Second Amendment

The Futility of a Gun Buyback

Before you ask how many Americans will give up their guns, ask how many cops will even try to take them.


Gun bans are back in the news again, with the 2020 Democratic field lining up behind the (old, already-tried-and-failed) idea of a ban on the AR-15, the AK-47, and any other gun that looks remotely "military." 

The most aggressive recent version of this proposal was floated by a certain Texan who's currently sinking in the polls, and it includes a mandatory buyback. When asked if he plans to actually take away people's guns, Beto O'Rourke replied: "I want to be really clear that that's exactly what we are going to do. Americans who own AR-15s, AK-47s, will have to sell them to the government."

Meghan McCain's response to O'Rourke on The View—"if you're talking about taking people's guns from them, there's going to be a lot of violence"—and Tucker Carlson's subsequent pile-on (that it'll spark a "new Civil War") sent the usual suspects straight to the fainting couch, pearls in hand.

Media Matters has already put out two pieces on the remarks, one focused on Carlson and a breathless followup focused more generally on "right-wing media" reactions to the proposed gun ban. HuffPost reporter Zach Carter accused McCain of "mainstreaming apocalyptic thinking." (One wonders what he thinks of HuffPost headlines like "Are We Heading Toward Extinction?") Crooks & Liars amped everything up another notch by claiming Carlson's rhetoric about the danger of gun confiscation is itself dangerous.

Before we go any further with the back-and-forth about armed resistance, let's think about the reaction we can realistically expect to a watered-down AR-15 ban, with no mandatory buyback. How many gun owners would either hand over or destroy their assault weapons? And how many of the authorities whose job it would be to put refusers in jail would even try to enforce a ban?

We don't have to look to New Zealand's recent flop of a mandatory buyback, where less than 10 percent of the country's estimated number of newly banned weapons have been handed over  so far, to answer those questions. There's a great case study right here in the bluest of blue states: New York.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo hailed the 2013 New York SAFE Act as the toughest gun control law in the nation, and one of its most important provisions was the mandatory registration of all "assault weapons" in the state. This isn't a confiscation or even a ban, so it's nowhere near as severe as what O'Rourke and others are pushing—it's just a teeny weeny little registration requirement.

So how has that worked out? Well, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation's conservative estimate, New Yorkers owned about 1 million "assault weapons" at the time the ban was passed. So the 44,000 that were actually registered are about 4 percent of the total. This noncompliance with the law is widespread and mostly open, but the police aren't doing much about it. For instance, Hudson Valley One reported in 2016:

Upstate police agencies have also demonstrated a marked lack of enthusiasm for enforcing the ban on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines. According to statistics compiled by the state Department of Criminal Justice Services, there have been just 11 arrests for failure to register an otherwise-legal assault weapon since the SAFE Act took effect in March 2013 and 62 for possession of a large capacity magazine. In Ulster County, where 463 assault weapons have been registered, there have been just three arrests for possession of large-capacity magazines and none for failure to register an assault weapon. Ulster County Sheriff Paul VanBlarcum has been a vocal critic of the law; he said he believed large numbers of Ulster County gun owners had chosen to ignore the registration requirement.

I could give several more examples of such reporting. But the upshot is that gun owners are overwhelmingly ignoring the law—and the police are overwhelmingly looking the other way.

A 2017 article from NYU law professor James Jacobs sums up the state of play. After detailing the electoral damage the backlash against the act did to New York Dems—"In 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo was reelected by a much diminished majority and Republicans regained control of the State Senate"—Jacobs concludes that the "SAFE Act's impact on gun crime, suicides and accidents has never been seriously assessed, although both gun control proponents and gun rights advocates make extravagant claims. In truth, there seems little likelihood that the SAFE Act has had much, if any, effect since it has been only partially implemented, almost completely unenforced, and widely ignored. Its various provisions are easily circumvented" (emphasis mine).

New Yorkers are famous for their attitude, but this local police pushback on state and federal gun laws is not at all limited to New York. Nor is it a recent development. In 2013, for example, NBC reported on local sheriffs from Maryland to Colorado who publicly touted their refusal to enforce any gun laws they feel infringe on the Constitution. The growing Second Amendment Sanctuary movement, active in California, New Mexico, Oregon, and a handful of other states, is being led by local law enforcement.

If you're one of my many pro–gun control friends, you're no doubt offended at the spectacle of local police officials and city governments flat-out refusing to enforce democratically legislated marijuana laws…sorry, I mean immigration laws…oops, I mean gun laws.

I totally get that. When I read a quote like the following, there is indeed a part of me that thinks that if this radical insurrectionist loves cops and hates democracy this much, then maybe he should move to Hong Kong: "When [a prominent politician] kind of goes after these phantom sanctuary cities and talks about how bad they are, basically what he's going after is police chiefs. And I trust police chiefs, in terms of knowing what should be done to keep their communities safer, and police departments and mayors, a lot more than I trust [that Washington politician]."

Oh, no—I got mixed up again. That was former Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine, in a 2016 CNN interview on the topic of immigration sanctuary cities, and the politician he was criticizing is Donald Trump.

My point, other than the fact that hypocrisy around federalism is depressingly bipartisan, is not that it's either good or bad for local cops to veto laws. My point is that regardless of what you think of the gun owners who won't comply or the cops who'll inevitably let them off without even a verbal warning, there is no gun registration, gun ban, or gun confiscation that a U.S. Congress can pass and a U.S. president can sign that will be even close to fully complied with or enforced. Not one.

That isn't a boast or a threat. It's just a prediction, and a fairly safe one.

So the question I have for everyone who still wants to go down this road is this: What will you do in the face of the inevitable mass noncompliance? What is your Plan B?

Is the next step increased penalties for lawbreakers? If so, then how will you catch these lawbreakers in order to penalize them if the cops aren't interested in going after them?

Is your plan to go after the police, then? Would you declare war on any local sheriffs and even state police who ignore the law? If this stood a realistic chance of happening, you'd think they'd do it in New York, of all places. But a lot of that state's cops have been openly ignoring the country's "toughest" gun law, and we've heard crickets.

Or maybe you plan to escalate to door-to-door confiscation as a last resort. 

In that case, I think Meghan McCain's prediction of violence is about as safe as my prediction of mass noncompliance and law enforcement nullification. There would probably be a lot of ugliness and not a few dead bodies, not to mention a massive waste of the political capital of any party pushing the police into a shooting war with even a relatively small number of AR-15-owning bitter enders. 

Even if you think gun owners are bluffing and will hand 'em over peacefully when the time comes, you'd risk a violent escalation of America's worsening culture war solely for the sake of outlawing a category of weapons that are involved in the low triple-digits of U.S. deaths in any given year? Really?

This doesn't seem rational to me. It seems more like the kind of culture-war red meat you throw out there when you're trying to revive a flagging presidential campaign.

NEXT: The New Trustbusters Are Coming for Big Tech

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  1. What will you do in the face of the inevitable mass noncompliance?
    Civil disobedience in the mold of Ghandi. Let’s hope we can keep our freedoms that way, but I will keep my guns just in case.

    1. A modest proposal:

      Anyone like Beto who advocates for gun confiscation should be compulsorily drafted by the government into a gun confiscation squad, given a uniform – and a gun – and sent from door to door to confiscate guns from tens of millions of angry owners.

