Weapons, Guns, Firearms ATF seizes gun and acting shady

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I live in Wyoming and I love outdoor activities, especially hunting and shooting. About 5 months ago, I attempted to shorten the trigger pull on my semi-auto .45 MAC-10, that I purchased last summer at a local gun store. I basically tried to give the gun a "hair trigger". I went to the gun store to show off my "handy work" to the store owner. I then headed out to the rifle range outside town to test it out. I loaded 10 rounds into the 30 round magazine. After firing one round, the hammer did not properly reset, which had happened to me before when I began fiddling with the trigger mechanism. Normally, I would take the mag out and cock the bolt back, removing the round in the chamber. I was angry things were not working as I hoped and hurriedly cocked the bolt back WITHOUT taking the clip out first. Big mistake. The gun slam fired. Meaning it dumped all the rounds out full auto style, except the trigger was never depressed. I imagine it slam fired because I had the hammer barely hanging on the sear (the part that the trigger moves back to drop the hammer). I managed to keep ahold of the pistol the whole time and luckily all of the bullets struck the ground in front of me. I instantly had the felling there was something wrong besides my gun. Holding my left hand up, I saw the tip of the index finger portion of my glove was freshly shredded. I couldn't feel the tip of my finger and I thought it had been taken clean off. Quickly ripping my glove off, I discovered the bullet had barely nicked the corner of my finger and took out a bit of flesh and about a quarter of my fingernail. I knew it wasn't life threatening and was very relieved. I ran back to my car, wrapped my wound and then signed out at the range office. I didn't seek medical treatment because I knew they could only give me antibiotics and pain relievers.
About three weeks later, it had become mildly infected and was causing me more pain than usual. I went to the doctor and decided to tell the truth about what happened. It turns out they are required to notify the police, which I did not know. They told me this beforehand and I decided to stay and talk to them rather than draw suspicion to myself. The cops came and I told them my story, only I changed the location a bit because I was scared of having my range membership revoked. They then had to send someone from the sheriff's office to take the report because it happened out of city limits. The city cops told me I didn't have anything to worry about, if I was telling the truth. The deputy got the same story and also told me I didn't have anything to worry about.
A day or two later I got a call from the deputy asking for me to bring the gun in to "get the serial number". That sounded fishy to me and I said we could just do that over the phone. He insisted that I bring it to him at the sheriff's office. I knew at that moment they were thinking I had tried to make the gun fully automatic and my options were A:Bury all my guns up in the mountains and prepare for them to raid my house; or B:Give them the gun and cooperate. I went with option B, although I ended up preparing for the raid anyways. So I met the deputy at the county courthouse and handed the gun over to him. He asked me to come inside with him and I agreed. We talked for a bit about the gun and then he wrote up a receipt for my seized property. After that I began to lose it. I got all the guns out of my house, which are perfectly legal and I still couldn't feel at ease.
A few days, or maybe about a week after that, I got a call from the deputy asking if I could come in to answer some questions about the gun. Once there, he took me to an interrogation room where there was an open tape recorder, probably to trick me into thinking everything wasn't being recorded. There was also a man in plain clothes the deputy said was the "gun expert". I figured we were there to look at my gun and get this mess all cleared up, but since I didn't see my gun case anywhere, I knew something was up. The man then identified himself as an ATF agent and showed me his ID card. He then explained I wasn't under arrest and was free to go anytime, but he would like to talk with me. I was extremely nervous by this point, but I wanted to tell them the truth because I hadn't broken the law! I agreed and signed a piece of paper saying (as far as I know) I was giving up my right to a lawyer and to remain silent. I signed the paper and the fun began. He asked about my past in general and why I moved to Wyoming, about my "contact with the police" and drug use. I told him I smoked marihuana "once in a while". He asked why I bought the gun and if I did any hunting. I listed off the myriad of animals I had hunted for and tried (in vain) to be confident. He asked what I did to the gun and what happened I told him as exactly as possible and told the truth about the location of the incident. He then asked bout what kind of history would he find on my computer about making the weapon a "machine-gun" and he kept insisting that I must have tried to make it full auto. The deputy took my side (good cop bad cop) and told me he didn't think I had been lying to them. I admitted I had thought about making it full auto but decided against it because I would then have to always hide the weapon. The ATF agent kept trying to get me to confess and asked if I would be willing to take a polygraph test. At one point I exclaimed in desperation, "I'm not a bad person! I swear on everything that is Holy, I didn't try to make that gun full auto!" After a few more questions we were about done and he had asked if he should talk to my friend Brian who was with me during the last of my modification sessions. I advised him to talk with Brian, which he did. According to Brian he told the ATF agent almost exactly what I had told him. The gun was sent into the crime lab for testing and I was given no contact info by the agent.
Months later I called the Wyoming ATF office after endless searching for their number (The ATF website is useless). The agent said the lab report had come back and the gun was "technically a machine-gun under the federal definition." He told me he had submitted his final report to the attorney general's office and I should have received paperwork in the mail. He referred to it as a "forfeiture of property" and said he didn't think I would get the gun back. I asked about any deadlines to submit an appeal or something of the sort, in case they were going to press charges, to which he replied something to the effect, "I wouldn't worry too much about it and I'm going to leave it at that." That threw me off a bit, but was somewhat reassuring to hear that from the ATF agent, instead of local cops. He said I could view both the lab and his report, but for some reason he couldn't send me a copy...I still haven't received any paperwork in the mail. I want to end this fiasco and live without the fear of the feds coming, stealing my property and charging me with a crime I didn't commit. After a consultation with a lawyer he said since I have yet to be charged with anything, all they could do for me was advise the ATF to not arrest me at work.:confused: Anybody know if I have any options? Do the federal laws concerning illegal possession or manufacture of a machine gun have a stipulation about knowingly and willingly doing so, like drug law?
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You violated rule one of any criminal defense.
You spoke with the police without benefit of counsel.
You did that twice.
Then you spoke with a fed.
You continued to speak with police officials and feds without benefit of counsel.
Please, for your own sake, stop talking about this to anyone but your attorney.
No matter what you say to a fed, it can hurt you.
One small mistake of fact, can be considered a lie.
Allegedly lying to the feds got Martha Stewart a jail sentence.
Retain a lawyer.
Pay him or her for their services.
Or, you'll be paying with your liberty in some shoddy hoosegow.
By the way, let them have the damn gun.
Isn't your freedom worth more than some lousy gun?
Haven't you learned anything?
You obviously don't know what the hell you're doing with guns.

