The Truth About The Distinction Between Military and Civilian Firearms

Brace Built Modern Carbine MC6 AR-15 rifle

The AR platform rifle is favored by American soldiers and civilians alike. (JWT for TTAG)

By Mark Houser

It’s a common trope of American political discourse: a politician will emphatically declare his respect for the Second Amendment. He will deny that he’s “coming for your guns.” After all, he knows that gun-grabbing is unpalatable to many Americans.

But, in his very next breath, he’ll backpedal a bit — surely, civilians don’t need and ought not possess “military” firearms, those notorious “weapons of war.” And…well, yes, he will come for those guns.

Clearly, the politician believes that there is a real, categorical distinction between military and civilian firearms. Many American voters do, too. Moreover, they think this distinction somehow matters.

Union Switch & Signal 1911

(Jeremy S. for TTAG)

There are two problems with that perspective.

First, in all of American history, there has never been any substantial distinction between military and civilian firearms. Rather, there has always been tremendous overlap of guns used by the military and guns used by civilians.

Civilian weapons are routinely adopted by the military and vice-versa. Firearm features and characteristics are neither intrinsically “military” nor “civilian.” Consider the iconic photograph of Malcolm X with his M1 carbine — is that a military firearm or a civilian firearm? Obviously, it’s both, and many of the same characteristics that made the carbine militarily useful also made it useful to civilians.

Second, of course an artificial distinction can be constructed by legislatively defining certain weapons or particular features/characteristics as “military.” That’s what “assault weapons” bans and similar laws attempt to do.

But such a constructed distinction ought not matter anyway: American civilians have a right to own military arms. Existing and proposed laws to the contrary are blatantly unconstitutional — the Second Amendment isn’t about duck hunting or target shooting.

Please keep both points in mind whenever you hear a politician speak of this distinction as if it’s real or somehow meaningful. At best, it’s ignorant. At worst, it’s deliberate obfuscation or deception for the sake of political gain.

This article was originally published at marklivesthings.medium.com and is reprinted here with permission. 

comments

  1. avatar WARFAB says:

    Miller vs. United States is an unconstitutional mess at best, and even if the argument presented is/was constitutional, it no longer applies due to changes in weapons issued by the US military. The NFA needs to be struck down and all this “military vs. civilian” weaponry needs to be put to rest for good.

    1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

      Miller was tainted by the court’s ignorance. Short barreled shotguns (the weapon Miller was prosecuted for) had been in military use for *decades* but the court found that they didn’t have a military use and so weren’t 2A protected. The ruling is deeply confused on multiple levels.

      1. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

        Court didn’t find; court declined to declare that SBSs were militia weapons, as no evidence was presented that they were. It remains an unaddressed issue.

        1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

          Well the ruling did say “it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment, or that its use could contribute to the common defense”. Note that the term “the common defense” is commonly cherry picked by anti gun lawyer types when attacking 2A. As I said the whole thing is confused.

        2. avatar drunkEODguy says:

          actually, several justices were WW1 vets and had actually seen/used/were aware of US utilizing trench shotguns such as the M1897. The court decided via some legaleese reason they couldn’t take notice of this

        3. avatar Cpt. Obvious says:

          “actually, several justices were WW1 vets and had actually seen/used/were aware of US utilizing trench shotguns such as the M1897”

          Perspective: From a trench warfare war that openly used a whole slew of vesicanting and mutagenic poison gas bombs (ffs) .. things now referred to as Weapons of Mass Destruction .. what the enemy nations at the time took the effort to bitch about was the US military’s completely dominating use of Shotguns.

          So, I’m –thinking– that they’re a Military-Use weapon, lol, (and therefore protected also for militia usage under that standard).

      2. avatar frank speak says:

        the court thought it was ruling on another “gangster gun”…a decision rendered out of ignorance…

      3. avatar Nanashi says:

        It’s tainted by one thing: It’s a literal show trial. No exaggeration, it’s a show trial by any standard.

        Heartsill Ragon literally wrote the law he was holding a trial on (enough to invalidate a normal trial). He didn’t allow Miller his choice of plea or attorney (enough to invalidate a normal trial). The attorney Ragon assigned to Miller bailed (enough to invalidate a normal trial). Hugo Black was a “former” member of the KKK, an organization explicitly seeking to undermine the constitution, and voted for the NFA in the Senate (enough to invalidate a normal trial). Miller was killed and unable to defend himself because the attorney bailed, yet the case was heard anyways without any defense (enough to invalidate a normal trial).

    2. avatar drunkEODguy says:

      Pulled straight from Wikipedia:

      “In 1938, the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas ruled the statute unconstitutional in United States v. Miller. The defendant Miller had been arrested for possession of an unregistered short double-barreled shotgun, and for “unlawfully … transporting [it] in interstate commerce from Claremore, Oklahoma to Siloam Springs, Arkansas” which perfected the crime.[50] The government’s argument was that the short barreled shotgun was not a military-type weapon and thus not a “militia” weapon protected by the Second Amendment, from federal infringement. The District Court agreed with Miller’s argument that the shotgun was legal under the Second Amendment.

