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Commenter uncommon_sense penned this under Nick’s post on the ATF’s customer service practices  . . .

Aside from the fact that the (National Firearms Act) is unconstitutional, consider the supposed rationale for banning “regulating” these items and the failure of the rationale:

Suppressors — supposedly embolden criminals to attack victims because no one will hear their gunshots. Problem: suppressors still result in VERY LOUD (rather than deafening) gunshots and taking away suppressors has no effect on the noise generated with alternate weapons like knives, swords, clubs, and fire. Additionally, criminals can create improvised suppressors with nothing more than steel wool and a tube made of plastic or metal.

Short barreled rifles and shotguns — supposedly stop criminals from creating and using improvised handguns. Problem: criminals have no trouble whatsoever acquiring actual handguns and use them for almost all crimes where they use a firearm for their weapon. Furthermore, a criminal needs nothing more than a hacksaw and three minutes to saw the barrel off of a long gun to shorten it.

Fully automatic firearms — supposedly limit criminals’ ability to shoot a lot of people in a short amount of time. Problem: criminals have no trouble acquiring semi-automatic firearms and can fire nearly as many shots in the same amount of time as a fully automatic firearm. Alternately, criminals can fire large caliber firearms and kill anywhere from 2 to 10 people with each round of ammunition (depending the age/size of the victims). Of course criminals can simply purchase full-auto firearms on the black market or simply modify any number of semi-automatic firearms to fire full auto.

All of the rationale for the National Firearms Act of 1934 is demonstrably false and ineffective. It really must go away.

Not that uncommon_sense’s arguments aren’t, for the most part, valid and well stated, but given the frequency with which the .gov relinquishes authority or allows itself to be reduced in size or scope, is a reduction or repeal of the National Firearms Act in our future?

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    • There’s legalized pot in a few states now. 20 years ago that would have been incomprehensible. Will the ATF roll back all in one sitting the NFA – doubtful. But maybe a few states would start at the local level first.

    • I just gotta wonder what makes you such an expert on the wisdom of our governments action in Waco? To be so flippant about that convinces me that you weren’t even out of Pull-Ups when Waco happened

  1. We can’t even get the Chinese import ban or “sporting purposes” removed, how can anyone really think the NFA is on the table? It is 100% delusional to think anyone’s going to repeal the NFA or GCA anytime soon.

    • Ah, the good ol’ “It’s impossible, don’t bother” path to victory…

      The Right has intelligence holding it back… The Left has armies of dumbasses to beat their heads against the wall until it breaks. They have no idea that it’s impossible to repeal Gravity, but they’ll still call it a Right-Wing conspiracy invented by evil corporations intent on selling you plane tickets you don’t need. If only we could repeal gravity, we could all just flap our arms and fly away…

      There’s a reason the Left always wins and the Right always loses. You stated half of it.

      • I don’t understand how your comment addresses the substance of mine. Right now, we’re getting jack nothing done on the easy stuff, why do you think the hard stuff is going to get done?

        Oh, I know your comment plays well to the crowd, but that makes it no more realistic.

        • “100% delusional to think anyone’s going to repeal the NFA or GCA”

          I repealed the NFA. Who’s gonna stop me?

          More importantly, who’s got my back?

          Just back away slowly and let another Waco happen?

          The cowardice that avoids a massive online defiance… If millions of gun owners posted their pictures with their “illegal” guns and silencers… How many prisons can be paid for when the people making the money are all in prison?

          Meh, cowards. Mass defiance is the only way to get that kind of movement. You have to be willing to go as far as the enemy is willing to go… Most so-called pro-gun people are still making excuses about not Open Carrying because they don’t want the social pressure… Some loser democrat might call them a mean name. So piss on the Bill of Rights.

          You deserve what you tolerate.

          Jury Nullification, it’s not just for Juries… If every gun owner in America posted a video of themselves on youtube shooting the fully-automatic, suppressed M11 they built in their garage over the course of a few weekends…

          I can dream, can’t I?

