Jay Hollis Vs. Eric Holder

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When we say no politics here on TFB we mean that we guarantee when you come here, rather than be bombarded with political opinions or propaganda you will get nothing but firearm related information and the best media coverage we can provide. However, what we will do is follow interesting developments in  litigation and legal questions that are pertinent to our great pastime.

We live in an interesting time. While machine guns are not illegal in the USA and never have been, the registry has been closed since 1986. The United States government has approved a form 1 (application to make and register a new NFA firearm) by a gentlemen submitting through a trust and he is now filing suit and accepting donations (now with over $40,000!).

Anyways, Mr. Hollis has now issued his complaint and the litigation process begins. You may read the complaint here. A summons has also been issued to Attorney General Eric Holder.

As a machine gun enthusiast I have been following all of this pretty closely in hopes that someday we can all compete in subgun matches and purchase/build fully automatic firearms at reasonable a cost.

I read through the 28 page complaint this weekend and here are the cliffs:

  • Hollis and his legal team assert that there is a de facto ban on machine guns in the USA
  • The argument made includes violating the Ninth and Tenth Amendments and the United States Constitution’s principles by arbitrarily “disapproving” an already approved Form 1
  • The case revolves around the assertion that the “ban” on machine guns is unconstitutional under the Second, Ninth and Tenth amendments
  • The complaint lists the supreme court cases of Heller and McDonald as precedent
  • Interestingly, the Miller decision in 1939 which convicted a man for the illegal possession of a short barreled shotgun is listed a precedent; At the time Miller was convicted because short barreled shotguns were not “part of ordinary military equipment”
    • The Hollis camp are asserting that machine guns like the one he intended to create are part of current military equipment and under this previous decision must be legal
  • The BATFE acknowledges that the NFA’s “underlying purpose was to curtail, if not prohibit, transactions in NFA firearms”
    • Since Congress lacks/lacked the authority to ban NFA weapons outright, it instead imposed a large tax (in 1934 dollars) on their manufacture and transfer which few individuals could pay
  • Past BATFE Director Stephen E. Higgins stated during congressional hearings that “machineguns which are involved in crimes are so minimal so as not to be considered a law enforcement problem”
  • The complaint declares how similar the AR15 rifle is to the select fire M16
  • Another argument hinges on how a machinegun made in the State of Texas and that has not traveled in interstate commerce cannot be regulated by the Federal Government under the interstate commerce clause

We will continue to provide coverage on this case as information trickles our way.



Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


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  • rjackparis

    I’m slightly worried this is going to blow back on us some magical way.

    • John

      It’s either we take a chance and risk it, or never take the chance and never stand to gain anything.

      • herb

        Yeah, really I mean rjackparis makes a good point, but moreover I’d say lots of stuff blows back on the pro-firearm community anyway. That is we’re constantly being demonized. Might as well have blow-back from something where we stand to gain, where it’s proactive and a matter of principle.

    • Tallen

      Sic semper tyrannis!

      • Paranoid Android

        Semper fidelis tyrannosaurus!

        I know that added nothing, but I had to.

        • herb

          Honey suet que mal y pants.

    • Giolli Joker

      Thought the same when I read:
      “The complaint declares how similar the AR15 rifle is to the select fire M16.”

      • sianmink

        Well it’s not wrong. The only difference is a small part in the trigger group, and sometimes the bolt carrier.

        • claymore

          And the hammer, sear, disconnector, trigger and bolt carrier always.

          • sianmink

            My DDM4 comes from the factory with a M16-spec bolt carrier. Several other manufacturers do the same, which is why I said sometimes.

          • claymore

            Better be careful the ATF can make something out of that if you have others parts.

          • Nope — ATF has said, REPEATEDLY, that a “full auto” bolt carrier IS NOT a “machinegun conversion part” and is 100% legal to use in a semiautomatic AR15. Nor is the lower receiver necessarily milled differently (that is something COLT thought up, to avoid people buying semiauto Colts and installing perfectly legal DIAS units in them, instead of buying a registered Colt full auto receiver)

            What the ATF *has* said is that if your “semiauto” AR15 goes full auto, then it’s a machinegun, and that you can often times make it go full auto by using a bunch of “full auto” parts (except the auto sear). What the ATF is doing there is simply stating the law — the NFA doesn’t say WHAT parts you have to have to make something a machinegun; it is a machinegun if it falls into any one of four different categories (not in any particular order):

            1. A gun that fires two or more shots with ONE activation of the trigger. Period. THIS is where an AR15 like Olafson’s, with the gun using ONLY machinegun parts, and capable of firing automatically when tested with standard off the shelf ammo made for the actual chamber of the rifle, falls. Or *ANY* gun that regularly fires automatically, whether or not you are using “machinegun” or “semiauto” parts. (No, they didn’t test Olafson’s gun with “soft primers” to induce a failure. His gun had a .223 Remington SAAMI spec chamber, and they used ordinary major manufacturer .223 Remington spec ammo. It’s not that US civilian made ammo has “soft” primers – it’s military ammo that is the oddball, with primers INTENTIONALLY made “harder”. Plus, his gun DID NOT have a milspec 5.56x45mm chamber, so technically, testing it with military surplus 5.56mm ammo would have been “using the wrong ammo”.)

            2. A group of parts designed to turn a non-machinegun into one that will fire two or more shots with a single activation of the trigger (i.e., “machinegun conversion parts”). As consistently interpreted by ATF, these are supposed to be “drop in” parts that do NOT require the original receiver to be altered, although they have made allowances when it came out that certain “conversion units” actually required minor modifications.

            3. The bare receiver of a machinegun. (This is basically where the next category came from — people insisting that having all the parts to reassemble a stripped machinegun receiver wasn’t “really” a machinegun, since it wouldn’t fire while disassembled. . . ))

            4. Any receiver that can be “readily restored” (which ATF has interpreted as “readily converted”; this is why semiauto open bolt guns are by and large regarded as “machineguns”, with a few grandfathered in before ATF decided open bolt was inherently too easy to convert to full auto in the 1980’s).

          • claymore

            And if you have the bolt and other parts like I said it CAN be a violation.

          • *IF* it goes full auto with those parts installed.

            Which pretty much requires you use ALL the full auto parts except the autosear.

