View Full Version : Some Rational Thoughts on Coming Gun Control Bills

12-31-2012, 5:17 PM
It seems like the RKBA camp is split into two groups at the moment. One forecasting certain doom, the other claiming we cannot have any idea what's likely to happen until we see Feinstein's coming bill (her outline below.) I reject both lines of thought.

First, I don't know for certain how accurate Feinstein's outline is but I know it serves one of two purposes. It's either an outline of an "everything including the kitchen sink" bill or it's a decoy. If it's a kitchen-sinker, they'll bring it forward with the belief they can trim it down drastically if need be and still get what they want -- an interesting way to begin what they hope will be a fruitful negotiation. It might also tend to harden the opposition.

The purpose of Feinstein's outline on the other hand might be to drive everyone back on their heels, while the actual bill presented for consideration might be far more "moderate" (read "passable") compared to the kitchen sink outline. I don't think it really matters one way or the other. Its real value lies in the fact they are likely getting a decent feel right now for what the majority of congresspeople will tolerate and vote for. All sorts of lobbying is already underway.

So what will the majority of congresspeople tolerate and support? We first need to consider that there has been no attempts at gun control during Obama's administration. Not because he doesn't want gun control but because the polls say not only will any attempt be rejected, it might well hurt gun control-supporters in the next election. The difference today is the emotion caused by the Newtown Massacre. Emotion that has peaked and is now slowly healing. I think Tom Gresham is correct when he says Obama/Feinstein will move VERY fast and either a bill will make it to his desk in 30-45 days or it won't at all.

The holy grail for Feinstein and company is limiting magazine capacity to 10 rounds. Yes, there is talk or even fewer but that's nothing more than noise (along with the "confiscation" comments.) That 10 round limit becomes a circus when we consider handguns vs. long guns, the impact of bullet buttons, grandfathering, rebuild kits, etc. etc. etc. If any bill makes it to the House and/or Senate for a vote (and that is a huge "if") it will have language along the lines of "no centerfire firearm (handguns, rifles and shotguns) shall be designed/fitted with a removable or non-removable magazine with a capacity greater than 10 rounds." No grandfathering, no differentiation between removable and non-removable mag. Without a mag capacity limit they won't even call for a vote. Is this passable? Possibly. The cost to voters would be replacing a great many magazines with 10 rounders. There aren't too many guns that hold more than 10 rounds that don't employ a removable magazines, nor are there too many guns out that do not have 10 round magazines available for purchase so it's largely not a matter of scrapping guns or rendering them inoperable.

If they think they can get a bill limiting mag capacity through the House and Senate, it will almost definitely include language that ALL firearms transactions (even between two private people, even with C&R guns) be conducted via an FFL -- the "gunshow loophole" and then some.

I believe the 120 banned firearms, the military characteristic crap, banning semiautos, the NFA registration are all non-starters. I don't think such a bill would even make it to a vote. If it did, I suspect it wouldn't pass through the House.

Both the pro-gun and anti-gun camps have to be very careful about waking the sleeping giant -- apathetic Americans who are ignorant and uninterested in this issue. The Newtown Massacre made them look up for a moment, but their interest is already waning based on the news. On the other hand, this sleeping giant has also showed a slowly growing support for firearms. If either camp gets this sleeping giant securely behind them (unlikely) that's the way things will go.

My best guess? Well, it's either 10 rounds max + all FFL transfers or nothing. I suspect it will be nothing. In any event whatever they decide will in no way keep children any safer while they are attending school...

Summary of 2013 Feinstein Assault Weapons Legislation

Bans the sale, transfer, importation, or manufacturing of:

*120 specifically-named firearms

* Certain other semiautomatic rifles, handguns, shotguns that can accept a
detachable magazine and have one military characteristic

* Semiautomatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can accept
more than 10 rounds

Strengthens the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and various state bans by:

* Moving from a 2-characteristic test to a 1-characteristic test

* Eliminating the easy-to-remove bayonet mounts and flash suppressors from
the characteristics test

* Banning firearms with “thumbhole stocks” and “bullet buttons” to address
attempts to “work around” prior bans. Bans large-capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.

Protects legitimate hunters and the rights of existing gun owners by:

* Grandfathering weapons legally possessed on the date of enactment

* Exempting over 900 specifically-named weapons used for hunting or
sporting purposes and

* Exempting antique, manually-operated, and permanently disabled weapons
Requires that grandfathered weapons be registered under the National Firearms Act, to include:

* Background check of owner and any transferee;
* Type and serial number of the firearm;
* Positive identification, including photograph and fingerprint;
* Certification from local law enforcement of identity and that possession would not violate State or local law; and
* Dedicated funding for ATF to implement registration

12-31-2012, 5:42 PM
I suspect you are probably correct in the assertion that it will be difficult to pass gun control legislation in the current political environment-I think most people are too fearful of that. I DO think that this event should serve as a wake up call to folks that we were on a sure path to victory with every lawsuit and every new state adopting gun-friendly laws. We must be vigilant at every step and not fall into a false sense of complacency.

More importantly we need to always keep in mind these hard fought wins will only be decided over a period of decades and not simply years. There has been much progress made over the last decade for gun rights but we need to keep fighting harder than ever in order to win.

12-31-2012, 5:45 PM
Let's continue to wait for the bills to be introduced.

C'mon, folks, just 3 more days ...