belt, or other separable mechanical device for storing, carrying, or supplying ammunition

    which can be loaded into the firearm, mechanism, or instrument, and fired therefrom at the rate of

    five or more shots per second."' CP at 52 (quoting RCW 9.41.010(7)). In its response to this

    motion, the State did not deny the absence of an ammunition supply device, but argued, instead,

    that this showing was unnecessary. At the motion hearing, however, the State offered an e-mail

    exchange between Jackson and a prosecutor in which Jackson said there were magazines present

    at the scene.

    The trial court determined that the State had to show the presence of an ammunition...

    Read the whole thing here:

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    Wow. I would hate to be a legislator. I would consider the phrase "and having a magazine" to mean that the rifle in question used a magazine to hold ammunition. I would never for one minute have thought of this opinion. However, it is nice to know that we can now all own automatic weapons under state law as long as we don't have any magazines in the same room, range, safe, whatever. Or not.

    I suspect that the state slipped on the prosecution of this one thinking that they had a slam dunk and probably in the future will throw in the "possession of prohibited parts" charge as well just in case.

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    expvideo wrote:
    I know WA state law prohibits machineguns. But there was a case ruling that dismissed a select-fire M4, because the police didn't confiscate a magazine with it, and therefor the gun could not fire more than one shot per pull of the trigger. I'm trying to figure out what that case law means, and if it is relevant, because if so, we can own select fire weapons, but we can't use them or store them with a magazine.
    Washington does not even allow the ownership of the full auto parts, much less an assembled weapon, with or without a mag. Read the ads for FA parts and they won't ship to Washington anymore. They used to years back but not now.

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    Bear 45/70 wrote:
    expvideo wrote:
    I know WA state law prohibits machineguns. But there was a case ruling that dismissed a select-fire M4, because the police didn't confiscate a magazine with it, and therefor the gun could not fire more than one shot per pull of the trigger. I'm trying to figure out what that case law means, and if it is relevant, because if so, we can own select fire weapons, but we can't use them or store them with a magazine.
    Washington does not even allow the ownership of the full auto parts, much less an assembled weapon, with or without a mag. Read the ads for FA parts and they won't ship to Washington anymore. They used to years back but not now.
    You are referencing this law:
    RCW 9.41.190
    Unlawful firearms — Exceptions.

    (1) It is unlawful for any person to manufacture, own, buy, sell, loan, furnish, transport, or have in possession or under control, any machine gun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle; or any part designed and intended solely and exclusively for use in a machine gun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle, or in converting a weapon into a machine gun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle; or to assemble or repair any machine gun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle.
    And you are correct. However the definition of machine gun in WA state requires that it has a magazine. Therefor, no magazine =no machine gun, parts or not, at least according to this case ruling.
    RCW 9.41.010
    Terms defined.

    Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.

    (7) "Machine gun" means any firearm known as a machine gun, mechanical rifle, submachine gun, or any other mechanism or instrument not requiring that the trigger be pressed for each shot and having a reservoir clip, disc, drum, belt, or other separable mechanical device for storing, carrying, or supplying ammunition which can be loaded into the firearm, mechanism, or instrument, and fired therefrom at the rate of five or more shots per second.
    The fact that it says "and" makes it so that there is a requirement for the gun to have a magazine, not just the capability to accept a magazine. A machine gun with no magazine can not fire more than one manually loaded round per pull of the trigger. This part of the definition is actually quite clear on the requirement for a magazine to meet the description of a machine gun.

    In fact, since it makes it clear that this must be a separable item, that would make converting an SKS with a non-detachable "magazine" tofull auto completely legal. Any full-auto firearm with a self-containedand non-separable ammunition source would be technically legal under WA statelaw, as I am interpreting it.



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    expvideo wrote:
    In fact, since it makes it clear that this must be a separable item, that would make converting an SKS with a non-detachable "magazine" tofull auto completely legal. Any full-auto firearm with a self-containedand non-separable ammunition source would be technically legal under WA statelaw, as I am interpreting it.

    I think, based on my reading of that court case, that you would have trouble with this one. The case was dismissed because there was no magazine and therefore the firearm was incapable of full auto fire. If the magazine was built in I think you would have seen a different result.

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    expvideo wrote:
    Bear 45/70 wrote:
    expvideo wrote:
    I know WA state law prohibits machineguns. But there was a case ruling that dismissed a select-fire M4, because the police didn't confiscate a magazine with it, and therefor the gun could not fire more than one shot per pull of the trigger. I'm trying to figure out what that case law means, and if it is relevant, because if so, we can own select fire weapons, but we can't use them or store them with a magazine.
    Washington does not even allow the ownership of the full auto parts, much less an assembled weapon, with or without a mag. Read the ads for FA parts and they won't ship to Washington anymore. They used to years back but not now.
    You are referencing this law:
    RCW 9.41.190
    Unlawful firearms — Exceptions.

    (1) It is unlawful for any person to manufacture, own, buy, sell, loan, furnish, transport, or have in possession or under control, any machine gun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle; or any part designed and intended solely and exclusively for use in a machine gun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle, or in converting a weapon into a machine gun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle; or to assemble or repair any machine gun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle.
    And you are correct. However the definition of machine gun in WA state requires that it has a magazine. Therefor, no magazine =no machine gun, parts or not, at least according to this case ruling.
    RCW 9.41.010
    Terms defined.

    Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.

    (7) "Machine gun" means any firearm known as a machine gun, mechanical rifle, submachine gun, or any other mechanism or instrument not requiring that the trigger be pressed for each shot and having a reservoir clip, disc, drum, belt, or other separable mechanical device for storing, carrying, or supplying ammunition which can be loaded into the firearm, mechanism, or instrument, and fired therefrom at the rate of five or more shots per second.
    The fact that it says "and" makes it so that there is a requirement for the gun to have a magazine, not just the capability to accept a magazine. A machine gun with no magazine can not fire more than one manually loaded round per pull of the trigger. This part of the definition is actually quite clear on the requirement for a magazine to meet the description of a machine gun.

    In fact, since it makes it clear that this must be a separable item, that would make converting an SKS with a non-detachable "magazine" tofull auto completely legal. Any full-auto firearm with a self-containedand non-separable ammunition source would be technically legal under WA statelaw, as I am interpreting it.

    Seems to me that Washington stateRCW 9.41.190 and RCW 9.41.010 are in conflict, which is not really surprising the the mess the laws are in in most states. But I will but if they prosecute youunder RCW 9.41.190, that RCW 9.41.010 won't get you off because since the guy without a mag incident RCW 9.41.190 has been update it include the parts. Because years ago you could buy and posses the parts as long as they weren't in a receiver.

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    Actually, this case was from 2005.

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