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There’s something that I think a lot of people have missed about Dianne Feinstein’s latest proposal for an “Assault Weapons Ban.” Specifically, she wants all “assault weapons” to be registered with the ATF under the National Firearms Act. Here’s the problem with that: the NFA branch of ATF is already totally overwhelmed . . .

Earlier this year the American Silencer Association took a trip to the NFA Branch of the ATF to have a chit chat with the people who are in charge of processing the tax stamps. Right now, in order to get a silencer you need to have an approved Form 4 from the ATF and pay a $200 tax, a process which currently takes about 6 months.

The reason for the time delay is evident in the video — just take a peek at the stacks of paperwork they have waiting in the hallways. The system is overloaded, and there aren’t enough people to process the flood of new applications that come in the door everyday. It sucks, and I say that as someone with one silencer in hand and two additional forms (a 1 and a 4) currently marked as “pending” with the ATF.

And now Senator Feinstein wants to take every single one of the millions of “assault weapons” (as she will define them) and register them under the NFA. This would require the ATF to have a record of every single AR-15, AK variant and other evil black gun in the country and treat them much like machine guns. It’s hard to imagine the MASSIVE deluge of paperwork that would add to the current system. Or how much it would increase the current turn-around time.

According to the summary of the bill, the Senator is proposing to add funding to the ATF’s budget specifically to handle the increased workload. But in this economy, with the fiscal cliff looming ahead, I have a better chance of having drinks with Barack Obama than the ATF does of getting their funding.

In short, not only will this proposal mean a $200 tax anytime you want to sell your rifle but you can also tack on a waiting period of a year or more before the paperwork comes back. Not only will waiting periods increase dramatically for these new AWB transfers, but waiting periods for everything from silencers to short barreled rifles will also go through the roof. It’s an attempt to put in a back door ban on “assault rifles” while going after all NFA devices at the same time.

I’m still pretty sure the National firearms Act itself is unconstitutional. The supreme court case that decided it could stand was only won by the government because the plaintiffs were too poor to travel to Washington, D.C. and fight the case, so they never showed up in court. And I think a retrial of the NFA isn’t too far off. But in the meantime, the good Senator from California isn’t just going after “assault rifles” anymore.

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  1. I hope you realize none of this is going to happen. Difi is so out there she’s written a bill that has no chance of success. Once the dust settles on this I doubt we’ll have any new laws with the possible exception of the required FFL transfer for all guns sold. No more private party sales. And depending on how inept DIFI and Biden are that might not even fly.

    • I’m not worried about DiFi’s proposals. I’m worried about the “common sense” compromise that gets worked out in congress.

      • That’s why you need to write everyone of your senators and congressmen explaining that you will not tolerate any infringement or you will vote them out of office.

        • Voting them out wont change things. They’ll move on to cushy jobs in the private sector where they can exploit the influence they gained working for the government, and more of the same will take their place on the ballot.

        • I disagree. If you vote in people with the correct ideology, they will follow suit. Especially if they understand what will happen if they don’t honor their constituents.

    • Gee the new law looks worse the CA law.. surprise surprise…
      Well at least until Leland Yee gets his bullet button law passed..
      Then we are screwed.

        • No, that idiot Yee does not. Simply because it was invented by the “wrong side”, he’s against it.

          And DiFi’s crap worries me. The ONE good piece of legislation which congress could pass would be to force all private sales to go through a dealer (like California already does). It does not stop criminals from getting guns, but it makes it much easier to prosecute those who provide criminals with guns, since the biggest sources for criminal guns are corrupted shops and straw buyers (often working together).

          But by focusing on aesthetics, it will probably ensure that nothing really meaningful can happen.

    • There is a way to deal with this and that is, if they were to pass this bill in any shape, fashion or form then just do not comply with it in any shape, fashion or form. See how easy that is. If we would all start to do this then their sick bills would mean nothing.

  2. Yyyyeah, part of the problem might be the fact that the NRA have prevented any attempt to create a streamlined central database for any of these items.

