Barring nothing unexpected, the US Senate will vote shortly on H.R. 3626 which passed the House last Tuesday by a voice vote. Actually because of the winter storm pushing schedules forward, the vote took place during my writing and passed.
It’s an extension of the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 for 10 years. The former bill labeled as H.R. 445 of the 100th Congress which became Public Law 100-649 can be read here.
Passage in the House was such a given that only a voice vote occurred. The NRA does not oppose the extension, but it should be noted that they oppose any expansion such as a requirement of an irremovable metal component. Groups such as the Gun Owners of America expose the extension.
People debate the capabilities of a “plastic” gun. You may have heard or seen the blueprints to the Liberator pistol distributed by Defense Distributed. The ATF has tested different “plastic” gun models. Some have exploded while others have proven capable of firing a handful of rounds before the gun breaks down into an unusable state. Some individuals have claimed weapons which are more durable.
With the advent of 3 D printers, what is possible? Today many legislative arguments are that the production of such weapons via this technology is cost prohibitive. For retail sail, that position is probably correct. For someone with a criminal intent, would cost matter?
I’m not arguing for or against this legislation. I really can’t say if it makes people in the United States safer today, back in 1988, or the two previous times a Congress renewed this ban.
My point is how the extreme groups on either side have made the gun control or gun safety arguments into emotional issues and the lack of rational thought in most discussions. Regulations prevent the real enforcement of many existing laws. In many cases, prosecutions can only be based upon nothing more than paperwork crimes. An illustration is Fast and Furious. Regardless of personal political ideology, the Congressional hearings are a waste of time and money. I write that not because of innocence (although I believe in presumed innocent until proven guilty), but because Congresses have passed enough “protections” at the urging of the gun lobby to make proving guilt impossible.
The NRA and many “conservative” sources applauded when a firearms dealer refused to sell a gun to Mark Kelly. I wrote about it here.
What bothers me is that many of these Members of Congress and groups who argue for limited government, personal freedom and rights actually embrace those ideas only for them themselves and when it is for their own benefit. Listen to the uproar if a rule or regulation applies to them as opposed to someone else. It is a double standard.
With the 2nd Amendment, I look at the historical application. The inclusion of the term militia is of high significance and even today’s gun lobby with historical roots accepted and actually embraced that militia aspect until the 1970s. In my lifetime, the only legal hurdle I ever faced with any weapon I have purchased or shot involved an ammunition ambiguity with the 1986 law signed by President Reagan. That impediment resulted in exchanging a few boxes of old cartridges for new ones. None of the weapons bans, confiscations, presidential statements, orders, actions, and so on ever impacted me personally, and I doubt anyone that I know.
Still, anyone can believe differently. My question tonight is with the NRA. How does this extension not infringe? Myself, I’m of the position that it must not because no monetary issues exist for the NRA here. How much do they receive from plastics and ceramics producers? Do they make 3 D printers? Even smeltering became a great gun confiscation conspiracy, so why not this legislation?
The rational argument might be that a new type of weapon or manufacturing process is simply not possible. I wonder if an Austrian named Gaston Glock ever heard the same argument. Of course he was not a gun designer but an engineer and manufacturer.