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Old March 4, 2012, 06:19 PM   #1
Danxyz53
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Assault weapon ban law hypothetical Q?

Without getting into the politics of such a bill, is there any means by which the passage of new federal “assault weapons” ban could result in the confiscation of firearms purchased before the passage of the bill as was done in the UK and Australia?

How did the 1994 AWB impact people who owned guns outlawed by the bill?
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Old March 4, 2012, 06:23 PM   #2
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All existing items that were regulated by the 1994 law were grandfathered in as legal to own and resell, as far as I know.
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Old March 4, 2012, 07:07 PM   #3
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The analyses of the failure of the AWB to impact any crime indices was in part explained by the existing stocks being sufficient to meet demand along with new guns with the cosmetic changes necessary to comply (see Koper and Roth).

Thus, you can bet a new AWB would stop all new production for civilians of an EBR pattern and provide for some kind of compensated (pun) confiscation.

Whether a mandatory turn in would be successful is doubtful. The most law abiding would abide but in countries and states were such were tried, the turned in weapons were much fewer than the known population in private hands.
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Old March 4, 2012, 09:40 PM   #4
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"..is there any means by which the passage of new federal “assault weapons” ban could result in the confiscation of firearms purchased before the passage of the bill as was done in the UK and Australia?"

Certainly, if that's the way they word the new law. The government is mighty and might makes right so far as the mighty see it.

Remember the gratest hazard to liberty the founders knew was the central government, that's why they wrote the Constitution as they did and quickly added the first 10 Amendments to limit the power and reach of government. They did NOT write the 2nd to insure we would have a right to 'deer and bird hunt' if we do it with a license and follow silly rules of the Fish and Game buffoons. Sadly, "we the people" have allowed politicians and gov. agencies, "them the mighty" to make a tatters of the Constitution, all for our own good of course.

So far as our founder's recognised Rights go, I fear we have already allowed our power mad, bloated government to regulate our rights far passed the point of no return, our kids and grandkids will never know the personal freedoms and limited government us old guys grew up with. That's gone, all for our own good of course. (Vote for a "progressive/liberal" near you, remember they only want to help us and they can't do it without our money and imposing more gov. control!)
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Old March 4, 2012, 09:51 PM   #5
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Whether a mandatory turn in would be successful is doubtful.
Whether it would be possible politically is even more doubtful. It would take a huge paradigm shift to make such a thing even remotely likely.

Looking around, I'm glad we got the Heller and McDonald decisions when we did. They're still the big foot in the door.
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Old March 4, 2012, 10:06 PM   #6
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Re: ability to ensure mandatory turn-in of "Assault Weapons"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Servo
Whether it would be possible politically is even more doubtful. It would take a huge paradigm shift to make such a thing even remotely likely.
Good point.
In the event it did, I can't see a high compliance rate, particularly from the 'pry my guns from my cold dead hands' aficionados. Then a significant effort to overturn it.
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Old March 5, 2012, 12:17 AM   #7
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The big difference is the constitution states you must get "just compensation". There would be two law suits, one to overturn the law, the second would be a huge class action lawsuit for just compensation of the conficated weapons. (The lawyers would win that one)
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Old March 5, 2012, 12:38 AM   #8
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I can't see a high compliance rate
Consider Canada. Despite requirements, as many as 70% of weapons there aren't registered. Those aren't all chest-beating radicals.
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Old March 5, 2012, 01:22 AM   #9
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Consider NYC's law that was passed around 1976. They required the registration of all long guns. Well, as things would have it they took their time and eventually outlawed assault weapons and required the owners to turn their weapons into dealers and get a receipt for them. Just giving, or selling your gun to a relative, or friend outside the city and showing a notarized receipt was not enough. Those who would not comply would have their right to own a weapon in the city voided. That's where they got them. No one would want to have their pistol licenses revoked, or have their other registered rifles and shotguns confiscated as well.

The state is bad enough, but the city is insane. B-B guns have been outlawed since the early part of the 20th century. You're not allowed to receive ammo through the mail. Since last year it's illegal only in the city to possess an open assist pocket knife, or any knife with a blade larger than 3". I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for lawsuits to correct this problem. Once something's registered on paper it pretty much belongs to them and when the rules change they'll do whatever they want. It is what it is.
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Old March 5, 2012, 09:45 AM   #10
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and the rest of the state suffers because of NYC
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Old March 5, 2012, 11:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Consider Canada. Despite requirements, as many as 70% of weapons aren't registered.
Tom,

That's very interesting. Of that 70%, what % would you say are handguns?
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Old March 5, 2012, 11:31 AM   #12
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There are some statistics on the compliance rates here.
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Old March 5, 2012, 02:40 PM   #13
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Thanks for the reference, Tom.