            Now, there is absolutely NO reason to use full auto trigger groups in a semiauto AR15, but there is a very good reason to use a full-weight bolt carrier – reliability.

            BTW, the “chopped” bolt carriers are another brainchild of Colt, intended SOLELY to eliminate the use of a registered DIAS, instead of buying your selective fire rifle (pre-May 1986) from Colt at a markup. They were neither requested nor required by ATF.

          • claymore

            Ah no they were made by Colt to prevent their rifles from blowing up when improperly modified parts were installed.

        • Gordon J Davis Jr

          The LRG is also milled different in a F/A LRG versus a S/A LRG.

        • Giolli Joker

          Never said it’s wrong, just that in the world we live in it’s better to highlight the differences…

    • Sickshooter0

      That’s my concern also but I have to agree that we have to try and restore our rights!

  • blanddragon

    Not that I’m against this in any way, but I wonder what will happen when some nut job uses one in a school shooting or mall attack. Public ‘outrage’ would be huge. The mainstream press has not been a friend to gun owners. And it will happen.

    • Zachary marrs

      All this does is allow for new production for machine guns.

      The only two murders that had a legally owned machine gun involved, were committed by cops

      • KestrelBike

        I thought there were just 2 crimes: one involved murder, the other involved the guy neglecting to do the change of address notification when he moved across state lines?

        • Zachary marrs

          I have never heard about the notification one. I remember the news stories, but i can’t seem to find them, other than some Internet forum banter

      • One murder involved a cop who used his personal (Form 4) MAC10 or MAC11 to murder a drug dealer informant he was trying to rob.

        The only other case I am aware of involved a neurologist, and there is some question as to whether that gun (again, IIRC, another MAC SMG) was ever legally possessed by the shooter.

        Remember, before May 1986, a MAC style SMG often cost *less* than the $200 tax stamp, so they were THE entry level NFA gun.

    • mosinman

      this is a really simple way to look at it but i would go out on a limb and say semi auto firearms are more “dangerous”

      you are correct that MSM is never a friend to the 2nd amendment

    • Eric S

      They were available to purchase for several decades and the instance of them being used in a spree shooting were minimal. That and unless you have training or something belt fed, any nut is gonna dump his mag with minimal damage.

      And point of contention, the media isn’t anti-gun, they’re pro fear. And ‘some nut with a full auto 50mm assault tank is gonna kill your kids’ gets ratings.

      • CrankyFool

        Not rally a fair comparison, Eric. At the time they were available for sale, spree killings were very rare (or maybe even non-existent); given the vanishingly small number of spree killings at the time that were done with semi-auto weapons, it makes sense basically none were done with automatic weapons.

        Like it or not, spree killings are here to stay (until we do some things that are probably subject to our ‘no politics’ rule here), and there’s no reason to assume that if FA weapons are more accessible, they won’t be used in them.

        (To be clear, my argument here is not that we should keep the ban because they’ll be used in spree killings — I’m against the ban — my argument here is simply that the fact they weren’t used for spree killings many decades ago is not a good predictor of whether they’d be used in one now).

        • mosinman

          http://madworldnews.com/nearly-every-mass-shooting-one-thing-common-isnt-weapons/

          this obviously isn’t the sole reason for mass shootings but it’s kinda odd how all of the people in the article were taking psychotropic drugs of some kind or another.

          • gb7

            most of these drugs list suicide as a side effect. suicide isn’t far from homicide.

          • mosinman

            you’ve got a point, especially if there’s a negative interaction to start it all off

        • BryanS

          Any person who is hell bent on committing multiple felonies (murder, gun in school grounds for other than lawful purpose, assault, etc) isnt going to to let some thing like an NFA stop them from using whatever resources they have to make whatever they want.

          • Phil Hsueh

            While that’s true one could argue that the lack of availability of FA weapons makes it difficult for some random nut job to go on a rampage with one. Not saying that’s a reason for upholding the current ban/restrictions but just that the current restrictions do it make it difficult to get your hands on FA weapons. Regardless, if someone is hell bent on going on a killing rampage they’re going to do it no matter what and they’ll use whatever they can get their hands on, if not a FA gun, then a semi, if not a semi, then a bolt action, if not that then a muzzle loader, and all the way down to kitchen knives, axes, or even their cars.

          • Yellow Devil

            Like I say, being shot to death “multiple times” is no better being stabbed or beaten to death a “multiple times”

      • john huscio

        “50mm assault tank”….hmm…….sounds like something a lot of cops ride around in to serve warrants these days…..

    • Buddy_Bizarre

      Disagree. Most people not well versed in firearms already assume that ‘assault weapons’ are full auto machine guns. Doubt it would make much difference.

  • BattleshipGrey

    This seems like it should be a slam dunk case to me (since the laws were BS to begin with), but on a percentage scale, how much of a chance does everyone here think it has of being successful?

    • wrobinson

      It has a very good chance of successfully being used by the courts to create bad case law that further erodes our gun rights. The only actual legal analysis I’ve seen on this said it was amateurish. That doesn’t give me warm and fuzzies. The only people who think this lawsuit has merit are either not lawyers, or are involved in the case. Heller cost millions of dollars, but an insurance attorney thinks he can make post-86 machine guns legal for $50,000? I fear this is a massive publicity stunt, or just a way to put money in his own pocket. But worse, I think it’s an anti-gun judge’s wet dream.

      • BryanS

        Not only that, he is throwing a bunch of things at the wall and trying to make them stick. Heller, McDonald… they were very precise, accurate, and funded into the millions to earn back rights that were stripped from the nation.

  • Gaston_kalash

    It’s about time someone steps up. It’s ok for Colorado and Washington to legalize drugs that are illegal on a federal level but it’s not ok to own a post 86 machine gun in your state where it is legal (via state law)?

    • Michael R. Zupcak

      Let’s not throw marijuana under the bus.

      • Zebra Dun

        Marijuana deserves to be under a bus.

        • Michael R. Zupcak

          If by “under” you mean “in” and by “a bus” you mean “every major grocery store” then you are correct.

        • John

          He was invited by the “cool kids” to hang out at some kids house whose liberal parents had left for the weekend.

          My brother, always a moral and thoughtful individual, wanted to attend
          because it was one of those massive house parties that he’d never been
          to.