      The District Court ruling was overturned on a direct appeal to the United States Supreme Court (see United States v. Miller). No brief was filed on behalf of the defendants, and the defendants themselves did not appear before the Supreme Court. Miller himself had been murdered one month prior to the Supreme Court’s decision. No evidence that such a firearm was “ordinary military equipment” had been presented at the trial court (apparently because the case had been thrown out—at the defendants’ request—before evidence could be presented), although two Supreme Court justices at the time had been United States Army officers during World War I and may have had personal knowledge of the use of such weapons in combat. The Supreme Court indicated it could not take judicial notice of such a contention.

      The Supreme Court reversed the District Court and held that the NFA provision (criminalizing possession of certain firearms) was not in violation of the Second Amendment’s restriction and therefore was constitutional.

      Subsequent rulings have been allowed to stand, indicating that short-barreled shotguns are generally recognized as ordinary military equipment if briefs are filed (e.g., see: Cases v. United States),[51] describing use of short-barreled shotguns in specialized military units.”

      It is a mess for sure, since the defense couldn’t even show up to present their case to SCOTUS being that their defendant was dead. However I read that as although the NFA was allowed to stand SBS are generally allowed provided a brief is filed to challenge thanks to subsequent case law after Miller?

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        I t was much worse than that. The attorney for defendant was a public defender paid to defend the trial court case, but was not paid to do any appellate work. So he would have had to do it out of his own pocket. During the Great Depression. And to travel from Oklahoma to D.C. on his own nickle, as well as pay to publish (yes, publish, in book form, the required number of privately printed and bound briefs). To add to that, the Supreme court gave him precisely two weeks to research, write, publish, file and serve his brief. And there is the fact that the defendant was dead–you cannot convict a dead person of a crime, and the case was moot by that fact alone.

        It was a set up. The trial judge was very much in favor of the NFA and expedited the case to get it before the Supreme Court so that the law could be upheld.

        1. avatar Nanashi says:

          “in favor of” is an understatement. He LITERALLY participated in its creation.

        2. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

          “To add to that, the Supreme court gave him precisely two weeks to research, write, publish, file and serve his brief. And there is the fact that the defendant was dead–you cannot convict a dead person of a crime, and the case was moot by that fact alone.

          It was a set up”

          Could that possibly be an angle to attack the constitutionality of short-barrel NFA restrictions, since it was so obviously a setup with an impossibly-short timeline?

  2. avatar Mortimer Plimpton says:

    Nice trigger discipline, Malcolm. Do you put that same finger up your nose?

    1. avatar bob says:

      You misunderstand when and where to use trigger discipline.
      When your life is on the line and you are actively involved in shooting at someone it is absolutely ok to have you finger on the trigger. Its not target practice, that fractional difference or chance of missing the trigger could cost you your life. The target is known and he intends to destroy whats in front of him.

      If he was just posing for the camera then yes, take it off.

      Clint on TR makes a good argument on this one and has a very valid point.

      1. avatar guest says:

        He’s not pointing the weapon at any threat, the gun isnt even in his shoulder. There is no immediate threat or he’d be pointing a loaded gun at it.

      2. avatar Mercury says:

        So you think he intended to shoot the ceiling, but changed his mind? Because otherwise you have no idea what you’re talking about. Even if you’re in the middle of a firefight, if you don’t at least have your rifle at low ready you’d better have your finger off the trigger. Negligent discharges aren’t any less dangerous just because there’s somebody you might want to shoot in a direction you aren’t currently pointing your muzzle. Unless you’re engaging or expect to be engaged imminently you’re not ready to fire, and if one of those things does apply you don’t point your rifle at the sky like an idiot.

      3. avatar Anymouse says:

        A defensive situation is the most important time to keep your finger off the trigger. You hear a noise, grab your gun, and go looking with you finger on the trigger to be ready. A person comes around the corner and surprises you, so you pull the trigger. Oops, no more daughter. If your finger is outside the trigger guard, you have a fraction of a second more to recognize the target and abort the trigger pull, if necessary. It doesn’t add significant time when it should be pulled.

      4. avatar Montana Actual says:

        Clint on TR would shit all over your interpretation of this picture being an okay version of what he said.

  3. avatar Steve Eisenberg says:

    Someone more clever than I once said that the 2nd Amendment is for when the government wants to take away the 2nd Amendment.

    1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      With Joe & the Hoes plans, it’s coming.

    2. avatar Mainer_ExCop says:

      Bingo!

