NRA on the Machine Gun Ban

Joe Huffman finds an ILA publication from around the time of the Hughes Amendment. At one point NRA was intent on getting Hughes repealed, but over time I think it became apparent there wasn’t any political support to do so in Congress. As Joe says, we’re still a ways away from being able to repeal Hughes, but the issue is moving in our direction.

18 thoughts on “NRA on the Machine Gun Ban”

  1. Meh, Congress will never help us, nor will the GOP. I’ll give credit where credit is due, when the Dumbocrats push for Gun Control, they push hard, and eventually win out. The GOP doesn’t really do squat aside from maintaining the status quo for our rights… until they do something stupid, lose seats, and the Dumbocrats get enough leverage to screw us over again.

    Pro-Gun action in recent Congresses was the equivalent of building a sand castle to stop the ocean. You hold it back a little bit, but before you know it, it’s eroded and gone.

    Hopefully we see more stuff similar to hr822 to keep the opposition on a screaming defensive. I suggest the next Federal Law the GOP proposes is a national Gun Rights Act which would invalidate the AWBs in Illinois, New Jersey, and California. The hysterics from that would be comical.

  2. I have a screenshot of that legendary Monitor issue.

    There is a name to this behavior.

  3. “But people should not think the NRA kicked them to the curb without a second thought.”

    Well they gave it a thought, first?

  4. BTR,

    IMHO the Farmer argument is weak, even though it makes a bit of sense (which is why it was doomed to failure).

    The decision in US v Rock Island Armory to me is epic; it’s just too bad that Rock Island didn’t start selling machineguns to dealers (and dealers to individuals) in that district when ATF declined to appeal.

    1. According to the US vs. Rock Island, because new machine guns cannot be registered (due to Hughes), then that means the Title II section of NFA ’38 is invalidated?

      So basically, if one were to pursue action in this judicial district, they can produce machine guns and sell them without having to go through the BS of registering the machine gun with the ATF?

      I mean, that would be my interpretation assuming that the Hughes Amendment prevented the registration of new machine guns.

      1. ISnt this the same argument that was made on the marijuana tax stamp at one point? You could not legally own or apply, since you had to be in violation of the law in order to be on the right side of the law?

        I dont think most, including most gun “nuts” understand that MGs and NFA items are a tax issue, and also dont require special permits and shadowy “I know a guy” dealings with local PD and such. At least not in free states.

      2. US v. Rock Island only invalidates charging people for evading the tax, because the government refuses to collect it. That does not preclude prosecution under 922(o), which is how the .gov prosecutes MG cases now, rather than charging with a violation of NFA. The only time it can charge for violating NFA is if the MG is transferrable, because they will collect the tax.

        1. Not true, Sebastian. From the decision:

          In sum, since enactment of 18 U.S.C. § 922(o), the Secretary has refused to accept any tax payments to make or transfer a machinegun made after May 19, 1986, to approve any such making or transfer, or to register any such machinegun. As applied to machineguns made and possessed after May 19, 1986, the registration and other requirements of the National Firearms Act, Chapter 53 of the Internal Revenue Code, no longer serve any revenue purpose, and are impliedly repealed or are unconstitutional. Accordingly, Counts 1(a) and (b), 2, and 3 of the superseding indictment are [dismissed].

          The decision takes a form of circular logic, in that you’re charged with not paying the tax, but since the ATF won’t accept the tax, you can’t comply.
          It then goes further in noting that the registration requirement is to aid in collecting the tax (not ban a constitutionally protected firearm), and that since the ATF will no longer accept the tax, the registration requirement serves no valid purpose and is therefore unconstitutional.

          1. It deals with the circular logic of the NFA, if the ATF won’t accept a the tax. Basically, you can’t charge under the Internal Revenue Code. You can still charge 922(o), which has not circular logic. It’s simply unlawful to possess a machine gun manufactured after May 19th, 1986, unless you fall under a narrow exception, under 922(o). This has no circular logic.

            What Rock Island says is that you can’t charge someone for not paying a tax that the government refuses to collect. Well, OK… so they charge under 922(o) instead. The crime for 922 isn’t having an unregistered MG, it’s having a MG made after 1986, and not falling under an exception.

            1. Okay, what about machine guns made before 1986 that weren’t registered by the deadline?

              Do they fall through the loophole then? I mean, the ATF won’t accept new registration/tax for them, but they were manufactured prior to 1986…

              Maybe someone can make full-auto lowers, stamp them as ‘made in 1985’ and then sell them legally? Build a few million of them, sell the tooling, scuff em up a bit, and say you happened to stumble upon them one day… :-P

              1. 922(o) requires that the MG be in lawful possession prior to May 19th, 1986. So possession of such a machine gun would be reachable under 922(o).

              2. The only “loophole” that would allow you to possess post-86 MGs is to get an FFL, a Class III SOT, and be friendly with the local PD to be able to get letterhead. Other than that, there’s no legal path forward.

            2. Sebastian, I believe you’re reading more into the decision than is there:

              As the government conceded at oral argument, the United States refuses to register or accept tax payments for the making or transfer of machineguns made after 1986.[6] Thus, § 922(o), as applied to machineguns made after May 19, 1986, left the registration and other requirements of the National Firearms Act without any constitutional basis.

              The court noted that the NFA was an act to raise revenue, and the registration requirements were in place only to effect the payment of the tax. If the ATF no longer collects the tax (by reason of 922(o) ) then there is no longer an constitutional basis for the NFA as it applies to machineguns manufactured after May 19.

              Now, you may believe that the decision in Rock Island only allows prosecution under 922(o) (as opposed to 26 §5822 opr §5861), but the clear language of the decision states that because of 922(o), post-May 19 machineguns are effectively no longer subject to the NFA.

              1. but the clear language of the decision states that because of 922(o), post-May 19 machineguns are effectively no longer subject to the NFA.

                That is correct, yes. They are no longer subject to the NFA and its tax provisions. It’s simply a crime to possess an MG manufactured after that date except under exception to 922(o).

          2. I should clarify here that 922(o) is not part of the Internal Revenue Code, but part of Title 18, which is the federal criminal code.

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