          Well, as was later recalled by some of his friends at the
          party, he was pressured into smoking marijuana. He ended up smoking the
          entire pack of marijuana cigarettes.

          Not long after he went
          into convulsions and started foaming at the mouth. The people at the
          party held back calling 9/11 for almost 10 minutes.

          When the paramedics finally arrived they could do nothing to save him.

          The autopsy revealed he had 3 times the lethal dosage of THC in his blood.

          But I’m sure everyone here will deny my story and the fact that my brother died after smoking that illegal narcotic.

          • http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/library/mj_overdose.htm

            Lethal dose of THC.. that’s cute…

          • Cymond

            Yeah, John’s story is obviously false.

            However, there have been cases in Colorado of accidental THC overdoses due to poor labeling of some of the THC infused candy. As far as I found, there have been some fatalities resulting from people doing stupid things while hallucinating, but none directly from the overdose itself. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/05/08/marijuana-pot-edibles-thc-legalized-recreational/8463787/

            Also, I found this, but have no idea if it’s true or if that’s a reputable news source: http://nationalreport.net/marijuana-kills-fatal-strain-of-cannabis-claims-first-victim-in-california-town/

          • Nicks87

            I find it really hard to understand how someone could be pro-gun but anti-marijuana. If you feel that most people are responsible enough to own, carry and handle firearms, then why cant those same people use marijuana responsibly? Guns have been used to kill way more people then weed has, thats a fact. Same goes for alcohol but thats legal as well. Or is it that marijuana is a liberal/democrat thing and guns are a conservative/republican thing? You are only allowed to pick one side, right?

          • noguncontrol

            if they can use pot responsibly, what next, can they use meth responsibly too or heroin? that line will get all mind altering drugs legalized if people fall for it. All mind altering drugs should be illegal. And why the hell would you want to side with the gun grabbing liberals and democrats?

          • sean

            you sound like a anti-gunner talking about guns

          • GunTotingLib

            If your position is that the government should not decide what type of guns we can own, they why should it decide what type of recreational drugs we use. The government Limiting you to beer is no different than limiting you to a single shot .22.

          • Bob

            I also have a hard time figuring out how someone can be pro 2nd amendment and anti-gay marriage. I don’t want to marry a dude, but that doesn’t give the government the right to tell me I can’t.

          • Cymond

            Was this comment really meant for me? What makes you assume I’m anti-marijuana? Just because I reported that NO deaths have been directly caused by THC, but that high doses of THC can cause people to do stupid stuff?
            Frankly, I’m pot-neutral, I really don’t know much about the drug one way or the other.
            But also FWIW, cases like that in CO make me think that if THC is legalized, then every product should come with very clear labeling and dosage information. Free markets and personal responsibility are nice concepts, but they are dependent on the availability of relevant, accurate information. I really don’t think it’s excessive to force manufacturers to include some info on the package so that users can make an informed decision.

          • National Report Net is a *satire* site, along the lines of The Onion or Duffleblog.

          • MR

            Never hear of a “dipped joint”?

          • Cymond

            Nope, sorry. I’m not a part of that subculture.

          • Liberty_First

            National Report is a fake news site.

          • Sickshooter0

            …not to mention there is no component of marijuana which is a narcotic; it is classified as a hallucinogen but the Feds needed a way to place it on the Controlled Substances Act (and previously the Uniform State Narcotic Drug Act-1937), so they made it a Schedule 1 narcotic with heroin and LSD.

          • SP mclaughlin

            “Remember Kids, smoking marijuana is like playing Russian Roulette with all six chambers fully loaded. Did you know 80% of people who try marijuana die on the first try?”

          • Vhyrus

            1. Weed is a cannabinoid, not a narcotic.
            2. There is no such thing as a “pack” of marijuana cigarettes.
            3. It is impossible to ingest a lethal amount of THC via smoking, so either your story is a fabrication or your brother smoked something a lot harder than weed.
            4. Assuming your story is true (which it is not), no one held your brother down and forced him to smoke anything. He made a choice. It’s no different than blaming a gun for causing someone to commit suicide.
            5. Assuming your story is true (which it is not), if weed had been legal, the people at the party would not have hesitated to call 911 since there would be no fear of criminal action against them, possibly saving your brother’s life.
            6. None of this has one damn thing to do with machine guns. STFU.

          • dman from the M

            whats a pack of mj cigs? i dont believe your story btw.

          • Morgan Collins

            As if “marijuana cigarettes” didn’t give it away.

          • Yazz D. Atlas

            Oldest version of this I have found is from 11/27/2007

            http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message467900/pg1

            Funny how many post one can find on google if you search for “The autopsy revealed he had 3 times the lethal dosage of THC in his blood” http://goo.gl/TcPP0y

          • Michael R. Zupcak

            It’s virtually impossible to smoke enough marijuana to overdose on THC. Also, “marijuana cigarettes” don’t come in a pack (maybe in Amsterdam but not here). I don’t know what moron did the autopsy but there was something else in his body that caused him to go into convulsions. If this were any other drug (including alcohol, I might add) I wouldn’t doubt you. If the story is true, I’m sorry you lost your brother, but it wasn’t THC or any other element present in marijuana that killed him.

          • Grover

            I cannot believe you guys think that story was anything other than a joke.

            Seriously. Wow.

          • SlippedThroughTheCracks

            On any List of Things That Are Retarded, that story is right near the top.

          • Patrick R

            Oh man, this post about a pack of marijuana cigarettes made me laugh pretty hard.

          • Oh, where is my link to Reefer Madness. . . ? Oh, HERE it is. . .

            http://youtu.be/S_jGAC77Tpg

            About as truthful and informative as most of teh comments about the “horrors” of marijuana. (For the record, I think if you smoke weed, you’re a bloody idiot. But the damage it does to you – and such damage IS well documented – is personal, and the damage to society is generally limited to some shoplifted Funions. . . Most people who are all smoked up are too baked to even motivate themsleves enough to leave the house to go do THAT. . . 😉 )

        • Jeffersonian

          Riiiight, because that toddler *deserved* to get flash-banged in the face.

