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Pricing the 2nd Amendment out of reach of minorities and the lower class

Discussion in 'Legal' started by VARifleman, Apr 19, 2008.

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  1. VARifleman

    VARifleman Member

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    This is something I posed on another forum. Any comments would be appreciated. Any additions would be greatly appreciated.

    --------

    A few notes before we begin. Laws mentioned are either directly linked, or cited in text. I am not going to provide links to those cited in text, only links if I happen to have out a citation. All price numbers are calculated through the inflation calculator HERE, although the numbers are low, if you consider that we make more money for the value of the dollar now than we did in the years I am talking about. You can see how it compares to per capita income up to 2006 HERE.

    There have been a lot of changes in gun laws from 1900 to 2000, from NC's pistol purchase permit Jim Crow law in 1919, to the NFA of 34, the 68 GCA, 86 FOPA, 93 Brady, 94 AWB, and 98 NICS program.

    NC Pistol Purchase Permit


    It is one of the last remaining Jim Crow laws around, created in 1919 to ensnare minorities in 14-404 a(2),

    LINK
    At that time in the country "good moral character" was not considered a trait of minorities, and they were denied on this basis.

    The second way they did it, is that the permit is 5 dollars. In 1919, 5 dollars is equal to 63.96 dollars. I'm not in a bad financial situation, but 64 bucks is pretty significant to me. Also, 64 bucks is more than a quarter of the price of one of my carry pistols. They instituted this law so that the blacks and the irish, etc. would be easy pickins for their klan friends.

    1934 NFA

    The NFA put a tax stamp and registration on several classes of weapons (Title II weapons). Those are: machine guns, short rifles (<16" barrel, or <26" OAL), short shotguns (<18" barrels, or <26" OAL), sound suppressors, and Any Other Weapons (AOWs). AOWs encompass a number of things, some of which are pistols with a second vertical grip, and guns that look like something other than a gun (pen guns that fire when they look like a pen, or a wallet holster with holes in it so you can fire the gun while it's in the holster, and smooth bore pistols). AOWs are the least taxed of all the classes, at 5 dollars. In the case of all NFA items, the price has never changed for any of the categories. 5 dollars in 1934 is 78.76 dollars today, not cheap.

    Now lets get to the big 4 of the NFA. They all hold the same tax stamp, 200 dollars. 200 dollars then, is 3150 today. That's a hell of a lot of money unless you are really really rich. This goes back to the whole point of the thread, that regulation to increase cost is they real meat and potatoes of these laws, that way the politicians and their rich friends are protected and can force the lower classes to do their bidding.

    1968 GCA


    This bill did a lot of things. It set up the current FFL system. It started the prohibited persons list. It added another category of Title II weapons, Destructive Devices (DDs). It added import restrictions.

    So what does all that mean? Well, it means that the price of being in the gun business went up with increased licensing cost. Add onto that the fact that you cannot buy a gun from a nondealer outside of your state anymore, and you can't buy a handgun from anyone outside of your state, and you have less competition on who you can legally buy from. Less competition on the open market will increase prices.

    Import restrictions kept an arbitrary class of guns, defined only by the "sporting purposes" clause (Title 18 section 925 D3) which says that only guns that the AG determines are for sporting purposes with few exceptions may be imported. This gives total control to the AG, and can be reversed with the flick of his or her pen, and since 922® exists, instantly makes previously legal rifle configurations made out of foreign parts illegal put together, then try to convince a jury that you put together that rifle when it was legal to make (hahaha...not happening). Arbitrary decisions by an appointed official that can have such a significant impact on people's lively hood. The penalties for violating this or the NFA is 10 years, 250k dollars. This law also means that any items in the tax code under the NFA are not importable any longer, except for approved testing. (Post 68 dealer samples)

