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Neither of the calls seems particularly realistic, but this is hardly the first time that there has been such a call to abolish the ATF and moreover to repeal the NFA. The first effort to overturn the 1934 law came in March 1939 in a case that was heard in the Supreme Court. In the United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174, the Court found that owning a sawed-off double-barrel shotgun was not protected under the Second Amendment.

That did not put the issue to bed. In fact, even today, the case is cited in the ongoing American guns debate as both sides support its position.

While subsequent efforts have been made to repeal the NFA, …none have gained much momentum. Even if the Republicans can successfully take back the United States Senate and House of Representatives, it is unlikely such legislation would even get out of committee to a floor vote, just as any additional gun control measures are unlikely to see any momentum.

In this case, it seems that Rep. Massie was using social media as a platform to show his commitment to the Second Amendment, but also to control the narrative. Lawmakers on both sides of aisle can use social media to make a very public show of support for their cause – knowing not much is likely to come of it.

— Peter Suciu in Calls To Abolish The ATF And Repeal The NFA Trend On Social Media

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  1. Cpnvenient of Suciu to leave out that the Court ruled that the 2nd Amendment protected the right of citizens to own weapons comparable to those in use with the military. The only reason no one told them that short-barrel shotguns are used by the military is Miller was murdered before they ruled.

    • Scott,

      I came to mention the same thing: that United States v. Miller decision in 1939 was/is bogus since the Defendant was unable to argue his side of the case and no one else argued his side of the case on his behalf.

      Had someone argued Miller’s side of the case:

      The worst case outcome was that the U.S. Supreme Court would have upheld our right to keep and bear any arms in military use and therefore struck down the 1934 National Firearms Act restrictions on suppressors and firearms which that act arbitrarily defined as “short-barreled”.

      The best case outcome was that the U.S. Supreme Court would have upheld our right to keep and bear any firearm and any firearm accessory regardless of whether or not the United States military used/uses it.

  2. There is no reason to have an ATF. We have the FBI for a reason. We don’t need a zillion agencies with overlapping duties. It’s expensive and inefficient. More government agencies equals more government power, so why would they give that up?

    • The ship long ago sailed on the FBI to which you recall. Today is an org of lackeys and enforcers for the progs and swampees.

      • Reform isn’t impossible, just unlikely. A good starting point would be to not replicate the failures of yesterday. That means the new director should NOT be a highly paid DC insider attorney with friends in high places like Mueller, Comey, and Wray. As a matter of fact, stop nominating attorneys. The next guy should be a good, moral cop with management skills, have little to no political connections, and the fortitude to clean house. Yeah, you’re right. That’ll never happen.

    • The FBI is unconstitutional as well. The Constitution only gives the Feds authority over counterfeiting, piracy, and treason. The UCMJ is also allowed. No other general police power is allowed.

    • The Federal Bureau of Instigation, the FBI. Should be defunded and the laws that created it should be repealed.

      They are a corrupt, almost, national police force. The individual states should work out agreements between themselves to allow for investigation of crimes that across state lines.

  3. Here is the text from the original US vs Miller: “Writing for the unanimous Court, Justice James Clark McReynolds reasoned that because possessing a sawed-off double barrel shotgun does not have a reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia, the Second Amendment does not protect the possession of such an instrument.”

    Therein lies the problem because at the time militaries and state militias did not have short barreled rifles and shotgun, however today they do. In other words the decision rendered in 1939 made sense at the time but no longer does because militaries all over the world carry short barreled rifles, shotguns and silencers. It’s not a question of the tax, although I agree that the tax is also bad, it’s the reasoning used by scotus in 1939 is no longer valid. If the reasoning supporting the decision is no longer valid then is US vs Miller still a valid scotus decision in 2022?

    As far as the ATF, if I were elected in congress I would whole heartedly vote to disband, zero out and fire the entire agency and probably a few more like the FBI.