    Nice way to blame the ‘stupid’ gun control advocates for a shoddy state of affairs created by your poster boys.

    • The reason it isn’t a digital database is because, like other things, it would then be a pretty trivial task to pull up gun ownership info by owner, model, caliber, location, etc. The gun ownership info database is pretty much illegal per FOPA-86 if I am not mistaken.

    • The NRA had nothing to do with the poor implementation of any of this. It was our wonderful government. They and they alone did this.

    • Where are the “streamlined central database for “women that get Abortions? That’s a Constituionally protected Right (so I’m told). Or the database for all Jews/Muslims/Mormans/Catholics, etc?

      What is the need to have a “streamlined central database for” ANYTHING? The answer is control and power which are the anti-thesis of the founding principles of this country. The 2nd Amendment was specifically incorporated into the Bill of Rights to make sure that no “”streamlined central databases for” anything were created by government.

      If you want a “streamlined central databases”…..MOVE TO NORTH KOREA YOU FACIST PHUCK!!!!!

  3. As I said in another thread (puts on tinfoil hat) it’s awfully suspicious that DiFi has been working with the ATF over the past year on this legislation….and the new NFA e-form process just happens to go live at about the same time she puts her legislation in front of Congress. I think there’s been a lot more collaboration between the ATF and DiFi than anyone is letting on.

    • From what I understand, she meets with them every year and has done so for quite some time. Nefarious? Certainly. Anything unexpected? Not really.

    • The only thing about the NFA eform process is that it is only for NFA done with gun trusts, that’s what they said in the video at least. Which would only affect a very small percentage of transfers that may possibly take place for assault weapons. Many regular shooters don’t even realize that you can still buy NFA items. You should see some of the looks I get when I take my super shorty out. Luckily the range officer knows the laws and just asks me if I have my form on me.

  4. Senator Frankenstein is a hypocrite. She doesn’t know if she wants to ban or charge more money. A ban would mean no one would have them (except the CRIMINALS and politicians). To register would by reasoning mean that some one would have them (aside from the politicians and CRIMINALS) as long as you could pay for the privilege.

  5. I don’t understand what the problem is. The government can hire a seemingly infinite number of folks to gather intel on every phone call, email, and text message in all creation. They’ll print more money to hire a gazillion BATFE “agents” (most of whom will be office drones). Just like they can print an infinite number of dollars for a gazillion proxy wars.

  6. I’m finding myself wondering if I shold have been part of the recent “panic buy” deluge. Purposefully I sat on the sidelines while ARs were scooped up quicker than Lager is turned to piss. The logical side of me says to calm down and wait this thing out….that small paranoid side says I need to run out and snatch up part of what may be left.

    • It’s a case of risk-reward: buy now at inflated prices hedging your bet that a ban is forthcoming, or wait it out. If nothing comes of this, prices would fall and those who paid 200% markups will feel kinda foolish

    • Rather than buy an AR I am going to buy a S&W 686. It will be a decade or miore before they go after wheel guns. I will probably be senile by then.

    • I don’t think it would be dumb to pay up to $250 for a stripped lower at this point… but you’d be a fool to pay the prices that full rifles are going for right now, especially since many of the rifles available are the leftover crap that nobody wanted when anything better was available.

      My reasoning is that the prices for lower-receiver parts kits, upper receivers, etc. are all going to be at or close to normal levels over the next few months, making the lower receiver the only “war inflation” priced part. I haven’t seen any indication that reputable makers of complete uppers are engaging in demand-driven price increases, for example, just that they’re quoting longer wait times. I can live with that.

      NB: I’m talking about AR-class rifles here. If you want an AK-class rifle of good quality, the lower-receiver option doesn’t apply and good luck finding a nice one at a decent price.

      • Actually you can get very nice AK lowers from Nodak Spud. Parts kits are all around as well. Then again most folks don’t have the equipment to rivet AK’s, so thers that…..

    • that small paranoid side says I need to run out and snatch up part of what may be left.

