Great News !! BATFE says we can now legally own shoe strings (sometimes)
Well atf has spontaneously reversed its self on the " shoe string Machinegun " .
I will try and provide a bit of background for those new to the world of firearms as well as those who just who just have not heard of this .
Some time back ( around 94 or so someone sent a shoestring to the ATF with a set of instructions and requested the legal status of said string .
As a shortcut the above pic illustrates the string and instructions well .. My understanding is that this particular pic is of an actual registered genuine shoe string machinegun ... the little metal tab in the middle has the serial no on it oO( yes some folks have both too much time and too much money considering its a $200 tax on that string) .
Anyway here is a 2004 letter re confirming the earlier stance that a shoe string is in fact a machine gun .
and here is a link to the pdf of the NEW finding that atf just sent out with no prompting .
My source for the new letter is the horses mouth at http://www.subguns.com/boards/mgmsg.cgi?read=615008
ill copy and paste most of the post there
What is interesting to me is that if i read the letter right BATFE has also abandoned the Drop In Auto Sear , Lightning Link , and or any other full auto parts previously prohibited as NFA items , unless of course they are actualy used .. It ends the whole " constructive possession " prosecution stratagy . Now dont run out and procure crap for your ar 15 conversion lol , but the letter does make me think and i am sure will lead to some interesting arguements in courtrooms around the country .
It seems FTB must have nothing better to do these days than re-read everything they've written over the last decade or so and decide what parts don't fit into the various judicial strategies they'd like to assert.
On September 30 of 2004 I received the ever-famous "string trick" letter declaring a shoestring to be a machinegun. That letter, while new information to many of us, was actually just a re-statement of a determination that ATF made back in July of 1996. So, until just recently, the ATF's position regarding shoestrings had been consistent for nearly 11 years (a surprising feat for ATF in my opinion).
Well, since I heard that the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers published a copy of the letter to their membership, and since Halbrook used it to poke fun at 'em at an industry meeting, and since it's been used in numerous court cases with a variety of beneficial effects (in my opinion), I guess ATF got tired of it and decided it was time to re-write it.
Spontaneously (in other words, without any inquiry by me or anybody else that I am aware of) ATF sent me a new letter, overruling their now-nearly-3-years-old letter (link below).
I'm not completely positive exactly what ATF was trying to "fix" with their new letter, but it would seem that it actually should cause them more problems than it solves.
Best I can tell by their new logic, a part that is designed and intended solely for the purpose of converting a semi-automatic rifle into a machinegun is now *not* a machinegun *until* it is added to a firearm. They definitely seem to read the law a lot differently than I do, but that's nothing new.