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Sheriff refuses to sign machine gun forms
Citizen's Voice ^ | 4/29/13 | Michael P. Buffer

Posted on 04/29/2013 7:22:25 PM PDT by Born Conservative

Foster Township gun collector Thomas F. Braddock Jr. wants to buy a 9 mm machine gun from a dealer in Georgia as an investment.

He wanted to proceed with the deal by getting the signature of Luzerne County interim sheriff Jack Robshaw. But Robshaw didn't even consider signing the federal government form to authorize the purchase.

"He just flat out refused," said Braddock, a retired Army National Guard major and former employee with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. "I have had a security clearance for 25 years. I am certainly not a criminal."

Robshaw is concerned about civilians, who are not law enforcement officers, acquiring fully automatic weapons that could end up being used in mass shootings, noting they can fire "hundreds of rounds per minute." He said he would rather lose his job than sign the form.

Braddock, 57, is still able to purchase the machine gun he wants by setting up a gun trust, but he is upset he now has to spend extra time and money to get the machine gun.

His story is typical in Pennsylvania, said Joshua Prince, a Berks County attorney who specializes in gun ownership and Second Amendment issues. Law enforcement officials don't have the ability to simply refuse to consider the questions on the form from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Prince said.

Robshaw believes he can refuse to sign the form for any reason. The form authorizes transfer and sales of weapons regulated by National Firearms Act and requires the signature of the "chief law enforcement officer," or CLEO, in a jurisdiction.

NFA-regulated weapons include fully automatic guns manufactured before 1986, short-barreled rifles or shotguns, destructive devices and suppressors, also known as silencers.

Lackawanna County Sheriff John Szymanski said he imposed a moratorium on signing the ATF forms for NFA weapons after the Sandy Hook school shootings in Connecticut in December.

"We wanted to take another look at this," Szymanski said. "I am not saying we won't do it anymore. Right after Sandy Hook, we had two requests for silencers. These requests come from gun collectors. They want exotic weapons."

Szymanski said he wants to consult with the ATF on the process, explaining his signature is "a rubber stamp" for decisions made by the ATF.

Prince disagrees, explaining the CLEO certifies three things on the ATF form - the applicant lives in the jurisdiction; the CLEO has no knowledge the applicant will use the firearm unlawfully; and the CLEO has no knowledge the applicant is prohibited from owning the weapon.

When the forms are submitted, the ATF does its own background check, and the applicant will go through a background check when picking up the weapon from a dealer, Prince said.

In Pennsylvania, county sheriffs are often asked to sign the ATF forms because they are in charge of concealed weapon permits, Prince said. But the ATF form says a CLEO could be a district attorney, a local police chief or a state police barrack captain.

Hazleton Police Chief Frank DeAndrea said he signs about one form a month regarding NFA weapons.

"I don't blame the sheriff," DeAndrea said of Robshaw's stance. "His staff isn't local law enforcement."

Local officers know more about residents, including "things that might not show up" on computer background check, DeAndrea said.

Appointed sheriff

Robshaw has been Luzerne County's interim sheriff since March 2012. He said he has never signed a form for an NFA weapon and is asked to sign the form a couple times a month.

The county's home-rule charter last year abolished a state-mandated system of government, which included a sheriff elected to a four-year term. Under home rule, the sheriff is an appointed official who serves in the administration as an appointed county manager.

"I am not in favor of an appointed sheriff," Prince said, noting Northampton County is the only other county in the state with an appointed sheriff.

Luzerne County Councilman Jim Bobeck said he supports Robshaw's stance against signing ATF forms for NFA weapons, adding it demonstrates why voters should not elect the county's sheriff.

"The appointed person used professional judgment without placation to outside influences or having his decision turn into electoral fodder," Bobeck sad.

Szymanski has been elected to eight terms as Lackawanna County sheriff. He is not running for re-election this year.

Previous Luzerne County sheriffs, John Gilligan and Mike Savokinas, signed the ATF forms, said Chris Scoda, owner of Advanced Arms Gun Shop in Pittston. Scoda has been involved in about 50 machine gun deals, adding the transfer process can last eight months and the price of typical machine gun can range from $4,000 to $10,000.

"It depends on the make and model," Scoda said.

Since 1986, federal law has prohibited ownership of newly manufactured machine guns to civilians. Machine guns are subject to a $200 tax every time ownership changes.

The ATF reported 488,065 machine guns in its national registry, as of March 2012, with 17,384 in Pennsylvania. Almost 3.2 million NFA weapons were registered in the U.S., with 197,217 in Pennsylvania.

