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Old July 13, 2010, 04:52 PM   #1
ISC
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How our NFA rights were stolen from us

Quote:
Originally Posted by wikipedia

The Hughes Amendment

As debate for FOPA was in its final stages in the House before moving on to the Senate, Rep. William J. Hughes (D-N.J.) proposed several amendments including House Amendment 777 to H.R. 4332 that would ban a civilian from ownership or transfer rights of any fully automatic weapon which was not registered as of May 19, 1986. The amendment also held that any such weapon manufactured and registered before the May 19 cutoff date could still be legally owned and transferred by civilians.

In the morning hours of April 10, 1986, the House held recorded votes on three amendments to FOPA in Record Vote No's 73, 74, and 75. The first vote involved the interstate sale of handguns and was Record Vote 73. The second vote was the controversial Hughes Amendment that called for the banning of machine guns. Despite an apparent defeat of the amendment by voice vote, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), at the time presiding over the proceedings, declared the amendment approved despite the recorded vote clearly indicating otherwise. The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were: ayes 124, noes 298, not voting 12. The Hughes Amendment regarding the banning of machine guns was defeated in Record Vote No 74. The bill, H.R. 4332, as a whole passed in Record Vote No: 75. Nevertheless, the Senate, in S.B. 49, adopted H.R. 4332 as an amendment to the final bill, which included the defeated Hughes Amendment. It was subsequently passed and signed on May 19, 1986 by President Reagan to become Public Law No 99-308, the Firearms Owners' Protection Act.
I found this interesting.

I never knew that the Dems actually rigged the vote, and despite getting caught, still kept it in the final bill.

What can we do (beyond the obvious political solution) to prevent something like this from happening again?

Is there any way that the chicanery involved in the way the votes were tallied could be used to challenge the ban?
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Old July 13, 2010, 05:22 PM   #2
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Well on the bright side (if there can be said to be a "bright side"), if the Dems were going to rig the vote and ignore the tallied results, we should be glad that the Hughes Amendment didn't ban civilian machinegun ownership entirely.
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Old July 13, 2010, 05:38 PM   #3
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One thing to remember: we desperately needed the FOPA. Things before its passage were grim for both gun owners and dealers.

Reagan wasn't happy with the Hughes Amendment, but he signed the bill in the belief that it did the most amount of good for the largest number of people at the time.
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Old July 13, 2010, 05:52 PM   #4
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Come on, come on, it was NRA's FAULT!

NRA HAS THE ONLY BLAME HERE! THEY LET THE AMENDMENT PASS!

Ahem...

Yeah.

You'll hear that a lot from people who have no clue what they're talking about, that somehow NRA was in some nefarious deal to let this bit of legislation be tacked on as a rider to FOPA, or some such other idiocy.

The Hughes Amendment was an exceptionally egregious piece of gerrymander-like abuse by the Democrats, one that was so blatant that it literally couldn't be defended against.
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Old July 13, 2010, 06:04 PM   #5
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I think we learned from the Hughes deal and used it well to allow CCW in National Parks. Just got back from Yellowstone and carried the whole time. Thanks to the "Credit Card" bill. Let's do more!
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Old July 13, 2010, 06:08 PM   #6
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Ah, as I see it, our NFA rights were taken from us about 1930 when the Arkansas moonshiner did not show up in court in DC to defend himself (about a short bbl shotgun).

I think the story as told in "Unintended Consequences" is accurate.

Comments??
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Old July 13, 2010, 06:21 PM   #7
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There's a good accounting of the Miller story here. Unintended Consequences did take a few liberties with the story, particularly in ignoring Jack Miller's criminal and character deficiencies.

Quote:
NRA HAS THE ONLY BLAME HERE! THEY LET THE AMENDMENT PASS!
I HEARD FROM A GUY AT THE GUN SHOP THAT THE AMMENMANT WAS WROTE BY THE NRA WHILE CHUCK SHUMER WAS MOTORBOATING CHARLTEN HESTON.
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Old July 13, 2010, 06:24 PM   #8
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A 200-dollar tax stamp beats a $12,000 AR15 any day.
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Old July 13, 2010, 07:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Ah, as I see it, our NFA rights were taken from us about 1930 when the Arkansas moonshiner did not show up in court in DC to defend himself
That's hard to do when you're dead.
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Old July 14, 2010, 12:28 AM   #10
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The NFA act of 1934 only infringed our rights. The Hughes amendment took them away. Prior to that a inventive and creative gunsmith could design and build a machine gun and regester it legally. Now that activity will get you put in jail if you don't spend thousands of dollars to get a class II license.
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Old July 14, 2010, 10:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ISC
The NFA act of 1934 only infringed our rights.
The Supreme Court disagreed. According to current case law and precedent the 1934 NFA is not an infringment on the RKBA. The Hughes Amendment is another matter.
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Old July 14, 2010, 10:29 AM   #12
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The number of bills, amendments to bills (and amendments to the Constitution!) that get enacted after they FAIL to pass is truly astounding. That very thing should be front and center in our angst. As much as I hate to say it, "gun rights" are ancillary. As long as the government continues to operate outside the will and control of the people, not to mention the law itself, nothing else much matters.... "winning" doesn't mean much when a bill that gets voted down today could be law tomorrow.
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Old July 14, 2010, 10:41 AM   #13
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Of course, we could have divine leaders just tell us what to do. Just vote the bums out.
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Old July 14, 2010, 10:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tennessee Gentleman
The Supreme Court disagreed. According to current case law and precedent the 1934 NFA is not an infringment on the RKBA. The Hughes Amendment is another matter.
NO, the the supreme court only said in Miller that a sawed off shotgun wasn't a military firearm and therefore wasn't protected by the 2nd amendment. Prior to Heller and MacDonald Miller was pretty much it, and that decision pretty clearly stated that the prime purpose of the 2nd was meant to protect the military weapons of the citizen militia, and since a sawed off shotgun (the NFA weapon Miller was about) wasn't a military weapon, the NFA was OK. Automatic or silenced weapons were never addressed by that case.

