A History of Gun Control Compromises
USA –-(Ammoland.com)- A common theme that is pushed by anti-gun groups is the myth that the National Rifle Association (NRA) and gun owners, in general, refuse to compromise on so-called “common sense” gun control measures, but the evidence does not support the rhetoric.
In fact, the NRA has a history of compromising more so than anti-gun groups.
Compromise only works if both sides are willing to make concessions. History has shown that only one side, the NRA, has been willing to compromise. The NRA has reached a point where further compromise will infringe on the rights laid out in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, in particular, the right to keep and bear arms.
There is no more ground to give.
The compromising started in 1934 with the passage of the National Firearms Act (NFA). This law imposed an excise tax on certain types of firearms, including machine guns, rifles with barrels less than 16 inches, shotguns with barrels less than 18 inches, and suppressors and created a national database of so-called “NFA” weapons, which made it a long and costly process to own these firearms. NFA also required all firearms dealers to keep records of all their firearms sales. These legal hurdles have caused many firearms dealers to go out of business. This was the first, but not the last, compromise in the history of gun control.
In 1968, the anti-gun movement, in true Rahm Emanuel fashion, did not let a crisis go to waste. Anti-gun groups used the tragic deaths of Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy, and Robert F. Kennedy to push through the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 and the Gun Control Act of 1968. These laws further regulated who can and cannot buy firearms. The Omnibus Crime Control Bill prohibited interstate trade of handguns and increased the minimum age to 21 for someone purchasing a handgun. The Gun Control Act further regulated the interstate firearms commerce preventing the interstate transfer of firearms except between licensed firearms manufacturers and dealers. These acts were, in general, supported by the NRA. In the NRA publication, The American Rifleman, Franklin Orth, the Executive Vice President of the NRA at the time, quoted, “The measure as a whole appears to be one that the sportsmen of America can live with”. This was a compromise the NRA felt it had to make.
The compromising did not stop there. The Firearms Owners Protection Act (FOPA) was passed in 1986. Contrary to the name of the act, FOPA made it harder to own guns and banned other guns as well as putting more regulations on the seller. The NRA also supported this law.
In 1993, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, commonly called the Brady Law, was passed. The Brady Law further limited who can buy guns and created the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Any person who buys a gun from a gun dealer must go through NICS. The Brady Law further eroded, not only the rights of the people who buy guns, but also the states’ power by forcing states to use a national background check system.
In the 21 years since the Brady Law passed, more states are passing draconian gun laws, including New York State’s recent ban on assault weapons [SAFE ACT] and Washington, D.C.’s handgun ban, which has recently been ruled unconstitutional.
There is no sign that anti-gun groups are interested in compromise. This is leading the NRA and gun owners to push back against the tide of groups, such as Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Any Town, USA, by actively fighting against new gun measures.
The ultimate goal of these anti-gun groups is the total destruction of the right to bear arms.
John Crump is a NRA certified pistol instructor and CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC.