The number of National Firearm Act items saw a huge jump in the past year — including a 50 percent increase in suppressor registration and 39 percent bump in short-barreled rifles registered — according to new data released by federal regulators.
The report provides an overview of the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, which is the federal list of all items, such as suppressors, SBRs, short-barreled shotguns, destructive devices and any other weapons logged under the NFA as of April, and updates figures released in February 2016.
In the 14-month period between reports, the total number of NFA items of all kinds has climbed to 5,203,489 — an overall increase of more than 800,000 items.
While the numbers of AOW’s, machine guns and SBSs all saw negligible increases, the biggest jumps in the 14-month interlude came in the numbers of registered SBRs and suppressors.
More in my column at Guns.com
So you have no doubt heard me talk about the Hearing Protection Act which would eliminate the $200 transfer tax on suppressors by dropping them from NFA rules, but still requires they should be transferred through federal firearms licensees after a background check, regulating them as firearms.
It’s got a ton of sponsors in the House ( 150+, including some Dems) but is likely to stall in the Senate where it only has enough for a serious card game and needs 60.
Well, with that in mind, last week the SHUSH (Silencers Helping Us Save Hearing) Act dropped which would not only remove suppressors from National Firearms Act requirements — a goal of the rival Hearing Protection Act — but also classify them as simple accessories which could be sold over the counter, just like magazines, or butt stocks, or just scopes. It seems odd after more than 80 years of NFA regulation, but that’s how they are sold in the UK and several other countries with gun laws more strict than ours.
Gun control groups don’t know whether to shit or go blind, saying every crook and killer in the future will have a hushable gatt– but in all honesty, you can make an illegal suppressor today from common household items anyway and they are rarely (ATF says ~30 cases in 2015) used in crime, so I’m not sure how factual that argument holds.
Anyway, more on the SHUSH Act in my column at Guns.com
And this great bit from A Scanner Darkly (who doesn’t love PKD) below, and case in point as to why you don’t want to try and suppress the average revolver.
Many veterans legally brought back captured enemy weapons from overseas in the wake of America’s wars. Provided they had the right paperwork, some could properly register NFA items as Title II firearms before 1968. Others, who either didn’t have the paperwork or chose not to register, illegally owned their trophies after that date and often these guns are still in circulation– putting the possessor at risk of up to 10 years in prison.
Well that could change.
Legislation introduced in both chambers of Congress Tuesday would open a 180-day amnesty for veterans or their family to register guns captured overseas.
The bipartisan Veterans Heritage Firearms Act aims to allow former service members or their family to declare guns brought back to the states before Oct. 31, 1968 without fear of prosecution.
The bill would briefly open the National Firearm Registration and Transfer Record to veterans and their family to register certain firearms. The NFRTR is the federal government’s database of National Firearms Act items including machine guns, suppressors, short barreled rifles and shotguns, and destructive devices.
Since 1934, the federal government has treated devices designed to muffle or suppress the report of firearms as Title II devices that required registration under the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record and mandated transfers that included a $200 tax stamp. The HPA would repeal this requirement and treat suppressors as firearms – which would allow them to be transferred through regular federal firearms license holders to anyone not prohibited from possessing them after the buyer passes an FBI instant background check.
We spoke with industry insiders about the Hearing Protection Act on the eve of the 146th National Rifle Association Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Atlanta last week, who argued the measure has a fighting chance.
The L39 was designed by Aimo Lahti, the Thomas Edison of Finnish gun engineers, and is a109-pound semi-automatic rifle built around the largest 20mm shell the in existence in 1939. Using the Swiss 20x138mmB Solothurn Long cartridge, the gun was readily capable of piercing 20mm of armor at 100-meters and 16mm out to 500 meters with enough energy to put most of the Soviet tanks of the era on the menu. While Russian tanks became more heavily armored as the war progressed, the L39 was still valuable as an anti-material gun and used much as the Barrett .50 cal is employed today.
Just 1,850 production version L39s were built in Jyaskyla at Valtion Kivaaritehdas, the state rifle factory, and about 1,000 were surplus in the 1960s, many arriving in the U.S.
And last week a Federal Firearms Licensee who wrote some hot checks to get tranferrable one from a collector in Michigan, then tried to resell it without the proper NFA paperwork, was found guilty of illegal possession of a destructive device, meaning the gun, now confiscated, will likely get hacked up.
With the possible removal of silencers/suppressors from National Firearms Act control, a number of legal questions around the devices emerge.
The current mechanism for change, H.R.3799 — the Hearing Protection Act — is stuck in the U.S. House but would likely see a stronger reboot in the next Congress in 2017. If a new bill gains enough momentum to make it through Capitol Hill and onto the waiting desk of President Trump, it would leave a few things undecided if signed into law with its current language.
I spoke with Adam Kraut, an attorney specializing in Second Amendment rights and NFA issues in particular, about just what could be in store.