    • While I agree with you, no attempt to get rid of an agency will ever succeed. The only way to eliminate an office, or an officer, is to make it subordinate to another office or officer. We saw that happen with the Patriot Act, when dozens of agencies were suborned under an umbrella agency, called DHS. If we wanted to get rid of ATF badly enough, bureaucrats would just shuffle offices, titles, and people, creating some new agency that would take on all of the ATF’s authority, while assuming yet more authority over other aspects of American life.

      The hydra is unbeatable.

      • I’m no fan of NFT’s or CryptNO either🙄…lotsa cool stuff coming from Shot Show!

    • I’d keep the FBI. Then put it back on path to be the ‘Federal Bureau Of Investigation’ and not the ‘Federal Bureau Of Get Into Everyones Business Cause A Political Tool’

    • “Therein lies the problem because at the time militaries and state militias did not have short barreled rifles and shotgun, however today they do” The Ithaca M37 trench broom of WWI had 13 inch barrel and was capable of slam fire (hold the trigger and vigorously work the action, one bang every time the bolt went home) so that statement was false even then. They simply didn’t want to admit the government got it wrong. The original NFA was supposed to regulate everything except revolvers and bolt action and break action rifles and shotguns. This would have meant no semi auto anything.

  4. Consider who brought this up, Tom Massie–of the armed Christmas card fame. Just like Rand Paul’s using Fauci bashing to raise money, it’s transparent politicing for money and votes. I doubt seriously Massie has any sincere feelings on any issue Except getting attention and re-election. If he could get the same support espousing nuking the whales, he’d be right there. The only Kentucky politician more cynical and hypocritical is Mitch.

    • I disagree that it’s ENTIRELY about fund raising. (Though I’m sure it doesn’t hurt)

      Look at Massies record voting 2a and bills. And remember his district is the Kentucky side of Cincinnati. Not enough liberals their in Florence, Covington and Fort Wright to vote him out – but it’s not like he’s in some deep red safe zone either.

  5. IIRC, in Miller, nobody showed up for the defense, never even a filed a brief (it was the middle of the Great Depression).
    What should have been a slam dunk for the State had mixed results.

    • Miller was a moonshiner and didn’t want a lot of involvement with the courts. He probably didn’t understand the significance of the case. His own attorneys couldn’t locate him.

      Contrary to what others have said short barreled shotguns were in use by militaries at the time. Of course the government was not going to inform the court of that.

      Someone posted above that he was killed, but I have never heard that before.

      • It’s what John Ross went with in Unintended Consequences. Nobody knows for sure, but he did die untimely, and it’s the most likely outcome given what little is known.

      • Miller was a bank robber who was murdered by his cohorts to keep him from talking. (Of the gang, he was the only one arrested.) His attorney was an appointed public defender. The attorney was given one week to file a brief in the Supreme Court as to the constitutionality of the NFA–but not enough funds to pay for binding of the briefs or traveling to DC.

  6. If we can’t get rid of them we could at least decrease their power. There is no reason today for SBRs, SBSs, and suppressors to be NFA items or have any ATF involvement.

    • The Democrats in charge wanted to ban handguns and machine guns and the short barreled guns were banned since they were seen as a way to bypass a ban on handguns. Suppressors were just tossed in because they were the authoritarians Democrats have always been.

      • Silencers were not in the original law, but were added a couple of yeaers later. Probably because of public perception from watching too many movies and perhaps their use in gangland slayings.

  7. Sorry, but politicians of any color and stripe(or polka dots) want control. Just because the Dems have taken a stand against firearms ownership in the US, does not mean many Reps do not also feel the same. Looking back over the 20th century, you will find many champions or the GOP that endorsed gun control, including Saint Ronnie.
    This is not just a right/left squabble, it is a freedom fight. Even if the country ends up calling each other “comrade” and we all live communal(except for those that are more equal than us), we should still have the right to have firearm protection, meat getter, vermin dispatcher and if we can afford to, target shooting and other firearm sports.
    We must be vigilant and never trust any of these want to be despots.

    • And if we still have the right to protect ourselves, procure meat, and…especially…dispatch vermin with firearms, we won’t ever be calling each other comrade and communally eating dirt.

      As the article says, “Lawmakers on both sides of aisle can use social media to make a very public show of support for their cause – knowing not much is likely to come of it.”