An interesting read indeed.

Given more time, I'm gonna research and find what the Canadian gov't deems fit as 'unrestricted/restricted' weapons for their citizens to own.

I know the handgun is very restricted if not totally illegal for a citizen to own.
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Old March 5, 2012, 04:44 PM   #14
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Here's a quick "nutshell" summary of the important points of Canadian gun law, in a prior post I wrote in another thread:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...25&postcount=5

I don't want to branch out too far into Canadian law here because (a) laws regarding confiscation of property are fundamentally different in Canada due to their substantially differing constitutional system, and (b) Canadian firearms law is, frankly, quite nonsensical and self-contradictory in many respects (check the LUFA* link in Tom Servo's post for more info).

*Footnote for those perusing the LUFA site who are unfamiliar with Canadian politics: "Liberal" in the context of the website generally refers to the center-left Liberal Party, one of three large political parties that dominate current Canadian politics. The others are the Conservative Party (center-right) and the National Democratic Party (far left). IOW "liberal" in Canada may refer to a party or a belief system. It's commonplace for Canadians to describe themselves as "liberal-with-a-small-L", i.e. "I have left-wing beliefs but I'm not a diehard Liberal Party supporter".
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Old March 5, 2012, 07:58 PM   #15
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NYS didn't need the city to screw things up. Gov. George Pataki(liberal republican) signed into state law legislation identical to the fed ban, which banned assault weapons equipped with bayonet lugs, folding stocks, etc. It bans all magazines with more than ten round capacity. Though it did grand father in those weapons and magazines manufactured prior to Sept. 1994. Of course LE is exempt, but not if retired. Pitaki was some piece of work, but then again it's expected, cause that's NY!

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Old March 6, 2012, 01:52 PM   #16
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Absolutely...

Quote:
is there any means by which the passage of new federal “assault weapons” ban could result in the confiscation of firearms purchased before the passage of the bill as was done in the UK and Australia?
YES, absolutely, if the bill is written as to allow it. The 1994 Fed law was written to grandfather in existing guns. It also had a sunset provision. State versions of the same law, did not, and are still in force.

Ex Post Facto seems to be a principle ignored in (some of) these bills. Look at the history of the CA laws. They passed laws requiring the registration of certain "assault weapons", guns owned and purchased BEFORE the registration law even took effect. And the law allowed the CA AG to determine which ones (and when) were no longer legal to own.

Guys that complied with the registration (because if they didn't register them, they became illegal), got to own their guns for another year, or three, then, later, when the AG decided they were no longer legal, they had to turn them in. And because they were registered, they knew who complied with the surrender order, and who didn't.

AND, to top things off, some of the people who complied, and turned in the guns were charged with having illegal guns, WHEN THEY TURNED THEM IN!

remember, "if I could have gotten 51 votes, Mr & Mrs America, turn them ALL in!" Came from a CA politican. And she's STILL in DC working hard for "our best interests".

There's people from every state with that mindset. Just because they aren't pushing their agenda hard right now, doesn't mean they have given up and gone away.
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Old March 6, 2012, 02:34 PM   #17
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Very helpful carguychris. Thanks!
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Old March 6, 2012, 04:12 PM   #18
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As others have already pointed out, yes an Ex-Post Facto ban on "assault weapons" is possible as its been done before. The NFA did not exempt machine guns, silencers, or short-barrel rifles and shotguns (with the exception of antiques) manufactured prior to 1934 and, in order to remain legal, all of those weapons had to be registered with the Federal Government and the appropriate tax stamp paid.

That being said, the likelihood of an Ex-Post Facto Federal AWB, or any Federal AWB at all, is pretty low at this point. Even the latest AWB bill I saw that Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) introduced (something that seems to be an annual tradition for Ms. McCarthy) did not include an Ex-Post Facto outright ban. McCarthy's legislation did allow for "assault weapons" and high-capacity magazines already owned to be kept, but it would have banned the sale or posession of newly-made examples and banned the sale or trade of previously owned weapons and magazines as well. Thankfully, even though McCarthy, Schumer, Feinstein, Boxer, and the rest of the "usual suspects" keep banging on the gun-control drum, it's become a losing issue politically and the majority of both the Democrat and Republican parties don't want anything to do with it.

