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  1. #1

    Default AK-47 and the MA Law

    Upfront-I'm going to get the Chief Glidden Book that LenS recently provided a link to so I'll hopefully have the answers that I'm seeking. In the mean time I need your collective brain power about the legal implications of owning an AK-47 in MA.

    1) Many shops in MA (including Four Seasons) advertises a Century Arms imported Ak_47 WASR10 with a 30 mag capacity.

    I'm confused of why these particular guns are allowed because they are advertising them as "NEW". This is my logic. Is it valid?

    While by some definition it is "NEW" as it contains some ratio of imported old parts vs new American manufacturered parts. There is more new than old parts so they can advertise as new while at the same time it has some old Communist parts before the ban so it can be sold in MA. (I'm confused about what MA Law allows this. Does it predate the AWB ban of 1994 or the MA gun law changes of 1998?) Bottom line-why are these guns allowed? Especially, the 30 Mag Capacity. Are they old mags? The gun I saw had what it appeared to be a pretty new mag.

    2) Depending on the answers to #1 what do I need to be concerned with regarding buying other AK-47 outside of the Century Arms firearms that are in a few shops? This question pertains to buying from an Internet site and transfer to a local MA FFL.

    3)Kits. If I buy a AK-47 kit mailorder and build it including adding a new receiver what are my legal liabilities? What do I need to be aware of?

    4) If I get a kit and run into trouble completing it is there anyone in MA that I can send it off to and pay to complete? Will a FFL transfer be required when he completes the build?

    Thanks for your help. From a high level I understand that the BATF has modified their import kit rules so I'm trying to figure out if I should pull the trigger on a kit before 12/31 or buy one of the new AK's for sale in many of the shops. I'll probably do both but I need to make sure that I understand the rules in MA.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Moderator JonJ's Avatar
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    I'll try and cover as much as I can....
    1. The WASR's are not Assault Weapons as per Mass law which refers to the old Federal Ban on Assault Weapons. It is a post ban rifle. These Wasr's that you can buy in Mass only have two evil features, the HI-Cap and pistol grip. If you were to add an FS or folding stock, it would then be illegal. It has 10 imported parts and 5 US. You would not be able to add any imported parts to it per Federal Regs but US parts are OK.

    2. If you buy and build a kit, i believe that your imported parts count could be no more than 10 under Frederal Reg 922r.

    3. See #2. You could buy a receiver flat and it would not have to go through a 01FFL. If you buy a 100% rec, it will have to be through an FFL. YOu can order a pay for the receiver but the company will want a copy of the FFL that you're using and it will have to be shipped to him and then transfered to you.

    4. Don't know if anyone in Mass builds AK's for a "living". There are some people out of state that will do it for you.
    If someone did it in state, I can't see why you'd need an FFL transfer. Out of state, yes an FFL would be needed. I could be wrong on these points.
    If you buy a kit and receiver flat, you and only you can finish the receiver.

    I hope that covers it....If not, let me know or someone please chime in.
    'PUGNA PRO PATRIA'

  3. #3

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    Ok-I think I understand.

    1)Any of the "Post Ban" AK variants are LEGAL in MA. These would include the WASR, SAR, ROMAK, etc. That's why in the description everyone also upfront describes it as "post ban" Does Post Ban mean the actual firearm was manufactured post 1994? Does that what post ban mean? Does it matter when it was imported into the country?

    2) While Post Ban AK variants are legal the high capacity magazines manufacturered after Sept 1994 are not. The reason that the WASR 10 advertised by Four Seasons and Others is legal to have a high 30 capacity magazine is it must have been manufactured Pre-Ban correct? What threw me is that the mag looked brand spanking new. That was where some of my confusion was coming from.

    It would be appreciated if you could confirm my understanding.

  4. #4
    Moderator JonJ's Avatar
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    Post Ban means different things to different people. Where we still have the AWB in Mass. it means more to us than others.
    As for those rifles you listed, yes they are indeed post ban and manufactured after '94. They are not Assault Weapons by definition until they are modified to have that 3rd magic feature, like the folding stock or FS.
    I don't think it matters so much as to when it was imported but manufactured. My WASR is dated 1980's but it wasn't built into a rifle until sometime in the 2000's.

    As for the mags that come with the WASR, they are Pre-Ban. You are correct, if the mag was manufactured pre '94, it is pre-ban. I have read that almost if not all imported AK mags are pre-ban. I cannot confirm this but they are not dated either.
    The rifle does not have to be pre '94 to take a hi-cap mag. Only the hi-cap mag must be pre '94.

    BTW: I have a WASR-10 and if you have any Q's about it I'll be happy to help.
    'PUGNA PRO PATRIA'

  5. #5
    NES Member USMA-82's Avatar
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    A few points to review:

    1. If Four Seasons sells it, you can be sure they've checked out the legality of the the sale. Carl is definitely on top of this one.

    2. You don't need an FFL to get parts kits without receivers, but be careful when you do buy a receiver and build the gun. Parts kits usually include all imported parts, so you have to make some substitutes to stay within the "parts count" rule. For example, you may have to buy a US-made fire control group (hammer, trigger, sear), gas piston, and stocks to include as part of the re-build.

    3. Yes, the BATFE is finally enforcing an existing rule - import of foreign parts. The rule has been around for some time, but was basically overlooked so domestic manufacturers could get repair parts to meet existing contracts. Of course, the exception was not meant to allow companies to build "new" firearms for sale, and that's just what happened. Long story - short: get the parts kit now before prices go through the roof.

    4. Just to clarify the AW definition - it is a magazine-fed, semi-automatic weapon with more than one of the following features: protruding pistol grip, grenade launcher, flash supprressor, folding stock, bayonet lug. So, the WASR (or my SAR-1) with a pistol grip is fine, as long as I don't add a flash suppressor or one of the other features. Crazy, but true.

    KK
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  6. #6
    NES Member Nickle's Avatar
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    If you want to do an AK, the suggestion on US parts is a trigger group (trigger, sear, disconnector), a SAW pistol grip and a gas piston. That will keep you within the 10 parts, though you may have to remove the muzzle break and it's threads.

    The 10 part rule is NOT affected by the 1994 ban sunsetting, since it's the 1989 Presidential Import Ban that was later made law by Congress that does this.

    What the 1994 ban's sunsetting does is let you have ALL the Evil Parts IF you meet the imprt part restriction AND live in Free Territory.
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  7. #7
    Moderator JonJ's Avatar
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    BATFE ruled that if you permanently attatch the brake to the barrel, it becomes part of the barrel and is no longer a "part".
    'PUGNA PRO PATRIA'

  8. #8
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    Ok, now here is another question for the pot.. if its a "Post ban" AK with a thumbhole stock, can you change the stock to a normal stock as long as you dont add a FS then your ok?

  9. #9
    NES Member vellnueve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamgusmc View Post
    Ok, now here is another question for the pot.. if its a "Post ban" AK with a thumbhole stock, can you change the stock to a normal stock as long as you dont add a FS then your ok?
    No, because then you run afoul of 922r issues which are Federal, not state.
    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and thus any interpretation or statements about the law that I might make should be taken with a grain of salt and mixed with your own legal research as well as advice from actual legal counsel. I cannot be held responsible if you find yourself somebody's "friend" in federal, state, or local prison should you act on my opinions on the law. My interpretations of the law will generally be on the conservative side.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by vellnueve View Post
    No, because then you run afoul of 922r issues which are Federal, not state.
    You can do it if you modify the rifle to comply with 922R, however, which if you change out the furniture, and a few other things, you can get the count to wherever its supposed to be.

    -Mike

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