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ucf student machine gun ar-15 drop-in auto sear

Our friends and colleagues in the mainstream media frequently get firearm technology and the laws that regulate them wrong. “Fully semi-automatic,” anyone? Surprisingly, we found an instance where they are actually (for the most part) right on the money regarding a story from the University of Central Florida.

Max Chambers, a 19-year-old UCF engineering undergrad, reportedly decided to do a little gusmithing and converted a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle full-auto in his spare time using a drop-in auto sear. When I was an undergrad, some of my activities were illegal, too – but not this illegal. And I didn’t get caught.

The Orlando Sentinel does a pretty decent job of covering the story for the most part. The short version is, student obtains/makes auto sears and builds a machine gun. Someone phones in a tip to the campus PD and the PD pays the defendant a visit, finding the contraband. Application of handcuffs and a trip to the county jail follow shortly thereafter.

Campus police report that they believe there was no ill intent here other than a gun enthusiast who didn’t seem to want to follow the law.

The local FOX affiliate spiced up their report, using legally undefined and irrelevant terms such as “assault rifle” and “hail of gunfire.” My personal favorite was calling a drop-in auto sear an “internal bump stock.” They clearly have no clue on what they’re reporting and it shows.

From the Sentinel:

UCF police began investigating Max Bennett Chambers, 19, after receiving a tip that he possessed drop-in auto sears, which can be used to convert a semiautomatic rifle into an automatic weapon.

According to an affidavit, Chambers allowed police to search his vehicle at the Towers at Knights Plaza, a complex of apartment-style dorm towers on the main campus. The AR-15 was found inside the vehicle and Chambers admitted to owning it, police said.

Thankfully we do know this subject matter and were able to review the arrest affidavit (search for Max Chambers here). And we found some interesting things of note.

Again from the Sentinel:

An FDLE firearm instructor test-fired the weapon and confirmed it was fully automatic, the affidavit said. The gun was found with a brand-new magazine with six rounds, but was able to fire at least 19 rounds consecutively with a single trigger pull, police said.

Here’s the strange part: Chambers has been charged with possession of an illegal machine gun and a bump-fire stock (which is now illegal in the state of Florida). Nowhere in the arrest report does it reveal that an actual bump-fire stock was present. But from reading the arrest affidavit it’s clear that the state’s bump-fire stock ban is so broad that police believe that Chambers’ possession of a drop-in auto sear constitutes a violation of the bump stock ban.

The affidavit quotes directly from Florida’s ban stating that a bump stock is …

…a conversion kit, a tool, an accessory, or a device used to alter the rate of fire of a firearm to mimic automatic weapon fire or which is used to increase the rate of fire to a faster rate than is possible for a person to fire such semiautomatic firearm unassisted by a kit, a tool, an accessory, or a device.

Hence the bump stock charge against Chambers.

We attempted to contact the defendant via their attorneys, but they declined to comment for this story.

We attempted to contact the UCF PD with a few questions as to what other firearm accouterments they recovered as part of their investigation and a few question as to who decided to do the charging in this case – they would not comment for this story.

We attempted to contact the state and federal prosecutors office and we did not have our calls returned.

A judge set Chambers’ bond at $5,000 for the first count, a violation of FS 790.221 which is a 2nd degree felony for possession of SBR/SBS/MG. He set bail at $150 for the second count, violation of FS 790.222 the importation/sale/distribution/possession of a bump stock.

The state bump stock ban that took effect in October was covered very broadly by the media and signed by Governor Rick Scott was part of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act.

My first question would be: If the crime of possessing a bump stock is so serious, why is the bond set at the equivalent of a good bottle of wine?

For those who aren’t fully versed in the language of the gun culture – here’s the ATF’s Federal definition of a machine gun:

26 U.S.C. § 5845(b)

For the purposes of the National Firearms Act the term Machinegun means:

  • Any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger
  • The frame or receiver of any such weapon
  • Any part designed and intended solely and exclusively or combination of parts designed and intended for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun, or
  • Any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.

Here’s the ATF’s ruling on bump stocks:

The rule will go into effect March 26, 2019; 90 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register.

