Mutt being confiscated

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Mutt being confiscated

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Mutt being confiscated

Postby acudanut » January 21st, 2018, 1:03 am

We all have heard the rumors, that if the Federal Government finds out you own one they can confiscate it.
Anyone have first hand knowledge of a real experience. That would suck.
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Re: Mutt being confiscated

Postby m3a1 » January 21st, 2018, 1:53 am

Frankly, that would be pretty far down in the weeds for the Federal Govt. There's miles and miles between what they "can" do and what they "will" do. They'd be facing lawsuit after lawsuit and it just isn't worth it, particularly when they're selling surplus vehicles on the other end, most of which are similarly designed, and primarily for off-road use. But then who would buy them if they were to be endlessly under risk of confiscation? Nobody. Remember the kerfuffle some time ago over certain FMVs not meeting EPA standards? Sales were suspended for a while and you couldn't buy an M35, annnnnd they start to pile up. Cooler heads prevailed and they decided it wasn't worth the dust-up and wen't back to selling them so, NO, unless you're pulling Grummans or Voughts out of the Great Lakes and restoring them to flying condition I think Uncle Sam is rather disinterested in a lowly M151.

This came up some time ago (and will come up again) with laws written in such a way that anything that had formerly been the property of the DoD could be reclaimed by them. No mention of the War Department, though. So I guess you'd be safe if you own a WWII vehicle.
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Re: Mutt being confiscated

Postby rickf » January 21st, 2018, 9:56 am

What people don't realize is that pertains to ANY surplus equipment that is sold to the public. Like TJ said, it is really not worth it and the only winners would be the lawyers. The HMMWV buyers that are buying the off road only titled ones and bypassing the rules and putting them on the road, they are the ones that have top worry. Wait until there is a fatal accident involving one of those vehicles and watch what happens. They will all go back to the crusher and the govt. will say, well, we gave you the opportunity and you blew it. At that point you may have to worry about the M-151 since they were considered a dangerous vehicle and that could also open the govt to more lawsuits.
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Re: Mutt being confiscated

Postby buttanic » January 21st, 2018, 10:15 am

They tend to be more concerned with the sale of stolen stuff. They have gone after stolen ceramic body armor plates that were sold on Ebay but this was some years ago before such plates were readily available on the civilian market.
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Re: Mutt being confiscated

Postby m3a1 » January 21st, 2018, 12:36 pm

Yup. So what we do with our former military vehicles, how we present the vehicles to the public, and how we are perceived as owners of these vehicles by the public is extremely important (if not the most important.) Our focus should always be that we be seen as stand up guys rather than people who are on the fringe and receiving sideways glances from the rest of the public.

By way of example, there is a fellow who lives nearby who also owns a half track. Ours are the only two half tracks in the area. One of his local police officers managed to drive a police car into high water with a current and he got stuck and was in danger of being swept away. Well, my buddy fired up the track, drove out, hooked up and pulled him out. The half track was well suited to the task because it presented very little surface area to the water. It was a simple, decent gesture but you can't buy the kind of good will that sort of thing generates. It has to be earned.

So, as MV hobbyists, we are in a very unique position. We have to protect our hobby (which is something you'll never hear someone who collects Hot Wheels say. Things must be kept above board and it takes very little to screw things up for all of us because nowadays, the public is more than willing to tar everybody with the same brush.

Off my soapbox now.
Cheers,
TJ
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Re: Mutt being confiscated

Postby old dodge guy » January 21st, 2018, 2:00 pm

m3a1 wrote:Off my soapbox now.


Actually TJ, it is a pretty good soapbox to be on. While confiscation now is pretty low on priorities, it IS something to be aware of, so we HAVE to ALWAYS be on guard. Sadly. There are always those out there disliking the idea that someone, somewhere, is having fun and not under supervision and their control.
I vividly remember the go round some years ago when there WAS a confiscation scare and vehicles WERE confiscated. That went away, but the thought is ALWAYS there.
Just remember.....In the governments thinking.......there was NEVER a M151 released that was not destroyed. Anything that you have that is uncut WAS STOLEN. Everyone that has rebuilt a M151 did so unlawfully. That is the government position. This is not just an internet rumor, this was what a General in TAACOM told me in direct conversation. A direct conversation, though I no longer have the verbatim wording, but the pretty much the direct words.
So...represent the hobby wisely, be aware, and try to think ahead. The press is NOT our friend.
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Re: Mutt being confiscated