        • @Dustin

          You are absolutely right. If million or even hundreds of thousands stood shoulder to shoulder and said “no more” then there would be nothing the Gov’t could do but capitulate. The problem is that this is not how revolutions begin. The movement may eventually grow to the thousands or millions, but it starts with a few dozen who will give their lives for the cause.

          The American Revolution did not begin with a mass rising of thousands of colonists – it began with a few dozen who stood their ground in Lexington and Concord. Many of those brave men died for their beliefs to kindle the fire.

          Are you prepared to be the sacraficial goat that starts the great NFA revolution? Do you know a few others who will stand with you to be mowed down? If so, then you may truly succeed in ending the NFA. You will be the heroes of the new American Revolution. Problem is you probably won’t be alive to see it.

          That is why so many of us are so cynical that the NFA will ever be repealed under the current system.

      • If we had a government that actually listened to its constituents and was run by rational, intelligent people I’d agree with you. But we have a government run by reactionary morons that doesn’t give a flying f*** what anybody in this country says or wants. Governments do what’s in the best interest of government. No exceptions. It is why, eventually, the Left will win, and the Statists will have their all-powerful State. It’s because it’s the natural order of things. Every year they tighten their grip a little bit more. Sure, something gets vetoed here and there but more laws get passed than not.

        The best we can hope for is to hold out as long as we can and pray the fall happens when we’re too old to care about it.

        • How about we the people stop giving a flying f*** about what the .gov says and wants.
          I for one am sick and tired of getting all the taxation and none of the representation while my rights are whittled away.

        • The left already has a stranglehold on the most populous states, except for noble Texas. The bastards won’t stop until their moronic cronies control the world.

      • as someone from the left who wants the nfa repealed I know I’m not the only one either you should not make it left vs. right you could loos a lot of friends yes people in my party want gun control but people in yours I would say want equally if not more crazy things

    • Yeah.

      Right after they repeal the GCA.

      Which is right after they defund and destroy the ATF, DEA, CIA, the DOE and Homeland Security.

    • Well the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union was fairly sudden and unexpected….

  2. Repeal the NFA? Hell, we can’t even repeal the Triboro Bridge tolls.

    We’re thinking small. While we distract ourselves with petty stuff like repealing the NFA, the left is trying to repeal the whole Constitution.

    Then again, with the White House occupied for the first time since the War of 1812, the left has friends in high places and all we have is 300 million guns.

    • “We’re thinking small. While we distract ourselves with petty stuff like repealing the NFA, the left is trying to repeal the whole Constitution.”

      Comment of the year!

    • Sadly, Ralph has the correct perspective here.

      The Republicans are like a bunch of grade-school children trying to win against street thugs. Outcomes are utterly predictable and repeatable.

      Until the Republicans grow up and decide to engage in bare-knuckle politics, they can’t even dare to dream about repeal of the NFA.

      • You’re right, but I think you might be overestimating the number of Republican politicians that truly want to see a repeal of the NFA. It wouldn’t matter if they had fillibuster-proof control of the congress, and the presidency, they still wouldn’t get rid of it. Too many Republicans are just a slightly different flavor of statist, and have no real interest in increasing liberty for you or me.

        They do have a slightly better track record than the Democrats, but that’s an astonishingly low bar to clear.

      • Do you truly believe Republicans as a whole would ever want to fully repeal the NFA?.

  3. Laws are almost never fully repealed. That’s one reason we have hundreds of thousands of laws on the books. Bits and pieces of the NFA might get chipped away through court decisions or new legislation, but wholesale repeal ain’t gonna happen.

    But the real question here is, what sort of weapon that’s available to non-James-Bond-villain criminals can kill 10 people with one round of ammo, and where can I buy it?