The final rule clarifies that the definition of “machinegun” in the Gun Control Act (GCA) and National Firearms Act (NFA) includes bump-stock-type devices, i.e., devices that allow a semiautomatic firearm to shoot more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger by harnessing the recoil energy of the semiautomatic firearm to which it is affixed so that the trigger resets and continues firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter.

I don’t like it any more than anyone else does – but they’ve defined it pretty clearly. On a federal level, an un-registered drop-in auto sear is a machine gun. A bump stock is treated as a machine gun even though it utilizes recoil energy of the firearm to reset the trigger.

On a state level, the relevant machine gun statute at hand is as follows:

790.221 Possession of short-barreled rifle, short-barreled shotgun, or machine gun; penalty.

(1) It is unlawful for any person to own or to have in his or her care, custody, possession, or control any short-barreled rifle, short-barreled shotgun, or machine gun which is, or may readily be made, operable; but this section shall not apply to antique firearms.
(2) A person who violates this section commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(3) Firearms in violation hereof which are lawfully owned and possessed under provisions of federal law are excepted.
And the relevant state-level bump stock statute reads…
790.222 Bump-fire stocks prohibited.A person may not import into this state or transfer, distribute, sell, keep for sale, offer for sale, possess, or give to another person a bump-fire stock. A person who violates this section commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. As used in this section, the term “bump-fire stock” means a conversion kit, a tool, an accessory, or a device used to alter the rate of fire of a firearm to mimic automatic weapon fire or which is used to increase the rate of fire to a faster rate than is possible for a person to fire such semiautomatic firearm unassisted by a kit, a tool, an accessory, or a device.

It has been widely discussed that the ban is an ex post facto prohibition. And based on my interactions with colleagues in the legal community, it seems to be poorly written legislation.

One of the problems with poorly written legislation is that it is, by extension, poorly understood which eventually degrades into being poor and spotty enforcement. This appears to be one of those times.

The UCF PD’s language in their press briefings indicate that they believe that a drop-in auto sear that makes something truly fully automatic – is a product that mimics the operation of a machine gun. So they’ve apparently stumbled upon Shroedinger’s AR-15. The government is claiming that the defendant has both a machine gun AND a bump stock. A fully automatic firearm and one that mimics fully automatic fire.

One more thing: UCF’s general counsel has petitioned the court for a Risk Protection Order to have Chambers’ guns confiscated.  

According to the language of the statute, a petition must:

1. Allege that the respondent poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to himself or herself or others by having a firearm or any ammunition in his or her custody or control or by purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm or any ammunition, and must be accompanied by an affidavit made under oath stating the specific statements, actions, or facts that give rise to a reasonable fear of significant dangerous acts by the respondent;
2. Identify the quantities, types, and locations of all firearms and ammunition the petitioner believes to be in the respondent’s current ownership, possession, custody, or control; and
3. Identify whether there is a known existing protection order governing the respondent under s. 741.30, s. 784.046, or s. 784.0485 or under any other applicable statute.
(f) The petitioner must make a good faith effort to provide notice to a family or household member of the respondent and to any known third party who may be at risk of violence. The notice must state that the petitioner intends to petition the court for a risk protection order or has already done so and must include referrals to appropriate resources, including mental health… yadda, yadda, yadda.

Normally this wouldn’t be of interest to something as simple as an unlawful possession case. Until we consider a quote from the press conference from the video here (jump to the 1:15 mark).

UCF’s Chief Metzger said, “We believe he’s an enthusiast who put his interest in firearms above complying with the law.” This seems straightforward – Chambers is just a gun nut that’s not a threat to anyone.

If that’s the case, why the petition for the RPO? The police are saying he’s not a threat, but the general counsel’s office is? They’re claiming a gun is both fully automatic and mimics fully automatic at the same time? We’re living in interesting times.

At the time of this writing – UCF’s General Counsel’s office has not returned our calls either.

TTAG will update this story as more information becomes available.

