Cody Wilson with his plastic Liberator handgun (with metal) (courtesy miniutemennews.com)

On December 9th, the the Undetectable Firearms Act (UFA) will expire. The Act—a clear infringement on Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms—was a hysterical response to the GLOCK 17. Gun control advocates wrongly accused Gaston’s polymer handiwork of being undetectable by metal detectors. There ought to be a law! And so one was proposed. The NRA caved. Wikipedia . . .

The National Rifle Association (NRA) was unwilling to consider a ban on handguns with less than 8 oz of steel, and what resulted was a compromise bill that banned guns with less than half the metal content of the Glock. The NRA eventually agreed not to oppose the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 because it did not in fact affect any existing guns, and the gun control lobby was eager to promote it as one of the first successes of groups like Handgun Control, Inc (later the Brady Campaign).

So who won that one, then? I’m thinking the gun banners who are now—surprise!—looking to add provisions to the Act that would ban plastic gun parts and magazines. Which the NRA will oppose quietly while, quietly, allowing a renewal of UFA to go through unopposed.

I’ll say it again: the feds have no business regulating guns. None. And the NRA has no business supporting the regulation of firearms, whether through active lobbying (e.g., their campaign to add mental health records to the FBI’s NICS) or their silence (e.g., not speaking out against the UFA). In this case, the NRA is passively enabling laws that trample on the core foundation of the Second Amendment, written to prevent government tyranny.

Think about it . . .

What danger does an undetectable firearm pose? UFA supporters say terrorists could use an all-plastic gun to circumvent security and launch a surprise attack. A) how will a law prevent that from happening and B) airport and building scanners are nothing more than security theater. Terrorists adapt to security and surmount it. Two words for that: box cutters.

Uncle Sam’s real problem with plastic guns is the same problem all governments have with all guns: a lack of control. Over the populace. If all-plastic guns (or privately produced metal guns like Solid Concepts 1911) were widely available the feds couldn’t keep track of who owns what guns. The whole gun control edifice would crumble. Anyone could own a gun without the government’s knowledge or permission.

It can’t happen soon enough as far as I’m concerned. On this point, the NRA’s silence speaks volumes. While I’m sure there’s plenty of political calculation behind their go-along-to-get-along non-engagement on the UFA it doesn’t change the fact that the NRA isn’t standing up for firearms freedom. A decision which may cost us everything.

Lest I gave gun control advocates another reason to label me an insurrectionist, I can envision a time when federal SWAT teams would knock on doors looking for plastic guns, say, in a state where carrying guns is effectively banned (e.g., New Jersey). Why not? It’s a felony. How great is that?

82 Responses to NRA Quiet on The Undetectable Firearms Act

  1. Any person making $1,000,000 plus perks from a NPO, the NPO is not for the “cause.” It is about making money and all of you were suckered,

    • So here’s the problem:

      You’ve got a two-party system, Democrats and Republicans. If you’re a liberal and want some input into government you can either waste your vote on Ralph Nader or the Greens or the Socialists or the Communists, OR you can vote for the Democrat who might actually get elected. If you’re conservative your can waste your vote on the Libertarian or John Bircher or Tea Party independent, OR you can vote for the Republican candidate.

      So with the Second Amendment lobby there is essentially a two-party system. If you’re for “gun control” you vote for Bloomberg and the Brady campaign. If you’re against gun control you vote for the NRA. These are the big dogs in the fight and if you want to see anything at all done in Congress you have to pick one or the other. For all their philosophical faults, failing to support the NRA, at least to some degree, is the same as not voting in order to “teach those Democrat/Republican bastards a lesson!” A vote withheld out of protest is essentially like TWO votes for the position/candidate you oppose.

      The only other alternative, as with the Tea Party or Libertarians on the conservative side, is to create you own party and make it strong enough to take over first place. So instead of simply opposing the NRA, how about we either reform them from inside OR come up with a better, stronger lobbying group and put them out of business?

      Any ideas on that, RF?