    Now on to DDs, which were talked about briefly in the thread about what I found in the machine shop, since it was the muzzle brake off of a 20mm rifle. The definition includes a few things that I want to mention, as talking about all of them would make any discussion too broad, so I'll talk about the ones that affect me and my hobbies. Firearms with a caliber over one half inch, other than shotguns that the Secretary finds of sporting use Link to code. The other is rockets with propellant over 4 ounces. As I mentioned in the other thread, since these got added to the NFA, they cannot be imported any longer due to 18-925(d)(3), and this raised the price significantly on surplus and relic firearms from world war 2, the Korean war, and some that were coming out in the Vietnam war at the time. Since they couldn't be imported and they now had the 200 dollar tax on them, the prices of these guns rose dramatically. 200 dollars in 1968 is 1216 dollars in todays money. As I stated in the other thread, the rifle that the muzzle brake came off of, commands a 10k dollar price tag today. As for the rocket part, I like model, mid, and high power rocketry, although I haven't been able to get into high power rocketry as the requirements to get into it as well as the cost are prohibitive for me now, mainly due to that limit, and the ATF's control over low explosive rocket motors (Hazmat 1.4©).

    The 1986 Firearm Owner's Protection Act

    Overall, this bill was good for gun owners, but the part I'm going to talk about added to the GCA in the form of 922(o). This stated that the machine gun registry was CLOSED as of May 19, 1986. This made the 1000 dollar M16s go to 15000 dollars. Once again, putting the price out of reach for the lower classes.

    The 94 Assault Weapons Ban

    This regulated rifles shotguns and pistols with a certain count of features as well as the magazine capacity of each. Detachable mags were limited to 10 rounds, shotguns had mag capacity as one of its limited features. What it didn't do is ban the possession or transfer of the defined items as long as they were made before the enactment of the law. This meant that banned items now jumped up in price, with preban mags commanding prices around 100 dollars. Once again, putting ownership farther out of reach for the lower classes.
     
  2. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    What about the Son of Ham laws outlawing cheap pistols in the South?

    Law requiring "Army pistols" only?

    Heck, even the term "Saturday Night Special" has a racist origin.
     
  3. John828

    John828 Member

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    I'vkind of thought about this idea, but not nearly this deeply. I just thought about the costs incolved to get a CCW here in Arkansas and how that may be prohibitive to a single parent who is just getting by or anyone else who legally and morally has the right to defend themselves.

    $75 to $150 for the course and $144 for the permit. That's a lot of groceries, or maybe a week or two of rent or a month's worth of utilities.
     
  4. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    I've said similar for years, that gun laws are racist and classist.

    It's why I can't understand why all the minority rights groups are not all over the thing.

    Like El T says, "Saturday Night Special" evokes all kinds of racist feelings.

    I like your write up documenting all the actions over the years. Good stuff.
     
  5. RP88

    RP88 Member

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    I bet the reason alot of minorities arent jumping on gun rights is because gun crime have caused enough problems and evoked another wave of racism for them nowadays considering the gang/thug culture that has been going on since the 80's (not to mention how most of the crime is designated in the black and latino cultures). To them, guns are probably an ugly part of the ugly side of their communities.
     
  6. rocinante

    rocinante Member

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    I read an interesting article that said many minorities are not interested in gun rights because it increases the probability of their family and friends involved in crime getting killed.

    It always puzzled me too especially since the 14th amendment sought to have them armed for self defense. I live in a calm neighborhood and like the comfort of being armed but if I lived in a violent neighborhood I definitely would want self protection.
     
  7. MAKster

    MAKster Member

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    I don't buy the argument that the price of guns is a form of discrimination against poor people. Guns are actually inexpensive compared to other goods. You can buy a high quality pump action shotgun for $250 or a pistol for $400. These will last a lifetime. A hundred years ago a quality gun would cost 3 or 4 months salary for an average person. People today spend far more on rent, gasoline, car repairs, or the monthly cable TV bill. Just because a regulation increases the price of something doesn't mean it's discriminatory. Everything costs money and if your income is limited you have to make choices about what is important to you and save money by not wasting it on things you really don't need.
     
  8. Samuel Adams

    Samuel Adams Member

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    This sounds like Georgia's "Public Gathering" clause.
     
  9. VARifleman

    VARifleman Member

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    They banned the importation of some cheaper pistols which are 100 bucks or less. That's quite a bit more affordable to a lot of people than 400 bucks. Also, we're talking about a progression starting from more "evil" guns to guns that aren't much different, or are those 250-400 dollar guns you talk about. Also, in the past hundred years, yearly per capita income has increased faster than the cpi, so those taxes, while not really a big monetary deal now, were huge then. Also, I may be able to afford a decent semi-auto, but I can't afford a full auto because of the regulation, even though they really aren't any more complex, sometimes much less.
     
