Sunday, May 18, 2014

Me and the NCIS weapons investigation

This happened a while ago, but I figure it's safe to post this now.

So back in 2013, on a Friday right after work ended, a few weeks before Thanksgiving, I got a call from the Battalion Aid Station where I work at.  It was from the admin department.  They told me I needed to come back to work because a civilian was there to see me.  I knew that meant something bad so I went on my way back to work.  I had a pretty good idea what it was about.

When I got upstairs there was a man who showed me a badge and said he was with Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS).  I admit, I was scared shitless even though I knew I had done nothing wrong.  They didn’t cuff me or ambush me with flashbangs or throw me to the ground like I thought they would.  They calmly told me the situation – that the Imperial Grand Wizard of USPS-Hawaii saw some suspicious-looking items through their X-Ray machine addressed to me and was concerned.  I assume it was the base post office that was X-raying packages.

On the way downstairs I explained exactly what I was doing with my free time – buying gun parts on eBay and either shipping them home to Texas where they belong or sometimes reselling them.  Like this FN P90 barrel I bought for $15 from a clueless seller and resold for $400.  I couldn’t have them sent directly home from eBay because my family was getting tired of picking up individual packages from the post office, so what I did was have the goods shipped to me on base and once I was ready to go on leave I’d have them packed into a flat rate box and shipped home.  Additionally, I’d  have the added benefit of being able to inspect the item.

As we drove to the station, he explained we live in an age of constant fear of active shooter scenarios and they, the NCIS, were just being cautious that I wasn’t building any bombs or weapons or anything crazy in my room.  Fair enough, I guess.  On a side note, statistics show that mass shootings have not increased in recent years.  I told them they could search my room and would show them where my box of things were.  I got a call from my chief and he sounded pissed.  I explained everything again and gave the phone to the agent so he could explain some more and that seemed to help with the situation.

Totally not contraband.
I admit, I guess I did get a little carried away ordering random shit on eBay.  Lots of shit, mostly gun parts - but certainly nothing illegal.  Specifically, what awaited me for pickup at the station was a 9mm AR15 bolt which I got a bargain on, and a rare Marlin Camp 9mm carbine trigger assembly.  I guess to some, the Marlin triggerguard assembly does look like an AR15 lower and they both serve the same function – they both accept magazines, they both contain the fire control mechanism and both accept a barreled receiver.  But the Marlin Camp 9 trigger assembly is not considered the serialized firearm receiver while the AR15 lower is.  It doesn’t make sense but neither do the majority of other firearms regulations and laws.

The agent was nice and understood what a serialized receiver was.  I'm guessing he too thought this whole thing was a waste of time.  He gave me my stuff and I agreed to sign a bunch of consent forms.  After that me, him, and another agent went to my barracks room and they made me and my roommate (not the fat and smelly one I live with now) leave while they sifted through some drawers, took pictures, and left.  They didn’t smash windows or cut up pillows or anything.  They looked through some of the boxes, but not others, and they did seem to check every drawer of my desk.  I assume they also came across the box with the My Little Pony Pinkie Pie ornaments.  So totally awk.  Don't judge me, I they were supposed to be rare at the time and that I’d resell them on eBay for ridiculous sums of moneys, but I guess they got mass produced after the demand for them went up.

The whole ordeal lasted about an hour and a half.  I had a bit of explaining to do with a few higher-ups, a few Marines gave me the “told you so” spiel, but other than that no big deal was further made of it.

So did I learn my lesson?  Hell no.  While I used to search through eBay religiously, looking through pages and pages of gunparts for the weird, rare, and whacky, but I quit mostly.  I still get email alerts for specific things that I’m always on the lookout for, like magwell adapters, barrels of favorite calibers, rare bolts, and antique reloading tools.  I don't believe there are any rules, state laws, or base regulations being broken by possessing gunparts and non-receivers.