Why The Machinegun Ban Will Not Go Away UPDATED

UPDATE:  Please read our response to your comments: Mea culpa: Steve and Alex reply to your comments on our Machine Gun Lawsuit post.

Machineguns are legal to own and shoot in the USA. In fact, they have never been illegal however machineguns made after 1986 can only be owned by dealers and government agencies.

I have been blogging about individuals trying to overturn this ban via litigation, such as Hollis Vs. Holder where the ATF, by accident, approved the construction of a new machinegun.

An additional lawsuit, Watson Vs. Holder is also now on the table. So what does this mean? Cheap, new machineguns for all?

No. No it won’t but the attorneys will benefit greatly from donations and legal fees.

Let me preface this by saying I would like to see the ban lifted. I love machineguns. I collect them, shoot them, and enjoy studying the technology that makes them possible. Hell, I have quite a few of them laying around. I would love for other people to join me in my conquest to become a machinegun enthusiast, but the high price of admission is off-putting to many.

The 1986 ban was passed by an unrecorded and controversial voice vote and added to the 1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act, a bill that was intended to be pro-gun and prevent the government from keeping a registry of gun owners. Few people know about this, and the ones that do know do not like to discuss it, but the NRA championed this bill with the machinegun ban in it and encouraged Reagan to sign it into law. There is an old joke among NFA people that “stamp collecting” (that is, the acquisition of class III items) is the easiest way to get the NRA to throw you under the bus.

The NRA-ILA has not enthusiastically acknowledged support of trying to repeal the ban and that the good in the FOPA outweighed the bad. In fact, this gentleman declared that the NRA said exactly that in a letter to him in August of 1986. As far as the new production of machineguns goes for the public, I believe this is the fettered pipe dream of a few idealists; I don’t think the American public would tolerate new production of machine guns. If you were to survey a smattering of commonfolk asking if fully automatic firearms should be legal over the counter, they would overwhelmingly say no. These people outnumber us greatly. You will never ever get the vast army of centrist voters to vote for new manufacture of MGs and no politician will throw their promising career away trying to get soccer moms to fall in love with the idea of hobbyists buying new M16s for $900 each. Right now, an M16 costs $25,000. That’s probably the only reason they are still legal to own. Back when MGs were cheap, they flew under the radar, nobody knew about them.

On a side note, many say “MGs aren’t an investment. Don’t put a lot of money into them.”
Well, this is absolute unfettered BS. My machineguns have appreciated faster than any of my other investments by a large margin. Some people see guns as tools, and some see them as collectibles. I am somewhere in the middle.

As I mentioned above, be weary of the attourneys championing these lawsuits. A look into the background of one reveals he’s not so squeaky clean. This gentleman deliberately caused a ruckus against a small town mayor a few years ago….for carrying a concealed weapon (anti-second amendment). Then the kid (a law student at the time) got his 15 minutes of fame. Here’s an interview in a magazine with him, and after reading it I wouldn’t send him a cent.

In short, if you want a fully automatic firearm legally in the USA you are going to have to pay to play ball. Sorry, but I am just not optimistic about the opening of the registry.

UPDATE:  Please read our response to your comments: Mea culpa: Steve and Alex reply to your comments on our Machine Gun Lawsuit post

Alex C.

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


  • Nicholas Chen

    I would like to see other NFA restrictions removed. Like the need for a stamp to have a suppressor or SBR.

    • BattleshipGrey

      We’re probably a lot closer to having this repealed than the ’86 ban. I’d rather have both gone, but the NFA would be a great start for me since my state prohibits those too and it’d be a great avenue to change the state regs as well.

      The pistol brace ruling by the ATF is our best ammo at present. They’ve accurately (surprisingly) ruled away the very purpose for the SBR laws. The gradual increase in suppressor sales is also in our favor.

    • n0truscotsman

      The law was created in a era of moral panic over the St Valentines Day massacre and the fallacy that silencers “silence” guns completely. We should have our rights infringed because criminals *might* abuse them right?

      Its time for such arcane idiocy to get changed. Its interesting that in countries in Europe with higher levels of gun restriction dont have regulations against suppressors and arbitrary barrel lengths in many instances.

      • Most people don’t realize that in the beginning years of silencers the largest numbers of silencers were purchased by dairy farmers way back when so they could kill varmints and not cause the cows undue stress.

  • nova3930

    I think the most likely avenue to remove the restrictions is attacks on the tax, equating the transfer tax to a poll tax, which has long been held to be illegal. Since the post-86 restriction is based on a prohibition on BATF collecting the tax, if you invalidate the tax, the restriction goes away as a functional matter.

    You are correct in that the politicians will never willingly remove the restrictions, it’s going to have to be a court fight and in the end, like many other infringements, the majority who don’t like it can get over it.

  • Hensley Beuron Garlington

    So depressing, but very true. The thing is, this was a dirty, underhanded way to take away our second amendment rights. That alone should make it be reconsidered and repealed, but we live in a time where people don’t accept the Constitution as is! If the military has it, citizens should have it. That is how our founders intended.

    I will, maybe misguidedly, still support any challenges to this unconstitutional ban, as desperate and as useless as it might be. I don’t know what else to do. 🙁

  • I can assure you that my meager Machinegun collection represents a tiny portion of my portfolio and the overturn of the ban would not be enough to affect my financial situation.

    • hami

      We get it, you’re rich

    • patrickiv


    • Ethan

      You and Bloomberg have that in common. Do yourself a favor and avoid any further similarities.

    • Grindstone50k

      Do you correct people when they pronounce “Porsche” as “porsh”?

    • Guy Slack


    • Guy Slack

      Alex C. writes on October 13, 2014:

      “In the event that this goes somewhere, then I will take a large financial hit (as most of my investment portfolio consists of machine guns)”

  • dannye

    “if you want a fully automatic firearm legally in the USA you are going to have to pay to play ball”

    That’s easy to say when daddy is paying.

