Thursday, June 02, 2016

The New York Times and the M3A1

Surfing around yesterday, I came to a piece in the New York Times, recommending that all guns in the US become NFA items.  Strict registration, with fingerprints and mug shots for every gun owner.  For those of you unaware, the National Firearms Act of 1934 was enacted to strictly regulate machine guns, destructive devices, short barreled rifles, and other items, like suppressors and hand grenades.

The author claims that NFA34 has been wildly successful, and I suppose that from his perspective, it has.
Leaders of the National Rifle Association rarely talk about the firearms act, and that’s probably because it imposes precisely the kinds of practical — and constitutional — limits on gun ownership, such as registration and background checks, that the N.R.A. regularly insists will lead to the demise of the Second Amendment.
But, his perspective is seriously in error.  It's an infringement that makes gun owners howl.  There have been a number of consequences, not the least of which is that the number of legal, transferrable firearms is strictly limited, to the point that prices are artificially high, by several orders of magnitude.

You see, in 1986, the registry was closed.  No new guns can be added to the registry.  The market is very limited, and the loss of supply drives prices atmospherically.  For example, the simple little M3 submachine gun.  Originally put into suervice in 1943, some 700,000 were made.  It's a simple little device, crude, inaccurate, but a hell of a lot of fun to shoot.  The government paid about $20..00 apiece for them.  Nowadays, if you'd like to buy one, the selling price would be north of $7500.00, and the M3 is not a particularly nice machine gun.

What the National Firearms Act has done, is made owning a machine gun a rich man's hobby.  I certainly can't own one on a workaday paycheck.

We could talk about suppressors, simple little devices that muffle the sound a gun makes.  In many countries they're allowed as hearing protection.  Yet here in the United States, they're NFA items.  Any reasonably competent home tinkerer could make one in his garage.  Indeed, one device in particular, the oil filter adapter, lets you put a suppressor on a gun for less than $100.00.  Of course, you'll have to pay the $200 tax and register it with the BATFE.  Here is Hickok45 using one.

The NFA is an abomination that should be neither emulated, celebrate, nor advocated.  It's a pox on the 2nd Amendment.  This little adapter is a automotive part, available at, but possession of it with a firearm and a filter is a felony, unless you have the tax stamp.  That's an infringement.

I would remind the members of the press that talk about gun control to remember that the founders thought the press was a fixed device to print a limited amount of paper.

Should we limit the press to that technology, or should we let Freedom Ring?

I'll pick freedom every time.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I have chores to accomplish.

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