N.J. Court Says Man Can't Have Grandfather's M1 Carbine Back

A New Jersey man has learned the State Police will not be returning his grandfather's World War II-era M1 Carbine because it's considered an illegal assault weapon, according to this story from nj.com.

Danny Burt's carbine was seized with 20 other firearms he owned in April 2013 after a temporary restraining order was lodged against him, the story says. Because of the state's Domestic Violence Forfeiture Statute, Burt's 21 guns and his firearms purchaser's ID card were taken.

Because it falls under the definition of an assault firearm, the M1 Carbine couldn't be returned to him, once his legal problems were cleared up.

Burt said in a court motion that he acquired the rifle in 2006 from his grandfather, who served in WWII.

"Burt claimed the rifle had considerable sentimental value to him, and that he had no knowledge as to whether the gun was operable," the decision states.

Burt appealed the decision, but in a September 15 decision, the state Superior Court Appellate Devision ruled the gun could not be returned to him.

The court offered its sympathy, but reiterated that the rifle is illegal to own in New Jersey.

Under the state's law, a semi-automatic rifle with a detachable magazine and two or more of the following characteristics is considered and assault firearm and therefore illegal:

  • folding or telescoping stock

  • pistol grip

  • bayonet mount

  • flash suppressor, or a threaded barrel designed to accommodate one

  • grenade launcher mount

The definition of the terms cause a lot of confusion, especially when it comes to MSRs. The M1 Carbine, though, is illegal for a different reason. It's included on a list with 33 other firearms that are specifically banned by make and model, sort of. Others on that list include "Bushmaster Assault Rifle," "Colt AR-15 and CAR-15 series," "FN-FAL, FN-LAW, or FN-FNC type semi-automatic firearms," "Uzi type semi-automatic firearms," and "Kalashnikov type semi-automatic firearms."

Apparently the Garden State has something against bullpups, as the FAMAS and Steyr AUG rifles are also banned, though apparently the IWI Tavor hasn't made the list yet.

The law says any firearms classified as "assault firearms" but acquired before May 1, 1990 and registered with the state are legal to possess.

The state also has a 15-round magazine capacity limit for rifles and handguns, and a six-round capacity limit for semi-auto shotguns.