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Gun Lawyer Episode 68
nfa, registration, firearm, atf, national firearms act, handguns, gun, suppressor, machine guns, law, records, taxation, nfa items, ban, federal, registered, gun rights, lawyer, fighting, act
Evan Nappen, Speaker 3
Evan Nappen 00:18
Hello and welcome to Gun Lawyer. This is Evan Nappen, and I want to give a special welcome to all my L2AL listeners. This is how we have to be these days, and it’s something we all want to be, living the 2A lifestyle. What I want to talk about today is a big picture view of things that are going on that I find disturbing. We are seeing snapshots, but I don’t see anyone putting together the bigger picture and combining the elements that are out there. Let me tell you what I’m talking about.
Evan Nappen 01:00
If any of you have ever experienced acquiring an NFA item, a National Firearms Act regulated items such as a silencer, machine gun, short barrel rifle, etc, then you know that you have to file special paperwork with the Feds on that item and that it is registered. Federally they are registered, and you pay a tax. It can be $200 depending on what the item is. This law, the National Firearms Act, is a registration process and goes back to the 1934 National Firearms Act. This Act was the first major federal gun law ever passed. So, it was the federal government passing a federal gun law in the 30s. Of course, it was sold to the public via the hysteria of the gangland violence, the organized crime, the movies of the day showing all this violence by the mob. The machine guns being utilized, the gangsters’ silencers, etc. And just like today, where the media presents us with a bad picture of firearms, they were doing that in the in the 30s. The result ended up being the National Firearms Act, and this Act was really laid the groundwork for gun laws that we have been fighting to this day.
Evan Nappen 03:03
Now, the original National Firearms Act, the original national gun law for America was not what we ended up with. It is interesting, and I have read all the Congressional transcripts of the NFA and how it got into its final form. Do you know that the original National Firearms Act as proposed was a complete ban, if you will, or registration with taxation used as the way of prohibiting possession? That was the tactic. Remember $200 in 1934 was quite a lot of money, and the idea behind the National Firearms Act was to ban all handguns were prohibited in the original 1934 Act. All handguns, all fully automatic, and semi-automatic firearms were prohibited under the original NFA and all magazines over 12 rounds. That was their magic number back then.
Evan Nappen 04:20 Page – 2 – of 7
After the National Firearms Act went through the legislative process, it ended up in a final form that we know today. Machine guns are prohibited but not semi-autos. Handguns were removed from the Act. It was interesting reading the progress. Originally when they were debating, they said okay, how about we just allow .22 target pistols? Twenty-two, right that caliber. Then the next thing you see, they are going to completely still allow handguns. They were deemed too useful and important. So, those were not part, and the magazine ban was dropped. Semi autos got dropped, and we ended up with what we have today.
Evan Nappen 05:02
But the interesting thing is, the items that were not included in the National Firearms Act have still been the very things that we fight current battles over. We fight battles over handgun bans and restrictions. We are fighting bans and proposals of magazine prohibition. We are fighting semi-auto firearm bans under the new speak words that they use, such as assault firearm for any semi-auto, or whatever they are trying to scare you with over handguns. These are the kind of things that we see. This is the evolution. So, the NFA was a problem from the beginning, and, unfortunately, pro-gun forces at the time were naive.
Evan Nappen 05:53
In the end, even the NRA supported the National Firearms Act. Now, look, that’s hindsight. I mean, looking back, you know. The NRA proclaimed in the Rifleman, at the time, we have solved the gun problem in the United States with this new law. Manufacturers themselves supported it with the machine gun prohibition, etc. They testified in favor of this. So, there were a lot of naive folks that thought this would be a good thing and a compromise and acceptable and not affect the sportsmen, etc. The same mentality that you hear the anties when they try to sell their anti-gun garbage today. And looking back, it’s easy for us to criticize, and I am not here to bash those that supported it. But looking back, we can’t ignore the truth. The truth is that it was a mistake. I’m not pointing fingers. I’m just saying we have to be honest. It was a mistake. It was a mistake because it laid the groundwork for other Federal gun laws, battles, and an acceptance that somehow a gun law was not a problem under the Second Amendment. That somehow, it could do good, which we know it hasn’t done any good. It does not stop crime. It has no effect on crime. It is not about crime. Yet this is how it is sold to us.