You'd have to be completely intellectually dishonest to claim that an automatic weapon isn't a military weapon and then also claim that only the military can possess them.
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Old July 14, 2010, 12:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ISC
NO, the the supreme court only said in Miller that a sawed off shotgun wasn't a military firearm and therefore wasn't protected by the 2nd amendment.
The District Court held that the NFA violated the Second Amendment and was reversed. The narrow issue in Miller was a sawed off shotgun but other cases like Sozinsky v. United States, 300 U.S. 506 (1937) Warin vs. US and Oakes vs US as well as Miller have repeatedly upheld the 1934 NFA. That is judicial fact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ISC
You'd have to be completely intellectually dishonest to claim that an automatic weapon isn't a military weapon and then also claim that only the military can possess them.
I would agree that a full automatic weapon IS a military weapon designed for military use but that access to such weapon may be regulated. If a state decided (not likely) to have or organize an armed militia and supply it's members with these weapons then I think the 2A would protect that. However, an individual could not claim such protection in violation of the NFA.
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Old July 14, 2010, 01:40 PM   #16
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Quote:
If a state decided (not likely) to have or organize an armed militia and supply it's members with these weapons then I think the 2A would protect that.
I agree except for the bolded part. I can totally see states like Montana or Alaska firing up a Militia just to circumvent federal firearms regulation and thwart NFA. They just need to be pushed far enough. I don't think it would take much.
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Old July 14, 2010, 02:11 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maestro pistolero
I agree except for the bolded part.
I think there is a pretty good reason states don't have armed militias anymore. I think those reasons would keep such from happening. However, they could do it if they wished.
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Old July 14, 2010, 03:44 PM   #18
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Quote:
I think there is a pretty good reason states don't have armed militias anymore.
For bleep's sake folks, can we correct this misconception once and for all?

The states DO HAVE ARMED MILITIAS. The largest ones are collectively referred to as the National Guard.

There's also 22 states which have individual state guards which aren't part of the National Guard system.
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Old July 14, 2010, 04:26 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADB
The states DO HAVE ARMED MILITIAS. The largest ones are collectively referred to as the National Guard.
Agree that the National Guard is the evolutionary descendant of the militia of the Second Amendment but the NFA is aimed at private citizens not in the Guard or military. The OP is about that topic.

The National Guard is funded by the fed. All of the state militias (again most states do not have them) that I am aware of are not armed and the members may not carry full auto weapons when they are not called up. TN has such a organization but it is not armed. Also, in TN it is voluntary.
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Old July 14, 2010, 04:55 PM   #20
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Here in MS our state guard brigades are not armed, although afaik they are training as MPs. I've emailed some of the officers but haven't been able to find out much more than that.
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Old July 14, 2010, 06:19 PM   #21
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Actually, the Texas State Guard is armed, though in recent pictures all I can find them using are M9s. However back in the 1980s, the Texas State Guard was one of the few entities to purchase the Holloway Arms HAC-7 .308 rifle for the state. (trivia)
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Old July 14, 2010, 10:33 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartholomew Roberts
Actually, the Texas State Guard is armed
Looked at their web site and they don't look like an armed militia to me. Mostly support types. Look at the skill sets they want: IT, Medical etc. I think they are a lot like what we have in TN and that is mostly support and ceremonial. Now they might go to the range once in a while and familiarize but I wonder if they are even issued a personal weapon that they train with?
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Old July 15, 2010, 10:32 AM   #23
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There primary duties are mostly providing aid in emergencies, so they are definitely geared more towards logistics and support. It also certainly appears that the current Guard emphasizes those duties more as well; but some State Guard members have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan and they do have weapons.
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Old July 15, 2010, 11:10 AM   #24
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It seems to me that the first clause of the 2A is meant to preserve the CAPABILITY of state being able to raise a militia from the ranks of the people. If our democratic institutions are so strong that is has been unnecessary to raise it for the purposes of resisting tyranny, then great.

As an analogy, even if my house may be nearly fireproof, I won't be tossing out my fire extinguishers. Eventually, we are going to need clarity that all conventional small arms are protected by the 2A, but with the likelihood that certain small arms may be subject to some additional regulation. But a ban such as we effectively have now must be off the table.

But we have much worse problems to tackle than NFA right now. We have active, so-called assault weapons bans in severals states. Now, if my civilian, semi-auto, M4-style AR15 isn't the MOST protected weapon in the country, I'll eat my friggin' hat.

We can worry all we want about the NFA, but rest-assured, the minute any state needs or merely wishes to activate the militia drawn from the general population, we will have all the FA's, SBS's, SBR's we are going to need.
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Old July 15, 2010, 11:33 AM   #25
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Quote:
Bartholomew Roberts There primary duties are mostly providing aid in emergencies, so they are definitely geared more towards logistics and support. It also certainly appears that the current Guard emphasizes those duties more as well; but some State Guard members have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan and they do have weapons.
Several years ago the TSG classified the function of it's units as military police, maritime, medical and air. Military police was replaced with civil affairs as the primary function.

The ONLY TSG members who can carry firearms are the members of the Quick Reaction Team that has a detachment with each local regiment.
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