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  1. Whelp… sounds like it’s another chance to take a run at the NFA’s constitutionality. U.S. v Miller expressly states that the 2nd amendment only protects weapons useful for “militia purposes”. As select fire rifles are the standard armament of every military formation on the planet, it would seem to me that drop in auto-sears would fall directly into the category protected by Miller.

    • True. But since when have gun-grabbers felt bound by either clear language or precedent?

      Would this kid be a good test case? Or is he one that has so many secondary problems (like Miller himself) that it would make a bad SC case?

      • There was no criminal intent, far as I can see, so he did not deserve it. But, if these felonies stick he will have ruined his life by boldly plunging ahead into an area he must have known was a mine field.

        I knew a very young man that liked to tinker with explosives. I warned him repeatedly, but youth has its own sensibilities. He’s had a federal felony since he was 20. Really shuts a lot of life’s doors.

        • “There was no criminal intent, far as I can see, so he did not deserve it. ”

          JWM, I thought you posted criminal intent was not necessary for a conviction when we were discussing the Clintons?

          But for an illegal automatic weapon criminal intent is a requirement for a conviction?

          Nice, double standard prevails.

        • trollboy, where did I say he wasn’t going to be convicted? I said his life was ruined. Like all the other fascists you love to see people with no harmful intent punished. I would expect nothing less from a clinton defender.

        • He intentionally installed an auto sear in a gun, which he knew was illegal.

          Seems like criminal intent to me.

        • Violating an unjust law may not be smart, but it isn’t a crime. I’m old enough to remember signs in the south that said ‘whites’ only and ‘colored’ only. If those laws had not been violated where would we still be today?

          It’s not an anti gun law, it’s an anti civil and human rights law.

        • “Violating an unjust law may not be smart, but it isn’t a crime.”

          You may want to run that past a criminal attorney and get a professional opinion. Even Alan Gura would challenge you on that one.

          As we speak, thousands of people who think our immigration laws are unjust, are pouring over our border. Some people think they aren’t criminals because they don’t like the law. Those people are just as wrong as you are.

          Unjust or unconstitutional laws are… laws! And until SCOTUS says otherwise, violating the criminal code does, in fact, make you a criminal. While I may agree with you that many (most) gun control laws are unconstitutional, my opinion and your opinion won’t keep anyone out of prison.

          I do support you in your crusade! Go ahead and drop an auto sear into an AR-15, take it to a public range and turn on that bullet hose. Post a video on YooToobe. I’ll contribute to your gofundme page while you sit in jail and your lawyer takes your case to the Supreme Court.

        • @craig You’re a puerile little person aren’t you? Violating an unconstitutional law, as JWM said, does not make you criminal. It’s makes the politicians who make the laws and the cops that enforce it, criminals.

    • It also brings up Sozinsky since it legitamized NFA as a power to tax because it could bring in some revenue, but the Hughes ammendment to FOPA prevents any taxes from being collected on post-85 machine guns.

      • These are the grounds for which GOA is pushing that lawsuit from that guy in Kansas with the silencers. It was stood to be constitutional by taxation, but the process is a net loss according to GOA. So no taxes actually being collected, therefore it cannot stand.

        I may be completely out in left field, but that was my understanding of how they explained it.

        • The same argument is now being challenged over Obama Care. When the penalties were cancelled by Congress the reasons for Justice Roberts allowing the constitutionality of Obama Care went away. A judge in Texas noted that in his reasoning for making Obama Care now being unconstitutional. Standby as this goes through the courts.

    • It may be. I feel bad for the poor guy they’re going to give him an @ss pounding over this. As you say “sporting purposes” is garbage and really should be “militia purposes.” While in reality I don’t think it will happen it would really trigger the libs if their beloved militia clause was flipped around to increase the weaponry available to the general public.

    • ” the 2nd amendment only protects weapons useful for “militia purposes”.”
      I do not take this to be restrictive as to the use, and the 2nd amendment simply confirms/affirms what is a GOD given right.
      Have you or anyone else here ever read the DICK ACT, it’s online and a LAW.