        • noguncontrol

          agreed 100%, pot damages your brain even with casual use, it is almost as bad as hallucinogenic mushrooms, guns are ok, pot is not, pot is a mind altering drug, it ought to be outlawed. gun dont change your brain, and guns are great for self defense and civil defense, pot is just to get people high. if those damn demoncrats support it, you know it is evil and wrong.

          • Nicks87

            Could you please link some studies that prove your claims? Evil and wrong because the democrats support it? Yeah ok, whatever.

      • Gaston_kalash

        Organized crime from drugs/illegal liquor is what pretty much started the NFA in the first place but there going to look the other way when they want to legalize dope.

        • raz-0

          I thought it was busybodies trying to enforce their morals on the public via the government that created organized crime. You are saying that without the government creating a black market, people would choose shooting at each other over simply opening a store?

          • For a minute, I thought you were describing busybodies trying to enforce their morals on the public via the government with their war on abortion.

          • raz-0

            No I was describing the temperance movement. Overall, I say look at a policy, and if it regulates something that doesn’t directly affect a third party while ignoring the general goodness of leaving other people alone, it is regulation that probably shouldn’t exist.

          • noguncontrol

            you two sound like democrats, supporting abortion, pot and all that talk of enforcing morals on the public, as if liberals and libertarians aren’t trying to do the same by their very support for pot and abortion and homos and all that liberal crap.

          • Paranoid Android

            No need to bring bigotry to the conversation. How can you call yourself an American when your spouting off such oppressive and hateful crap? Our defining characteristic as a county was once acceptance of other people’s cultures, being the melting pot and all.

            It’s myopic crap like that that’s screwing up this country. Yes, some people who read this blog are democrats, accept them as allies in this cause instead of ostracizing them. You dick.

          • HSR47

            Abortion and drugs are very different in that regard:

            In the case of drugs, those seeking to ban them are basically making the argument that people are too stupid to make responsible choices if left to their own devices.

            In the case of abortion, the argument is that abortion is murder.

            In other words, one is the argument that you’re too stupid to make your own choices, and the other is the argument that the action in question is /already/ a malum in se crime.

          • Pseudo

            If people are too stupid to make responsible choices when it comes to drug use, who would trust them with guns? Still seems hard to be pro-gun and anti-choice on drugs. Abortion is murder in the same way that miscarriages are involuntary manslaughter. That is to say not at all. And remember, next time you jizz all over your keyboard: Every sperm is sacred!

        • Michael R. Zupcak

          Good god, how old are you? You refer to marijuana as “dope”?

          They should change the phrase “no hope with dope” to “no hope for Gaston_kalash”

          • migflyboy

            Zupcak, (what the fuck kind of name is that?), how young are you son? Young enough to be arrogant, that’s for sure. Your elders referred to marijuana as “dope” and “pot” long before you were a twinkle in your father’s eye or the remains of a wad of DNA dripping down your mama’s thigh.

          • Michael R. Zupcak

            “Pot” is fine, “Dope” means you’re either 1: old, 2: in some kind of law enforcement role or 3: someone from the hills (and I don’t mean Beverly Hills, although those people are awful) who gets drunk on moonshine and beats his wife but still thinks a quarter ounce of weed should land someone in prison. You probably want to go with “old” or “LE” on that one 😉

    • Michael Pham

      I’m all for expanding all sorts of freedoms as long as they don’t impair the freedoms of other people; the don’t rock the boat rationale for what should be allowed or not.

      But I think that when most people have something against marijuana its… lets face it pot advocates, its your image.

      When I think about alcohol (which I fully know kills far more people than marijuana) and people who enjoy a lick of gin or whiskey, I count a significant number of them amongst my most esteemed friends and colleagues who’d I trust with my life and property and value the sobriety of their judgment.

      No pun intended. But when I think about everyone I ever knew who smoked pot…

      That’s a problem you pot activists have got to fix. I don’t hate a plant; and if a 75 year old woman with terminal cancer wants the pain to go away in her last days its sure as hell better than morphine.

      But stoners? I know there’s theoretically some out there who are responsible individuals, and I know for damn sure there’s a lot of wife beating alcoholic assholes out there, but its hard to sympathize when the stereotype is literally all I know.

      And you can cite celebrities or whatever, but all I know the people I meet. I don’t prejudge someone if they smoke pot, but they tend to let me know that they do in the worse way possible.

      • Nicks87

        Way more people fuck their lives up, and the lives of others, with alcohol then with marijuana use. How many people are in rehab becasue of weed? How many people get arrested for assault or domestic violence because of weed? How many people die in car accidents because of weed? The statistics dont lie regardless of the stereotype. I dont like the fact that many firearms enthusiasts are ignorant, rude, racists, red-neck, hillbilly, type-A personality, douche bags but I will defend the 2nd amendment and their right to keep and bear arms until the day I die.

        • noguncontrol

          there is a reason alcohol is illegal for minors. both alcohol and pot messes up people, just because you think booze is worse than pot doesn’t mean it is ok to legalize pot. owning guns is a God-given right. smoking pot isn’t. pot ought to be outlawed.

          • Paranoid Android

            One could argue smoking is a god given right while owning a gun isn’t. If you believe in the whole creationist thing god made pot but man made guns.

            And have you done literally any reading on the difference between marijuana and alcohol on the body? Marijuana was only made illegal because of racism and cronyism. It has a negligible risk of long term negative effect on the body even with heavy use. Do some research.

          • Aaron E

            Interesting comments, but I’ve seen way too many heavy marijuana users that, for lack of a better term, have “fried” brains. Seriously cannot form an intelligent sentence or thought on an important topic. Maybe that is because their pot use effected their schooling, but the heavy users are pathetic.

            Recreational pot users are a whole different group, that can function productively in society – like responsible, recreational users of alcohol.

            I agree that the government went WAY overboard with restrictions on marijuana, but I do agree that similar restrictions on marijuana like alcohol are important. For instance, no marijuana use by minors, keeping DUI/DWI laws for driving under the influence of marijuana, etc. I also would support laws against smoking marijuana in public areas like restaurants, theaters, etc., much like prohibitions on cigarette smoking.

          • Nicks87

            I totally agree, same rules as alcohol and tax the shit out of it.

          • Paranoid Android

            You have made many a logical statement. I’m super in support of legal marijuana, but like any drug it can be abused and should not be used by minors.