    • It’s easy to say when it’s the truth.

      • dannye

        The truth that your transferable collection was funded by senior’s bank account? Everyone knows that already.

        And what happened to firearms, not politics? Doesn’t defeatist drivel count as politics?

        • I can assure you that I have purchased all of my own firearms sans a few gifts here and there. I come not from a firearm family.

          • dannye

            Did your dad gift you his WW2 1911?

          • Not sure if he still has that. He did give me a Mauser 98 for Christmas once though.

          • dannye

            Sure doesn’t sound like a firearm family.

          • I come from a line of car collectors mostly and am a black sheep in this regard.

          • dannye

            There you have it, folks. Car collection, a hobby which eclipses MG collecting in cost.

            Most firearms enthusiasts aren’t dependently wealthy and cannot play the transfer game. As such we cannot take your lackadaisical attitude towards overturning Hughes Amendment, the import ban, et al.

            You might find this hard to believe, but the last person we want to hear about the futility of fighting the MG registry is someone who buys transferable machine guns with family money.

          • eriky

            and the last person we want to hear whine about the man keeping our favorite blog running is someone who is butthurt about him being wealthier than him.

          • dannye

            “the man keeping our favorite blog running”

            Why, that would be the editor, which Alex is not.

          • I do not keep this blog running.

          • David Lowrey

            Baa baa black sheep have you any ammo? Yes sir, yes sir, three mags full!

          • Buk Lau

            No man needs more than one vehicle.

            You ooze opulence, trust fund baby, Must be nice having every thing handed to you in life.

          • eriky

            you sir are acting like a childish d*ck and for the love of god and everything beautiful please shutup.
            and for the mg ban going away as a non american I don’t see it happening the non gun loving people would never let it happen

          • KestrelBike

            My first weapon was a Kar98K my father got me for my 18th birthday (after never allowing me to even have an air pellet gun lol), long after he had already taught me proper safety using his antiques from the 1800’s.

            Dannye, what the hell is your point, who cares, and what business is it of yours who gets what from whom? Someone can become oprah’s lover and she can shower him with money that he uses to buy NFA items, doesn’t change the fact that LARGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY WILL STILL BE REQUIRED TO PLAY IN THE NFA SANDBOX. Everything else you’re saying is just immature drivel and you need to get outside for some vitamin D. Damn, you’ve already wasted enough of my time having to type this out.

        • It’s not about a political situation it’s about the laws of the land.

          • dannye

            Laws are an application of politics.

          • Roe

            This article is as much “more politics, less guns” as the comments.

    • n0truscotsman

      Just because what alex said offends your delicate wishful thinking about the way things should be, rather than what they are, that doesn’t add credibility to your attempts to poison the well.

      • dannye

        Poison the well? What do you consider Alex’s attack against the members of the nascent movement to challenge the status quo?

        • When a new shooter’s girlfriend broke up with him just after he signed up, Alex took him machine gun shooting. He had the time of his life.

          So who is attacking whom?

          • dannye

            And that anecdote is relevant how?

          • Maybe the only thing that’s wrong with what Alex said is how you’ve chosen to interpret it.

            And that sounds like a personal problem, to me.

          • dannye

            Really? One of the persons named by Alex already publicly responded to the attack as “Stephen S”. Perhaps he was also interpreting it wrong too.

            If anything Alex owes him and the readership a public reply.

            Although the idea that pursuing dialectic is personal problem is rather amusing.

          • That’s between them. Though, it is interesting that you have only chosen to bring it up now.

          • dannye

            Gee, maybe that’s because I only just read Stephen S’ j’accuse, which deserves support.

            Before Stephen’s response, the attack on the “attourneys” (sic) was nothing more than a sloppy, irrelevant addendum and shouldn’t even have been written and readers ought to dismiss outright. But hey, I’m sure Alex has his reasons for including it.

        • n0truscotsman

          “As I mentioned above, be weary of the attourneys championing these lawsuits.”

          I really wish people would apply some reading comprehension.

  • Tim U

    Honestly, if I were to campaign for restoration of gun rights, I would start by taking chunks out of those laws that are lower hanging fruit rather than going for the jugular of machine guns. I say build precedent by things such as national carry reciprocity (after all, our driver licenses are good everywhere). Then chip away at NFA law by tackling mufflers as a health and safety issue. Once we have got a lot more rights returned, then go for the “kill” as it were.

    But that’s just my idea.

    • KestrelBike

      Silencers –> SBRs –> SBSs –> universal carry –> defeating individual states infringement on weapons (make CA/NY/NJ/MD/WA etc comply with the rest of the states) –> select-fire.

    • Yellow Devil

      I believe driver licenses are “accepted” everywhere because of implicit agreement among all the states, not because the Federal Government has a mandate requiring it. Although it burns my bacon that I can drive CC from AZ to PA EXCEPT for the state of Maryland, I think it’s best for the state themselves to overturn their own terrible laws instead of imposed on by above.

  • David Lowrey

    It’s easy for you to call it ” the fettered pipe dream of a few idealists ” when you can obtain machine guns. That is the worse kind if attitude to have when you are the senior writer of a major gun blog. You should never discourage people into giving up the fight for their rights.

    238 years ago a group of idealists had a pipe dream of a free and independent nation. I think you know where I’m going with that one.

    • Just stating a well thought out opinion.

  • I know of two violent crimes committed with legally owned machineguns.

    • sianmink

      Weren’t both of those committed by cops?

    • Guy Slack

      And I know of thousands committed with illegally owned weapons (not MGs). So what’s the point?

  • MclarenF1Forever

    I’m not sure how cost of the MG would make it more probable to be used in crime. If criminals wanted MGs, they acquire them illegally by either making/converting guns themselves or have some machinist do it. The N. Hollywood bank robbers had illegally modified full auto rifles, and this was in ’97.

