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I know this topic has been brought up before but I can't find the post. How do you find out if a gun might possibly be a Dewatt or unserviceable gun if you don't know original owner or where it came from. And no I don't have a machine gun sitting in my office just have a line on something and don't want to go to jail.

Here is a good article I found.


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No way for the average joe to find out if the gun is registered unless you've got paperwork showing it is. The records are considered tax records so ATF won't share. It is possible sometimes for a police dept to find out whether the gun is actually registered but its unlikely they will be able to find out who it is registered to. Without the registered owners information and signature or that of an heir you can't do anything with the gun anyway but turn it into parts. So for you the answer is track back ownership if you can to the owner around the time of the amnesty in Dec of 1968. If you can track them down you might be able to find paperwork. Otherwise its going to be tough.

Deactivated War Trophy - DeWat. This was an import program from the 50s ended in the 60s allowing importers to deactivate machineguns in a way leaving them saleable but legally not guns. In 1968 the regulations changed to define the receiver of the machinegun as the registered part and all those Dewats were required to be registered because the receivers were intact.Dewat has that specific meaning and does not include just any deactivated firearms....

Unservicable guns are any that have been deactivated by some method acceptable to the ATF but leaving the receiver intact. These guns were registered machineguns either live or they could have been Dewats. They retain their registration as machineguns but having been deactivated are now listed as unservicable and don't require a transfer tax to be paid. Some states allow these unservicable guns but don't allow live ones. Kommiefornia comes to mind. The guns there could have been deactivated about any time in the last 50 years. I got some of these some years back that Ohio Ordnance deactivated after selling them to a museum in kommiefornia. The museum closed and sold them back to us in the US where we reactivated them.


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Craig. You can just call and ask.
Ask them what you do if some old lady finds her husband’s bring back and want to know if it has paperwork. If they ask where it is? Tell them she brought it in and you made her leave with it, and told her to come back without it. Meanwhile, you got the full information and wanted to check.
or just stay away from it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the information. Will call tomorrow and update. It's a Longshot but still worth the trouble.

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Craig there actually is a way to check it if you happen to know someone and lucky for you that you do. Contact me because I do have someone that can confirm that for you. I helped a member here last year that has a WWI Colt BAR but sadly it was never papered and was turned in for destruction which broke my heart because it was a beautiful unmolested piece but at the end of the day it was only worth 10 years in club fed.
 

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I liquidate firearms from estates, have been doing so for over twenty years, and have the permits to do so here in Florida.
.About fifteen years ago, while cleaning out a stash of stuff from a WWII & Korea Veteran, we found a pair of Thompsons; one that was brought back from Italy during WWII, and one he brought back from Korea.
Neither had any paper we could find, and a check with ATF by a now retired attorney, turned up no NFA registration.
Both were placed with the D-Day Museum in New Orleans, via said attorney.
The widow received a tax credit for the donation at the current value of the Thompsons, as of the date of donation.
I wish people knew you can donate stuff like this to qualified museums, instead of turning them over to the ATF for destruction.
If all else fails, strip the parts from the receiver, make the receiver disappear, and sell the parts set.
A co-worker about ten years ago, found a MP40 in his grandfather's attic, after the grandfather passed away.
He threw it into the water off Port Canaveral, and that was a total waste, as no effort was made to find paperwork.
 
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