      That’s the truth, and it’s both an Achilles heel and a saving grace. If not for the likelihood that they’d lose their entire voting base and their cushy positions if they failed to at least *look* like they’re opposing the vile Marxist Democrats, the statist authoritarians among the Republican party wouldn’t even be giving us lip service. And because anyone who values the first two amendments in the Bill of Rights can’t afford *not* to vote Republican, they don’t have to bother actually *doing* anything.

  8. “Even if the Republicans can successfully take back the United States Senate and House of Representatives, it is unlikely such legislation would even get out of committee to a floor vote, just as any additional gun control measures are unlikely to see any momentum.”

    Well, we now have close to half the Nation with Permitless/Constitutional Carry on their law books, which was only fantasy as recently as one generation ago. America has slid far enough from our traditional values that a large portion of our society feels a sense of being unmoored and adrift. Many have been seeking to restore our traditions to “right the ship”, and I believe that a re-awakening of the Founders’ intended gun rights is part of that.

    • 100% agree with you. We are trying to “right the ship”, however, we don’t have access to the bridge or communications room right now.

    • Yes, Haz, Constitutional Carry has made impressive inroads lately . . . in Red states. Now, personally, I could be selfish and say “As long as I’m OK, I don’t give a rip about the sheep in the Blue states.” But I’m not that cynical . . . as a wise man once said, “Any infringement on the rights of one man is an infringement on the rights of all men.” I WANT by Blue state, sheep-inclined brethren to have the rights I demand for myself.

      The chances of making that happen? I leave it for you to decide.

      Yeah, we need to repeal the NFA (a stupid law, when it was written, and even more stupid, today), legalize silencers, eliminate the BATFE, tell CA, NY, NJ, HI, DE and a few others to stop violating their citizens’ fundamental rights . . . you want to bet heavy on ANY of those things happening???

      It actually hurts me, soul-deep, that a nation that rebelled over a 5% tax on tea and a 2% tax on stamps tolerates the level of nanny-statism that we endure today. America, I am disappoint.

  9. Eliminating a federal agency is like eliminating a bridge toll. Yes, it happens, but so do solar eclipses.

    • Ralph, I have SEEN it happen. When I still lived in the Democratic People’s Republic of KKKalifornia, the Vincent Thomas Bridge (between the South Bay area and Long Beach) had a toll . . . and HUGE lines, even with an expanded toll plaza, during commuting hours. A study proved that the Port Authority actually spent more money collecting the tolls that the amount of tolls collected (and that didn’t even take into consideration the cost of the delays people endured because of the congestion). Remarkably, they made the rational decision and eliminated the tolls, the toll booths, the toll plaza, and (when I was last there) traffic moves just fine, even during rush hours, on the Vincent Thomas Bridge.

      Would that government would be that rational, more often.

        • Hahaha. I stopped taking Lamp’s posts seriously after he used the word ‘pluperfect’. But you don’t need to hassle the guy. Just ignore him like everyone else does.

        • I must have really gotten under someone’s skin to have my name stolen. I feel honored.

      • Not a “study”, you witless fool, an actual event. And if you had the wit to actually, oh, I dunno . . . Google something?? You’d be able to trace the history of that EXACT bit of legislation. It’s online, and easily available.

        I won’t do your work for you, you lazy idiot.

        • I don’t need you to do anything for me, you dullard. You literally refer to a fake study in your comment, and of course the study doesn’t exist. Wow you’re dumb.