    Certainly, before ’86, and ’34 even, crimes were committed with MGs. But after NFA’34, there were only 2 crimes committed with reg’ed MGs, one committed by a cop.

  • kevinp2

    Twenty years ago, if you had told me that 41 states would have shall-issue concealed carry, I would have asked you what you were smoking.

    Just in the last few years, many states have legalized suppressors and MGs (provided that they are federally registered).

    Many ordinary citizens conflate machine guns with “assault weapons” and the latter is hovering around 50% support in the public.

    So I don’t think that it is all that unrealistic to work on repealing the 1986 law. All it takes is one gun friendly congressman from a safe seat to bundle it into an omnibus bill, and one President who doesn’t care about the issue one way or the other.

  • Risky

    What is so great about overturning the ban? Seriously, other than for some folks to get their giggle on at the range or for the few that actually want full auto for self defense/pest hunting I see no real value for most people by overturning the manufacture ban. There are plenty of other 2A legal battles that should be (and frankly more likely to be) won, first. State level arbitrary AW bans, universal carry, eliminating unprotected and unenforced ‘gun free’ zones, de-regulating SBR/SBS and suppressors are all efforts that will have a greater effect.

    • Ben

      The fact that there are other battles to fight doesn’t mean that we can sit this one out. Why not fight all of them? This is the best chance that we have ever had at overturning the ban, and it is a very fleeting one. The ATF is not going to ever make this mistake again, and we would be fools not to try to capitalize on it. This is the first time that anybody has had strong standing to bring a suit against the ban, and it will almost certainly be the last.

  • Chris U

    “My machineguns have appreciated faster than any of my other investments by a large margin” no wonder you keep pushing that the mg ban will never be lifted- you’d lose big on a bunch of old guns.

    • Buk Lau

      He can’t hear you over how awesome his Yacht is.

  • dannye

    Ah, the black sheep was denied his share of the family funds.

    Inheritance will surely open new doors.

    • Why are you so interested in my financial situation?

      • dannye

        Because a rich kid telling everyone else to play a rich persons’ game because there is no legal pathway to remove government barriers to playing said game is incredibly tone deaf, stinks of arrogance, and is a big faux pas in the 2A community.

        I expected better from TFB.

        • You are certainly entitled to your opinion dannye, but I suggest you reread my article. Like a commenter below said:
          “A lot of hate here towards the author for discouraging an opening of the
          registry. Except he doesn’t do that. He’s talking about a political
          reality. It’s unlikely that any politician would be able to change the
          law because most people in this country don’t like the idea of people
          owning machine guns”

          • dannye

            And I suggest you re-read my comments, because I never said that you opposed opening the registry, merely that you advocate defeatism in a worthwhile 2A cause. More importantly, a cause which you have zero stake in, since you already have your machine guns.

            I have no doubt you will be financial secure even if the value of your MG collection drops tenfold overnight. After all, you are dependently wealthy.

          • “Since you already have your machine guns”
            Are you implying I wouldn’t like to have more at low prices?

          • dannye

            Feel free to try to make the argument that you getting your n+1 machine gun with family money is a higher stake than the rest of us getting our first with our own cash.

            I take back “zero stake”, it’s “far less stake”. Removing the registry will certainly make your family gatherings more palatable. Unless they diss you for making terrible investment choices.

          • n0truscotsman

            “merely that you advocate defeatism in a worthwhile 2A cause”

            In what way?

            Acknowledging facts is not defeatism. You sure have a funny way to re-interpret the meaning of words.

            And your envious tripe over alex’s income is quite puzzling. Grow up.

          • dannye

            His spiel is more than acknowledging the difficulties in overturning the registry. As you can see in the comments I am not the only one to see this.

            Chalk it up to envy if you want, serious people aren’t envious of trust fund babies with poor writing skills.

          • Guy Slack

            Yeah, we don’t need a politician. We have lawyers and a court system.

  • I state clearly in the article that I would like to see the ban repealed.

    • totenglocke

      “I state clearly in the article that I would like to see the ban repealed.”

      One line out of a multi-page rant against machine guns. That’s just like when Pelosi or Feinstein says “I support the Second Amendment, BUT…” at the beginning of every one of their pushes for gun control.

  • Pseudodeus

    A lot of hate here towards the author for discouraging an opening of the registry. Except he doesn’t do that. He’s talking about a political reality. It’s unlikely that any politician would be able to change the law because most people in this country don’t like the idea of people owning machine guns (which matters because of that tricky Democracy thing). It’s unlikely that any court challenge would overturn it on 2A grounds. The supreme court has repeatedly held that 2A infringements are legal given sufficient justification. They have consulted law enforcement experts in all of the 2A cases I’ve read and there will damn well be chief LEOs saying increased access to MGs will mean cops will come up against more of them. Unlikely in the legislative branch, unlikely in the judicial. Maybe you should try asking Obama nicely. I don’t want to have to pay ~30k for MG so by all means keep trying. Just don’t expect to get anywhere.

    • KestrelBike

      And, you’re going to face backlash by dedicated anti-2A groups that will shout from the rooftops that you want machine guns in the hands of the holmes/lanzas/klebolds of the country (clearly, no gunners want this, but that will make little difference when bloomberg gets it on the front page of the NYT), further decreasing the ability to get the many other 2A infringements repealed/ended.

  • mosinman

    long shot or not, we should take it and if it fails we should try again.
    this is a right we’re talking about here and machine guns shouldn’t be just a playing for the rich. a lot of huge changes in the US started out as long shots and if we educate the public and stand together we can open the registry.

  • They seem to to me. Most people seem to realize the the repeal of the MG ban is not going to happen. What do you think?

