Ultimate Guide to owning Antique Firearms – The Legal Brief!

Welcome back to The Legal Brief, the show
where we CRUSH the various legal myths and misinformation surrounding various areas of
the gun world. I’m your host Adam Kraut and you should
have received your ballot for the NRA Board of Directors election, so go vote! If you aren’t sure how to vote, be sure
to check out the video I did on that. Today we’re talking about antique firearms. And no this is not the C&R License episode,
you’re going to have to keep waiting for that one. When it comes to firearms, one of the least
discussed are antique firearms. And these aren’t from your mother’s antique
collection. So what exactly is an antique firearm? The definition in the Gun Control Act or GCA
tells us that an antique firearm is (1) any firearm, including any firearm with a matchlock,
flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system which was manufactured
in or before 1898 (2) any replica of any firearm that I just described if the replica is not
designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition,
or uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured
in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial
trade and lastly (3) any muzzle loading rifle, muzzle loading shotgun, or muzzle loading
pistol, which is designed to use black powder, or a black powder substitute, and which cannot
use fixed ammunition. Pretty simple right? It’s important to note, that the law specifically
states that an antique firearm shall not include any weapon which incorporates a firearm frame
or receiver, any firearm which is converted into a muzzle loading weapon, or any muzzle
loading weapon which can be readily converted kto fire fixed ammunition by replacing the
barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof. Simply put, if the receiver is capable of
being utilized as both a muzzle loader or a firearm that uses modern ammunition, it
puts it outside of the scope of an antique firearm. Likewise, if a firearm was converted into
a muzzle loader, it is not an antique firearm. A similar definition is found in the National
Firearms Act or NFA. So what’s the big deal? Well, if we look at the definition of a firearm
in both we see that an antique firearm is not a firearm for the purposes of the GCA
or NFA (a little bit more on the NFA part in a second). In other words, the restrictions on the transfer,
possession, sale, transport, etc. of firearms does not apply with regard to antique firearms. Antique firearms can be shipped to you directly,
sold by anyone and owned by anyone. So if an individual is a prohibited person
due to a federal prohibition, they are still able to use and possess antique firearms. Just a note of caution, state law may vary
on that point. So I know what some of you are probably thinking. Great! The NFA says that an antique firearm is not
a firearm for the purposes of the NFA, that must mean that I can have an antique machine
gun or destructive device! First, I’d like to commend you for really
thinking outside the box, especially in relation to the machine gun aspect. Unfortunately for you, the NFA states that
“the term ‘firearm’ shall not include an antique firearm or any device (other than
a machinegun or destructive device) which, although designed as a weapon, the Secretary
finds by reason of the date of its manufacture, value, design, and other characteristics is
primarily a collector’s item and is not likely to be used as a weapon.” Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it
sounds like Congress already thought of that idea and said no way. So no blunderbuss mini guns for you. Then what does this mean in relation to barrel
length? If you haven’t already, be sure to go check
out the episodes on the NFA and Short barrel Rifles and Shotguns. As you may remember a rifle with a barrel
length of less than 16 inches or an overall length of less than 26 inches is a short barrel
rifle and a shotgun with a barrel length of less than 18 inches and an overall length
of less than 26 inches is a short barrel shotgun. If you have an antique firearm, it is legal
to have a barrel length less than 16 inches if it is a rifle and less than 18 inches if
it is a shotgun, provided that the firearm employs a primitive ignition system identified
as an exempting characteristic and is not modified to accept modern ammunition. I’ve included a link in the description
to a guide that ATF published on the matter. Why is that? Again, like it’s GCA counterpart, the term
firearm in the NFA exempts antique firearms, with the exception of machine guns and destructive
devices. While antique firearms are not nearly as popular
as their modern counterparts, there certainly are a number of people who enjoy using and
owning them. They are not regulated like their modern day
cousins and as such individuals who are prohibited from owning modern firearms may still use
them for activities such as hunting. Again, state law may differ. Hopefully that gives you a better understanding
of antique firearms and what they are. If you guys liked this episode and the blunder
buss mini gun, you know what to do, hit that like button and share it around with your
friends. Have a question you want answered on this
show, head over to The Legal Brief section on theguncollective.com. Be sure to check out my website adamkraut.com
for more information on my quest to serve YOU on the NRA Board of Directors. Don’t forget to like The Gun Collective
on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Full 30, Snap Chat and wherever else you can catch
us on social media. And as always thanks for watching!

100 Replies to “Ultimate Guide to owning Antique Firearms – The Legal Brief!”

  1. okay – so – two questions…

    1. My first question pertains to the GCA rule #2 – (paraphrasing) – uses ammunition no longer manufactured in the US or not readily available in the odinary channels of commercial trade. What would happen if an individual owned a firearm which was defined by this characteristic as antique, but the ammunition which it utilized was suddenly popularized and made available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade? Would it be "grandfathered" as antique, or would it suddenly no longer be considered antique? Is there a threshold for what is "readily available"? Theoretically, could an individual who is a prohibited person who owns a firearm which is considered as antique by this criteria then unknowingly become a criminal since his or her firearm is no longer antique?

    2. Since the rules of transport, possession, etc, do not apply to antique firearms, could a prohibited person then legally own, and concealed carry, an antique firearm like a blunderbuss or primitive pistol?

  2. So if a person has a felony on their record they could own and use a pre 1898 firearm. As long as it is not a machine gun or destructive device. Plus the state is silent or says it's ok.

  3. Since it is not legally a firearm, would it be legal to take one into a wilderness preserve for target shooting, as long as it is very apparent that you are not hunting any animals?

    I live in a neighborhood that backs up against a very large wilderness preserve, but of course you cannot be legally firing guns in this preserve, so maybe this would be a way around it? Taking an old muzzleloader or flintlock or something like that out to shoot some steel would be a whole A bunch of fun if it were legal due to the classification of these items as not legally firearms.

  4. What about gatling guns which require continuous action on the firing mechanism to continue firing. Are they considered machine guns by the definition?

  5. Basically, if i could afford it, i could have a replica of a Puckle Gun or Belton Flintlock musket shipped directly to my house with no issue, did i get that right?

  6. All Federal laws pertain to "PERSONS" not Natural Born American Citizens. A "PERSON" is a FEDERAL EMPLOYEE aka "WARD of the STATE" and therefore "PROPERTY" aka SLAVE of THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES, a CORPORATION located in Manhattan, New York owned by the Prince of the Netherlands (Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands). The determiner "OF" means "without." The previous paragraph is 100% correct and if you don't know the facts, you are a slave.

  7. Thanks for the great videos. There is a petition at Whitehouse.gov to repeal the NFA. I ask that if you have a minute please sign it! When we work together we can change things for the better. https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/repeal-nfa

    If you don’t like following links (I don’t blame you) go to whitehouse.gov then go to “participate” and go to “ We the people petitions” then scroll down and go to “Repeal the NFA” fill your name and email (Uncheck the THE WHITE HOUSE MAY SEND ME EMAILS ABOUT THIS AND OTHER ISSUES box), Then click “sign now”. Then go to your email and click on the link then you’re done. Feel accomplished that you contributed to ensuring the freedom of future generations.

  8. It's a great day when a Legal Brief comes out. Since I'm a PA resident I almost want to retain you so I can just randomly call you and get these live haha.

  9. If I have a cap and ball revolver that "can" be converted but isn't, is that illegal?
    Or is it only once it's been converted then it becomes illegal?( Ima convicted felon)

  10. so no ffl required on anything made before 1899. I see that on Pawnstars a lot he does not have an ffl so if its 1899 or older he will buy it other wise he will not

  11. If i made a modern production, but custom, nonstandard caliber, in the relm of a replica would it be incuded because it shot a non commercial cartage? ex peperbox that shot 9mm brass necked down to 23cal? (just an example cartrage no plans on actually doing that lol)

  12. Hey Adam,

    Since your the gun lawyer, can you help publicise the White House petitions for the repeals of the NFA and Hughes Amendment, as well as the passage of the Hearing Protection Act. I know Jon mentioned it, but your the legal guy.



