Skip to comments.New Kansas Law Requires CLEO's to Sign Federal Forms (National Firearms Act)
Posted on 05/04/2014 5:35:52 AM PDT by marktwain
The gun law reform signed by Governor Brownback for the State of Kansas included a requirement for Chief Law Enforcement Officers to sign on the form allowing Kansas citizens to pay the $200 federal tax for National Firearms Act items (NFA). Bill 2578/SB447 includes a number of incremental reforms aimed at restoring second amendment rights in Kansas. One reform that I missed in the rough and tumble of state legislative politics alleviates one of the problems created by the NFA of 1934.
There are numerous inherent problems with the NFA. Mostly outdated when it was signed as part of Franklin Roosevelt's attempt to disarm the American citizenry, it has severe regulatory and tax burdens for gun mufflers, even though no reason was ever given for their inclusion. The same penalties apply to short barrelled shotguns and rifles as apply to automatic firearms, although there is no reason to regulate short barrelled rifles and shotguns any more than pistols. That prohibition was included in the law because the original version included all handguns in the prohibitions as well.
The NFA of 1934 mixes local and federal prerogatives without regard to the separation of powers inherent in the Constitution. This is what one would expect from "progressives" that considered the Constitution a problem to be worked around, rather than the highest law of the land, and it has continued to create difficulties in the post-progressive era.
The vast majority of tax stamps sold are for short barreled rifles and shotguns and for gun mufflers. But because the NFA mixes local and federal authority in the act, local Chief Law Enforcement Officers (CLEOs) are able to veto the ability of a citizen to pay a federal tax to obtain the items, for any or no reason.
The "tax" dodge has always been a transparent attempt to give the NFA a thin veneer of constitutionality. It never fooled anyone. It was and is a baldfaced power grab by the federal government to restrict and register firearms, and even some non-firearms such as gun mufflers.
Kansas legislators did what they could to mitigate the problem. They required CLEOs to sign off on the tax payment unless they could show a legal reason beyond laziness or personal prejudice. Arizona recently passed a similar law. Tennessee did so in 2010. Kansas gives the CLEO 15 days to act, as does Tennessee. Arizona is more lenient, and gives them 60 days.
To sum up. Under the new Kansas law, citizens who wish to purchase an NFA item and are willing to jump through the regulatory hoops and pay the $200 tax (which was an obscene $4,000 in today's dollars in 1934!), cannot have their ability to pay the tax vetoed by a Kansas CLEO for any reason except those specified in the law.
It is called the rule of law, and it goes into effect in Kansas on 1 July of 2014, 80 years after the Roosevelt administration pushed through the first real federal gun ban.
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch
This was going to be my question, about the the NFA of 1934.
While it should be repealed, it should not be seen as a singular act to be repealed, because it is commingled with the Gun Control Act (GCA) of 1968.
That is, “The NFA is also referred to as Title II of the Federal firearms laws. The Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA) is Title I.”
But even more, there are presidential orders and bureaucratic regulations derivative of it, as well as judicial precedents based on all of the above, that cannot be allowed to escape the repeal.
And last but not least, there are a goodly number of people in prison, both federal and state, for violating these laws; and there is no mechanism whatsoever to restore their rights taken away, at least at the federal level.
Do you think it is possible to wrap all of this together in a neat repeal package? Possibly, but it’s going to take a lot of brainstorming by the gun liberty movement to craft.
I believe it will be done incrementally. It is too big a bite for Congress to swallow all at once.
I remember how long it took when they first charted the patchwork of gun laws in the US. In this case, the legal tendrils probably mesh with the laws (impositions) from Prohibition, through the War on Drugs, this, that and the other.
It would be a worthy project for a legal scholar and historian, with enough material to write a book.
“.. about the the NFA of 1934. ... should be repealed ... should not be seen as a singular act ... commingled with the Gun Control Act (GCA) of 1968.
... presidential orders and bureaucratic regulations derivative ... judicial precedents based on all of the above, that cannot be allowed to escape ...
... possible to wrap all of this together in a neat repeal package? ...”
Any digging into the archival records of the writing of Federal-level gun laws of the 1930s will reveal that Congress - stampeded by public upset over violent crime (organized and less so), and other foolishness concerning international arms trafficking - was desperate to enact far more sweeping restrictions on gun ownership.
They wanted to ban “machine gun” ownership outright, but their legal counsel told them any ban would be rejected by the courts. They decided to apply punitive taxes, with the explicit goal of discouraging ownership. But they were so ignorant that they did not know what level of taxation might do the job without provoking invalidation by a court, so they sent lackeys out of committee chambers to discover current prices. Word is, a Thompson (just about the only US-made individually operable gun then available, already infamous) was selling for $200.00 just then so they wrote that figure into law. So there.
The other NFA-registerable devices - sound suppressors, short-barreled rifles or shotguns, smoothbore handguns, etc - had each figured in some lurid crime or ugly encounter between police and perps, or had been rumored to be so used. So in the legislative equivalent of panic, committee members wrote them into law too.
Summaries of the archives, with various historical commentary, were published in the magazine _Small Arms Review_ (previously named _Machine Gun News_) in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Even the briefest perusal of the record will give an honest reader the distinct impression that national leaders (in Congress and the other two branches) were intent on preventing private citizens from owning guns (and every other form of armaments) as comprehensively as they possibly could. And with insignificant exceptions, the regulatory apparatus created pursuant to that legislation (plus subsequent legislation) has over time become more restrictive, arbitrary, and unclear (at least in detailed aministration). Every attempt to circumvent, invalidate, or repeal those Acts has been turned back, diluted, or ignored (perform a search on “1934 Group”).
The legal precedents that have forced at least a few on the Left to concede that gun ownership is a fundamental civil and human right, on a level (at least) coequal with every other such right, have occasioned public notice, but have so far shone only the tiniest rays of hope into the unfriendly legal/regulatory dimness.
That’s pretty much my point, that we’re trapped in a cave, but with the optimistic first waft of fresh air and glimmer of light through the rock; but it’s going to take a lot of digging still before we can earn our freedom.
Look at the new SIG/Sauer stabilizing brace exposing what a joke ATF rules are.
Put it on any AR or AK style “pistol”, yet non-intended use (outside constraints of ATF) as traditional stock with cheek weld makes it a functional short barreled rifle.
So it’s basically rifle, but ruled a “pistol”, and all associated “rules” for open carry, transport without hindrance in car, travel, etc for a pistol apply right? Oops.