            Entirely agree with everything you said.

          • Nicks87

            Wow, I dont even know how to respond to that…

          • Pseudo

            You’re arguing with someone who has appealed to a concept beyond rational inquiry. You should just stop because you certainly won’t get anywhere productive.

      • Michael R. Zupcak

        The reality is that so many people who smoke marijuana keep it on the DL because of the stereotypes you just mentioned. I can’t stand the “head shop” stereotypes either but then again, I can’t stand the midwestern gun-toting white male christian stereotypes either. I expected to hear from a LOT more of those people when I defended marijuana in my comment above. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the majority of people agree with freedom across the board, not just with regard to owning or carrying firearms.

    • MR

      Was gonna say “Way to stay on topic, guys.” but ya know, the feds do seem to leave the dopers alone, for the most part.

  • Geoffry K

    IMO, it is not the NFA that is the problem, it the Hughes Amendment to the FOPA of 1986. A Republican House and Senate needs to repeal it with a Veto-proof majority and then we can all have brand spanking new select fire rifles or machine guns. Or we wait until the Republicans control the White House AND Congress, hopefully in 2016. I personally do not have a problem with the $200 for NFA items. Or the FBI background check, already had 3 of them in 2 years. For my CWP, my FFL03 and my Form 1 for a silencer.

    • Nick H.

      You should have a problem with a $200 poll tax to own an item that is covered under the 2nd amendment. You should not need a license or have to pay a tax to exercise your freedom.

      • mosinman

        right on! i’d be happy if this case goes through and wins though, because then we could take the next step.

      • jamezb

        and was there a sales tax on top of that? excise tax? luxury tax?

    • BryanS

      You apply the silly idea that the political party of your choosing is full on board with this, or firearms in general (in private hands)

    • Martin M

      Not only should you have a problem with the $200 ‘special tax’, but the FBI check as well. With executive agencies constantly overstepping their constitutional authority I have a problem with any agency collecting information and exercising a power to deny approval. The problem is compounded when the process is spread across multiple agencies.

  • James

    I bet they’ll eventually allow new machine guns but with an inflation adjusted tax of only $200,000…

    • Menger40

      Seems about right.

    • CrankyFool

      I was curious about that so I checked out http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/

      According to it, $200 in 1934 is about $3552 in current dollars.

  • An Interested Person

    I was initially worried this legal proceeding would not hit the points that needed to be hit, and fail because of it.

    Suffice to say, I am no longer worried. That legal team has their act together.

  • echelon

    Everyone should get behind this. Challenge them and don’t back down, ever. Full court press.

    Just don’t be surprised when they pull out all the unconstitutional stops to prevent it…

    • BryanS

      Or when a poor plan or argument blows it out and ads negative case history.

      Should this fight be fought? Yes. Over a paperwork error that can and will be thrown out? NO.

      • echelon

        If you read even the “cliff’s notes” version that TFB is offering I think you can see that this isn’t just using the paperwork error as its only legitimate complaint. It’s being presented in such a way as to show that the NFA is unconstitutional and muddy and the ATF doesn’t even know how to properly handle it.

        From what I’m reading it’s pretty solid.

        Just the interstate commerce part of it alone has already been found to have merit. I believe both Montana and Wyoming both passed laws that stated that if all of the source materials were from their respective states and the entire firearm was made in their state and only sold to residents of that state then all of the interstate commerce laws would be null and void. To my knowledge nobody in either state ever stepped up and put their money where their mouth is and actually challenged this.

        So once again, we have the government we deserve.

        • BryanS

          Ive read a lot about the case from a few sources. Some of them lawyers who would love to see him win, but see that this mainly has the chance to set things back further for the NFA and for trusts.

          As for the firearms freedom acts, the reason no one has “stepped up” is because those laws a great PR for incumbents, but the ATF has already said they will go after the people in violation. Are you willing to have your life, family, and investment in a business shut down and ruined because no local cop in their right mind will stop and toss a federal agent in jail who is going after people violating existing federal law?

          Willing to bet all the pundits will toss their millions into your defense?

          Willing to think that some half-hearted crowdfunding will save the day?

          • echelon

            And what you have stated is the reason we have the government that we do. The tactics you stated are no different than a mob boss threatening to break your legs or come after your family if you don’t do as you’re told.

            And we sanction this? We call this legitimate government?

            Well, I’ll tell you this. The only way you can push back against this or anything else is by resistance. To resist that means things are going to get uncomfortable. If slavery with velvet chains is preferable to true freedom, then I guess we as a nation have made our choice haven’t we?

          • BryanS

            I stated reality. Not internet fantasy land… the current state of our affairs. Which is not going to be made better by some guy tossing arguments at a judge to see what sticks. the right to carry a firearm has been brought back into being one small win at a time. Well planned, thought out and argued wins.

          • echelon

            I also stated reality.

            You assume that this “one small win at a time” tactic is somehow superior to any other tactic.

            When some politician or judge can nullify pretty much anything with the stroke of a pen or the bang of a gavel then we have a much higher philosophical problem here.

            On the internet I find it best to get people to understand that “ideas have consequences”. When people internalize things it oftentimes evokes a response or an action. I’m not necessarily proffering one option over another. I’m simply stating that if one looks back to how we got to where we are today we can clearly see that by certain actions and inactions we have gotten what we deserve. Night inexorably follows day.

            Just because someone fights and loses a case does not mean that the case should not be fought. Just because our current justice system uses ridiculous things such as “precedent” to ultimately decide a case does not mean that it won’t be useful down the line to help our posterity. I personally would rather have them say of me that he fought and lost rather than he never fought at all…

          • BryanS

            When someone goes into a fight unprepared ( what lawyer submits the complaint with typos?) Dont people usually say that it wont go well?

            Especially when we all have a lot to lose?

            While our current system uses stupid things like precedent, it is the reality. When you become emperor of the world, change it. Until then, work in the system we have to change it in the method that proves most effective.

          • echelon

            You’ve missed my point. I’m not talking about this particular fight per se at this point. Whether the lawyer is unprepared or not I know not. I don’t think some typos in a brief will ultimately decide whether the case has merit or not. My initial point was that based on what I’ve read it seems like they are at least attacking it from multiple angles. It really doesn’t matter anyway. What’s the logical outcome if we think about it further? The case could lose outright. OK. Or the case could win, and then they appeal, rinse repeat until it gets to the Supreme Court…and then they can decide to do absolutely nothing with it. Ever. And the end result is still Tyranny.

