NFA Firearms in the...
 
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NFA Firearms in the USVI

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usvianon
(@usvianon)
Active Member

Hello everyone,

Let me preface this post by saying I am purposefully posting this under a different account that my normal one to maintain the privacy, as some of my posts would reveal my identity.

I currently live in the mainland US and own real estate on St. Croix and I will be permanently moving there in the next few months. I am currently trying to take care of all of the details of the move. I have an extensive firearm collection, and own LEGALLY and LAWFULLY own NFA items. NFA (National Firearms ACT) are items such as short-barrelled rifles ( less than 16" ), silencers, short-barrel shotguns, machine-guns and several others. A lot of people are under the assumption that these items are illegal, but generally anyone without a felony can legally own any of these. It just requires background checks, tax stamps from the ATF, and of course the items themselves are pretty expensive.

I own short barreled rifles and silencers and would like to bring these items to St. Croix with me. I am familiar with the process to bring normal firearms into the USVI. But I want to be very cautious about these items, as the USVI has very strict firearms law. I have read the VI Code, and I do not see anything that prohibits the items that I own. I have consulted the ATF to verify the legality of these items in the USVI, but they advised me to contact the local police department. I figure that with the small population in the USVI there are probably very few people that would even own these items anyways.

So, I first contacted the USVI Police Department Firearms Bureau, and asked them about the legality of my items. I did not really get anyone that could answer my question and I am not sure if they knew what I was talking about. I attempted to contact the police commissioner to ask him these questions, and I was told I needed to talk to the head of the Firearms Bureau. I spoke to the officer in charge of this.... We had a few minute conversation on the phone about this and here is a short rundown of the phone call....

I was very polite and told them I was calling to verify the legality of short barreled rifles and silencers in the USVI. They asked me how long the barrel is and I tell them ( 10" ). They essentially tell me they are not allowed unless you are a law enforcement officer. I then proceed to ask them about the legality of a silencer, and they said they were not allowed and they made a comment of "why do you need a silencer". I politely ask them if the VI Code prohibits them and they remark that the are not allowed, and then questions me again as why I need it. I did not debate it with them. I just politely thanked them for their time, and reassured them that I was just seeking legal information.

I do not want this thread to turn into a debate/bashing/discussion over these items or firearms in general. I would like to know if anyone has any knowledge on NFA firearms in the USVI, or any advice on how I should proceed?

Thanks everyone!

Quote
Topic starter Posted : January 10, 2012 7:35 pm
blu4u
(@blu4u)
Trusted Member

Retain an attorney.

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 10, 2012 7:48 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Retain an attorney.

Absolutely. No need to even "retain" one - one simple consult should provide you with the information you need. (tu)

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Posted : January 10, 2012 7:54 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

or you could call the local shooting range. I think its DJ's not sure

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Posted : January 10, 2012 8:19 pm
usvianon
(@usvianon)
Active Member

Thanks for the replies! Does anybody have an attorney that they would recommend that would be knowledgable in this area. Also, does anyone aware of anyone else in the USVI that legally has NFA items. I am not asking for their contact info, but just the acknowledgement that it has been done by someone else.

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Topic starter Posted : January 10, 2012 8:24 pm
usvianon
(@usvianon)
Active Member

I contacted the shooting range, but they did not know the answers to these questions. I am trying to be discreet as possible about this, as theft of these is a concern to me.

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Topic starter Posted : January 10, 2012 8:26 pm
blu4u
(@blu4u)
Trusted Member

Legal? Many automatic weapons on the island. Not sure those folks read the forums....

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 10, 2012 8:28 pm
dougtamjj
(@dougtamjj)
Expert

I would suggest talking to John Canagata who owns D & J shooting range. I think he probably knows all the laws about firearms in the USVI. If he is the person you spoke to when you called D & J then I don't know who to suggest. I wouldn't imagine just any attorney on the island would know the answer without some research. I personally would not discuss your intentions with a police officer. When we moved to the island our container was seized for customs. My husband and I both were questioned and one of the questions were were asked was did we ship any firearms in our container. I responded that I didn't think you were allowed to bring firearms to the USVI. I had been told that by a police officer. The customs agent said that it was no problem to ship firearms in your container and you had 24 hours to turn them in to the police department or a firearms dealer until your registration was completed. Maybe a call to customs would answer some of your questions.

