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AHSA - Change 50 BMG Policy?

Discussion in 'Activism Discussion and Planning' started by RPCVYemen, Jan 14, 2009.

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  1. RPCVYemen

    RPCVYemen Well-Known Member

    I had a pretty surprising phone call this evening. Ray Schoenke, the president of the AHSA called me. In an an earlier thread a couple of days ago, someone suggested that I must work for the AHSA (given my support), but I am in fact a software developer in RTP (NC), and I don't have much contact with political sorts.

    Mr. Schoenke wanted to talk to me about my suggestion that we give a Shiloh Sharps rifle to President Obama - my suggestion to him by email had been that we present an all American rifle like Shiloh Sharps in an all American caliber like 45-70 to President Obama.

    In the course of the conversation, we talked a little bit about AHSA policy. That part of the phone call focused on two issues: assault weapons bans, and the AHSA support for making 50 BMG weapons regulated like NFA weapons.

    I am happy to report that he expressed strong opposition to an assault weapons ban. He did argue that when used for hunting, AR-15s would have the same magazine limitations as other hunting weapons. I actually don't know how that works for hunting rifles - I am not a hunter. I assume that you must be able to buy "hunting capacity" magazines for Mini-14s, but I don't know how the Fish and Game people make sure you only hunt with the "hunting capacity" magazines. Maybe some of you hunters know how all of that works.

    At any rate, Mr. Schoenke is very clear on the fact that the AWB is a silly law the regulates the looks of some kinds of semi-automatic weapons. I don't want to put words in his mouth, but if I understood home correctly, he did not want AR-15s regulated any differently than any other of what he would call "semi-automatic hunting rifles".

    On the second issue, I did express my objections to the AHSA suggestion that 50 BMG weapons as NFA weapons. His argument was that there wasn't a legitimate hunting use for a 50 BMG weapon, unless you are hunting elephants. I argued that there are legitimate non-hunting uses for 50 BMG weapons - the example I used was long range target shooting - and that I hadn't seen any stats indicating any criminal use of 50 BMG weapons. I think that criminal use of full auto weapons was the basis of the 1934 NFA. Mr. Schoenke agreed that the evidence for criminal use of the 50 BMG was "minuscule".

    Unfortunately, the cell phone connection was very bad at that point and I couldn't really understand his response. I think it was pretty clear that he understood my point. I wish that I had followed up a little more strenuously on that point, but the connection was bad, and I was a little flabbergasted to be speaking to him.

    I will follow up that point in subsequent e-mail. That is my only objection to AHSA pubic policy, so I would be very happy to see that change of policy. I will work to change that policy, and if the policy is changed, then I will appraise THR members of that change.

    I do not want to repeat the debate we had two days ago about the AHSA - if you have any overall objections to the AHSA, please see the following two threads:



    I will not repeat any arguments in either of those threads. If you want to raise some new objection to the AHSA, please PM me. If it's truly new, we may have a private discussion. If it's a re-hash of anything in those threads, I will probably ignore it.

  2. Golden Hound

    Golden Hound Well-Known Member

    Why does there need to be a legitimate hunting use for a weapon?

    Not every shooter is a hunter. As you yourself have pointed out. There is a "sporting" use for the .50 - as you have said - which is...target shooting. Which is a sport.

    The AHSA is the American Hunters and Shooters Association. Not the American Hunters Association.

    That's the argument I would use.
  3. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    So basically you posted to tell us that nothing has changed.

  4. WoofersInc

    WoofersInc Well-Known Member

    Sorry to say RPCVYemen but most of us, no matter how hard you try are not going to believe or trust that the AHSA is looking out for our interests
  5. GregGry

    GregGry Well-Known Member

    I just don't get it. You are spending hours trying to convince us that this organization is pro gun like the NRA but the facts of the people involved in the organization, the information posted on their website, and the track record completly points that they have many anti-gun tendencies. If you were suggesting the NRA is pro gun it would be believeable, since there is more then enough evidence to prove it. However this organization you speak so highly of falls into the very questionable end.
  6. Dravur

    Dravur Well-Known Member

    Awww yes...

    The Ole Square is round, Round is Square....

    Don't believe what we do, believe what we say. AHSA has sold out to the Bamster, so gets no support from me.

    I never did, but there ya go.
  7. HeavenlySword

    HeavenlySword Well-Known Member

    The OP specifically asked for any objections to AHSA to be routed through his Private Message box, as I have done.

    I will, of course, post my challenge publicly if he does not respond.
  8. GregGry

    GregGry Well-Known Member

    The 50BMG argument is very critical. A persons opinion on the legality of 50bmg is very telling when it comes to firearms rights. 50bmg rifles have been recovered in a almost non existant amount of cases. I am not aware of one being used for a crime, only ones that were recovered from places criminals lived. Anyone who says they are a danger to the public are either basing their opinion on a incomplete story (AKA they never looked into it) or their fears. Such a person should not be incharge of anything to do with gun rights because they are likely to make judgements that are completely against the facts for other things, not just 50bmg rifles.

    I agree there really isn't much of a pratical use for a 50BMG outside of long distance target shooting. However since there is no real evidence showing that such a firearm is a danger to the public (Not that there is evidence like that for any firearm since firearms don't have a brain, and can't do things on their own) there isn't any legitmate reason the restrict the sales. Its an heavy, expensive, long range, cumbersome rifle, words no criminal is looking for in the description of the firearm they want.

    A person that sees no use in a 50bmg rifle, is going to easily see "assault rifles" as being even worse. Since assault rifles have been used in crimes (way more then 50bmg rifles) it will be by far easier to use not just fear, but inflated statistics to change peoples minds. Again "assault rifles" represent the latest technology, and really aren't that different then other rifles except in looks and in magazine capacity. Even so they are used in a small amount of crimes, and the restriction on them isn't going to do any good for the crime rate.

    If a person thinks people shouldn't own "assault rifles" (Which is such a broad term that people can add almost any firearm to the list) and .50bmg rifles, they are no friend to gun rights. They are likely to be against any newer firearm that comes out, because they think they are "to dangerous/deadly". That means as firearms change, your ability to own them will diminish.

    This AHSA organization might be pro gun rights when it comes ot select things, however their mindset is going to do more harm then good. Based on all of the information I have read, they flat out can't be trusted. Its likely a group of people that has opinions drenched with fear, a lack of common sense, and false ideas. I sure as hell don't know how you can be pro gun yet feel its ok to ban firearms that don't even remotely play a role in the criminal underworld (which is the biggest/most common agrument as to why something shouldn't be legal).
  9. Maelstrom

    Maelstrom Well-Known Member

    They're right, you know. There's no reason to own a .50 caliber.

    Of course the .475 isn't that mush smaller, less than three hundredths of and inch, so there can't possibly be a reason for that either.

    Now that I think of it, the .45 really isn't much smaller than the .475, so we should ban those, too.

    Of course what's the real difference between the .45 and the .44? Those will have to go.

    Then, of course is the .41, again only three hundredths of an inch smaller.

    And if you're going to get rid of the .41 then the .40 can't still be allowed.

    From there it's the .357 and then the new .327, then the .32, the .25, the .22, the .204, and lastly the .17.

    Any questions?
  10. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

    AHSA supports Obama. Obama supports reinstating the ban on so-called "assault weapons" on a permanent basis.

    Basic logic tells us that therefore, AHSA supports renewal of the AWB regardless of what they claim.

    Then there's fundamentally no point in leaving this thread open, as you're plainly not interested in the boatloads of evidence demonstrating that AHSA is, has been, and will continue to be funded and run by those who are, at best, milquetoast in their views.
  11. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    I've moved this to AD because of the remote chance that the discussion can bear some wholesome fruit.

    I'll point out that not every state excludes .223 ammunition or limits magazine capacity for hunting. I would not have expected Mike to know this, but Mr. Schoneke should have known that as the leader of a so-called national hunter's organization. (A bit of advice for Mike is that it would be good to get better informed on points like this if you're going to be active in the debate.)

