1934 NFA, the Failed 1938 NFA, Miller,
and the Regulation of Gun Parts

By Dean Weingarten. February 27, 2020
Article Source

Many Second Amendment supporters have heard of the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934. It went into effect on 26 June, 1934. It was the first national "gun control" measure to have substantial effect. It was the first federal statute challenged in the Supreme Court on the basis of the Second Amendment, in United States v. Miller. The story of that challenge may be read, in short form, on an Ammoland article from 2013.

Far fewer people are familiar with the National Firearms Act of 1938. The NFA of 1934 was passed in Franklin Delano Roosevelt's (FDR) first term. The case that challenged it was set up in 1938, it is believed, to curb resistance to the National Firearms Act of 1938, passed in FDR's second term.

The infamous National Firearms Act of 1934 required commercial manufacturers to stamp serial numbers on machine guns, silencers, and short barreled rifles and short barreled shotguns manufactured from that date. Few people worried about the law because it only affected items that crossed state lines. Not many people owned machine guns or silencers; few crossed state lines with them or short barreled rifles or shotguns. Because of concerns about constitutionality, the NFA of 1934 was a gun ban disguised as a tax. The transfer tax of $200 was equivalent to about $3,800 in 2018. It was prohibitive for all but the very well off. Consequently, it raised very little money.

The original target of the NFA of 1934 was to register and regulate the ownership of all handguns. Short barreled rifles and shotguns were included to prevent circumventing the regulation of handguns by cutting down rifles and shotguns. The National Rifle Association (NRA) was successful in stripping handguns from the bill. .....

"The NFA of 1934, the NFA of 1938, and the GCA of 1968 are all points on the slippery slope of ever more infringements on Second Amendment rights. Regarding the Second Amendment as outdated and irrelevant came with Progressive philosophy. Progressive philosophy holds the Constitution to be outdated and limits on government to be immoral."


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