    • “… what sort of weapon that’s available to non-James-Bond-villain criminals can kill 10 people with one round of ammo …”

      A lever gun chambered in .45-70 Government shooting full-house hardcast lead bullets over 400 grains can plow up to 6 feet into a grizzly bear. Forgive the crudeness … such a bullet is easily capable of killing 10 young (e.g. first grade) children huddled in a corner.

      • Perhaps you didn’t see the word “almost” in there. For every example of a law that’s been fully repealed, I’ll bet you can find a dozen archaic and unnecessary laws that are still on the books.

  4. No. I don’t see the NFA as a whole ever being repealed (not to say I don’t want it to be) but the government isn’t to keen on going back on old decisions. However I can see parts of it being changed, such as the restrictions on suppressors and short barreled firearms given the right political climate.

    • In that vein, I think one common sense area to improve would be to lift the barrel length restriction for SBR and SBS. As long as the overall length restriction remains then no one could possibly claim that they are concealable, just because the barrel is short. That would also go a long way towards relieving the issues that drive the SIG brace craze; people could have a 26″ AR “pistol” with a proper stock on it, but with a 10″ barrel without having to jump through NFA hoops; with that who needs a SIG brace?

      • The OAL restriction is just as arbitrary as the barrel length restriction. Why is 26″ the threshold of concealability? Why not 28″? Or 25″? Or 26.5″? And what character of the firearm magically changes once you’re capable of aiming it from the shoulder?

        NFA pls go

        • “what character of the firearm magically changes once you’re capable of aiming it from the shoulder?”

          That would be accuracy, I believe.

  5. Ha. No.

    The NFA is just an analogy for our general and growing disregard for the constitution. That failure basically places an expiration date on the republic. I’m not sure what the expiration date is but I’m making hay while the sun shines. And seriously considering not having kids because I don’t want them to grow up to witness the demise of liberty in the world.

    • “And seriously considering not having kids because I don’t want them to grow up to witness the demise of liberty in the world.”

      I made that decision about two years ago… I cannot afford $245,000+ per child, and I firmly believe that anyone who does is delusional. I may make a lot less money than pretty much all of my friends, but financially I am doing better. Not to mention with 4 nephews and a niece to choose from, I can borrow them, pump them full of sugar and rated R horror movies and hand them back when I get bored 🙂 Being an uncle is fun!

    • Meanwhile progressive cannon fodder is breeding at a prodigious rate.

      Part of your duty to your country is to do your part to ensure there are future generations to carry on our legacy. Breed early and often, teach your children well, and give them the tools to survive damned near anything.

      Otherwise Idiocracy is all this country has to look forward to.

  6. The next Republican president should repeal the NFA Act via executive order. Turnabout is fair play, after all.

    Yes, I realize swine will be applying for pilot licenses before that happens. A man can dream, though….

    • However conservative, Republicans love control over the people just as much as democrats.

    • I seriously doubt we’ll have a Republican president that would do that, look at the last two candidates and those seriously vying for 2016, RINOs are all the GOP think can win.

      • You know, the GOP might actually be right. Can anything other than a RINO or something close win the popular vote and the electoral college in America today? I don’t know the answer but sometimes fear that is the case. Do the American people truly desire freedom in this age?

  7. Every constitution, then, and every law, naturally expires at the end of nineteen years. If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force, and not of right. It may be said, that the succeeding generation exercising, in fact, the power of repeal, this leaves them as free as if the constitution or law had been expressly limited to nineteen years only. In the first place, this objection admits the right, in proposing an equivalent. But the power of repeal is not an equivalent. It might be, indeed, if every form of government were so perfectly contrived, that the will of the majority could always be obtained, fairly and without impediment. But this is true of no form. The people cannot assemble themselves; their representation is unequal and vicious. Various checks are opposed to every legislative proposition. Factions get possession of the public councils, bribery corrupts them, personal interests lead them astray from the general interests of their constituents; and other impediments arise, so as to prove to every practical man, that a law of limited duration is much more manageable than one which needs a repeal.” –Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1789. ME 7:459, Papers 15:396

  8. Careful. Your argument for repealing the ban on full autos, sounds a lot like the arguments the anti’s have been using for banning semi autos. I understand and agree with what you are saying, but they’ll twist your words against you.