  2. Didn’t police start confiscating arms right after the Katrina disaster?

    1. Yep.
      Backed by National Guard.
      Body slam grandma.
      “Controversy arose over a September 8 city-wide order by New Orleans Police Superintendent Eddie Compass to local police, U.S. Army National Guard soldiers, and Deputy U.S. Marshals to confiscate all civilian-held firearms. “No one will be able to be armed,” Compass said. “Guns will be taken. Only law enforcement will be allowed to have guns.” Seizures were carried out without warrant, and in some cases with excessive force; one instance captured on film involved 58‑year‑old New Orleans resident Patricia Konie. Konie stayed behind, in her well provisioned home, and had an old revolver for protection. A group of police entered the house, and when she refused to surrender her revolver, she was tackled and it was removed by force. Konie’s shoulder was fractured, and she was taken into police custody for failing to surrender her firearm”
      KTVU Channel 2 San Francisco video of the Patricia Konie incident Archived September 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
      (the link is in the Wikipedia listing)

      Welcome to the revolution.

      1. Holy. Fucken. Shit.

        Heroes right there.

        There’s no 2A then. It’s a myth.

      2. She didn’t refuse to give it up. They asked if she had any firearms and she just said yeah here it is and showed it to them. That’s when they tackled her.

      3. This link is more direct:

        An NRA suit put a sluggish stop to it. (Took two years for NOLA police to stop violating the constitution’s 2nd and 4th amendments.)

        Then Congress passed a law stating the obvious. Natural disasters don’t cancel the Bill of Rights. Not sure NOLA police would’ve done anything differently, but whatever.

    2. Didn’t police start confiscating arms right after the Katrina disaster?
      Yes, in New Orleans. And after that a bunch of state legislatures, including Texas where I live, said, “Not happening here!” and passed laws prohibiting confiscations during disasters.

      1. The only disaster which changes the Constitution is repeatedly electing democrats & RINOs…

  3. It won’t just be individual jurisdictions ignoring any federal AWB, entire states and regions will ignore it. Good luck getting Texas or Oklahoma or any southern state’s help.

  4. The police are gun owners too and not just their service weapons either. They have no stomach for taking guns from law abiding citizens.

    1. Be nice if this were true everywhere. In fact, most of these laws contain a LE exemption, designed specifically to pacify the unions and help them gain the “stomach” for confiscating from their neighbors.

      1. Good idea for a new constitutional amendment:
        “No law or regulation shall contain an exemption for any government employee; legislative, judicial, executive, or law enforcement. All existing exemptions are null and void 90 days after ratification of this amendment.”

        1. “No law or regulation shall contain an exemption for any government employee; legislative, judicial, executive, or law enforcement, EXCEPT as approved in popular vote by the electorate. All existing exemptions are null and void 180 days after ratification of this amendment, the interim period to provide time for voting by the electorate.”

          1. What exception are you thinking of that we, the electorate, might plausibly think is a good idea?

            While absolutist ideas sometimes have unintended consequences, loopholes (and that’s what your modification is) create potential for abuse. Unless you’ve got a concrete example of a problem, I’m inclined to prefer the simpler rule.

    2. LOL you must not live on the east coast.

    3. Local culture cannot be overemphasized in this matter. I work in a state where carrying firearms is extremely common. At a conference, some of my colleagues were regaled with a story from an NYPD officer about making a “gun collar” of an old man who carried a pistol because he was afraid. We laughed a bit uncomfortably and then mildly suggested the old man should come to “Gods country” where he can be free. The only upbraiding he would get here would be a lecture for not carrying it chamber loaded.
      I had a long conversation at a gas station with a black dude with dreads about the open carry Kimber he was sporting. I questioned him very closely about whether he thought the tolerances of a competition level pistol could take the daily grind of a primary carry pistol. He was more dedicated to routine firearms cleaning than me, so I will keep my Glock thank you.
      These politicos don’t live in a bubble, they live in a plexiglass box.

  5. I have no idea what happened to it. It must be lost or something. You’re free to look – with a search warrant.

    1. “No need. You’re under arrest for failing to report that.”

      1. Not in Virginia – (And I’ll even provide a relatively credible reference) “Virginia does not require firearm owners to report the loss or theft of a firearm.”

    2. How are they going to know you had it in the first place? Even if you bought it from an FFL, and they found the record of a transfer, in most states it’s still legal to privately sell a gun. Unless you live in a state with registration, and are dumb enough to have registered all your weapons, they have no way to know what you are supposed to have.

  6. Nice article. Strange that it wasn’t included in the listing of “Latest” articles on the Reason site (
    I almost missed it, but it was linked as the “Next” article on the Roundup and I was interested in the title.

    It’s initiatives like this that make me think more about getting a gun, not less.

    1. If I bought a gun every time some politician threatened to take my guns away, I would have an arsenal…. oh…. wait….. /s

      1. Yeah.

    2. Looks like the issue is fixed now. The article is now showing up on the “Latest” feed.

      The other ‘issue’ of ‘sensible’ gun regulations may take a little bit longer to ‘fix’…

    3. That’s what the gun grabbers don’t seem to grasp, even after 8 years of record gun sales while Obama was President. Every time one of these idiots tells us how he, or she, is going to take our guns and restrict our rights, gun owners flock to their local gun stores.

      When they open their mouths, they make the “gun problem” worse (from their prospective). According to Small Arms Survey, Americans had an estimated 300,000,000 guns in 2007. 10 years later it was 400,000,000. That’s an average of 10,000,000 new guns per year.

      I hadn’t bought a gun since 1999 when the 2016 Pulse night club shooting occurred. After listening to all the politicians and the media yammer about gun bans, I bought an AR-15. Since then I’ve bought 8 more guns and I’ll continue to buy more as finances permit until I’m too old to hold them.

      I will say one good thing about the gun haters though; they’re really uniting the gun community and making us appreciate rights that we’ve been taking for granted.

  7. I will concede that mandatory gun buy back are confiscation and have little support. They are being championed by a Presidential candidate that is not really going anywhere fast. What is the worst part is that this will feed into the idea that those like myself supporting sensible gun laws, are in reality try to take guns away from people. Sadly, there is little chance of finding common ground when both sides start to far apart.

    1. Please, for me, define “sensible.” Note: for me, “sensible,” when it comes to laws, means that the law should have measurable, positive effect on what it proposes to accomplish, and be able to show, within reasonable limits, that the law would help accomplish that goal.

      1. When we banned assault weapons, there were fewer mass murders by assault weapons.

        Now give me a lecture on gun nomenclature to distract from the issue.

        1. “When we banned assault weapons, there were fewer mass murders by assault weapons.”

          You are quoting Clinton on that, and it is bullshit. There was a total of 15 fewer deaths over a ten year period.

          Fact is you don’t need an “assault weapon” however you define it, to commit mass murder. In 2007 Cho used a Glock 19 and a Walther P-22 to shoot up VA Tech and murder 33 people.

          Of course your definition of weapons to be banned must include those as well.

          1. Handguns are undoubtedly a far greater scourge. Ban them too.

            1. Ah. Trying to “get a rise” from other posters. Please show me a direct, consistent correlation, between firearms ownership rates, or handgun-ownership rates, and the homicide rate.

                1. Tony. Please. Even most of the most-ardent pro-gun-control “fans” abandoned Hemenway years ago. I, too, abandoned him after close reading of several of his papers. They have one thing in common: they never represent what they say they represent.

                  I encourage you to read some of the works of a rather more highly-qualified researcher in this area, also a liberal, and an award-winning criminologist, named Gary Kleck.

                  1. You may be giving Tony too much credit.

                  2. I don’t see any data suggesting more guns means fewer gun deaths in there, or anywhere else.

                    1. “I don’t see any data suggesting more guns means fewer gun deaths in there, or anywhere else.”

                      This from the guy who didn’t see that Trump was ‘proven innocent’.
                      Logic is but a mere acquaintance to shitbag, here.

                    2. The homicide rate in the US precipitously dropped after the great liberalization of concealed carry laws in the 1990s.

                      Playing stupid correlation games is just plain stupid.