      • What I like about the dick act is that it makes all those asylum seeking immigrants members of the militia who have all those Second Amendment rights that are so precious and granted by God not by the US government.

        “(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.”

        The very fact of seeking asylum is a declaration of intent to become a US citizen and grants to all those border crossing asylum-seekers the right to keep and bear arms here in the good old US of A.

        • Good. Then as part of the militia they can be pressed into service for the defense of the nation, and be sent to war in the Middle East, or Venezuela, or used to push back the encroachment of insurgent Mexico. A foreign legion could do this country some good.

        • making a declaration of intent is not the same as simply crossing illegally or even crossing and requesting asylum. For one, Asylum does not = citizenship. Two, the asylum request has to be deemed legitimate by INS, otherwise the “declaration” is not legitimate. Just walking over or crossing via services of a coyote and then requesting asylum or stating, “I wanna be an Americano” is not a formal or legitimate declaration of intent. The guy who comes over with a green card and attempts to get a permanent visa then citizenship, or goes some other legit route, would fall under this “declaration of intent to be a citizen” and good for them.

          I know you hate hearing this because it dashes your shitty Cali-made anti-border views, but cest la vie

  2. “devices that allow a semiautomatic firearm to shoot more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger by harnessing the recoil energy of the semiautomatic firearm to which it is affixed so that the trigger resets and continues firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter.”
    That definition is really stretching things as the trigger IS being “manipulated” with each shot fired. The function of the weapon is NOT changed.
    Any good lawyer could demolish that whole line of thinking with one good engineering argument.

  3. This guy would make a great engineer. Wonder how he was able to alter it so it would fire 19 rounds from a mag with 6 rounds in it. Which LEO will get to take it home ?

    • “Which LEO will get to take it home?”.
      Ed you just earned nomination for the TTAG Cop Hater Dumbass Comment Of The Month award.

    • Not likely. If he’s an engineering student, he likely machinined the auto sear similiar to the one in the first video of that webpage you lined to. Those types of auto sears are extremely simple to make, all you need is a milling machine, the blueprints (which can be found online), and the skill level of a high school shop student.

      • some of these things require M-16 parts…some don’t…probably thousands of illegal conversions out there…most guys are smart enough to keep their mouths shut…this guy obviously wasn’t and appears completely ignorant of ATF intransigence on this issue…

        • Most bolt carrier groups these days are full auto rated as they work more reliably, so the only other part would be the selector switch, which isn’t difficult to modify.

  4. “…no ill intent here other than a gun enthusiast who didn’t seem to want to follow the law.”

    That’s going to be the large majority of gun owners who refuse to obey new gun control regulation in the future…

    • Article made it sound like he manufactured the auto sear, possibly designed it as well. Question – Had anyone ever informed him that manufacturing or possessing a machine gun was illegal? I’m serious, here, kid’s only 19, in engineering school, may have just considered it an engineering challenge to make his purty new gun work like the ones in *all* the movies. Just one more way NFA 1934 is stupid, and always has been, this kid is not the mobsters targeted by a clearly unconstitutional law.

      • I’d be surprised if his research into the matter didn’t put “doing this kind of conversion is illegal” in front of his eyeballs at some point. This case is a shame, too, because it conflates all the lefty bogeymen into one giant terror sandwich: AR-15, machine gun, “ghost” gun (close enough for pant wetting), gun free zones, etc. It’s as if this kid WANTED to martyr himself for the long-term interest of gun controllers.

      • “Question – Had anyone ever informed him that manufacturing or possessing a machine gun was illegal?”

        Yes, he knew it was illegal, but according to his confession “he didn’t like the law”.

        He found the machinist drawings online and used those as plans.

        Bye, bye, dumbass.

        And what kind of an idiot puts a bump-stock on a weapon already select-fire anyways?

    • the occasional numb-nuts they can deal with…but massive non-compliance is a whole different kettle of fish….

