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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey MP. Better get bidding. This would look good in your collection.

Surprisingly well written and balanced article. ... /702270351

Detroit Free Press

Lapeer Co. Sheriff's office to sell machine gun to the highest bidder

Department needs the money

February 27, 2007



You, too, could be the proud owner of an automatic weapon -- courtesy of the Lapeer County Sheriff's Office.

Via its Web site,, the department is auctioning off a fully automatic M16, dating to the mid-1970s and capable of firing about 700 rounds a minute. The only requirement is that bidders have a machine gun permit -- available to any adult who doesn't have a criminal record.

Purchased by the department for $500 in the '70s, the weapon, which Lapeer's law enforcers thought might be needed in the event of an emergency like a hostage crisis, has never been fired outside of a shooting range. Undersheriff Robert Rapson said Monday he thinks it may be worth as much as $17,000 now.

So what's a county sheriff's department doing selling a fully automatic machine gun?

What else? Raising money.

Rapson said his office hasn't received a budget increase in six years and desperately needs funds for new guns and other equipment for its 82 deputies.

"We are a small county, and we need to take advantage of this," Rapson said. "We've had to cut to the bone for a long time."

On its Web site, the sheriff's office began taking bids two weeks ago; the deadline is May 1.

The Colt M16 A1 is described as "collector quality ... in excellent to new condition."

"This is the real deal from the Colt factory and marked as M16 with safe, semi and auto selector switch," the Web site reads.

Rapson said he's not worried about a potential safety threat because he's confident that the background check and permit process -- which anyone interested in the weapon must go through with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives -- will weed out potential bidders who might have criminal intentions.

But gun control advocates say it could end up in the wrong hands.

"Even the most reasonable gun owner doesn't want to see this kind of weapon in circulation," said Shikha Hamilton, president of the Michigan chapter of Million Mom March, a gun control group. "The fact that a law enforcement agency is selling a dangerous weapon is appalling."

A 1986 federal law banned the sale of new automatic weapons but allowed those already in circulation to be legally sold. A few states have passed laws outlawing the sale of all automatic guns, but Michigan is not among them.

There are more than 6,500 registered machine guns in Michigan, according to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.



Gee, 6,500 registered machine guns in Michigan, and no crime commited with a machine gun in at least 2 decades!!! Can the Million Moms explain that? I doubt it.

Posted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 5:21 am


The M16A1 was a poor weapon. It's only good as a historic curio, or as a club-type weapon. A Movie Prop rental group will probably buy this for its origninality. Other than movies, it is not an effective combat weapon, too many jams. I'm glad they are auctioning it and not scrapping it, for historic reasons. The Million Mom march needs to march off the Welfare rolls and stop watching Oprah.

Posted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 4:39 am


Hey Million Mom March:

Show me where a crime has been committed with a machine gun since the NFA restrictions have gone into effect.

The process to go through to get a NFA weapon is unbelieveably stringent. Fingerprints, background investigation, and a sign-off by the chief law enforcement officer where you live.

The Million Moos say that even gun owners should be appalled that this weapon is in circulation. I am glad it will be. It's a shame to keep a piece of history sitting in a dark safe unused when it could be put to use in the hands of a responsible citizen.

I wish they would just come out and say it: "We don't want anyone to have any guns at any time. Period."

Posted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:45 am

Lawyer and Gun Activist
29,913 Posts
Three Points

1--- I think over the last 70 years a couple of machineguns that HAD at one time been legally registered to some good citizen were eventually used in serious crimes. But only after they were stolen from the good citizen and sold and resold between thugs and criminals on the black market. Stolen military and police weapons also end up being obtained by criminals in the same way.

2--- You're right about the Brady Campaign and the Million Moms. Any gun that can hurt people is a bad gun that must be banned. No amount of investigation into someone's background is acceptable. There's always a risk that a good citizen will go nuts or turn into a criminal (i.e. that lady astronaut), or the good guy can have his gun stolen by a bad guy.

I'm willing to take that chance. They're not. That's why they want to ban all guns, period. Even though they're not honest enough to tell you that now. (Some of them may not be smart enough to realize it themselves, yet.)

3-- If the cops sell their 1970s vintage (fully transferable) M16 for $10,000 - $20,000, they can use that money to buy a new M16 style fully automatic rifle (for about $1500) and pocket the rest as profit. Personally, I'd like to see them buy a dozen semi-auto AR-type rifles and make sure that there are always a couple of them out on the road in the trunks of patrol cars.

Super Moderator
74,215 Posts

Sorry, there are probably much better examples out there (police departments are not known for taking care of guns) for a LOT less money.

" . . . a machine gun permit . . ." :lol:

Why don't these reporters just ASK somebody who knows what the hell they are talking about? :roll:

780 Posts
Macktee said:
"Even the most reasonable gun owner doesn't want to see this kind of weapon in circulation," said Shikha Hamilton, president of the Michigan chapter of Million Mom March, a gun control group. "The fact that a law enforcement agency is selling a dangerous weapon is appalling."
Million Mom March=Mad Cow Stampede.

1,283 Posts
If I'm not mistaken the only murder ever commited with an NFA firearm was actually by a LEO... with a Mac-10. I believe he was stiffed on a drug deal and killed the dealer on his own time. The end result was an attempted lawsuit on the CLEO who signed off on it. Of course, it never panned out since the law doesn't say the CLEO is responsible... providing you are law abiding and meet the requirements.

Someone tell those million moms that little factoid. The only person to actually BREAK the law and USE a registered machinegun to KILL anyone was a POLICE OFFICER... :lol: ... dayton.txt

Waller then walked to the screen door and addressed the two
persons sitting in the house, Lawrence Eugene Hileman and Jerry L.
Smith. Waller told them he wanted to buy some crack cocaine, but
Hileman and Smith started laughing and stated they did not sell
crack cocaine. Hileman then motioned for Waller to enter the
house, which Waller did. Upon entering, Waller identified himself
as "drug enforcement" and asked Hileman and Smith for some
identification. Michael also entered the house. Waller asked
where the drugs were and stated, "You know, somebody is going to go
to jail here if we don't find out where the drugs are." J.A. 353-
54. Waller then turned toward Hileman, and the Mac-11 machine gun
Waller was carrying discharged, hitting Hileman. Waller left the
house, and Michael shot Smith twice with the shotgun. As a result
of these shootings, Hileman died and Smith was seriously injured.

Premium Member
8,460 Posts
I think many of the machine gun deaths I have ever heard of are from illegally converted semi-autos.

That California bank shootout where the robbers wore body armor had illegally converted full autos.

Which means they are not NFA registered.

1,139 Posts
Tinkerhell said:
Macktee said:
"Even the most reasonable gun owner doesn't want to see this kind of weapon in circulation,"
She is entirely right.

They all want it for themselves not circulating among anyone else!
if i had the funds, it would be out of circulation, it would be in my safe.
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