    BTW, that’s a great old silent film.

  9. Best answer is no the NFA will NEVER be repealed. There is way to much money on both sides for it to ever happen.

    • There is only one side that won’t allow it to happen, and it isn’t the manufacturers. 😉

      • If the NFA went away, I would immediately go about purchasing suppressor/s for my firearm/s. As it stands, I refuse to register and pay a tax for a suppressor.

        • I’d love to say that I would do that as well, except even then I am prohibited from such things by state law.

  10. I’ve been saying it for decades…

    “but given the frequency with which the .gov relinquishes authority or allows itself”

    Ah, I think I found your problem. You’re letting the .gov have a choice. Don’t give it a choice. If it fails to obey, kill it.

    • “Nuke it from orbit — it’s the only way to be sure.” (paraphrase from the movie Aliens)

  11. …is a reduction or repeal of the National Firearms Act in our future?

    No. The 51% don’t want that kind of freedom. They want less personal freedom – not more. They do not accept the notion of individualism or personal responsibility/accountability. They want to be a statistic and ruled as such. More statistics and less rights. If you want that kind of freedom you might as well organize all freedom loving people, pack your stuff, and move to a particular state, and declare your sovereign independence from the US. Never, ever going to happen.

  12. The ban on machine guns will never die. Wouldn’t even have a chance to be overturned in court with some of the current rulings. I doubt the SBR/SBS have a chance either, hell indiana still has SBS outlawed-but may be changing. The suppressor is the only one that they may drop off of the list. The problem is it will be a “package deal”. They will probably drop suppressors off and at the same time say that the tax has never increased since the start so they will change the tax stamp amount for everything else to $1000+. For the children of course.

    • The liberals shot themselves in the foot in 1986 by closing the machine-gun registry. The only fig leaf that makes the NFA legal is the interstate commerce clause. Banning commerce is not the same thing as regulating it. If Miller was argued today, it would go rather differently. (Especially given the actual events about how the Miller case was argued.)

      • pwserge,

        “Banning commerce is not the same thing as regulating it.”

        Your comment is absolutely correct.

        Unfortunately, that won’t stop our corrupt U.S. Supreme Court from upholding a ban on machine guns. All Congress has to do is say that a criminal will use a machine gun to stop the production/transportation of goods across state lines. And that will affect “interstate commerce” and hence Congress has the Constitutionally enumerated power to “regulate” machine guns.

        If Congress can tell a farmer in Ohio that he cannot grow 23 acres of wheat on his own farm for his own consumption on his Ohio farm*, then Congress can certainly tell us that we cannot sell / purchase / transfer / possess machine guns.

        * In the case Wickard v. Filburn, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a U.S. Government law which limited how much wheat Ohio farmer Roscoe Filburn could plant/harvest on his farm for his own consumption on his farm. The U.S. government claimed that Mr. Filburn’s wheat production would affect the national supply and hence the price per bushel in the United States. Since that affected the price of wheat across state lines, it supposedly empowered Congress to “regulate” the wheat supply.

      • The NFA doesn’t “ban” anything, not machine guns, not silencers, not SBRs; rather it imposes a tax and background requirement and makes possession illegal without paying the tax. At the time of enactment, the Attorney General argued to Congress that it might be unconstitutional to ban such items as violative of the Second Amendment, but taxes were perfectly legal. (Some states have banned these items, but that is a question separate and apart from the constitutionality of the NFA.) the courts are unlikely to overturn the NFA on constitutional grounds. Repealing the NFA will NOT open up the machine gun roster for new additions.

        If you want to talk about machine gun bans, you have to look at other legislation.

        • Except without the NFA, the 1986 ban has no meaning. Basically, keeping closed a registry that no longer exists is laughable.

        • Mark N. is right in that the National Firearms Act of 1934 does not ban the items on the list — it merely taxes them and requires registration.

