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Old July 19, 2013, 03:52 PM   #1
Machineguntony
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Opening the Machine gun registry

Lets have another debate. Liven up the NFA forum with some relevant topics.

Today's topic...

1. What would have to happen (politically, legislatively, judicially, or by executive decree) for the MG registry to reopen?

2. What are the odds it would happen?


I'll go first.

I would say that the registry would reopen if the next president elected was conservative, from a red Gun state, like Texas, and that president packed the court with conservative Supreme Court justices. The court is already relatively conservative, with Alito, Scalia, Thomas, and Roberts very likely to have a conservative interpretation of the second amendment.

Ginsberg is very likely the next to retire, and that would remove a liberal vote, if a conservative president took office.

The SC would then declare that the '86 act and the NFA were unconstitutional infringements.

Odds of this happening...less than 1%. First, a conservative president has to be elected. All signs point to Hillary, at about 25% to win. If Hillary doesn't take the office, then the odds are moderate or liberal will win due to the current political demographic.

Even if a conservative president is eventually elected (which will probably happen one day), it's highly unlikely the court would overturn the MG ban. The SC has already held that machine guns are dangerous weapons that can be regulated.

Congress would never, not in a million years, ever open the registry, and neither would the president. There would be too much political liability. Imagine if there was a mass shooting, involving a MG, after the registry reopened. That would be political suicide for the political person and party involved.

That's just my guess, pure guess. What are your thoughts?
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Old July 19, 2013, 04:15 PM   #2
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Let's skip the liberal/conservative stuff, especially with the next Presidential election three years away.

What needs to happen is not so much political as it is cultural. To the general public, machine guns are the rhetorical third rail. Look at how easy it is for the media to deliberately confuse semiautomatic rifles with machine guns.

Any discussion with a neutral or skeptical audience will instantly change in tone when someone brings the subject up. It's perception that has to change.

How do we get there? I don't think it'll happen in the near future. Once the contours of the 2A are hashed out by the courts (and we're just at the beginning there), we might be able to start the ball rolling, but it's hard to predict. Even under the best of circumstances, I wouldn't expect to see repeal or significant change within the next couple of decades.
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Old July 19, 2013, 05:32 PM   #3
Brian Pfleuger
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The only way the registry ever gets reopened is if someone from TFL (or someone of similar bent) gets elected president. You see, no one else cares.
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Old July 20, 2013, 02:20 PM   #4
RJay
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It will never be reopened in your or my life time, and I really doubt if my great grand kids will ever see it reopen, so why even discuss it?? You can beat a dead horse, but it still won't get up and go. Sorry, JMO, I have too many real things to worry about.
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Old July 20, 2013, 02:33 PM   #5
45_auto
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Quote:
1. What would have to happen (politically, legislatively, judicially, or by executive decree) for the MG registry to reopen?
A revolutionary war or an overthrow of the current government, with all new laws as a result.

Quote:
2. What are the odds it would happen?
Probably pretty slim.
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Old July 20, 2013, 02:59 PM   #6
dakota.potts
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I don't find how the registry withstands the scrutiny placed under the Miller decision. If I recall, the court in that case decided that because there was no military use for a short barreled shotgun, it was a legitimate restriction to make it a felony to own one.

In this day and age with the military using automatic weapons, short barreled weapons, suppressors, automatic grenade launchers, etc.

I don't understand why we can't open up the registry with at least M4 and M249 models, as well as SBRs (semi and full auto) with a short barrel length like the Colt Commando.
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Old July 20, 2013, 06:46 PM   #7
Tom Servo
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Quote:
If I recall, the court in that case decided that because there was no military use for a short barreled shotgun, it was a legitimate restriction to make it a felony to own one.
They were actually incorrect on that, as short-barreled shotguns were used as trench sweepers in WWI, and they were used by guards in POW camps. There were two fundamental problems: the absence of anyone to represent Miller's case before the Supreme Court, and the sloth and sloppiness of the Justice who wrote the opinion.

Quote:
The only way the registry ever gets reopened is if someone from TFL (or someone of similar bent) gets elected president.
Tom Servo in 2016! Pillow fights to determine foreign policy, and machine guns for everyone!
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Old July 20, 2013, 08:25 PM   #8
James K
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We have had two real pro-gun presidents since WWII; one was assassinated and the other one barely survived an assassination attempt.

Coincidence? Of course. What else could it be?

Jim
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Old July 21, 2013, 07:34 AM   #9
silvermane_1
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heck i would be content fact of pre '86 date of manufacture done away with.
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Old July 21, 2013, 08:24 AM   #10
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In politics, nobody gets everything they want and everyone gets something. As Peetza noted, this is a super hot button for those opposing, and not so much a big deal to gun guys. Not likely, probability 10^-6

Looking at all the issues Congress has to deal with, ain't going to happen...... Unless Tom=2016!

Tom, how much money do I have to raise for your campaign to get an Ambassadorship?
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Old July 21, 2013, 10:53 AM   #11
Bartholomew Roberts
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This is one reason I would never advocate for NFA weapons as an investment strategy. The value is artificial and supported by government regulation, not the market. Any time the culture changes or the Courts decide to take the Second Amendment seriously, all that perceived value can be destroyed.
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Old July 21, 2013, 01:05 PM   #12
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The Miller court ducked the issue, while remaining within the letter of logic.

They didn't say that short barrel shotguns had no military use, what they said was that they had not been presented evidence of such use. And an even stricter interpretation is that they had not been presented evidence that the short barrel shotgun in the case (ser#xxxx) had military use.

