Question of the Day: Why Not Machine Guns?

If The People of the Gun accept ANY ammunition magazine capacity restriction laws the legislative limitation leads straight down a slippery slope—from 20 rounds (CO) to 10 rounds (MA, HI, etc.) to seven rounds (NY) to no bloody rounds (UK). If Americans accept bans on “assault rifles” (CA) that leads to bans on all semi-automatic firearms (Providence city ordinance). Now, switch it around. If we don’t accept mag limits, why shouldn’t we be able to purchase 50-round mags in fully automatic guns? It may seem like a strange question in these dark days of civilian disarmament where gun grabbers deliberately conflate semi-automatic rifles with machine guns, but have at it. What’s wrong with law-abiding Americans owning “high capacity” machine or sub-machine guns? By the same token, what’s right with it?

comments

  1. avatar Pulatso says:

    Short answer: no reason at all. Except that ammo is in short enough supply as it is.

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      +1

      Most people couldn’t afford to feed one anyway. 5 minutes on the range and you blow your ammo budget for the year.

      1. avatar ChuckN says:

        But what a glorious 5 minutes it could be.

        1. avatar ZM1306 says:

          Look up the American-180, or you can buy a .22 drop in bolt conversion for your (potential) full auto AR-15

  2. avatar ensitue says:

    It’s not the object but the man’s character that is flawed

  3. avatar Trevor Nisja says:

    The NFA laws are all unconstitutional, you are correct.

    1. avatar BDub says:

      Agreed! Like the man said, “if you cant be trusted with it….you can’t be trusted”. If I can b trusted with a pistol, I can be trusted with a machine-pistol, or any other weapon in common and/or military use that I could afford to safely maintain and operate.

    2. avatar Mark says:

      The militia has need of them.

      1. avatar Proelior says:

        Exactly… Read Federalist 29. All sworn law enforcement are “select corps” (Hamilton’s term) of the Constitutional militia performing its civil function — “… to execute the laws of the Union” — Militia are the ONLY body given that function in the entire document.

        The rest of the militia are — well, “the whole people, except for a few public officials” (Geo. Mason) subject to being “called forth” as posse comitatus to assist the public officers when peaceable execution of the law is resisted or opposed.

        The manufacturers now limiting sales to law enforcement same as to the rest of the population have fallen upon on a very practical device that is — in addition — the correct constitutional principle — law enforcement and the people are not different, both are militia and what applies to the one applies to the other.

        Any arms that law enforcement can have in a civil enforcement setting, and in any time, place or manner they may carry, citizens should not properly be debarred from keeping and carrying there. As an example of a presumptively appropriate restriction –the courts and their bailiffs are not militia and bars to carrying by — anyone else — there would be presumptively legitimate, and indeed traditional.

        That is the proper practical test– outside of war-fighting — and in the arena of war capability a different measure is needed. But civilly, the test is really clear to apply. Automatic weapons ought ot be held plainly legitimate and should be fully appropriate on this measure.

  4. avatar DJ says:

    Absolutely nothing is wrong with it. I’d be in favor of a law requiring that all military small arms be sold domestically as surplus in a fully functional state when they become obsolete.

    People forget that the whole NFA was a response to the militarization of criminal syndicates as a consequence of prohibition. In essence, the government created the problem that the NFA was passed to address. They “solved” that problem by enacting an unconstitutional law, which was then upheld by the courts. Shall not be infringed = shall not be infringed.

    1. avatar matt says:

      But how would the SWAT teams get their toys? You can’t honestly expect a LEO to pay out of his own pocket for tools like a lowly electrician or mechanic would.

      1. avatar Zach says:

        You’re right. We want our SWAT teams to be freely armed… let’s go ahead and not revoke NFA.Good thinking.

  5. avatar jbyrne27 says:

    If it’s common for police to have machine guns then I want one too. If it’s common for police to have a bazooka in their squad car then I want one too. It’s about balance of power. The more power the state routinely projects on its citizens the more power I want to balance it out.

    1. avatar Loren says:

      +100,000

      I agree completely with this, though to my knowledge most police departments in my area don’t have full auto AR’s.

      Not that I would buy one either, I can barely afford ammo as it is.

      I mean before I lost everything in a tragic boating accident.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        This was no boat accident!

    2. avatar Pat says:

      I too draw the line at the regular police because if they can have it then so should the citizen. Truth be told, you can do just about anything with a twenty round magazine (hard to imagine needing more in a defensive situation) and it does not impact handguns at all.
      Full auto really only helps a bad guy kill alot of people in a crowd, and is made more effective with a 50-100 round drum (which also is only truly logical with full auto). Full auto and 50-100 round drum could kill hundreds in the right situation, almost could be classified as a dangerous device.

      1. avatar Timbo says:

        ^Troll

        Kill hundreds? If it’s so damn easy, why hasn’t it happened already?

  6. avatar Tim U says:

    No reason whatsoever.

    We should be able to own SBRs, SBSs, AOWs, SMGs, true “assault rifles” or whatever else we want to have.

    I fully support repealing the NFA and related amendments. I just know it’ll never happen unfortunately

    1. avatar BDub says:

      Never say never…either way.

      1. avatar Leo338 says:

        Exactly! 10 years ago if you told people that marijuana would be legal in a bunch of states none of them would have believed you. So, maybe there is hope for us too in the future.

  7. avatar Ralph says:

    Depending on where you live, full auto guns can already be owned by us just plain citizens — and legal resident aliens, too. All one needs are time, patience and ready cash.

    1. avatar k4R-15 says:

      The NFA prevents citizens from owning modern full auto guns though- if I recall the limits correctly only full auto guns or parts (typically sears) manufactured before 1981 are eligible for civilian ownership. This limitation also helps ensure that the number of available full auto guns gets smaller over time. It also helps inflate the market price of sears and guns to the 5- figure range due to scarcity.

      If we could push the pendulum back against the antis and take a few kicks at the NFA It would be tremendous. Expensive to feed and bad for ammo availability to the masses but still tremendous.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        May 19, 1986 is the cutoff, according to the Hughes Amendment to the Firearms Owners Protection Act. It’s not the NFA that disbarred citizens from machine guns. The NFA regulated access but did not deny it. FOPA is what limited us to pre-1986 guns. And FOPA was supposed to be our friend.

        1. avatar BDub says:

          Yup. And wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to buy a post ’86 automatic at a reasonable price. Mmmmm, aaaaahh!

        2. avatar k4R-15 says:

          Thanks for the clarification Ralph. And the example of how policy with good intentions can end up screwing law-abiding citizens.

        3. avatar Pantera Vazquez says:

          Firearms owners “protection” act protects us gun owners as well as New York’s “safe” act will keep gun owners safe……Amazing how politicians find names that contradict the actual meaning of proposed laws, no wait….doublespeak is a politician’s forte….silly me.

        4. avatar Zach says:

          Words like “Care” “protection” and many others in bills should be an instant alert to any citizen.

  8. avatar Roll says:

    Oooh.. That Bizon 9mm would be desireable….

  9. avatar jwm says:

    There’s nothing wrong or illegal about a citizen owning a FA weapon. But, at what point do we draw the line, if any? For my own personal belief I think that weapons that are not explosive or launch explosive warheads are legal for citizen use. And I don’t much care for flamethrowers, but I’m not sure what category they come under.

    1. avatar Paul W says:

      You can get flamethrowers. I’m not sure what, if any licenses they require, but ranchers and farmers use something that pretty much is a flamethrower to start controlled burns.

      1. avatar Tim U says:

        Flamethrowers require no paperwork, registration, or other information. You can just buy them.

        I think anything should be legal, and you are responsible for the use of your armaments. So if you get a rocket system you’re accountable for your rockets and anything they blow up. How hard is that?

        You’ll find very quickly that next to nobody will buy things like missiles/rockets/grenades/etc because there’s little point to owning them in your home.

      2. avatar AaronW says:

        When I attended in April 2009, the flamethrower rental guy wasn’t there. I was told it was because he couldn’t afford the insurance any longer.

    2. avatar John Smith says:

      I see where you are going but I disagree. There is no line to draw. Real freedom comes from lack of lines. Criminals are going to blow things up if they want to or not regardless of flamethrower laws or laws against explosives (think “timothy mcvey”).

      1. avatar Elliotte says:

        (also think unibomber)

    3. avatar Rebecca says:

      I saw Son of a Gun restore a flamethrower. I don’t have much actual *use* for one, but it would be hella fun to play with!

    4. avatar MothaLova says:

      There may be legitimate LOCAL regulation of explosive or flame-throwing devices – e.g., requiring storage such that they will not harm close neighbors in accidents – but it’s certainly our right to own them.

    5. avatar anonymous says:

      > There’s nothing wrong or illegal about a citizen owning
      > a FA weapon. But, at what point do we draw the line, if any?

      Dave Kopel answered that question over 10 years ago:

      http://old.nationalreview.com/kopel/kopel073002.asp

      July 30, 2002 9:00 a.m.
      Day-Dream Believers
      What if the government had to obey gun-control laws?

      UCLA law school professor Eugene Volokh has asked his weblog readers to “imagine that you had the superpower to add one amendment to the U.S. Constitution…What would it be?”

      Here’s one proposal: the Goose and Gander Amendment. Since it works as a supplement to the Second Amendment, we’ll make it Amendment Two-and-a-Half:

      1. No government agency, nor employee of any government agency, shall be allowed to possess firearms prohibited to the citizens of the state, county, or municipality in which they serve.

      2. No government agency, nor any employee of any government agency, shall be exempt from laws and regulations regarding the possession or use of firearms which affect the citizens of the state, county, or municipality in which they serve.

      . . .

      See also

      http://www.grumpypundit.com/2013/01/good-for-us-good-for-them/

      Good For Us, Good For Them
      Posted by Robert M. Brown on January 16, 2013

      Here’s a question for you. If a gun is bad for civilians to have, is it also bad for the police to have?

      . . .

      With that in mind, I have sent my legislators the following legislation. All it does is restrict the police to using the same weapons that are legally available to the residents of their jurisdiction, and provides for (significant) penalties if they violate it. I’m serious about this. Read it, and if you think it’s a good idea, contact your Representative or Senators and tell them.

      . . .

    6. avatar BDub says:

      Sure, provided what you want is a pre-’86 antiques with the hefty premium place on it being transferable.

    7. avatar neiowa says:

      The line? Any individual weapon (as the US Army might determine) is legitimate for individual ownership/possession by a natural citizen with NO opinion of any gov’t body being relevant. Unless your local community denies such a natural right to a felon.

      Crew served weapons being the province of the community hold. Your community, where ever you chose to reside, being whatever this community choses (and can afford) to maintain. Same as 1775 when LtC Smith marched on Concord (to sieze community established magazine and crew served weapons (cannon)).

      So Individual – M4, M249 M203 can personnaly carry it on a road march.
      Crewserved – Bradley, M1 (Abrams), M2 50cal, 81mm, F16

  10. avatar John Smith says:

    Well, today we live in a society where total cowards are voting all our rights away. The majority now days want to be “taken care of” by their government and they don’t want to actually make any real decisions in their life – they would prefer their entire path laid out before them already. They want regulation on everything including items that the government has no business regulating and totally get freaked out over things they don’t understand. They don’t actually want to be free – they want to be slaves, regulated, controlled, and “feeling” safe and call it freedom. This is why we can’t easily just buy a machine gun or make it ourselves.

    1. avatar Rebecca says:

      You said, “The majority now days want to be “taken care of” by their government ”

      Oh, they’re being taken. Care of. Two words: Police State.

  11. avatar William Burke says:

    The laws are unconstitutional. No doubt about it

  12. avatar Sam C says:

    Not yet. Pick your battles. Eventually, after suppressors, short-barreled weapons, and AOW’s get removed from the NFA.

    1. avatar Mmmtacos says:

      I subscribe to this school of thought. We should make a grab for more pro-gun measures but disabling what has already been set under the precedent that those measures are also unconstitutional.

      Personally SBRs, SBSs and AOWs need to get removed first in one fell swoop. It’ll be the smallest offense against the antis but a windfall for us and most likely the most acceptable measure we can pursue. To elaborate…

      Suppressors: wide-spread, uneducated, anti-2A backlash due to horrible Hollywood reputation of “silencers” that could make a .50 BMG Barret rifle sound like a sub-sonic, suppressed 22LR. Currently impossible to attain without a tax stamp unless you were to steal one from a well-secured armory (hahaha) or fabricate one.

      Select-fire: wide-spread, uneducated, anti-2A backlash due to horrible reputation of being the best way to make a firearm more lethal than it already is despite the infamous, “Spray and pray” phrase made popular by, guess who! Hollywood. Wastes ammunition (read: expensive) and cannot be controlled easily even with under-powered cartridges. Despite popular belief one cannot easily convert any ol’ gun to full-auto. Sometimes it’s accidental, sometimes all it takes is a shoe-string, most times it requires major gun-smithing and the addition and replacement of parts one cannot readily, if at all, attain.

      Short barrel: no reputation other than “sawed off shotgun” that I believe can be easily overcome anyway (“We conceal pistols already anyway.” “It makes any firearm less lethal anyway because it decreases accuracy [given X amount of distance from barrel of Y length using Z caliber of V grain with a W twist].”) Some short-barrels can be had with just the use of a band saw, if not then just legally buy the short-barrel and install it which of course would currently make said gun automatically illegal. Just let me do it without having to get a tax stamp, already, jeez.

      1. avatar Pantera Vazquez says:

        Funny thing about prohibition, what’s the point? today if you want an SBR you just buy it, they are manufactured legally….Ar-15 pistols, Krinkovs, Henry Mare leg. A .410 handgun is essentially a pocket shotgun. Prohibitions are usually overcome by innovation-Bullet button anyone? Silencers can be manufactured using auto oil filters. Get the point?

  13. avatar Jun Yumul says:

    As I have mentioned time and again to my fence-straddling family – a gun is a gun is a gun. Whether it’s a single-shot Martini-Henry or an AR-15, it will do what it’s meant to do when used for its intended manner: It will kill. It is the person behind the trigger who is ultimately responsible for what happens in front of the barrel. So whether it’s a semi-auto 1911 or a full auto Thompson, there is intrinsically no difference.
    In summary, whether I run over a pedestrian with an 18 wheeler or a Prius, if I kill that pedestrian, I should be tried for homicide. Not the ownership of the vehicle.

    1. avatar little pony says:

      As a bicyclist, I pay attention to bicycle accidents in the news, and it seems that rarely are drivers prosecuted for homicide. Usually they are released the same day. I don’t think that’s right.

  14. avatar Tom B. says:

    Uncle Sam trusted me with a select fire weapon for 21 years. Upon retirement, I have to get and pay for special permission to own one. WTF Over.

    The 99% paying the price for the 1%. FUBAR

    1. Well, sure, but apparently now you’re too mentally unstable to own any firearm. Must be true, I heard DiFi say it on the Internet…

  15. avatar SkyMan77 says:

    We’ve had such a defensive posture over the years; this is the kind of offence mindset that we need.
    IMHO…The problem has been that we’re too nice; we have been victims of our own benevolence. These people are bullies and we need to take our pound of flesh…. I can’t think of a better way than reclaiming something that’s rightfully ours…

  16. avatar Don says:

    Good question. Don’t know.

    I think it is reasonable to expect a sport or defensive shooter to be aware of his target and what is beyond and keep an accounting of where his bullets are going.

    This remains easy with semi-auto but the difficulty of the task bifurcates when you get into FA. The expectation of knowing your target and what is beyond and accounting for your bullets presumes you are in friendly territory.

    At war (traditionally) you know in advance your targets are badguys and what is beyond are more badguys. So essentially I think FA makes sense when you are in an environment which is hostile. Since home is not such an environment I don’t think police should ever be issued FA and am comfortable with regular people owning them given some degree of regulation, but the current NFA rules and artificially imposed scarcity of FA items are too much of it.

  17. avatar Buuurr says:

    Money… that’s a great reason. Last year I priced a full auto H&K MP5 in Oregon and it came out to be about 12k once all fees and dues were in… not sure how accurate that quote was as it was the only one I have ever done on a full-auto.

  18. avatar beanfield says:

    This is the exact wrong time to be having this discussion. Many of the disarmament supporting arguments revolve around hypothetical extremes. I.E. “Everyone should be able to own a bazook/machine gun/nuclear weapon”. It’s much more effective to argue that the line in the sand is being drawn now at semi automatic firearms and the only people talking about bazookas and nuclear weapons are the loons that want to disarm us. Argue the constitutionality of title ii limitations after the constitutionality of title i weapons is on solid footing.

    Just like 2A supporters point to any legislation restricting the RKBA as the nose under the camel’s tent in terms of outright confiscation; the push for opening the MG registry provides ammo for the gun grabbers to say “See! After they secure assault weapons with 500 round armor piercing magazine clips, they’ll want everyone to own machine guns, bazookas, and nuclear bombs!”

    Timing is everything.

    1. avatar Sean says:

      I disagree, we need to do something to break the cycle of crying for a ban getting part of what they want then all the hoopla settles down, until the next tragedy and they scream for more and slowly cut away gun rights.

      We need to get start fighting to take back what we lost in the 30’s, 60’s and 80’s and good start would be repealing the machine gun manufacture ban from 86. It is completely ludicrous that you are still able to purchase a machine gun but the cost is so astronomical because of limited supply that only the wealthy can afford them.

    2. avatar jimbthepilot says:

      Disagree. This is exactly the right time to be having this discussion. The antis put forth an argument to move the bar 10 yards. People of the gun scream, dig in their heels, and eventually settle for 10 feet. The antis now have a hard-won 10 foot victory in the ongoing battle and are secretly happy, though they’ll bitch and moan for the media’s sake. It’s time we start putting forth the argument to move the bar 100 yards in the other direction and be happy when WE win the battle of 10 feet!

      1. avatar beanfield says:

        While I support the repeal of much of the regulation of title ii weapons (including MG’s), I can’t disagree strongly enough in regards to pushing this agenda forward publicly at this time. Gun control advocates have become far more organized in recent years. There is a concerted effort to stop infighting amongst the various groups in order to focus on fragmenting those that support RKBA. In order to do so, they’re trying to peel away hunters, hobbyists, soccer mom’s, and anyone else that may be influenced to separate themselves from the larger gun rights movement. Not since the last AWB have there been so many politicians (federal, state, and local) that feel NOW is the time to act on further gun control laws. For the most part they’ve abandoned the quick and easy short game of an all out AWB (as evidenced by the lack of support for DiFi’s bill/amendment) and are positioning themselves for incremental infringements on RKBA…chipping away at the 2A piece by piece.

        Let’s be realistic about the odds Hughes Amendment being repealed or SCOTUS striking it down. Before Sandy Hook the odds were something like ~1%. Post Sandy Hook the odds are far less; a number starting with zero point and ending with 5 or so decimal points. Not only will we be focusing time and energy on an issue is at it’s lowest likelihood of passing; we’ll be shrinking our base (doing the work of the anti’s for them). We should be focusing on a long game strategy, keeping our support as large as possible until the storm passes. After the anti’s are voted out in ’14, THEN start pushing for further expansion of gun rights.

        I’m sorry, I’m not trying to be confrontational. I simply think the timing could not be worse and we’ll incur irreparable harm. Public support is marginal and we don’t have anywhere near the politicians elected to accomplish this goal.

        1. avatar jimbthepilot says:

          Read this link
          This is a war against God-given unalienable rights. You don’t win a war on the defensive. Scalia spoke of weapons in “common use”. Full-autos are as common as it gets in today’s military.
          It’s time to stop playing defense. Get educated. Skip an episode of “Pigman” and do some studying. Take the talking points of established court rulings that are out there, connect the dots, MAKE the antis try to defend the indefensible. Let’s stop giving it up 10 feet at a time.

        2. avatar beanfield says:

          First and foremost…wtf is pigman? 🙂 Secondly, without getting into a long drawn out discussion….I would caution anyone trying to cite Scalia as supporting the ownership of MG’s by civilians. He specifically discusses this in the majority opinion on DC v Heller. At first he makes it sound as though the Miller ruling would be grounds to overturn the NFA’s restrictions on title ii firearms (including MG’s). However, he quickly reverses that stating that only weapons in “common use at the time” are protected by the 2A as well as the Miller ruling (excluding MG’s, SBS’s, etc..).