    • Grindstone50k

      So give up before we even really start? That kind of attitude wouldn’t have given us Heller or McDonald

    • Stephen

      I think it could happen.

    • Buk Lau

      As long as we’ve got trust fund babies hindering our 2nd Amend. movement like you it won’t go away.

  • Wouldnt care much is my MGs were devalued if others could get new ones. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few my friend.

  • echelon

    This is the same argument that is used over and over ad nauseum. Of course the people who’ve built up sizable collections and invested a lot of money into machine guns would have a vested interest to see the status quo never change. That is no reason to not have our natural rights be recognized and restored.

    Further I didn’t realize that we lived in a straight up democracy where the mob rules and whatever the 51% opinion is gets taken as law. I don’t care if 99% of the entire world didn’t think it would be OK to own machine guns – the majority of people could believe that the sun revolves around the earth and would that make it true? A right is a right because it is unalienable…this makes it “majority proof”.

    And we wonder why we can’t actually have our true gun rights here in the US. We’ve already given up and lost! Owning machine guns! Oh noes! Open carry! Oh noes!

  • Guys I’m not making judgements but lets stick with the topic and stop dog piling on Alex. Hell I’m glad he has machineguns and more power to him. I can’t afford them but I don’t hate on someone who can just because they have the means. Honestly it’s pretty childish. I happen to agree the law will never change because the people with the power will never stick their necks out for regular folks.
    I really don’t like to intervene in the comments but this bashing has to stop.

    • Grindstone50k

      Most aren’t hating on Alex purely for owning MGs. It’s mainly the defeatist attitude that has most of us perturbed.
      Also, it’s an injection of politics on a blog that openly states “not politics”.

      • I didn’t feel his attitude was defeatist. I thought it was realist.

        • David Lowrey

          When you are in his position, the last thing you want to do it to tell people to give up it’s never happening. In the gun rights world it’s a constant never ending battle to protect our rights from those that seek to dismantle them. Alex should be a paragon of gun rights, always fight for and actively pursuing the repeal of gun control laws. Never giving up the fight no matter how difficult. Because in today’s world we can’t afford too. This great nation was not build on ” it can never be done”. It was build on ” it can and will happen” and the freedoms that support it.

          • That’s lovely sentiment, and not much more.

          • Tassiebush

            Fights can be lost if they are poorly targeted. The mg restrictions are probably as controversial and as little supported as it gets. A success here could cause hysteria and alienate many areas of gun ownership from mainstream political support. At the moment it looks like the fight is going well on SBR, SBS, concealed carry, silencers, high capacity mags etc. I’d hate to see that undone by a political backlash.

        • Grindstone50k

          Did you also think that Heller or McDonald would fail? Being a “realist” and all?

          • Wait, weren’t you decrying the discussion of politics on this site just a second ago?

            If I didn’t know better, I’d say all you want is to stir up trouble.

          • Guy Slack

            Nathaniel, why won’t you engage in conversation?

      • There are way too many that are though—-

        • Grindstone50k

          Then ignore them and stop letting it distract you from the real problem people have with the article.

      • n0truscotsman

        understanding the legal hurdles =/= “defeatism

        • Grindstone50k

          The title straight-up says “Why The Machinegun Ban Will Not Go Away”

          That is not “understanding the hurdles”. That is pure, unfettered defeatism.

          • n0truscotsman

            Did you read the content, or just draw to your own conclusions based on the title?

            It may offend your sensibilities and lofty expectations, but that doesn’t make his point untrue.

          • Guy Slack

            Yeah, the content where he bashes the lawyer by claiming he’s anti-second amendment when it’s patently false after reading the article he linked… His bias is dripping off every word.

          • n0truscotsman

            what does that have to do with “defeatism” again?

  • I am thoroughly disappointed in some of the comments here. Alex has stated a political fact, one that isn’t going to change any time soon. That some commenters have chosen to lower the bar and make this about Alex’s background, financial situation, or portray him as being in ANY way spoiled is something I will not let go without a response.

    Alex is one of the most generous people I have ever met. He is always the first to pick up the bill, and he doesn’t ask anything in return for his kindness. If any here wanted to start a machine gun collection, Alex would be happy to walk them through it (in fact, he already has).

    He’s stated several times that he would love for the machine gun ban to be repealed (Alex is a buyer with a love for guns; why wouldn’t he want to see the price of his next purchase plummet?), but it’s just not going to happen soon.

    These comments bashing Alex are childish and must stop.

    • Grindstone50k

      “Alex has stated a political fact”

      Then you might want to change the banner.

      • I am not involved in either the process of maintaining the site (and thus the banner) or of approving Alex’s articles.

        Some might feel Alex is stepping too far into the political arena; that is fine. What of the people actively bashing him for being able to afford a machine gun collection? I don’t think we should excuse those people’s actions, regardless of how political Alex’s content is.

        • Grindstone50k

          I don’t excuse, nor do I really care what other people say. And by people, I mean dannye, because let’s be real here, he’s the only one who is really giving it to Alex. So if his posts upset you so much, the way I see it you have a couple of choices: Put your big boy pants on and ignore him or ban him. But stop letting his loud mouth cover up the voices that have real legitimate issues with the tone of defeat that Alex puts into this article. As is often said “don’t feed the trolls”.

          • Is this not a quote from you?

            “Do you correct people when they pronounce “Porsche” as “porsh”?”

            Might want to start looking for your “big boy pants”…

          • Guy Slack

            Wow, can’t address any of his points and ad hominem based on another thread. Total professionalism Nathaniel.

          • I don’t think it’s reasonable for Grindstone to insist I ignore people here who are bashing a friend of mine, especially when he has far from refrained from mudslinging.

          • Guy Slack

            You’re a hack. Professionalism should come before inter-personal relationships.