          That said, I wonder if we could repeal it based on the fact that it delays our transaction for several months. If we had to pay a tax at the time of purchase and took immediate possession, the U.S. Supreme Court may uphold it. Given the current situation, I don’t see how they could uphold it. Also, the fact that we have instant background checks available now further erodes the justification of the National Firearms Act of 1934 — just like the recent ruling that permitted the couple from Washington D.C. to purchase a handgun in a different a state through an FFL in that state. (The judge struck down the requirement to ship the handgun back to an FFL in the couple’s home state [D.C.] because it introduced unnecessary delay in the business transaction.)

  13. Would love to see the NFA repealed. But I’m not holding my breath.
    While the article makes good points, the take-home message is simple enough…laws don’t deter criminals. If they did, there wouldn’t be too many criminals, would there? So the only people paying attention to the NFA are those who are generally law-abiding.
    As with so many of our laws, the NFA is just another stupid waste of paper…

  14. It will happen as soon as income tax rates are lowered, the DE and the ED are abolished, and the Post Office reduces the price of a stamp.

  15. I think everyone is arguing this incorrectly. First, there is no ban on machine guns, suppressors, short barreled rifles or short barreled shotguns. As far as I know the nfa never intended for regulated items to disappear, just to keep them out of the hands of the poor. This was easily accomplished by instituting a fee that was equal to six months of an average person’s salary when it became law. Forget the arguments about whether the government’s interest in public safety is served with a narrowly enough tailored… Uhhh… curtailment of your second amendment rights. This seems like a straight up violation of equal protection under the 14th amendment since it, clearly, was targeted at the poor which can be seen as warfare on minorities.

  16. Possibly. We should band together as a community and start the attack on singular issues. It’s time to stop playing D.

  17. As my NRA membership was coming to an end, I contacted the NRA to see what their stance was on the NFA. I inquired in the form of an e-mail. I indicated that I was supportive of it being repealed. About a week later I received a reply, not to my question, but asking if I was the ****** ******* that lived at ******* *******. I responded that I was. That was a month ago and I have heard nothing more.

    If you want the NFA repealed, don’t count on the NRA to do it.

  18. Don’t forget, criminals can bypass NFA all together and get things from state senator Leland Yee and others like him.

  19. repealed…I highly doubt it
    struck down…probably a lot more likely

    ever since ttag reported on the lawsuit to open the machine gun registry I have been following the case hollis v holder over on arfcom (I’m not a member there just an interested observer). after reading the motions reply’s surreplys and precedents cited(they’re all posted on the thread I’ve been following), the hollis side looks to a non lawyer like me like it has a chance not just opening the registry but striking a blow at nfa. even if they don’t make it all the way to scotus it is fun to read the attorney’s filings on the hollis side and dream of a nfa free future.

    yeah I realize there are naysayers to this case just like there were to heller, but to quote the lawyer in the case “what are they going to do make machine guns more illegeler”

  20. Have you ever seen a tax repealed? No, not even a temporary one.

    Have you ever seen the government repeal any level of control? No.

    So … draw your own conclusions.

    • I totally agree with Lt. Dave. The NFA’s existence is vital justification for several federal alphabet agencies to exist. The repeal of the NFA would cut the BATFE and really big fires in half since they would be reduced to regulating alcohol and cigarettes and I guess really big fires. The Dept of Homeland insecurity, the FBI, The Dept of Justice, and others could all be downsized because I am assuming that before the repeal of the NFA, that all 50 states and various US territories would already have constitutional carry with standard capacity magazines.

      I’ll soon be 59 years old, so I won’t see the NFA go away in my lifetime. Maybe when the poop really hits the ventilator and the nation needs all its citizens to fight off an invading force???

  21. Repealed no. I don’t see that happening – simply because Congress almost never repeals anything. Overturned in the Courts – Yes!

