My brother is an attorney, and I talked to him about this. Most of his courtroom experience is in the medical malpractice field, but he says that a lawsuit against a federal government agency, especially if it's not a class action, is bound to fail.
I think that getting an attorney will probably cost me more than what I stand to get out of it unless they're essentially working for free. I'll write some more on this below.
Mike Todd's reply is right in line with my experience here. Sorry I can't be more helpful, but this is the first machine gun transfer I've ever dealt with.
Sorry for the extremely slow reply. I've been out of the country due to the pandemic, and I just haven't had a chance to keep up with other important matters.
To give you a bit more info, after I purchased the gun it sat with a trusted 01/03 for a couple years while I was away. It was on the form 3 between the seller and the SOT that the restriction appeared. Neither I nor the SOT picked up on the restriction. I tried to sell it when I ETSed rather than having it transferred to me, which is when the restriction came to light. At that point, I had the gun transferred to my company, which is an 07/03. I do think it's registered correctly to my SOT, but this is my first machine gun so I'm not 100% sure.
The previous transfer paperwork the seller gave me didn't have any restrictions listed on it. But it also made reference to an H&K transferrable sear, so clearly whoever processed it wasn't worth their salt. My young, dumb prior self didn't pick up on that red flag before I bought it. Looking back on it, I can't believe how trusting I was!
The seller lives in Bahama, North Carolina. Could I maybe speak with your wife about what legal action I can take? It seems to me like having a lawyer that is close to the action, and that is already familiar with NFA matters might help.
Are you an 18D? Just a guess based on your username. Thank you for what you do. I was a 15T and spent some time attached to a medevac unit as a mechanic, but never flew for them. I have a buddy that's currently training as an 18D at Ft. Bragg, but I don't know if he's been assigned to a group yet. Solid dude.
Thanks a lot for your input on this,
All duly noted in case I ever buy another Thompson. I plan to keep this one indefinitely, but most of this seems applicable to others too. Thank you for your advice!
Fortunately I already had an 07 when this issue came to light. I went ahead an paid the SOT and took possession of it after that. Thank you for the heads up though!
Fortunately I possess it legally since I'm an 07/03. Hopefully it can get sorted out though...
Unfortunately I don't know much about this. I had been told to check the previous transfer form for red print in the restrictions box, but there was nothing there until it was transferred to the 01/03 that was holding it for me. I'd defer to the members here that haven't gotten themselves screwed out of $10k for advice on this, haha.
Thanks to all for the very valuable replies!