When did they take away full autos?


PDA






radiotom
June 21, 2013, 08:35 PM
Anybody got the quick full story on how and when this happened. My understanding is it happened in 1986 (under Reagan) and it's only for new production full autos.

If you enjoyed reading about "When did they take away full autos?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Mauserguy
June 21, 2013, 08:40 PM
They were basically banned in 1934. You had to pay a $200.00 tax to have one and nobody could afford that. Over time, inflation reduced the value of the dollar and the $200.00 tax became affordable.

By 1986, many people were paying the tax and getting full auto guns. The anti-constitutionalists couldn't stand for that, so in 1986 they worked out a compromise bill that banned the future manufacture or importation of full auto firearms.

Mauserguy

MErl
June 21, 2013, 09:00 PM
It should probably be added that the 1986 bill was primarily positive for gun owners. The machinegun portion was added as an amendment. Since I was in 7th grade at the time I don't know if it was added as a poison pill or to gather more votes.

Also note that machineguns still have not been taken away. The ones that existed can still be bought and sold as you correctly understand.

dprice3844444
June 21, 2013, 11:35 PM
may 86

Prince Yamato
June 21, 2013, 11:39 PM
It was much simpler than that. The 1986 gun bill was a pro-gun bill. A machine gun ban was inserted as a poison pill. The NRA said, "pass it anyway, we'll overturn the machine gun ban later." They never really fought the machine gun ban and here we are today. A limited supply of 30 year old guns that are cost inflated by 1000%.

Jim K
June 22, 2013, 12:01 AM
The bill was the Firearms Owners Protection Act, which the NRA wanted very badly. Reagan asked the NRA if they wanted him to veto it, and they responded basically as Prince Yamato says.

The FOPA has helped some, but in some states, police have been ordered to enforce state/local laws, throw people found transporting guns in jail, and let the higher-ups deal with the situation. What, obey laws? Cops don't have to obey laws - just ask them.

Jim

NormB
June 22, 2013, 12:04 AM
FOPA, HR4332 19 May 1986 was passed on a voice vote, the damning verbiage put in place about 20 seconds before. The voice vote was miscounted. You can look it up. There's video. It failed. The congressman doing the counting passed it when it should have failed.

And they weren't banned. You just couldn't make another machinegun without a SOT tax as an FFL. There are LOTS of post-may guns out there, but they can't be transferred to anyone but police agencies.

dogrunner
June 22, 2013, 02:57 PM
Yeah, the '86 act did ban the registration of NEW full auto guns.

What occurred was that the Hughe's amendment, so doing, was stuck on the '86 revision of the '68 act at the last minute.......and passed thru a voice vote only.....there was utterly no count of yea v nay conducted.....the bill, with that BS amendment then went to the President for his signature. I am informed that he was reluctant to sign, but the NRA felt that the ban would not stand on challenge and requested he OK the bill with it included.

Truth be told, the '86 revision was a good bill....prior to it ammo purchases were grossly restricted, interstate sales of long guns was at best VERY difficult unless neighboring States had passed permisive legislation etc.

But as stated, the start of the matter was in the creation of the '34 act, the history of which is itself a fascinating read...........

MasterSergeantA
June 22, 2013, 05:20 PM
And again, the NRA has failed those of us who are not duck hunters. They consider overturning an automatic weapon ban (my view) as a political encumbrance and/or a nuisance desired by a bunch of nut jobs. Heck, The NRA president thinks they should be outlawed altogether.

dogrunner
June 22, 2013, 06:24 PM
Hadn't heard that position by the NRA pres, Sarge. Like to see some reference as I'm a Lifer and also someone that did a supportive ad for the NRA in favor of the '86 act and I'd damned well take him to task for that stance.........

Truly, tho, the NRA has always embraced the "electability" issue.....ie: the issue that's likely to pass over the controversial stuff...in that regard you are dead on......what anyone might believe tho is a somewhat different matter.

Do remember that the original NFA act INCLUDED ordinary pistols and revolvers, guns that were to be regulated precisely as are machineguns.....that material was deleted thru the action of the NRA. Then too, the NRA was, at that point in time, in no way shape or form the political powerhouse it now is!