    I don’t see how anybody can claim that it’s not on it’s face unconstitutional. As not only arbitrary and capricious, but also in direct conflict to the 2nd Amendment.

    • In spite of the the problems with the Miller case (like the fact that the defendant didn’t show up) at the U.S. Supreme Court, their decision upholds our right to have firearms that the military uses. That being the case (pun intended), it is abundantly clear that our military uses “short barreled rifles” (such as the M4 with a 10 inch barrel) … and almost all short barreled rifles have full-auto capability. We also know that military personnel use suppressors (especially special forces teams). Therefore, the Miller decision should protect our right to use short barreled rifles, full auto rifles, and suppressors. Why has no one filed a lawsuit based on this fact?

    • What makes you think it is “unconstitutional on its face”? It is only a tax, and taxes are not unconstitutional.

      • One taxing a right is unconstitutional see poll tax. Two equal protection under the law police and military both have sbrs, suppressors and select fire.

  22. The .gov, controlled by either political party, to voluntarily give up some control of the people and a source of never ending income? No. No, I don’t think so.

    Hasn’t stopped me from periodically asking my congress critters to review the validity of the NFA. Maybe we all should ask our Senators and Representatives on the 1st and 15th of every month by email and fax. Let us see what effect, if any, our campaign causes.

  23. The NFA will most certainly be repealed. Only that 95% chance that it will be repealed in the form of simply banning most/all NFA items

    If I am ever dictator, I promise to simply repeal it and anyone who survives the purges will be able to own any gun they want (I kid, I kid… purges are so last century)

  24. I can see suppressors getting struck from the NFA, especially with more manufacturers releasing or planning to release integrally-suppressed rifles. However, if they are struck from the NFA, I still imagine a tax will be collected on all suppressors at the time of first purchase, i.e. like how cigarettes and gas have a load of taxes embedded into their price. Your $800 Specwar 762 will cost $1000, but the seller will be required to pass $200 to the federal government. Not sure how that would work, but I surmise it’d be the same as whichever mechanism sellers pass sales tax collected up to the state governments.

    SBRs and SBSs, yes, I can see that too, but with the taxes remaining as well. The Feds will not leave money on the table.

    Machine guns? That’ll take some work.

    To get rid of the NFA, we need to take a page from the antis playbook, and that’s one of incrementalism, i.e. strike down portions of it until it is gone.

  25. Of course it will be repealed and much more rolled back. If we don’t think it will happen then why are we fighting just with facts and logical argument? If shall not be infringed isn’t a realistic option with our present course then more appropriate measures are in order.

    As to what typical everyday criminals use or don’t use… It really doesn’t matter. There were ordinary criminals and ordinary crime at the time the Constitution was enacted. The Second Amendment is about the security of a free state. Crimes of tyrants and invaders are the focus. Sure, defense against ordinary crime and everyday criminals is a given. But, I don’t believe it to have been wise for the RKBA lobby to focus so intently on crime when the Second Amendment is clearly about other things. Suppressors, SBR, and sawed off shotguns (Oh My!) may or may not see increased use in crime one day. So what? It still has very little or nothing to do with the purpose of the Second Amendment. For 2A purposes, the People need to keep and bear all sorts of arms and that right shall not be infringed. The protected right cannot and does not hinge upon ordinary crime.

    (Even though this comment might seem like it is poo-pooing the article, it’s not. IMHO, this was a good article.)

  26. I don’t think that the NFA will suddenly go “Poof”. Gone! But “When eating an elephant take one bite at a time.”

    • Eating this elephant is a fool’s errand. The nation will not undo this incrementally. The nature of government is to grow in power. With our government controlling the indoctrination of our youth through compulsory education and the progressives having a stranglehold on mainstream media, entertainment and news, government will win any incremental battle. From the individual perspective, government only has to be on the right side of the law once whereas the individual must be on the right side every time.