  13. So does that mean that if a person had a Colt Navy cap and ball and were pulled over and asked if they have a firearm in the vehicle how would they have to respond? I know how they should but ?

  14. So what about that retired teacher guy from NJ that had a 1700's flintlock in his glove box? I heard they dropped the charges, but how can they violate federal law and even arrest him for it?

  15. Hey I got a question for y'all I'm looking to buy an ar for target shooting/ home defense should I go with the 556 or go to something like a scar h ?

  16. I think he he said something about an antique firearm with a frame being an exclusion. dose that mean cap and ball revolvers are modern firearms under this definition?

  17. What about black powder revolvers & Rifles that were converted into to fire cartage at time of manufacture (IE 1851 Navy Colt Cartridge Conversion & 1860 Army )?

  18. And because Adam didn't mention it, it feels real good to walk into a store and grab a pistol of the shelf and take it to the check out and pay for it with no wait at the gun counter and no paperwork. I imagine it's the feeling that we were meant to have when they wrote "shall not be infringed" in the second amendment. Puts a smile in my face every time.

  19. What about muzzleloaders that use smokeless? it said a black powder or black powder alternative, so I'm assuming it's covered, but it doesn't specifically say, and I know some modern-made muzzleloaders do use smokeless powder. Would those be exempted from the (legal) definition of firearm as well?

  20. 1:52 Whoa, whoa, whoa, if a antique firearm is no longer considered to be an antique firearm when it can fire center/rimfire cartridges by just swapping out certain parts. Does that mean replica cap and ball revolvers as a whole are no longer antique firearms since you can buy aftermarket conversion cylinders that can fire conventional handgun rounds? By that I mean not when you put in the conversion cylinder in as that does make sense, but because all you're doing is swapping out a single part to shoot normal ammo, that cap & ball revolvers might as well be considered as guns under the GCA definition.

  21. If I understand correctly….then ANY percussion revolver is a "firearm" as you can easily buy a cylinder that converts it to fire cartridge ammunition….Yes /no?

  22. 'Interchangeable, , to receive fixed ammo ,.' An 1860 Army Colt can have its percussion cylinder popped out and replaced with a fixed ammo conversion in a matter of seconds. It can then be readily re-loaded in moments.
    Also, not a firearm?! Get caught with one on your person, in your car etc ,. You ll go down town and be processed for a w h i l e before being released with ' no charge '.

  23. In MOST states, a cap and ball revolver is NOT considered a firearm. BUT…the minute you slap a conversion cylinder in it that fires cartridges, it IS a firearm.

  24. would these include the modern inline muzzleloaders that use shotgun primers, yet still load from the muzzle?

  25. 2:45
    "Antique Firearms" are covered by the Second Amendment; "people" can keep and bear them, "anyone."
    "Firearms," weapons that use cartridges are something else, and will be infringed upon… everyone.

  26. Dear Adam, Great Videos.FLORIDA LAW: FELONS POSSESSING PERCUSSION GUNS. Recently the Florida Supreme Court clarified  the law as it relates to Felons possessing Black powder firearms :State v. Weeks (SC 14-1856). The High Court held that Weeks was not in violation of Florida law as a Felon in possession of a firearm because Florida Law exempts antique firearms and their replicas from the definition of a firearm HOWEVER, Florida law provides a  narrow exception for felons. The exception is for guns that are antique or that appear antique( defining replica broadly) and that use a primitive ignition system(ei.flintlock or percussion cap). If an exempt antique gun is used  in the commission of a crime then under Florida Law the gun becomes a prohibited firearm and the felon can be charged as a felon in possession.

  27. Like so many conservatives, I have had the usual runnins with the law because of Blasey Ford type fabrications of assault and sexual deviancy. If what you are saying is true, I can now venture outside into the scary world armed with a gun the gubermint doesn't think is a gun, its just so scary out there. Terrifying. Sad. MAGA

  28. what do you think of a felon carrying a black powder revolver in public for self defense? concealed? open? not at all?