Evan Nappen 07:29
We are still fighting with the foundation of the National Firearms Act. And remember, that was based on the Federal power of taxation at the time. Because you see, federal powers hadn’t grown to what they are today. We didn’t have the Wickard versus Filburn case dramatically expanding the federal power of interstate commerce; so that anything that affects interstate commerce, the Fed suddenly had power to make laws about. No, they were hoping and praying that basing it on taxation would somehow be upheld by the court so that they could use the power of taxation to regulate and control guns and also drugs. Hence, the Harrison Drug Act and other things. This was the expansion of federal power, which normally these things were left to the states and the federal government would say, Look, this is something we can’t deal with, only the states can. But that’s no longer even said. With the taxation power, which is why, by the way, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms came under the Treasury Department. Why is it under Treasury and not Justice? Well, it’s Treasury because it was taxation, you see, and that’s what the original NFA was based on. Page – 3 – of 7
Evan Nappen 09:02
Along comes the ’68 Gun Control Act creating even more laws and this network of federal dealers and other federal prohibitions, ending mail-order guns, and creating prohibitors. That law ended up based on a power of interstate commerce. They didn’t rely on taxation for that, but the NFA still stayed in place as a foundation. So, we come forward to today, and we have the NFA, where folks are eager to own NFA items. Now with suppressors, there’s been a huge increase in suppressor ownership, and it is something that many folks find very useful because of the hearing protection that comes from a suppressor. Many in Europe are shocked that the U.S. even prohibits suppressors, even though they have strict gun control, because the suppressor should not be put in some category of intrinsically evil. It’s a useful accessory that protects hearing. Can you imagine if every car we had did not have a muffler? What that would be like? Well, this is it. Why are we blowing our ears out with our guns? It’s absurd.
Evan Nappen 10:26
So, suppressors have greatly increased, and other firearms such as SBR, short barrel rifles, important there. On machine guns and full autos, unfortunately, because of the 1986 Act, where there was a ban on new manufacturer of machine guns called the Hughes Amendment. With that being put forward, we ended up with a ban on new manufacturing. There became a very limited number of full autos that were in the marketplace because you couldn’t put any new ones into the market. If any of you ever looked at prices on a fully automatic firearm, they are incredibly expensive. And that’s because there’s a very limited market of registered, transferable machine guns that are available. Because the National Firearms Act, registration is limited to just those that existed prior to the Hughes Amendment. But not so with suppressors and not so with SBRs and a $200 tax today is nothing like a $200 tax in ’34.
Evan Nappen 11:45
So, lo and behold, what do we have going on? Well, we have this National Firearms Act that creates a National Firearms registration, but only of these specific items that the ’34 Act covered. But you know that the goal of the antis is full registration. This is what they want, and now what we have is a new development that I think bodes poorly for our gun rights. And it’s something that we need to seriously think about and realize the direction that this is going. When we get back from the break, I’m going to fill you in now that the background has been laid to understand the threat that is before us.
Speaker 3 12:41
For over 30 years, Attorney Evan Nappen has seen what rotten laws do to good people. That’s why he’s dedicated his life to fighting for the rights of America’s gun owners. A fearsome courtroom litigator fighting for rights, justice, and freedom. An unrelenting gun rights spokesman tearing away at anti-gun propaganda to expose the truth. Author of six best-selling books on gun rights, including Nappen on Gun Law, a bright orange gun law Bible that sits atop the desk of virtually every lawyer, police chief, firearms dealer, and savvy gun owner. That’s what made Evan Nappen America’s Gun Lawyer. Gun laws are designed to make you a criminal. Don’t become the innocent victim of a vicious anti-gun legal system. This is the guy you want on your side. Keep his name and number in your wallet and hope you never have to use it. But if you live, work, or travel with a firearm, the deck is already stacked against Page – 4 – of 7
you. You can find him on the web at EvanNappen.com or follow the link on the Gun Lawyer resource page. Evan Nappen – America’s Gun Lawyer.
Speaker 3 13:55
You’re listening to Gun Lawyer with Attorney Evan Nappen. Available wherever you get your favorite podcast
Evan Nappen 14:10
Hey, okay, back here for our discussion. This is something we really need to think about and be aware of. The folks that listen to Gun Lawyer, you’re the ones that are going to know this, because I don’t see this being put together anywhere else. It needs to be understood in a big picture, and this big picture is as follows. The ATF recently put out that they are going to promulgate the pistol brace rule in August. So, they have announced, even though they put in the register what they wanted to do, and well over 200,000 comments were filed, mostly all of them opposing this. It is not going to stop them. They are going to put out this rule that essentially makes the pistol brace into a SBR firearm on a handgun. This is going to make it an NFA regulated firearm.
