BELOW THE RADAR: States Reform Act

Warning Take Action Call Protest
BELOW THE RADAR: States Reform Act

United States of America – -( Sometimes, a little housecleaning is in order, and that housecleaning can set the conditions to improve our situation. One such case involves marijuana, which is increasingly being legalized for either medicinal or recreational use across the country. The fact is, with states legalizing marijuana, it’s a bit past time for federal laws to be revamped.

That is what is going on with the States Reform Act, HR 5977, introduced by Representative Nancy Mace (R-SC). While this bill is a good start, and helps Second Amendment supporters in one crucial aspect, it also fails to make another change that should be made.

This legislation decriminalizes marijuana and sets up a plan to tax and regulate it like alcohol. Who gets the task of administering the new “vice” tax and the new regulations? The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, which takes over from the Drug Enforcement Agency. The agency’s name gets changed to reflect its new jurisdiction over cannabis, but we’ll just call it ATF for purposes of this piece.

The bill provides some good news for Second Amendment supporters: By having to administer the new tax structure for cannabis/marijuana, ATF will have a lo more to do. The bill, though, doesn’t increase the size of the agency, however. This means that the agency has to do more with the same amount of resources.

How does that help Second Amendment supporters? Well, if ATF is busy dealing with the new legal cannabis industry, and spending time dealing with that, that means there is a lot less time for it to hassle FFLs or those who exercise their Second Amendment rights. That alone is a positive.

The ATF’s newly-increased load also presents an opportunity to reform the National Firearms Act in some favorable ways for Second Amendment supporters. If we can’t get rid of the NFA, why not make it much less onerous for the time being.

That being said, the States Reform Act misses the boat in one big way: It doesn’t address the fact that the 4473 still asks about using marijuana. This is something that ought to be addressed in this legislation, especially since under 18 USC 922(a), deliberate false statements on the 4473 can lead to a prison term.

The States Reform Act is a chance for Second Amendment supporters to set the conditions to make positive changes in the situation. The first step at this point is to defeat anti-Second Amendment extremists in the House of Representatives and the Senate via the ballot box this coming November.

About Harold Hutchison

Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post,, and other national websites.Harold Hutchison

1.4 8 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

The ATF, depending upon who is in charge, MAY, and I repeat MAY have less time devoted to hassling gun owners. The bad news for us all is it’s a great reason for an increase in the size of the ATF goon squad. How about just having the Feds remove cannanbis from the “illegal” category, remove it from the form 4473, and leave it all up to the States? The Feds already have a corporate tax, why feed the beast and give it more power? That is NEVER a good idea.


Ok Harold. A major portion of posters on this net continuously disagree with some of your statements. I have supported some and argued some but this time I am surprised by some of your statements. The bill provides some good news for Second Amendment supporters: By having to administer the new tax structure for cannabis/marijuana, ATF will have a lo more to do. The bill, though, doesn’t increase the size of the agency, however. This means that the agency has to do more with the same amount of resources. When has government not increased it’s size to compensate for changes.… Read more »


In regards to your statement “I could not find where in this law it states that it is against the law to lie when signing the 4473”, you should read the SCOTUS decision Absmski vs. US. Also, the relevant portion of federal law that specifically addresses providing false info on the form is 18USC922(a)(6): “18 U.S. Code § 922 – Unlawful acts (a)It shall be unlawful— (6)for any person in connection with the acquisition or attempted acquisition of any firearm or ammunition from a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector, knowingly to make any false or fictitious… Read more »


Thank you, I guess I should have read a little slower, I missed it when I browsed through it. the 6 was really helpful. I went right to it and found it right away rather than having to read the whole thing.

Thanks for being helpful.


No problem. Lots of times it is almost impossible to find out what is legal and what isn’t. Its usually buried deep within the written code. So much so that lawmakers are getting away with writing laws that most folks don’t really understand or haven’t been able to get through all the section, sub sections, paragraphs, sub paragraphs, etc.


The truth must be too much for Harold and ammo land to print on this topic. Or maybe I used a bad word and that gets my comment scrapped and not approved . Free speech is a right just like our second amendment and if you want this site to support all our rights then print the damn comment !


Hunter Biden smokes crack and falsified his 4473 form and the ATF refuses to enforce the law against Hunter. It’s called selective enforcement . Now as for Marijuana the clowns at the ATF have been using this lie to take people rights for far to long . Now that they see money and profit let’s loosen the bullshit rules on marijuana. It’s been a scam all along . Just another government overreach to control the people and take thier rights . Marijuana has never been the threat they make it out to be . It’s just another tool for our… Read more »


Hunter may well be guilty and is being protected. That said, even he rates a trial before hanging.


they would tax the air we breathe in if they could and they do want to tax the air we breathe out, co2 (that evil greenhouse gas). greedy for power and money/influence and morally corrupt to the core.

Henry Bowman

No, allowing the BATF to continue in its gun role will only make even worse delays for NFA items such as silencers, SBR’s, SBS’s, and more. Instead of a one-year delay, imagine a 5-10 year delay!!

Another Harold fail.


no maybe scotus will take it up when times reach stupid and dump nfa, like they should have in 1935