We decided not to bring our firearms to St. Croix when we moved there 6 years ago because everyone told us how difficult it was to obtain permission to legally own a gun there. I have spoken to John Canagata and others who have guns in the USVI and it seems much easier than what we were told. We have also been told that many people do not register their guns legally due to fear of theft.

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Posted : January 10, 2012 8:50 pm
HappyFace
(@HappyFace)
Advanced Member

ATF Would have issued a permit for some of your equipment. But Hell they pulled out of their USVI. So bring it on down cowboy, if you don't register your stuff with the PD and you shoot somebody you are going to Jail.*-) Oh the reason the ATF Pulled out of the USVI was because one of their agents shot and killed an islander while he (the islander) was attacking his girl friend and the agent. The Territorial Govt did not like that and charged him because of the gun and stated ATF was not a law enforcement agency in the USVI.:-)

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Posted : January 10, 2012 9:42 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Thanks for the replies! Does anybody have an attorney that they would recommend that would be knowledgable in this area.

Call the VI Bar Association and ask them for an attorney referral based on your particular question. I can't find their number off hand but, if you call 340 774 5666 which is the main routing number for the Justice Department, they'll be able to direct you.

I do hope that if you're able to bring in such firearms that they'll be very well contained.

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Posted : January 10, 2012 10:07 pm
usvianon
(@usvianon)
Active Member

The ATF has already issued me the tax stamps for these in my home state. This is the only thing required by the ATF. To keep myself legal with the ATF when I move, is that I am required to do is notify them in writing of my new address. I will not bring these down unless they are registered. These would not be my go-to firearm in a home self-defense situation. These would be kept in a vault, because if they were registered and used in self-defense I know there would be a certain stigma attached and I could easily be made to look like a bad guy. With these items I have had to become the expert on the laws applying to them because most all law enforcement is ill-informed on them. Everybody has just seen to many movies 😎

If everything as I understand it legally should happen like this.

1. Get my firearms permit
2. Ship the items down in a container or on my checked luggage
3. Take to the PD firearms bureau and let them record/register this item.
4. Take item home
5. Notify ATF of items new location

After my conversation with the PD, I cringe even showing them these things to the firearms bureau. They very obviously did not want me to have this. That worries me! Law enforcement around where I am at (East Coast) could care less as long as you have the paperwork.

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Topic starter Posted : January 10, 2012 10:10 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

I offered a contact number. You''re not in Kansas any more when you come here. Hope it all works out well for you and that you successfully integrate yourself into island life. Hopefully too, those firearms you're able to bring in will remain under very secure lock and key and be solely conversation pieces for those so inclined for many, many years to come.

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Posted : January 10, 2012 10:49 pm
lc98
 lc98
(@lc98)
Trusted Member

If you bring them, please do everything you can (outside of shooting anyone, if you don't mind) to keep them from getting stolen!!!

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Posted : January 10, 2012 10:51 pm
onthespot
(@onthespot)
Advanced Member

X2 about getting them stolen.

If I were you and calling again to ask the same question, when they tell you they are not allowed, I would ask them for the ordinance number or whatever the legal wording in the code or laws that specifically prohibits them.

3. (in my best Mr. Rogers impersonation) ... Please won't you beeee... myneighbor! LOL

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Posted : January 11, 2012 1:22 am
usvianon
(@usvianon)
Active Member

Thanks again for all the responses. Oldtart - the contact for the VI Bar is most appreciated. I didn't think of that.

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Topic starter Posted : January 11, 2012 1:24 am
usvianon
(@usvianon)
Active Member

The theft aspect is my biggest concern. I feel confident with enough time and money spent I will overcome and legal aspects. I have enough money in this stuff that I am pretty set on bringing it with me versus selling it. I am most concerned about and "inside" job from people who have knowledge that they were registered.

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Topic starter Posted : January 11, 2012 1:33 am
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

May I suggest that you handle the guns the same way we recommend transplants handle their household goods? We usually say come with personal effects only, put your furniture etc, including the guns, in storage in the states for 6 months or a year. If, after that time, you decide that the USVI is for you, then is the time to ship your stuff down.