Evan Nappen 15:33
There is an estimate of anywhere from three to 30 million pistol braced firearms out there. So, think about this. The rule is going to come down in August official. Now, what ATF and company have recently done is made it so that the NFA as we know it, you no longer have to file the physical forms. When you would want to make a purchase of say a suppressor, you had to do actual paper paperwork, mail it in, send in the prints and the money in, the whole bit. Then it was manually processed, and it took months and months and months, eight months, nine months, a year. It just was ridiculous the time that you had to wait for your NFA to process. What ATF has done is they have made it computerized. This is what they launched. They launched the ability to submit your NFA registration paperwork, etc. online, and therefore yes, speeding up the process. Now you can get your NFA items within a matter of a few months as opposed to the exorbitant time periods that it took for the physical processing.
Evan Nappen 17:08
Now on that hand, it seems like a good thing because the bureaucracy is no longer as inefficient and delaying these things as it was. The old adage about a right delayed is a right denied. I get all that and currently the ability to do this and have a speedier result. I get it. It sounds on its face like a good thing. But I want to think beyond that. Let’s think what they’re really doing. They are automating and creating a system that builds a machine, a registration machine. That’s what’s being done, and this registration machine through the NFA is within six months because the ATF said in August, in August, how convenient in August, they’re going to promulgate the pistol brace rule.
Evan Nappen 18:15
So, between now and August, in six months, they have half a year to get any of the rest of the bugs out of the system, to have the machine all greased and oiled and ready to roll. Then the registration hits of pistol brace SBR registration, and they get to do it all by computer. Now just think if that didn’t exist, just think how incredibly overwhelmed the system would be trying to manually process millions of NFA registrations. They would just collapse under the weight trying to do that. It would be years in delay. It Page – 5 – of 7
would be enormous. So, the solution is computers. They set this system up now, and it’s no coincidence that they initially asked for more time to consider the rule. Then they got this program finally online. Now they’re announcing another six months, and then they’re going to actually promulgate. All that just is timed so perfectly into the registration machine being created. Then will come the test.
Evan Nappen 19:36
The test will be the registration of all these NFA pistol brace items. As they do that and get that done and under their belt, all these new registrations, the machine is ready, the machine is ready to pick up where NFA left off. It’s ready for a semi-auto ban, a federal semi-auto ban where registration gets done by computer. Fully automated, ready to roll. We’ll get them all registered. It’s fully laid out to get that handgun mandatory registration database, national firearm registration of all handguns. The anti-gunners dream, in a registration machine, perfected and up and running, all by way of this path that I’ve laid out.
Evan Nappen 20:43
Now it doesn’t just end there. Because on a whole other path is the recent news that the ATF has compiled nearly 1 billion records in a registry. That’s right. Due to the good work of Gun Owners of America, particularly, it has been revealed that ATF has taken all of these records of federal firearm licensees, the 4473s of licensees that have gone out of business, and they have registered them and digitized them. They are doing this contrary to law, by the way. They argue that no, its record keeping. ATF has a million excuses, but it’s confirmed. They have already got 54 million of these records. This was then further revealed by Gun Owners of America, and they’ve discovered that in total, this is based on an ATF response, in total ATF managers, ready for this, folks, 920 million, 920 million digital records of hard copies, and others that are also awaiting conversion. Of those, already 865 million of those records, 865 million, are in digitized format.
Evan Nappen 22:35
Now I want you to think about this. ATF has the database of existing prior transfers, by out of business FFLs, all that information. They’re creating a registration machine for real time current registration. You combine it and now you see the total package of identifying gun owners and their registered firearms. It is outrageously scary, and yet, we are marching right into this. Because the registration is the danger. You got to know the four words that have echoed through history: Legislation, Registration, Confiscation, and Extermination. We have seen it repeat through history. We are now in the stage of the registration, and the next goal will be the confiscation. But first, they need the registration. These databases, both real time as created by the registration machine under NFA and the prior records, are going to give the ability to reach out.
