B.L.U.F. In the last post I described the leftist argument that Nuclear Weapons are outside of the scope of the Second Amendment. I submit that they are within the scope of the Second Amendment but that the Supreme Court’s current opinions put them outside the Scope.
This article covers the state attempting to claim that certain arms are not within the scope of the Second Amendment.
Let’s tax guns out of circulation!
With the current directions from the Supreme Court to the inferior court there are only two ways in which a law or regulation can stand in a Second Amendment case. 1) The law does not affect our Second Amendment protected rights or; 2) the law has a similar historical and traditional match.
In the past the state has used its power of taxation to infringe. After nearly a century it is not the case that failure to pay a $200 tax on a muffler can get you a fine of up to $10,000 or time in club fed of at least 27 months and up to a max of 30 years or both. Mind you that 30 year is via enhancements.
Those are the penalties for failure to pay your tax on an NFA item and wait for the state to send you the tax stamp. There are other penalties for being without your tax stamp when certain classes of law enforcement wish to see it. Or crossing state lines without permission and a whole host of other things, all related to payment of a $200 tax.
This is because in 1934, when congress was debating the National Firearms Act they understood that they had no power to regulate arms. To regulate arms would be to infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms. This is a “no-no” to use a technical term.
Once this was in place the state was then able to argue other types of laws, which ended up with a simple amendment saying that you could not add machine guns to the NFA registry which was a de facto machine gun ban. It is true that you can still buy machine guns, but they all have to have been registered prior to May of 1986 and you have to have lots of money to do it.
A quick check on GunBroker shows the lowest priced machine gun the normal person can purchase is listing at $10,000. It’s a Browning 1919 in 7.62×51 NATO. (I would research that before bidding). A Sten Mk II in 9mm is listing for $10,999. This is not a price that most people can afford.
A “good” AR-15 can be had for under $1000. My builds are less than that. The cost to put the 4th hole is trivial. The cost of a full auto fire control group is $75. This means that whereas a M-16 from before May 1986 costs north of $15,000, a new production should cost under $1000. This is the cost of that simple amendment, a de facto ban on machine guns.
This worked so well that many many state and local entities have attempted to price gun ownership out of the hands of normal people.
Yes, that is how it is often expressed in the media. A tax on bullets.
“The Second Amendment doesn’t say anything about bullets, we can tax them!”
There have been recent tax suggestions of as much as 100% on each round.
every person licensed to sell or supply firearms [in Massachusetts] shall pay to the commissioner of revenue an excise equal to 36 percent of the whole sale value of such firearm sold or supplied
every person licensed to sell or supply ammunition [in Massachusetts] shall pay to the commissioner of revenue an excise equal to 36 percent of the wholesale value of a single round of each round of ammunition sold or supplied
— Mass Bill Proposes 36% Tax on All Gun and Ammo Sales in the Bay State
Currently there is a 10-11.25% federal tax on firearms and ammunition, Massachusetts has an additional tax of 6.25% on top of that there is sales tax in Massachusetts.
This increases the costs to actually use your firearm. To practice, to actually be good, responsible gun owners.
Cost To Own
J.Kb’s article Rights for the rich, tyranny for the poor is another example of pricing gun ownership out of range for normal people. While the article in question is about permitting for carry, the same thing happens anytime there is a place where they can increase taxes.
There are also the “you must have insurance” schemes as well. You have to have the magic insurance that will pay for those shot by guns but which can’t be used by you for legal defense.
Storage laws are another example of extra costs.
This is what I want to store my lever guns over my sofa
And here is what they want me to have:
I have some gun safes but I also have display cases. The display cases all have some sort of locking method.
When there are storage requirements there are cost requirements.
Hidden Costs in Time
When the state makes it difficult to be in the firearms business it gets expensive to get to an FFL to buy your firearm. My preferred LGS is about 45 minutes away. That means it is 45 minutes there, an hour wait to get my 4473 approved plus filling out the 4473, and 45 minutes home. Total time: 2.5 hours. On the other hand, when it gets busy it has taken over 3 hours to get approval. I went and had lunch, when I got back the approval was there.
But what if there is a delay? That means that it is two trips out there.
What if the state requires that there be a delay?
All of these things just add costs.
Even with the PLCAA in place there is the cost of lawfare. Every FFL that I’ve spoken to has a lawyer on retainer. They have insurance to protect themselves when they are sued. If a case does go against them, it is even worse. Almost any store can be put out of business with just a few lawsuits.
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