Gun trusts

Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are the most difficult jurisdictions to get CLEO signatures, Prince said. Some clients considered filing a lawsuit to get CLEO signatures but decided it was less expensive to just get NFA weapons through a gun trust, Prince said.

"It violates equal protection," Prince added, asserting counties and jurisdictions can't have different standards on signing the ATF forms.

Prince said he talks to about 10 people a week about setting up a gun trust and charges $650. He said he once set up a gun trust for a police officer in Philadelphia because he couldn't get a CLEO signature and wanted a short-barreled rifle as "a duty weapon."

Gun trusts have other benefits, such as designating multiple trustees so more than one person can legally have access to and possession of the NFA weapon, Prince said. Other benefits include passing weapons onto heirs.

A gun dealer is required to conduct a background check for the representative of the trust who picks up a NFA firearm, Prince sad. But the New York Times reported in February that a loophole in federal regulations exempts a gun trust's members from requirements that apply to individual buyers, including being fingerprinted and undergoing a background check.

Christopher J. Dorner, the former Los Angeles police officer who was wanted in multiple killings, claimed he used a gun trust to buy silencers and a short-barreled rifle from a gun store in Nevada without a background check. Dorner died Feb. 12 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, during a stand-off with police.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: banglist; guncontrol; secondamendment

1 posted on 04/29/2013 7:22:25 PM PDT by Born Conservative
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To: Born Conservative

“$4,000 to $10,000”?? Try $4000 to $100,000. And sue that unelected sheriff out of office.


2 posted on 04/29/2013 7:33:14 PM PDT by ozzymandus
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To: Born Conservative

I may stand corrected, but i am fairly certain no legal NFA weapoan has ever been used in a crime. Not one, ever.


3 posted on 04/29/2013 7:36:33 PM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: Born Conservative

It’s his own fought for living in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania


4 posted on 04/29/2013 7:43:39 PM PDT by Monorprise
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To: Born Conservative

if you need a permit then you need permission

permission can be withheld

rights require no permission.

rights cannot be withheld... only denied

tyrants suppress or deny rights... not a nation of laws


5 posted on 04/29/2013 7:47:58 PM PDT by sten (fighting tyranny never goes out of style)
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To: DesertRhino

Bad thing to bring up......could be argued as a reason for the jackboots to register everything.

MG’s are the 3rd rail of the 2nd amendment....shouldn’t be. Just are. Our side even argued as such in the Heller case even though the bastards in the 30’s made the NFA of 34 a revenue law just to avoid the militia question. $200 in 1934 would be about $10k today. An effective ban.

They are what we should own if GI Joe has them.

Cop in Dayton used a CIII M-16 in the late 80’s to whack his girlfriend. That is only criminal use of a legal NFA I know of.


6 posted on 04/29/2013 7:48:10 PM PDT by Lowell1775
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To: Born Conservative
Luzerne County Councilman Jim Bobeck said he supports Robshaw's stance against signing ATF forms for NFA weapons, adding it demonstrates why voters should not elect the county's sheriff.

This guy has it exactly backwards.

7 posted on 04/29/2013 7:48:28 PM PDT by Disambiguator
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To: Born Conservative
"'He just flat out refused,' said Braddock, a retired Army National Guard major...Robshaw is concerned about civilians, who are not law enforcement officers, acquiring fully automatic weapons...Robshaw believes he can refuse to sign the form for any reason."

But Robshaw is the civilian. The problem appears to be penis envy.


8 posted on 04/29/2013 7:51:30 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
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To: Born Conservative

I can remember when the NRA required you get the permission of your local sheriff before you could join.


9 posted on 04/29/2013 8:01:39 PM PDT by yarddog (Truth, Justice, and what was once the American Way.)
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To: Lowell1775
MG’s are the 3rd rail of the 2nd amendment....shouldn’t be. Just are. Our side even argued as such in the Heller case even though the bastards in the 30’s made the NFA of 34 a revenue law just to avoid the militia question. $200 in 1934 would be about $10k today. An effective ban.

What's interesting is that the Bill of Rights, amending the Constitution, means that the 2nd logically puts its restriction on even the ability of the government to tax (art 1, sec 8), it could therefore be argued that the NFA is entirely contra-constitutional on that point alone.

10 posted on 04/29/2013 8:12:30 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: Born Conservative

Is the good (bad) Sheriff subject to citizen arrest?


11 posted on 04/29/2013 8:15:21 PM PDT by samadams2000 (Someone important make......The Call!)
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To: Born Conservative

Robshaw is a punk.


12 posted on 04/29/2013 8:18:39 PM PDT by mylife (Opinions $1, Half Baked 50¢)
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To: OneWingedShark
The NFA is plainly unconstitutional and the USSC punted on the case like the cowardly dogs they are. Clarence Thomas excluded, and sometimes Scalia. My apology to cowardly dogs.
13 posted on 04/29/2013 8:20:15 PM PDT by Durus (You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. Ayn Rand)
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To: OneWingedShark

I worked with a dealer who had I don’ remembers what was necessary o what class it was butknew+ whatever it was he one which


14 posted on 04/29/2013 8:25:21 PM PDT by yarddog (Truth, Justice, and what was once the American Way.)
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To: Born Conservative

Only trained law enforcement personnel can be trusted with fully automatic weapons, and we know there has never been a peace officer that has abuse alcohol, their wives or gone over the edge and attacked anyone, OH HELL NO!, only us untrustworthy CIVILIANS would ever do that!


15 posted on 04/29/2013 8:29:11 PM PDT by Mastador1 (I'll take a bad dog over a good politician any day!)
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To: ozzymandus

Can’t sue the sheriff. He’s under no obligation whatsoever to sign.

Sue the feds for NFA law transgressing the 2nd. Contact the Heller Foundation.


16 posted on 04/29/2013 8:34:13 PM PDT by ctdonath2 (Making good people helpless doesn’t make bad people harmless.)
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To: Born Conservative
About thirty years ago, I considered getting a license for a full auto gun.

I already had a decent sized collection, and already had several legal conceal carry permits.
(I moved around a lot in my job)

I decided against it, due to the onerous terms involved with acquiring the required Federal permit.

The deal killer for me, besides the annual costs involved, was to willingly “submit to 24/7, weapons inspections on demand, without a sworn search warrant” by any and every level of LEOs.

Yes, I have fired off a few bursts of full auto just for fun, when I had the chance.

It wasn’t worth it to me, surrendering my 4Th Ammendment rights, to own an exotic and expensive item.

17 posted on 04/29/2013 8:46:49 PM PDT by sarasmom (The obvious takes longer to discover for the obtuse.)
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To: samadams2000
Is the good (bad) Sheriff subject to citizen arrest?

No. In PA a citizen's arrest requires the citizen to have actually witnessed the felony for which he is placing the criminal under arrest. He may then physically detain the criminal until accredited LEOs accept custody.

18 posted on 04/29/2013 9:27:03 PM PDT by Doug Loss
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To: DesertRhino

I believe there is one ( and one “possible”)instance. It involved a Mac11 in .380, and the shooter was a police officer who murdered a police informant. This link has the details. http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcfullau.html


19 posted on 04/29/2013 9:31:31 PM PDT by W.Lee ("RID THE WORLD OF THOSE SAVAGES!”)
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To: Born Conservative

Someone please identify this 9mm “machine gun”, I can’t think of any.


20 posted on 04/29/2013 9:32:52 PM PDT by Mr. Blond
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To: Born Conservative

Wasn’t it Reagan who signed the bill that limited us to only owning machine guns manufactured before 1986? That’s why the price of privately owned machine guns is through the roof.


21 posted on 04/29/2013 9:39:20 PM PDT by LouAvul (?)
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To: Mr. Blond

German MP40 comes in 9mm (WWII)


22 posted on 04/29/2013 9:49:56 PM PDT by AlmaKing
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To: samadams2000

****** “Is the good (bad) Sheriff subject to citizen arrest?” ******

If he is or isn’t ... he is an Elected Official, the Ballot Box is the Trump Card and his fellow Sheriffs may be able to shame him into re-thinking his actions. He does not live in a vacuum, (cannot operate independently) the hill that he chose to die for may be a valley.

JMHO

TT


23 posted on 04/29/2013 10:07:01 PM PDT by TexasTransplant (Idiocracy used to just be a Movie... Live every day as your last...one day you will be right)
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To: Mr. Blond

Pretty sure the Uzi is 9mm.


24 posted on 04/29/2013 10:16:51 PM PDT by Little Pig (Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici.)
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To: ctdonath2
Can’t sue the sheriff. He’s under no obligation whatsoever to sign.

All he needs to do is set up a trust that owns the class III. No Sheriff signature required.

Actually quite common to do it.

25 posted on 04/29/2013 10:19:05 PM PDT by suijuris
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To: suijuris

Then he doesn’t own it.
An abstract concept has more rights than he does.


26 posted on 04/29/2013 10:53:52 PM PDT by ctdonath2 (Making good people helpless doesn’t make bad people harmless.)
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To: sarasmom

Just about everything you said just isn’t so, and never has been so.

There’s no license to own a machine gun or any other NFA-restricted firearm, and you don’t surrender your Fourth Amendment rights. It’s a one-time tax of between $5 and $200.

