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Old 18 May 2018, 04:54 PM
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Crash Helicopter dropped box of ammunition over Parkland Elementary, causing outage

A power outage that happened at Parkland Elementary School happened when a military helicopter dropped a box of ammunition on the school, Ysleta Independent School District officials said.

http://cbs4local.com/news/local/heli...causing-outage
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Old 18 May 2018, 05:42 PM
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I misread the thread title. I thought it said causing "outrage," which made me think someone had deliberately dropped ammunition on the school, like in an extreme (though not that much more extreme) version of the "arm the teachers"/"good guys with guns" approaches.

It is very weird to feel relieved that a box of ammunition (apparently) accidentally fell on an elementary school, made a hole in the roof, and caused a power *outage*.
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Old 18 May 2018, 05:43 PM
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Oh. Causing outage. I read the thread title as "causing outrage".

Which may also be true, of course.

ETA: Whoops, spanked. erwins, that's about what I thought too.

But why are helicopters carrying ammunition flying over a grade school in the first place? Are they under a routine flight path from the military base?
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Old 18 May 2018, 06:37 PM
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And isn't that a bit like sending coal to Newcastle ?

All right, I'll do it :

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  #5  
Old 18 May 2018, 07:41 PM
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The Air Force lost an ammo box of grenade rounds in North Dakota a week or so ago.

I guess these things happen.

~Psihala
(*"It jumped! I saw it!")
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Old 18 May 2018, 08:51 PM
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"It fell of the back of a truck" is supposed to be a euphemism.
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Old 22 May 2018, 12:49 PM
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Falling from a helicopter is slightly more dangerous than falling off the back of a truck, though...
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Old 22 May 2018, 01:46 PM
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Slightly, but at least they found the one that fell off the helicopter.

~Psihala
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Old 22 May 2018, 02:04 PM
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They have, however, obligingly told whoever did find the box that fell off a truck exactly what equipment they need to lay their hands on in order to fire the grenades.

Quote:
The missing ammunition is a belt of grenade rounds, contained in a green metal ammo container, that is meant for use with an MK19 machine gun grenade launcher, the Mountrail County Sheriff’s Office said Friday afternoon. The ammunition will not operate in any other launching device.
-- admittedly, they may have done so under the expectation that said equipment is hard to come by.
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Old 22 May 2018, 02:36 PM
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Given the military's love of labeling, the box would have plenty of information for someone to be able to find out what the ammunition would fire from.

Also, either his data is wrong or the good sheriff is fudging the truth. The ammunition lost is 40 mm grenades. They may be linked together to fire from the MK19 grenade machine gun, but they could be unlinked to fire from any "standard" 40mm grenade launcher.
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Old 22 May 2018, 03:08 PM
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Ah. In that case, GenYus, the sheriff may be hoping to convince whoever's found them that they're unusable. (And maybe hoping to catch somebody who starts trying to get an MK19.)
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Old 22 May 2018, 03:19 PM
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Probably so, since it is legal to own a grenade launcher that would fire the unlinked grenades. (The MK19 is automatic so it would be illegal for a civilian to own.)
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Old 22 May 2018, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
Probably so, since it is legal to own a grenade launcher that would fire the unlinked grenades. (The MK19 is automatic so it would be illegal for a civilian to own.)
How would the civilian legal version fire 40mm grenades? From your linked article:

Quote:
Standard-issue 40mm launchers are classified as “non-sporting” firearms and “destructive devices” by the National Firearms Act, sold solely to military and law enforcement agencies around the world. But Colt’s new M203s sidestep the ban with a 37mm barrel that makes the launchers Title 1 firearms, which don’t require NFA registration. The new launchers will be able to fire a variety of non-lethal 37mm flare and smoke rounds.
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Old 22 May 2018, 05:45 PM
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Colt may be limiting the sales to military and law enforcement, but as the last clause of the quoted part alludes to, a 40mm grenade launcher may be purchased as an NFA registered destructive device. NFA registration is an involved process, but it is one an individual can do.
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Old 22 May 2018, 06:49 PM
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Not obvious from the linked article, but it looks like that's correct. It also looks like "training" non-explosive ammunition is pretty readily available, but each round of explosive ammunition (i.e. each grenade) is considered a separate destructive device, requiring its own permit/transfer authorization and $200 fee, and they are, not surprisingly, pretty rare on the civilian market and very expensive. To legally possess explosive grenades requires compliance with explosives-storage requirements also (I think this is a requirement for the permit).

Also, lots of states or local jurisdictions prohibit weapons that are legal to own at the federal level. So many states don't allow possession of some or all of the federal special-permit weapons.

I haven't been able to find much detail about how hard it is to get a permit, but from things I heard a while back, it sounded like it was pretty difficult to get one. Is it your understanding that it is "involved" only in the sense of it being complicated or taking a long time, or is it actually difficult for an individual to qualify?
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Old 22 May 2018, 09:05 PM
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Yeah, it wasn't the best link for me to chose. But the others I found were from pro-gun sites or gun sellers.

The process is involved in that there are multiple steps and can take several months. During the process an individual needs a background check and fingerprinting*, but I believe that the background check is a shall issue type, not may issue**. AIUI, generally anyone that can purchase a regular firearm can get a tax stamp. So it is involved when compared to the short process for purchasing a Title I firearm***, but not that involved considering what is included in the Title II category.

I believe you are correct that both the grenade launcher and each individual grenade would qualify as a separate destructive device requiring separate tax stamps, separate applications, etc.

Also correct about state law potentially restricting what would be legal under federal law. (When talking firearm law I almost always speak to just federal law since it gets pretty complicated otherwise.) I do not believe that Texas has any additional regulations for Title II firearms beyond those for Title I firearms. (For example, you can't give a handgun or a grenade to a minor under 18 without their parent's permission.)

* Unless the person has created a "gun trust".
** "Shall issue" vs "may issue" is more about permits, I'm using it here as shorthand. Basically shall issue means it must be issued unless the individual is disqualified for a reason specified in the appropriate laws, IE, the person has a felony conviction. May issue means that the issuing party can deny the certification for other reasons.
*** Title I firearms are regular firearms like handguns and rifles and shotguns of legal length. Title II "firearms"**** are things like silencers, short rifles or shotguns, fully automatic weapons*****, grenade launchers, grenades, etc.
**** Not scare quotes, the law calls all NFA devices as firearms even when it is just a part for a firearm.
***** Which have other restrictions, mainly that nothing made since 1986 can be sold to a civilian.

ETA: tl;dr;
Someone may legally own a 40mm grenade launcher. But normally it would cost them at least $200 each time they fired it. Taking the lost ammunition would allow them to fire it for free (illegally).
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  #17  
Old 28 August 2018, 02:20 PM
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Note on the TV news this past weekend - the cause of the ammunition has been determined. The box was modified but the pin that holds it in was not.
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