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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have the opportunity to receive (at no cost) a full auto trigger group for an AR-15 that has been in the possession of the current owner for nearly 40 years (prior to 1980). The trigger group was produced before serial numbering became the practice, so it does not have a serial number.

I am aware that NFA would definitely apply to register a serial-numbered FA group from somebody and obtain a tax stamp, but I'm curious what the legality is for a FA group handed down within a family that was purchased several decades ago...

If it's not legal to own or register, what do you do with a FA group such as this when the owner dies?

I appreciate the responses.
 

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Is the "trigger group" just the trigger and fire contol parts (trigger, disocnnector, sear, etc) or is it a complete lower pistol grip lower? That's the first question, as your terminology is not clear. If it is a complete pistol grip lower, does it have a three position selector: fire, full and safe? Two position selector: fire, safe? Or, is it an AR15 pistol grip lower that has had the auto sear installed?
If you have just trigger, sear and the fire control parts and no AR15 pistol grip lower, all you have is parts and they are not controlled by ATF in this circumstance.
If it is an AR15 lower with the auto-sear installed, without registration it is illegal, as it is an unregistered MG. Ordinarily receivers and frames are the designated parts that are considered the firearm for legal purposes, but with the M16 and converted AR 15MGs, the pistol grip lower with select-fire parts installed are the legally controlled part and require registration for legal possession.
With any National Firearms Act weapons, meaning MGs in this case, serial numbers are mandatory, as is registration with ATF as an MG.
However, without more information about exactly what parts or hardware you have, it is difficult to understand exactly what you have, and thus determine its legality.
If the parts constitute an unregistered MG, there is no way for you to register it to possess it legally as an individual.

Bob Naess
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It is simply the FA sear plus M16 fire control parts. Presumably, it would be installed in an existing AR-15 lower receiver that I own to replace the SA parts.

It seems that possession of the auto sear + fire control parts, in addition to having an AR-15 constitutes possession of an illegal MG unless the FA parts are registered and tax stamped. Any comments?
 

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>It seems that possession of the auto sear + fire control parts, in addition to having an AR-15 constitutes possession of an illegal MG unless the FA parts are registered and tax stamped.<

Under the circumstances above, yes, possession of the auto-sear, which I assume is a standard M16 part, and fire control parts and an AR can be construed as possession of an unregistered MG. However, if you have a registered M16, then the potential for constructive possession is not so cut and dry as the registrant is allowed to have spare parts. In that case, keeping the AR stored separately is a good option

Registered M16 fire control parts do not exist, as the controlled part is only the auto sear. There are registered Drop-In-Auto-Sears (DIAS's) however, and registered "lightening" links, that create full auto fire when installed in an AR15.
You cannot legally convert your AR15 to selectfire using the parts that you have, as that is making an unregistered MG, and there is no legal means to register the sear for private possession. Your only legal option for fullauto is to buy a registered DIAS or lightening link and install them in your AR15 for fullauto capability.
I'd advise getting rid of the sear and any parts that can be used to assemble an MG using the AR.

Bob Naess
Black River Militaria CII
 

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sounds like the parts you have would need a third hole in the lower to work. ILLEGAL. the auto sear and the lower receiver with 3 holes are the illegal parts, the other trigger parts, anyone can own. i don't know that the trigger parts were ever serial numbered, but a letter was given stating the parts were made before a certain date. i'd stay away from them, why ask for trouble.
 

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>You cannot legally convert your AR15 to selectfire using the parts that you have, as that is making an unregistered MG, and there is no legal means to register the sear for private possession. Your only legal option for fullauto is to buy a registered DIAS or lightening link and install them in your AR15 for fullauto capability.
I'd advise getting rid of the sear and any parts that can be used to assemble an MG using the AR.

Bob Naess
Black River Militaria CII
You cannot convert full-autos to a semi-automatic weapon either. It's still a MG as far as the feds are concerned. The Ohio Ordnance BAR and those semi-automatic MG-42s are built on brand new receivers and not converted military surplus models.

I would sell those FA parts to a class 3 dealer if you are not licensed to own a M-16 already.
 

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>You cannot convert full-autos to a semi-automatic weapon either. It's still a MG as far as the feds are concerned. The Ohio Ordnance BAR and those semi-automatic MG-42s are built on brand new receivers and not converted military surplus models.<

As far as taking an existing MG, the law prohibits the use of an existing MG receiver to create a semi-auto only firearm. However, once the MG receiver is destroyed to ATF import specifications, which is basically three torch cuts equally spaced along the receiver, with differences for specific types of receivers, a semi-auto version of the orignal MG can be legally built using the pieces of the receiver. A destroyed MG receiver is not longer controlled by ATF, as it is a non-gun, although its subsequent use to make another firearm is adminstratively controlled by ATF, and subject to several National Firearms Act fed regs.
Many semi-auto MG42s, Brens, Vickers, 1910 Maxims and other Mgs have been built and continue to be built using original MG receiver parts and MG internals.
ATF has specific requirements for semi-auto construction using MG parts, whether receiver parts, bolts, trigger groups, etc.


Bob Naess
Black River Militaria CII
 

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Bob(bmg17a1) is correct in his interpretation. There are many guns, as we speak, that are built and use cut up MG receivers. One that immediately comes to mind is the Bren. There are companies that have built jigs for the sole purpose of rewelding the receivers back together for semi-auto building.
 
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