      • I think you meant to say if your a conservative you can waste your vot on a libertarian or a republican candidate. The republicans have turninto democrat boot lickers who don’t giver a crap about the constitution or the US of A. Its a shame when your average woman on the street has a bigger set than elected republicans.

        • Exactly that! The point is to infiltrate and overwhelm the established order then re-direct them to the intended goal. The Republican party is full of old GOP RINOs who are in it now not for conservative issues but to maintain their elitist status. Slowly we are seeing Tea Party and some few Libertarians infiltrating these ranks, much to the chagrin of the establishment RINOs. But so long as the system is rigged so that ONLY a Democrat or a Republican is likely to actually get elected, this is the best we can do.

          All of the major pro-gun lobbying groups have their issues. They are perhaps too entrenched with the Washington D.C. compromise and negotiation mind-set and are willing to bargain away part of the 2A in order to romance some of the middle-ground Republican-lites. As we have seen recently with Metcalf and Barret, there can be no middle ground. Any supposed pro-2A group that is not ready and willing to stand up and say, “…shall NOT be infringed.” is actually saying, “Yeah, we’ll let you infringe THAT part, just throw us a bone on this other thing.” In the terminology of the feminists, “What part of NO! are you not understanding?”

          The NRA, especially, loses credibility when they compromise their values. I remember not long ago they put out a list of candidates they were willing to support based SOLELY on responses to an NRA review of their gun-control voting record and response to an NRA questionnaire. The result, of course was that they endorsed Democrat candidates over Republicans in many cases even though the likelihood was that once in Congress the Dem would be much more likely to toe the party anti-2A line. This sort of single-minded obstinacy from the NRA is what leaves such a bad taste in so many mouths.

          To be REALLY effective a group with the size and lobbying power of the NRA needs have a “Take no prisoners!” attitude. The Second Amendment means EXACTLY what it says. Any attempt to write anti-gun or anti-2A legislation results in immediate withdrawal of support and as much money as we can scrape together for anyone willing to oppose you who can swear to a pro-2A stance. There can be no compromise on this and until politicians know without a doubt that only Bloomberg’s millions can save them if they violate the 2A, and maybe not even then, the NRA will be only moderately effective as a lobby and will earn more and more scorn from their members or potential membership.

  2. Pre-Heller, I can understand why the NRA pragmatically allowed the bill to pass.

    In the early to mid 90’s , our government was in the firm hands of The Enemy, as the AWB illustrated.We didn’t have the legal precedent to oppose a gun control bill in court back then, so the next best thing was to ensure whatever did pass wasn’t pragmatically damaging.

    Today, we do have the legal precent on our side .The NRA should act accordingly.

    • Our government has been in the hands of The Enemy for quite some time, I’m afraid.

      They’re called the political ruling class, and in the immortal words of George Carlin, “There’s only one party, and you ain’t in it.”

      • Yes, since about 1781. Anyone that is a student of recorded history (say, the last 5000 years) will quickly realize their has NEVER been any government, anywhere, anytime, that give a rat’s fart for the citizens.

  3. This is the primary problem I have with the NRA, and why I refuse to become a member. There’s still far and away entirely too much FUD in it. Only when and until all that FUD is effectively flushed out, they won’t throw their full weight into opposing all of these onerous, draconian, and completely ineffective laws.

    NAGR, GOA, SAF, ect. are the groups we need to grow to the size and clout of the NRA. Maybe then they’ll get the FUD out and join the rest of us at the Western Front, which is anything but quiet.

  4. Grassroots for the win. the NRA isn’t what it used to be. They are like the guy who gets wimpy when someone yells. Just look up”okay meme” on Google pictures. That’s the best way I can describe it.

  5. Yeah the NRA is quiet. No way for them to drum up their supports (Life member here) get new people into the fold, and more impotantly to the them, make money.

  6. The governments of the world are freaking because they were not prepared for the civilian market to develop and produce stealth weapons. I mean caught with their pants down scared.

  7. While I agree that the NRA has adopted far too much of a “go along to get along” attitude, the fact of the matter is that they are still by far the single most powerful and influential voice we have on our side. Even though we may disagree with some of the things they say (or don’t say), that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t support them. What we should be doing is supporting them, but at the same time pressure them to do exactly what they tell legislators to do: LISTEN TO and REPRESENT the voices of their supporters.