            What do we have to lose? Pray tell! If you still believe that we have “freedom” then you shouldn’t be lecturing me on “reality”. 🙂

            You’d be remiss if you thought I wanted to become the emperor of the world. The problem with the world is that everyone wants an emperor to begin with. I want everyone to leave me alone and not use force and coercion to get their way. Whenever any other person in society uses force and coercion we call it a crime at worst and a vice at best. When the “government” does it we somehow just shrug our shoulders and go, “whelp, that’s reality. We just have to work with what we have.”

            The people of the middle ages must’ve thought the same thing as you. Who could argue with the “Divine Right of Kings” right? So surely there was no way to topple the monarchy…the best course of action was to obviously work within the system they had and petition their lords and nobles for mercy and beg their king to deign and show them his favor.

            I think it’s funny how if someone writes something on a piece of paper or says that it is so, that somehow constitutes reality. The real reality is that people only think it’s reality or “law” because at the end of the day if you don’t comply the guys with the guns come and either kill you and your family or they steal your fortune and time. How is that different than what bandits and highway robbers do? So that’s my question back to you. Is that legitimate? Is that the system you want to try to work within to change? How do you plan to do that? Just win the favor of the 51% so that your “side” can control the guys with the guns? That’s the system we have now. Government is a hammer. The left hand wants to wield that hammer to do the will of the left. The right hand wants to wield the hammer to do the will of the right. I’m trying to work towards a world where there is no hammer! I don’t want a Tyranny of One or a Tyranny of 51%!

            You may think it’s “internet fantasy land” but there are many people out there doing proactive things to make that world a reality. In spite of everyone else who is still caught up in the current “divine right of the left/right” paradigm that’s been foisted upon us.

      • It’s not over a “paperwork error”, ultimately. It’s over the ATF playing fast and loose with the definition of a “person”.

        ATF decided they weren’t going to recognize a trust as a “person” (unlike corporations, etc.), because the relevant definition of “person” listed a whole bunch of entities that aren’t human beings as being “persons” for the purposes of the law. This would require EVERY trustee in an NFA trust to submit photos, CLEO signatures, and fingerprints for EVERY transfer to the trust. They proposed a rule to prohibit any *new* NFA transfers, but would allow old trust registrations to be “grandfathered”.

        So far, so good — this is actually legally defensible, despite the fact that ATF has recognized trusts as “persons” for the purposes of the NFA for decades. (Basic legal rule of interpretation — if you itemize a bunch of special cases under the law and DO NOT include weasel words that indicate it isn’t an exclusive list, then those special cases AND ONLY those special cases are considered to be what the law is talking about. The assumption is, if Congress wanted to include more groups than they listed, they would have either listed them, or at least said something along the lines of, “for the purposes of this section ‘persons’ *includes, but is not limited to*, corporations, …”)

        However, a fairly bright NFA trust lawyer noted that the very same definition of “person” that is relevant to trusts is the same definition that would apply to 922(o) (the Hughes Machinegun Freeze) — which only prohibits “persons” from possessing post-May 1986 machineguns. And since the ATF has not *yet* enacted their proposed rule to eliminate *new* NFA trust transfers. . .

        If a trust is not a “person” for the purposes of trust transfers, it isn’t a “person” for the purposes of 922(o). If trusts are *not* “persons” for the purposes of 922(o), then they aren’t prohibited from acquiring and possessing post-May 1986 machineguns.

        Therefore, either trusts are “persons” and can transfer and possess machineguns in their own right (meaning the trustees do not ALL have to provide fingerprints, CLEO signoff, and photographs for *every* transfer), or trustees are not “persons” under the GCA (which the NFA is currently part of), and are *not* prohibited from acquisition and possession of new machineguns.

  • lbeacham

    I’d go for suppressor regulation roll-back first. An easy sell. I’m nervous about associating the AR-15 with full auto M-16. They look the same but their intended use is different. There should be a better way to both make automatic firearms less prohibited but still with regulated use at a higher bar of availability and use than semi autos. I fear one bad apple with an automatic will rot the 2nd Amendment we cultivate.

    • Yellow Devil

      So? I can make the (poor) argument that the intended use for a suppressor is not the same as an unsurpressed firearm, and with notoriety use as well. Don’t be surprised if the general public only view suppressors as something to be used by the Mob or Assassins. But we shouldn’t let that make 2A look bad either.

  • skusmc

    Ostensibly, the NFA is tax code, not really commerce regulation. Why, dear God why, are they not including in their challenge the assertion that taxing a product, and then refusing to collect said tax is an improper use of the power of taxation? That seems like a perfectly legitimate argument.

    • Paul Epstein

      For a while, that was actually the mechanism by which marijuana was prohibited. A tax needed to be paid in order to grow it, and they refused to accept payment of the tax. This was later replaced by the scheduling system which we currently have.

      • Xanderbach

        If you read the legal statement, it does state that the tax is a form of “poll tax” and refusing to accept it is unconstitutional (as well as charging it). So that is in there!

        • skusmc

          I read over it and you’re right, they do touch on it, specifically in section 35 of the complaint they mention Rock Island, which is awesome and what they should do;

          ” In USA v. Rock Island Armory, Inc., 773 F.Supp. 117, 119 (C.D.Ill.1991), the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois held that “As applied to machineguns made and possessed after May 19, 1986, the registration and other requirements of the National Firearms Act, Chapter 53 of the Internal Revenue Code, no longer serve any revenue purpose, and are impliedly repealed or are unconstitutional.”

          But other than that they keep on focusing on commerce. The NFA didn’t have anything to do with the Commerce Clause. In 1934 the Commerce Clause didn’t have the all encompassing power it has now, which is why prohibition had to be accomplished via an Amendment, and the NFA via a tax. Wickard vs. Filburn wasn’t even until the 40’s.

          So, I don’t get why they’re attacking it on inter/intra state commerce grounds. No one has ever challenged post Hughes all the way to the Supreme Court on if the fed.gov can enact a de facto ban by taxing a product and then refusing to collect said tax, so I’m pretty excited about this. If they hammer on that point, I mean it would take some serious legalese twisting to form a counter argument.

