The gun law reform signed by Governor Brownback for the State of Kansas included a requirement for Chief Law Enforcement Officers to sign form sallowing Kansans to pay the $200 federal tax for National Firearms Act regulated items (NFA). Bill 2578/SB447 includes a number of incremental reforms aimed at restoring second amendment rights in Kansas. One reform that I missed in the rough and tumble of state legislative politics alleviates one of the problems created by the NFA of 1934 . . .
There are plenty of problems with the NFA. Mostly outdated when it was signed as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s attempt to disarm the American citizenry, it has severe regulatory and tax burdens for suppressors, even though no reason was ever given for their inclusion. The same penalties apply to short barrelled shotguns and rifles as apply to automatic firearms, although there’s no reason to regulate short barrelled rifles and shotguns any more than pistols. That prohibition was included in the law because the original version included all handguns in the prohibitions as well.
The NFA of 1934 mixes local and federal prerogatives without regard to the separation of powers inherent in the Constitution. This is what one would expect from “progressives” who consider the Constitution a problem to be worked around, rather than the highest law of the land, and it has continued to create difficulties to this day.
The vast majority of tax stamps sold are for short barreled rifles, shotguns and gun mufflers. But because the NFA mixes local and federal authority in the act, local chief law enforcement officers (CLEOs) are able to veto the ability of a citizen to pay a federal tax to obtain the items, for any reason or no reason at all.
The “tax” dodge has always been a transparent attempt to give the NFA a thin veneer of constitutionality, but it hasn’t fooled anyone. It was and is a boldfaced power grab by the federal government to restrict and register firearms, accessories.
Now Kansas legislators have done what they can to mitigate the problem. They’ve required CLEOs to sign off on the tax payment unless they could show a legal reason beyond laziness or personal prejudice not to. Arizona recently passed a similar law and Tennessee did back in 2010. Kansas gives CLEOs 15 days to act, as does Tennessee. Arizona is more lenient, allowing them 60 days.
To sum up, under the new Kansas law citizens who wish to purchase an NFA item and are willing to jump through the regulatory hoops and pay the $200 tax can’t have their purchase vetoed by a Kansas CLEO for any reason except those now specified in the new statute.
It’s called the rule of law and it goes into effect in Kansas on July 1, 80 years after the Roosevelt administration pushed through the nation’s first real federal gun ban.
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.