    They may not be all the way there yet, but nonetheless they are the single greatest asset we have, and it would be foolish to squander that. Rather, we should be uniting our ranks and supporting them, and help them to better themselves.

    • And providing the national and regional a loud and vocal kick in the butt when needed to get them up and moving.

      Life members: Please point out to them that their “extra” money tap from us is turned OFF until such time as they hop up and shout for us to TPTB instead of staying part of TPTB.

      • Exactly. We should support them, but that does not mean we should be complacent.

        We as a group must demand that they follow through on their promise to support the will of their members.

    • The NRA only has that “power” because people still donate to them. If the 5 million or so members of the NRA packed up and went to SAF / GOA / NAGR / any other gun rights group, then THEY would be the ones with the power to persuade. People need to start voting with their feet / wallets and move on to better organizations. If you’re concerned about there being a power vacuum for a time, then donate to two groups and just decrease the amount that you’re giving to the NRA.

      • Wrong. The NRA also draws its “power” from the way politicians view them. From the town clerk of Anytown, USA all the way up to the President of the United States, there isn’t one political official in all these 50 states that doesn’t know who the NRA is and what they can do. On the other hand, if you said to them “The SAF/NSSF/alphabet members of choice here” is going to do X to you if you don’t do Y for us, they’d say “who the hell are you talking about?”

        Yes, the NRA derives much of its influence from the fact that so many people donate to them. But the fact that they hold so much political clout in Washington is something that we can and should capitalize on, not walk away from. It would take a LONG time for the SAF, NSSF, or anyone else to build the reputation that the NRA has, and THAT is the power gap we need to avoid.

        We have to build up the others without tearing down what we already have. Building our ranks is a step forward; replacing them is a lateral move that does us no good.

        • You’re also ignoring that the NRA is a part of the Republican party and will put party politics over the Second Amendment. Remember Mitt “You don’t need Scary Looking Weapons; I’m glad I signed a Scary Looking Weapons Ban in MA” Romney? The NRA not only supported him, they flat out LIED about the laws he pushed to try and claim that they were really somehow pro-gun laws. That was when I stopped being an NRA member and that is why I will never again donate to them. If you took away all of the NRA’s money, they would have zero pull in DC. Give that money to another gun group and politicians would quickly learn who has the money and the ear of millions of voters.

  8. I’m laughing because a lot of you guys must have Alzheimer’s Disease. We were all celebrating when the NRA beat back all the Federal gun control legislation in the aftermath of Newtown. Oh, and to jog your memories, SAF was busy blowing Manchin and Toomey while the NRA was carrying the fight.

    Then the NRA dumped a half a million into the Colorado recall battles to fight MAIG, and guess what — we won. Is it really all such a distant memory? It happened in September. Freakin’ September and you’ve already forgotten.

    You may forget what the NRA accomplished, but I guarantee you that MAIG, Brady and POTUS never will. Ever. And if they’re reading these comments, they are laughing their asses off at us.

    Enjoy your dementia, people.

    • I was thinking about this earlier, actually…

      Bloomberg is set to be replaced as the mayor of NYC. Once that happens, he will obviously no longer be a mayor. What will become of MAIG? It is his brainchild, after all.

      If he surrenders his membership, they’ll maintain their image as an “anti-illegal gun organization of mayors” a little longer. But if he stays, even once he’s no longer a mayor, doesn’t that expose it as just another gun control group if he stays?

      • When he leaves office to his Radical Left successor, he’ll become just another billionaire former mayor, still eligible for membership in that august group of troglodytes and criminals. He’ll just continue to pump millions into his anti-gun causes. Why can’t we have a Bloomberg investigation along the lines of the Murdoch investigation?

        • Bloomberg will be a bigger pain in the ass when he has more time on his hands. He’ll soon be running at large, surrounded by his platoon of armed thugs. Not being a mayor certainly won’t bar him from his own club. He’ll just have more time to rally his troops and spread misinformation.

