It apparently is according to BAFTE and a Milwaukee jury who in January found David R. Olofson guilty of illegally transferring a machine gun. The National Guardsman has now been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison.
From Guns Magazine:
_Olofson, you see, had loaned one of his rifles [to Robert Kiernicki], and it malfunctioned at a range, firing off short bursts before jamming. . . .
[I]t didn’t matter this was merely a case of a “hammer follow. . . .”
It didn’t matter the government had repeatedly failed to replicate automatic fire. . . .
What mattered was the government’s position that none of the above was relevant because “[T]here’s no indication it makes any difference under the statute. If you pull the trigger once and it fires more than one round, no matter what the cause it’s a machine gun. . . .”
Think about if your semiauto ever malfunctions. Because that’s how close you could be to becoming a convicted “gun felon.”_
To be fair, from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Kiernicki testified Olofson told him the third position was for automatic firing, but it jammed, court records indicate. He also testified Olofson told him he had fired the weapon on the automatic setting at that same range without a problem, according to the records.
No matter what Olofson knew, many feel the case sets a frightening precedent, allowing for criminal charges whenever a weapon accidentally fires more than once. Are you concerned?