  5. Fox was right, everything is a Florida bump stock now. A true machine gun is now a bump stock, though does that include lawful machine guns, since they are excluded from the machine gun prohibition but not from the bump stock “logic”? Practically anything is a bump stock, even if it neither bumps nor is a stock. Trigger crank? Bump stock. Binary triggers? Might be an internal bump stock, waiting for our overlords to charge someone. Rubber band, trigger polishing, competition trigger, gun oil, etc…

    • So, if you’re caught with a .30 cal water cooled, belt fed Browning on a tripod, you’re also prosecuted for a bump stock? Sounds about right.

  6. Still,

    It is a stupid law. The very idea of making illegal, something a person can easily do with just a little machining skill, is a bad idea.

    We’ve taken another person who was basically honest, and now, through the use of a process crime, made him a criminal. I realize that HE did this to himself. That is not correct. WE did this.

  7. This is what happens when you show off to the wrong people.
    If you know its illegal keep it to yourself.

  8. I don’t like the illegal NFA and state bump stock bans either. A long time ago when the Shotgun News advertised all kinds of suppressor replacements parts kits, threaded tubing, drop in auto-sears, M-16 and M2 carbine parts it was very tempting but I had a good job and a clean record. Shotgun News stopped advertising all this stuff about the time the internet was invented by Al Gore and once again, information and parts suppliers flowed…. but many of the purchasers and the sellers started ending up with felonies and with one of those I don’t think you can buy guns or vote…. So I got a FFL and started selling guns and made a pretty good secondary living. I soon applied for a SOT, which was surprisingly easy, and was then able to legally buy everything I wanted to sell to people or myself.
    I’m 64 and don’t want to go to Leavenworth and I can’t fight like John Wick… so it probably wouldn’t be very fun being away from my family…

    • Interesting. Has your attitude got anything to do with your living in AK? I’ve heard that individualists tend to flow toward AK.

    • …that stuff gravitated to the gun shows…where you could find all the stuff you needed…including the instruction manual…it was so easy people had a hard time believing it was illegal…then they tightened-up when they realized how widespread the practice was and people began to understand the true meaning and implications of the word “contraband”….some of us followed the path you took…figuring if you could do it legally that was a far better option…others opted to take their chances and live with a liability…if these semi-auto guns are ruled illegal what’s to stop people from going this route?…

  9. Wow all that sturm und drang when the FloriDUH fudds enacted their law and he get’s a $150 bond! Where’s MY machinegun?!?😄😊😏

  10. Not relevant to the main topic of discussion, but

    “…why is the bond set at the equivalent of a good bottle of wine?”

    $150 for a bottle of wine? That should be far better than just “good.” We may have different criteria.

    • I had the same thought. Anything that costs more than about 20 bucks at Costco better impress me or I’m not buying it again.

  11. He’s so young. Here’s to hoping that he’ll move on and have a productive life after this is resolved.

        • To my knowledge (not an expert) there has NEVER been a conviction appealed to SCOTUS for possession of an actual machine gun. If this guy wants to be a test case, I’m gonna have to call my broker for more money. If they convince him to plead, he’s toast. But hey! 1) a kid 2) not a criminal 3)an engineering student!!! Come ON, there could never be a more perfect case!

      • most don’t get the full 10 yrs…especially if there are extenuating circumstances….but don’t expect a slap on the wrist either…ATF is pretty resolute in prosecuting these cases…

        • The ATF officers should be lined up against a fucking wall. I mean, Jesus. You guys do all this bitching and moaning about laws stripping you of your rights, but turn around and offer unfettered support to law enforcement. You do realize you wouldn’t have to bitch and moan if other human beings won’t enforce laws against you. Every time someone has an opinion critical of a cop, they’re branded anti-cop. Well fuck yeah, I’m anti cop. After all, they are the enforcers of the gang called the U.S. Government. Wake the fuck up.

  12. The sooner the SCOUS hears the GoA’s case regarding the kansas-legal/federally-illegal suppressor debacle the better. To my knowledge it’s the best shot we have at dealing a blow to the NFA (Once again I dont see the NRA doing dick). Here’s a link to the GoA’s youtube video they released a couple days ago regarding the matter:

    • If you think that the “powers that be” are going to let anyone who has even heard those words anywhere near the jury pool for such a trial, I’ve got some nice oceanfront property for sale in South Dakota.