                    3. Tony, there is about as much consistent correlation that MORE guns results in a lower homicide rate, as there is that more guns increases the homicide rate.

                2. I will tell you anyone can find garbage to back up their point. Harvard is a left leaning, indoctrination camp like most “higher learning” institutions who are anti-gun so of course they came up with nonsense trying to support their argument. More people are murdered by knives…how about a ban on them? Doctors kill 100,000 a year with their prescription drugs…ban those too please and autos kill way more than guns…lets ban them and take the bus!

            2. We could ban handguns providing we don’t go into the neighborhoods where most of the murders are occurring from handguns. That would be racist.

        2. Tony, please provide a source for your information.

        3. When we banned assault weapons, there were fewer mass murders by assault weapons.

          Where’s your data supporting this? And it better correct for the downward trend in all types of violent crime that existed before, during, and after the assault weapon ban.

        4. After assault weapons became legally available again, there were fewer murders with any kind of gun than while the ban was in effect. But I’m not enough of an idiot to claim a causal relationship because correlation is not causation.

          1. By sharp contrast, when Operation: Ceasefire was enacted in Boston, criminal homicide rates there plunged 63 percent in two years!


            Australia never had criminal homicide rates plunge 63% in two years.

            1. Operation Ceasefire engaged street gangs to stop killing each other (and bystanders) or there would be consequences. It worked. Some gang members actually turned in firearms they had acquired for self-defense because they were not needed. And Operation Ceasefire was ended. And we’re back to the politicians wanting more gun control as a solution.

              After alcohol was prohibited, the unemployed Dries turned attention to guns about 1924. Restrictive gun laws became an obsession of FDR and a tradition in the Democrat national party. It’s become a knee jerk liberal thing.

        5. From 1995 to 2017 (the AWB expired in 2004) all rifles accounted for 2.88% of homicides. For comparison; 12.65% of victims were stabbed, 5.95% were beaten and/or kicked and stomped to death and 4.28% were beaten to death with blunt objects.

          And we didn’t ban assault rifles. The law prohibited the manufacture and sale of new rifles based on their cosmetic appearance. None of the existing rifles were taken out of circulation.

          Handguns were used in 50.26% of murders but thanks to the Heller decision, it’s unconstitutional to ban them.

        6. The US never banned assault weapons. The so-called “ban” simply prohibited sales of new guns with specific cosmetic features. All existing ones were still legal, and functionally-identical new ones continued to be sold (and, in fact, sales of them went up).

          1. FBI Uniform Crime Reports, Table of Homicide by weapon used.

            You are more likely to be murdered by an unarmed assailant using “personal weapons” (fists, hands, feet) than be murdered by an armed assailant using a rifle of any type. (And AR-15s are a fraction of all of rifles.)

    2. To be “sensible,” any law must A), have a specific aim and purpose, intended to control an activity or condition which is so great that it must be controlled for the security of the populace, B), be likely to achieve that aim, C), be closely defined so as to avoid damaging those who are not involved in the activity that you are trying to control, and D), be within the Constitution.

      Please tell us what laws you think will fit these criteria.

      1. Well there you go trying to define things, when in fact the word “sensible” is just better left to mean some vague thing so nobody can argue with it. Kinda like “sensible tax rates” that nobody wants to put a figure on it.

        The reality is that sensible gun regulations as a term will only mean the most extreme version that someone thinks they can get through the legal process and stand up in court at that moment in time. And then push for the next level of sensible gun laws because what they did the first time around was just the first shot. Therefore it’s just not sensible to define sensible at this point.

    3. There is no “common ground” when you propose to violate the rights of others. You are the aggressor. Period. You don’t have standing to take away my rights. Gun rights are the right to protect your own freedom.

    4. Well, really it’s the fact that people on your side of the debate do want and do try to take our guns away by any means they think that they can that makes people on my side of the debate think that people on your side of the debate do want and do try to take our guns away by any means they think that they can.

      So yeah, that is a sticky dilemma.

      You can forget about my willing cooperation with your “sensible” and “common sense” proposals. That horse left the barn a loooooooong time ago.

    5. “…What is the worst part is that this will feed into the idea that those like myself supporting sensible gun laws,…”
      Fuck off, slaver.

    6. What is the worst part is that this will feed into the idea that those like myself supporting sensible gun laws, are in reality try to take guns away from people.

      It’s not just an idea.

      New York City is advising rifle and shotgun owners that if their registered firearms meet the new definition of an “assault weapon”, they must surrender them immediately. Note that the assault weapon definition in NYC includes .22 rifles with tube magazines that can hold more than 5 rounds.

      The demand came in the form of some 500 letters mailed out to owners of registered long guns that are in violation of a 2010 city ordinance. The first option for the letter’s recipient is to, “Immediately surrender your Rifle and/or Shotgun to your local police precinct…

      1. Govenor Andrew Homo…go fuck yourself!

    7. I’m looking to get enacted some “sensible speech laws” which stop people from claiming “sensible” restrictions on a God given right to keep and bear arms are different than the God given right to free speech! You with me?

    8. I have yet to see anyone who supports “sensible gun laws” advocate an actually-sensible gun law.

      I have seen lots of people earnestly propose laws that would only make sense as a satirical proposal, betraying a complete ignorance of 1) how guns work; 2) how current gun laws work; and 3) how their proposed law would work.

      But “sensible gun laws”? Not a one.

      1. I’ve never wanted to see a LIKE button more on any post.

  8. Never register your arms.
    The reason for gun registration is to facilitate ease of confiscation.

    1. Buy and register one cheap .22 LR rifle; ideally bolt action.
      When they come for your guns, smile and give it up.

  9. This non-enforcement should not be unexpected. In, IIRC, 1981, Morton Grove passed the first handgun ban. One year later, some seven handguns had been turned in. The police eluded that they would not be doing anything proactive to enforce the law. The police, unlike most “big” politicians, actually have to live next to the people they serve.

    1. Police enforcement is not the realistic goal here. Once you’ve created a law that makes criminals out of formerly law abiding citizens, just by it’s signature, it becomes a tool to control you. Liberty is not maintained by holing up your gun in a secret hiding place. That’s like violating laws against free speech or practicing your religion by doing it in your living room with the blinds closed. It isn’t liberty anymore.

      Furthermore, they’d probably just as soon you hold onto that gun in violation of the law because you are far less likely to stand up and be counted in public. Gun owners in NJ or NY have been shut up for fear that someone will suspect them as gun owners and come search their house. And if they are arrested on something else, then they can also use your flagrant violation of gun restrictions to charge you with even more crimes, even if they can’t prove the other ones.

      People need to quit sounding like they are going to war over their guns when in fact this has never happened anywhere. Sure you can take personal pride in holding onto a weapon in violation of the law. But it’s a hollow victory once the laws have been passed because you’ve lost the war.

      1. Mr. Gerry — This declaration of rights, I take it, is intended to secure the people against the mal-administration of the government; if we could suppose that in all cases the rights of the people would be attended to, the occasion for guards of this kind would be removed. … What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. Now it must be evident, that under this provision, together with their other powers, congress could take such measures ith respect to a militia, as make a standing army necessary. Whenever government mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins. This was actually done by Great Britain at the commencement of the late revolution. They used every means in their power to prevent the establishement of an effective militia to the eastward. The assembly of Massachusetts, seeing the rapid progress that administration were making, to divest them of their inherent privileges, endeavored to counteract them by the organization of the militia, but they were always defeated by the influence of the crown.

  10. “Buyback” can only happen if you sold it to me in the first place. What Beto F. is calling for is simple confiscation. To compound the atrocity, he wants to take my money (at gunpoint), then take my property (at gunpoint), then give me some of my money back — claiming it as payment for my property.