Evan Nappen 24:11
The confiscation is going to start with letters, letters from the feds like you get an IRS letter. We are going to get an ATF letter about guns that they know you have. Then they are going to be demanding, and you’ve seen this play out in states. You’ve seen it play out at local levels where the states have passed gun registration, and the next thing they are doing is confiscation. You saw it in New York. You see it happening. And this is the plan. So, this is the long game. This is the politics that they are Page – 6 – of 7
playing. Right now, we may rejoice that our NFA items can come to us faster than when it was manual. But what this registration machines threat that it poses is incredibly serious, and we have got to recognize what’s going on. We have got to stop ATF with their registration scheme on both the prior records and the current records and other purchases.
Evan Nappen 25:26
Because, folks, since 1934, when there was a “compromise”, and the “gun problem was solved for the U.S.”, it wasn’t, and it has not been. They are still up to their same game, and that same game is the elimination of our Second Amendment rights. It’s absolutely where they want to go, and they haven’t given up. We could argue that from ’34 to ’68, for that 30 plus year period, things were pretty good for gun rights. No other major things, really, but you know what? In between there, we had wars and other things that were occupying us, and our focus and our attention. But in reality, the groundwork that was laid, is still being built upon. It’s being built upon by using high tech.
Evan Nappen 26:29
Our ability to store data in such amazingly small spaces. I couldn’t believe it. Just from a personal level, I went to the Best Buy to get a flash drive, and its half the size of the other stick flash drives. It is like the size of my thumbnail, and that little thumbnail holds 256 gigabytes, just that. So, the ability to store all this tremendous data is there. They have it, and this is where it’s going. This is a danger, a danger, to our rights. Look, it tried to be addressed by saying you could not make a database out of these records. And they are looking to do it. They found the workaround, the loophole, the workaround. They just ignore it, who cares. They violate the law or the spirit of the law, because nothing’s going to stop them. They are going to keep pushing what their goal is. This is what they are up to.
Evan Nappen 27:42
We have got to maintain this vigilance, and we have got to see the big picture. We have got to get things in place to stop this from happening. It’s what they’re planning. Then throw into the mix, so-called smart guns as well. Now they can have the computerization into the gun, to control the gun, to know who has it, to put it into registration database, to maintain control, confiscate, turn off. The technology, as it rapidly progressives, is unfortunately a threat to our rights. Look, I love technology, many of it is it’s incredible. So many things that we are able to do from GPS to getting questions answered on the internet and Googling this and that. I mean, I get it. There are advantages. But there is also this very dark downside, as our technology is there to actually make the ability to have the anti-gun dreams come true.
Evan Nappen 28:56
We have got to recognize that this is out there. We have got to stop it in every way. It’s going to come back and bite us, and I’m warning you now today about it. Think about it, and you’ll see the threat. Think about this big picture. Make sure you are on board to defend and fight. Make sure you belong to the organizations that protect our rights. Make sure you vote for the folks that are dedicated to the Second Amendment. Make sure you live the Second Amendment lifestyle in every way. This is what you can do as an individual. Be vigilant and knowledgeable. Recognize the threat and L2AL. This is Evan Nappen reminding you that gun laws don’t protect honest citizens from criminals. They protect criminals from honest citizens. Page – 7 – of 7
Speaker 3 29:59
Gun Lawyer is a CounterThink Media production. The music used in this broadcast was managed by Cosmo Music, New York, New York. Reach us by emailing Evan@gun.lawyer. The Information and opinions in this broadcast do not constitute legal advice. Consult a licensed attorney in your state.
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About The Host
Evan Nappen, Esq.
Known as “America’s Gun Lawyer,” Evan Nappen is above all a tireless defender of justice. Author of eight bestselling books and countless articles on firearms, knives, and weapons history and the law, a certified Firearms Instructor, and avid weapons collector and historian with a vast collection that spans almost five decades — it’s no wonder he’s become the trusted, go-to expert for local, industry and national media outlets.
Regularly called on by radio, television and online news media for his commentary and expertise on breaking news Evan has appeared countless shows including Fox News – Judge Jeanine, CNN – Lou Dobbs, Court TV, Real Talk on WOR, It’s Your Call with Lyn Doyle, Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk, and Cam & Company/NRA News.
As a creative arts consultant, he also lends his weapons law and historical expertise to an elite, discerning cadre of movie and television producers and directors, and novelists.
He also provides expert testimony and consultations for defense attorneys across America.
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