      I’ve read too many stories of aggressive judicial action against those trying to inform jurors of the concept. It seems like most judges are openly hostile to the concept even though that is the central reason for juries to exist.

    • Yep. Take it to a jury and make sure you have some conservatives on it. One or two hung juries and you’re off.

      This is Florida. They couldn’t even convict a woman who buried her own daughter with duct tape on her mouth.

      Stupid state.

    • Not likely. People are seldom even prosecuted for NFA violations, particularly when it was a modification. They don’t want anyone to know just how easy it is to create an NFA firearm in a basement with nothing but a saw and/or a file. The feds tend to only prosecute this kind of thing when they want to threaten/make an example of someone, like Randy Weaver. Note that the NFA charge that started the standoff in that case…. was dropped.
      As for the State charge, note the US 150.00 bail. Hardly the bail for a crime that would send one up the river. That will likely be dropped(if the feds pursue) or a fine(if the feds drop their charge).

    • And, if it isn’t written in the law that law enforcement is excluded,
      they are in violation also?

  13. Interesting side effect that nobody actually talks about: according to that law that went into effect last year, even federally registered pre-86 ban machine guns are a felony in the state of Florida. From the statute:

    (1) DEFINITION.—As used in this section, the term “bump-
    fire stock” means a gun conversion kit, a tool, an accessory, or
    a device used to alter the rate of fire of a firearm to mimic
    automatic weapon fire or which is used to increase the rate of
    fire of a semiautomatic firearm to a faster rate than is
    possible for a person to fire such semiautomatic firearm
    unassisted by a kit, a tool, an accessory, or a device.

    This is the definition paragraph. It goes on to state sale, transfer and possession are all outlawed as of Oct 2018. As you can see, this applies to everything with no exceptions given. So all machine guns in the state are illegal, period, end of story. Even if you have the pre-86 paperwork from the feds, you are a felon under state law.

    I wonder how many people we have in the state who don’t even realize they are felons right now.

    • All machine guns would not be illegal. A machine gun that was manufactured as a machine gun was never a semiautomatic, so any portion of the law pertaining to semiautomatics would exclude machine guns. If you want to argue that a semiauto legally converted to a machine gun would count, it would match the charges of this case. However, I would argue, as in this case, that a semiauto so converted does not “mimic” a machine gun, but is in fact a machine gun, and no longer a semiauto, so bump stock laws don’t apply. The courts might not find for that argument, and converted machine guns would be bump stocks.

      • Just my point of view but all machine guns have an auto sear which “increases the fate of fire of the semiautomatic firearm” it was put in. Unless the firearm doesn’t even have a semiautomatic function at all and just goes from safe to full auto.

        • First few jillion M16s were select fire from the word go, never envisioned as anything else, therefore were not converted at all, yet had a semiauto capability. That is also the way all AR-15s should be. Cost extra money to redesign as semi only.

  14. What I would like to know is what company produces the extended magazine release button on the pictured weapon,inquiring minds want to know.

  15. So……any violation will include an erpo………just like every restraining order invokes lautenberg. Any contact with .gov could end up resulting in your loss of rights.

    Dispute with the planning dept? Problem with your building inspector? Object to outrageous taxes? Erpo for you.

    This is the road to confiscation.

    This is TREASON. And I understand that “representatives” are immune from prosecution when they advocate in the well BUT NOT when they take sedition on the road. Advocating for communism and disarmament by a person who has taken an oath to UPHOLD AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION AGAINST ALL ENEMIES FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC is TREASON and should be treated as such.

    The requirement to proove treason requires TWO OVERT ACTS. Should be easy to proove in many cases. Penalty for treason is death.

    Torches, pitchforks and auto rifles!!!!!

  16. It’s a machine gun and a semi-auto modified to mimic a machine gun at the same time. The general counsel doesn’t know anything about what he is dealing with so he’s throwing as much shit against the wall as he can to see what sticks.