  10. John828

    John828 Member

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    I was impressed by two people in my CCW class. Both were minorities and both were seeking to defend themselves against undesirable aspects of their neighborhoods.

    One was a teacher at an inner city elementary school and the stories she told were a sad commentary on the state of public schools.

    It may not be a blatant form of discrimination, but, inherently, the cost is potentially probitive. I can see charging $25 to $30 for the background check, $5 to fingerprint, $10 to $15 for a card, and mayber a $25 "administration" fee. What's that? $65 or $75.

    Nope, I bet it is because the "leaders" of minority groups are gun grabbing activists.
     
  11. JCMAG

    JCMAG Member

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    There was a sheep that wanted to leave its pen. Unlike the other sheep, all it did was stare outside of the fence. The other sheep sometimes thought about getting out, but seldom attempted, so they admired the freedom-seeking sheep, hoping he would get them out someday. One day, the freedom-seeking sheep charged the fence, wanting to batter it down. The sheep's head got stuck and from then on it couldn't see anything behind it, but only outside of the fence. The other sheep thought he was a fool, only being able to see his backside.

    That's a little parable. The point is, if you find yourself stuck in a bad situation, such as poverty, and find yourself "fenced in" by prejudices old and recurrent, you might see firearms as something more than for defense.

    If someone uses violence to try and ascend their current state, they often end up the sheep with its head stuck in the fence, ie., arrested, outlawed, dead, or reviled by their neighbors for killing other community members.

    From then on, the community only sees that dominating characteristic, the violence, as the sheep only saw the freedom-seeking sheep's backside from then on out. Guns do not become defensive things, they become a means of destruction.

    This is, of course, absurd. But it is a perception and perceptions seldom reflect reality (especially when you ask the question: "whose reality?").

    I agree that gun control is conducive to disarming the lower-classes. Unfortunately, the lower-classes are disproportionately composed of some races and ethnicities than others. The argument can be made that there is a historical link between these two things, prohibitive cost and the non-white poor, but I find it to be somewhat irrelevant: The link exists now and is relevant now.

    Now if only we can get the majority- and minority-working class of all races to realize this, we might be able to do something about it....
     
  12. mek42

    mek42 Member

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    I don't think that the OP was talking about the direct cost of hardware, per se, but rather the cost of regulatory fees (arguably illegal in the first place) and the indirect supply / demand cost inflation of certain ban regulations.
     
  13. eflatminor

    eflatminor Member

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    What has always puzzled me is the "leaders" of the poor communities seem to be the most vehement gun grabbers when the folks they're supposed to be representing are the most vulnerable to acts of violence. Why in the world would you want to disarm those that need protection from violence the most? Now, I don't expect Jessie Jackson to understand the real reason for the second ammendment, but I don't get why he doesn't trust his followers whom he claims are fine upstanding citizens.
     
  14. yokel

    yokel Member

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    We can reasonably conclude that people can behave in harmful ways even when they ought to know better. We never seem to outgrow the ability to do something foolish.

    People want police officers to patrol enough to be a visible presence and deterrent to criminals, respond to their calls promptly, keep order in their neighborhood, solve local traffic problems, and arrest all criminals. The police are also called on to solve many social problems because the police will respond nights and weekends when other agencies are closed. These social problems include the mentally ill, the homeless, and the alcohol and drug addicted. There are unending demands on police officer time and never enough officers to do everything people would like.

    Relying solely on traditional reactive policing (dealing with the problem after it happens) or non-violent "peace walks" and vigils to protest neighborhood gang violence is naïve at best and offends common sense.

    What is needed: Armed citizens who get some of the training that police routinely receive to defuse volatile situations have to start patrols on the mean streets.
     
  15. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    When the government expressly forbids the production of televisions that use low cost manufacturing process come back and maybe your argument will make sense.

    The so called "Saturday Night Special" laws do just that.
     
  16. hankdatank1362

    hankdatank1362 Member

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    Isn't it illegal (and unconstitutional, IIRC) for Congress to effectively prohibit something by excessive taxation?
     
