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Thread: Interesting case law on machine guns

  1. #1
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    (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.
    I was bored at the library, and was browsing through the case law databases, and have just about exhausted anything with chapter 9.41, but found something really interesting on machine guns.

    In State of Washington vs. Marcus Carter, May 2007, a published opinion (and therefore precendential) it was determined that the wording of the machine gun definition in the RCWs requires that there be an ammunition supply nearby, or else it's just considered a single shot rifle.
    Carter was a firearms instructor, and there were magazines everywhere, but there was no evidence submitted of this, so he won on appeal.
    As for federal prosecution, machine gun parts, BATFE rules, and all that, that's another story.
    I haven't found this yet online, but there is the previous ruling on it here.
    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/script...aj&invol=3

    And here is the more recent one.

    http://srch.mrsc.org:8080/wacourts/t...ew=mainresults


    EDIT: Editted for linguistic purity
    EDIT: Editted again to put the right link in.

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    The case you linked is the Supreme Court case regarding this situation, and they reversed the lower court and appellate court's decision. They said that regardless of ammunition, the investigators had PC to inspect the modified AR, and that the search and subsequent seizure of the rifle were legal. The Supreme Court does not reach the same conclusion you did, about "no mag, no machine gun." In fact, it says pretty clearly:[quote]
    Code:
    Carter was charged with one count of possessing a machine gun in
    violation of RCW 9.41.190(1) and .010(7).  Carter moved to suppress the
    rifle, contending that the search and seizure of the rifle were unlawfully
    conducted without a warrant.  The trial court agreed and dismissed the
    charges against Carter with prejudice.  The Court of Appeals affirmed in an
    unpublished opinion, and the State appeals.  State v. Carter, noted at 112
    Wn. App. 1046 (2002).  We reverse.
    
    ...
    
         The search of Carter's rifle did not implicate article I, section 7 of
    the state constitution or the Fourth Amendment to the federal constitution
    because there was no recognizable privacy interest in the AR-15.  Carter
    presented the firearm in open view of the students and invited them to
    handle it.  This  precluded any expectation of privacy in the gun.
    Additionally, the warrantless seizure of the firearm qualifies for the
    exigent circumstances exception warrant requirement.  We therefore reverse
    the Court of Appeals and remand the case to the trial court for further
    proceedings consistent with this opinion.

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    That's an earlier ruling on it. In that one it was remanded by the WA Supreme Court for another trial, the link on my next post is what followed.


  4. #4
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    I have found it.

    http://srch.mrsc.org:8080/wacourts/t...ew=mainresults

    For those interested, I stumbled upon a decent database to search case law. I had used VersusLaw until now, but that is only available at the library.

    http://srch.mrsc.org:8080/wacourts/t....htm?view=main

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    What if it fires 4 rounds per second?

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    Dr. Fresh wrote:
    What if it fires 4 rounds per second?
    What, you mean like adjusting the timing belt on a car?

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    FMCDH wrote:
    Dr. Fresh wrote:
    What if it fires 4 rounds per second?
    What, you mean like adjusting the timing belt on a car?
    But it would have to have a max adjustment. I think that if you had a welded on "rev limiter" they would just argue that you could easily pull off the limiter and it would be illegal. So it would have to somehow be an integral part of the mechanism. I work on M-14 type rifles a lot and will now waste valuable brain time trying to figure out how to make this happen.

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