Its no big deal. Worst part is the wait for the ATF tech branch to finally get to your paperwork, but I’ve had stamped forms come back in as little as 28 days.

In the context of this article, my local sheriff will sign any ATF form you push in front of his secretary.


27 posted on 04/29/2013 10:59:22 PM PDT by The KG9 Kid (Demand Common Sense Nut Control.)
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To: Mr. Blond

I think most transferable machine guns are 9mm. It’s a long list of models.


28 posted on 04/29/2013 11:01:06 PM PDT by The KG9 Kid (Demand Common Sense Nut Control.)
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To: Born Conservative
Luzerne County Councilman Jim Bobeck said he supports Robshaw's stance against signing ATF forms for NFA weapons, adding it demonstrates why voters should not elect the county's sheriff.

Putting your boot on peoples' necks is so much more convenient when you don't have to ask them to vote for you. Government is best when it's UNaccountable??? It's barely acceptable when they ARE afraid they're going to get the boot. Moron. Fool. Oxygen thief.

29 posted on 04/29/2013 11:14:54 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: Little Pig; AlmaKing; The KG9 Kid

Those are sub-machine guns. Maybe I’m being too technical, but I don’t believe in giving journalists a pass.


30 posted on 04/30/2013 12:20:18 AM PDT by Mr. Blond
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To: yarddog
I worked with a dealer who had I don’ remembers what was necessary o what class it was butknew+ whatever it was he one which

What?

31 posted on 04/30/2013 4:27:58 AM PDT by TangoLimaSierra (To the left the truth looks like Right-Wing extremism.)
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To: Mr. Blond

There are Uzi’s chambered for 9MM...


32 posted on 04/30/2013 4:35:00 AM PDT by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the 2nd one...)
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To: The KG9 Kid
"...and you don’t surrender your Fourth Amendment rights."

Sure, and when the Gub'ment decides it wants to inspect your weapons that are registered and you decide to not let them will they say: "Oh yeah you got Rights under the 4th Amendment, never mind...?"

Dream on Alice, Wonderland is just around the corner!

33 posted on 04/30/2013 4:43:32 AM PDT by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the 2nd one...)
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To: Born Conservative

He needs to set up an NFA trust. This gets around fools like this sheriff. Anyone dabbling in Class 3 should be doing it through an NFA trust.


34 posted on 04/30/2013 6:13:49 AM PDT by Paine in the Neck (Socialism consumes everything)
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To: Mr. Blond

I should clarify: I think most transferable ‘machine guns’ (as the ATF regards the term) in the NFRTR are 9mm.


35 posted on 04/30/2013 7:11:08 AM PDT by The KG9 Kid (Demand Common Sense Nut Control.)
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To: TangoLimaSierra

I have no idea what I said either.

I think I might have been saying that while at a gun show in Georgia, I helped a friend who was a dealer and had several tables.

He was over run with sales so I took an hour or so off and helped him out. While I was there he sold a fully automatic Tommy Gun. I was struck as just how quickly it went. Of course filling out the forms was just the start. I have no idea what went on from there or when the guy actually got his gun.


36 posted on 04/30/2013 8:04:17 AM PDT by yarddog (Truth, Justice, and what was once the American Way.)
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To: Born Conservative

Anyone even remotely serious about NFA has searched for how to properly buy one and would have easily noticed that a trust is the only way to do it as it bypasses the local fuzzballs and protects a person beyond mere possession.


37 posted on 04/30/2013 8:10:07 AM PDT by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off.)
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To: ctdonath2

Yes, technically he doesn’t own it, but he gets to use it (with the same restrictions) as if he technically “owned it”. More disturbing, is the fact that the Fed Gov thinks that you don’t wholey own any firearms that has been manufactured or transfered with a 4473. They think they own them and they are just loaning them to you. Ever notice when the leftist members in Congress start talking about making certain “assault weapons” illegal and requiring them to be turned in. In the verbiage of the proposed law and in discussions they often use the term “revert” back to the government.


38 posted on 04/30/2013 8:15:43 AM PDT by suijuris
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To: Mr. Blond

There are a bunch of 9mm weapons that fire in full automatic to include the world famous UZI.


39 posted on 04/30/2013 6:18:30 PM PDT by Baron 2A (Those that can, do; those who can't, teach; those who do neither become journalists!)
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To: The KG9 Kid
It has never been so? Really?
LOL!

In the early 1980s, it was “so” in the State of New Mexico, in Otero County.
To legally own a full auto, one had to first obtain a Dealer level FFL which at the time, cost $200.00 per year.

40 posted on 04/30/2013 7:00:28 PM PDT by sarasmom (The obvious takes longer to discover for the obtuse.)
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