    • terminalbrd

      Alex also baselessly attacked a pro-Second Amendment attorney and called him “anti second amendment.” And either deliberately, or ignorantly misstated facts.

      He may be 100% correct on the chances of the suit within the federal court system, or ha may be wrong. But that attack (or libel) was totally out of bounds.

      • That’s between the two of them. I know nothing about this attorney.

        …And that’s not really what a lot of people are upset about, either.

        • Guy Slack

          Nice of you to bow out when it comes to dealing with more “facts.” Why don’t you give the linked interview a read Nathaniel.

    • Guy Slack

      How is it a “Fact” when it’s currently being challenged in the courts? He can predict the future?

  • I actually have faced one. It was stolen from the Texarkana Texas PD in 1959 and floated around for a very long time before my encounter.

    • MclarenF1Forever

      Thank you for you anecdote. The circumstance, stolen from a PD, and time, in 1959, certainly helps with arguments that are for doing away with 922(o). That same situation, could happen today, regardless of 922(o). In fact, the ATF itself has lost MGs that have yet been recovered.

  • MR

    IMO, no politician will ever lift the ban, but we can hope for the legal system to work. Will it? I don’t know, probably not. But the situation will never improve if we don’t try.

  • Forest C. Adcock

    I see SBR and SBS regulations ending soon. Possibly as a result of SCOTUS action. They have said that the next 2A case they take will be about what types of firearms we are “allowed” to own. I don’t expect SBR’s to require a stamp for very much longer. Handguns are prominent enough and the SB-15 has proven that there are viable means around the law.

    Supressors will probably come right behind them. They aren’t “silencers” by any means and crime just doesn’t happen with them. There are good reasons for society to want them. (noise pollution near ranges comes to mind. Why scare the sheep with our fun toys when we can just be quiet and not let them know we’re having fun.) I don’t see a good reason for them to require a stamp as crime just doesn’t happen with them.

    Post-86 MG’s will eventually be legal to some extent I would guess. As the current pre-86 guns age and the numbers of usable ones drops below what the 1% can stand, they will pressure their govt buddies to at least open up a short window to register new ones.

    If that day comes, I’m ordering the manufacture of a couple thousand lightning links. They’re cheap to make, work with most AR’s, and would be the easiest thing to register en-masse.

  • dannye

    “Life being unfair”

    By that, do you mean that the registry is unfair? NFA34 is unfair? The import ban is unfair? Why should the 2A community not lash out against such absurd laws?

    But no, that’s not what you mean. You say I am engaging in class warfare. No mature person is annoyed by Alex’s birthright to wealth. What is annoying is his tone deafness to a real issue to the 2A community.

    And lastly, what we have here is not insight, it’s defeatism and lack of solutions to that unfairness.

  • Hardwood83

    This post does not contain much analysis of the legal merit of these suits.Isn’t that really the issue- if they can win?

    I’m not blind to the impact of public opinion, but that didn’t matter much to the judges overturning all of the marriage laws, did it?

    • Guy Slack

      Exactly. What we have instead is an immature writer being a defeatist.

  • Earl Turner

    If a draconian gun ban were passed, the author of this blog would be one of the first to burn up the phone lines to report everyone he knew who owned even one small revolver. Alex, you are no friend to firearm owners.

    • mosinman

      that’s a bit extreme, i just think he has a defeatist attitude

    • You obviously know nothing at all about Alex. That statement would be comical if it wasn’t so uninformed.

  • SD

    Somehow, I don’t believe that you want the ’86 ban to be repealed.

  • Grindstone50k

    “If you asked a smattering of commonfolk if silencers should be legal, they’d probably say no as well.”

    A guy at work just told me he thought “laser scopes” on pistols were illegal. I don’t know what he meant by “laser scope” but I assured him it was completely legal. Also this was in Oklahoma, not some anti-gun state.

    Point is; people are retarded.

  • Rob

    There’s no machine gun ban. The government doesn’t have the authority to make any such laws, and no longer has the legitimacy to enforce them anyway. Own whatever you like.

    • Ben

      Best case scenario: you get to own an illegal MG, and have some fun with it on private property now and then.
      Worst case scenario: you and your entire family get shot to death. The ATF doesn’t have the most peaceful history when dealing with NFA violations.

  • dannye

    There’s no speculation, Alex’s financial status and source of funding is well known thanks to his posts on numerous gun and car online forums.

  • Dom

    Personally I think machine guns are A LOT of fun to shoot. With that being said, they’re not very practical considering how 30 rounds goes extremely quickly. If the ban was lifted, I’d definitely own one or two though for the novelty.

  • joemamma

    Written like a true NFA Fudd. What’s your handle over on Subguns…… “different anon”?

    • I go by the handle “machinegunz4richonly”.

  • Stephen

    Wow. I’m extremely disappointed to see this article on TFB. The tone and underlying message makes me feel like i’m reading something produced by mainstream media. This article is a disgrace. — I for one want to rock the boat. Even if it makes things worse. Because at some point it’ll cause the fence sitters to get into the game.

  • Not a thing the discussion( or bashing Alex for no reason) is about a certain set of laws not politicians or their antics.

    • Guy Slack

      It is politics.

  • You don’t know him and I do. He WOULD be a happy camper if the law was overturned.

    • Guy Slack

      Why are you posting here? You didn’t write the article. You’re contributing nothing.

      • Um… He’s the editor?

      • Dan

        Why are you posting here? you didn’t write it either, nor are you contributing anything of value.

  • Stephen

    haha, sorry, your opinion on this matter is irrelevant. Once you purchased those guns it became impossible for you to be objective. I’m going to keep supporting the pro-liberty side. You can keep coddling the anti-liberty agenda.

    • Great, so the only people allowed to have opinions about machine guns are those with no experience with the law regarding them. Makes sense!