  17. Baba Louie

    Baba Louie Member

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    Not if that which is "taxed" affects 'Interstate Commerce' (wink wink nudge nudge :scrutiny:) As our forefathers knew, some politicians will do anything in their power to keep their power, even when they draft a set of rules for the limitation of governmental power.

    Witness a $200 tax on a $3 piece of pipe w/ internal baffles... still legal in the eyes of the courts.
     
  18. HonorsDaddy

    HonorsDaddy Member

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    Well yeah, but since when did the fact that something was illegal prevent Congress from doing it?
     
  19. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    There is little or nothing to stop an anti-gun state or other jurisdiction from requiring permits to purchase and then imposing impossibly high fees on them, added burdensome "excise taxes" on firearms or ammunition, etc., effectively denying people firearms ownership.
     
  20. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Back in the 1970s, there was discussion in Congress about banning "Saturday Night Specials", the cheap stuff.

    The congressional Black Caucus rose up, protesting that this would disarm the poor, and since most of the poor were black--the idea was racist. Teddy Kennedy, et al, were not pleased.

    Fast forward to today and a 180-degree reversal in attitude on the part of the Caucus and the NAACP, although the facts remain the same...

    Art
     
  21. brighamr

    brighamr Member

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    VARifleman - excellent write up. One other thing you may want to consider adding is all the new zoning requirements, insurance costs and federal permits required for selling the different types of firearms. All of this cost makes becoming a firearms dealer more difficult, which in result makes it harder and more expensive for the average citizen to purchase a gun. There was a time I had to drive 120 miles to buy a gun (round trip), and due to the waiting period I had to make the drive twice. A lot of people who don't have a lot of extra money couldn't have done that..... with the extra restrictions and fees to become a dealer, dealers are becoming more scarce in places like CA and NY, which in return forces people to make the drive, which adds gas money to any gun purchase. Just a thought.

    thanks for sharing your post. If you don't mind, I'd like to send it to a few of my co-workers.
     
  22. Kharn

    Kharn Member

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    I believe at least one state (NC?) had a law saying that a pistol's frame had to survive to XXX degrees, in order to prevent the sale of pot-metal pistols such as Ravens and Jennings. They had to change the law when the police wanted to upgrade to Glocks, which also melted below the specified temperature.

    Kharn
     
  23. TEDDY

    TEDDY Member

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    race??

    Just a history:many gun companies existed to supply the 'poor'Iver Johnson H&R ,Thames,and many others."bluebird#2,redhead #1,meriden arms.50cents to $11.and the blacks did not have as high a crime rate as now.most were married.and teen girls did not get pregnant.thank our liberal activists and the lack of moral responability.I had and used all of the above names.:uhoh::rolleyes::D:D
     
  24. suemarkp

    suemarkp Member

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    Added costs

    I agree with the cost argument. And you can add other things like mandatory trigger locks, possession/purchase license fees (like FOID cards or local registration that costs money), transfer fees (and laws required F2F sales to go through a dealer), similar regulatory rules on dealers (safe storage vaults, hazmat storage of smokeless and black powder), lawsuits on dealers/manufacturers, and I'm sure there are many more.

    Each little cost increase puts guns further out of reach from some people. The basic cost of gun hardware is reather reasonable compared to the past (although I see list prices popping upfast again).

    And I think we'll see it next on ammo (serialized bullets and brass, lead reclamation hazmat fees).
     
  25. The Tourist

    The Tourist member

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    I agree with that assessment. But just for a breath of fresh air, how about asking the guys who complain to invest more in the item or work harder?

    I have been around hobbyist forums for enough time now to recognize old thread ideas. One of them reads something like, "I need a new gun/boat/chinchilla/girl friend, and I don't want to pay more than $127.50, tax included."

    The problem is not only do I not know the info, but in good conscience I wouldn't recommend any of the four choices for that price.

    "Well, Tourist, you have spent a lifetime working and saving. You have lots of stuff."

    Yes I do, none of them with coupons or stipends from "The State."

    In the reverse, I'm not going to adjust my prices down because someone cannot pay me for what I'm worth. You want a sharp jackknife, well, you'd better scrape together somewhere between 60 and 150 bucks. I do pro bono work, as do all professionals. But your circumstances are not my fault. I invested time and money to get to this level--so should you.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2008
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