      Regaining the protection of rights through an incremental approach when a nation has gone as far down the rabbit hole of tyranny is doomed to utter failure. The American colonists tried the incremental approach and when that didn’t work they saw necessity of revolution. IMHO, we are still at a point where we can do something positive with mass civil disobedience pertaining to all right. A year from now? It’s iffy that even mass civil disobedience will be enough. Five or ten years from now? Game over.

      We arrived where we are today through incrementalism. We cannot return by the same route. The frog cannot be un-boiled with heat.

  27. I think parts of it can be taken down.
    SBR regs are caliber limits are just silliness. Suppressors are actually beneficial. If there was enough public clamor then these rules could be taken down fairly easily if they don’t get ruled down on their own.
    Unfortunately that means asking politicians to actually repeal laws and not simply say they are pro-gun.

    Automatics will probably be stuck for a while if people still succomb to political fear mongering. Repealing the hughes amendment is the best we can hope for in the short term (it was spite work, pure and simple).

    I think the NRA and other lobbies are going to have to make these things frontline issues if we even want to start. Educate the base and hold politicians to task.

    • The Hughes amendment was the proximate reason I abandoned my FFL. Nobody and nothing was the reason for the amendment, it served no useful purpose whatsoever, and it disgusted me to the extent that I voted for Mr. Blue Dress in the next election!

      I don’t give a flying fork about full auto firearms. AFAIC the only ones worth having are crew served weapons (and I don’t have a crew). But I understand that some people do enjoy playing with them and I see no harm in that. I do see a great deal of harm in limiting the rights of good people who are minding their own business.

      One bite at a time!

      • Some do have crews that want to man them precisely for the reasons the Second Amendment was written.

        You’ll never eat this elephant one bite at a time… these elephants keep breeding faster than incrementalism could ever hope to get rid of them.

  28. Remember it is a TAX — not a prohibition — the law is ordinarily VERY accommodating of otherwise arbitrarily selected objects of taxation, so there’s that…

    BUT … Minneapolis Star Tribune Company v. Commissioner, 460 U.S. 575 (1983). In Minn. Star Tribune the state had tried to impose a “special use tax” on newsprint and ink for newspapers, and on nothing else. The fact that the press was singled out for this tax, and which had no parallel for such an excise on any other product, made it a discriminatory violation of the First Amendment right to freedom of the press.

    “By creating this special use tax, which, to our knowledge, is without parallel in the State’s tax scheme, Minnesota has singled out the press for special treatment. We then must determine whether the First Amendment permits such special taxation. A tax that burdens rights protected by the First Amendment cannot stand unless the burden is necessary to achieve an overriding governmental interest.”

    In lawyerspeak — this is called the “strict scrutiny” test — the highest requirement of justification of government action burdening the most clearly protected rights. The Supreme Court has not spoken to the level of test under the second amendment. (Don’t ask why we have invented non-textual tiers of rights — lawyers cannot really justify it either… it is just a “because guns/crime/blacks/Jews/{insert hated object here}” type of argument. Sooner it dies the better for everyone. Won’t happen, but there you are… )

    On firearms cases, most courts are hovering between strict scrutiny and what is called an “intermediate scrutiny” invented for commercial speech (because, filthy lucre) and sex discrimination — (because, you know, bathrooms). That test is met “if the government: (1) asserts a substantial interest in support of its regulation; (2) establishes that the restriction directly and materially advances that interest; and (3) demonstrates that the regulation is “‘narrowly drawn,'” Central Hudson Gas & Elec. Corp. v. Public Serv. Comm’n, 447 U. S. 557 (1980).

    The lowest tier is “rational basis” — which usually applies only to unenumerated rights and other unprotected conduct in most states — and to everything “gun” basically in CA and NJ. This tier involves judges trying to collude with government counsel to invent some passable, hypothetical justification that someone, somewhere at sometime who was not completely stoned or involved in conversation with disembodied pink elephants might imagine to be be plausible — and regardless why the laws was actually passed, however transparently wicked, or the resulting consequences, however disturbing (WACO. In case you weren’t paying attention or were in diapers in the 90’s.)