          Note: that doesn’t mean I agree with him.

          http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-290.ZO.html

          Read in isolation, Miller’s phrase “part of ordinary military equipment” could mean that only those weapons useful in warfare are protected. That would be a startling reading of the opinion, since it would mean that the National Firearms Act’s restrictions on machineguns (not challenged in Miller) might be unconstitutional, machineguns being useful in warfare in 1939. We think that Miller’s “ordinary military equipment” language must be read in tandem with what comes after: “[O]rdinarily when called for [militia] service [able-bodied] men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.” 307 U. S., at 179. The traditional militia was formed from a pool of men bringing arms “in common use at the time” for lawful purposes like self-defense. “In the colonial and revolutionary war era, [small-arms] weapons used by militiamen and weapons used in defense of person and home were one and the same.” State v. Kessler, 289 Ore. 359, 368, 614 P. 2d 94, 98 (1980) (citing G. Neumann, Swords and Blades of the American Revolution 6–15, 252–254 (1973)). Indeed, that is precisely the way in which the Second Amendment ’s operative clause furthers the purpose announced in its preface. We therefore read Miller to say only that the Second Amendment does not protect those weapons not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, such as short-barreled shotguns. That accords with the historical understanding of the scope of the right, see Part III, infra.25

        3. avatar beanfield says:

          So I don’t get lumped in with the anti-gunners….this is most succinct argument for why we (supporters of RKBA) shouldn’t be basing our arguements solely on SCOTUS decisions. http://youtu.be/dEimFzVnZkw

  19. avatar FWIW says:

    “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state…”
    It is very simple: the security of the United States, and the freedom of its citizens, relies on the arms and fighting spirit of the People. This military thing that we are paying for is necessary only to the extent that it is needed to travel to other places.

    1. The defense of this country ultimately falls to the people in it, as recognized by the founders. The defense of my home is on my shoulders, the police have no duty to protect. Therefore, the police should be armed with sticks (as they were) to remind people to be polite. The People should be armed with everything.

    2. The President, aka the Commander in Chief, has every right to call on the citizens to defend the US against invaders. The concept of a standing army is rather off with what we should have. A “standing army”, here, is defined as an army that stands around. Trust me, I did enough of that. A “well regulated militia”, then, shall be defined as intended by the founders: “Regulated” as in trained, “militia” as in the able people of fighting age.

    3. The NFA was created because the feds were outgunned by people who were doing what they had every right to do, that is, make and drink alcohol. That the feds thought they could interfere with the making and drinking of alcohol is proof that the feds are not always very bright. That they then used this as an excuse to prevent people from possessing weapons in common use is proof that people are easily mislead.

    4. Technology changes. Every American has the right to keep and bear “arms”. Hypothetically, let us then define “arms” as any man portable weapon system. Personally, I see no reason why Bill Gates shouldn’t have an F22 or similar, if he cares to spend that much money on it. I’m betting he doesn’t want it that badly. I can’t afford one (at $361 million each) let alone fly one, but there is no reason to forbid me having, and arming, one.

    In summary: It is the right of the people to possess any weapon they see fit. If you don’t want to live next to somebody who has an M-28 Davy Crockett, then get off my lawn. Although, the prohibitive cost, coupled with the difficulty in safely maintaining it and the relatively low yield, make it an unlikely buy at best. Think some idiot is going to sneak it into the sports arena? Not likely, when every person there *could* be armed with an M-2 .50BMG. Ultimately, the gun grabbers like to say that every pro-gun law presented will take us back to “the wild west”. My stats-o-matic is fresh out of firearms deaths per 100 people in any given 19th century town, though it would be an interesting study, and now it’s going to bug me until I find something useful.

    1. avatar Nigil says:

      I would like to point out that the only reason cops/feds have ever been ‘outgunned’ is due to poor choices of department heads (like arming footpads with .38 revolvers to combat Thompson-carrying gangster). If they feel threatened by the criminal class, let them arm up properly like the rest of us, instead of trampling all over everybody’s rights.

  20. avatar Jason says:

    I’d be fine just getting rid of the short barrel rifle/shotgun ban first. Then we can work on the FA ban. Why my rifle has to have a 16″ barrel is beyond me.

  21. Full auto rifles are protected by the Second Amendment. The word Arms in the Second Amendment means Ordinary Military Equipment.

    The term “Well Regulated” in the Second Amendment meant “Well Manned and Equipped ” in 1791 as was determined in the 1939 United States v. Miller case after referencing the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. The concept of Government Regulation, as we understand it today, did not exist at the time.

    United States v. Miller also determined that the term “Arms” refers to “Ordinary Military Weapons” (not crew operated). American Citizens have the right to Keep and Bear, which means Own and Carry, any weapons that a soldier carries into battle. That includes past, present and future weapons. A Militia consisted of armed volunteers willing to fight with their personal arms and not under government control.

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      No, regulated meant drilled in Prussian Manual of Arms. See von Steuben’s “Blue Book”

    2. Another interesting aspect of United State vs. Miller was that in arguing the case, the government evaded the fact that the NFA was an imposition on the rights granted in the 2A by pushing the case that the NFA Tax Stamps were for raising revenue and not to control guns.

      It’s entirely consistent that we ought to be able to pay our tickets and gain access without further interference.

      I believe the defendant, Miller, was charged with having a short barreled shotgun and the judges ruled that this was not an “ordinary military weapon” since it was not used by the military; later it was shown that the Army did in fact order short barreled shotguns for use during WWI but this was suppressed in the case of these hearings.

      And so we stand now…

  22. avatar DB says:

    I agree with most previous posters, nothing at all wrong with owning FA, unlimited mag capacity. But let me take my favorite tack on the 2A. The 2A is one of our bulwarks against tyrannical government. This much we all know, but the antis are fond of telling us that is a straw man argument as a tyrannical government that would necessitate a highly armed citizenry “could never happen here.” Of course as we all know, that is a steaming pile, it absolutely could happen here. (One could even make the argument, plausibly grounded in history, that it is “inevitable” here.) Our own government could morph into a tyranny, absolutely. That is a fear, BUT NOT THE ONLY fear. Tyranny could come from without. It wasn’t just German jews that perished in the Holocaust. Citizens of Belgium, Holland, Poland, Norway, France, Yugoslavia, Greece, Russia, Italy and many others perished. History teaches us to both fear our own government AND other governments. That is why the Swiss require households to have firearms. While I think highly of our military forces and national guard et al. and am comforted by the presence of two large oceans on either side of our country, is that any reason to not have gear that would allow us to supplement these in the defense of our homeland in the case of the unthinkable?