  29. Excellent information for Preppers who are felons.
    People think all felons are killers and that is not the case. There are more non violent felony charges out there than you can shake a stick at.
    That need to be changed.
    Excellent information, stay safe, God bless always.

  30. You can own and sale a fully automatic Tommy gun because the law he is talking about had grandfather clause on it . A FFL dealer cant not sale one to a person without a FFL license, but if the owner lives in a state where they can sale their firearms freely they can be sold and owned legally, but needs to be purchase in a state that does not require a FFL license holder to handle the sale of a private owners guns, and according to ATF a felon cant own a functional black powder devices of any kind only a antique fire arm or black powder device that is or has been render nonfunctional . He is leaving out a lot of stuff out here, a Judge is a short barrel shot gun but the engineer who designed classified it as something else, so it's not, just as black powder Gatling gun is black powder device, rather than a black powder fire arm if the engineer who designed it says it is, as they are experts in the field, just as lawyers are experts in theirs, all though you can not make a black powder gun that is fully automatic because because your not an expert in the field, so the lawyer has the ability to classify it as they fit.

  31. you talk much to fast,and not very clear on what your saying.you talk as fast as Oregon change's law.if you talk slower,and go into a little more detail,that's what we are look'ing for.your just hitting the highlight's like most ppl.and what abut replaca's.??can a felon own one,cap,and ball.??and as long as I don't modify it,im o.k.or just me owning one that I can put a barrel on it,so it take's a cartridge.??or can I just own a ball and cap,that I ''cant'' change barrel I ,if I want'ed to.??

  32. Antique/Replica guns are exciting. Thanks for this video.
    . There is something exciting about re-visiting what our pioneer forefathers used and relied
    upon for hunting and to defend our Country. Primitive ignition systems are a part of our gun Heritage.
    Again thank you for re-illuminating this exciting genre of the shooting sport.

  33. hey i have a serious question, im about to buy a cap an ball 1851 revolver online from cabelas in washington state and i really need to know if it will require a background check or if they'll just ship it right to my door, in case your wondering i got caught in posetion of marahjuna now i can't own a firearm so im really hoping these aren't considered firearms because ive always wanted a cowboy revolver. i hope someone can help me figure this out.

  34. Assuming a felon lives in a state where it is legal to own an "antique firearm" , is it also legal to carry it in an automobile ? , or on his/her person ? loaded ?

  35. Ok, A .25-.35 Winchester manufactured 1898 or prior is not quite legally an antique and cannot be possessed by a former felon because the ammo is still being manufactured in the U.S., Correct?

  36. snub nose peitta, loaded with persecution cap. Should i see any legal problems with that?
    Im going to start traveling around the country and im thinking about using that gun as my carry gun.
    im not a felon so i dont have to worry about the states that dont allow felons to own black powder guns.
    But i really dont want to land a felon for conceal carrying my peitta. They hand out felonies like candy now in days…

  37. Wait. No background check to purchase?

    So, they can say what is or is not all they WANT.. just don't get caught with it.

    If you do get caught, either say you "didn't know it was illegal." OR "does not belong to you."

  38. So are there any laws prohibiting the concealed or even open carry of an “antique firearm”, can anyone just carry a cap and ball revolver or a flintlock pistol on their person legally?

  39. At first I read Antiques, then saw the thumbnail of NOT Really Guns! and thought "What? You know a Colt .44 percussion antique isn't a toy, it'll kill your ass, right?" Then I read the Legal Brief part & laughed. Yes, that's a great loophole. Better in America where repros are allowed, up here it's only "made before 1889" for percussion guns. Flintlock rifles are good to go though.

  40. Fuck the NRA. There are way better firearms orgs. The NRA puts the military-industrial complex over the individual gun owner. SRA for life. The workers should be the focus, not the bureaucrats and plutocrats.

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