Finally, while an Ex-Post Facto AWB is entirely possible, it is far from certain that such a law, even if it were to be enacted, would pass Judicial Review. Ex-Post Facto laws, historically, have not been held in particularly high esteem by SCOTUS and, particularly in light of Heller and McDonald, it seems very likely to me that the courts would strike down at least the Ex-Post Facto portion of such a law if not the whole rotten thing.
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Old March 6, 2012, 04:49 PM   #19
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while an Ex-Post Facto AWB is entirely possible, it is far from certain that such a law, even if it were to be enacted, would pass Judicial Review.
Heller pretty much closed the door on banning classes of weapons. Even if it were politically possible, I don't see a new AWB (at least one with any teeth) passing judicial muster.
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Old March 7, 2012, 04:28 PM   #20
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I don't think any door is permanently closed, cause nothing's written in stone. I was taught a big lesson that I'll never forget, while watching the way the health care bill was pushed through in congress without the senate being given a chance to vote on it again. The older I get and the more I see the more disgusted and ill I become.
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Old March 7, 2012, 05:12 PM   #21
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Quote:
the second would be a huge class action lawsuit for just compensation of the conficated weapons. (The lawyers would win that one)
"Just Compensation" is a non issue for a .gov more than willing to print paper money ad infinitum ..... to quote FDR, "It does not matter how much we borrow- we only owe it to ourselves."

Quote:
I don't think any door is permanently closed, cause nothing's written in stone. I was taught a big lesson that I'll never forget, while watching the way the health care bill was pushed through in congress without the senate being given a chance to vote on it again. The older I get and the more I see the more disgusted and ill I become.
The Constitution is supposed to be "set in stone", but when 1/2 the Supreme Court sees it as "evolving" and malleable, some even going so far as to cite foreign laws in deciding cases, then nothing is solid: The Law is what they say it is.
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Old March 7, 2012, 05:14 PM   #22
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Did not the 2004 renewal of the AWB that failed left out the granddfather clause? If that was not it then I am sure another bill was proposed in Congress to exclude grandfathering. So confiscation is definitely lurking on the radar.

Hopefully we continue moving to more recognition of our gun rights, but the current admin had demonstrated that it will go far beyond the law unless reign in.

Vigilance is still warranted.
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Old March 7, 2012, 05:45 PM   #23
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Quote:
Quote:
while an Ex-Post Facto AWB is entirely possible, it is far from certain that such a law, even if it were to be enacted, would pass Judicial Review.

Heller pretty much closed the door on banning classes of weapons. Even if it were politically possible, I don't see a new AWB (at least one with any teeth) passing judicial muster.
I wouldn't go quite that far. SCOTUS still, by all indications, seems to be OK with the NFA which, through heavy regulation, creates a de-facto ban on entire classes of weapons to all but those with large amounts of disposable income, which is exactly what it was designed to do ($200 was a ridiculously large tax in the 1930's and the Hughes Amendment has driven the prices of legal full-autos through the roof).

I do, however, think than an Ex-Post Facto confiscation scheme would likely push the current court over the edge in what they'd be willing to tolerate and that they would likely strike all or part of an AWB down if such a measure were included.
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Old March 7, 2012, 08:08 PM   #24
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Quote:
Did not the 2004 renewal of the AWB that failed left out the granddfather clause?
There were two senate bills, S2109 and S2498: Both would have sunset in 2014. Neither was voted on.

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c108:s2109:

The senate voted 52-47 to extend the AWB as an amendment to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. This energized senator Craig to ask the senate to kill the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act: This was done.

There were four or five different bills in the house addressing the extension of the AWB and "high capacity ammuntion feeding devices". One of these bills would have extended the AWB forever. None were ever voted on.

Speaker of the house Hastert refused to bring the AWB up for a floor vote. Had the vote been taken it would have passed the house. This would have motivated the US senate to do the same. We owe Hastert.

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Old March 11, 2012, 12:01 PM   #25
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Oh, would the president sign that way back when? Or would a current severe conservative canidate support such and signed it himself (if in that position).

Oh, snarky me and my memory.
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