    Since few real cops and not even many Federal agents would go along with such a scheme, they will also have to create a new corps from among their followers (we can call it “Gunstapo”), which will take this as a religious crusade and thus be willing to pour machinegun fire into the homes of those who are unwilling to comply.

    This will be short-lived, however. First, the original National Socialists and their SS came from adverse times, while most of the new SS would melt into the background like the snowflakes they are after the first few rounds coming from the citizenry.

    Second, they are simply outnumbered. With some 400 MILLION guns in private hands (millions of which are those evil Scary Looking Guns that they are there to confiscate), PLUS the honest cops, PLUS the vast majority of the military, after the first campaign began, things would get . . .interesting.

    Unfortunately for the “Progressives,” things have come to a head before they are ready to take advantage of the confusion which they have promoted. Only a thin layer of the populace are afraid enough of guns to accept this scheme, and too many of the rest are too well armed.

    1. Plus, we all know that confiscation will start in black neighborhoods.

      that will certainly earn praise from the NAACP

      1. The best way to put lots of minorities into prison for victimless crimes is to pass more gun control laws.

        Slate: Is Brooklyn’s gun court getting weapons off the streets — or just locking up more young black men?

        Gun control advocates mostly talk about permit requirements and background checks. But that coin has another side: punishment for people accused of possessing guns without the state’s permission. In January 2016, Mayor Bill de Blasio established a specialized gun court in Brooklyn to fast-track the city’s “remaining evildoers”—his words—to prison. Almost all of them faced the most serious possible charge for possession of an illegal loaded gun, a minimum sentence of 3½ years in prison and a maximum of 15 years.

        Two and a half years ago, I started visiting the Brooklyn gun court to see how it was working.

        I thought I’d find horrific stories of gun violence and hardened evildoers, like de Blasio said. Instead, over many months of my reporting, I found hundreds of teenagers and young people, almost all of them black, being marched to prison not for firing a gun, or even pointing one, but for having one. Many of them had minimal criminal records. To be precise, when I went through 200 case files, I found that 70 percent of the defendants in gun court had no previous felony convictions. Defendants in gun court often said they had guns for “protection,” a classic Second Amendment argument. They saw them as a means of defense.

      2. “For black Americans, we know that gun control… sprouts from racist soil – be it after the or during the infamous Dred Scott case where black man’s humanity was not recognized.”
        –Niger Innis, National Spokesperson for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)

        Understanding the long, sordid history of gun control in America is key to understanding the dangers of disarming.”
        –Niger Innis

        “Long before gun control was touted as ‘common sense’ measures, the concept was promoted as a means to keep ethnic populations in an unequal position while assuaging the fears of whites.”
        –Niger Innis

        “The Constitution gives you the right, as a white man, to have a rifle in your home. The Constitution gives you the right to protect yourself. Why is it ‘ominous’ when black people even talk of having rifles? Why don’t we have the right to self-defense? Is it because maybe you know we’re going to have to defend ourselves against you?”
        –James Baldwin, ‘One Day When I Was Lost’

        Hi, Mikey! 😉

  11. Progressives use laws to target and ruin their political enemies. Even if it’s usually unenforced, it will be against people who provide influential opposition to progressive lunacy and tyranny.

  12. Since gun owners are an increasingly small and paranoid part of the population, they are increasingly easier to contain. Just you start shooting at the government gun grabbers, and see how that goes for you.

    Wank off to porn like normal people why don’t you?

    1. I will say your comments never fail to amuse me. The small group of gun owners you may be what exists in your “world” but not in mine. Much more likely there are many gun owners around you who do not talk about it to avoid listening to the self righteous drivel spewed by clowns such as you. There are approximately 50 MILLION gun owners in the US which is about 1/6 of the population. That is not a “small, paranoid” group of people. The only paranoid people are those like you who think you will be shot at any moment by some “gun owner” you have decided is dangerous simply because they dare have different opinions and political ideologies than you. BTW, we really didnt need to know how you spend your free time in mommy’s basement.

      1. I don’t care what nonsensical horseshit you believe until it starts killing tens of thousands of people a year for no good reason.

        Mass shootings are widely perceived as something of a problem, but as you will no doubt acknowledge, they are hardly the extent of the gun death problem the United States uniquely faces as a member of the civilized world.

        I don’t care what your fetish or hobby is. I don’t care what your politics are. I care about facts and not letting you get away with not caring about facts.

        The presence of guns increases the likelihood of human death. Period. Fact. So stop vomiting lies about how guns make us safer. Let’s take that as a first step, and we’ll develop policy together after you accept the basic facts.

        1. “The presence of guns increases the likelihood of human death. Period. Fact.”

          So does the presence of knives, and cars, and fatty foods, and stairs, and swimming pools, and slippery tubs and showers.

          I’d suggest that you hide in your basement, except you’d have to go down those deadly stairs to get there.

          And please don’t give me that “Guns are only made to kill” crap. I’ve been shooting for over 60 years now, and the only things I’ve killed, out of tens of thousands of rounds fired, is some wild game, which I ate. It’s pretty much the same for everyone I know who shoots.

          1. “So does the presence of knives, and cars, and fatty foods, and stairs, and swimming pools, and slippery tubs and showers.”

            Baseball bats and golf clubs. Don’t let those athletes get away with it.

        2. The presence of guns increases the likelihood of human death. Period. Fact. So stop vomiting lies about how guns make us safer.

          If I’m the one with the gun, then the human being killed is very likely a criminal, and I consider my life more important than his. Period. Fact. Like it or not, his life is not morally equivalent to mine. The gun doesn’t make him safer. It makes me safer. That’s a good thing. Until you can accept that, you’re arguing in bad faith.

        3. Tony, I’d like to thank you for your reasoned and well-stated comments.
          And I would do so, if you had actually posted one.
          Instead, I will just thank you for the laugh.

        4. The vast majority of firearm deaths in this country are localized to a small number of municipalities, and directly related to the drug war.

          Remove those deaths from the statistics and it looks pretty darn safe.

          1. Actually, the vast majority of firearm deaths are suicides.
            You are correct about the remaining, however, more of crooks killing crooks.

        5. The presence of guns increases the likelihood of human death. Period. Fact.

          Correlation does not equal causation. And even the correlation doesn’t exist. You cited a couple of papers even though there are plenty of others that disagree with you.

        6. Tony: “The presence of guns increases the likelihood of human death. Period.”

          The above statement is not supportable by any reading, even a cursory reading, of the statistics re homicide rate vs firearms ownership rates. A consistent correlation does not exist — not on State-to-State comparison, including when factoring in State-levels of poverty, or the GINI coefficient, or firearms ownership rate, or gun laws, (or the lack thereof). Population density is a “moderate” correlative, at least in CA. I suspect that may be true nationwide.

          If you are wondering, I do my own statistical work, and it’s amazing what is available at the CDC and the BJS, and on State sites.

        7. I don’t care. We have an inherent right to self defense. And a legally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms in the constitution.

        8. “I don’t care what your fetish or hobby is. I don’t care what your politics are. I care about facts ”

          Stop your Prog lying right there, you fucking asshole.

    2. “No amount of evidence will persuade an idiot”, Mark Twain.

  13. 2nd Amendment: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    Fuck you and your gun grabbing!

    1. What’s your rank? You know, in your state militia?

      1. Hardly my fault that the States are failing their responsibility to maintain a well-regulated militia. I’m right here keeping and bearing arms, so I’m holding up my end of the deal.

        1. States do not maintain militia; the maintain a National Guard, really US Army units. Those units are under orders and cannot refuse a lawful order of the governor, or if nationalized, the president through the military chain of command.
          A militia unit can refuse being called up. That is why it is referred to as ‘called up’ and not ‘ordered up’, because the militia can say “no” to the call.