    For firearms we have two types of tax — the ordinary 10% excise on non-NFA firearms and ammo, and then the NFA’s transfer and special occupation taxes — plus the administrative compliance maze (with nasty penalties) that for some inexplicable reason surrounds the NFA taxes in a day and age in which Turbotax or any number of other private providers can let you let you your official income tax returns online. In fairness the amount of the NFA taxes have (by subsequent monetary inflation) become almost manageable, economically speaking. But $200 dollars is the least of the NFA’s offensive characteristics.

    The ammo and gun excise is questionable but at least is not abusively administered, and handled like any other point of sale excise — and more over has a justification in the explicit devotion of proceeds to firearms training. The NFA on the other hand is manifestly arbitrary, highly discriminatory, abusively penalized, and incompetently administered. No other tax like this could survive the rule in Star Tribune.

  29. I don’t think we will get the NFA repealed. I think the tax will stay there, but what we might see is federal legislation to legalize NFA items in every state. Not any time soon, but I am optimistic.

  30. Probably not. It would be on such a grand scale as trying to repeal one of the Amendments. Seriously.

    Not impossible though. The 21st Amendment did repeal the 18th.

  31. It will never go away. Cash cow and control for the USG.
    If it did go away, the price on Suppressors,short barrels rifles/shotguns and full autos would skyrocket making only the ultra rich able to have to cool toys. (kinda like now) If we can get enough senators/reps holding stock on these companys it might happen…. big $$$ for them and then the bills would pass/repeal.

  32. I rightly doubt it, but if I’ve learned anything, it’s that anything is possible.

  33. Yeah, right. There’s no way even the most basic gun ownership will last the next generation, forget the NFA ever being repealed.

  34. I’d say no, but then again I NEVER thought a federal court would FORCE the People’s Democratic Worker’s Paradise called Illinois to pass a CCW law or have all it’s laws concerning carrying guns to be declared null and void.

    But the smart money is still on “it will never be repealed”.

  35. Small chance of getting rid of the NFA in our lifetimes – we couldn’t even get rid of Barry Hussein Obama, soon to be replaced by the Hildebeast. We gave the Republicans a majority in the House and Senate and we couldn’t get the Keystone Pipeline passed. And until old weepy Boehner grows a pair of gonads and gets off of his barstool, the Dems will still rule the roost. There are just too many RINOs in the current crop of self-interested “moderate” congressional clowns. Slick Willie got impeached for just lying under oath but the Manchurian Candidate Obama will never get impeached despite repeatedly violating the Constitution he swore to preserve, protect, and defend. Apparently this is what the majority of people in this country want.

    Even if we were to get close to getting it repealed, some maniac somewhere with with a SEMI-automatic ASSAULT weapon carrying multiple 30-round CLIPS filled with cop KILLER armor-PIERCING bullets and a flash SUPPRESSOR with a BAYONET lug and MILITARY-sling will suddenly kill a bunch of 8-year old kids as their de-bus (similar to de-plane) from their school bus. Then we’re right back were we started if not deeper in the hole. And God forbid if some patriotic white man were to launch a well aimed projectile at ……….. There would be hell to pay. Ferguson, in comparison, would look like a beach party. The end of the country as we know it.

    Short of “peaceful” resistance and outrage by a multitude of gun owners and voters, it’s hopeless. Liberalism is slowly but surely winning.

    “Your children’s children will live under Communism. You Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept Communism outright; but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of Socialism until you will finally wake up and find that you already have Communism. We won’t have to fight you; we’ll so weaken your economy, until you fall like overripe fruit into our hands.”
    Nikita Khrushchev, 1959.

    “There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism – by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide.”
    Ayn Rand

    “The strange American ardor for passing laws, the insane belief in regulation and punishment, plays into the hands of the reformers, most of them quacks themselves. Their efforts, even when honest, seldom accomplish any appreciable good.”
    H. L. Mencken

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