Is this blog more influential than I thought?

A while back I posted a hypothetical question about what should be done concerning Class-III weapons (machine guns) that were captured from an invading army.  The weapons would be illegal to possess -- well, technically illegal to transfer across state lines, I suppose, but for all practical purposes illegal to possess -- and the people possessing them would be instant criminals, quite possibly without ever knowing it.  The problem of war trophy firearms is not entirely hypothetical, however, and it seems the NRA is taking steps to address it

While the bill's provisions, which provide a 90-day amnesty period for registration of firearms acquired overseas between 1934 and 1968, are better than nothing, they aren't nearly broad enough. 

You might want to write your Congressman in support of the bill anyway.  If they get favorable attention from this they'll be more likely to expand it later.

UPDATE: FreedomSight is more critical of the bill.  I don't disagree with his arguments (but see the note below on the surrender provision), but if we want our legislators to support the 2nd Amendment, we need to get that message across loud and clear.  Unless you are very lucky (or own a lobbyist), your representative doesn't actually listen to anything you say, or read anything you write to him or her about; instead, their staffers take messages from the constituents and try to categorize those messages into a simple binary value on each topic the representive is tracking: yes, or no.

So, if the representative is paying attention to comments about this bill, his staffers will be trying to characterize all the comments they receive on the bill as either a yes vote or a no vote.  They're not reading any deeper than that, and any information you write in with that doesn't fit readily into that paradigm is probably lost. 

The way to get support from Congress on gun issues is to write in to support positive firearms legislation even if it has philosophical flaws.  Like it or not, we won't be seeing Congressional repeal of most current gun control any time soon.  When something positive does become available, we need to support it in order to encourage more positive legislation in our favor. 

Finally, while I understand Jed's reluctance regarding the surrender provision the NRA didn't bother to mention, you only need to look at the alternatives to understand why it's there.  Right now, people possessing Class-III weapons affected by this bill are subject to prosecution for a severe federal felony; there is no way they can get out of that, no matter what they do with the gun.  The bill will provide an amnesty period, and after that amnesty period, it will provide an out for veterans in that situation, by allowing them to surrender the firearm upon notification that continued possession is illegal.  The alternative for the veteran at that point is a federal felony conviction, prison time, and confiscation of the firearm at gunpoint, not continued peaceful existance.

That strikes me as an improvement, albeit a small one.

This entry was published Sat Dec 24 16:15:28 CST 2005 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2005-12-24 16:15:28.0. [Tweet]

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