  23. avatar Armchair Command'oh says:

    I think the second amendment has a logical limit. The idea behind the 2A is that we have an armed citizenry that if called upon can grab their gear and defend liberty. Consequently, the arms protected should be the types of arms used by an individual soldier. Handguns, assault rifles (real ones), and body armor would be covered. Crew served weapons would seem to go beyond the scope and intent. Specialty weapons, like an AT4, would also not be covered. Neither would a trap or skeet gun (not saying they should be banned, just that hunting and sporting has nothing to do with the 2A).

    1. avatar matt says:

      How are AT4s and MANPADs not covered? How exactly do you intend on defending liberty in a police state/martial law/foreign invasion environment against opposing forces with APCs and drones?

      1. avatar little pony says:

        Overwhelming superior numbers and guerilla tactics.

  24. Someone (an anti-gunner) asked me recently if I thought people should be allowed to own anything, tanks, missile launchers, C4, dynamite. I had a real hard time coming up with a reason to not say “Yes, they should.”

  25. To be honest I don’t understand why there hasn’t been any serious challenge to the Hughes Amendment. There was a mention of the ban in Heller, mentioning that the ban ‘might be unconstitutional’ (if the second amendment was read a certain way). Currently supporting the ban seems to hinge upon machineguns being considered ‘dangerous and unusual’ weapons. But, personally, I could see an argument being made that pre-1986 machineguns are certainly more ‘dangerous’ than post-1986 machineguns. Such being the nature of advances.

  26. avatar Jeh says:

    The only problem with having an fully automatic is the cost.
    I wish the founders were alive today to see what the government has become, Washington would probably run Obama through with his sword for the sh*t he and the liberals are causing.

  27. avatar KCK says:

    Thinking.
    Kinda sounds like the Pitbull ban question.
    But then, an M-16 couldn’t jump a fence.

    1. avatar little pony says:

      Pitbull is about as well-defined as assault-weapon. If it looks scary and is a dog, then it’s a pit bull. If it looks scary and is a gun, then it’s an assault weapon.

      1. avatar Will says:

        Yet,,, in the past Pit-bulls were kept around to protect the family’s children. There is nothing inherently more dangerous about them than any other breed… it’s just the owners and trainers who WANT them to be vicious killing machines.

        Oh, lookie there….. owners and trainers (trainers are either hired, volunteered, or otherwise.) are responsible for the dog’s behavior…. Oh yeah…. many grabbers will ignore responsibility placement there as well.

  28. avatar David says:

    Hey while we are at it (at keeping w/ the ruskie theme) how about ballistic knives? Maybe have something about that over at the truth about knives? “Arms” means weaponry not just firearms. Nice subgun would love to have one 🙂

  29. avatar Matt in SD says:

    A gun, or any other weapon for that matter, poses no threat in the possession of a law abiding citizen. Single-shot, semi-auto, full-auto should only be a consideration of one’s wallet.

  30. avatar Ing says:

    I can think of one good reason why not: self-defense. Nearly all the scary things the prohibitionists say about “assault weapons” are actually true of fully automatic weapons. They’re not suitable for hunting or self-defense because they really *are* weapons of war (either that or incredibly expensive range toys).

    Where the rubber meets the road for the Second Amendment these days is self-defense. That’s an individual right that only a lunatic would argue against, whereas talk of fighting your own government with guns is guaranteed to make you look like a lunatic to everyone else. As long as we can show that guns protect families and children, we have a winning hand. (Even if we couldn’t show it, we’d still be right, but that’s a different conversation.)

    Is there anything inherently wrong with having them? No. Is having them restricted undermining the Second Amendment in any practical way? No. Machine guns serve no useful purpose in civilian life (and police are civilians, too) and despite the anti-gun lobby’s successful disinformation campaign, the line between full-auto and everything else is a pretty clear and easy one to draw. We’d be wise to keep it.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Ing, yours is a very thoughtful post, but ultimately the logic cannot be sustained. Full auto guns are already legal to own, albeit after one jumps through the regulatory hoops and pays for the permission slip. I see them — and hear them — at two outdoor ranges where I shoot. Mostly M14s and M16s, they’re owned by regular guys who just happen to be able to afford them.

      IIRC, there haven’t been any crimes committed with a FA since the Depression, except for one time when a cop went all postal with a department-issued M16.

      1. avatar Tim U says:

        Correction: Haven’t been any crimes committed with a legally obtained FA.

        North Hollywood Shootout. Robbery involving several men with illegally obtained/converted automatic weapons.

      2. avatar Ing says:

        I think that actually goes right along with my thinking. The full-autos that *are* out there legally are either collector’s items or really expensive toys. Even if they were mostly unrestricted and fairly easy to obtain, they’d still just be expensive toys.

        I wouldn’t mind if they were pretty well unrestricted, even though the thought of what might happen if they were available to one of today’s mass-shooter psychos makes my blood run cold. If I had the $ (it’d never happen) I might even buy one…

        But I still stand by my assertion that there’s no practical harm and quite a few practical (political) benefits to leaving them in their highly restricted state. Heck, if it could be part of a REAL compromise, I’d even accept making them completely illegal (with grandfathering for current owners) in return for something awesome like no mag capacity limits anywhere or constitutional carry everywhere or shall-issue concealed carry everywhere.

        1. avatar Michael G Marriam says:

          So, so misguided and so, so wrong in so many ways.
          I almost don’t know where to begin. Almost.

          IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY THE SECOND AMENDMENT IS IN THE BILL OF RIGHTS, PLEASE DON’T MAKE ANY PUBLIC STATEMENTS!

          When you say things like you just said you ignorantly add credence to the false narrative the gun grabbers have been trying to maintain for a long time. That is, because someone might do something bad with a gun, therefore guns are bad, therefore nobody should have guns.

          That is called a sophistry:

          sophistry [ˈsɒfɪstrɪ]
          n pl -ries
          1. (Philosophy)
          a.  a method of argument that is seemingly plausible though actually invalid and misleading
          b.  the art of using such arguments
          2. subtle but unsound or fallacious reasoning

          I know its hard. I was ignorant too not so long ago. I’m still not the sharpest tack in the box but I’m getting better, you can too. Do some research. One more time: Google “George Washington gun quotes” and meditate upon the results. Than search for “Federalist Papers”, there’s a couple really good websites. Get informed, than engage.

    2. avatar matt says:

      So you’re saying you need a high capacity mag and a semi automatic weapon to defend against a home invasion consisting of multiple assailants, but you dont need the capacity to deliver suppressing fire? How does that work?

      1. avatar Ing says:

        Suppressing fire from a fully automatic weapon in a residential area? Are you insane?

        1. avatar Michael G Marriam says:

          “Suppressing fire from a fully automatic weapon in a residential area? Are you insane?”