  4. avatar NORDNEG says:

    M X, just another thug with a gun,
    “””Kyle’s Free””” for now anyway…
    Thank you My Pillow Guy…👍🇺🇸

    1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      I don’t really need another pillow at the moment but I know who and what pillow I will buy.

      1. avatar former water walker says:

        And what coffee NOT to buy…seriously I could go to war with my S&W Sport. Maybe not win but get some good licks in😃😎😒

        1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

          Had been temped to make a large Christmas order with BRC co.,Not Now as in Never.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Had been temped to make a large Christmas order with BRC co.,Not Now as in Never.”

          Uh, oh. I really like BRCC. What did I miss?

        3. avatar Montana Actual says:

          The way they said it was a perfect depiction of the actual douchebags who run that company.

          FUCK BRC.

        4. avatar 1SFGSFC says:

          BRCC response to me severing all business;

          Thank you for contacting Black Rifle Coffee!

          I have deleted both of your active subscriptions with us so you will no longer receive any charges or shipments. I’d like to kindly remind you that if you wish to ever join again we’d be more than happy to help.

          Our co-founders spent over two decades of service in the United States Military and in government agencies dedicated to the preservation of American values, including free speech and our belief in and commitment to the Constitution of the United States and its Second Amendment. Those values are the genesis of everything we do at Black Rifle Coffee. Furthermore, we believe in the integrity of the legal justice system.

          Contrary to previous reports, we have NOT ended our relationship with the Blaze and our relationship remains unchanged. View our public statement here:
          https://twitter.com/blckriflecoffee/status/1330657893213986816?s=21

          Leah C.

          Customer Engagement Team

          Bunch of horse droppings!

    2. avatar President Elect LifeSavor says:

      Yup. Ordered two My Pillows, yesterday. Did so specifically because of My Pillow’s Patriotism.

    3. avatar jwtaylor says:

      He was pretty damn smart, and nailed this one:

      “The white liberals, who have been posing as our friends, have failed us. The white liberal is the worst enemy to America and the worst enemy to the black man.”

      “White liberals are those who have perfected the art of selling themselves to the black man as our ‘friend’ to get our sympathy, our allegiance and our minds. The white liberal attempts to use us politically against white conservatives, so that anything the black man does is never for his own good, never for his advancement, never for his own progress, he’s only a pawn in the hands of the white liberal.”

      1. avatar Christopher Taylor says:

        You beat me to it sir!!
        Thank you
        (smile)

        BTW
        I personally believe white liberals have no redeeming value. They are evil.

        There are speeches of Malcolm X saying any black person who voted for a white Democrat was a traitor to the black race.

        1. avatar Montana Actual says:

          so… they voted for black democrats? Malcom X was a racist fuck.

        2. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

          “Malcom X was a racist fuck.”

          You haven’t been keeping up. It is impossible for a Black to be ‘racist’, according to the tenets of ‘Critical Race Theory’ and BLM…

        3. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Montana, yes, he was a racist fuck. He was also right on about white liberals.

        4. avatar GS650G says:

          X has a street named for him in DC. That shouldn’t surprise anyone.

      2. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

        JWT. Amen !

  5. avatar James A. "Jim" Farmer says:

    First, in all of American history, there has never been any substantial distinction between military and civilian firearms. Rather, there has always been tremendous overlap of guns used by the military and guns used by civilians.
    That statement historically is true. Take for example the U.S. Air Force. Consider the Savage-Stevens Model 24 .22/.410 “break open” combination gun once issued to air crews for outdoor survival, foraging, and small game hunting. Same gun was and still remains practical today for the farmer, trapper, outdoors-man, plantation or farm worker, as a utility gun. It’s ashamed this practical useful combination gun gets ignored in the gun magazines. Another example would be the Smith and Wesson (K-Frame) Model 10 Military and Police and Model 15 .38 Special Combat Masterpiece revolvers. Both were standard or secondary issue sidearms in the U.S. Armed Forces. The U.S. Air Force Security Police formerly adopted and made extensive use of both these classic .38 Special revolvers. Or take the John M. Browning designed 12 gauge Winchester Model 97 “hammer” pump action shotgun, or the hammerless Winchester Model 12. These were formerly U.S. Military issue in riot or “trench gun” configuration with 20″ cylinder bore barrel for nine 00 “double-ought buckshot.” Same for the Remington 870 Wingmaster and Ithaca Model 37. All these classic pump action shotguns were, and still are, popular with civilians, not to mention a version of the Mossberg Model 500, the Model 590. It’s likewise shameful anti-gun politicians (socialist traitors) don’t know their asses from third base and talk (lie) out of both sides of their mouths!

  6. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    “The Distinction Between Military and Civilian Firearms”

    They are one and the same

    ” surely, civilians don’t need and ought not possess “military” firearms, those notorious “weapons of war.” And…well, yes, he will come for those guns.”

    The Constitution & founders would argue with that line of thought,as they had just won freedom from the most powerful nation and military of that time.