      If there is something left on the shelves that you want, go for it… just don’t expect to find much selection. From recent trips to local fun shops there isn’t much out there: Henry or Marlin semi-auto .22LRs, but no Ruger 10/22s… Bolt action rifles in some calibers, just not in .30-anything… Pump action shotguns seemed to have better availability than most other categories… I saw very little in the “tactical” category and that was only the highest-end products at Gander Mountain. Handguns were not quite as wiped-out, but the selection of small, more concealable models was… well… small.

    • Just saw a Spike’s Tactical Lower Parts Kit sell for $700 on GB yesterday:

      How could someone ever justify spending that much on a LPK? Even if a AWB (with grandfathering) does get passed, I’m pretty sure LPK’s will continue to be manufactured.

      Also, on GB right now, complete AR uppers are selling for as much as completed rifles.

      If you don’t have an AR yet and want one, buy a stripped lower (for a reasonable price, probably not on GB right now) and build it up a year from now when accessories are back in stock for normal prices (assuming a collapsible stock, flash hider, etc. won’t become illegal). A flat out ban involving the turn in/destruction of millions of these weapons probably won’t go into effect; parts and accessories for these rifles will continue to be made and sold in the future.

  7. Since threaded barrels would be band under DiFi’s proposal, you won’t have anything to screw a suppressor on anyway.

    ” and any semi-automatic handgun that has a threaded barrel.

    • You could pin and silver solder the suppressor on. Similar to how you can have a barrel under 16″ without registering it as a SBR so long as you permanently attach a muzzle device which makes it over 16″

      • Can’t really do that on a pistol, as the barrel needs to move back out of the slide for full disassembly and cleaning. I mean, you could from a purely functional point of view, but that would just be wrong on so many levels…

        • On something like my FNP45T you could remove the barrel enough to clean it with a muzzle device attached. It would be awkward, but doable.

  8. Here’s what I don’t understand yet. If she was able to get this passed then ARs would be an NFA item. Does this mean they could still be sold if the buyer went through the NFA process? If I have to register mine and an “assault rifle” is not treated like any other NFA items what would stop me from just paying the tax, which I would have to do anyway, and making them all “short barreled rifles” which as of now I can transfer? Her idea of “reducing gun violence” would lead to a huge increase to SBR, no sense what so ever. I have a couple NFA items already and I guess I better go ahead with the gun trust I was talking to a lawyer about anyway. Throw them all in there that way my kids can still have them.

    • No. NO transfers. Period.
      If transfers are to be banned, then the monetary value of our property is reduced to ZERO. You can’t sell it.
      And when you die, it dies with you.
      You can’t leave it as an inheritance, or give it away either.
      Your loved ones have to turn it in or go to jail.

      • Just set up a small family foundation which will legally own the guns, put your kids on the Board so they’ll be able to use the firearms, and you’re good. The grandkids can go on the Board when they are ready. The firearms won’t have to have ownership transferred.

        I’m actually thinking about doing this.

        • @johnv2 isn’t that similar to a gun trust. I know the lawyer that I talked to said something similar about the gun trust. He said put yourself on it, he said you can put your family members on it as trusttees. He said when your children come of age then they can be moved to trustees as well, that way they could posses them. I am wondering if we are talking the same thing just different wording? You know like they call it “assault rifle” I call it my favorite rifle!

    • It’s hard to tell until the actual legislation is released (AFAIK she’s only released the bill summary). If it’s like the 94 reclassification of the USAS-12, Striker-12, and Streetsweeper as destructive devices, then the owners can do a one time form 1 tax exempt to get it in the registry.

      By definition, it’s not an SBR (bbl < 16"). They could classify it as a DD or perhaps AOW? They may create a new classification and close the registry for future additions, but still allow transfers (like with MG's). I'm not sure how that would work if you wanted to make a SBR after that.

      It's impossible to tell at this point. One can only speculate…just wait and see when the full bill is released.

