The following brief report, which originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal, was reprinted in the October 13, 2017 edition of The Week on page 16: "As of April, 630,019 machine guns, or fully automatic weapons, were registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, including more than 11,700 in Nevada. That number includes machine guns to be used by government officials and unserviceable guns that are purchased by collectors as souvenirs." The WSJ report appears factual, but look at it carefully. It does not report how many of those working firearms are in private hands; how many of them are in the hands of law enforcement; and how many of those "registered machine guns" are inoperative, unserviceable guns are in private hands. It is a highly misleading report. The last time I checked, about a year ago, the BATFE had no idea how many selective fire guns of all types were in private hands in the United States. They had only a wild-a$$ed guess, and that WAG was in the neighborhood of 256,000 of all types. It includes everything from 7.65mm Czech Skorpion machine pistols up to the mighty Ma Deuce. The BATFE had been using that quarter-of-a-million-and-a-bit figure since 1986, when Saint Ronnie the Actor signed the Firearms Owners Protection Act that capped the number of selective fire weapons at whatever was already in private hands, with no more to be imported, and none to be released to the public by the military. So why all of a sudden have the official gun regulators of the yankee gummint suddenly come up with a precise figure that is two and a half times greater than what they had previously claimed? Why does that number include "machine guns to be used by government officials," by which we must presume the WSJ means law enforcement? The last time I checked, the police were allowed to have full auto firearms, mostly used by SWAT teams. Why is BATFE including the very expensive paperweights that demilled firearms are? You all know as well as I do that when a gun is demilled, it is rendered inoperable by anything from torch-cutting the receiver to welding the bolt face over and welding a steel rod into the barrel. Outfits like The Sportsman's Guide have, in the past, offered cast aluminum receivers for the purpose of making demilled submachine guns fit to be displayed. Not so the guns can be fired, only displayed. And since when have demilled, inoperable guns had to be registered with the BATFE anyhow? I get the periodic BATFE reports because I have a Class 3 C&R license, and I have not seen anything in those reports about registering demilled machine guns -- and even though I don't own one, something like that I would notice and remember. What is the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives trying to hide by releasing a figure that includes wall-hangers and cop guns, when for thirty years they have been saying they didn't really know how many selective fire and crew-served firearms are in private hands in this country? Do any of our members who are in the law enforcement community have any light they can shed on this subject? I may be just a little paranoid, but I think something smells about The Wall Street Journal's report. What does the Band of Fellers think?