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Old June 11, 2005, 02:55 PM   #1
JohnBrowning
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Re-opening the Machine Gun Registry

I have asked this elsewhere, and I think I should bring this up here because there are more MG people here. Why is it we machine gun lovers don't do more about lobbying to re-open the registry?

For God's sake, why have we allowed an M-249 listed for $50,000 to become "priced to move". As we all know, legal MG's haven't been used by a civilian in a crime since 1934. With that in mind, the ban is quite rediculous, yet there are precious few efforts to educate the general public about the truth. Many NRA members don't even understand NFA laws.

Considering how deep the pockets are for a lot of MG owners, it seems a hell of a lot of lobbying could be done. Why is it so many people seem to have accepted this ban as unchangable?

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Old June 11, 2005, 03:49 PM   #2
Legion2600
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Why is it so many people seem to have accepted this ban as unchangable?
I agree. I still have hope for Stewart. What I don't get is why they don't see the revenue that could be generated.
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Old June 11, 2005, 03:49 PM   #3
cosmolinelover
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Yeah, they kinda slipped that one by Ronnie in '86... I'm sure he didn't do that to us intentially... at least I like to think so......
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Old June 11, 2005, 05:18 PM   #4
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Browning, at least some machinegun lovers are trying to do something about the issue.

I recommend you look at the efforts of the NFA Owners Association - right at
http://nfaoa.org/

Is that what you've been looking for?
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Old June 11, 2005, 05:26 PM   #5
Fly320s
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Quote:
Why is it we machine gun lovers don't do more about lobbying to re-open the registry?
Apathy.

Not necessarily on our part, but on gun owners in general.

Consider the number of gun owners in the U.S. The most often quoted statistics are 60-80 million gun owners. I don't think that many people voted in the last election. If we all got together we could make big changes, quickly.

But how many gun owners do you know that are really pro-gun? I don't mean pro-hunting-rifle or pro-duck-gun, but real, "I don't want the government telling me what I can own" gun owners.

It's the same all over. Most people only care about themselves and, maybe, their immediate family. "I've got mine, you're on your own." Most people just don't care about their rights as long as the TV works and the 'fridge is full of soda.

But one day, when the cable TV is turned off and the 'fridge is empty, they will notice that something isn't right. By then it will be too late.
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Old June 11, 2005, 05:32 PM   #6
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Fly320, I wonder - with all that fire-and-brimstone speech and all - I just provided a link to a group of people who are interested in making a change and getting active to do that. Did you join, look at the activities currently undertaken by the worthy people there to reform the NFA, or have you just proceeded to give us the fire-and-brimstone speech [it's cable-TV-and-fridge variety ]

Please do not take it as a personal insult - but I find it often true that people blame their own inactivity on the inactivity of others ["Nobody does anything, so nothing will happen - so why should *I* bother?"] That is not the right attitude, IMHO.
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Old June 11, 2005, 08:20 PM   #7
Heist
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Considering how deep the pockets are for a lot of MG owners, it seems a hell of a lot of lobbying could be done.
I assure you there is. Just not in the direction you might like.
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Old June 11, 2005, 09:17 PM   #8
MeekAndMild
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I hate to say it but I know NFA owners who would rather assure their guns appreciate in value 10-20% per year by keeping the registry closed.
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Old June 13, 2005, 04:31 PM   #9
JohnBrowning
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"I hate to say it but I know NFA owners who would rather assure their guns appreciate in value 10-20% per year by keeping the registry closed."


While I am not an NFA owner, I have met several. I have yet to hear one of them say they would prefer to keep it like it is to secure there investment. Just the same, I'm sure there are a lot of NFA owners like that, which is indeed sickening.
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Old June 13, 2005, 07:20 PM   #10
MeekAndMild
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Well I don't know a lot who think that way, but they're all pretty wealthy and a couple are influential (on the local and state level) lawyers. Most middle class NFA owners I know would rather have the registry re-opened.

Last edited by MeekAndMild; June 14, 2005 at 05:56 PM.
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Old June 14, 2005, 01:32 AM   #11
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What is strange to me is that logically the machinegun manufacturers/dealers should IMHO be standing up for repealing 922(o) and to support the NFAOA - since it would bring an increase of their profits.

Anybody with insight?
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Old June 14, 2005, 08:20 AM   #12
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I don't know a single NFA owner who woun't gladly lose the value of their entire collections just to have the registry opened, and I know a lot of VERY well to do NFA owners. Whether it be the guy with one M11 or my friend with more than two dozen beltfeds (and many more SMGs, and assault rifles) they all want the registry re-opened and 922(o) done away with. Those who can't afford one want one, but the guys with many just want more. For the guys on the upper end of the scale, too many still isn't nearly enough.