    Come git some !

    1. avatar gus says:

      the 2A does not differentiate between any type of arms, or mode of action, or capacity, size, color, odor or flavor. “you have the right to bear arms” plain and simple.

      aside from felons, nut cases and retards can’t own guns, or serial numbers, I can’t think of a single gun law that isn’t unconstitutional.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “aside from felons, nut cases and retards can’t own guns, or serial numbers, I can’t think of a single gun law that isn’t unconstitutional.”

        Reading is not my best skill. I can’t find those exceptions in the Second Amendment. Can you explain the reasoning for those exceptions?

  7. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Miller, NFA, GCA.
    History, tradition, precedent.

    If the people permit unconstitutional laws, policies and procedures to exist long enough (a time yet undefined), such unconstitutional acts become constitutional: history; tradition; precedent.

    It is interesting how similarly federal courts treat constitutionally protected rights and commercial contracts. In contracts, if the parties clearly do not have a meeting of the minds, the courts will still try to construct a contract of some sort between the parties. In situations where a contract provision is ignored by one party, yet the other party never officially objects, the courts will determine that the contract has been modified by action indicating mutual consent to the change in contract terms. In dealing with legislation, courts will attempt to construct something identifiable out of a dispute because it is clear the legislature intended to create legislation(i.e. legislation exists, therefore it is), courts will try to salvage as much of the legislation as is possible.

    Like contracts, regarding enumerated and protected constitutional rights, courts seem to view them both as a series of independent intended outcomes, not as an integral. Independent desired outcomes can still be achieved, even if one desired outcome is declared illegal. Thus, constitutionally protected rights became a mishmash of peas, carrots, beans and nuts.

  8. avatar Brodirt says:

    Ive often wondered which of the stones in my yard are military grade or civilian grade.
    I have the same consideration about when I heat oil for frying; is canol oil with its relatively low smoke point of 400 degrees “civilian grade” versus the SAW level 520 degrees of avocado oil far too unsafe to be in the hands of a civilian.

    1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      “Ive often wondered which of the stones in my yard are military grade or civilian grade.”

      Simple – Load them into a field cannon, and upon firing, they become military…

  9. avatar Rusty - Molon Labe - Chains says:

    Weapons of War was the whole point of the Second Amendment! The battles of Lexington and Concord were the first time the American Militia fought back against the gun control efforts of the British Army. Biden and his gun control buddies are apparently looking to jump back into that same fight and the American public is going to push back just like they did in 1775.

    Driving out to conduct operations is fine, until you realize you are over extended and your only way back is through hostile territory and someone with a chainsaw dropped trees across all of your exit routes. The colonists had better and more accurate arms than the soldiers, and a modern day door kicker armed with a shortie AR is in big trouble if he is taking accurate fire from hundreds of yards away. How many cops are going to sign up for that gig? If this History major with no infantry or combat background can figure this out, I can tell you there are plenty of folks that know exactly how to run that operation.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      muskets had piss-poor accuracy..[40 to 50yds tops]…they were designed to be fired once in volley fire…then used as either a pike..[bayonet?]…or a club in hand to hand combat…they were ill-suited to hunting game in the forest unlike the rifles the colonists possessed…but the rifles fragility along with its lack of a bayonet cost the colonials many an early battle…there was a clear and distinct difference at the time…but that has blurred somewhat in the interim….

  10. avatar American Patriot says:

    Problem solved….Don’t let the military buy Civilian guns…..

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      think the initial difference was sturdiness and durability…an M-1 versus your standard store bought 30-06, for example…today it might be defined as reliability under continuous use in harsh conditions…making civilian weapons that closely resemble the military version has been a selling point for awhile now…

  11. avatar Prndll says:

    There are only two differences that can can see and if I’m wrong on this, I’m asking that someone more knowledgeable let me know.

    1) Full auto M16’s are VERY expensive are are generally off limits to the general public while being ‘issued’ to soldiers and maybe SWAT for ‘official’ use. Full auto seers for AR15’s are NFA and most people wouldn’t buy that anyway. Most AR15’s don’t even have chrome lined barrels.

    2) no branch of the military is likely to issue out anything made with red, blue, or purple Strike Ind. parts. Multi-color parts with Hello Kitty graphics and “I’m Your Huckleberry” dust covers with “Pull to Start” charging handles are likely to be unacceptable aswell.

    1. avatar bob says:

      Let me school you on this one.

      If you are shot by and die from a Hello Kitty AR15, are you more or less dead than shot by a Colt M4?

      Full auto is simply for suppression, it in no way makes the arm more or less deadly.
      Tons of AR barrels are chrome lined, but coated barrels are more accurate.

      Respect all arms.

      A 243 Winchester chambered Savage Axis will kill you just as fast as any advanced modular sniper system. Repeated rounds at 800 yards, different story, but you wont be there to see it.

