What Is The National Firearms Act Anyway?

BY Herschel Smith
5 months ago

As seen on reddit, a layman’s explanation.

In 1934, rich people decided that they didn’t like poor people sneaking onto their land to hunt game, which was happening a lot because there was this economic thing called the “Great Depression” and poor people were “starving”.

So they called up a bunch of their pet congresscritters, and ordered a custom made law called the National Firearms Act of 1934.

This placed a $200 dollar tax on rifles with a barrel shorter than 16″ or an overall length less than 26″, shotguns with a barrel shorter than 18″ or an overall length less than 26″, and firearm sound suppressors of any kind. This ensured that those nasty poor people couldn’t afford guns which they might smuggle onto rich people’s land to hunt rich people’s deer, or suppressors that might prevent them from getting caught in the act.

Nowdays, $200 isn’t a whole lot of money, but the law is being exploited in a new way to restrict access. You see, this tax gets you a “tax stamp”, without which possession of the firearm is a felony. But the law doesn’t put any upper limit on the wait before the paperwork gets approved. So these papers are processed by one elderly guy named Frank, whose eyesight isn’t so good any more, and a typical application takes six months to two years to come back.

Naturally, modern folks who own guns aren’t too keen on this, but modern folks who hate guns have their pet congresscritters who are dead set against repealing any law that makes firearms ownership inconvenient, even if it makes no sense at all. Also, there is a whole three-letter agency devoted to enforcing this thing, and they don’t want to lose their jobs, so they have plenty of interesting and highly inventive arguments about how this is critical to the future of the nation, and how everyone died multiple times every week before 1934 because we didn’t have this.

So people looked into ways to do normal things while in compliance with the letter of the law.

So, the thing that looks like a stock on that thing that looks like a rifle is technically an arm brace, which makes that thing technically a pistol, which makes the National Firearms Act technically not apply to it. Now, you could say that this is a loophole which complies with the letter of the law while totally ignoring its spirit, but you could also say that the law has no spirit, and is nothing but a big technicality designed to f*** with people from the very beginning.

But however we got here, the fact remains that the thing in the photo is perfectly legal as it is, but with a slightly different stock it’ll get you a decade in the federal penitentiary.

This is why gun owners get kind of shirty about this kind of thing.

This is the same reason why some of the gun community – including the NRA – will never support repeal of the NFA, GCA and the Hughes Amendment.

Too many people have too much money invested in Class 3 weapons.  Suppose you spend $25,000 on a Class 3 weapon, or several of them, and someone comes along and tells you that your investment will tank in the near future and your guns will be worth no more than a used gun of that make and model within a single day.

Would you support it, looking at it only from the perspective of money?  The better question is what, other than a true commitment to the RKBA under God, would make you support it?


Comments

  1. On July 10, 2018 at 10:28 pm, Longbow said:

    I’d betcha that most collectors would take the hit to see Freedom Win again.

  2. On July 11, 2018 at 12:02 am, Oryguncon said:

    The problem for the class 3 investors is that their investment is unstable no matter what. Sure, you might lose 50%+ of the value due to NFA etc. repeal but it is easy for the Feds, legally or through bureaucrat regulations to ban or restrict the stuff altogether. Who is to say their $50k-500k collection will be able to be transferrable after they die 20 years from now? Then you have state regulations and restrictions to make it even worse. Toss in 3D printed gun tech, now backed up under free speech, that investment value drops a lot besides the rare stuff.

    Anyone who takes seriously their investment value in class 3 guns is a fool and should be openly mocked for it.

  3. On July 11, 2018 at 3:15 am, DAN III said:

    Mr. Smith,

    I own a Class III machine pistol. It was never bought as an “investment”. Should it’s value decline or increase due to changes in the law, the economy or whatever factor….so be it.

    Most likely there is not ONE firearm I own that would garner me a sale amount close to what I paid for it. Next to used motor vehicles, nothing loses value as much as used firearms. Try selling one of your 1911 pistols for what you paid for it. Good luck with that.

    Things are only worth what one is willing to pay for it.

  4. On July 11, 2018 at 7:47 am, Talktome said:

    So, the question was: would you support liberty even if it costs you a lot of money? I suppose this is the problem, too many (all?) people in power look at things from the wiifm (what’s in it for me) perspective. This is why virtually everything government does benefits someone at the expense of someone else. In this case, some compromised law maker vs. liberty of the citizens. Liberty don’t pay the bills, but corruption sure does.

    I’d like to think I would take the hit, but I can’t afford to pay the prices for class 3 firearms, so I don’t have a financial,stake in this one, just a moral stake. Of course I’m all for repealing every law on the books that is unconstitutional and against our natural, God given rights – in other words, just about all of them. The problem is that most people think these laws somehow protect them – as if saying some law may make you feel safe is a good enough reason to violate the constitution and our natural rights. How these laws are not outright overturned and openly violated is a sad commentary on citizens today. Heck, they cheer their enslavement openly.

  5. On July 11, 2018 at 9:06 am, Fred said:

    “So they called up a bunch of their pet congresscritters, [who even then were communists bent on nationalizing the entire economy under bankster direction, so fearing an overthrow by armed Americans they were all too happy to help], and ordered a custom made law called the National Firearms Act of 1934.”

    FIFY.

  6. On July 11, 2018 at 10:18 am, Gryphon said:

    The cited Article would be Funny if it didn’t reveal the average Non-Gun Owning sheeple’s Ignorance. It is True, unfortunately, that the Fudds in the NRA, and many other Elements in the Gun Industry would NEVER support a Real, Constitutional interpretation of the 2A, as it would Eliminate their $$$$.

    My view of the Constitutional Meaning of it should be, the “Well Regulated” part of the Militia should mean Members who Drill Regularly get Free Ammo and Range Time, and that Local Units have Crew-Served Weapons. Individually, NO INFRINGEMENTS on the Right to Bear Arms to Protect oneself are ‘Legal’. If it Shoots and You can Afford it, Go For it.

    And those “Homeowner’s Association” rules against Parking an R.V. in your Driveway are Invalid regarding your Tank.

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You are currently reading "What Is The National Firearms Act Anyway?", entry #19624 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Gun Control and was published July 10th, 2018 by Herschel Smith.

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