One of the things some of you guys don't seem to realize is that many of the more seasoned NFA owners are not against opening the registry, but rather cynical and jaded knowing the cards in this deck are very heavily stacked against us. Can anyone here name a federal gun law that was repealed by act of Congress? Can anyone here even point to the loosening of import restrictions (which could easily be accomplished by EO)? Hell, we can't even get gun owners to get a national CCW through Congress and yet you think there's even a chance for something like opening the registry? Machinegun owners and those who would like to see the registry opened are only a very small minority of gun owners in this country and we don't even have the support of groups like the NRA. Like it or not, we are viewed as the "lunatic fringe" of gun owners by many legislators (even many republicans) and they are not going to commit political suicide by publicly supporting machinegun owners. Sorry to say it, but thats a fact of life. I'm sure many of you had high hopes for Stewart, but as a lawyer I know Stewart was a dead issue from the start. I was only surprised there wasn't a rehearing en banc at the 9th, but when there wasn't it only cemented the fact in my mind it would be either reversed or remanded with Raich.

The only hope to re-open the registry is not going to come through a political body like Congress. It will come through the courts, which are more insulated from the political pressures Congress faces. Were there more justices like Thomas on the Court, the overreaching use of the commerce clause from which Congress derives most of its power these days, would have been severely curtailed. Additionally, while the 2nd Amendment is not applicable to the states, I am convinced more justices like Thomas would eventually see the 2nd Amendment held incorporated to the states through the 14th Amendment with at least intermediate level Constitutional scrutiny- something far more important than just reopening the registry if you wanted to keep those "new" machineguns.
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Old June 15, 2005, 12:29 AM   #13
ArizonaJim
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My first post on this forum and I'm sure it will be flamed, but here goes....

I actually think reopening the registry would actually be bad for us. Here's why.

A new study of the full auto regs will undoubtably bring the mainstream press into play which will vilify anyone who stands up for MG ownership. With our luck (gunowners), and with the media the way it is, any attention is bad attention. If the general public really knew these were legal to own, they (the government along with the blessing of the NRA) may ban them alltogether (no new transfers, no inheritance).

At the very least the stamp tax will be "adjusted" for inflation to "current" levels. The last thing I would want to see is a change in the stamp tax, which would no doubt occur if the NFA laws were tampered with. The way I understand it, the $200 tax was set in 1932.

Anyone want to pay $10K for a tax stamp just to have a "new" MG?

That would make a "lowly" $3000 M11 cost what... $10250???

Frankly, it isn't a problem (the laws), so why bring attention to them?

And no, the NRA isn't going to care about it one bit. And no, niether is the president or any other elected official. We should be thankful we can even buy any FA. I've been around long enough to see the glory days of class 3 desintegrate into class squabbling and finger pointing and now "why doesn't anyone do something"....

There is nothing to be done. the registry isn't going to reopen and ice is still cold.

That isn't defeatism, that's reality. There is absolutely no "sane" reason for the government to let us have MORE full auto weapons, when there is a culture of gun fear and violence in America. The Moore's and MOM's have taken care of that.

But, if people try to get cute and bring it up, don't be surprised, when a "Hillary" is president, if the Secretary of the Treasury is put under an executive order to reject tax stamp payments.
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Old June 15, 2005, 09:34 PM   #14
MeekAndMild
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Good points ArizonaJim.

By way of discussion rather than argument I would wonder if you've considered how many politicians and trial lawyers are either MG owners or hire MG toting guards. A lot of folks here agree that most NFA owners are law abiding moderates or conservatives just like they are. But in the self serving, wealthy, liberal political class is a surprisingly large number of MG owners who would find it 'inconvenient' to either close all NFA sales or to open the registry.

Also, I wonder if you've considered that there probably are people who don't go out and build their own illegal MGs ONLY because they believe the present system is fair enought so they don't feel the need to perform civil disobediance. Recall if you would, just how many of these MGs surfaced during the last registration amnesty that was declared? There would be a lot of politicians on both sides of the aisle who would find it 'inconvenient' to their own self interested ownership rights if illegal MG manufacture were to suddenly go up 10,000% or 100,000%.

I would think both of those factors might be the key to a permanant continuation of MG ownership, regardless of just how visible a political football registry reopening might become.
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Old June 16, 2005, 02:02 PM   #15
MicroBalrog
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There’s several points wrong with what people said, above. Let me do a prominent point-by-point review.

First, never say never. Gun laws have been repealed by acts of Congress before. Look at all the stuff that died with that very same Firearms Owners Protection Act. People have often won battles - both real ones and legislative ones -at much lesser odds than those today. Does anybody remember, perchance, that only five years ago it seemed that the inheritance tax will be there forever?

Second, We are in a unique situation where not only is the Vice-President of the United States is a member of the Thompson Collectors Association. Certain NFAOA members are already looking for ways to utilise that - mostly Richard of Special Interest Arms.

Third, there are bills today in Congress, some with many cosponsors, that seek to repeal bits and pieces of the GCA. Namely, Veterans' Heritage Firearms Act of 2005, Firearm Commerce Modernization Act, Second Amendment Protection Act - and the day is young.

Fourth, there is as much chance of repealing the Eighteenth Amendment as there is for a hummingbird to fly to the planet Mars with the Washington Monument tied to its tail.
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Old June 16, 2005, 02:48 PM   #16
cpileri
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yeah

I have to agree mostly w/ AZJim regarding the chances of the 86MGBan being repealed.