      • Good info beanfield. It will be a waiting game and hopefully nothing will come from it. Both sides need a fiscal cliff deal and you see how the democrats have been able to impose their will on the republicans. (LOL me either)

  9. “The reason for the time delay is evident in the video — just take a peek at the stacks of paperwork they have waiting in the hallways. The system is overloaded, and there aren’t enough people to process the flood of new applications that come in the door everyday. It sucks, and I say that as someone with one silencer in hand and two additional forms (a 1 and a 4) currently marked as “pending” with the ATF.”

    Nick, have you considered that this is by design? Designed to discourage applicants…

    • I was worried that DiFi might actually pass something. She over reached so far that this won’t even make it to the floor of the Senate. Does she really think any red state Dem up for reelection in 2014 will vote for this, or vote to end a filibuster on this? Not happening. Once again a liberal thinks they have a mandate that doesn’t exist. (By the way, in a poll taken last week, Gallup still has people opposed to an AWB by 51-44.)

  10. This hurts my brain, I just want to see the final bill so we can vomit all over it then start sending letters, email, and faxes to our representatives.

      • They will simply ignore, it. since I am from CA I am going up against DiFi and Nancy! We are screwed!!
        Don’t forget to keep an eye on your local sate legislature. We are seeing AWBs at the local level popping up all over the place.

        • Sorry you are from CA. You certainly do not deserve that. Why? Because you seem to have a brain. Do us a favor. Get a huge chain saw and cut that state loose then install a huge outboard motor and aim that state towards North Korea. Then you hop back onto the mainland. We will keep you. smile

  11. I knew the reelection of Führer Obama would be a disaster for us. The scary thing is he hasn’t even started his second term yet. I voiced my opinion about him throughout his campaign and it was met with hostility sometimes. There was no shortage of Obama supporters telling others to calm down; he would never touch the 2A. They laughed at and mocked people who they claimed were “panic buying”. This was happening everywhere, even here on TTAG. It was very frustrating but looking back on it now I am thankful for these naïve Obama supporters. Because of them I was able to nearly double the money I paid for some of these soon to be banned rifles. One was sold to one of these Obama supporters, HA! Happy Holidays, and thanks for the New Year bonus.

        • He can pass it as an EO then deal with the years of judicial wrangling for the next four years at least. He will say because it was the right thing to do!
          Mark my words, if the republicans block what ever is sent over from the Senate, he will use his powers.
          I do hope the house blocks it. Put it all in Obama’s lap.

        • Not just Bohnner its also Paul Ryan, and the GOP House whip are all NRA A rated and opposed gun bans post VA Tech and Arizona murders and almost all GOP ive talked to will be against a AWB, especially if its nastier than the 94 ban!!

      • Just like the GOP would not change the rules at the National Convention in Tampa. I was an Alternate Delegate from GA. I watched as Boehner read from the Teleprompter “the yeas have it”. No way did they have it. It was a pre-cooked deal all the way. They voted in rule changes which will shut out any grass roots organizations. I realized then and there that the GOP was as crooked as any. They gave the election to Obama. They got their glory boy Romney and they stuck with him and they ended up empty handed. We do not need a third party in this country we need a second party. We only have one party now. Both are the same.

    • I firmly believe that gun regulation was low on Obamas priority list. Unfortunately, Newtown forced his hand and elevated his agenda. Some form of regulation is coming…though I think Feinstinks initial proposal will be used as toilet paper in the House.

      • I agree I dont think a BIG AWB will pass but maybe a new background check upgrade or more mental heath care for people who buy guns may come.

    • AR-pattern rifles are modular and parts interchange easily. The shell (usually aluminum, but sometimes plastic) which houses the trigger mechanism is controlled as a firearm by the ATF and has a serial number. When these are sold by themselves with no other parts, they are called “stripped” lowers.

      Nick has a good article on assembling the remaining parts.

  12. I’m not counting on the House or anyone else to save our bacon. I don’t think the DiFi proposal can pass, but you just know that Biden is cooking up something even more repulsive to us than his best (worst?) Jack Nicholson-style laugh. If it’s going to be stopped, it’s up to us and the NRA to do it.