    It's good that you pointed out that the whole controversy with the .50 is empty. As said, AHSA stands for American Hunters and SHOOTERs Association and there are plenty of people participating in recreational and competitive shooting with firearms that fire this round. Attacking them is hypocritical.

    So, now that you have Mr. Schoneke's ear, how can you get AHSA to make a statement supporting ALL shooters?
  12. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    Being the cynic that I am, here is what I just read:

    "I intend to prep the playing field for restrictions on ALL semi-auto rifles regardless of color or other cosmetic features. We sure learned how silly our last AWB effort was, and how easy it was to keep buying AR-15s. We don't intend on making that mistake again! The success path forward lays in lumping all semi-auto rifles together into one big bannable lump.".

    Well, ok. Thanks, I guess.

    You might want to ask him what restrictions he wants on 'hunting' semi auto rifles, to get to the meat of the matter.
  13. RPCVYemen

    RPCVYemen Well-Known Member

    If my comments indicated that Mr. Schoenke said that every state excludes .223 ammunition, or limits magazine capacity for hunting, then the mistake is mine, not his - he did not say that. I didn't think I said that either, but if my words can be construed that way, then my words were incorrect.

    I'd like to start by persuading the AHSA not to lobby to move the 50 BMG to NFA category.

  14. Prion

    Prion Well-Known Member

    When I bought my FNAR the other day a hunter asked me "what are you going to do with that? Assault deer?" I explained the accuracy, what I use it for, the 2A, that you certainly could take a deer with and he did warm up to it. I get looks of disdain from hunters at the range fairly regularly. Like I'm a bad person for owning AR's etc. Some frown on handguns but that's rare. Many are quite surprised at their accuracy and to learn I'm just a law-abiding family man. Hunters are not as pro-gun as many seem to think.
  15. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    Since you are answering questions, I'll ask a few

    1) Since when does AHSA employ a lobbyist and what firm/person are they using?

    2) What is the name of the AHSA group doing the lobbying? AHSA itself is a 501(c)(3) organization and prohibited by law from engaging in lobbying.

    From the IRS regardng 501c3's

    3) Where did the money come from to pay said lobbyist given the membership numbers publicly released by this group?

    Or are you now suggesting that the board members are doing it themselves? That would be illegal by the way, in case you were not aware.

    This is why the NRA has a group called NRA-ILA, Institute for Legislative Action, and they are NOT a charitable organization and membership dues CANNOT be used to finance lobbying.

    This is why Second Amendment Foundation does not lobby, they only engage in legal cases and public opinion shifting.

    Care to address any of this? These are not small matters.

    You come here claiming that AHSA supports Presidntial candidates and lobbies for gun rights, both of which are illegal activities.

    So, what do they REALLY do?
  16. RPCVYemen

    RPCVYemen Well-Known Member

    I think that the weakness of this argument - as a persuasive tactic - can be understood by extending it in the other direction. Note that I am not objecting to the logic, but I doubt it's persuasive power because it can be demonstrated that any caliber restriction - even those measure in inches - is ridiculous.

    Treating 18" guns as NFA weapons may in fact be ridiculous, but I think that you'll find persuading the American people that 18" guns should be treated as non-NFA weapons to be a hard sell.

  17. RPCVYemen

    RPCVYemen Well-Known Member

    I withdraw the word "lobby", and amend my sentence to read:

  18. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    That's nice, but since you are effectively admitting that AHSA has no lobbying arm then what exactly do you expect them to accomplish?

    Since it would be illegal for them to even TALK TO ANY POLITICIAN about this, what exactly are they doing?

    If they DO have a lobbying arm what is it called?
  19. RPCVYemen

    RPCVYemen Well-Known Member

    I think that you are agreeing with what I said. Am I miss-reading your post?

  20. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    If RPCVYemen is gonna have a dialogue with anyone at AHSA, I really want to know why the following would not be part of that dialogue:

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