Anyone who knows legalese? On suggesting bills to congressmen.


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RX-178
July 6, 2008, 07:08 AM
I believe that the chance of getting certain firearms categories redefined in our favor is quite possible if we can organize. Congressmen serve the people, and we should tell them how we wished to be served in no uncertain terms.

Instead of sending this piecemeal, we should arrange for some kind of mass sending of mail to congressmen around the country, along with a list of congressmen that we know (through our organization) that this proposition has been sent to.

And I bet most antis don't know enough about this to argue against it. It would simply be altering the existing definitions of certain classes of firearm. It'd be EASY to spin it as being an effort to reduce gun crime (which is even true) by making gun laws easier to understand.


Proposal:

Handgun would be defined as any firearm that lacks a provision to be fired from the shoulder.

Rifle would be defined as any firearm with a rifled bore that is fired from the shoulder.

Shotgun would be defined as any firearm with a smoothbore barrel that is fired from the shoulder.

Assault Weapon (and this is where we nail them) would be defined as any firearm THAT IS CAPABLE OF FULLY AUTOMATIC FIRE, that is fired from the shoulder, and fed by detachable box magazines of 30 rounds or more.

Machinegun would be defined as any firearm that is capable of automatic fire (defined as firing more than one round per pull of the trigger. They can keep that one) and is fed by belts of ammunition ('belt' being defined as any device for feeding ammunition requiring a mechanism in the firearm to pull ammunition to the chamber for firing, or any other terminology to exclude box magazines).

(and so on and so forth, I haven't thought of any specifics on other categories yet)


And INCLUDE in this proposal the instant addition of 'Assault Weapon' (USING THIS DEFINITION) to the categories of the NFA. All of a sudden 'Assault Weapons' are restricted! The anti-gun crowd rejoices without ever knowing that the entire Assault Weapons scare tactic has just been crippled.

Again, I believe the key to this is gathering support from a large number of people across the country BEFORE we send a draft of this to congressmen.

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TexasRifleman
July 6, 2008, 11:03 AM
Machinegun would be defined as any firearm that is capable of automatic fire and is fed by belts of ammunition

My only problem with all this is if you're going to point fingers at the anti's for using the wrong terms it might not be good to turn around and use wrong ones yourself.

The term "assault weapon" has no place in firearm law since there really in fact is no such thing. I like the basic idea but it has proven very difficult to get anyone to touch NFA and we have to be very careful that we don't change definitions to a point where they can be used against us.

Using your definition, this becomes an assault weapon.

http://www.militaryfactory.com/smallarms/imgs/bren.jpg

I like the basic idea but it has proven very difficult to get anyone to touch NFA.

Blackbeard
July 6, 2008, 11:15 AM
First of all, definitions are only good within the scope of a particular law. Usually these bills will "amend" a certain section of the US Code, so you'd want to specify which section of code you're altering and what the alterations are.

If your aim is to remove select-fire rifles from the machinegun registry, you'd find out which sections A) make it a crime to own an unregistered one, and B) impose a tax on the transfer of them, and then write a bill to alter the definition of machinegun within those sections.

Of course, if you're altering that section, the antis will also try to add riders to it that we would find unpleasant, and given their majority, probably will.

RX-178
July 6, 2008, 10:16 PM
I don't speak legalese, so searching the exact texts of the laws probably isn't going to personally help me come up with this any further.


But the truth is, most of the average people that supported assault weapon bans (at least any of the ones I talked to) were under the impression that the weapons being talked about on the news were capable of fully automatic fire. They thought they were supporting a ban on machineguns, not semi automatic rifles with certain features.

Again, it's a case of the 'shoulder thing that goes up' syndrome, where people don't understand what it is that's being talked about, make the wrong assumption, and support it based on that assumption.

Jim K
July 6, 2008, 10:35 PM
Leave the "assault weapon" business out entirely, you only give them ideas. Define only those terms to be used in the law. Laws should ban only what is to be banned, not define or mention anything not to be made illegal. Remember anything that is not illegal is legal. By including items you want to be legal, you merely confuse the issue.

The trouble with doing what you propose is that you put something out that can and will be amended, often to do the exact opposite of what you intend.

Unless you can work very closely with a friendly lawmaker (as the NRA and other lobbyists do), forget it.

Jim

Vegaslaith
July 6, 2008, 10:52 PM
Rifle would be defined as any firearm with a rifled bore that is fired from the shoulder

This part stood out to me. I would just suggest you remove the "fired from the shoulder" part. That way any gun with a rifled bore, regardless of the SBR rules(overall 26'' barrel 16") would be a rifle, doing away with the SBR category.
However, as mentioned above NFA law is tough to change without getting any poison amendments attached. [cough]Hughes[cough]

RX-178
July 7, 2008, 08:43 PM
Then organize and send something like this to the NRA en-masse. This is a plan of action, which is why I put it on 'activism'.

The fact of the matter is, there are classes of weaponry that currently aren't defined by federal law. And there are definitions that don't fit with the commonly accepted item. This is why 'assault weapon bans' get passed. Because 'assault rifle' is a class of weapon THAT DOES EXIST, but the anti-guns twist it around to mean something that it doesn't. The public supports it because they're envisioning actual battlefield assault rifles (select-fire shoulder-fired weapons firing rifle cartridges).

We can't say any weapon with a rifled bore is a rifle, because handguns are clearly not the same thing as rifles. Shoulder-firing is the only difference. But the current federal law mandates that a handgun must be a weapon designed to be fired by ONE HAND. By that logic, someone could make a case that every pistol with a recurved trigger guard must be a short barreled rifle, because it was designed to be fired two-handed.


What I envision is definitions for a wider range of firearms, that are recognized, but not by legal definition. I would prefer to go directly to congressmen with signed petitions with the entire text of a drafted (legalese) document. The NRA involvement would make this seem pro-gun, when we could actually get support from uneducated anti-gun types.

They'll see that a bunch of new kinds of weapons are suddenly restricted now, that didn't seem to be before (even though they all already were, under old definitions).


In addition to what I posted above, I have a few others now.


'Machine pistol': Any firearm capable of fully automatic fire that has no provision for being fired from the shoulder.

'Destructive Device': Pertains only to ammunition designed to explode after it has left the barrel, or that is propelled by a rocket motor.

'Cannon': A firearm (legally defined as requiring a metallic case cartridge) with a bore of over 50mm (or such)

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