The machine gun was captured by Alvin York and as a historical piece, could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, the machine gun isn’t on the BATF’s NFA weapon registry so the Libray can’t sell it.
Both Welsh and deStefano said at least two agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) have listened to the story but offered no recommendations, other than to suggest the machine gun be destroyed.
Negotiations with the ATF have put deStefano in a funk. He described a four-way conference call during which an obviously young ATF agent admitted not knowing the story of Sgt. York or much about WWI. “That’s the person the ATF has making the decision about this machine gun. It’s no wonder we didn’t get very far,” he said. “At that point, I advised the trustees to go the legislative route.”
According to deStefano, getting permission to sell the weapon could take an act of Congress.
Not only are the BATF agents clueless, but they’re lying bastards as well. You see, the BATF could allow the library to register the machine gun. It wouldn’t take an act of Congress either. All the BATF would have to do is declare a registration amnesty like they did in 1986. That would allow the library to legally register the machine gun and then sell it to the highest bidder. But the BATF won’t say that, their only recommendation is to destroy a valuable piece of history. BATFU Indeed.
UPDATE: According to The War On Guns, the BATF is allowing the transfer of an “illegal” machine gun to another museum in Tennessee. Did I miss something or did the BATF just open up a can of worms for themselves?
Hat Tip, The War On Guns