        • Yes, Bill, but the open question is how philosophically tied is he to this campaign and how much of it is pure political calculation? Will he be ready and willing to spend millions of dollars on gun control when he has no political capital to buy in return? We can hope that the answer is NO!, but I will wait and see if he fades into retirement or goes all in.

    • A lot of the negative comments came from the perpetual nay-sayers. Or perhaps MDA or MAIG members. “On the Internet nobody knows you’re a dog.”

    • Exactly what Ralph said. Further, NRA members can contact the NRA and help get them in either this fight or other ones. I’m also a member of the NAGR, SAF, Calguns, and the GOA. The NRA clearly isn’t perfect, and this is a good example, but all pro-2A advocacy groups should be supported. If you’re looking for a perfect advocacy group, you’ll never find one, and you’ll be out of the fight that needs support.

      • +1.

        You can’t change a big organization from the outside- you have more leverage as a member sending a complaint, than just another whiner on the outside. NRA funds lobbyists in every state, where they work on legislators and report whats happening.

        You can’t reproduce that kind of leverage without years of growth and effort.
        As Ralph said better than I could- it worked.

        Lots more examples-

        1. Lots less damage done from bills proposed even in CA, with full Democratic control in all three branches of State Govt.

        2. Look at the recalls in CO.

        3. Despite what the State Run Media say, with Talking Point Memos from the community organizer in chief and his funders, politicians are running scared- especially those at risk in 2014. Look at Landrieu in LA, and others.

        4. Pushback is happening everywhere- grassroots up- see Cuomo in NY, facing open revolt by county Sheriffs.

        Same is true for the Republican Party – the role and best use of the Tea Party is to inject new blood and spine into what has become too inbred and rotten, especially in the Senate.

        Money talks and you know what walks- if you aren’t in the game, you are giving ammo to the left who is, full-on. Support the new blood, the Sen Cruz’ and others, including new candidates emerging from the years in the sandbox, young leaders of principle, and that will move the GOP back to its roots, that even national surveys show is the general trend in the silent majority.

        Take your football and go home if you want, but dont pretend to anyone with life experience that it works. I sense the desperation in the MAIG, MDA, and OFA type groups- its not playing well, and Obamacare is going to really put a hurt on the idealistic young supporters who are now tired of living at home, working part-time jobs to pay off student loans.

        Stay the course, POTG. Its working.

    • I don’t slob their knob and god knows they ain’t perfect…but pretending that GOA or anyone else hsa a fraction of their track record and clout is nuts.

  9. Sort of like the NRA was quiet during the passing of the NFA of 1934(okay they were quite vocal about that one passing) or the 1968 Gun Control Act, or the Lautenburg Act or the Firearms Owners Protection Act, or the 1994 Crime Bill (sorry, once again the NRA was kind of supporting that one – then again they always kind of supported restricting guns).

    Funny, isn’t the NRA promote itself as gun rights group…how odd.

  10. There’s a thing in Washington called political capital. The NRA has a lot, but not unlimited amounts. It’s best not to blow you whole wad on preventing a law banning something that doesn’t even exist anyway.

    And yes the terrorists don’t follow the laws anyway.

    • Strong point, Gov. Obama expended all his political capital on his crazy socialized medicine scheme, and he lost the House, his supermajority in the Senate and hasn’t been able to do anything since (thank god).

      If it weren’t for Obamacare, many if not all of his post-Newtown gun control measures would have sailed through the Senate and the House. Unintended consequences indeed.

  11. True, Ralph.

    Also, who is the representative of “the gun lobby” that is the target of all the vile hatred of the gun-grabbers? It isn’t GOA, SAF, or any organization but the NRA. They know the most powerful enemy of their agenda.

  12. Nobody wants to be laid off so cops dont want an end to crime, Al Sharpton doesnt want a color blind society, the SPLC doesnt want anyone to get along and the NRA doesnt want to win the war on guns.

    Not a blanket statement of all individuals involved of course but as whole entities the last thing any org or group really wants is to win.