    • I’m curious to see how Coburn handles the new bill in the Senate. He was able to block legislation previously backed by the NRA. He cited concerns over privacy and lack of financing. “If supporters want this to be a top priority, they should locate lower-priority items to help fund it,”

      According to DiFi’s summary it will require “dedicated funding for ATF to implement registration.” I have yet to see where she will get this funding from I.E. does it come out of thin air (like most everything else) or have they actually cut spending elsewhere to fund it? I’m not holding my breath on him being able to outright block anything, but if the funding comes from the former rather than the latter I expect him to drag his heals as hard as he can. The one thing going for us is the fact that our state of fiscal affairs is already FUBAR and additional funding will be hard to justify.

      • I think more Senators beside Colburn will oppose this many fiscal Reps will also oppose this this would cost billions to run a ban like this. Work to kill the ban and yes join NRA.

  13. I wrote letters to my Senators and Rep this evening. No threats or hysterics, just pointed out to them that they took an oath to defend the Constitution against enemies foreign and domestic, and domestic enemies are planning to take a big dump on the 2nd amendment.

  14. I firmly believe if this new AWB if it passes and makes assault rifles NFA items it will press the issue of the NFA. It will be contested and found to be unconstitutional and I welcome the fight.

  15. Hypothetical Situation: I would be interesting in knowing if anyone here would be in favor of magazine restrictions if they removed ALL restrictions on suppressors.

    • No.

      It’s too early to start horse trading one ban for another. Prior to Sandy Hook, the pro-2a was making some good progress. We need to let some time pass before we think about giving up anything.

      Politics is a lot like war, and you never win by playing defense, at least not for long.

    • While thinking outside the box is commendable, simply put they will keep going if they get what they want.
      We shouldn’t have NFA, or anything else for that matter, end of story.

  16. It’ll pass. There’s enough cowardly red state Dems and even Reps that’ll cave to the emotional tusnami to let it pass. Mark my words. I was right about Obama, I’ll be right about this. And gun owners will be too cowardly to fight it, like they were in 94.

    This country’s done. I pity any idealistic young man or woman who recently joined the military thinking they were putting their lives on the line for a free country and a worthy people.

  17. Even if Feinstein’s bill does pass, or something even more odious makes it through the House, non-compliance will be MASSIVE. Look at what happened to the long gun registry in Canada. That was pretty small beer compared to what it would take in the US. Canada botched it up but good and it cost them a fortune to boot. Canada finally came to their senses years down the road and basically abandon it.

    So, worse comes to worst and we get some kind of ridiculous nonsense. Are you going to say, oh well, game, set and match, I’m done, here you go Dianne? If many of us non-violently refuse to comply, what exactly are they going to do about it? I don’t think that the black helicopters full of stormtroopers descending on our neighbors in the middle of the night for some jolly good door kicking will play too well on the nightly news. It’s not good optics and the blow-back would be almost unthinkable and unimaginable.

    Remember in this country we have the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, as amended. Whether our betters care to recognize that those documents are still, to this day, the supreme law of the land it doesn’t really matter. We the People recognize that fact. Let them pass whatever unconstitutional bills they want if their charade will make them feel happy that they’ve done something “for the children”. We’re not going down that road into that sweet good night.

    During the Colonial and Founding periods, the long rifle and the musket were the state of the art military small arms of the day. A parity existed between the rebel yeoman and the Crown’s forces. It should be pointed out also, if I’m not mistaken, that much, if not most of the artillery in the Colonies that did not belong to the Crown, was in private or community hands. As Jefferson said, “All of the terrible instruments of war are the natural birthright of the American citizen”. To this very day, it is imperative, as well as our right and duty, for the average citizen of this country to continue to maintain parity with our civil authorities and the Federal government.

  18. The moment she introduces the bill she must be arrested, tried and when found guilty punished for treason. I know, dreaming again.

  19. This has no chance with Lamar Smith running House Judiciary.The old bitch can go swallow a bottle of Nembutal and do the world a favor.

  20. Assuming the worst, can I sidestep the “transfer ban”, by moving ownership of my AR’s to my NFA Trust? That way my family does not have to surrender the guns upon my death?

    Just wondering…


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