          1. Actually, no, the Guard can not refuse to be called up (nationalized). Governors have tried and failed. And the use of “militia” should be construed to mean the Militia at that time which was citizen’s in possession of their own arms and would use those arms when enlisting to serve. The Militia then was “voluntary” but as they were attacking, killing, and burning your home and farm most said yes.

            1. He was saying state militias not the NG.

          2. New York State has a State Militia separate from the National Guard because, as a federal reserve, the NG has often been federalized and sent overseas leaving the Governor nada. And it’s not just army, it has naval and air branches, as does the NY National Guard.

            Tennessee has a State Guard separate from the National Guard for the same reason. They came out to my gun club the day of the military match, and I have seen their table set up at the local gun show.

            I would not be surprised if other states have organized state militias.

            Militia and Guard do take an oath to obey lawful orders. There is also the almost a requirement, in the case of unlawful orders in violation of the Constitution, to raise an objection or mutiny if necessary.

            1. Twenty two states have some form of state militia seperate from the National Guard. Actually, the Texas Rangers are still a militia.

      2. The unorganized militia specified in the CFR makes no reference to rank or hierarchal command structure.

      3. Somehow, the word “people” as it appears in the Second Amendment does not mean the same thing as it means where it appears elsewhere in the Constitution, including the Preamble, the Fourth Amendment, the Fifth Amendment . . . .

      4. One of the defining aspects of a militia, and one of the nicer points, is that they elect their own officers when called up (if they choose to respond to the call). Until the militia is formed up for a specific purpose, there is no rank beyond “member”.
        A militia unit:
        Provides its own arms and ammunition
        Elects its own officers
        Is NOT subject to control by governments or the military until they voluntarily submit to authority under terms and conditions they agree to.
        A militia unit can agree to serve only in a specific geographic area, or only for a specific time, or under such other restrictions they declare. The military can accept the conditions, or refuse the service of the unit, but it cannot mandate the militia’s actions without agreement.
        Sort of like the ’60s poster “suppose they gave a war, and no one came?”

        1. It’s fucking obsolete and you know that.

          Since the purpose of the second amendment is obsolete, one wonders why the effects of it are still accepted as inevitable.

          1. I don’t consider it obsolete at all.

            You don’t like the 2nd Amendment, try to repeal it. Otherwise, fuck off.

          2. If, as you say, gun owners are an increasingly small and paranoid part of the population, you and other gun grabbers should have no problem repealing the Second Amendment.

          3. The militia is an outdated idea? We’ll, I guess California must be some backwoods, outdated hellhole, since they maintain their own funded and maintained militia units besides the National Guard. In fact several states do, 22 to be exact. Additionally, private citizen militias were actively employed as late as the second World War (see Alaska Territorial Guard for an example). Additionally, the department of war included the idea of partisan (i.e. privately armed civilian militias) in their defense plan if Japan had invaded the west coast. The DoD also had plans to incorporate partisan militias in the case of an invasion by the Soviets during the Cold War. These plans still exist, although the chances of a large scale invasion tend to be less likely today. No, militias are not outdated.

          4. It’s not your call, that the Militia, as envisioned by the drafters of the 2nd Amdt, is obsolete. Our Constitution is a multigenerational contract of governance for our country. It sets out ways to amend this agreement, and that doesn’t include mob rule, or even the sort of autocratic fiat that you seem to prefer. Until you go through the required amendment process, “Militia” means today what it meant in 1788.

            The 2nd Amdt cannot be understood without understanding the Declaration of Independence, written a year after Lexinton and Concord, and a decade before the 2nd Amdt. Part of it is a justification for armed revolution. And central to it is the recognition of the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. The first two of those are directly related to the two primary rights secured by the 2nd Amdt: self defense and the natural right to replace a tyrannical government, by force of arms, if necessary. And, pretty obviously, Assault Weapons bans, magazine capacity limitations, etc, are aimed directly at preventing just that, the ability of the citizenry to replace their government, by force of arms, if necessary, if it becomes too tyrannical, and no longer governs with the consent of the governed.

          5. It’s only obsolete if you believe we have a perfect government that would never trample the rights of its citizens.

            Mr. Gerry — This declaration of rights, I take it, is intended to secure the people against the mal-administration of the government; if we could suppose that in all cases the rights of the people would be attended to, the occasion for guards of this kind would be removed. … What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. …Whenever government mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins. This was actually done by Great Britain at the commencement of the late revolution. They used every means in their power to prevent the establishement of an effective militia to the eastward.

            Mr. Burke — Proposed to add to the clause just agreed to, an amendment to the following effect: “A standing army of regular troops in time of peace, is dangerous to public liberty, and such shall not be raised or kept up in tim of peace but from necessity, and for the security of the people, nor then without the consent of two-thirds of the members present of both houses, and in all cases the military shall be subordinate to the civil authority.” This being seconded.

            “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops.”
            – Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, October 10, 1787

            “Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.”
            – James Madison, Federalist No. 46, January 29, 1788

          6. “Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”
            – William Pitt (the Younger), Speech in the House of Commons, November 18, 1783

            “A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves…and include, according to the past and general usuage of the states, all men capable of bearing arms… “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.”
            – Richard Henry Lee, Federal Farmer No. 18, January 25, 1788

            “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined…. The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.”
            – Patrick Henry, Speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 5, 1778

            “This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty…. The right of self defense is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.”
            – St. George Tucker, Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1803

          7. If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state. In a single state, if the persons intrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair.”
            – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 28

            “[I]f circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist.”
            – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 28, January 10, 1788

            “As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.”
            – Tench Coxe, Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789

            1. I bet Hamilton’s full throated support for the right to bear arms was not included in the hit progressive musical Hamilton.

          8. I think it is funny how this one amendment is “obsolete” yet none of the others are. You might consider without the 2nd, all the others become privileges granted at the discretion of the government. No doubt you will argue to think the government will oppress the people and infringe on their rights is insane but my response is simple and irrefutable; Patriot Act. The best example of the government denying individual rights to “protect” the people. The law is great, unless you are the one under surveillance, arrested and/or prosecuted.

      5. 10 US Code § 246 :

        The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States

        1. Yet more proof militias still exist as this is the only defense of selective service that the government can grant. Drafting is not enslavement rather than making you serve you militia duties. Not stating I agree with that argument, just that it is the only one even remotely definsible.

      6. The Militia of the 2nd Amdt is the Militia that fought in Lexington and Concord.

        “The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the first military engagements of the American Revolutionary War.[9] The battles were fought on April 19, 1775 in Middlesex County, Province of Massachusetts Bay, within the towns of Lexington, Concord, Lincoln, Menotomy (present-day Arlington), and Cambridge. They marked the outbreak of armed conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and its thirteen colonies in America.”

        The night before, a British force embarked late that night hoping to surprise the Colonists, and to seize arms (in particular, cannon, shot, and powder) that they had stockpiled. Surprise was lost by, for example, Paul Revere in his famous ride that night. When the British force arrived in Lexington, they initially greatly outnumbered the local Colonial Militia forces. But throughout the day, militia groups from the neighboring towns kept arriving, and ultimately outnumbered the British force, causing them to retreat back towards Boston, even breaking ranks, until they were met by a larger relieving force, that allowed them to complete their retreat in good order. For much of the rest of the war, Boston was effectively under siege.

        The Revolutionary War was thus started by local militias from towns around Boston coming together to repel the British attempt to disarm the Colonialists. Several of our prominent Founders, including John Adams and John Hancock, were intimately involved, and had to flee Boston for their safety. This was no doubt in everyone’s minds when the Bill of Rights was enacted little more than a decade later (1787-88).

