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1986 Ban Of Civilian Machine Gun Ownership

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#1 96lt1ss


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Posted 16 November 2004 - 01:05 AM

The Gun Control Act

In 1968, Congress approved the Gun Control Act (P.L. 90-618), a provision of which [18 U.S.C. 925(d)(3)] is interpreted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) to prohibit the importation of fully-automatic firearms for sale to civilians.

The Hughes Amendment

In 1986, to reaffirm Congress`s intent in passing the GCA and prevent improper law enforcement by BATF, Congress approved the Firearms Owners` Protection Act (FOPA).7 Near the end of debate on the measure, late at night with most members of the House of Representatives absent, Rep. William Hughes (D-N.J.) introduced an amendment related to fully-automatic firearms. Despite an apparent defeat of the amendment by voice vote, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), at the time presiding over the proceedings, declared the amendment approved. Hughes and Rangel were longtime "gun control" supporters.

BATF interpreted the amendment as a prohibition on the civilian possession of any fully-automatic firearm manufactured after May 19, 1986. The effect of the interpretation has been to "freeze" the number of privately owned fully-automatic firearms at roughly 150,000, an exact figure being unavailable due to privacy protection requirements that apply to tax-based laws such as the National Firearms Act. The crime-fighting utility of the 1986 "freeze" was questionable, since no legal, civilian-owned fully-automatic firearm had been used to commit a violent crime. BATF`s director at the time, Stephen Higgins, had testified before Congress in 1986 that the misuse of legally-owned fully-automatic firearms was "so minimal as not to be considered a law enforcement problem

We are currently working in Illinois to repeal a law requiring a special ID to purchase or possess firearms or ammunition. To repeal this requires a 2% vote in each county, would it be possible to do this at a federal level thus repealing the 1986 NFA ?

Time Line Of Gun Control
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