          And for the record I’m not bashing Hollis or his lawyers. I’m just an armchair observer here who’s super excited for them and I hope they pull it off.

  • Grey

    This whole business of tax stamps and registry has to go. “Shall not be infringed” means that any controls the government pursues should be done by due process on an individual basis, at the government’s cost, without any encumbrance on the individual. It means that short of being prohibited for some specific reason having been determined and confirmed through due legal process, the rights of the individual shall not be lessened in any way. No artificial inflation of costs through taxation. Minimal forms. No broad bans. No controls on ammunition sales.

  • jamezb

    Good grief Carl Gustovs sold NEW for $85?!?!?!

    Please….Hold me…

  • Renegade

    U.S. M-3 Submachine Gun
    “…made by Guide Lamp Division of General Motors, the Ford of the Machine gun field!”

  • Zebra Dun

    Politics is everywhere, the last episode of the Talking dead had a guest spouting politics, on a show about zombies for crixus sake.
    I was disgusted had I wanted politics I’d have turned to the news what I was seeking was a non politics entertainment.
    Here we have gun control, simple as that.

  • jamezb

    It’s no fun being demonized. When I was a child, shooting and hunting were considered wholesome, character-building activities. I’ve winced at every slanderous insinuation, every disregarding of fact and statistic, every dredging of the baser fears of the mis-informed to attempt painting us in a bad light. We were the original conservationist. We were the teachers of firearms safety and restraint, We were the sportsmen, our hobby was the pursuit of skill and precision. The bottom line was, we were the “good kids”, the mentally stable, the respecters of law and morals, the ones who deserved to be trusted with a powerful device for recreational purposes. We earned that trust by demonstrating to our elders that we could abide by the rules and practice the lessons of firearms safety’

    When firearms are misused, it is by those who are our direct opposites.
    The untrustworthy. The mentally unstable, Those with no respect for law, life, or morals.
    A tiny percent of the whole population, NOT deserving to be members of our community. The instances in which they have managed to infiltrate our ranks, it has been through deceit.,
    Yet the media and the mis-informed, seem either to have lost the ability to visualize the obvious distinction between criminals and law-abiding citizens, or have discarded the entire idea of personal responsibility or the lack thereof, in exchange for the bizarre notion that responsibility lies within objects, rather that with those who use or abuse them.

    Perhaps they find this easier to wrap their minds around, because in many cases these are the same people who threw away the notion of morality, or the lack thereof, at the same time they discarded religion, not realizing the mutually exclusive nature of the separate concepts. Thus, we find an entire generation who has this misplaced fear of certain “scary” objects, while at the same time they embrace other objects themselves, vehicles for instance, which have every bit as much potential for deadly consequences when in the hands of those same mentally unstable, morally vacant, and legally irresponsible persons who abuse firearms in a reprehensible manner.

    The obvious now having been stated, we have been very fortunate as of late, in that we have had so many successes in the right-to-carry field. Those who responsibly carry today are our ambassadors of change. As time passes and these people are proven to be moral, law abiding protectors, rather than the gunslinging outlaws the media promised they would be, attitudes will begin to be re-examined. We have already seen this to be the case.

    It is entirely within the realm of possibility that within the next few years we will see supressors removed from the NFA. I would think another way to promote that particular goal would be to push hard for a NFA exemption for them (supressors) to be utilized as much as possible in rimfire competition, particularly at a youth level. “Protecting the hearing of our children”. has a lovely ring to it, one very hard to twist into something disagreeable.

    I truly hope that this case is able to at least open a discussion about the needless restrictions, both practical and especially financial, that the NFA places upon law abiding shooters. The class III community has been the most law abiding, the most self-restrained, and the most upstanding of our entire shooting populace. We should encourage the government to ease the NFA restrictions, because the more people who can join into that segment of the shooting populace, the more people who can enjoy the benefits of these shooters and collectors teachings of safety and responsibility. If you associate yourself with fine people, you find yourself trying to emulate their ideals. What better outcome could a society reasonably ask for?

    • noguncontrol

      sorry, you cant separate religion from morality or even religion from culture, religion has always shaped morality and culture, and now the lack of belief in God itself is shaping the culture, and that is why people are becoming immoral and irresponsible. now. when you remove God from society, your remove morality and personal responsibility too. that is why there are more school shootings now, not because of guns, but because they have removed God from schools and from the hearts and minds of children.

      • Paranoid Android

        As an atheist I take offense to that. Morality has nothing to do with religion, until recently (past few hundred years maybe, I’m no theologian) the doctrine given by most religions has been super immoral. Take your gay bashing above. Is that moral? No. No it isn’t.

        To say that there are more school shootings because God isn’t in school is just silly. I bet you think evolution shouldn’t be taught in schools.

  • J.T.

    How about instead of going against the ban on newly made MGs like this, they just go after the fact that the Hughes Amendment never passed and was illegally put into the final bill? It would be a hell of a lot simpler and easy to prove since there is video of it not getting enough votes to pass.

    • Miles

      That was actually done and the court stated when the case was dismissed, that how congress did their internal business was none of the court’s business due to separation of powers.
      Hughes was passed on a ‘voice vote’ that many say (me included) was a fraud, but the house rules state that a bill, or amendment, can be passed on a voice vote as the speaker at the time deems it passed.

  • big daddy

    Machine guns for everybody!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Now that scares me. I’m not afraid of them shooting at me, they won’t him me. I fear for the other people they will hit. You need at least 1K rounds through any auto weapon to be able to hit anything.
    Seriously no reason to limit machine guns to the people legally able to buy them like myself.
    I have a feeling some anti-gun people will say what’s next anti-tank weapons and I say why not? I’d love to have a LAW or better yet a 40mm grenade launcher. But you have to store them correctly, if you can afford to build a special storage box you can afford to buy them. Same for any destructive device. Would any country or government even think once about attacking the population of the USA knowing private people own artty…….scares the government too and that’s good.

    • BryanS

      Have you shot many machine guns? Doesn’t sound like it. Depending on the platform, and your build, they can be effective to shoot. Are we talking cloverleaf hole from a lead sled? No. But still on man sized target.

