United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- How Second Amendment supporters address the potential threat posed by the National Firearms Act to our Second Amendment rights is something that has to be planned starting today, BEFORE the attacks in the wake of a successful court ruling come. Failing to plan is planning to fail, and failure should not be an option.
The first thing to understand is that outright repeal of the National Firearms Act is not happening any time soon. What can be done is to reform the process by which firearms (and certain accessories) covered under this act are transferred, as part of an incremental approach to securing our rights. Yes, this is the “incrementalism” approach – one that has been highly successful over the last three decades on concealed carry.
The fact of the matter is that when we are taking on highly onerous legislation, taking it all out in one fell swoop only happens with a massive stroke of luck, or it provokes a massive backlash. Trusting luck is foolish enough – provoking a massive backlash is stupid, given the nature of our enemies. But as the recent signing of constitutional carry in Texas shows, incrementalism works.
So, what incremental steps can be taken when it comes to the National Firearms Act?
Much will depend on just what the legislative and political landscape will look like. As a given, the current anti-Second Amendment extremist regimes in the House, Senate, and White House be defeated at the ballot box before any reform can be taken. But once we have a pro-Second Amendment Congress and White House, what do we pursue?
First, Second Amendment supporters can modernize the NFA process. This is one example where the “lemon” of the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) can be turned into lemonade. Changing the process from one that depends on local law enforcement certification to an FBI background check would probably go over well with the American people. The tax stamps could then be paid as a surcharge to NICS. Such a bill would not create a perfect situation by any means, but it would represent a good “first step.”
If the situation permits, then Second Amendment supporters might be able to push for repeal of both the 1986 Hughes Amendment and the 1968 restrictions on imports. At the same time, nothing would prevent adding the Hearing Protection Act and the Home Defense and Competitive Shooting Act to the NFA reform measure. But the important point is to defang the NFA as a potential tool for harassing and obstructing efforts to exercise Second Amendment rights.
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, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.