Now its MY turn to risk a flambe:
As I read Small Arms Review every month, I get the DISTINCT feeling that the editorial staff of the mag (at least in print) are on the side of cooperatig with the fed-gov-atf and keeping the registry CLOSED!

Sure they mention alot about re-opening the thing for 90-day intervals, which is written into the current law, and I wish I believed that those words were a view into their true feelings- maybe it is. Maybe IN PRINT, they feel the need to happily go along with every 34NFA/68GCA/86MGB/922r that comes along and act like its ice cream. Maybe off the record they are all die-hard gunnies who want the 2ndA to mean exactly what it says. Seems like a few of their contributing writers are, at least. I guess I'm jaded.

As for me, my only hope is that they suspend the 86MGB at the same time as opening the registry: I think i might register every AK, AR, 10/22, FAL, etc that I can fit onto my credit card from the local shops! I'd pluck the serial number from every parts kit from here to next Tuesday and register that and spend the night dremmeling the numbers onto some drain pipes. Yup, it could be fun.

C-
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Old June 17, 2005, 01:05 PM   #17
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Bet the 86 ban would be a distant memory if mainstream America started seeing the problems with terrorism that Israel has.
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Old June 21, 2005, 01:29 PM   #18
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I shouldn't say this, but I've worked as an admin or onsite-consultant for some firearms organizations back in my IT days. Sometimes I'd sneak a peek at things, email, messages, faxes.

The major NFA collectors, dealers, and buyers don't want the registry opened, to the point of aggressively lobbying and making sure the issue never comes up. Would you want to lose a few million you had invested, or make ten times that over several years? Even a lot of the guys with just thompson or two want to keep it exclusive, they think of it as a hobby for the "moneyed" and the idea of Joe Average also building a collection of machineguns ruins the experience for them.

Face it- machineguns are a moneymaker, a big moneymaker, and because of greed, they're not going to be available to the general public any time soon, without the attempts being denounced by the 'big boys' of the firearms very rapidly. From what I've read and snuck peeks at, I wouldn't be surprised if someone who got anywhere with it got death threats or outright killed. Wherever there is big money, there's organized crime elements and ties, and I've seen first hand proof.
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Old June 21, 2005, 02:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
I don't know a single NFA owner who woun't gladly lose the value of their entire collections just to have the registry opened, and I know a lot of VERY well to do NFA owners.
Ditto!! I'd gladly watch several thousand dollars fly out the window if I could start buying post-86 machineguns.

I find it hard to believe that there are very many people devoting hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy registered machineguns with the intent of making money and the ability to influence legislation on keeping 922(o). First, you'd have to be a moron to invest large sums of money on something that politicians to outlaw on a whim. That includes state polticians. Anyone buying a machinegun should do so with the knowledge it could easily and instantly lose 90%-100% of its value. At today's prices, they are a toy, not an investment.

If you want to make money on machineguns, help do away with 922(o) and then invest in a machinegun company or start your own. There is much more money in volume than in a finite number of overpriced items. You don't make any money on a machinegun until you sell it. If there is no market for your gun, due either to legislation or no one willing to pay that much money, your investment is history.

That said, I think the only way to do away with 922(o) is to adopt the tactics of our enemy and use the same method they used to get it passed to start with. Tack it on every really popular democratic legislation coming down the road at the last minute and force them to either kill their bill or repeal 922(o). Lest you forget, the democrats did a repeat of this not long ago, successfully killing the bill to prevent bogus lawsuits against fireram manufactures.
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Old June 21, 2005, 06:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
From what I've read and snuck peeks at, I wouldn't be surprised if someone who got anywhere with it got death threats or outright killed. Wherever there is big money, there's organized crime elements and ties, and I've seen first hand proof.
Could you please present this 'proof' to us?
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Old June 21, 2005, 09:13 PM   #21
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I never got in the habit of carting a Xerox around with me, so I doubt I could show you anything you'd find meaningful.
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Old June 22, 2005, 01:13 PM   #22
James K
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Political reality check!

In today's atmosphere, NO Congressman or Senator is going to vote FOR machineguns. None. No way. Even if auto weapons owners had a LOT more clout than they do.

Jim
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Old June 22, 2005, 01:47 PM   #23
MicroBalrog
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Jim:

You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
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Old June 23, 2005, 11:39 PM   #24
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Micro, you have to admit Jim does have a valid point, it would be political suicide for any politician to promote the availibility of mgs
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Old June 24, 2005, 06:42 PM   #25
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Actually, I think it would be far from political suicide. It may be impossible to actually pass, but it would find a good amount of support. Especially now that the AW ban is history and the streets aren't filling up with blood as the Brady bunch and democrats predicted. Most people think the AW ban was against machineguns, so go ahead and try to repeal the ban while people are thinking they are already legal again. Gotta take baby steps first, so make sure you put in some effort to get the "sporting" clause of the '68 GCA removed.
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