        Any attempt to redefine “Militia” in the 2nd Amdt to be the National Guard, etc, is historical, and thus Constitutional, revisionism.

      7. Member…

        2016 Georgia Code
        Title 38 – Military, Emergency Management, and Veterans Affairs
        Chapter 2 – Military Affairs
        Article 1 – State Militia Generally
        Part 1 – General Provisions
        § 38-2-3. Division and composition of militia; membership of unorganized militia
        Universal Citation: GA Code § 38-2-3 (2016)

        (a) The militia of the state shall be divided into the organized militia, the state reserve list, the state retired list, and the unorganized militia.

        (b) The organized militia shall be composed of:

        (1) An Army National Guard and an Air National Guard which forces, together with an inactive National Guard, when such is authorized by the laws of the United States and regulations issued pursuant thereto, shall comprise the Georgia National Guard;

        (2) The Georgia Naval Militia whenever such a state force shall be duly organized; and

        (3) The State Defense Force whenever such a state force shall be duly organized.

        (c) The state reserve list and the state retired list shall include the persons who are lawfully carried thereon and such persons as may be transferred thereto or placed thereon by the Governor in accordance with this chapter.

        (d) Subject to such exemptions from military duty as are created by the laws of the United States, the unorganized militia shall consist of all able-bodied male residents of the state between the ages of 17 and 45 who are not serving in any force of the organized militia or who are not on the state reserve list or the state retired list and who are, or who have declared their intention to become, citizens of the United States.

      8. @Tony wrote: “What’s your rank? You know, in your state militia?”

        Do you even know what constitutes a “militia”, Tony

        Try reading … and comprehending … ‘Title 10 United States Code §311 – Militia: composition and classes’ as a start:

        Follow up on that by researching your own state’s ‘militia statute’.

  14. I considered selling my weapons “back” to the government, but after a background check and thorough investigation into the buyer, I determined the buyer has a history of violence and is mentally unstable. Big risk to everyone around it.

    1. Excellent!

  15. So many weird things about this article.

    […] it’s just a teeny weeny little registration requirement.

    That characterization is weird, considering that Republicans and the Reason commentariat regularly describe any sort of registration requirement as an apocalypse of biblical proportions.

    As far as trusting police and police chiefs… no, never. America’s police regularly give us ample reason not to trust them. Individual cops can earn your trust on a one-to-one basis, but as an institution? Nope, no trust, no way, no how.

    And then there’s the big question: “how would you do it?”
    First-up, I wouldn’t. I think it’s a moot issue.

    But if I were tasked to come up with a way to reduce the number of privately owned guns in the US, this is how I would do it.
    #1) Ban on the private sale of new guns to private citizens in the US. Because of how many guns already in circulation, and how long a well-maintained gun can last, this will have little-to-no immediate effect, but it will entirely push the gun market to resale.
    #2) Regular gun buy-back programs at a national level, every February. Not only do you get current market rates, but you get a tax break for April.
    #3) Special out-of-season gun buy-backs for estates at extra higher rates. Don’t want dear dead dad’s arsenal, or only want a few pieces of it? Keep what you want, sell the rest to the government, rather then to a gun store. Also, tax-break for next year’s taxes.

    Wouldn’t be an immediate reduction, but a gradual one. No coercion or mandates, thus negating the major risks of confrontation.

    This is, of course, contingent on gun manufacturer’s losing the fight to retain access to the private market.

    1. You forgot about repealing the second amendment.

      1. Unless you want to argue that current restrictions on selling new machine guns to private citizens are unconstitutional, I’m not sure what part of this you think violates the 2nd.

        That said, the entire thing is moot, so I’m not really invested in defending the plan. I’m just curious what you think is unconstitutional about it.

        1. Under both Miller and Heller, the types of arms which are protected are “those in common use.” Not those which are “in common use by the military.” Members of the armed services do not “own” their weapons. Now, as far as “common use,” semi-automatic pistols and rifles have been offered for sale to the public by major manufacturers, and been “common” in civilian hands, for well over a century. Side note: fully-automatic weapons, based on non-military sales, have never been popular, or “common.”

          1. Treat me with more contempt and break it down on why any of that matters.

            1. Because SCOTUS decides what firearms are “constitutionally protected.” But only when asked. I am unaware of any SCOTUS decisions re the constitutionality of not allowing the registration of “new” automatic firearms. Frankly, I doubt they would void the law.

          2. I think that you have Miller backwards. The US in Miller was able to ban (actually just tax) sawed off shotguns under the NFA because they were not in control man use in the military (actually, they had been, but that Santa in the court record, and Miller was dead by rage time the case was remanded).

            You often hear from the gun grabbers that some weapon needs to be banned because it is a Weapon of War. But Weapons of War are precisely the ones that can’t be banned or taxed under Miller. The sawed off shotgun could be taxed only because they determined that it was not a Weapon of War.

            Of course, we can probably be thankful there that Miller had ineffective counsel at the trial level, and was dead by the time the case was remanded. The NFA Was enacted in the gangster era, when Thompson machine guns and Browning Automatic Rifles were readily available, in line often at the neighborhood store. Thompson’s, along with sawed off shotguns were shipped to our troops in Europe as trench sweepers. BARs had been developed for our military for use by infantry when advancing, but didn’t see significant military service until WW II. The country at the time desperately wanted these out of the hands of gangsters, and I suspect that the Supreme Court would have found another way to validate the NFA (that restricted and taxed these guns), if the Not Military Use exception to the 2nd Amdt had not been so readily available to them.

            1. Corrections to problems called by IOS Spellcheck:

              “I think that you have Miller backwards. The US in Miller was able to ban (actually just tax) sawed off shotguns under the NFA because they were not in COMMON use BY the military (actually, they had been, in WW I, but that WASN’T in the court record, and Miller was dead by THE time the case was remanded).”

              1. I appreciate your observation on Miller. That is one problem with Miller: both sides have said, at some time or another, that it may be the most poorly-written, convoluted SCOTUS opinion in history. And your interpretation is certainly defensible. But bear in mind, too, that the Thompson wasn’t adopted until 1938, IIRC. In fact, in 1934, the M1 was still being field-tested. The irony, of course, is that less-than-standard-length barrelled shotguns, from what I have read, were in fairly common use in the trenches in WW1. Yep, and there was nobody there to point this out to the judges, either.

              2. @Bruce Hayden wrote: “The US in Miller was able to ban (actually just tax) sawed off shotguns under the NFA because they were not in COMMON use BY the military (actually, they had been, in WW I, but that WASN’T in the court record, and Miller was dead by THE time the case was remanded).”

                Actually, Bruce, ‘short-barreled shotguns’ (sometimes referred to as ‘sawed off shotguns’) predate WW I by two-hundred years (or more).

                Witness this “short-barreled shotgun” used by not only the Continental/US Navy and Marine Corps during the Revolutionary War, but also by “privateers” while bring war to the British Navy – Flintlock Blunderbuss

                ‘Miller’ was/is an unconstitutionally-conducted Supreme Court hearing and as such, its ruling was itself unconstitutional.

                ‘Why was `Miller’ unconstitutional?’ you ask.

                Because it was conducted in violation of the Court’s previous finding in ‘Hopt v. People of the Territory of Utah’ – 4 S.Ct. 202, 28 L.Ed. 262 (1884); to-wit: ‘Trial in absentia’ … which specifically violates the second principle of natural justice, ‘audi alteram partem’ (‘hear the other party’).

                ‘How do we know it was `trial in absentia?’ You ask.

                From the hand of Associate Supreme Court Justice James Clark McReynolds, author of the ‘US v. Miller’ decision comes the damning entry from ‘Miller’:

                “No appearance for appellees.” [That would be defendants/appellees Jack Miller, Frank Layton or their attorney-of-record, Paul E. Gutensohn.]