Postby acudanut » January 21st, 2018, 9:31 pm

Anyone notice the release of the HMMVW's. They are everywhere now. I guess a change in the white house fixed that. I am glad they are being sold now (through iron planet). I can't stand to see tax dollars being wasted and all those vehicle being sent to the shredder. Too bad the old 50-70 jets are not being offered.
No one is going to win a lawsuit against the US government.
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Re: Mutt being confiscated

Postby rickf » January 22nd, 2018, 8:44 am

Note what I said above about those HMMWV's. Restricted titles. Off road use only unless you are buying one of the latest ones at 25 grand plus. People are finding ways around the title thing to get legal titles (Sort of legal) for them. And like I said, just wait until there is a fatal accident and the lawyers get involved. The very first defendant mentioned will be the US Govt.. How well do you think that will go over?
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Re: Mutt being confiscated

Postby raymond » January 22nd, 2018, 8:45 am

One of these years, I am going to achieve my perennial New Year's Resolution of conquering the planet and enslaving the entire population.

When that day arrives, one of my first official acts will be to take all your M151s and put you all in camps :idea: :twisted:
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Re: Mutt being confiscated

Postby SEABEE62 » January 22nd, 2018, 9:44 am

Does that include my Mutt Raymond ? :shock: .....SEABEE
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Re: Mutt being confiscated

Postby rickf » January 22nd, 2018, 10:45 am

Suits me fine, free food and lodging.
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Re: Mutt being confiscated

Postby m3a1 » January 22nd, 2018, 12:36 pm

Put us in camps? Finally, we'll all be together! :lol:

It would be a real magic trick for anyone to prove so many uncut MUTTs were "stolen" when they were mustered out of service, uncut, from so many different locations over such a long period of time. That very fact indicates an ongoing process (or we may go so far as to call it a scheme) to sell M151s that were uncut.

With my first hand experience on how government actually operates, I dare say what we are actually looking back at a pandemic of misinformation (and perhaps even incompetence) under which certain persons (agents of the government who were actually in the business of selling surplus vehicles) were forced to operate.

I would even go so far as to suggest that these people had their backs to the wall when it came to moving cut M151s off their lots because it was very likely they were finding no one wanted them cut up and sales faltered. Surprise, surprise!

Some of this may have even come down to the simple machinations of cutting up a vehicle on base. The risks it presented and the need to provide equipment and personnel to do it safely and the additional costs associated with that process very likely became too burdensome.

Alas, in government, information only seems to flow from the top down so no one upstairs was getting the message (again, pure conjecture on my part but its a narrative that fits so well) so we can postulate that the M151s began piling up and the people selling them, receiving no substantive help from above, went with their own Plan B.

But, as a long time law enforcement officer, it is at this point I will state a simple fact. If a buyer went to a military base and laid down his money for a M151 and the person running the lot told him, "Go out, take off the data plate and bring it back in to me and we'll finish the paperwork" well, the buyer wouldn't be obligated to do anything more than follow the instructions given to him. Should the buyer be pressured into asking them about chopping it up? Answer - Of course not. They tell you what to do and you do it or you don't get your truck. There would be no, wink-wink-nudge-nudge. The buyer would just do what he was told to do and take his truck home.

So, I simply cannot agree, from a law enforcement perspective, that all uncut M151s were "stolen." There's simply no evidence to that effect that I am aware of, even if some TACOM muckety-muck somewhere says it is so. There are just too many of these uncut trucks out there and by all appearances the government didn't seek remedial action in a timely fashion (if at all) and that, dear friends, is proof of a tacit approval that receiving an uncut M151 was OK with the government. Thus, at this late date, they would be very hard pressed to do anything about it. Nor do they necessarily care at this point. I dare say there is probably some case law out there by now, fully indemnifying Uncle Sam against any responsibility for harm if someone cracks one up and lets face it, you can hurt yourself just as easily off-road as you can on-road. At least on-road, having some form of insurance is almost always required.

In closing - The seller received fair compensation and if his agent screwed things up when it came to redistribution protocols that, my friends, does not constitute theft. Nor is having an uncut body positive proof of theft. There are far too many ways for that to have happened.

