Quantcast

"Machine guns" and the 2nd Amendment

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by JTHunter, May 7, 2018.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. JTHunter

    JTHunter Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2010
    Messages:
    2,038
    Location:
    Southwestern Illinois
    Most of you have heard the oft-repeated lefty comment that the Founding Fathers, in writing the 2nd Amendment, did NOT intend for civilians have automatic weapons. Or, they claim (again falsely) that the FFs could not have anticipated the technological advancements in firearms.

    Well, now you can tell those antis to "stuff it" as there was a "machine gun" developed and patented in 1718 by a British lawyer and inventor. Named after him, it was called the "Puckle" gun.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puckle_gun
    The Puckle gun (also known as the Defence gun) was a primitive crew-served, manually-operated flintlock revolver patented in 1718 by James Puckle (1667–1724) a British inventor, lawyer and writer. It was one of the earliest weapons to be referred to as a "machine gun", being called such in a 1722 shipping manifest, though its operation does not match the modern use of the term. However, the Puckle gun was never used during any combat operation or war. Production was highly limited and may have been as few as two guns.

    http://www.wideopenspaces.com/the-pu...300-years-ago/

    https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryU...r-Defense-Gun/
     
    GBExpat likes this.
  2. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,664
    Location:
    Rural, far beyond the beltway, Northern Virginia,
    Heck, JT, I've been telling'em to "stuff it" (more or less ;)) for decades without even knowing about the Puckle gun. :)
     
    JTHunter, ontarget, kozak6 and 4 others like this.
  3. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,179
    Location:
    Morgan County, Alabama
    The Puckle Gun was not a "machine gun" as we understand it today. Even the Gatling Gun, which might by some be considered a modernized version of the Puckle gun, is not a machine gun by today's understanding.
    Sorry, nice try. I agree with the OP's premise that the founders understood that technology advances, but I'm afraid that the liberals who disdain the second amendment will not be moved or impressed with this argument.
     
  4. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Messages:
    5,288
    Private citizens had cannon and armed ships. Merchant vessels carried weapons to deal with pirate ships, and a cannon filled with grapeshot as was often used fires more projectiles than machinegun with a full magazine at once.
    In fact the government would authorize such private citizens and companies with letters of marqee to get even more involved than just self defense some of the time. The rest of the time they carried these weapons of war for self defense.

    The government pretty obviously intended to limit who were citizens while giving those citizens the power to resist tyranny. The opposite of what government does today in letting everyone with all different types of morals and values become citizens, but then restricting what they can have and trying to limit their power.
     
    boom boom and qwert65 like this.
  5. Hokie_PhD

    Hokie_PhD Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2017
    Messages:
    2,594
    Location:
    Central Virginia
    Anyone who says our founding fathers didn’t understand technological development didn’t pay attention in history class. Ben Franklin was an inventor. He was a mentor to John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson likewise was an inventor. James Madison was friends with Jefferson and they didn’t live that far. Washington was a General and understood war. Hamilton and many others fought in the war. Sam Adams was a smuggler and tax evader amongst other things. The list goes on and on.

    The left doesn’t like them not because some were slave owners as some claim, but because of the collective brilliance that they had that gave us so much freedom. Freedom that many on the left hate.
     
  6. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    2,170
    Location:
    Northern CA
    My man.
     
    Demi-human likes this.
  7. entropy

    entropy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,381
    Location:
    G_d's Country, WI
    I prefer the counter-statement that using that line of thinking, then the First should be limited to quill pens and screw presses.
     
  8. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Messages:
    4,737
    Location:
    DFW (formerly Brazos County), Texas
    Amazingly, we managed to survive over 140 years without federal regulations on automatic weapons.
    Wasn't until a bunch of War Veterans camped out in DC demanding that their "betters" make good on their promises that we saw legislation enacted (and not legislation to give the veterans their due, either).
    It's about control.
    And the rule of the 2.5% over the rest of us.
     
