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Len Savage is the owner of Historic Arms LLC, which makes semi-automatic replicas of famous firearms like a Bren he donated to JPFO as a fundraiser . He is also the man who provided JPFO with the explosive footage for "BATFE Fails the Test," which shows a BATFE agent trying to prove an ordinary, legal, semi-automatic rifle is a "illegal machine gun."
On January 3, JPFO announced the existence of this one-of-a-kind footage to the world. On January 5, Sterling Nixon sent Len a letter decreeing that Len's latest creation was an "unlicensed machine gun." The BATFE confiscated the firearm and effectively prevented Len from completing and delivering the rest of a $50,000 order.
Has the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms decided to conduct a personal vendetta against one courageous American gun maker -- simply because he confirmed their notorious ineptitude? Read our January 24, 2005 alert, see the documentation below ... and decide for yourself.
The letters are in PDF format, so you'll need a PDF reader such as Adobe Acrobat to view them.
Office of Professional Responsibility (PDF) DOJ response to allegations of ATF misconduct
The ATF did two things here during this case:
1.) ATF examined every gun in his inventory [by flying out a firearms technology branch expert]. Many were forwarded to FTB for further "testing". The ATF took a semi version of the M-14 and the ATF, not Mr. Kwan and made a machine gun out of it. The ATF claimed it was a machinegun because it was made from a MG, "once a machine gun always a machine gun", and that it was also "readily restorable" as well, and it only took a small arms expert, in a government research facility about 30 minutes to make it fire full auto.
2.)The ATF later added a superseded charge of an un-registered Short Barrel Rifle because Mr Kwan had a Heckler and Koch VP-70 model M [machine gun], with factory "Holster/Stock" [plastic version of Luger or high power wooden holster/stock], a spare "Holster/Stock", and a VP-70 model Z [semi only]. All perfectly legal.
During the attempts to take Mr. Kwan's FFL the local ATF office came to gather ANY "post dealer samples" or machine guns made after May 19, 1986. The ATF own records [National Firearms Registry, and Transactions Record or NFRTR] is incomplete, and filled with errors.
The ATF took Mr Kwan's VP-70 M machine gun stating ATF records indicated it was a "post dealer sample" [though later found to be imported in 1977 as a dealer sample]. They left the spare holster stock, and the Semi version. ATF later charged Mr. Kwan for "otherwise combined" or constructive possession, because the ATF was able to attach the Holster/Stock to the Semi VP-70 during a second visit.
There is going to be a hearing on Aug 3 over this Short Barrelled Rifle, because it appears perjury DID occur during the trial [by ATF]. I see a retrial on the SBR charge at very least, This may even get set aside. The ATF took what was a legal "equation" of parts and firearms, took specific items by force, then later charged the man with an "illegal combination" for the remaining parts they did not take the first time. US v. Thompson center is on point here.
There are some interview sound files regarding the many struggles Len Savage has had with BATFE - check out the Talkin' to America page 2 - November 1, 2005 and May 8, 2006 sound files. These have no player currently but can be downloaded as MP3 files and have interview notes also.