In the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting, there have been cries to do something. Many believe that we need new laws. U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has introduced federal legislation to ban the sale and possession of bump-fire stocks or any other device, attachment, or accessory that can accelerate a semi-automatic rifle’s rate of fire. The problem is, her bill is poorly worded that it will include most aftermarket triggers and may represent an unconstitutional seizure. This type of knee jerk response always has unintended consequences.
There is already a law on the books which regulates machineguns, the National Firearms Act. (NFA). The NFA has effectively kept criminals away from machineguns since 1934.
It only makes sense to use this act to regulate bumpfire stocks if they make firearms functionally like machineguns. I propose that careful language be added to the NFA which specifically defines devices such as trigger cranks and bumpfire stocks as machineguns.
Like machineguns, current owners of bumpfire stocks should be able to register them with the ATFE. An amnesty period would allow owners to register these newly defined “machineguns” and after a reasonable deadline, possession of an unregistered bumpfire stock machinegun would be a felony, just as conventional machineguns are regulated now.
Owners of bumpfire stocks and trigger cranks could register or turn the devices over to ATFE for destruction.
While we are fixing the NFA, we should remove short barreled rifles (SBR) from regulation. The development of AR handguns has made this part of the law irrelevant. With the availability of handguns, they are rarely used in crime, the resources used to regulate SBRs can better be applied to the suppression of gun crime.
While we are modernizing the NFA, let’s make it more precise. The definition of a silencer as any device which makes a gun quieter is problematic. Simply adding a longer barrel makes a gun more quiet. Let re-define them into something more reasonable in the name of common sense gun laws.
How much noise do guns with silencers make? Here is a chart to make the science number apply to real life:
The reason silencers are called silencers and are regulated is the belief that hit men will have silent killing weapons other than the knives, swords and impact weapons humans used before the invention of gunpowder. Though I do not agree, I see their point that a silent weapon could have some criminal applications and safety issues. Electric cars are a danger to pedestrians for this very reason.
Lets change the NFA to re-define silencers as a device which diminishes the report of a firearm below 30 decibels. That means that there is still a comfortable report that tells you the gun is firing without all the perceptions of silent death. The hearing you save may be your own.
There is a strong push for new laws. Let’s make them effective, constitutional and well defined.
This article is courtesy of The Loadout Room.
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