  9. medalguy

    medalguy Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    3,260
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Funny thing about the Constitution. It clearly references "arms" and not "muskets." Ever wonder why? The founding fathers knew that innovation always creates new things and they didn't want to limit the boundaries of the 2A.
     
    DoubleMag likes this.
  10. ilbob

    ilbob Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    15,279
    Location:
    Illinois
    If you are talking about the bonus Marchers, I seem to recall that the bonuses had been promised for sometime in the future and that time had not yet come at the time of the bonus Marchers.
     
  11. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,179
    Location:
    Morgan County, Alabama
    That is true, but not really any justification for the government to "Waco" them ....
     
  12. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    6,420
    Location:
    Virginia
    Citing the "Puckle Gun" as a machine gun is laughable. Please, let's not bring this up in a 2nd Amendment discussion. (Did you know that Puckle, in his patent application, specified round bullets for Christians and square bullets for "heathens"?)

    On the other hand, actual machine guns really are (or should be) protected by the 2nd Amendment. Selective-fire weapons are the standard weapons of the infantry, and thus would be the proper equipment of the militia. Of course, Justice Scalia, writing in the Heller case, didn't agree with this -- but he was wrong.
     
    Rudolph31 and DoubleMag like this.
  13. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    6,420
    Location:
    Virginia
    The ATF has ruled that a crank-operated Gatling gun is not a machine gun. However, add an electric motor to the crank, with a solenoid trigger, and it becomes a machine gun. (That's exactly what an M134 Minigun is.)

    Under the "readily restorable" clause of the machine gun definition, even crank-operated Gatling guns could be held to be machine guns (reversing the current ATF position) if a future Executive decided to do so (using the bump stock precedent). Heck, by the same token, all semiautomatic AR-15's could be held to be machine guns, since they could be altered in a few minutes in a "well-equipped machine shop." The legal groundwork is there -- we're only one or two elections away from this actually happening.

    What we need is a Supreme Court decision that at least "clarifies" the Heller case and restores the reasoning of U.S. v. Miller. The Militia Clause, once again, needs to be given due weight.
     
    Rudolph31, DoubleMag and Derek Zeanah like this.
  14. John_R

    John_R Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2017
    Messages:
    316
    Location:
    Florida
    It's a game of whack-a-mole to keep trying to meet or skirt the government's definition of what they graciously allow us to own. Don't play their game.
     
    DoubleMag likes this.
  15. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,179
    Location:
    Morgan County, Alabama
    You're right about the Gatling re: electric motors. I was, of course, refering to Dr. Gatling's famous weapon in its original condition.

    With regards to ARs being readily converted, I think it's a bit more complicated than it used to be, since the full auto trigger group won't fit in the AR15 lower without milling it out, and, IIRC, providing for different cross pins to hold it.
    Many semiautos could, I think, be converted to full auto by a clever tinkerer, some perhaps more easily than others. John Moses Browning, perhaps the cleverest, took an 1873 Winchester lever action and made it full auto to test a principle. Obviously few people are that inventive, and today a lever action rifle would probably never be considered a good platform for such an illegal alteration.

    Despite the ease of altering some weapons to full auto, I say this: FIGHT THE CHANGE! Resist further encroachments on our rights. The left will shift goal-posts to best advantage their aim, no matter! RESIST RESIST RESIST!;)
     
  16. ilbob

    ilbob Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    15,279
    Location:
    Illinois
    It would not be real hard to add a solenoid or a motorized cam to the trigger of any semiautomatic firearm and electrically actuate it to fire more than one round with a single press of a button. In fact it would be substantially easier than any of the more common methods that involve machining. I could probably rig something up in a few minutes if I had the parts handy.
     