      • Guy Slack

        No, but once you accept that the statist controlled pricing is something you’re willing to fork down your money on, you’re buying into an unjust set of laws. Many of us are Veterans and carried a MG on our person at all times overseas as well as using crew-serves in combat. Not all experience comes from being the person that can afford one. Nice of you to overlook it.

        • I don’t think that makes sense.

          • Guy Slack

            If the US government trusts me with one overseas, then I think it’s absurd I can’t own/build one living in my own country.

      • Stephen

        “No experience with the law regarding them” – So you’re saying that I need to have purchased an MG and gotten “experience” with it in order to have a deeper understanding of it? Yeah, that could help, but I just as easily can read and study without having to buy one. — To the point, I did not qualify my statement, please allow me to do so now: Unfortunately those that are most vocal in the MG owning crowd are those who pander to the “don’t rock the boat” and “infringements on our 2nd amendment are okay, just live with it” crowd. I’m sure there are reasonable MG owners. However, the pattern seems to be that if a person owns MG’s, they are heavily biased towards the “Accept the infringements we have now because we don’t want it to get worse.” I have no desire to see more restrictions. But I believe that we will not see a revival of the size necessary to overcome the illegal and null laws we have in place now until we get committed to fighting tooth and nail for what we believe in, and do so for the long haul. Or we cause such discomfort among those who believe in liberty and the constitution that they are compelled to become active in this fight. As we all know, a politically passive gun owner is no gun owner at all, as far as retaining our rights are concerned.

  • This.

  • Stephen

    #2 is just expanding government BS. Dislike.

  • Are you implying I am a man without principles? I assure you I am possessed of them and have a very strong moral compass.
    I assure you my arrogance is part of my youth rather than socio economic position 😉

    • Guy Slack

      So you admit to being arrogant. Nice.

  • And now you’ve seen one John and I meant to put it there. The person commenting isn’t kissing anyone’s backside he’s stating facts as he sees them which is something we are all entitled to do.The comment you made has nothing to do with the law being discussed rather it’s whining because Alex has the means to buy this type of gun. You jump to conclusions without even knowing Alex and do it in a disrespectful way.

    • dannye

      You really think this is jealousy? You honestly cannot see the tone deafness of this article? The smug overtones of the “25 machine guns line”? But hey, you’re the editor. Do as you will.

      By the way, if you really “know” Alex, then you should be aware of his arrogant behavior on at least one other firearm forum that I am aware of. He usually does a good job maintaining a respectable facade here, but not today. Heh.

      • You realize most of my MGs are post samples right?

        • dannye

          Didn’t stop you from talking about the “high price of admission”. But obviously not a barrier to you to have so many machine guns to “lay around”.

          • I’m sitting on my golden throne made of them right now.

          • Generally speaking it is a high price for most of us. If you build your own as Alex does they come out to about the price of a good 1911.
            Of course that includes dealer samples etc.

      • I don’t read the firearm forums generally. I know from some commenters jealousy is in play but not all.
        I honestly didn’t see anything smug about saying how many he had. I just take it as he wrote it. It will be a hard and darn near impossible fight to win but that doesn’t mean we don’t try.

        • Guy Slack

          It’s that he smears the Lawyer trying to gain us our rights back. Do you not understand?

  • dannye

    Is that supposed to be a counterpoint against the relationship between laws and politics? I don’t see it.

  • Grindstone50k

    The “legislative reality” for DC used to be a de facto ban on guns. Same with Chicago. Did Mr. Heller or Mr. McDonald have the same defeatist attitude as Mr. C? Hell no! Look also for the strides that LGBT people have made not only in law but in the courts. In my own, deep deep deep deep deep red state of Oklahoma, the ban on same-sex marriage has been overturned. Did anyone say it would be a walk through the roses? Of course not, that’s just hyperbole.

    The reality is that it is entirely *possible*. But not with the attitude displayed here, a popular gun-related blog.

  • Renegade

    Sorry folks, but Alex is right.

    John and Janice Public are not for widespread transferable machine gun ownership. A lot of current gun owners aren’t for widespread transferable machine gun ownership. And, yes, a lot of current machine gun owners are not for widespread transferable machine gun ownership.

    To think the current MG manufacturing restrictions will be lifted due to someone at the ATF accidentally checking the “Yes” box (and maybe violating law in the process, knowingly or not) is foolish at best.

    As is often the case with high profile cases, the winners here will be the lawyers.

    It would be great if widespread transferable machine gun ownership were to become reality. I like to think that Alex believes that as well, investments be damned. I myself would like to own a full-auto reproduction medium machine gun in something that costs no more than 20 cents per round. Preferably something easy to disassemble, clean, and not direct impingement.

    • joemamma

      Doesn’t matter what John and Janice Public and the other NFA Fudds think. It’s not going to trial in front of them. It’s going to be judged in a court of law, where hopefully a well educated Jurist will make his decision based on the law and not the emotions of John and Janice Public who don’t think machine guns (or any guns) are fashionable or en vogue.

  • David Lowrey

    Funny thing is I was about to try to send a message, asking if there had been any updates to the lawsuits before I saw this post. So are there any updates?

  • Guy Slack

    The fact you sit on a state-protected fortune says everything about your bias and negativity on this matter.

    Also, if you managed to read the interview you linked in your blog, you’d know this guy was testifying against a Mayor that told him:

    “Son, there’s enough guns on the streets, and only the police should carry guns.”

    The jig is up. Stop being a statist and sell off your fortune before we destroy it’s value in the courts.

  • Guy Slack

    I agree John. The author of this article with his Baylor History degree seems to think his fortune is a worthy statist investment.

  • Guy Slack

    I like how he claims your anti-second amendment in the article. This author doesn’t want to lose his investment. Plain and simple.

    • I could care less about my collection being partially devalued. Read every article I have written on the subject and I mention this.

      • terminalbrd

        I’m far more interested in your baseless attack on the attorney.

