The Hughes Amendment gone? (what if)


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Blakenzy
November 22, 2008, 01:19 PM
If the evil aberration called the Hughes Amendment of the 1986 FOPA is discarded, what will happen to MG availability and prices? Will the ATF attempt to jack up the NFA tax? Will every old gunshop carry firearms with happy switches? How common will FA get? Would a FA AR15 cost the same as current SA versions? What about an M249, M240 or other currently manufactured belt fed? What are your dreams and aspirations should this ever happen?

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ants
November 22, 2008, 01:34 PM
The ATF (Dept of Treasury) does not have authority to establish, increase nor decrease a federal tax, only to establish policy in collecting the tax. Congress does have taxation authority. It would be likely that the tax would be increased dramatically by a Democratic congress.

If you think for a minute that the gun industry (including manufacturers, distributors and retailers) will gladly and willingly reduce a $15,000 gun to just $900 or so, think again.

However, the aftermarket parts industry may be very innovative in finding ways to exploit the new circumstance to provide conversion kits at rock bottom prices, making up for it in volume.

pharmer
November 22, 2008, 01:34 PM
Put down the bong, ain't gonna happen. We are headed for another "dark age" 2A wise. Joe

22-rimfire
November 22, 2008, 01:42 PM
Maybe you should summarize what the Hughes Amendment of 1986 actually did?

Blakenzy
November 22, 2008, 01:43 PM
Put down the bong, ain't gonna happen. We are headed for another "dark age" 2A wise. Joe

It's a "what if" question. I am not implying that it will happen, I just want to know what people think it would be like.

Yellowfin
November 22, 2008, 01:54 PM
I think you'd see a lot of AR's and AK's with happy switches, dunno about what else. As for prices, I gather that pre 86 the prices weren't that much higher than the regular semis, like maybe a few hundred extra rather than a thousand or more. Dunno how many people would know that NFA items are legal or where to get them. Class 3 dealers are a tiny fraction of all FFL's. My dad didn't know suppressors were legal to obtain by average folks until recently.


As for myself, I'd like to see suppressors taken off the NFA list first. That's a product more people need.

Blakenzy
November 22, 2008, 01:57 PM
Maybe you should summarize what the Hughes Amendment of 1986 actually did?

In 1986 the gun rights movement lobbied Congress to pass the Firearm Owners' Protection Act(FOPA) to prevent the abuse of regulatory power by organizations such as the ATF, particularly concerning inspections and harrasment of FFL dealers. Before it was passed Rep. Hughes of NJ attached a parasitic amendment that would prohibit civilians from owning or transfering automatic firearms that were not registered prior to May, 1986, thus screwing us with something that was meant to protect us (ironic, huh?).

So every automatic firearm made after that date, or otherwise not registered by that date was suddenly "illegal" for civilians.

cuervo
November 22, 2008, 02:02 PM
Maybe you should summarize what the Hughes Amendment of 1986 actually did?

That is the one that closed the machine gun list for any new additions. Basically, it made any machine gun made after 1986 for dealer or LE use only--it could not be transferred to a mere peon of a US citizen.

If it were repealed, prices would come down as they did for magazines after 2004, but I don't think there would be a dramatic jump in ownership. You would still have to have the background check and $200 tax and find a dealer that is licensed for full auto.

I would think there is a better chance of a case going to the court that says the $200 tax has always been illegal on machine guns since the 1939 court case addressed it only on short barreled shotguns (but still an illegal tax IMO).

7.62X25mm
November 22, 2008, 02:05 PM
Maybe you should summarize what the Hughes Amendment of 1986 actually did?

I second that emotion --

Having just sorted out "EBR", now I'm wondering about:

FOPA

MGA

M240, M249 (they're guns)

I got NA, FA, NFA . . . but maybe some others did not.

I just Googled "certiorari" and what it takes to get an AWB reviewed by SCOTUS. (Or is that too many acronyms some more?)

7.62X25mm
November 22, 2008, 02:08 PM
I would think there is a better chance of a case going to the court that says the $200 tax has always been illegal on machine guns since the 1939 court case addressed it only on short barreled shotguns (but still an illegal tax IMO).

-- "don't Bogart that bong, my friend, pass it over to me . . . " You're drinkin' the bong water, aren't cha?


:D

cuervo
November 22, 2008, 02:27 PM
I said "better" chance, but I agree it's still probably a snowball's chance...

Yellowfin
November 22, 2008, 02:44 PM
the gun rights movement lobbied Congress to pass the Firearm Owners' Protection Act(FOPA) to prevent the abuse of regulatory power by organizations such as the ATF, particularly concerning inspections and harrasment of FFL dealers.It sure as heck didn't work for California. The local anti gun gestapo here will count the hairs on your head daily and make sure they're all in the same sequence if you're an FFL. Guys I know here that work in shops spend at least half their day filling out paperwork and nothing but paperwork.

NCCCW
November 22, 2008, 07:38 PM
The ATF (Dept of Treasury)


The ATF is no longer under the Dept. of Treasury, it was moved to Dept. of Justice. This troubles me since Obama picked anti 2A Eric Holder as his Attorney General.

Gunnerpalace
November 22, 2008, 07:44 PM
If you think for a minute that the gun industry (including manufacturers, distributors and retailers) will gladly and willingly reduce a $15,000 gun to just $900 or so, think again

Fleming will,

Auto Ordinance might,

Bushmaster Maybe,

You ask Charles Daly they are a manufacturer and post here, I made a list a while ago I will try to find it.

22-rimfire
November 22, 2008, 10:39 PM
Thank you for summarizing the act. I didn't know the name of the act that allowed for registration of fully automatic weapons to be grandfathered.

DoubleTapDrew
November 22, 2008, 11:49 PM
I second that emotion --

Having just sorted out "EBR", now I'm wondering about:

FOPA

MGA

M240, M249 (they're guns)

I got NA, FA, NFA . . . but maybe some others did not.

FOPA: Firearms Owners Protection Act (1986). Mostly a good act removing some restrictions, but as mentioned, hughes slipped that poison pill in.
MGA: That one's new to me
M240: Belt fed .308 made by FN, to replace the M60, usually mounted to a vehicle. M249: Belt fed .223, also to replace the M60 as a squad automatic weapon (most commonly referred to as a SAW), but in an anemic caliber IMHO (In my humble opinion)

If the Hughes act was discarded, and I certainly think it's totally unconstitutional and should be, it would be possible for MG prices to get down close to those of semi-auto prices, if not match them. They don't cost more to make. Would the tax be raised by congress? Possibly, although the RKBA movement (HOPEFULLY with the help of the NRA's muscle) would then bring it into the media and show how ridiculous the restrictions are, not to mention the absurd 100% taxes on things like suppressors or SBRs/SBSs.
If they chose to keep it hushed and hope nobody in the media found out then they might leave the tax alone. I'd like to think they would because they'd have a lot of questions to answer about how restrictive things are to the point of being absurd.
Would the media scream about blood in the streets and how every school teacher is now packing a real AK? Possibly, except they'd have to face two very powerful facts that will shut them up real quick:
1. They are already legal. Yes Mr. Reporter you heard that right, they are and have been legal since they were invented (in sane locales). The only thing that changes is the cost of guns due to the artificial demand placed on the supply that the government caused. People have to still go through ATF/FBI background checks and procedures, nothing changes except for the number of zeros on their check.
2. NFA owners are the most law abiding folks out there. If you really want to slam their face in the mud, compare the record of NFA owners to those of reporters, senators, heck, presidents.
Bringing this stuff public would also bring the opportunity to educate the public that full auto guns aren't "more deadly" than the semi-auto versions. You don't mow down legions of people like in the movies, and in fact in most cases unless you are trained with a full auto chances are you'll get less rounds on target than you would with a semi-auto. Katie Kouric can demonstrate.

Conqueror
November 23, 2008, 02:19 PM
If you think for a minute that the gun industry (including manufacturers, distributors and retailers) will gladly and willingly reduce a $15,000 gun to just $900 or so, think again.

That's a really silly thing to say. No manufacturer, distributor, or retailer is getting $15,000 for a machine gun. The ones that cost that much are the ones in private hands that are civilian-legal. The proceeds for selling those just go to the previous owner, not the gun industry. The manufacturers can only sell to the government, which can buy new machine guns. A bushmaster M16 costs about $1,000 to the police, just as it did for civilians before the Hughes Amendment.

Prince Yamato
November 23, 2008, 06:50 PM
You would still have to have the background check and $200 tax and find a dealer that is licensed for full auto.

Yeah, but if you had the option of a $1200 AR and a $1400 ($1200 + $200 tax) M16, which would you get? I'd get the M16. Everyone assumes because you have a select-fire gun that you'll only shoot it full auto. The advantage to select-fire is that you can shoot it in semi-auto too. So, for most people, a range session would probably be a couple magazines worth on semi and then a mag dump on full auto at the end. Not every day would be Knob Creek.

Consider also that there would probably be an influx of auto-sears at the $100 price range, so basically $300 to convert your semi into a full auto. I think the market for machineguns is there. A boom in the machinegun market would also increase the profits for the reloading industry. Don't forget that gun ranges would make a killing as EVERYONE would want to try a machinegun "just once".

ServiceSoon
November 23, 2008, 07:02 PM
As for myself, I'd like to see suppressors taken off the NFA list first. That's a product more people need.I agree! Why were sound suppressors ever regulated in the first place?

Conqueror
November 23, 2008, 07:48 PM
They were regulated because the Wildlife Service lobbied Congress to include them. The NFA is a Great Depression-era law and they were worried that poor civilians would use silencers to poach game animals out of season to put meat on the table.

PTK
November 23, 2008, 08:13 PM
If you think for a minute that the gun industry (including manufacturers, distributors and retailers) will gladly and willingly reduce a $15,000 gun to just $900 or so, think again.

Since that $15,000 gun cost them $14,500, and the $900 gun would cost them $700 but they'd sell dozens instead of just the one.... I think you're wrong. And I've talked to quite a few C3 dealers. :)

Conqueror has it right.