  17. So does anyone know any details on the lawsuit that was filed in Florida regarding the bump stock law (like the name of the case or what court it is being heard in)? I have searched all over and can’t find the pertinent details and there have been no updates since it was filed in March (I believe).

  18. It’s amazing to me that in some cases we let very small items that harm no one destroy someone’s life.

    I hope he doesn’t do time. But damn does he have a rocky road ahead of him.

  19. Shall not be infringed is pretty clear. Sad that unconstitutional laws will likely ruin this guy’s life to an extent.

  20. Censorship did this kid a disservice. He probably didn’t understand what they meant when people said not to do it because it would get you sent to “F you in the A” federal prison.

  21. Owning a rapid fire weapon makes you equal to the government powers. And they don’t want ordinary people to own inexpensive rapid fire weapons. Only the rich can own them.

    • The RICH don’t OPWN them and mostly would wet their pants if they had to operate one, but they DO pay people who KNOW HOW, because they’re COWARDS. They days are coming when there won’t be anyone to hide behind…. Interesting times indeed!

  22. Generally speaking, the ATF/BATFE more correctly, has long since, at management levels, become a political whore house, assuming it was ever anything but that. Significant blame for this sad situation lies directly in the ample lap of The Congress, which historically has refused to rein in a runaway bureaucracy, shame on Congress.

    That having been said, possession of, or installation of the “drop in sear” in an otherwise semiautomatic rifle is clearly a violation of existing federal law, possibly state law too, however violation of federal law is the driver.

    So, let’s see how this cookie crumbles, regarding enforcement of law by the Feds, who have compiled, over time, a record best described as “checkered”. By the way, prior to enactment of the National Firearms Act of 1934, with a view toward federal law, if an individual wanted a “machinegun”, they went and bought one. While there were a few instances of criminal use of automatic weapons, such instances, despite media hype, it existed then too, were few and far between, Hollywood crime depictions aside.If interested in the facts, as opposed to fancy, do a little digging into history.

    • You had me at “political whore house” although it’s my firm belief that “whorehouse” is a compound word.

    • What? You mean the Tommy Gun scene in which Albert Finney, playing Leo, sprays about a million rounds of .45 full auto without reloading is not based on actual events?

  23. Am I seeing that different agencies of government at different levels have different wording to this “law”?

  24. A tip, eh? He was pretty dumb to spread that info around. Or… I’ve always wondered what info might get around when you buy an auto-sear, if that’s what he did. There are so few legal machineguns around that it wouldn’t be hard to investigate anyone who buys one and doesn’t own one on the registry.

    And not very bright letting the police search the car or even talking to them when you’ve got a machinegun. Probably wouldn’t have made a difference except they might have had to flesh out the whole ‘tip’ thing a little more to get a warrant.

  25. This is why full autos should be legal. The only crime was being clever and inquisitive.

    Can he get away with identifying the new SEAR as “standard” the way one can identify as any of some 59 different genders?!?

  26. What he did should not be illegal. So I’l say this, had he taken these actions with a plan to risk his freedom in a challenge to the law, having lawyers at the ready and funding lined up, well that would be easy to respect. But tossing your freedom in the crapper on a whim is stupid. You are vastly more likely to lose terribly and achieve nothing.

    The courage to challenge with direct action an unjust law or laws is admirable. If that’s your thing, at least be smart about it.

    • Yet people who are unwilling to break firearms laws NOW (meaning the overwhelming majority) are going to be the ones laying down their lives and leading the rest of us to freedom in a bloody revolution TOMORROW?

      I think not.

      By any definition, all of the founding fathers were criminals in the eyes of the Crown. Coincidentally, they were the ones putting it all on the line and risking their necks the most.

  27. I’d say the bump-stock charge PROBABLY isn’t going to stick, but there’s no way to deny that he has legitimately run afoul of the NFA. The NFA violation WILL stick, and when he gets out of prison, he’ll never be allowed to own firearms again. Shame. Especially for someone whom the police themselves say isn’t a threat.
    I will remember this case in the future any time I’m selecting fire control parts for my AR builds.