      • Roe

        I think you meant “couldn’t care less”.

      • Guy Slack

        Alex C. writes on October 13, 2014:

        “In the event that this goes somewhere, then I will take a large financial hit (as most of my investment portfolio consists of machine guns)”

        Alex C. writes on December 12, 2014:

        “I can assure you that my meager Machinegun collection represents a tiny portion of my portfolio and the overturn of the ban would not be enough to affect my financial situation.”

      • Buk Lau

        Smells like complete BS, you’re just a rich white bread kid that has a degree in history. Oh nooooo!

        When was the last time you actually did an honest days work? Not, you know.. play around in books about people who are long dead and work on your fancy shooting toys?

    • totenglocke

      I could be confusing authors here, but isn’t Alex C. a cop / ex-cop? That would definitely explain his anti-machine gun agenda as well. “Toys for me, but not for thee” is the police mantra after all.

      • Guy Slack

        No, he’s a young man born into substantial wealth.

  • Tassiebush

    Seems a good couple of suggestions there. Pragmatic and practical. Breaks the challenge down into lots of smaller fights with the second option. It divides the attention of the other side and once in place the antis would struggle to wind that back. Probably a fair bit safer as a strategy too. You folks need to think this stuff out really hard because it looked like you were going to get your arses kicked a while back. If you move too quickly on something so prominent and overreach they can focus all their resources on one narrow front. You need to consolidate your position as you go or you might wind up losing ground quickly if the public gets off side. I’m not familiar with how referendums work there but I’m sure the 2nd amendment itself could be altered if a large enough majority didn’t see things as we do. You clearly have some very effective strategies in the mainstream pro gun campaigners to be in such a strong position as it is.
    As for the Alex bashing I can just see anti gun activists trawling through this discussion and figuring out they can exploit the same socio economic resentment to demonize current mg owners.
    I didn’t see arrogance in Alex’s comments on his collection or it’s value. If anything I reckon he was stating how much he’d be willing to forgo to see it change. He’s a gun enthusiast after all.

  • mosinman

    What I want to know is, where is the NRA?
    I always see their ads talking about “fighting for our 2A rights”
    You’d think they’d want to get behind this.

    • Tassiebush

      They were remarkable for having defended the most recent attack on gun ownership so successfully against formidable forces. There is no way that is down to dumb luck. It was skill expertise and passion. My guess is they just don’t think this is the fight to pick at the moment.

  • Ben

    Your attack on this attorney is completely and entirely unfounded. In fact, even the article that you link portrays him in a very pro-2A light. Did you even read it?? Here are some direct quotes from the article:

    “Wouldn’t it make sense to arm all the law-abiding citizens and let them carry everywhere they can legally carry? Wouldn’t that decrease crime?”

    “Everyone knows I like guns. Anyone who has firearms questions at the school comes to talk to me about it, asking which gun they should buy.”

    “Are you a member of the National Rifle Association?

    Stephen didn’t “cause a ruckus” over the concealed weapon because he is anti-2A. He got involved because the mayor was illegally carrying a gun under the belief that he is somehow better or more worthy than an average person. If anything, holding politicians accountable to the same laws as everybody else is very pro-2A. If we allow them to become a higher class of citizens, then they will certainly crush our rights while upholding their own.

    I would say that it disappoints me that you are giving up before the fight even begins. But it is worse than that. You aren’t even just giving up, you are actively undermining our cause. This article is nothing more than absurd attacks on an attorney’s personal character coupled with anti-gun arguments that I would expect to read on Huffpo. This is the best chance that we have ever had at repealing the ban. If America was ruled by the “vast army of centrist voters” then we would not have gay marriage, or semi-legalized pot, or even many of our current gun rights. Rights are not subject to the court of public opinion, and we do not need a politician to affirm them. If we did, they would no longer be rights.

    • Guy Slack

      Alex? ::crickets::

    • n0truscotsman

      What anti-gun arguments?

  • Ben

    Lots of people didn’t think Heller was possible either. Not to mention the proliferation of concealed carry. This is the best chance we have ever had, and you would be a fool not to support it. After all, the worst case scenario is that we retain the status quo.

  • BrianPat412

    People, I would have expected more class from gun owners, not class warfare. Debate is a nice thing, let’s not act like liberals and bring unwarranted social warfare into the debate. I do believe this should be between the attorney who defended himself and the blogger who discredited him. Yes it takes money to buy a MG, but the MG owners I know are ALWAYS worried about burning through ammo, rich people don’t worry about those things.

  • The issue is not legalizing MGs so that you can go to your local gun shop and buy one. The issue is to allow individuals, within the rules and regulations set forth by the NFA to purchase a post 1986 MG. It’s still a Class III firearm subject to being recorded in the registry and a tax stamp being issued.

  • Well, this sucks.

  • Not my call John. Steve handles all the post.

  • Mike Price

    With all the environmental noise concern and gun ranges closer to urban area’s you would think they would want people to use silencers on their guns.

  • Mike Price

    I can see with electronic triggers coming it will be just a matter of time when somebody will design in a rapid fire trigger similar to slide fire stock but built into the electronic trigger assembly. All you need is a electromagnetic trigger reset and some trigger finger tension.

  • This article was pretty disgusting to read. Lost respect for Alex C. pretty rapidly with this defeatist, “I’m-rich-you’re-not” attitude. Put your money where your mouth is instead of spouting negative insanity, thank you.

  • Guy Slack

    Alex C. writes on October 13, 2014:

    “In the event that this goes somewhere, then I will take a large financial hit (as most of my investment portfolio consists of machine guns)” (source: TFB article)

    Alex C. writes on December 12, 2014:

    “I can assure you that my meager Machinegun collection represents a tiny portion of my portfolio and the overturn of the ban would not be enough to affect my financial situation.” (source: Comments in this article)

    I tried to post this hyper-linking to the “sources” since but that put my comment under review and was subsequently “Removed.” I have an imgur of my comment with the red “Removed” above it.