As for Bushmaster/DPMS/Colt.... well, they have no issues selling repair parts for existing MGs, so they'd probably be fine selling new MGs legally. Other companies I can think of that would be happy to sell civilians MGs/conversion parts: FNH, Glock, HiPoint (laugh all you want, a 10rd 9mm carbine with a FA setting would be dang useful at $300 plus $200 tax!), and basically ALL NFA SOT manufacturers would be happy to churn out $300-$500 open bolt SMGs all day. :)


but I don't think there would be a dramatic jump in ownership. You would still have to have the background check and $200 tax and find a dealer that is licensed for full auto.

I sure do. NFA items are in higher demand nowadays than I've ever seen before - and others have seen the same trend. LOTS of folks are getting into NFA items for the first time, many being silencers or SBRs. Lots of people I've talked to would happily put down $1k or less on a simple MG like a STEN or a drop in conversion for a Glock or AR-15. The law is preventing the manufacture and distribution of a desired good.

ants
November 23, 2008, 08:27 PM
They were regulated because the Wildlife Service lobbied Congress to include them. The NFA is a Great Depression-era law and they were worried that poor civilians would use silencers to poach game animals out of season to put meat on the table.
Very interesting. Is there a source where I can read more about this? We would hate to find that it's another campfire tale.

[It must have been east coast wildlife rangers. It's actually humorous to those of us who live out west, where no one is within miles of the poacher's location so the shot isn't heard, especially in 1934. We still have poaching today, but rarely does anyone hear a gunshot way out in the boonies.]

ServiceSoon
November 23, 2008, 10:39 PM
They were regulated because the Wildlife Service lobbied Congress to include them. The NFA is a Great Depression-era law and they were worried that poor civilians would use silencers to poach game animals out of season to put meat on the table.That doesn't make sense. They would rather poor people starve to death or require government assistance to live? That is just going to create a class of people who require gov assistance for a few generations. Also, how could you consider it poaching if a family is killing an animal so that they can live? Seems cruel and inhuman to require them to get a permit so they can eat.

Prince Yamato
November 23, 2008, 11:48 PM
The silencer story is true. I believe Wyoming or some western state has a law on the books from those years making it illegal to hunt with a silencer for those very same reasons. The NFA just reinforced it.

hankdatank1362
November 24, 2008, 12:15 AM
If you think for a minute that the gun industry (including manufacturers, distributors and retailers) will gladly and willingly reduce a $15,000 gun to just $900 or so, think again

Nevermind, Conqueror beat me to it.

The prices have been artificially inflated due to the closing of the registry; the gun industry has nothing to do with that.

22-rimfire
November 24, 2008, 01:03 AM
The only place you see a lot of fully automatic weapons used is by the military and on TV. TV is a fantasy land for entertaiment. I think they should open up Class III sales again. It would change the whole playing field. Plus those that can't afford $15,000 for a "machine gun" can get one.

IndianaBoy
February 17, 2009, 03:20 PM
If only......

Owen Sparks
February 17, 2009, 05:25 PM
As I understand it, the $200 transfer tax was set based on the cost of a new Thompson gun at the time. This tax in effect doubled the price. If you factor in inflation, $200 in 1934 would be the equivalent of about $3,100 dollars in 2009.

Dr. Fresh
February 17, 2009, 07:18 PM
Related question:
Can the NFA be altered at all? Is it possible for them to remove the tax/registration on suppressors or SBRs or SBSs or whatever while keeping the tax/registration on MGs?

The reason I ask is because it seems somewhat plausible to remove restrictions on those items, but I don't see the whole NFA going away any time soon.

crushbup
February 17, 2009, 07:37 PM
It certainly can be altered, it just isn't likely.

grimjaw
February 17, 2009, 07:57 PM
If you think for a minute that the gun industry (including manufacturers, distributors and retailers) will gladly and willingly reduce a $15,000 gun to just $900 or so, think again.

OK, I guess I need an education.

I thought the high dollar machine guns were usually the ones that were pre-NFA. No more are manufactured, very limited market, thus able to command the higher price so no more are going to be manufactured. But it's not the manufacturers that are selling the $15000 guns, since they can't sell them to non-licensed folks anyway. I thought post-NFA guns sold to qualifying parties went for much less, in the $1000-5000 range?

Still high, but within the realm of possibility (assuming you could afford the ammunition bill).

If I'm wrong about this, let me know.

jm

EHL
February 18, 2009, 02:44 AM
I spoke with Kahr when I was buying my Thompson Semi Auto. They told me that they sell their Full auto Thompsons to LE for a little more than what I paid for mine. (I paid $1000) So for a few extra hundred bucks police and militaries get full auto Thompsons. Sucks to be a peon.:(

ThrottleJockey
February 18, 2009, 03:37 AM
Oh brother. We are staring down the barrel of weapons bans and the potential elimination of the BOR, and you come up with this fantasy? I have more important things to concern myself with, like securing what we have!

Blakenzy
February 18, 2009, 09:29 PM
:rolleyes:
Well, no one is forcing you to read this thread, much less post on it. If you think it is dumb, ignore and move on...

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