          That’s a rhetorical question right? Hasn’t that been going on off and on in Iraq and Afghanistan for about 10 years?

          Its time to move out of the denial phase friend!

          Once more: Google “George Washington gun quotes” and meditate upon the results of the search.

          That is precisely the scenario the 2A was written for: battling a tyrannical government.

          Do your homework, please.

          My new goal in life is never having to say that again to a person of the gun.

        2. avatar matt says:

          Opening fire with a semi automatic weapon in a residential area? Are you insane?
          Fixed it for you. Also not everyone lives in high density housing, some could dump a few mags without worrying about neighbors.

        3. avatar Ing says:

          Okay. If you really think a machine gun is a suitable weapon for self-defense use in a home invasion, then there’s no reason to argue with you, because you’re either deluded or indulging in sophistry yourself.

          And I do know what Washington et al. said about the Second Amendment and the right it’s meant to protect. If the principle itself were king, sure, there wouldn’t be any restrictions on personal armament and nobody would ever ask for any. And that would be okay.

          But reality rules (and sometimes bites), so you have to face the fact that machine guns are–in a purely practical sense–unimportant as individual armament goes. If we could trade them for something that would vastly increase gun ownership and bring more people to appreciate the Second Amendment as something that matters in their personal lives, it would be a good trade in my book.

          And since I’m such a sophist, I’m going to reverse my previous stance and agree with you. Nobody should bother owning any gun unless it actually would be useful in “battling a tyrannical government.” So I’ll be getting rid of my favorite lever-action rifle, and I expect all sorts of people will be turning in single-shot whatevers and revolvers to replace them with ARs and SCARs and AKs.

  31. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

    To Sam C’s comment: “Not yet. Pick your battles. Eventually, after suppressors, short-barreled weapons, and AOW’s get removed from the NFA.”

    How’s this for a battle to pick? Let’s just abolish the NFA list of prohibited/regulated items altogether. It clearly doesn’t accomplish what it was created to accomplish, if anything it has made things worse. Repeal, abolish, ban whatever you call it, let’s stop the madness. Why should I have to pay $200 and have my name on some onerous list just to reduce the noise level of a firearm?

  32. avatar Rob.G says:

    If these automatic “Personal Defense Weapons” are good enough for our government employees, then they are good enough for us civilians, period.

  33. avatar Bryan says:

    There’s nothing wrong with it. What’s right with it is that I should be able to touch, handle, own, use, anything I want as a free citizen of the US. Why, because I am “LAW ABIDING”. By definition I won’t use said tool in any manner other than in a “LAW ABIDING” way. Not hurting anyone, or anyone’s property. So if I have the money why not, again I’m “LAW ABIDING” after all.

    Since the “Gun Grabbers” want to live in a utopian world, fine I’ve heard their version, and it has scarey consequences. Now let’s explore mine. If I had the money, I’d have an F33 or Harrier parked in my garage (big garage). The vertical takeoff and landing will come in handy for fishing or hunting in and around those mountain lakes (to lazy to hike in). Or a Bofar’s for duck hunting (I’m nostalgic). Then an M1 Abrams parked in my the driveway (for when I want to go muddin’). Then how about (yes I’ll go there) even a nuke to go over my mantle like grandpa’s old shotgun. It could be blue, pink or even Hello Kitty I wouldn’t care. After all it’s never to be used just looked at and admired. Absurd you say, money aside why not have these, if I’m “LAW ABIDING” nothing will happen and who cares.

    So why not have a 1000 round magazine (besides being to heavy)? If I’m “LAW ABIDING” what does it matter. In the recent senate hearings I think Senator Lindsey Graham said it best, “One bullet in the hands of a mentally unstable person or a convicted felon is one to many. Six bullets in the hands of a mother protecting her twin nine yr. old’s may not be enough”.

    Then as a “LAW ABIDING” individual again by definition, I won’t use said tool in any manner other than in a “LAW ABIDING” way, not hurting anyone, or anyone’s property, get out of my face and leave me the hell alone. A felonious criminal on the other hand needs to be injected, quartered, then fried, in that order. Leaving my tax money for better things, “Shall not be infringed, ahhhh utopia! My .02

  34. avatar My Name Is Bob says:

    There is no good reason why I shouldn’t be allowed to own FA firearms. If the police can have it, or if its in common use by the military, I should be able to get it as well. If they had frickin’ laser blasters, I’d want one of those too.

  35. avatar Drawfire says:

    Shall not infringe. Words mean things…..yeah?

  36. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    As with the rest of the Bill of Rights, the second amendment has been watered down over time. “Shall not be infringed” has effectively been reduced to “the government shall not impose UNREASONABLE restrictions on your right to keep and bear arms.” Of course “unreasonable” is a subjective term so the second amendment means that we (the government) will let you have whatever we think you should have. Those rights are only as strong as our will.

    The second amendment aside, certain technological advancements in weaponry has made it necessary to draw the line somewhere – we can’t have individuals with nuclear weapons. The real question is not “is it constitutional?” but “what will society allow?” or maybe “how can society be convinced?”

    I’ve always said that the citizen should be allowed any weapon the civilian police have. The police arrive with backup 20 minutes after a crime is committed. The citizen is there all alone when it happens. That said the police have no business owning fully automatic weapons. They have no practical use against criminals and police have a hard enough time not missing criminals with semi-automatic weapons. There are innocent civilians back there behind the criminals.

    They do however have a useful function for a “well regulated militia”. So in the spirit of the Bill of Rights, yes they should be legal. In practical terms, their main use would be for people with bloated ammo budgets to go out to the range and have some stupid fun, but that’s easier to understand than what legitimate purpose one would have for loading a rental truck up with a few tons of ammonium nitrate and diesel fuel. Now to the task of convincing society.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      @Gov, the extent that the G can regulate firearms is not yet known, but it seems clear that “reasonableness” will not be the standard. I fully hope and expect that the right to self-defense will be considered a fundamental right, requiring something far more compelling than reasonableness.

      1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

        What keeps our (gun) rights freer than in most other countries is the political will to remove from office those who have a different view of what is reasonable than ours.

  37. avatar Michael G Marriam says:

    There is no reason why I should be prohibited from owning a machine gun. Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t shoot it much, but I wouldn’t need to shoot it much under normal circumstances. Machine guns are for abnormal circumstances.

    Google this phrase: “George Washington gun quotes”. One would think he knew what he was talking about.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Machine guns are for abnormal circumstances.

      if you’ve seen an FA full mag ammo dump outdoors, you know that the average shooter with a powerful shoulder-fired assault rifle would be doing well to keep all his rounds in a ten foot circle at 100 yards. So, yes, there aren’t many every-day, practical applications for, say, an M14. But shooting one is still good, clean fun, and those who can afford them shoot them every weekend, making the circumstances quite normal.