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Posted : January 11, 2012 1:57 am
BeachcomberStt
(@BeachcomberStt)
Trusted Member

http://www.atf.gov/publications/download/p/atf-p-5300-5/atf-p-5300-5.pd

Try the above link. It is from 2008 (page 246 Virgin Islands), but maybe you can obtain a more updated publication, if you contact them directly (ATF).

I agree with Linda J, I wouldn't ship them down, until you know Stx if for you and if find out they are legal.

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 11, 2012 2:07 am
jbatl
(@jbatl)
Advanced Member

I second those who say you need the advice of a GOOD attorney. I'd recommend mine, but that's not his area of expertise. I would start with the VI Bar. Here is their contact info from their website:

P. O. Box 224108
Christiansted, VI 00822

27 & 28 King Cross Street Phoenix Business Complex

Christiansted, VI 00820

(340) 778-7497 | (340) 773-5060 Facsimile

Email: executivedirector@vibar.org

WebSite: http://www.vibar.org

Lawyer Referral and Information Service (340) 778-7497

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Posted : January 11, 2012 2:22 am
BeachcomberStt
(@BeachcomberStt)
Trusted Member

ATF Would have issued a permit for some of your equipment. But Hell they pulled out of their USVI. So bring it on down cowboy, if you don't register your stuff with the PD and you shoot somebody you are going to Jail.*-) Oh the reason the ATF Pulled out of the USVI was because one of their agents shot and killed an islander while he (the islander) was attacking his girl friend and the agent. The Territorial Govt did not like that and charged him because of the gun and stated ATF was not a law enforcement agency in the USVI.:-)

If I'm not mistaken, the person who the ATF agent shot and unfortunately was killed was not an islander(local), he was a statesider. Marcus Sukow was an environmental biologist who moved to the U.S. Virgin Islands a year before he was killed.

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Posted : January 11, 2012 2:33 am
HappyFace
(@HappyFace)
Advanced Member

MY Bad, I thought he was an islander:$)

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Posted : January 11, 2012 3:17 pm
ICEMAN
(@iceman)
Advanced Member

Sounds like its not gonna be easy. I agree with being concerned with theft. Once the police know what you have brought on Island, very likely the news would be shared with well lets say some of the associates of the Police, telling them your address and what you got there.

I know its crazy. Go ahead make their day.

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Posted : January 11, 2012 4:02 pm
ICEMAN
(@iceman)
Advanced Member

Just wanted to add that to if you have a private home, fence it in. Note: use a real fence not a cruzcan one. Get some big dogs. No guarantee but i would be sure it will help with deterrence.

Love to see a poll sometime on burlgaries and how many homes with large dogs are robbed compared to those without. Hmmmmm??

Sorry for getting off topic, back to the Firearms/gun collection. Definately need help from lawyer. You will be dead and buried before you get anywhere with the vipd asking on your own. Fact.

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 11, 2012 4:29 pm
Berenice
(@Berenice)
Advanced Member

Good job on all the ATF paperwork. I have a personal self defense weapon that I keep on me. It took about 4 weeks just to get permision to bring them on island, the actual hard part was getting my finger prints done, they were never there when they were suppose to be, so that was a little frustrating. If you are worried about having your weapons stolen, I know that D&J will safely store your weapons in there huge vault. Good luck, and I hope to one day to get a silencer for my side arm.

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Posted : January 14, 2012 12:55 am
poorthang
(@poorthang)
Advanced Member

Good lawyer won't help!..Good ATF agent won't help!Good weapon,great shot won't help!Stealth kill won't help!Feeling like you need all of the above?I question your ability to realize the environment your coming to. Your RECON is a little weak.What you'll need is a good priest and a good undertaker.Unless your arsenal includes a great fully automatic weapon and in fared capability mounted on a blackhawk.... stay home....,cause your outnumbered and outgunned.It's not what you see that will hurt you it's the unknown suspects.Ask the (LAW) if they have any leads or arrests on TRW(a well known poster and person on island who was brutally stabbed to death).Based on your reported proficiency with weapons...how's your hand to hand combat training cause chances are that is the scenario I'd be ready for.

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Posted : January 14, 2012 1:40 am
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