    • The NRA doesn’t have to worry – the culture war on guns will never end. Look at the rest of the world. As long as there are feel-good, delusional liberals there will be war.

    • I was told that the March of Dimes wanted to cut off funding to Dr. Jonas Salk. It was because he was actually making progress against polio, and they would have no more reason to exist. The solution was to re-direct the organizational goal to the cure of “birth defects”, an umbrella term for a number of maladies that would provide a continuing reason for the organization’s existence.
      Maybe we should find some new and better goals for the Brady bunch, the VPC, and all the other gun-grabber organizations.

  13. What is the NRA supposed to say about it? If there is a pending new version of this law, then all that needs to be said is that there is no such thing as an “undetectable” firearm. I feel like you are going out on a limb just to say the NRA isn’t hardcore enough, based on something that happened fifteen years ago. Come on, really?

    All firearms require significant metal or at the very least, metallic ammunition to work properly, though that is pushing the envelope beyond reason as Cody has demonstrated with his routinely splitting barrels. This is a law that prohibits something that does not even exist.

    It is just an example of another dumb law. The NRA was dumb back then to compromise at all on something so silly, but they did and it doesn’t mean much at this point. I don’t know if metal detectors have gotten better since then, but access to information has so now the NRA and other people who care about the RKBA don’t have to worry as much as they used to about the ignorance of the unwashed, fearful masses.

  14. Robert: “I’ll say it again: the feds have no business regulating guns. None. And the NRA has no business supporting the regulation of firearms, whether through active lobbying (e.g., their campaign to add mental health records to the FBI’s NICS) or their silence (e.g., not speaking out against the UFA).”

    I’d be curious to know then if you think there should be any checks on psychotics buying guns. And what is the upper limit of firearm lethality that should be available to citizens? That is, many NRA members don’t want to have their Ruger SR9 CCW messed with, but they don’t want the glue-sniffing teen down the street to get a hold of an XM25 CDTE either.

    • Psychotics should be identified and tracked by mental health professionals in concert with state welfare services. If they are purchasing a firearm, they have fallen through those cracks or were never identified as mentally ill in the first place.

      I think it is safe to say that explosive shells should be regulated as explosives in general are, separately from firearms. Beyond that what is there to regulate? There is also the price of such things to consider.

      I have a brass cannon about knee height, fully functional hand crafted thing. Should that be illegal? I mean, it could do some damage if I actually tried to fire something through it. The one time I fired it with the guy who made it and some older gentlemen when I was a kid, it started a small brush fire that took ten minutes to put out.

      I just call that fun, but some people would call it “too dangerous.” I was too young at the time, but there was also considerable drinking going on AND smoking! Someone should have called the ATF or CPS or something, just look what those old drunk vets have done to me!

    • The feds have no business outlawing rape or murder, outside of federal property and DC, either.

      While international and interstate trade is able to be regulated by the Federal government, the interstate commerce clause used to be more about preventing states from impeding interstate trade than giving the feds carte blanche.

      Whatever legitimate regulations that the government can make, would be on the state and local levels. Even if I supported, say, every gun control bill I thought could survive the courts, I would oppose them on a federal level. I don’t, of course, support most gun control (local ordinances about discharging in city limits and things like that being the main exceptions). But I don’t even need to consider the gun control aspect, just the federal aspect here.

      • Of course they can outlaw such things, but two points. They are not outlawing the means to do those things and the laws are practically speaking NOT intended to be preventative. They simply provide a basis tor dispensing justice after the fact.

        The difference between legitimate laws and the type of laws gun grabbers push for is legitimate laws deal with actions consequences and intent. With the deterrent effects being almost incidental. Gun grabbers and others push laws with prevention as their major objective.

        That means removing the MEANS to commit a crime.

        Restricting guns to prevent gun related crime is exactly the same thing as restricting speech to prevent some possible harm.

        We should always be suspect of any law that promises to stop or reduce one crime or another because the only way that might be done is through further restricting the rights and liberties of all of us.

        • Drew,
          The outlawing of rape and murder has always been a power delegated to the states and not the federal gov’t. Previously the Feds could only prosecute for denying someone their constitutional rights Life, Liberty and the Persuit of Happiness. When the Feds start passing laws against murder and rape it is a dangerous first step to allowing the federal gov’t to make state gov’ts irrelevant.

    • You can recognize grabbers by their words choice. All firearms are designed and built to be lethal. Get over it. Who are you to draw a line where it is too much lethality?
      And how will another law on a huge pile of gun control laws prevent anyone from getting the “most lethal” weapon?

      • The mayor of Jeruselum recently said its time we recognize rocks as weapons. Everything is a weapon but few weapons equalize us like a fire arm. If it didnt then why do cops carry them.

  15. If undetectable firearms sail through a metal detector (with no bullets of course, those are detectable), does anyone care?

    Know what else they should ban? Dragons. If a terrorist gets their hot hands on those they can burn a whole city to the ground.

    In fact, I wholly support the “Ban all Evil Mythical Creatures and Unicorns Act of 2013”.

    Now, I wonder why the NRA would be silent on a law that would ban mythical creatures? Sure sounds like a great way to waste political capital.

  16. This isn’t an either/or.

    Support the NRA. I disagree with the naysayers here. They have become less complacent, not more, in recent decades. Back in the 1920’s-1970 they went hand in hand with many gun control laws. At best, they worked to protect certain narrow interests. Hence they did argue for and succeed in keeping handguns out of the NFA (the original NFA would have treated handguns with machineguns and sbrs!). But they then went along with the rest. Likewise, in earlier examples. The origin of gun control in California, the 1923 law that regulated concealed carry and created the DROS was NRA backed. They stated explicitly that their goal was to create some regulation, in order to prevent more fanatical legislation later (remember the majority of this country at one point were against handguns).

    “It is frankly, an effort upon the part of those who know something about firearms to forestall the flood of fanatical legislation intended to deprive all citizens of the United States of the right to own and use, for legitimate purposes, firearms capable of being concealed upon the person”

    So even then, at least, they wanted to protect more than just hunting. I think the worse came with the GCA in 1968, which clearly has protectionist elements (the rules for importation of handguns)

    The problem was, of course, just as with Smith and Wesson with Clinton, is that once you let the principle stand that they can legislate on these things, you don’t prevent more fanatical legislation, you open the door to it. At best you slow down its progress.

    If one compares the NRA of those decades to the NRA now, they have become much more principled in defending 2nd amendment rights. Have they shed off all their bad habits? No. But they have greatly improved. And this, to me, proves that they can and do listen to the voices of their constituency. So write the NRA and pressure them here.

    In the meantime, it doesn’t hurt to also join other groups like the GOA. I belong to the NRA and the GOC (Gun Owners of California), and think I may join another. But the NRA is still our big dog in the fight and the only one capable of giving the enemy a run for their money.

  17. I would recommend that you all, my compatriots, take a good hard look at whether you feel this is still a time when we need to concern ourselves with their “Laws”.

    I hold that it is NOT.

    Let them pass what they will. I’ll vote against it, if given the chance, and when it inevitably goes how they want, I’ll ignore it soundly.

  18. The law is obsolete now and the NRA could make this point easily. Back before 3D printer technology, when creating plastic guns required expensive equipment that was only the purview of gun manufacturers, it could be seen as a reasonable compromise, as by not having manufacturers make these guns, then they would be pretty rare for criminals to get, if available at all. But now anyone can make such a gun. So outlawing them only means law-abiding citizens won’t have them.

    The saying, “If guns are outlawed, then only the outlaws will have guns” can sound very clichéd to gun control proponents, but in this case it is very true: if plastic guns are outlawed, only the outlaws will have plastic guns.

  19. The NSSF also sold us out. Please contact them, the NRA, every other pro gun group, internet forum, and call and write your representatives. We can still win this if enough people make their voices heard.

  20. The NRA is not the only organization for gun rights with great capability, the National Association for Gun Rights or NAGR is well funded and staffed. NAGR is very active on every facet of gun regulation and confiscation. They work hard as well . I support both NAGR and the NRA.

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