      1. avatar Michael G Marriam says:

        You fall into a trap if you base your right to a FA on anything but 2A grounds. Sure they’re fun to shoot but that’s not why we have the 2A and that is not why we have the right to FA. Do your homework. We have the 2A to resist and overthrow a tyrannical government. Although things seem to be changing toward that situation lately I’d say its not the situation we normally are in.

  38. avatar إبليس says:

    I’d be happy with post 1986 machine guns being legalized.

    1. avatar matt says:

      They all ready are in most states, and abolishing the $200 tax stamp wouldn’t make them any more affordable.

      1. avatar إبليس says:

        Say what? Which post 1986 machine guns are legal with a stamp? And why are they expensive if artificial scarcity doesn’t come into play? My understanding was that no new machine-guns = diminishing supply.

        1. avatar matt says:

          I completely misread your post.

  39. avatar stateisevil says:

    Nothing wrong. You have a constitutional and human right to order one online and have it shipped to your door today.

    I think certain weapons are inherently immoral to use, such as hell fire missiles, bunker busters, nukes, etc. This is because they can’t be reliably used in a precise manner. I think this is also the pure libertarian position. For example, I’m horrified at the nuking of Japan, fire bombing of Dresden, drone striking of Afghan wedding parties, etc.

  40. avatar ChrisM says:

    I have a theory about why the opening of the FA list will never happen:
    The community of FA owners has a tremendous amount of money invested in those items right now. If the list were ever opened, the prices would plummet worse than any stock market crash in history. Instead of several thousand dollars for a Glock 18, it would only be $100 more than a 17. Drop in auto sears would go from thousands of dollars to $50 and made by everyone with a machine shop. Some of the old classics would hold a lot of their value. But the desirability of owning a WWII Thompson or BAR would go down quite a bit if I could get a brand new one for the same price as high end AR. $10K MAC10’s would be a couple of hundred bucks (and they still wouldn’t run right.)

    The one group that could really work towards this goal has a distinct financial reason to see the status quo maintained.

    Just my .02 and overpriced at that.

    1. avatar Duzt says:

      nailed it

    2. avatar Mr. Lighter says:

      I don’t think that you can find a civilian legal Glock 18… that said, why would anybody possibly want one?

  41. avatar In Memphis says:

    Why not machine guns?

    Because the grabbers are like my ex-wife. Before gaining total control, they demoralize you by sucking the fun out of everything.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Hey, pal, that’s my ex-wife you’re talking about.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        She lied to me when she said she’s never been married before.

  42. avatar TV says:

    Yes, we should be able to own full auto guns, and YES, I want one of those Bizon SMGs, since I am an AK fanboy.

  43. avatar ketos says:

    It’s my opinion that it makes way more sense for civilians to have full auto than military. Soldiers have to conserve ammo to use it later that day.

    If I have 3 thugs breaking in my place I want to put as much lead in their direction in the 0.25 seconds it takes them to react from me popping around the corner. (yeah yeah rule 4, I’d bend it for those odds though)

  44. avatar SpeleoFool says:

    What I find disappointing (on both sides of the gun debate, frankly) is pessimism and distrust toward the people around us. The prevalent argument against gun ownership seems to be that nobody can be trusted to manage instruments that are capable of inflicting great bodily harm or death because of the potential (inevitable?) harm these devices will unleash on society. The argument in favor of gun ownership ultimately centers on the notion that we’re each responsible for our own self-preservation, yet that notion is inseparable from the idea that there exist those who would threaten our lives and we need the option of lethal force to dispense with those people. I don’t want to make light of that idea (it certainly is true for some people, and I don’t dismiss the various lessons of history that demonstrate how it could become true for me, as well), but the fact is that in my life, today, there are no people threatening my life. It’s something of a catch-22 that naming potential threats (home invaders, gang-bangers, drug runners, government tyranny, foreign invaders, etc.) is both an act of vigilance and of paranoia. There’s a fine line between the two, I suppose.

    In any case, the reason for that long intro is to underscore why I support citizens owning full-auto firearms and what I see as right about that: it’s the trust factor. Instead of getting mired in fear & what-ifs, I like the idea of living in a world where my neighbor can own a machine gun and I don’t need to worry that it will (accidentally or intentionally) harm me or someone I care about. I like the idea that I should be free to choose whether to own a FA device based on personal factors like my budget and preference and not restricted from owning one due to nothing more than distrust. I’m confident that, for my own part, I could safely keep one without presenting undue risk to my neighbors (the types of questions I ask myself are boring, objective safety concerns like whether I could store the ammunition in a way such that a fire in my home wouldn’t threaten my neighbors–yep). There’s no reasonable risk that my simple possession of a FA device could infringe upon someone else’s rights; that’s really my litmus test for whether I should have a particular freedom.

  45. avatar Amanathia says:

    There is no reason for machine guns to be restricted. Now, large caliber auto-canon that fire exploding rounds would not necessarily be considered arms and could be regulated under something like the NFA as an explosive device.

    In my opinion, if some psychopath went to shoot up, say, a mall, I’d *WANT* them to be armed with a machine gun and using it on full auto, instead of semi auto!!! Much *LESS* effective, they’ll run out of ammo fast is all that’ll happen. But, what if they had some huge belt-fed weapon with hundreds of rounds of ammo, or a huge drum magazine? Well, in that case, YOU’D SEE THEM COMING and so would everyone else. They’d make it 5 seconds into the building and someone will call the cops. And a fully auto handgun? LOL.

    Let us be realistic here though–people see machine guns as “evil” and “scary”. There are much higher priorities to be worried about if we are to talk about legalizing things or loosening restrictions.

    Mainly, silencers (suppressors). These should not only not be an NFA item, but should be considered a safety device. Hearing loss is a huge deal–once it’s gone it’s gone. There is zero reason for suppressors to be regulated at all. The government should, instead, be encouraging people to buy them. People who are anti-gun and want guns restricted should, instead of wanting suppressors banned, a logical position for them would be to make suppressors REQUIRED (I don’t think they should be, that’d be unconstitutional, but yeah)…

    You’d likely see some indoor ranges start REQUIRING them. Anyone who is pro-children at ALL, regardless of their position on guns, should be pro-suppressor. They don’t make the weapon silent, either, unless it’s a sub-sonic 22 or something (really damn quiet anyway). Anyone who is an environmentalist at all should be pro-suppressor, especially for hunting.

    The strangeness of our laws is you can buy an almost completely silent weapon that fires police body-armor piercing projectiles with no background check at all (a crossbow). But gun users must pay a $200 tax to limit environmental noise pollution. USA! USA! /yeah.

  46. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    “The problem has been that we’re too nice; we have been victims of our own benevolence.”

    Absolutely correct!!!

    And I also agree completely that we need to go on the offensive.

  47. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Yes, I think everyday citizens should be able to freely purchase (at reasonable prices), own, and possess fully automatic pistols and rifles.

    The Swiss have lots of fully automatic rifles and ammunition in their homes. Nothing has happened there.

    Let’s face it. If a lunatic wants to harm scores of people, there are countless EASY ways to do it. It would be a simple matter to drive a car through the parking lot of an NFL stadium as the fans pour into the lot and kill more than 100 people. The possibilities are endless.

    On the other hand, a citizen could definitely encounter situations where they would absolutely NEED a full auto firearm to prevail against determined criminals.

    In the end it doesn’t really matter one way or another. It isn’t government’s job to tell us what types of property we can make or purchase. It is government’s job to help us secure our property, liberty, and lives.

  48. avatar Jeff G says:

    This is just hypothetical. What if we want to balance 2nd Amendment concerns with public safety concerns.

    The people, you, me, and Bob (not Harold, because we locked him up in jail), need the capability to keep our government in check and defend against tyranny.

    But at the same time, we don’t want people walking around the perimeter of the airport with legally owned and effective ground to passenger plane handheld rocket launchers (assuming they exist). How would we prevent a terrorist from legally getting into position to take out a plane? Do we have to wait until the trigger is pulled?

    Or, maybe, to keep the government in check, we do need those rocket launchers. Maybe we accept the risk of a nutjob killing 250 people. But maybe we don’t let people own a backpack nuclear bomb (if such a thing exists). Maybe we do let them own hand grenades.

    Remember, this is hypothetical, so stop yelling at me. My point is, hypothetically, it would be possible to draw some sort of rational line (pro-gunners would have to draw it, because anti-gunners are not rational) between the ability of the people to check the government, and the ability of the people through the police to keep the nutjob mass murderer damages to a reasonable limit.

    Who defines “reasonable limits”? I don’t know. If the Supreme Court, then we are in trouble as soon as one more anti-gun judge gets power.

    Some attempts at “reasonable” are perhaps Scalia basically saying arms a soldier can carry. We could potentially think about the ability of the tool (the gun, rocket launcher, etc) to target 1 bad person at a time. That’s a hypothetical definition. Can you limit that tool to just destroying the width of a bad guy? Pass-through should ok (keep it out of the discussion for now). Toss a hand grenade. Opps, the destructive area is a bit wide, thus illegal. The rocket launcher will need a non-exploding warhead, but then will be legal. Machine gun? Good to go. Shotgun? Well, we’d have to pick a distance for the legal test. Keep all pellets within an 18″ diameter circle at 10 yards? Ok, that’s legal.

    Otherwise, if there were no line, and no test, and grenades were legal, and were readily available, and became affordable, that would seem extremely dangerous for public safety. Next you’ll tell me grenades are already legal. If we can buy them at Wal-mart, I don’t think we’d like what the bad guys would do with them. So if already legal, then maybe we’d want some sort of restrictions on grenades. But I’d hate to introduce restrictions. I’d rather just keep the violent criminals locked up. Harold can’t buy a gun in jail, so no background checks needed.

    But machine guns legal? Yes. As long as they can keep all shots within 18″ at 10 yards when tested.

  49. avatar Robert Bub says:

    Some people here have been saying that cost of ammunition would limit FA use if all restrictions on them were lifted. However they are forgetting the laws of supply and demand. Specifically there would be a lot of demand that would generate additional hiring and expansion at ammunition manufacturers to meet the higher civilian demand. Ammo makers could easily double their annual profits in effort to meet this demand. The increased capacity to meet this demand would keep prices reasonable if not low.

  50. avatar Taco Ninja says:

    People say being restricted to own this type of gun or that type of gun is like not being able to yell fire in a crowded theater. It’s actually quite different. i can say the word fire and have conversations about fire. I can even START a fire. What I can’t do is incite panic to scare people and cause a situation endangering people. I can’t START a fire on someone’s house. Now, this is not comparable to owning a gun, i.e. machine gun…there should be no problem owning one…but yelling fire in a crowded theater is not like owning one…yelling fire in a theater is like target shooting in a crowded neighborhood or shooting into the air blindly…those things are abusing my right to own a gun and creating a dangerous situation. Any restrictions on owning any type of gun, shy of someone proving their unsafe to own a firearm, are unconstitutional. Prove me wrong.

  51. avatar rhampton says:

    It’s likely that you disagree with Justice Scalia, et al. but the Second Amendment does not allow civilians to employ many kinds of military weapons despite being a safeguard against governmental tyranny. And despite a robust and generous reading of the amendment, nothing prohibits the state from enacting several common gun control measures in operation today.

    So you probably don’t want to hears this, or believe it, but advocating for a rollback of existing laws (specifically those referred to below) on the basis of being unconstitutional will paint you as radicals, justifiably labeled as unreasonable and unwilling to compromise. In other words, of being the kind of opponent claimed by many gun control advocates. By being to the right of Scalia, the public will slide further for gun control.

    1. Please cite the part of the Second Amendment where it limits what type of weapons “civilians” may employ.

      1. avatar rhampton says:

        See Scalia’s opinion on the Heller case. I tried posting it several times last night but for some reason didn’t take.

        It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause. But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large. Indeed, it may be true that no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right.

      2. avatar rhampton says:

        This paragraph immediately follow the discussion about the legal prohibition against “dangerous and unusual weapons.” That’s why Scalia clarified that a modern militia can not be as effective as it’s 18th century counterpart because many types of modern military weapons that a militia member might carry and/or bring home can be rightly considered “dangerous and unusual weapons.”

  52. avatar rhampton says:

    DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA v. HELLER
    (June 26, 2008) Justice Scalia delivered the opinion of the Court.
    http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/554/07-290/opinion.html

    . . . Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. For example, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues. Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.

    We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time.” We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of “dangerous and unusual weapons.”

    It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause. But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large. Indeed, it may be true that no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right . . .

  53. avatar Pat says:

    Full auto AND 50-100 round drum mags are of minimal beneifit defensively. A bad dude in the proper environment could kill several hundred. This is a deadly mix that I would worry about because you could chain a few doors of a crowded theater, and from an upper balcony, spray death in fishtail movements without aiming. Many people would trample one another in an effort to get away. With two or three drums, I could imagine 500 or more dead. A molotov cocktail or two thrown in would finish the job, maybe on flameable material. Truly an ugly vision.

    1. avatar Timbo says:

      ^^^^ Troll boy

  54. avatar Pat says:

    I would truly worry about full auto AND 50-100 round drums. Minimal defensive purposes and big trouble in certain environments to citizens (imagine 500 or more dead).
    While I would love a full auto gun, I dont really care if the are not generally legal.

  55. avatar Jerryboy says:

    here’s the kicker: if an AWB gets passed, there will be a LOT more machineguns/full autos in the hands of Patriots. why? because if it’s illegal to own anyway, may as well go full auto.

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