                The hearing should have stopped and never been heard in violation of ‘audi alteram partem’, as neither the Assistant Attorney General defending the United States, Gordon Dean [who argued the case at bar], nor Assistant Attorney General Brien McMahon, nor Solicitor General Robert H. Jackson, would dare introduce that the Blunderbuss … a “short-barreled shotgun” dating back to the 1600’s … was a historical ‘arm with militia utility’ … thereby ‘torpedoing’ not only the ‘Miller’ prosecution, but FDR’s highly-desired ‘National Firearms Act of 1934’, as well [‘Sonzinsky’ notwithstanding].

            2. When talking about shotguns you have to also consider the definition of “sawed off”. AS long as the barrel is 18 1/2 inches it is not considered to be a sawed off shotgun. In addition, if is does not have a standard stock, then it is not a shotgun. The shotguns being sold now with bird head grips are not classified as shotguns because they cannot be held to the shoulder. They are “”pistols”. My point is for every law the government writes, there is a inventive person who will find a way to circumvent the law.

              1. @TxJack wrote: “AS long as the barrel is 18 1/2 inches it is not considered to be a sawed off shotgun.”

                Actually, Jack, the minimum length for a non-NFA “shotgun” barrel is 18.00 inches … as “measured down the inside of the barrel to the closed breach with the hammer(s) cocked” (per ATF regulation).

                “My point is for every law the government writes, there is a inventive person who will find a way to circumvent the law.”

                Not “circumvent”, Jack … but to comply in a manner not envisioned by the gun controller legislators … just like the firearms industry demonstrated its way to “comply” with the ‘Assault Weapons Ban of 1994’ by excluding a number of those ‘devices’ enumerated by AWB`94 while continuing to manufacture post-1994-Ban ‘Modern Sporting Rifles’.

          3. At the time the Constitution was written, the common people (the militia) and the standing army had the same weapons. This was seen as a balance-of-power thing…

            [I]f circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens.

            If the citizens had the same arms, could use them as well as the standing army, and VASTLY outnumbered any standing army that could be raised, then the chances of a standing army becoming a government tool for tyranny were seen as being pretty slim.

            Arguing now that the common people should not be permitted to have the same arms as the standing army is exactly why the 2nd was written.

            1. Oh, I tend to agree with you on that. But it’s also important to keep up with how the courts see it, and why, which, obviously, is changeable.

    2. So banning the printing and sale of brand new Bibles to citizens would not violate the First Amendment?

    3. #2, #3…sure, and have the exact same useless effect on mass murders and crime as other false ‘buybacks’. Publicity stunts or drivel from Presidential candidates produce the same results. When it is not yours to buy back, and there is not a willing crowd to sell it anyway…all you will get is junk and no results.

    4. Even if you ban private sales the number of guns in this country will be unaffected. The majority of guns, even at gun shows, are sold by federally licensed dealers, FFLs. One major problem is the anti gun activists lie about how guns are sold in this country. The so called “gun show loophole” is a myth. It is a myth because the only “sale” at a gun show that can be made without a background check is a private one which is very rare. Second the lie about internet sales. Yes you can buy a gun without a background check, but you cannot take possession of it without one because it must be shipped to a FFL, who runs the check when you come to pick it up. If you fail, the gun is returned to the seller. Again, the only exception is a private sale via a site like ARMs List but even here both people have to live in the same state. If you live in a different state, to be legal, the gun must be taken to a FFL in the seller’s state and shipped to a FFL in the buyer’s state. If the seller lets the buyer take the gun, if caught both will be charged with arms trafficking. The biggest problem is the distortion of facts which is why we cannot have a civil and rational debate on the issue.

  16. Go after the gun factories. Interestingly, we never talk about the gun factories. I agree with the author that going after individual owners would probably not work. And I understand that with 300+ million guns out there slowing the production of guns would not get rid of guns in America, but if we are at all worried about the sheer mass quantity of guns available why not make it harder to produce them?

    Oh wait, the NRA gets funded by them. My bad.

    1. Because any decent machine shop can manufacture a firearm. Hell, any Home Depot has the pieces to manufacture a pretty lethal single shot 12 gauge shotgun.

    2. Like going after the manufacturers of illegal drugs has stopped illegal drug use?

    3. You are confusing the NRA with the NSSF. The NSSF (National Shooting Sports Foundation) is the trade group and lobbying group of the gun manufacturers.

      The NRA is a vast organization of 5 million citizens and dues-paying members, over a hundred thousand firearms safety instructors, and representation across every state and walk of life. Its members likely include your neighbors and perhaps even some of your friends and family members. The NRA defends the Second Amendment. Its power and passion comes from its 5 million and growing members and tens of millions of sympathizers. The gun manufacturers are like a fly riding on the back of the 800-lb gorilla.

      Your confusion is typical of those who don’t understand guns and the gun culture but spout off about it anyway. Perhaps you should stop listening to anti-gun propaganda and make an effort to get to know a few of the 100 million of your fellow citizens who own guns and use them for lawful purposes, including the most fundamental of all – the right to defend self, home and family.

    4. Should we take a similar approach to other ‘bad’ things…cigs, booze, cars, medical malpractice?

    5. “Oh wait, the NRA gets funded by them. My bad.”

      A CNNMoney analysis of federal campaign finance records shows that much of this money comes from everyday Americans. And these contributions, which the NRA uses to keep pro-gun lawmakers in office, are on the rise.

      Some political funding comes from big corporations, many within the gun industry, which donate millions to the NRA. But companies are barred from donating to the NRA’s political action committee, which the agency uses to fill campaign coffers, run ads and send out mailers for and against candidates.

      That’s where individual donations come in.

      Since 2005, the NRA Political Victory Fund has received nearly $85 million in contributions from individual donors. After the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, donations to this political action committee surged as gun owners worried that their rights to buy and own guns were at risk.

    6. The NRA received less than 10% of its funding from gun and ammo manufacturers they are almost universally funded by member dues. The NSSF is funded by the industry. The two are seperate entities with no official ties, although the often are allies in different ventures.

    7. You cannot do that because to target a manufacturer of a legal product and try to force them out of business is illegal. Just because you do not like guns does not mean you cannot impose regulations or take actions to put them out of business. I think tobacco and E cigs are dangerous, but people have a right to smoke. Smoking related illness kills 400,000 people a year which is 10x the numbers of “gun deaths” even if you accept the inflated number used by the anti gun zealots.

  17. It all comes down to this; the fascists have to repeal the second amendment.
    When anyone wants to talk about anything else, ask them if requiring a concealed carry permit to vote would be an infringement on the right to vote, or a common sense way to ensure fair elections.

    1. So yes, you do think restrictions on who can buy machine guns are unconstitutional.

      An understandable position, but you have to realize that even among gun owners and collectors it’s not a common one.

      1. Please cite the statistics for this claim.
        Which part of the ban on automatic firearms is Constitutional? The fact that the question has not been before the Supreme Court doesn’t make it moot.

        1. The part where there is no “ban” on fully automatic weaponry, only enhanced procedures to procure.


          1. Do you know what those “procedures” are? First you must have a Class III FFL which is very expensive and requires a background check that takes 3-6 MONTHS. Second, you have to pay a huge tax to purchase any Class III item. Lastly, the only automatic weapons that can be sold are those manufactured BEFORE 1986, so there is a very limited supply and they are very expensive.