Cheers,
TJ
Last edited by m3a1 on January 22nd, 2018, 1:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Mutt being confiscated

Postby rickf » January 22nd, 2018, 12:56 pm

Well, The demill process did not involve the government providing anything for the actual work to be done. It was written into the bid contract exactly what had to be done to the vehicle before it could leave the property and they did have an inspector there to check the loads as they left. It was your responsibility as the winning bidder to bring the equipment needed to do the demill work on site and to load and transport the demilled vehicles off site. A popular trick was to load one good body ate the bottom of the pile and load a crap load of cut bodies on top of it in a way it was impossible to see the one on the bottom. Most inspectors were satisfied if THEY could not see a whole body. There were several ways of getting whole bodies out right down to flat out bribes. Nowadays with cameras everywhere and much stricter demill laws the rules pretty much have to be followed. They usually involve a shredder, on site. Kind of hard to bypass that one. :roll:
The whole vehicles that are out there are either the ones that came out before the demill orders or ones that went to so called " Museums", or ones that were snuck out. I say "so called museums" because a lot of people caught on that if you filled out the proper forms then you could be considered a museum and get surplus for free. Then the stuff just disappeared from the museum which usually closed without a trace. This equipment was in reality STILL government owned equipment! It was never transferred to private ownership, just loaned. So yes, it is stolen. ALL equipment given to municipalities is just that, loaned to them and has to be returned to the government or documented that it was destroyed with receipts submitted on proper forms. I have a lot of personal experience with this through work.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, take what you may from all of this. I have said all along to tread lightly and don't make waves and I still say that to this day.
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Re: Mutt being confiscated

Postby m3a1 » January 22nd, 2018, 1:29 pm

Yup. If we, like the government, conduct our operations in such a slipshod manner, bad things can happen. I still say much of this doesn't rise to the level of actual theft particularly where the seller's agent isn't doing his job well. Anyway, it doesn't necessarily mean they will happen, but they can happen and Rick is SO right. Tread Lightly is always a good policy when it come to former MV ownership (or if you prefer - "curatorial control") and Tread Lightly is where this all began.

It may interest some of you to know how the business of the U.S. Govt. loaning vehicles out to museums can work. Here is one example of the potential for the government asking for something back. An associate of mine owns a fully restored, properly licensed and permitted live-fire M45 Quad mount on an M20 trailer. Some military types saw him putting it to use at a MG shoot and asked if he would refurbish one for use by the military. He agreed, and so the hunt began for another M45 system that was not cut up. The Army located one they had loaned to a museum and they brought it back (un-loaned it, if you will) and had it restored by him. They story is they eventually mounted it on a HMMWV and put it into service in Iraq (which is something I would have loved to see in action.)

Had they found that a museum had sold such an artifact there would be quite a bit of blowback on the museum; potential loss of 501(c)(3) status for one thing and a great potential for prosecution even if the museum had closed up shop. This doesn't mean it wouldn't for couldn't happen but it would be highly problematic for any serious museum and the people who run it.

Cheers,
TJ
Last edited by m3a1 on January 22nd, 2018, 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mutt being confiscated

Postby D Pizzoferrato » January 22nd, 2018, 5:20 pm

To add to what Rick posted; in the early days of the demil order, and through most of it, even if you managed to get an uncut body out, the only thing you were guilty of was a breech of contract. As you purchased and owned the goods, you weren't stealing anything, you were merely removing your goods, from the base, in an unprescribed manner. The powers that be, at the local DRMO, could pitch a bitch but their only remedy was to make you forfeit the rest of the contract (which they wouldn't do because this stuff had to go away somehow), or possibly ban you from future bidding (which was also a joke because you could sign up to bid under another name). Towards the end of the MUTTs leaving service, the Demil was changed to state that the item purchased included all components of the vehicle, less the unitized body, which had to be X cut or crushed, but remained the property of the Gov't. If you took one of these bodies out, or parts of these bodies out, you were stealing Gov't property.

I know of several instances, when large lots of MUTTs were offered on a single IFB (Invitation for Bid), and the IFB got no responsive bids, the Gov't would contact the past players and solicit bids from them; in some instances actually paying them a token fee, to do the demil and removal. I was involved in a group of about a dozen MUTTs in Michigan that received no bids. A local friend, that had a past purchase history with the Selfridge ANG DRMO was offered these for $20 ea. Several of us spent a long day in the rain disassembling these and hauling off parts.
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