So the analysis of the Toomey-Manchin Amendment here turned into a good bit of crowd sourcing, and readers have uncovered a number of issues. I want to address them here. I’m kind of torn between trying to make sure people have correct information, and just letting the panic play out, because panic, politically speaking, is good, and I don’t honestly like this deal. But I think a case can still be made that the deal is bad, so I will lay out some clarifications.
One of the big surprises is that it does not cover advertisements solely on the Internet, but also to publications. I asked someone for a Black’s Law Dictionary definition of publication:
“Generally, the act of declaring or announcing to the public.”
But the person (who has a law degree) who I asked believed the Court would be more likely to use the ordinary definition, which combined with the mention of “listing,” would mean a periodical, gun club newsletter, etc. So just holding up a sign would not likely be construed as publication. Nonetheless, by failing to define the term in the amendment, it’s open to interpretation by the courts. If they mean a newspaper, magazine or other periodical, they can plainly say so.
A reader pointed out that it would make it illegal to rescue guns from a buyback. I thought that might be plausible if a sign or verbal announcement would be considered publication. I think it’s still plausible, but it would be a stretch. I think it would also be a stretch to suggest that a buyback is a gun show. The guns are not being displayed for sale, you’re soliciting a sale from people walking buy. UPDATE: A reader surmises it would actually make buybacks illegal. Buybacks are generally advertised in publications, on the Internet, and in newspapers. Actually, yes, it would make buybacks illegal, I believe.
Another reader asked about C&Rs. This doesn’t change anything about C&Rs, except that for purposes of guns that are curios and relics, you are a licensee, rather than a non licensee, so you can acquire the gun from a private seller the same way any other FFL would be able to, provided you log it in your A&D record. Someone also asked about antiques. The language does not change how antique firearms are treated.
Chris from Alaska brought up a point about the FOPA protections. The bill creates a new exception where the protection no longer apply if the firearms are being transported to commit any crime punishable by a period over one year. He pointed out that transporting a 30 round magazine through Colorado would be such an offense. I’d note that the language covers firearms and ammunition. Presumably that would also cover a magazine, since you need a magazine to operate the firearm. But what about 10 magazines, say, if you were on your way to a competition? We’ve seen enough abuse of FOPA provision that I think this language needs to be air tight. There can’t be any wiggle room. The language needs to include “and firearm accessories” as well.
As many have pointed out, the Concealed Carry exception doesn’t really do anything for us. One reader commented Oklahoma issues 10 year carry permits. So Oklahoma is not likely on the list of states whose carry permits are NICS equivalents. The language in the Toomey-Manchin amendment was a bit different, but not radically so, and as I pointed out, they left the existing language in place currently in 922(t), which would become 922(s), so it’s unclear which controls.
You are still permitted to liquidate large collections from your home, and not be covered under the gun show language. Your home can never be a gun show. But someone else’s home could be. I missed the language there, and have removed that conclusion from the previous post.
I have concern about the section on penalties. If I had a friend who was a cop, and I privately sold him a gun after he saw me advertising it in a club newsletter, and I didn’t go through a check, the penalty applies. For someone not prohibited, it would not. Better to suggest law enforcement, or a law enforcement informant, if and only if they are posing as someone prohibited under 922(g) and 922(n).
I am of the opinion that the Toomey-Manchin Amendment doesn’t honestly give us enough to justify the vague language, and what we’re being asked to give up. I think it would be difficult for an ordinary gun owner to know what’s legal and what’s not legal, so the smart advice would be to run all sales to someone you do not know, or who is a cop, through an FFL. I think there are probably also quite a lot in here we’re missing. I don’t trust what the courts and the DOJ are going to do with it. Also, today’s exceptions will be tomorrow’s loopholes. I think this Toomey-Manchin deal needs to be opposed, and people need to call their Senators.
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