      1. avatar guest says:

        Not true. Read the after action report published by the Narine Corps Center for Lessons Learned after Phantom Fury. It specifically states that Marines couldn’t get rounds off fast enough in semi and had to result to using burst when clearing a room, and that wasn’t much better. They recommended full auto being on issued weapons. Full auto has its place. Machine guns dont exist to provide suppressive fire. They provide accurate killing fire. Suppression is just a byproduct of that because they’re full auto.

        1. avatar bob says:

          You misinterpreted that report.
          Full auto is great in close quarters when clearing EVERYTHING in the room, if that was a hostage room you would DEFINITELY NOT want full auto as the accuracy is horrible.

          When moving between known targets a few feet apart, yes, full auto would help, but only if accuracy doesn’t matter.

        2. avatar Ol'Sarge says:

          @ guest – that report was for that time and action. (and for the marines.) Example – 1974, Ft Brag, Battalion OIC of the range had us “Zero” our M-60’s @ 25 meters before our yearly qualifier fire. 1980(s) @ Ft Knox, Ky Machine gun Range, Control group White hat NCO (they ran the ranges) 1st statement – “The M-60 is for Suppressive fire, Not to be used for the intentional killing of troops. Your job is Suppressive fire, it is the Rifleman’s job to kill or wound the enemy.” All depends on “Doctrine” at time. Or a 2nd Lt “Assuming” what he ordered/wanted was doctrine or Mission essential. All that goes to hell in a basket if your the one being fired at.

      2. avatar Prndll says:

        I don’t question the lethality of any gun or caliber. We lost a president with a .22.

        I also don’t question the reason for having a full auto firearm.

        I know many AR15’s are made with a variety of barrels that include chrome lined.

        The question is…military vs. civilian

        1. avatar Ol'Sarge says:

          Very True – and the .22 has been a “Military Weapon” in our arsenals. As training rifles, and competition rifle & Pistol (“Soldiers from IR have amassed 14 Olympic medals since the USAMU inception in 1956.”).
          +The OSS suppressed 22 of WWII (The High Standard HDM). Wiki claims it’s still in certain units inventories to this day.

        2. avatar frank speak says:

          a .22?…which president was that?….

        3. avatar oldandshaky says:

          Did you mean Bobby Kennedy, the late president JFK’s brother? I think he was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan with a .22.

      3. avatar frank speak says:

        “suppression” usually means killing folks…preferably in large numbers….

        1. avatar frank speak says:

          MG’s were used to deadly effect in both world wars and Korea…it wasn’t until they became man-portable that this concept of suppressive fire really took hold…..

    2. avatar Anymouse says:

      Today, machine guns are $10ks, thanks to the Hughes Amendment limiting supply, but that wasn’t always the case. I have a friend who bought an M-16 in 1994 because it was cheaper than an AR-15 (newly banned as ‘assault weapons’ by the 1994 crime bill). Prior to 1986 (and today for government purchasers), semiautos were priced similar to their full auto counterparts. The might were slightly more expensive because they needed a little more machining, more specialized parts, etc, but it was a minor percentage increase, not today’s orders of magnitude.

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        AR’s go up in price when they become less available…it’s happened before…may happen again…not all mg’s surpass 10k….but most of them do…

    1. avatar Anymouse says:

      Typical result of discretionary issue laws where the rich, famous, and politically connected have different rights than the rest of us. NYC and San Jose have been busted, with no real outrage or demand to reform the system. I wonder who will be next.

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        few seem to realize that it was companies and corporations…even more than gangsters..that were the prime purchasers of smg’s…[even belt-feds]…prior to 1934…as they engaged in wars with organized labor…

        1. avatar frank speak says:

          ….and with the onset of union contracts that sought to disarm their private police and the passage of the NFA…most of these guns were then donated to pd’s…where some of them still reside to this day…

  12. avatar President Elect LifeSavor says:

    “Weapons of war”. What is war in the 21st century? Terrorism? Widespread civil insurgency that begins to look like insurrection? Gangs assassinating police? Weapons are weapons, guns are guns, and we have the right to own them and carry them. All of them.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      “if it looks like one…it must be one”…simple mantra for the uninitiated….and a marketing delusion put forth by gun manufacturers….

  13. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    Here’s the simple unambiguous fact of the 2nd Amendment: I citizens are not allowed to own
    “weapons of war” then how are we supposed to be able to defend against governmental tyranny?
    The answer—one handily solved by all totalitarian states—is that you can’t.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “If citizens are not allowed to own “weapons of war” then how are we supposed to be able to defend against governmental tyranny?”

      What tyranny? The King of England is not a real thing anymore. We sorted out the British in 1814 (they have not threatened the US since). The constitution set up a government that cannot create tyranny. We have never seen a US President mount a military campaign against citizen political enemies across the land. Congress has never tried to use the US military to eliminate political opponents. There are no concentration camps (FEMA black sites are too few to actually round up large portions of the public). The founders caged the government tiger with their flintlocks, and there has been no need for “minutemen” since. There hasn’t been a civil war in 155 years.

      What tranny?

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        we did not “sort out” the Brits in 1814…and they did threaten us after that in more subtle ways…but, history lesson aside…do you really feel that tyranny is not present in the world?…or even in this country?…paint over a BLM poster and watch what happens!

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “we did not “sort out” the Brits in 1814”

          Really? Afterward, they stopped dragging Americans off ships at sea, claiming they were still Englishmen, subject to arrest and return to the Crown. And the Brits never again attacked and burned the White House.

          Mob violence is not tyranny; it is crime. When the govt attacks its citizens in an effort to suppress the rights of the people, that is tyranny.

          Oh, and you missed the easter egg.

      2. avatar frank speak says:

        google “bonus army”…to see what the government can do when it has a mind to…just one example….

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “google “bonus army”…to see what the government can do when it has a mind to…just one example….”

          IIRC, the Bonus Army wanted their deserved payments ahead of Congressional schedule.

          And you missed the easter egg.

      3. avatar Miner49er says:

        Sam?

        “What tranny?”

        “Pardon me, your Freudian slip is showing… “

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          That darn spellchecker.

      4. avatar Garrison Hall says:

        @Sam I am “. . . The constitution set up a government that cannot create tyranny. . .” Fortunately for the health of our republic, Sam, our founders didn’t share your naive belief that government cannot create tyranny. Unlike most new governments throughout history, our revolutionary founders brought a healthy cynicism to naive blandishments like yours. They knew better. Which is why they created the 2nd Amendment.

        The idea behind an armed citizenry—more specifically an armed citizenry with the “weapons of war” necessary to mount its own defense—is power sharing of a kind which prevents our government from attaining the kind of monopoly-of-force that facilitates authoritarianism and tyranny. This is where the “shall not be abridged” part of the 2nd comes from. Think free societies can’t become tyrannical? Look it up.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Think free societies can’t become tyrannical? Look it up.”

          You missed the easter egg.

      5. avatar tdiinva says:

        The Brits kicked our collective @sses in the War of 1812. Our Capital got burn to the ground not theirs. We won two battles , New Orleans and Plattsburgh . Had the Brits pushed on after the defeat naval defeat they still would have won.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Had the Brits pushed on after the defeat naval defeat they still would have won.”

          The Brits had already been defeated, and sent away before NO was fought. Point is, the Brits never again took on the US, never again invaded. However, the US capitulated to the invading hordes from the southwest border. Fortunately, the latest invading forces are not armed well, nor sufficiently organized to become “the government”.

          PS….you missed the easter egg.

  14. avatar Ralph says:

    The difference is this — military firearms are owned by the military; civilian firearms are owned by civilians. That’s it.

    Politicians love arming the military because the military works for politicians. Oh, yes it does. Under our Constitution, the commander in chief of the military is the President — a politician — and war can only be declared by Congress — another group of politicians. Even the posse comitatus act, which purportedly saves us from oppression by our own military, can be overridden by an act of politicians — as it has many times.

    On the other hand, politicians hate allowing civilians to arm up because politicians work against civilians. We are their milk cows. They wring us dry and then buy our loyalty with our own money. It’s a perfect system.

    1. avatar Fair is fair..... time to give the money back to THE PEOPLE says:

      VERY well said, Ralph….
      That is the BIG LIE blue collar/ middle class americans live day in and day out….. everyday in this country…
      They buy our loyalty with our own money….
      That’s an excellent reason for breaking this system down and rebuilding a FAIR system where all americans, legal born citizens are NEVER stuck in poverty….

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        police…in effect, the agents of the state…were often outgunned during the twenties and thirties…something the government vowed to keep from happening again…when it reoccurred during the eighties they acted again in decisive fashion…and it’s starting to look like that might be repeated once more….

    2. avatar GS650G says:

      The police are the politicians army.

  15. avatar Mainer_ExCop says:

    We all know it “deliberate obfuscation or deception for the sake of political gain.” They want to disarm thee we American people, that’s what Socialism is about. What better way to subjugate the masses.

  16. avatar Unrepentant Libertarian says:

    In the 21st century, the difference between a modern military rifle and a civilian rifle comes down to the fact that military rifles usually have a selector switch that civilian rifles do not. Handguns are pretty much similar to one another.

    1. avatar Libertarians want you to know they figured out the sky is blue says:

      Typical libertarian…. full of useless information…. same as the spoiled basta rd educated idiots…
      Nobody is listening to your bs…

    2. avatar GS650G says:

      Uh, no. A giggle switch isn’t the deciding factor.