  17. Curator

    Curator Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Messages:
    1,357
    Location:
    Bonita Springs, Florida
    Not often noted but the National Firearms Act of 1934 did not outlaw machine guns as it was understood then that the 2nd Amendment protected arms ownership. Instead, the Feds instituted a very high (at that time) transfer tax. The tax was held to be "constitutional" where the prohibition would not have been. The case of U.S. vs. Miller reinforced the protection of "military" type firearms being protected under the 2nd Amendment.
     
  18. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    6,420
    Location:
    Virginia
    The narrower opening in the lower receiver was a feature of the semiautomatic AR-15 since it was first approved in 1963 or 1964. Milling that out, and drilling the "third hole," are pretty simple tasks.

    The original approval of the AR-15 semi design by the ATF was before the "readily restorable" language was added to the NFA by the GCA of 1968. Under the law as amended in 1968, I don't believe the AR-15 would have been approved. Or at least it would have been an open question. Certainly that could be revisited now under a hostile Administration. The big question would be what to do with the millions of existing AR's.
     
  19. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    6,420
    Location:
    Virginia
    The Hughes Amendment of 1986 is, technically, a flat prohibition. It has been upheld as being constitutional. In the light of the Heller case, it is doubtful that Miller is still good law. Justice Scalia seemed to indicate that machine guns would not be protected.
     
  20. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,179
    Location:
    Morgan County, Alabama

    I'm tending to believe it would be an open question. I think its probably a bit late to worry about that particular method, since the Florida school-shooting it seems our antagonists seem more interested in pursuing the diminution of our 2A rights through an assault-weapons ban, possibly confiscation (a questionable proposition but it's out there) and, at the extremes, a repeal of the second amendment itself.
    Milling out lowers and re drilling pin holes might be easy .... if you had a machine shop with the right equipment. While I'm sure these exisf, I don't have one.
    Likewise, a simple kit available in the 1940s provided a simple addition to the military M-1 carbine that converted it to full auto fire. For years anyone could own the kit, as long as it wasn't installed. This was changed, and now you simply cannot own the kit unless you have that cute little stamp thingie and the accompanying paper.


    And if one is really a "go-getter," one could even find out how Mr. Browning altered that ol' 73 Winnie to full auto and remachine that!
     
  21. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,179
    Location:
    Morgan County, Alabama
    IIRC, the SCOTUS Miller decision really didn't address the Constitutionality of the NFA very well. The solicitor general, appearing alone, since neither defendant appeared, and no legal counsel appeared, essentially read in the case.
    All laws are presumptively constitutional. Since SCOTUS never declared the NFA constitutional, it remains in effect. Miller is a bad case but it's still ..... "there."
    In another thread on this forum, someone provided a link to a great article on the Miller decision, recounting all the shenanigans. I'd link to it ... but I cannot remember exactly where it is .:thumbdown:.
     
  22. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    3,567
    Location:
    Heart of Dixie
  23. caribou

    caribou Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Messages:
    2,047
    Location:
    North West Alaska
    In the early 30's, when NFA was written and enacted, most Armys had bolt action rifles and belt fed machine guns.
    Millers case was about a sawed off shotgun and its use as a military weapon of war, and it was deemed ''not'', and therefore not protected by 2nd Amendment Rights.(IIRC)
    Surely there were a few semi's and light machine guns in the US, as general issue, the M1 Garand had yet to be refined and adopted, so the norm then was what it was.
     
  24. kimberkid

    kimberkid Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,269
    The F.F. didn't say musket and pistols, they said "arms" ... And they said it for reasons mostly explained in the Federalist Papers. Washington, Jefferson and a few others adamantly believed individuals should be armed and capable of overthrowing the same type of tyrannical government they had fled.

    For anyone to say the F.F. couldn't have fathomed the the kind of weapons we have now, are probably correct ... But the F.F. did see advancements in their lives and for them (the F.F.) to think that advancements wouldn't continue is redicilious ... our F.F. were not morons!
     
    JTHunter and wahsben like this.
  25. wahsben

    wahsben Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Messages:
    173
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice