Using Amnesty to Roll Back
Second Amendment Infringements

By Dean Weingarten. November 22nd, 2016

A little-known law, passed as part of the Gun Control Act of 1968 offers the Trump administration a powerful lever in its stated goal of rationalizing America's firearms laws. It would be an effective way of rolling back some of the Second Amendment infringements of the National Firearms Act of 1934.

The National Firearms Act (NFA) is an ill-conceived, poorly-written omnibus gun control law passed by an ascendant Roosevelt administration. It was designed to outlaw the possession of handguns through the imposition of draconian taxes and regulations.

The $200 tax stamp it imposed for a single item was equivalent to a year's income for an average laborer at the time. Thrown in the mix were machine guns (just to add some pizazz ... they weren't a real problem), silencers (for no known reason), and sawed-off rifles and shotguns (apparently because it made no sense to outlaw handguns, when anyone could make a handgun from a rifle or shotgun with a hacksaw and 15 minutes).

Fortunately, outlawing handguns at the time was a bridge too far for Congress. What was left was passed as a sop to Roosevelt. After all, it only applied to machine guns, silencers, and short-barreled rifles and shotguns that crossed state lines. Few people owned or used those items anyway. Even fewer took them across state lines.

Not many people paid attention to the law. There was no provision for those who failed to register their items during the initial grace period to register them afterward. ......

Dean Weingarten explores in some detail what may be a very useful and little known statute from the 1968 Gun Control Act. The implication seems to be that the amnesty provision could be a means to repeal numerous restrictions, and so give a new administration significant leverage. There are many almost absurd limitations 'on the books' that could and should be overturned, and return the 2A to something closer to what it should be.

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