  10. AS an outsider like most of the civilised world I do not understand the American obcession with weaponry of all kinds on some pretext that it’s in the American constitution [sort of!] I mean the original intent was to discourage the Perfidious British from invasing the USA after the War of Independence, the fact was that Britian had no such intention and ecomomically and politically was only too glad to concentrate on establishing a peaceful Canada and other more useful regions of the British Empire, When however the Americans attempted to invade CANADA those and establish Militias did not prevent the burning down of the Whitew House in retaliation did it. THe fact is that even when BRITAIN had no firearm controls at all [basically pre=WW1] onl;y about 1% of the populartions had enough interest in them to own one especially any kind of hand gun, apart that is from country types that used shotguns for sport and for the pot,. The fact is that owning a gun especially a hand gun for the purposes of SELF DEFENCE is MORE likley to get YOU shot in the head that it is for YOU to do the shooting.
    How many would be Rambos have prevented the all to common American phenomena of MASS SHOOTINGS [ ie more than one shooting power single incident] Not a bloody lot! And neither have Police on the Streets If some crazy bugger, and there seems to be an awful lot in the USA decided he or she is going to shoot up a crowd, a shop or a school there is not a lot you can do except take away the bloody guns in the first place.

    • Culture is a thing. It varies from country to country (and region to region) for a variety of reasons.

    • Civilized world? You don’t get out much.

      We are very much civilized here. The majority of our violence is isolated to small pockets of the Country. The vast majority of countries in the US had zero homicides of any kind. Something that I have noticed about most Countries is that violence is isolated to certain areas.

      During WWII I don’t recall hearing about England hating our firearm culture. I remember that Americans sent personal fiearms to help you in your defense. Yet you remain unarmed and are still vulnerable . Do you expect us to send you weapons again?

    • I REALLY wish we hadn’t bailed you snotty assed limeys out during WW2 by sending you our personal weapons for home defense and lend-lease, only to have you dump the shit into the ocean as a thank you. Just how the fuck would the British Empire protect against a Canadian invasion, with whistles and billy clubs? Fuck you sanctimonious pricks, and come and claim your former Prince back to the homeland !

    • And yet the British never did retake those wayward colonies…interesting, that.

      You may want to reconsider your claims that nobody stops mass shootings and that armed self-defense is nigh impossible: https://crimeresearch.org/2021/04/uber-driver-in-chicago-stops-mass-public-shooting/ (There are well over 50 documented instances of ordinary firearm carriers stopping murderers in that article alone.)

      Lawfully owned firearms are used to prevent violent crimes upwards of 80,000 times each year (99% of the time without anyone getting shot, mind you), and that’s a very low estimate. The CDC has a study that puts the number at 1.2 million. I’d link the studies, but don’t want to end up in the mod bin.

      If you’re actually interested in understanding how and why we do things the way we do, you’re welcome to stick around and ask some questions. We’re happy to talk and even to debate.

      But if you insist on coming back merely to congratulate your British self on being so much better than us, we can point out some very uncomfortable truths about your “civilized” nation…

    • At the time of the Revolutionary War, England had long been settled, while most of the North American continent was unexplored wilderness inhabited by wild animals and indigenous peoples not too happy with the invasion of their land. Further, there was no standing army and no organized police force. The militia was not just for repelling foreign invaders but for protection against attacks by Indians as well as the usual criminal activity. Finally, and very much unlike England, game was there for the taking without permission of some king or lordly landowner, and was a necessity of life for the majority of pioneers. Thus, the personal ownership of guns was a necessity both for hunting and for personal protection.

    • Albert,

      I will do you the courtesy of assuming your historical ignorance is a result of the school system in which you were “educated”. Literally NOTHING in your rant bears even a glancing relationship to the truth.

      Yes, Americans are aware of, and value, the fact that their widespread ownership of guns (and the help of the French MONARCHY (little heads up for dacian the stupid)), enabled us to defeat the world’s most powerful military and gain our independence. We are even MORE aware that . . . governments seek power. We want to make sure we ALWAYS have the ability to resist ANY tyrannical government, whether our own or someone else’s.

      As to guns, hey, it’s a personal thing. I love guns. The design, the engineering, the brilliant precision manufacturing, is all exciting to me (but, then, I am a fan of human excellence, and encourage more of it). If you don’t like guns, I entirely support you not owning one. Feel free not to be an evil gun owner.

      But leave me the f*** alone, because what I choose to do, or not do, is none of your damn business. If I break a VALID law (like, for instance, robbing you at gunpoint – which our gangbangers and thugs do quite often), I could and SHOULD be arrested and prosecuted for that. If I’m carrying a gun, and you get uncomfortable because I’m carrying?? Sounds like a “you” problem, Chief.