Has the NRA done all that it could or should've..........? Likely not, but remember that in truth it IS the big gorilla, without it we would be a hulluva lot closer to what England is now than we are.

You wanna change it.........GET INVOLVED.........I did in a National ad, and as a CLEO then I took no small amount of heat for it........hell, even got editorialized against by name by the N.Y. Times...........and damned proud of it!!

Sam1911
June 22, 2013, 08:12 PM
in 1986 they worked out a compromise bill that banned the future manufacture or importation of full auto firearms.

Actually, foreign-made machine guns were banned from importation for sale to citizens back in 1968.

Zoogster
June 23, 2013, 02:27 AM
There was also some exceptions to the timeline that entered the registry that otherwise would seem out of place. Among them are those which were added during NFA amnesties before the Supreme Court ruled them unConstitutional because they required self incrimination.


The 1934 bill was a ban. It was intended to be a ban. At the time Congress and the courts did not believe they had the Constitutional authority to ban such things. So to ban without outright banning they would impose tax requirements that most would not understand or be aware of, and which would be too burdensome for most citizens. While still having exemptions and work arounds so they could still be acquired by government.
They banned some other things the same way around that time period.

However over time people learned the laws, books were written and people could learn how to obtain such things from a library. The once prohibitive $200 tax imposed during the Great Depression became affordable due to inflation. So by the 1970s it was less of an outright ban.
It was felt it would be overturned at the time of passage by most legal experts, including many that agreed with the restrictions but didn't feel they would pass Constitutional review when they finaly were reviewed by the Supreme Court. The Miller case around that time period even demonstrating this, and all but saying machineguns and other militia suitable arms would be Constituionally protected, however without evidence presented they couldn't determine that a sawn-off shotgun was a militia suitable arm. Nobody showed up to fight the Miller case, Miller was dead, and legal representation simply abandoned the case, and the court couldn't consider what was not submitted for evidence (like short barreled shotguns used in WW1.) But it strongly implied had it been a machinegun and not a sawn-off the case would have decided in favor of Miller.
However the restrictions would remain in place so long before review that over time it gained defacto legitimacy.
By the time of Heller it had been in place so many decades that it was normal.

Even within the requirements of the NFA, originally intended to be a ban, as it became less of an outright ban over time they would tighten the restrictions.
Imports were banned in 1968. Domestic manufacture and conversions were banned in 1986.


NormB said: And they weren't banned. You just couldn't make another machinegun without a SOT tax as an FFL.

They are banned, by that definition they are not banned in most of the world. Most nations have some means for some to have such things, even though the majority of the citizens may not.
Almost nothing is ever completely outlawed for all elements of society.
The existing purpose of that procedure is to enable the government to still have a means of procurring modern selective fire weapons (like most combat firearms since WW2), since most products come from civilan markets and businesses it requires allowing some regular peasants in that loop to possess them so they can get to government.
Even then to help insure they are still made primarily for government there is things like a demo letter and similar formalities to insure there is actually demand or interest or need from some government agency prior to the peasant just making something.
That some citizens must still have such weapons is from government perspective an undesirable but necessary evil.
Almost all products come from private civilian business, even those that government need. So they have to have a method for some to have such things so government can obtain them.


Everything can be possessed by some people with the right licenses, even the most restricted or outlawed drugs for example have some exemptions or licenses. Yet we would acknowledge that they are in fact banned. Likewise some people had exemptions or met narrow license requirements during prohibition to possess alcohol. Yet it was banned.
So is nothing really banned?
No, it is banned. The litmus test if something is banned is not whether some can still manage to acquire something.
Clearly the formalities demonstrate they don't even want SOTs to freely have the ability to manufacture such things, which is why there is things like the demo letters. They really only want things that there is a strong likelihood are in demand or will actually be going to government. Some merely get around that governmental desire.

CapnMac
June 23, 2013, 05:48 AM
Do remember that the original NFA act INCLUDED ordinary pistols and revolvers, guns that were to be regulated precisely as are machineguns

Which is why all the short-barrel language was added. The ban was to also prevent cutting down any long-arm into a shorter arm and making a de facto handgun.

To help out those new to this,
1934 NFA Creates ban-by-tax and a National Registry of Tax-Paid items.
1968 GCA Creates "sporting use"; photo ID for purchase; no mail order; etc.
Becomes Title 1 of 18USC922; NFA is Title 2
1986 FOPA Amends 18USC922 in many good ways--interstate rifle sales; ending ID
requirements for ammo; interstate travel with arms as luggage--but
with last-minute Hughes amendment closing only the MG portion of the
Registry
1994 AWB Amends 18USC922 to ban new manufacture of a long list of named weapons
and any weapon "similar" to those based on a shopping list of cosmetic
Features; in addition, new manufacture of "large capacity ammunition feeding
devices" is also banned.
2004 AWB Federal ban sunsets, world fails to come to an end.
In a decade, only about 2 dozen arrests are made; 5 arraignments, with 4
dismissed--rather a poor record for a bill with "Crime Prevention" in its title.

Midwest
June 23, 2013, 09:01 AM
1986 FOPA Amends 18USC922 ....... ending ID requirements for ammo....
The national ID requirements for ammo was done away with, the arguments were that it did not solve any crimes and the paperwork was unnecessary. Yet New York state is trying to implement this failed concept.

MasterSergeantA
June 23, 2013, 01:42 PM
Hadn't heard that position by the NRA pres, Sarge. Like to see some reference as I'm a Lifer and also someone that did a supportive ad for the NRA in favor of the '86 act and I'd damned well take him to task for that stance.........
http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/02/nra_president_david_keene_tell.html

Now I will admit that he was probably ambushed by the questions being asked. But if he actually thought that automatic weapons were "already illegal", it raises a concern in me that our president doesn't know much about the law.

I am also a 'lifer', but I sent a very strongly worded letter to the NRA after this happened. No response. What a surprise. I have maintained for a long time that those of us that are in the NFA community are considered the 'crazy uncles' of the NRA family; they can't disown us, but they would rather we didn't come to Thanksgiving dinner.

hentown
June 24, 2013, 11:29 AM
GHWB, who was VP, also was opposed to machine guns being owned by us ignorant proletarians. Could be that the ban is unconstitutional, but I doubt that it'll EVER be overturned.

taliv
June 24, 2013, 01:24 PM
mastersarge, yeah, that was certainly the case in the 80s and 90s and you can see that reflected in the NRA membership at large, including all those NRA trap/skeet/highpower clubs which were extremely unfriendly toward any sort of NFA items including suppressors during a time when neighbors were getting ranges shut down over noise complaints.

even so, as demographics shifted the NRA has seen the writing on the wall. i don't think they suddenly grew a backbone or brain. It's just that protecting NFA items and "assault weapons" is what will keep their jobs and the donation money rolling in.

in any event, they're mostly saying the right things now.

Prince Yamato
June 27, 2013, 12:43 PM
I agree the Zoogster. It drives me bonkers when people act as if machine guns aren't "banned". There's a limited quantity of 30 year old guns that grows smaller with every passing year. The price for entry into the "club" is now around $4500. That puts them out of most people's reach. It is not a de jure ban, but it is a de facto ban.

macadore
June 28, 2013, 01:10 AM
It should probably be added that the 1986 bill was primarily positive for gun owners. The machinegun portion was added as an amendment. Since I was in 7th grade at the time I don't know if it was added as a poison pill or to gather more votes.

How was it a positive for gun owners? I had been a member of the NRA for over 10 years and was considering a life membership when they supported the ban. I wrote them a letter telling them why I was quitting and that I would join again when the ban was overturned. So far, nothing.

Sam1911
June 28, 2013, 07:50 AM
How was it a positive for gun owners?You should remember that it was the "Firearm Owners' Protection Act" and that it did a lot of really positive things. The Hughes Amendment that closed the MG registry was a "posion pill" added at the last minute to kill it, because the antis didn't want all the good parts to become law.

The NRA decided to, essentially, call their bluff and ask Reagan to sign it anyway, figuring that the MG registry part would be overturned by SCOTUS anyway, or that we could fight it and kill it later on. That hasn't yet happened, though.

