The on-going attacks to the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding American citizens by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) has been relentless under the current administration.
A so-called “Firearms Freedom Act” could remove some of these obsolete and uniquely American restrictions on firearms, curtailing the manner in which the ATF could get into trouble, freeing them to focus on more pressing matters than the suppression of the basic human right to armed self-defense.
Here are some of the items in would include in a Firearms Freedom Act.
Removing “short barreled rifles” (SBRs) from the National Firearms Act of 1934. Americans have long seen the utility of short-barreled rifles in hunting and self defense, and such firearms were once commonplace up through the early 1930s. Utility defined the length of a rifle barrel, not a federal mandate. Unfortunately, some of these short-barreled rifles were used by Prohibition-era gangsters as they warred upon one another, and Congress responded by outlawing these rifles. The restrictions on these useful firearms should have been rescinded along with Prohibition itself. SBRs would still be classified as regular firearms when stricken from the NFA, and be the subject of background checks when sold by Federal Firearms Licensees. Removing them from the NFA would simply keep the ATF from inundated with a needless additional layer of bureaucracy, report running, and compliance investigations that prevent them from researching and prosecuting actual crimes.
Removing suppressors from the National Firearms Act of 1934. What we call suppressors or silencers today are nothing more or than mufflers for guns, and with good reason: automobile mufflers and gun mufflers were both developed by the same man (Hiram Percy Maxim) at the same time. He invented these noise-reducing suppressors to cut down on the excessive noise of both internal combustion engines and the noise of gunfire. Just like cars with gasoline engines are by no mean silent and cars sound like cars even with a muffler in place, firearms with suppressors still sound like guns, just at a less-damaging volume. Some have made the argument that if they were created today, OSHA would mandate suppressors for firearms use to cut down on environmental noise and the American Medical Association would argue that they are needed to combat the hearing damage that still takes place when people wear ear protection. Ironically, suppressors are actively encouraged in many European countries where firearms themselves are tightly restricted, and using a suppressor to keep the noise from bothering others is seen to be the mark of a responsible citizen. Instead of requiring an onerous $200 tax stamp and months of delays in ATF processing, suppressors should be treated like firearms, or perhaps be declassified entirely. After all, do we have national registration for car mufflers? American President Teddy Roosevelt was a known fan of suppressed firearms and never had to jump through absurd legal hoops to purchase one. Neither should you.