  17. avatar GunnyGene says:

    All this legal wrangling means nothing. As Franklin said: “A Republic, if you can keep it.” So, all you lounge lizards better to get up on your hind legs and FIGHT to keep it. Or stay in that Lazy Boy and loose your freedom. Choose wisely.

  18. avatar Mark N. says:

    Miller, as noted above, is an unmitigated mess. On the one hand, it suggests that the 2A is a collective right (an idea later expanded by gun controllers as suggesting that the 2A only applies to military and organized militia activities) , and in other, that it is an individual right. And it also suggests, quite clearly, that the 2A protects a right to military arms, which is why the SBS was not protected because it was not a military arm. Taken to its logical conclusion, this would mean that any law that bans military grade firearms to “the public” (individually or collectively) is unconstitutional.

    Funny how that works out.

  19. avatar enuf says:

    Without exception every “Sporting Arm” in history has roots in military design and procurement. If the “civilian” arm itself is not a version of a military arm with only NFA 1934 elements designed out of it, then it has design elements in its ancestry back to some earlier military weaponry or attempt to sell to the military. This is true of every type of action there is going back to matchlocks, wheellocks, flintlocks … pick a lock….

    1. avatar Debbie W. says:

      enuf…besides being a slanderous, libelous self serving lowlife you are the forum’s resident benedict arnold and all around red coat lint licker.

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        “Pennsylvania long rifle” was designed as a sporting weapon…but also served well as a protective device…even working its way into military units…same could be said for some modern day bolt-actions…it goes both ways….

        1. avatar Kentucky long rifle.... Pennsylvania is for h o m o s says:

          “Pennsylvania long rifle”…….wtf is THAT???

          You must be talking about the KENTUCKY LONG RIFLE….. idiot.

        2. avatar Mark N. says:

          Ahem. The Kentucky long rifle was a cheap knock off of the German immigrant made Pennsylvania long rifle. Find two examples on the internet and you will see what I mean. The Pa rifles have much finer workmanship.

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      I’m afraid this is incorrect. You are correct for most arms, but for semi-automatic (self-loading) rifles and shotguns with detachable box magazines, the sporting arms came first, before military arms.

      The Winchester 1905, the Remington Model 8 and the Browning A-5 were all sporting arms – and they all pre-dated WWI. They were also the first successful semi-auto long arms in the US. There were no semi-auto military designs in use, or designed being commissioned at that time by the US Armory system or the Department of War.

      The lever action rifle, on the other hand, barely had the ink dry on the patents before the Union Army started examining military use of same. The turnbolt rifle was first seen in military use in the US before it became popular with sporting arms makers. Even the Sharps falling block designs were first fielded by the military before becoming popular with buffalo hunters.

      Semi-autos were the exception to the rule. It would be 20 more years after the introduction of sporting semi-autos before the Dep’t of War commissioned a semi-auto rifle design, which eventually resulted in the acceptance of the Garand.

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        despite some experimental rifles in the civil war….the army never formally adopted a lever action…probably for logistical purposes….

        1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          The Union purchased about 1500+ Henry 1860’s. State militias from union states purchased some more. They weren’t there in large numbers, but they were purchased and issued.

        2. avatar jwm says:

          The .gov purchased between 90-100 thousand Spencer repeaters during the war. They were cheaper than the Henry and threw a bigger slug.

  20. avatar Debbie W. says:

    Isn’t it amazing how democRats assume they can determine what you can have and what you cannot have and where you can go and cannot go and what you can say and cannot say? The democRat Party cannot shake the insanity behind their long, long history of slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, the KKK, Eugenics, Gun Control and other race based atrocities. The democRat Party savors the thought of control just like kidnappers, perverts, thieves, murderers, rapists, tyrants, child molesters, etc. It’s in their nature.

  21. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    As I said before on TTAG. Civilians historically have always had better guns than the government. We had rifles and the government was still using Smooth Bore long guns. The government refused to purchase repeating rifles. And civilians were the primary buyers of Winchester’s and other repeating guns.

    For 20 years all the machine guns were purchased by civilians in the United States before World War II. The military wanted nothing to do with the Thompson submachine gun. It was civilian machine gun sales that kept Auto-Ordnance in business for over two decades.

    Despite the robbers from the Roaring 20s and 30s we were still a much more polite society that was very heavily armed.

    Every American home needs at least one machine gun.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      as I said before…few of those sales were to individuals…[who could afford a $200 gun during the depression?…especially one with no viable purpose like putting meat on the table]…..the marines did develop an affinity for it though…the army had the BAR…and felt that was enough….

      1. avatar jwm says:

        The marines got their first batch of tommy guns from the US Postal Service. For a time during the ‘gangster era’ the marines escorted mail shipments of value because of the gangs robbing them.

        Funny how assigning a squad of marines to protect a rail car ends all sorts of gangster foolishness.

