The closing of the registration in 1986 is, for all practical purposes, a ban. The average person cannot afford 8, 10 or 20k for a transferable, select fire AR-15. Even if they could, the finite supply of pre-86 NFA stock will eventually run out.
That it took until 1986 to ban this ordinary military equipment from private, law-abiding individuals is prima facia evidence that it was historically understood to be protected. Even more to the point, the 1934 National Firearms Act didn't ban, but TAXED a certain class of weapon, further affirming the historical legality of such regulated arms.
Considering that the first production machine guns appeared more than 100 years prior to the ban, the 1986 Hughes amendment is relatively recent history. As a point of reference, the struck Washington DC handgun ban was 10 years older than the 1986 law.
Most of us agree that the Hughes amendment is pretty far down on the list of priorities in terms of second amendment fixes. But it is very disconcerting when a court so oversteps its bounds in an area in which the Supreme Court clearly has not spoken, or worse, has already indicated that there may be considerable doubt as to the constitutionality of a law. (See my post #10).
Justice Scalia's recent public comments regarding the what type of weapons are protected re-affirms that "It will have to be decided".
Scalia's public comment here merits judicial notice.
And finally, what, if anything, would a rifle who's purpose is to protect the security of a free state look like, if not exactly like a civilian version of the M4/M16?
Sorry, this holding is far more worrisome than reassuring to me.
Last edited by maestro pistolero; August 12, 2012 at 03:29 AM.