  18. nice good information

  19. Gun registration laws won’t apply to the close to 4 million guns in the U.S. and if mandated registration is in effect for them there will be massive non compliance. So every gun in private ownership now can be sold at any time and if asked the owner will claim it was sold pre act. That means all those guns will double in price on the black market and a well maintained firearm can be functional for over 100 years if not fired a lot and worn out. The attempt to keep guns out of criminals hands will result in an increase in guns in criminals hands. And NY’s SAFE Act resulted in a redesign and the “NY Compliant” AR has a different look but the same rate of fire and caliber as the banned firearm. The law is a fail, fail, fail, and a big fail.

    1. You missed a couple of digits 🙂 The number is closer to 400 million.

    2. 4 million? try 400 million which is the real reason any attempt at registration is not possible, besides being unconstitutional.

  20. What drives me absolutely berserk is that everybody, excluding very few, haggles over this minutia while yawning past the bottom line.

    NONE OF THIS MATTERS. It is all unconstitutional.

    You know, the CONSTITUTION? Remember THAT?

    Every time the progs open their mouths, BAM! “Unconstitutional.”

    That is the way we must meet this BS in every instance, consistently and with no let-up.

    They love to toss out this proposal and that proposal and giggle as everybody descends on the merits/demerits of each, when the fundamental premise is itself unconstitutional.


    It is unalienable, sacrosanct, and constitutionally guaranteed.

    And if we don’t unwaveringly insist that we will not be dominated, that our constitutionally protected liberty absolutely cannot be chipped away, it WILL be chipped away until they are nothing but a memory.

    If the progs will allow even that, which is not likely.

  21. Take a step back: Imagine being the president who gave state agents the order to fire on citizens. And it’s being talked about and cheered by the same people who carry on about “muh democracy.”

  22. Beto and his sidekick nitwits is in for a rough ride other than riding his boyfriends staff. Try and take the guns you Nazi maggots.

  23. Consider this FACT: our national Constitution declares that IT (the Constitution itself) together with all laws enacted “persuant thereto” are “the supreme law of the land”.

    Further, laws enacted that are NOT in accord with that document and subsequent laws enacted persuant thereto, are not law at all, are null, void, of no effect.

    The Fifth Article of Ammendment declares, amongst other things, that we will never be required to bear testimony against ourselves. To head on down to the local cop shop, ask for the registration form, then fill it out, is to give testimony that I am in possession/control of an item, which item could conceiveably be prohibited altogether, iin which case my “testimony” that I own one COULD be used as proof I DO own one, and am thus in violation of the law and therefore in jeopardy.

    We also all know that, no mattter HOW much they wanna “offer” me for my personal item of property, once itis banned its value INSTANTLY goes through the roof… as all the pre-1985 or whenever fully automatic firearms are now.. what used to sell on the streets of Chicago for a C note now fetch ten, twenty thousand, AND you have to buy a special “tax stamp” to possess one….. ya think the street market value of my AR or AK will remain down near what gummit will be offering me for it? Dream on. Basic economics screams otherwise.

    1. Besides all that, well above half the “assault weapons” used to commit mass murder were obtained illegally, and/or by those who SHOULD or WOULD have been legally prohibited from purchase had accurate informationi been forwarded to FBI/NICS databases…. but were not. SOMEBODY in government flubbed up and failied to report disqualifying data on well above half those purchasers. The rest of them were obtained means of actions already, by their very nature, gross felony crimes.. such as the murder of the owner of one of these which was used, alledgedly, to perpetrate one very high profile mass murder. Yeah, I suppose that wretches’ Mum, had she been unable to buy one herself, would then not have had it for son to steal and use how he did. BUT.. she’d have had something else that was legal, and could be stolen… fact is, he took some of her handguns as well, and some information suggests that those were the tools used to murder most if not all, the hapless victims, left sitting ducks in a small millpond by the laws of that state prohibiting any school staff being armed/trained/able to stop the lkilling….

      Remove every semi-autoomatic rifle from the United States next week, someone will STILL find a way to murder lots of people. Trucks with fertiliser bombs, rented Home Depot trucks simply plowing into a mass of innocents, shotguns, handguns, propane tanks, poison gas (Japan have almost no guns in the hands of public, look into how mass murder attacks have been done there. Think those bent upon mayhem within our borders can’t out-do those methods?
      The EVIL does not lie embedded in the metal and plastic tool used. It is embedded in the hearts of those using those tools.

      1. The Texas Tower shooter used a bolt action “hunting” rifle

  24. My greatest contempt for those like Beano is their complete and utter ignorance of the weapons the think they can confiscate by dictat. My collection includes firearms far more dangerous than an ‘ar15’ or ‘ak47’. So I guess I get to keep those? But then again, I’m not the bad guy here. And I guess it is OK for the gangbangers in Chicago to keep killing each other with handguns? Far worse is the idea that a candidate for President would have such utter contempt for a Constitutional Amendment.

  25. I didn’t buy my gun from the government . How can they “buy it back”?

  26. Intuit is offering accounting software which allows you to do bookkeeping without help of any accountant. This accounting software is known as QuickBooks.

    1. Dheeraj kumar: “Intuit” is a pro-gun control company.

  27. Excellent article, my only criticism comes in a missed point in the NY SAFE Act coverage… those who moved from NY to get away from this madness. I know I did, and I know I was not alone. Just how many there were is anybody’s guess.
    Now, I have to ask you, when those who ran from this madness are left with no place else to go, what do you think happens then? I’ll leave that for consideration, but I wouldn’t place bets againt Meghan McCain.

  28. Forget silly gun buybacks. Ban psychotropic drugs, the doctors who prescribe them and politicians, who have absolutely no use.

  29. Both Meghan and Media Matters have missed the target. It’ll take much more than threats of confiscation to precipitate widespread violence. The reason is democrats have no enforcement strength. Firearms owners have clammed up. They speak about this subject only to trusted friends, respond to no telephone or written surveys and have sharpened their legal skills. They’ll demand warrants and lawyers and have arranged legal avoidance. Simply stated, hostile response won’t be necessary for years.

    That said, let’s face facts. First, baito doesn’t know the difference between an “assault weapon” and a semi-automatic sporting rifle, e.g., AR-15. Secondly, he cannot define “assault weapon” as a term or even according to the nomenclature.

    He’s never seen an assault weapon “in our streets” because they’ve been severely restricted since 1934. He’s never even seen a semi-automatic sporting rifle “in our streets” because the infinitesimal few that are used in crimes are never revealed until the crime occurs. And peaceable, lawful owners keep them in their homes.

    Seems he’s just another party liar reading his lines. He’s completely oblivious to the fact that gun control is working precisely as planned. Intimidation of good people who normally would protect themselves has dissuaded them from carrying firearms. The result is adult on-site reprisal never changes — NOBODY RETURNS FIRE!!

    And democrat reaction never changes — GRAB THE GUNS, GRAB THE GUNS!! We all should ask, WHAT GUNS?!! Nobody there had any. I’d also ask whom they hope to disarm. The victims invariably were rendered defenseless by their own elected misanthropic morons like baito.

    Baito majored in English literature and fled from a DUI but was detained by a news reporter. He burglarized a college. Worked as a manny. Failed as a musician. Sweats a lot. Fidgets. Skateboards. He uses incredibly vile language in public but doesn’t seem able to read even one constitutional amendment. He’s a democrat and wants to be president anyway. Figures.

  30. This entire debate only emphasizes the disconnect between people living in large urban areas and those in rural areas. Do you really think a person living in an area, like west Texas, where the only “police” is the Sheriffs department is going to willingly disarm? You can call the Sheriffs department and the closest deputy may be 30 mins to an hour away. The actual problem is people in the large cities on the east and west coast think the entire country is like the city they live in and refuse to even consider life is very different in other parts of the country. In addition, the fact these same people have totally irrational fears about guns does not justify the mass disarming of everyone in the country. You want to disarm people, focus on those in your own state.

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