    • If he will take this case to SCOTUS, I seriously doubt this charge will stick, as the law is unconstitutional and has been for around 85 years. SOMEBODY needs to take it to court rather than taking a plea. Someday. Never a better chance than this!

      • Plus, now I think about it, he did not pay a $200 tax. He should have been perfectly able to pass the background checks and receive his tax stamp, somebody’s going to justify 10 years in prison? I’m going to need to see that.

  28. Paddock isn’t dead , he’s living on a tropical island down in Margarita ville smoking Cuban cigars. Job well done Sir, America thanks you.

  29. One other take away. “allowed the police to search his vehicle”.

    Of course he knew it would be found. So why allow the search? If he refused and they searched against his consent, his lawyers could have challenged the evidence’s legality on whether or not there was reasonable articulable suspicion to conduct a search.

    If that evidence was thrown out as “fruit of the poisoned tree”, he could walk. Or at least plead it down more aggressively.

    Moral of the story – never consent to searches.

    • Sounds more and more like a setup for a court case, he now has “standing”. I wish he’d waited for one more opening on the SC, but I wish him well.

  30. “Campus police report that they believe there was no ill intent here other than a gun enthusiast who didn’t seem to want to follow the law.”

    The fuck is this? The constitution of the united states is the law of the land, not the opinions of old goats that have neither anyones input nor consent.

  31. Whether or not the guy consented to a search- a single, anonymous phone tip is not a legit nexus.

    A good lawyer should be able to get this thrown out.

    • If he consented to a search, yes, he is very much screwed. Police have every right to make contact with an individual stemming from a single anonymous phone tip. They may not have enough for a warrant, but contact? Sure.

      The whole school-campus locale situation adds a wrinkle, but that’s only of use to a defense attorney if he didn’t admit in front of a bunch of officers what he had, and let them search.

      This is why when police knock at your door, you respectfully inform them of your Fourth Amendment rights, and ask them to seek a warrant.

      • There’s a middle ground, where the police have a right to be concerned and ask questions. If a criminal says “yes, I did it” and “yes, you can come in and see that I committed a crime” – then no, you don’t need a warrant.

        This student was dumb. Probably got scared. And allowed the police entry to his dorm room.

        That said, the police would have been within their rights to follow this kid (erm, young adult), and if he had attempted to destroy the sears he may have racked up more charges.

  32. You asked “If that’s the case, why the petition for the RPO?”

    I think I know the answer, because they don’t want him to keep his guns after being convicted.

    18 U.S. Code § 922(g) has a loophole that leaves firearms a felon already posessed prior to conviction a gray area. This is why Texas only has a 5 year prohibition, despite 18 § 922(g). The theory is, you store your guns away from you for 5 years, and then reclaim them. So long as you buy no new ammo or guns, you arguably are not engaged in interstate commerce.

    The PRO ensures that the state removes all his guns and ammo – thus ensuring when he is convicted of a felony – loses all his guns for life.

  33. If I’m reading this correctly, this kid has higher bail than the MS-13 gang member who was out on bail for attempted murder when he committed ACTUAL murder on a rival on the NYC subway.

    Attempted murder? Meh. Violating NFA? now THAT’S some serious shit.

    • It was a kid on a school property in Florida with a full auto.

      Two wrongs don’t make a right. NYC should remand anyone with attempted merger charges and known gang ties. Frankly, this kid so far is getting off pretty easy considering what has gone down of late. Probably because he made the cops’s case for them.

  34. A few things to clear up… It was a DIAS made on a manual mill. The gun was accidentally converted full auto in preparation for the Dias. Hewas a mechanical engineering major in Army ROTC. And the ATF agent was very clear to say he’d be tackled on the ground and arrested if he didn’t cooperate. And they let him go over night, sleep on his own bed, despite knowing he had 3 other semi auto guns in the trunk they searched, and ammo, which they let me keep. He wasn’t arrested until the next day. Yeah he was scared to see an ATF agent at his door with a very specific anonymous tip, and decided cooperating was smarter. An individual has no real power against the law, so just ignoring the unjust ones is the only thing to do. Let’s just say I know the guy, and there’s no proof that I am he.

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