        1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

          I gave a pubic presentation of the Marines defense of the US Mail. About 8 years ago. It got a lot of interest locally. It was even in the local paper. Most people don’t think of a time before we had the FBI, AMT machines, and credit cards.

          Back then cash was king. And easily stolen. I have found pictures of the marine guards with shotguns and side arms. In fact the OP order did specify those weapons be carried. The military having to borrow more power guns doesn’t surprise me. In LA the cops had to borrow guns from gun stores to deal with two bank robbers. Who had body armor and illegally converted AR-15s to full auto.

      2. avatar Chris T in KY says:

        Thousands of tommy guns were sold to civilians long before the passage of the $200 tax. They were marketed to wealthy land owners. And private company security. Machine guns were never marketed to the regular person. They too expensive even back then. But doctors and lawyers could afford them. And many did buy them. You could also save up to buy better guns. As many people did and still do.

        But in the 21st century. An $800 AR-15 + a $175 bumpstock does = a very economical substitute for the average gun owner. Which is the real reason why they want to stop folks from buying them.

        Regulating guns to make them more expensive is now gun control got started.

  22. avatar Montana Actual says:

    Aren’t they all full semi auto? high capacity round clips in ar-14’s are not a joke!

  23. avatar SoCalJack says:

    How about a distinction between being part of the gun community Vs the 2A community? Sad to say Black Rifle Coffee have distanced themselves from the 2A community. Reminds me of Under Armor, Yeti and Benchmade.
    Black Rifle Coffee Sellouts?
    https://youtu.be/CNVMf-O3URw

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      What is the “thing” about BRCC? They distribute some nice blends of coffee.

  24. avatar Gary Griffiths says:

    Biden Admin: We’re going to classify all semi-automatic firearms and magazines over 10-rounds capacity as “assault weapons” and have the ATF register them under the National Firearms Act.

    Supreme Court: Mr. Biden, we have good news and bad news:

    The good news is that you may have ATF classify any weapons however they wish.

    The bad news is that the entire National Firearms Act is Unconstitutional.

  25. avatar NTexas says:

    Blab blab , naw , no one gonA take away your guns . Law bide N citizens have rights ,all be ok in good old USA , God Bless America n ya’all

  26. avatar Silence DoGood says:

    You do a disservice to the cause with the mere mention of the word “need” because ‘need’ is completely irrelevant.

    Man has exactly four “needs,” food, water, air and shelter. Everything else we have we have because we want it, not because we need it. You don’t “need” a Mercedes-Benz, you don’t “need” Gucci loafers and you don’t “need” a Rolex Submariner. The fact that the human species had none of them yet managed to survive for 200,000 years is proof of that. If you have them you have them entirely because you “want” them. “Need” has nothing to do with it, yet there’s no one arguing that you shouldn’t own a Ping titanium driver because you don’t “need” it.You do a disservice to the cause with the mere mention of the word “need” because ‘need’ is completely irrelevant.

    Man has exactly four “needs,” food, water, air and shelter. Everything else we have we have because we want it, not because we need it. You don’t “need” a Mercedes-Benz, you don’t “need” Gucci loafers and you don’t “need” a Rolex Submariner. If you have them you have them entirely because you “want” them. “Need” has nothing to do with it, yet there’s no one arguing that you shouldn’t own a Ping titanium driver because you don’t “need” it.

    And if you try to tell me that your “wants” are more legitimate than mine, then I will tell you to go pound sand.

    Merely accepting the proposition that “need” is relevant lets the camel’s nose under the tent and should not be done. DO NOT engage with the hoplophobes on “need.” There simply is nothing to be gained from it.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “You do a disservice to the cause with the mere mention of the word “need” because ‘need’ is completely irrelevant.”

      I get that people here are afraid of the word “need” as relates to firearm ownership and possession. However, “need” is the very basis of the of the Second Amendment….”A well regulated Militia, being necessary…” For those in Rio Linda, we, the people, need a well armed and regulated militia in order to rein in the standing army of the national government, and by extension the national government.

      The people actually do need a tool to control a rogue government. That tool is armed militia. If a militia is necessary (“needed”), then arms are needed in order that the militia actually have the means to fulfill the mission(s) of the militia.

      So, do we have a “need” for firearms? Too bloody right we do. We need firearms so that the central committee never get comfortable with the idea that government can abuse its master(s) with impunity.

  27. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    You are not going to defeat government tyranny with just your break action shotgun. And your bolt action rifle. You have a 2A birthright to the same Arms the military or police uses. When you have at least the same guns the government has. The world is a safer place.

  28. avatar vern moen says:

    Seattle media today reported that a women was stabbed to death with a ‘military grade knife’ (a KA-BAR) obtained from a nearby surplus store.

    https://komonews.com/news/local/man-in-fatal-belltown-stabbing-held-on-1m-bond-after-being-charged-with-murder

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