What is it about guns that cause smart people to do dumb things?
My God, people, no lousy gun is worth your freedom.
Then, you aren't satisfied with having a gun, you gotta fiddle with it.
You almost kill yourself, so that should show you why you don't need a gun.
I spent 30 years in the army.
I was a ranger.
I qualified as an expert on several pieces of weaponry.
I have never owned a gun.
I have no desire to own a gun.
I've used them in combat.
You need to take a safety course.
You are NOT a gunsmith.
You were attempting to file the sheer pin down to make the weapon fire full burst auto.
You're lucky you have your appendages.
Cut your losses and get a shotgun or a rifle.
And, stop trying to be a gunsmith for your own sake!
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I have heard from another that I should have gotten a lawyer right off the bat. I don't think so. Your harsh judgement is far from helpful and your lack of desire to own a gun is pretty naive. If you almost kill yourself with a car, should you never be allowed to drive again? I don't think so. Gun accidents happen. Guns aren't going away, so just get used to 'em. Good for you that you threw away 30 years of your life to be a pawn for our fascist government! I don't care about the gun. I do care about my freedom. I obviously have many shotguns and rifles and have taken several safety classes. I appreciate that you replied...but you accused me of trying to make it full auto! You are are pretty much everything that is wrong with this country. No wonder you're from Texass
Show some respect to ANYONE who would reply to your thread. It is people like army judge that make this site even remotely worth a shit. If you disagree with him about the gun issue, let's forget about that - it isn't even relevant in your case. What IS important about your case is that you waived your right to counsel and answered questions from a fed. I don't care if you were completely righteous, had the whole thing on video/audio, and had 35 witnesses with no criminal records. You should never ever ever ever ever ever waive your rights, ESPECIALLY if you haven't done anything wrong. And anytime you made an action so as to appear "not suspicious" like with your doctor and during interrogation, you allowed your emotions to conflict with your decision making.

It is your right as an American to have law counsel when questioned by police. It is your right as an American to be as suspicious as you want 24/7, as long as you aren't doing anything wrong that could actually land you with a charge. Each time a person like you in a situation such as this waives his/her rights, it negatively affects the rest of us who prefer to exercise our rights. Please don't ever make a policeman's job easier than it needs to be. They are required to follow certain guidelines for a REASON. Don't pretend like you're doing them any favors - they will chew you up and spit you out just the same.

Forget classes or even books on gun safety. You could use an overhaul on your education of the law, rules of evidence, and the constitution. You could argue that having a gun and not needing it is much better than needing a gun and not having it. Well now you've learned that having a lawyer and not really needing him would be priceless over needing a lawyer and WAIVING your right to have one. Checks and balances are in place for a reason. In your case, the checks and balances could have gone in your favor had you exercised your glorious and ordained rights as an American citizen.
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