Now this is absurd.
Thirteen years ago the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives claimed a shoestring is a “machinegun.”
Yes, you read that right, misspelling and all.
This absurd ruling came to pass in 2004. A man, identified as Brian A. Blakely, sent a letter to the ATF. He had asked a question about the legality of attaching a small section of string to a semiautomatic firearm. The purpose: to increase its cycling rate.
According to the NFA Owners Association, which maintains a copy of the reply, the ATF responded to Blakely with a letter claiming that a “machinegun” is defined as : “any weapon that 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.”
Okay that is a logical statement. But here is where logic gets blown out of proportion:
“This term shall also include 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,”
So basically, they were saying that the string itself was a “machinegun.”
(I don’t know about you, but that word and its misspelling is really starting to bother me.)
Anyways, logic would dictate that since machine guns are illegal under the National Firearms Act, that shoelaces were banned as well since the ATF redefined what constitutes a “machinegun.”
You can read the letter in full here:
One has to wonder if this letter is actually real, but The Washington Times seems to at least confirm the story in this article from January of 2012.
But yet there is hope, some light at the end of the tunnel.
In 2007, the ATF retracted it’s original statement in this letter:
Wow. I am not sure whether to be more appalled at the fact that it actually took the government three years to correct their mistake, or over the fact that they still did not realize it is a machine gun, not a machinegun.
What did you think of this crazy story?
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