The AR-15 is the most popular rifle in the country, but it’s still classified as a rifle by the federal government. Which is fine, because, you know…it’s a rifle.
Yet a firearm without a stock that isn’t particularly long is classified as a pistol because, you know…it’s a pistol.
That’s even true of AR-style pistols. Based on the law as it stands, they’re not considered rifles. Millions of these pistols are in the hands of law-abiding gun owners and there hasn’t really been an issue.
Until now, anyway.
After all, it seems the Boulder shooter used one of these firearms in his murderous rampage, so now a group of Democrats want to make it illegal for you to own one.
Dear President Biden,
The House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force calls on you to take strong executive action to address serious inequities in the implementation of the National Firearms Act which is the federal law regulating the manufacture, transfer, and possession of certain classes of firearms. For too long, gun manufacturers in order to circumvent the National Firearms Act have designed and marketed concealable AR-15 style firearms which fire rifle rounds.
Concealable assault-style firearms that fire rifle rounds pose an unreasonable threat to our communities and should be fully regulated under the National Firearms Act consistent with the intent and history of the law. The recent tragedy in Boulder, Colorado where 10 people including a police officer were killed is one in a string of deadly incidents involving this style of weapon. On February 6, 2019, Milwaukee Officer Matthew Rittner was killed by an AK-47 style concealable weapon while trying to execute a search warrant. Later that year on August 4, 2019, a concealable .223 caliber AR-15 style firearm was used to kill 9 people and injure 17 others in Dayton, Ohio in less than 1 minute.
The National Firearms Act has proven to be extremely effective in preventing crimes with the classes of particularly dangerous firearms it regulates through a system requiring a background check, submission of photo identification and fingerprints, and registration of the firearm with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The 1934 law sought to regulate certain weapons because of their frequent use in crime. Some of the features exploited by criminals and included for enhanced regulation under the NFA include, sawed off shotguns, rifles with short barrels and weapons with a high capacity of firing like machine guns.
The concealability and ability to use ammunition capable of penetrating body armor make these firearms especially dangerous on our streets and for law enforcement personnel. We thank you for your commitment to preventing gun violence and urge you to immediately promulgate regulations to cover these concealable assault firearms under the National Firearms Act.
The letter boasts 111 names of Democratic representatives, including some of the usual suspects like Eric “Nuke ’em All” Swalwell and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Now, let’s be honest, yes, these weapons are more concealable than an AR-15. However, they’re not that concealable. I mean, maybe if you tried to cosplay as Neo from The Matrix, sure. Otherwise, they’re really not.
Plus, let’s also be clear here. Those with criminal intent will still be able to make an AR-15 concealable. Reclassifying these firearms as NFA items won’t make anyone safer.
What it will do, however, is require millions of Americans to have to pay a $200 tax stamp and ask permission to keep something they already purchased lawfully. Or, they’ll say screw it and become criminals.
Of course, gun rights groups aren’t likely to take this lying down. Gun Owners of America have already fired back in a press release sent last night:
GOA Blasts Call to Add So-Called “Concealable Assault-Style Firearms” to NFA
Springfield, VA – Gun Owners of America (GOA) Senior Vice President Erich Pratt rebuked by a call by 109 Democrat lawmakers who recklessly seek to add a made up and undefined category of firearms referred to as “Concealable Assault-Style Firearms” to the National Firearms Act (NFA).
“The Democrats’ anti-gun ‘logic’ is asinine,” Pratt stated. “They think that criminals, who are willing to break the law to commit murder, will somehow be stymied by gun control restrictions and voluntarily submit to them. Instead of adding to the confusing complexity of the National Firearms Act — and thereby criminalizing honest gun owners — Congress should take up and pass legislation like the Home Defense and Competitive Shooting Act, which would remove Short Barreled Rifles from the NFA.”
Last Congress, the Home Defense and Competitive Shooting Act was championed by then Kansas Representative Roger Marshall. However, because of his leadership on Second Amendment, gun owners in the Sunflower State elected Marshall to the United States Senate. Now, Senator Marshall is continuing his defense of the Second Amendment by introducing the Senate companion, S. 803.
Pratt concluded, “Legislation like the Home Defense and Competitive Shooting Act is true ‘common sense gun legislation.’ The archaic and unconstitutional National Firearms Act is scoffed at by criminals while needlessly forcing honest gun owners to jump through hoops just to own certain types of firearms and accessories.”
Yeah, there’s some discrepancy with the number of names between their count and mine, but I suspect a couple more jumped on board since this was written.
Or maybe one of us miscounted.
Regardless, though, this is an extremely troubling letter. Part of the issue is that this letter seeks to circumvent Congress and presses Biden to have the ATF redesignate AR-style pistols as short-barreled rifles. It’s not like Biden has given us a lot of pro-gun signals, so there’s every reason to believe he’ll go along with this.
Which means this will land in court, so who knows how long it’ll take to worm its way through the system before we can see some degree of meaningful action from the judicial branch.
What a way to wrap up a week, huh?
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