And because the court was not given evidence to the contrary to consider, they ruled the regulation, registration, and taxation of the gun (and all in the same class) as legal and valid.

As to reopening the registry? Not going to happen if there is any public debate or knowledge of an attempt. Why? Because machine guns are the demons of the gun world to the antis. All guns are bad, to them, but machine guns are the worst. And for the bulk of the past century, the general public has been taught that by our media industry.

Show me any movie or TV show where other than military use, the machine gun is used by anyone other than the bad guys, or the cops/ lone hero fighting them.

I know lots of people, strong supporters of RKBA, who draw the line at machine guns. Several have said that while they would trust ME with one, they wouldn't trust the general pubic.

This is the mindset. ANYTHING that can be mis-represented to make it look like easing the access of the general public to machineguns is going to play badly for us in the public's eyes.

They will ignore the fact that during the entire 80years (rounded off) of legal, registered machinegun ownership there has only been 1 (perhaps 2) crimes committed with the registered guns by their legal owners (and the one crime I know of, the legal owner was also a police officer, gone bad apparently).

I've said it before, I'll say it again, the only possible way we could get the registry reopened is for a us to have not just a pro gun administration, but one that would accept a quiet, administrative editorial change to the law, without putting it in front of the press and the public.

Just slip it in with all the other crap they are constantly proposing. Change line #xxx in law #xxx to remove "after the effective date of this legislation" (or something similar), without making any noise about it. If it gets through and the anti's find out afterwards (and they will be ticked), they'll have to go through the courts to get it repealed, or pass a repealing law.

A return to the 1985 law, the same as it was from 34 on, with the tax, background check, local CLEO approval, all of that, just allow new (or newly discovered) guns to be added to the registry. Not so much a big deal, right?

Well, not to us, but a HUGE deal the antis and any politician who wants a highly visible issue to champion.

The risks of bringing legal machinegun ownership into the spotlight are big. Highly unlikely we would reap any benefit, and extremely likely we would lose something we currently still have. What do you think will happen to the supply of legal guns if our govt remembers that it hasn't changed the tax on them since 1934? A $10,000 per unit, per transfer tax (instead of the current $200) is not farfetched.

In any public discussion, the antis will take the mass murders commited with semi autos, and shout about how much WORSE it would have been with a MACHINEGUN!!!!

There is a miniscule chance we could sneak across the minefield quietly, at night, without getting blown up. If we try to do it in daylight, with alerted defenders shooting at us, the odds hit zero real quick, and go down from there.
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Old July 21, 2013, 09:51 PM   #13
barnbwt
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"1. What would have to happen (politically, legislatively, judicially, or by executive decree) for the MG registry to reopen?"

All the monied folks with $16,000 M16s and ammo to feed them would have to lose their political influence within the only organizations that would ever seek a repeal of the ban. Never happening.

"Looking at all the issues Congress has to deal with, ain't going to happen"
Well, opening the registry would not cost any money; in fact it would raise money quite readily. Would probably be easier to get through Congress than passing a budget at this point .

That's it! We need to destroy our tax base so much that there'll be no choice but to raise the needed bones through machinegun licensing!

Tom, how much for a paid ambassadorship to a nation that doesn't actually exist? (Ah, sweet Couchistan )

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Old July 21, 2013, 10:06 PM   #14
Tom Servo
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Quote:
Just slip it in with all the other crap they are constantly proposing.
There might have been a time when that approach could work, but the internet has changed that. Just as we know every sneaky move the antis try, they'll catch wind of this before it gathers steam, and the fallout could be devastating.

Any politician caught supporting the effort would be labeled an extremist, and not just on the anti side. Nobody's going to take that leap at the current time.
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Old July 22, 2013, 08:24 AM   #15
Brian Pfleuger
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Opening the Machine gun registry

I'll vote Tom Servo 2016!

For the right cabinet position, that party in Vegas in 08 never happened!
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Old July 22, 2013, 10:04 AM   #16
Skans
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What needs to happen is not so much political as it is cultural.
You would first have to get the NRA to embrace this idea. In order for that to happen, a large number of members would have to push for it. If the NRA got behind it (which I don't see happening in my lifetime), and if the Nation keeps swinging toward more firearms freedoms, and if bumpfire stocks become commonplace and accepted by the gun owning communities, and a bunch of other "ifs", I could see the registry reopening on a limited basis.

Why did I mention bumpfire stocks? 1. It has the potential of introducing lots of folks to something like full-auto fire making them desire more; and 2. The BATFE might just figure - why not simply register more machine guns than to permit the proliferation of bumpfire stocks (that they can't even tax).
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Old July 22, 2013, 11:31 AM   #17
johnwilliamson062
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I have long held, and will continue to hold, that it IS possible and the moderately anti-gun groups have provided the path for us.

You see, a double barrel shotgun is not a "gun" and even uncle Jooe agrees.
A 22lr isn't either.
I believe it is politically feasible, although it would consume a great deal of resources, to open the registry to rimfire cartridges 22lr or less in caliber(I know rimmed isn't the best for full auto). Maybe specifically 22lr to eliminate fears of a super magnuum rimfire being developed(actually, I hear one was just released).

Now wouldn't be the moment to push it, but there have been times over the last few years, and I believe there will be over the next few, when it could be introduced.
Probably a decade from introduction to pass it though.

After a few year, once people spend some time around full auto 10-22s, if things go as well as every other restriction removal has, maybe some expansion.

Anything ever happen with the state that nullified federal laws on internal production and sales?
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