Originally Posted by grove rat
i still don't know exactly wtf is going on
Here's a quick rundown:
"Olofson is a regular guy who happens to be fond of AR15 style sport-utility rifles. He loaned a rifle to a friend. While the friend was shooting it he moved the safety switch to a point beyond the Fire position. The rifle fired a couple of short bursts and jammed. Someone at or near the club called the police to complain about machinegun fire. The police notified the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and David Olofson was subsequently charged and convicted of illegally transferring a machinegun.
Neither Olofson nor his friend was charged with possession of an unregistered machinegun or with illegally manufacturing, modifying, or otherwise making a machinegun. Obviously ATF did not believe they could convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Olofson or his friend had intentionally altered the rifle to fire full-auto so they prosecuted on the easier charge of transferring. Everyone agreed that the gun belonged to Olofson and that he had loaned it to his friend. That meant that the only issue in question in the case was whether the gun was a machinegun. Since ATF is the final arbiter in determining whether a gun is a machinegun, and the law defining machineguns tends to be selectively interpreted by them, the government had a distinct advantage.
As a matter of fact, when the ATF Firearms Technical Branch (FTB) examined the rifle they concluded that it was not a machinegun. They did find that if the Safety switch was moved beyond its normal range of motion, the gun would fire once and jam, leaving a loaded round in the chamber. They determined that moving the Safety in such a way interfered with the trigger disconnector causing the hammer to follow the bolt as it returned to battery rather than being stopped by the sear; a fairly common malfunction known as hammer-follow.
At the request of the local ATF agent, the FTB tested the gun a second time using a brand of .223 ammunition known for having sensitive primers. Those tests resulted in intermittent, unregulated, automatic fire and jamming due to hammer-follow, but this time the FTB concluded that, under strict interpretation of the law, the gunís malfunction did make it a machinegun."
Lots of bullshit surrounding this one.
The first link has a good read: http://www.firearmscoalition.org/ind...=192&Itemid=37