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Machine Gun Killers

Bryan Miller was thankful yesterday for the federal restrictions on machine guns.  As one commenter pointed out:

Bryan Miller is right — the 1934 law strictly regulating machine guns has been effective, resulting in almost nonexistent cases of misuse by their legal owners. So gun control groups are satisfied about that, right?

WRONG — most gun control groups favor banning ownership of machine guns from those who now own them legally and without misuse.

And that is why we we’re obstinate in opposing them.  The federal machine gun regulations are actually very instructive.  For 50 years you had, by any gun control advocate’s standards, a successful program of licensing (in the form of a tax stamp) and registration, that resulted in very few crimes from legally possessed machine guns — and yet in 1986, they banned them anyway.

One Response to “Machine Gun Killers”

  1. Chuck B. says:

    As far as I can tell, the ONLY high-profile mass shooting in America that was ever committed with then-legal machine guns was the 1929 Saint Valentine’s Day massacre in Chicago, Illinois. Two Thompson submachine guns were used to kill seven people in this case. Both were legally purchased years earlier during the 1920’s, with one of them being originally purchased by a deputy sheriff in Illinois who was later shown to have ties to organized crime figures in Saint Louis, Missouri.

    I can also recall reading an article somewhere which gave the details on the the only TWO known cases of homicide being committed with legally possessed NFA machine guns in these United States. One of the perpetrators was a corrupt cop in Ohio, and the other was some sort of wealthy doctor somewhere who murdered his ex-wife soon after she divorced him. Neither case involved any type of mass shooting, so it could stand to reason that another type of firearm other than a machine gun could have very well been used as the murder weapon instead.

    The ban on new NFA machine gun registrations in 1986 came as a result of a Democratic representative from New Jersey named William J. Hughes. Hughes proposed adding in the ban as an amendment at the last minute with no testimony, nor much debate, to the Federal Firearm Owners’ Protection Act of 1986, a law which was intended to actually affirm and clarify gun rights for Americans in several different ways. The vote to include the “Hughes Amendment” within the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act took place late at night, when many of the pro-gun congressional representatives who would have been opposed to its inclusion were not present on the House floor. The vote on this amendment was also done as an unrecorded voice vote, which some later contended was inconclusive.

    There have been relatively few murders committed with actual machine guns in American history before the National Firearms Act of 1934, and just like Sebastian mentions above, even fewer were committed between then and the “Hughes Amendment” in 1986. None of that mattered to New Jersey Democrat William J. Hughes however, as he was just likely trying to score one for the gun grabber’s side in the face of sweeping legislation back in 1986 that gave us all some better clarification on our second amendment rights.

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