    • Thank you for pointing out the hypocrisy Alex is being very clearly guilty of.

  • A few decades ago, allowing gays to marry and adopt was “just not possible” either.

  • tyeo098

    All I heard was “I have a lot of very expensive toys that hace appreciated in value thanks to the ban. Your rights be damned I’m making money the longer it stays in place and the minute its lifted my $200k+ investment evaporates”

    Sell em now while the price is high. We will chip away at the NFA until its as worthless as Obama thinks the Constitution is.

  • That Guy

    I’ve been involved with the general shooting and firearms community in one capacity or another for about twelve years or so. Having held jobs at both shops and ranges I have had both the privilege and misfortune of meeting many different individuals from all walks of life whom partake in the varying firearm based activities. However, throughout these meetings the one group that always struck me as coiled serpents waiting to strike should things turn ugly for them were the numerous post-86 machine gun owners I encountered. Despite not being one to paint with broad strokes I find it hard to not label the collective lot of them as stab you in the back types who would sooner turn on the rest of the community then see their collections become worthless. I have long harbored the belief that some of our greatest opponents on the road towards having the Hughes amendment of the FOPA repealed would be pre-ban owners themselves and I’m saddened to see this transparent article from a machine gun owner confirm that notion I’ve harbored in secret for so long.

    These individuals posses investments of significant monetary value, be it they own one or a dozen post-86 pieces, and the fact of the matter is no investor in anything wishes to see their investments monetary value become pennies on the dollar overnight. To that end, no mistake should be made about what these firearms are to these individuals, they are investments. A common deflection for this accusation is to claim that they would never sell their machine gun. However, something need not have the intent of ever being flipped for profit to be an investment. One can invest in a car they drive every day, a new computer, or something as mundane as a refrigerator. Perhaps even more insidiously, there are a great number of these individuals who attempt to hide their true intent with good vibe statements about supporting the repeal of the Hughes amendment, or wishing to see machine gun ownership expanded both publicly and personally. These are statements that the author of this very article has made both in this piece and in venues elsewhere. Though when that sentiment he and others claim to hold suddenly become a potential realty for them, the wagons get circled and wishful detraction start getting mortared around.

    My personal feelings about the likelihood of this case succeeding aside, it’s certainly serving the function of showing the community at large the true nature of some of it’s members, no matter how well constructed the mask they wear is. I don’t wish to sow descent in the ranks of an already somewhat divided gun community but it’s become too plainly obvious what these individuals really are. These people with post-86 items are not friends of “regular” gun owners who harbor altruistic notions of expanding the 2A for the rest of us at great personal and financial expense to themselves. They’re Judas Iscariot types who will fight, both actively and passively with articles such as this, against the potential of widespread and instantaneous devaluation of their 30 pieces of silver.

    In post script I would like to extend an apology to the individuals filing these suits against the Attorney General. Thank you for practicing what you preach instead of being ready to throw the little guy under the bus for your personal gain.

  • Bloodhusk

    This article and what was admitted in the comments are really ugly and says quite a lot here for this group. The article is defeatist despite how loud you scream that it is not. To those of you who are fervently defending this guy – are you trying to gain favor to be seen to be invited to some machine gun shoot yourselves? it may be surprising to some of you, but many people actually visit these sites to be up-to-date on the current situation with firearms, not to be dissuaded from donating to someone attempting to champion our rights. Of course lawyers will be gaining for these lawsuits – they are required to act as a medium for us and the government.

  • Azotos

    Haha wow, nothing else to support your case so you resort to attacking the integrity of the person who filed the suit? And the attack on his character is nothing but outright lies? If you had even taken the time to read the article you hotlinked you would have seen how wrong you are. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  • Buk Lau

    It’s ok, we’ll just redistribute his wealth accordingly.

    About damn time we kick this class war off.

  • Buk Lau

    If you honestly believe that our semi autos were in any danger what so ever during the last panic you need your head examined.

  • Buk Lau

    Are you two lovers or something? Because you reek of White knight.

    Alex C’s White knight.

    When’s the marriage?

  • joemamma

    I currently only own one machine gun and will probably never own another due to their artificially inflated prices because of the ’86 ban. Even though that gun is worth more than double what I bought it for, I would torch cut, saw cut, flatten, and crush into oblivion that thing if that’s what it would take to overturn this ridiculous ban. It’d more than be worth it to be able to submit a dozen Form 1’s to make new machineguns. How many of the NFA Fudds out there who claim “it’s not about losing their investment” would be willing to put their money where their mouth is and do the same? Uh, huh. That’s what I thought. All we’ll hear is crickets from them. NFA Fudds……all hypocrites.

  • John Double

    Alex can sure as hell talk the talk,but can he walk the walk?

    If you aren’t willing to lose $14k on your $16k machinegun for the
    prospect of being able to buy any number of new machineguns for $2k you
    aren’t a shooting enthusiast, you’re a j*w who bought machineguns
    instead of real estate.

    Alex C. writes on October 13, 2014:

    “In the event that this
    goes somewhere, then I will take a large financial hit (as most of my
    investment portfolio consists of machine guns)”

    Alex C. writes on December 12, 2014:

    ” Ican assure you that my meager Machinegun collection represents a tiny
    portion of my portfolio and the overturn of the ban would not be enough
    to affect my financial situation.”

    Alex should join the Bloombergs, Feinstein’s,and Emanuel’s… you know those oh so pro gun folk. I bet those three families have MGs….

  • joemamma

    Oh great, now the NFA Fudds over on subguns are acting up again. Who needs enemies when we’re eating our own. Those guys over there must be Bloomberg plants on a false flag mission.