      • Torn

        Shot Thompson A1 .45 several times, easy to control with limited bursts on the trigger, much easier than an M2 Carbine

      • big daddy

        Not many just the M60, M2HB, M16A1 on FA. And I carried a M3 grease gun as a M577 driver while in the CAV.

    • Um, you CAN legally have a LAW or a 40mm grenade launcher as a private citizen in teh United States. Or a 155mm howitzer. In fact, buying those weapons is (in many ways) *easier* than getting a machinegun, becuase you can have one made, *legally*.

      Nor is there any special “storage requirement” in federal law, other than explosive warheads can run into magazine requirements (as would large stores of black powder). You just can’t leave them unattended and unsecured around people not registered as the legal owners.

      Machineguns have *always* been 100% legal in the United States (under federal law), but you cannot (as a private citizen) have one made after May 1986. Which has driven the prices of machineguns through the roof (generally, price inflation by factors of 20 or so). Prir to that, THEY were easier to come by (and far more common) than most Destructive Devices, and no serious problems occurred with *legally* acquired machineguns, even during the “Roaring Twenties” before there was ANY federal law regarding machineguns. (The overwhelming majority of the machineguns used by criminals were stolen from the police and National Guard. Best estimates for the numbers of Thimpsons owned by the *entire Mob* in the 1920’s is around *50* — most “gangland slayings” involved sawed off double barrelled shotguns and small caliber pocket pistols.)

      Your fears of things you don’t understand don’t and do not actually understand the consequences of do not make for good arguments to restrict them. Not a slam; an observation.

      • big daddy

        Actually just because you can doesn’t make it right. Proper storing of any explosive as far as I was taught was necessary so I guess the US Army was wrong? Also by storing them correctly I mean not in you bedroom closet. Too many thieves these days. Someone finds out you have a M79 or M203 in your bedroom it won’t be there for long. For that matter any FA, someone finds out it and it will be gone. The expense of owning these devices, especially something like a 40mm HE round, you need a stamp for each round as far as I know. Common sense…..we actually do not know how many times FA weapons where used those days, they did not keep accurate records at all. In the 1920s Thompsons could be bought legally very easily, the BAR was stolen from the NG by Clyde Barrow mostly. By box what do you think I meant? Like a foot locker, as far as I know people that own these items have vaults. Some people are just too literal. What do you mean fears……LOL……what do you mean restrictions….read my post again. I said machine guns for all as a joke but I also said for those who can legally own them, without a stamp and all the BS. You make me sound anti-gun, I am not and I live in Texas. It takes at least 1K rounds to lean how to hit anything with FA especially an M2HB.

        • I guess you’re a fan of “skim until offended”, and missed the second paragraph in its entirety. (Which merely reinforces my last paragraph.)

          As for your rant about not knowing how many full auto weapons were used in the 1920’s because nobody bothered to keep accurate records in those days. . .

          Newsflash – we aren’t talking about ancient Babylonian clay tablets, here. We *do* have records of the crimes, and criminologists can make very accurate estimates, just as they can about crimes today. These weren’t, after all, “hush hush” events that no one talked about – they were widely publicized in papers, leading to direct references to the police files for professional researchers.

          • big daddy

            Newsflash- You believe what the media and the government says then and now? Think about that………

        • I’ll also note that, it was mightly crafty of you to edit your earlier comment to eliminate the outright falsehoods and misunderstandings of the actual law and history that I was originally responding to.

          Hey, if you can’t win on the merits, just edit the historical record, right?

    • Patrick R

      LOL, you are an idiot.

    • Your choice. Trolls are a fact of life. We try to get rid of them without being unfair as far as an honest opinion. We have to pay the bills so the ads you see on the side and top aren’t annoying to anyone I know of.

  • Blake

    Wow, thanks for the summary, lots of good points here.

  • badTFG

    “nothing but firearm related information”

    Except when it comes to knives and tanks, and other random things. Don’t forget those, TFB!

  • Frank Clarke

    I crack enamel off my teeth every time I read something like “…a machinegun made in the State of Texas and that has not traveled in interstate commerce cannot be regulated by the Federal Government under the interstate commerce clause.”

    First the I/C clause was intended to grant Congress the power to prevent STATES interfering in the free transfer of value, not persons actually transferring value.

    Second, it is a fundamental principle of jurisprudence that later law trumps earlier law. if the I/C clause ever gave Congress any power over firearms, the Second Amendment revoked that grant.

  • Tom Currie

    It is certainly about time someone recognized that Miller clearly indicates that machine guns and SBRs are the kind of weapons that the 2nd Amendment protects — because they absolutely are the appropriate arms of the militia, being essentially the kinds of arms used by the military.

  • jamezb

    TFB Editors…I really don’t feel this forum is the proper place for dope talk, be it pro-or-con

    , do you? I mean…talk about a divisive political subject!

  • supergun

    Illegal gun laws on the automatics. Infringements on the 2nd Amendment.

  • People lets drop the MJ talk this is a serious post which could affect our current NFA laws. Lets stay on topic.

  • Aaron E

    The comment thread got WAY OFF base with the marijuana argument, so I thought I’d offer one about the article.

    GREAT! Never liked the 1986 prohibition. I hope he’s successful, though I’m a little leery about this argument surrounding a “Trust” instead of an individual’s right to acquire new NFA firearms.

    I think a reasonable middle ground would be to keep certain requirements for NFA firearms ownership – like a detailed criminal background. However, yearly “tax stamps (registration)” are too restrictive. An annual check to ensure no criminal violations prohibit ownership. Limit an individual from transferring an automatic firearm to someone who has not met the NFA background check by requiring the transaction to go through an FFL.

    Done. Freedom to own, still going to be expensive (so somewhat restrictive by the market), and the people getting the NFA firearms have to pass annual background checks to reduce criminals from owning.

  • Seth Hill

    1) Miller case did not have any real defense because Miller had died by the time the hearing came around, they could have argued that short-barreled shotguns were used historically by the military. 2) The Miller decision is based on military usage which can be argued is in contradiction to the Second Amendment. Hollis needs to argue that this as it reinforces the false interpretation that the Second is about the military.

  • John Double

    You could just sue the ATF and demand that you are able to pay your taxes for a automatic.