      • ‘lEaVe Me ThE f*** AlOnE’, writes the ‘man’ who is so presumptuous as to believe that someone posting a random comment on a marginal website is addressing ‘him’ directly. You’re the worst kind of idiot because you don’t realize you’re a barely sentient sock sniffer who is an expert only at being a tool. Go away!

      • You really don’t have a single damn thing to say, nameless, brainless troll . . . but you insist on saying it, anyway. That’s OK, you have the right . . . and the rest of us have the right to point and laugh at your stupid @$$.

        Have a nice day! Go visit the cable, nitwit.

        Oh, and I don’t doubt that you have a problem with a simple word like “pluperfect”. You’d have even more problem if you understood what it means. You are a sad, sick joke, looking for a punchline, troll.

        • Bahahahahaha. Oh no, an admitted serial woman abuser has something mean to say about me. Do your estranged wife, your poor children and society in general a huge favor….

        • Oh, are you a woman? I am not surprised . . . your lack of testosterone shows through clearly.

  11. The “gun Community” likes the NFA. In fact most people in the “gun community” are happy that only the rich, criminal or law-abiding, can afford NFA firearms. But they are uncomfortable and do not like it, when law-abiding people of the lower economic classes, might have access to NFA items.

    And the biggest Hypocrites on this are many in the Libertarian Liberal and the Left in the gun-owning community.

    If they really supported Liberty like they support drug legalization and are comfortable with the consequences of drug legalization. Like the destruction of the inner cities. And the rural areas as well. The violence. Drug addicts robbing, raping, stealing, murdering, breaking into or vandalizing private property. To get anything to pay for their drugs. The three L’s are quite comfortable with the consequences of drug legalization.

    Most gun owners are very responsible people. They know they cannot mix guns and alcohol.
    But that is the chance you take in a really free Society. Allowing everyone to have access to fully automatic weapons and their drug of choice.

    But for some very strange and irrational reasoning. There are some people who are afraid of stray bullets from a machine gun. But they are very comfortable with the actions of tens of thousands of random intoxicated drivers.

    Intoxicated drivers who run over innocent people. Smash into homes and private businesses. And smash into electrical substations and inconveniencing thousands of electrical customers.

    • btw
      It was the obama-biden administration who supplied law enforcement agencies all across this country, with select fire weapons and grenade launchers. All free to those departments. Departments who never could have afforded, to purchase such weapons on the very small local operating budgets.

      And historically civilians in this country have always had more weapons and Superior Firepower compared to the government. Civilians had rifled long guns while the government was still using smoothbore muskets. Civilians had repeating Firearms while the government was still using single-shot rifles. Civilians had machine guns for years before the government purchased machine guns for the military. And we were a very safe and free Society back then.

      • “It was the obama-biden administration who supplied law enforcement agencies all across this country, with select fire weapons and grenade launchers“

        Total bullshit, your Obama/Biden derangement syndrome is overwhelming whatever rational thought you might possess.

        The fact is, the Obama/Biden administration worked to restrict local police departments from receiving military weaponry but of course, criminal Donald Trump sabotaged those efforts when he had his Attorney General Jeff Sessions revoke the restrictions instituted by the Obama/Biden administration.

        “On January 16, 2015, President Barack Obama issued Executive Order 13688.
        Barack Obama: You know, we’ve seen how militarized gear can sometimes give people a feeling like there’s an occupying force as opposed to a force that’s part of the community that’s protecting them and serving them.
        Narrator: The order prohibited a list of equipment from being transferred to law enforcement through the 1033 program: tracked armored vehicles, weaponized aircraft, firearms of .50 caliber or higher, ammunition of .50 caliber or higher, grenade launchers, bayonets, camouflage uniforms

        That executive order did not last long before being revoked in 2017 by President Donald Trump.”