FOPA did things like reform the ATF's regulatory practices to ease things up on gun dealers that were being harrassed, made a registry of non-nfa firearms illegal, eliminated the "contiguous states" provision of the GCA'68, and created the "safe passage" provision that allows you to travel with your firearms.

Very positive stuff. The Hughes Amendment was a "dirty trick" by the enemy, and the NRA took a big gamble on it. Whether the plusses have benefited more gun owners than the closure of the registry has hurt gun owners interested in NFA items, is hard to really say.

MasterSergeantA
June 28, 2013, 03:14 PM
Whether the plusses have benefited more gun owners than the closure of the registry has hurt gun owners interested in NFA items, is hard to really say.
Just my opinion (as is everything else on here most of the time), but I would have to agree about the "plusses" simply because the numbers of NFA gun owners is much smaller than the broader category of "gun owners". The "interested in NFA items" is a problem because some who might have been interested may have lost interest quickly after it became too hard/expensive. As far as I am concerned, closing the registry hurt ALL of the people might have been "interested" but quickly gave up.

Sam1911
June 28, 2013, 03:20 PM
As far as I am concerned, closing the registry hurt ALL of the people might have been "interested" but quickly gave up.I agree completely!

Further, I have opinions on how the closing of the registry represents a larger FUNDAMENTAL 2nd Amendment violation than some of the smaller issues that FOPA fixed. But based on numbers affected, FOPA was a win.

MasterSergeantA
June 29, 2013, 02:14 AM
I do agree, Sam. 100%

thorazine
July 1, 2013, 06:49 PM
How was it a positive for gun owners?

It is a positive thing for gun owners and shops with a collection of transferable full autos sitting in their inventory and safes. :D

If the MG portion was rescinded I assume their collection / inventory would be worth a fraction of what it is now.

In a <deleted> up way they are probably more in line with the enemy on this issue than anyone else because it boils down to $$$.

MasterSergeantA
July 1, 2013, 08:24 PM
It is a positive thing for gun owners and shops with a collection of transferable full autos sitting in their inventory and safes. :D

If the MG portion was rescinded I assume their collection / inventory would be worth a fraction of what it is now.

In a <deleted> up way they are probably more in line with the enemy on this issue than anyone else because it boils down to $$$.
I understand your point, but many of us that have those transferables are sitting on them not to make money, but because there aren't any more available. And if someone was lucky enough to buy them before the feces hit the rotary impeller, good on them!

And you are probably right about the "worth" of the collection, although many probably PAID a fraction of the current prices when they bought the stuff. It is always a matter of supply and demand.

I will take issue with the last statement only because you are making a false correlation. I buy more ice cream in the summer than I do in the winter and I am sure child molesters do as well. That does not put me "in line" with the low-lifes.

Sam's point was that, with the exception of the last-minute 'poison pill', we are better off with a lot of the law than we were before it.

Prince Yamato
July 2, 2013, 10:59 AM
I think if the registry were opened, most of the guns, which are now 30+ years old at the minimum, would retain most of their value as C&R or "pre-ban".

chitoryu12
July 8, 2013, 02:57 AM
I'm thinking the most expensive new machine guns would likely be the modern ones like TDI Vectors and the like. Many of the modern tacticool firearms are priced at ridiculously high levels only exceeded by rare NFA items like machine guns. If new machine guns could be transferred to civilian hands, I don't think a MAC-10 would exceed the cost of an ACR.

zdc1775
July 11, 2013, 12:04 PM
I'm thinking the most expensive new machine guns would likely be the modern ones like TDI Vectors and the like. Many of the modern tacticool firearms are priced at ridiculously high levels only exceeded by rare NFA items like machine guns. If new machine guns could be transferred to civilian hands, I don't think a MAC-10 would exceed the cost of an ACR.

I can mostly agree with you on this with a few exceptions. Historic MG's, like original Thompsons, Maxims, and BARs, will probably still cost about the same if the regestry were re-opened as they do now, stuff like full auto M-16s and MAC-10s that will quickly start be manufactured again will most likely lose their value.

If you enjoyed reading about "When did they take away full autos?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!