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Date: Wed, 17 Sep 1997 18:58:19 -0400
From: The Elitist <elitist@BEV.NET>
Subject: Re: Black Poudre Regs was ->Re: Blackpowder Legal Question

Joseph L Lunenschloss wrote:

> (It has only been 29 years since modern smokeless powder arms,
> including WWII surplus anti-tank rifles and assorted 15 shot
> semi-automatic pistols could be ordered through the mail in the USA.
> And it should be remembered that no credit card was
> needed to only send a postal money order, available to anyone with the
> cash, for payment. Perhaps a quick review of crime statistics from
> that period, and contrasted against the present is in order... I think
> by 1966 or so most ads for mail order guns required a signed statement
> to the effect that the purchaser was not prevented by law from
> completing the purchase...kinda like the "I'm Over 18" statements now
> required by adult sites on the web...and just as easy for an under age
> person to attest to.)

I bought my first centerfire rifle--a Carcano--from Kleins in Chicago in
1963.  I was 15.  I ordered it from an ad (the same one Lee Harvey Oswald
ordered from, my gun was EXACTLY like his) and it cost me $12.88 plus
$3.00 shipping.  No statement, no BS about state laws, no nothing.  I
never shot anyone with it, either.  I bought a Lee-Enfield the next year
for $9.00 from a friend and used to ride my bike to the range (I was too
young to drive in NY) with it on my back.  No one turned a hair.  Anyone
who thinks that the availability of guns now is greater than it was 30
years ago is crazy.  If in 1963 you wanted a pistol and didn't have a NY
permit, you drove across the George Washington Bridge and bought one in
NEW JERSEY which required no permits, and brought it home.  Today that
would be a Federal felony.

Frankly, I'd have no fear of any 13 year old who was smart enough to
order a Walker Colt in the first place.  Damned sight more class than a

> But this thread has caught my attention since it includes references
> to the fact (?) that now many states have laws that classify black
> powder weapons the same as modern weapons. Is this so?

In Virginia, yes and no.  There is no state paperwork of any kind on
purchase or sale, they are specifically exempted as the law defines an
"antique" in the same way as the Feds do in the GCA 68.  For purposes of
carrying and use, they are treated the same as a modern gun.  Carry an
1860 Army in an open holster to the supermarket, fine.  Carry it under
your coat without a CCW, you are in trouble.  But you can buy or sell
with no restrictions, even if you are a convicted felon.  There are
restrictions in the game laws on use (muzzle-loading only, and small game

BTW, the "antiques" provision is also the rule in....the District of
Columbia!  That's right, if you bring a BP revolver into DC you are NOT
in violation of the regulations, because it's specifically exempted.
However, it's subject to the older DC law, still on the books, that it
has to be registered.  Here's the neat trick: the DC cops will not
register BP handguns, period.  They won't bother you for owning one; but
carry it and get caught and you will be treated the same as anyone with a
Glock under his jacket.  Shoot someone in the house with it and they will
bust you for a) not registering it; and b) discharging a firearm within
city limits.  Pretty slick, huh?

The Elitist

PS: There is a clause in the DC regs that says that you may have a
firearm (modern or antique) in your posession "while engaged in lawful
sporting activities within the District of Columbia."  Figure out what
**that** sure isn't hunting squirrels in Rock Creek Park,
which is too bad, as they have those snazzy black-furred ones in

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