        And as a matter of fact, it was Republican George Bush I who opened up the military arsenals to Barney Fife way back in 1989:

        “In 1989, George H. W. Bush signed the National Defense Authorization Act.
        This act allowed for surplus DOD equipment from the Cold War to be transferred to US law enforcement. Sections 1207 and 1208 allowed for the following: “the procurement of services and leasing of equipment” and the transfer to federal and state agencies personal property, “including small arms and ammunition.”

        It’s always so hilarious when you folks who consider yourselves ‘constitutional law scholars’ and ‘historians’ and yet you have no idea about the true history of America.

    • “The three L’s are quite comfortable with the consequences of drug legalization.”

      *As long as the government subsidized drug bars and tent cities aren’t located in their neighborhood.

  12. Miller was not an attempt to set aside the NFA, it was a set up by the trial judge to ensure the constitutionality and enforcability of the law. Defense counsel did not raise the constitutionality of the NFA, the trial judge did, reversing a jury verdict of conviction for the possession of a short barrelled shotgun. His purpose was to get the law in front of the Supreme Court for a decision binding on all courts—it was a direct appeal, with no intermediate review by a court of appeals. Further, court appointed defense counsel was not paid to write a brief, nor paid to publish the brief (in a bound book as required by the rules in force then), nor given funds to travel to DC to appear for argument. To make it all that much more impossible for counsel, he was given only a week to prepare, print, bind and file a brief. Unsurprisingly, he did not do so. Finally, and critically, although the fact may have been unknown to the Supreme Court, Miller was dead before the opinion was issued, and therefore the case should have been dismissed as moot.

    • Miller seems like a decision meant to be reheard. It basically said that short barreled shotguns could be regulated since evidence wasn’t presented and the Justices didn’t personally know of its military use. There is plenty of evidence that can be presented for the use of SBSs, destructive devices, machine guns, silencers, and short barrel rifles. They are all issued to US infantry.

  13. What a bunch of Bull Shit. Millions of Americans own handguns for self defense. Yet there’s on average 35,000 deaths from car crashes annually in the USA. Way more than homicides. And Yes most homicides are committed with handguns. Every day Millions of handgun owners are not shot with their own gun. Our gun culture is the result of our history. My direct paternal ancestor (a Mennonite minister) arrived in 1710 from Switzerland via Germany and settled in Pennsylvania. What brought poor common people to the new world was freedom of religion and freedom to own land and a fresh start. Only wealthy people of noble birth could own land in Europe. The new world was a wild frontier. You needed a rifle to survive. You had to hunt for food. You had to protect yourself from hostile Indians whose land and food resources you just took. You had to protect your family from other settlers or criminals who wanted your stuff. The difference between the USA and Canada is that we kicked the British out. In Canada they just left in their own a hundred years later. We need to thank James Madison as he is the one who is responsible for the Bill of Rights in our Constitution. The absolute truth is that states and cities with the highest murder rates in the USA also have the strictest gun control laws. CA, NY, DC , Chicago. I’m sure those restrictive gun laws in Northern Ireland kept all the guns from the IRA too. Ordinary Mexican citizens can’t legally own guns either but that never stopped the cartels whose members just deserted the army with their army issued machine guns. If you don’t like guns than don’t own one. Better yet move to a country that prohibits all civilian guns like Communist China.

  14. ATF should get back to it’s roots: Collecting excise taxes on the production of alcoholic, tobacco, and firearms products. It was and should be a tax enforcement arm of the Treasury Department, like the IRS.

  15. It’s pretty sad when a self-described Libertarian lawmaker has to ask gun owners what laws or legislation they want him to introduce. Has Representative Massey contacted Representative Green so he can coordinate with her about her legislation to abolish the ATF???
    Which she introduced last year in June 2021!!!

    “Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Introduces a Bill to Abolish The ATF”


  16. Lets be real here Miller was a dead man when the case was at the SC and his lawyers LITERALLY phoned it in.

  17. America would be a much better and safer society, if at least 200 to 300 million law abiding americans had machine guns.
    We would all be much more polite to eachother.

  18. “the Court found that owning a sawed-off double-barrel shotgun was not protected under the Second Amendment.”

    This is false. No court of law found anything in US v. Miller because no court of law heard the case. It was a literal show trial.

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