Vicious enforcement of arbitrary laws.

The utterly illogical and pointless nature of the US gun laws can be illustrated with this simple example. Let’s take a gun owner who has an AR15 rifle.

An ordinary carbine with a 16 inch barrel.

Since barrels are available in different lengths, the owner pays a $200 excise tax to the BATF, waits 6-12 months and finally gets permission to use a barrel shorter than 16 inches. Here’s how a 14.5″ barrel looks on a rifle.┬áThe difference of 1.5″ inches is legally significant, though it makes only a minor impact on the actual performance and handling.

With the overall length of the rifle around 35 inches, 1.5 inch difference is pretty hard to tell.

Now, imagine that this person owns more two nearly identical AR15, one of them registered as a short-barreled rifle, and takes both to the range. For cleaning following the range time, both guns are disassembled.

If the owner accidentally puts the 16″ barrel on the registered lower and the 14.5″ barrel on the unregistered lower, he commits are felony “manufacturing of an unregistered short barreled rifle (SBR)” which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Note that there’s zero change in the actual functionality of the guns: the lower receivers are identical, and the upper receivers are still in possession of the same person who already paid for the “privilege” of using a shorter barrel.

The punishment for the accidental swapping of very similar uppers is harsher than most penalties for forcible rape, armed robbery and murder! How does that make any sense whatsoever?


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13 Responses to Vicious enforcement of arbitrary laws.

  1. John says:

    That’s one of the things I don’t understand about US gun laws anyway. The only item registered is one that does nearly nothing to the function of the gun and is the easiest to make by one self.

    Even if I don’t like European gun laws either, registering the barrel and bolt makes much more sense. It’s way harder to make a barrel than a grip. If the barrel is registered as a short barrel, it can be put on any receiver. If the bolt is registered as full auto, it can be put on any receiver. The receiver is just a shell holding everything together.

  2. Lyle says:

    How does that make any sense whatsoever? I think that you, your family having escaped the Soviets, know very well the answer to that question. In fact it makes perfect sense. Why not spell it out?

    Or is it too painful or uncomfortable to get into it? That’s how it works, isn’t it? The small lies and the small crimes require the utmost care and secrecy, whereas the biggest, most deadly schemes are protected by our own incredulity, by our own unwillingness to “go there” and discuss what we actually see.

  3. .45ACP+P says:

    It was never meant to make sense. It is always to make it difficult. They do not want you to understand the law because then, they would have to explain how stupid they were to enact it. No “Pol” wants that. Just remember, they know what is best for you, plebe.

  4. Ray says:

    The original 1932 NFA was a gun CONFISCATION law rammed thru the congress by FDR. It was so draconian that the SCOTUS actually struck it down TWICE before they made it a TAX Law and the SCOTUS let it stand. But make no mistake the original law was written to register and confiscate every non military issued weapon in the US. The NFA was part of a package of laws that would have made ALL police in America federal, and the only armed force other than the military, and would have introduced a soviet style government ,while it abolished all of the US constitution in favor of a “Universal Bill of Human Rights”. Go look up FDR’s record between 1932 and 1940. Listen to his speech’s and “fireside chats”. It will make your hair stand on end how close we came to a communist dictatorship. Or did y’all think that tis crap started in the 60’s with LBJ after the CIA whacked JFK? This all go’s all the way back to Woodrow Wilson and the “progressives”. BTY. FDR was Wilson’s secretary of the Navy in 1917-18, and a close friend of his cousin Winston S. Churchill.

  5. DSmith says:

    You forgot you cannot take the SBR across state lines without permission!

  6. Pingback: SayUncle » Speaking of stupid NFA laws

  7. Geoff says:

    All gun laws since 1934 are unconstitutional but nobody ever challenged them.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The punishment for the accidental swapping of very similar uppers is harsher than most penalties for forcible rape, armed robbery and murder! How does that make any sense whatsoever?

    The transfer from voters/citizens to politicians/rulers which gives them power is not money, is not votes, it is obedience.

    Darwinism says politicians will appear to enforce any laws which advantage them, which citizens will obey. Citizens being willing to get on a boxcar creates an ecological niche for a Hitler.

    Gun owners collectively could ignore these gun laws just like you ignored additional gun registration in Connecticut in 2014 and California in 2018. There would be no consequences. But gun owners don’t do that. The moral fault is shared: politicians are evil, AND citizens are submissive cowards.

    • staghounds says:

      No, citizens agree to live together in a republic and follow the laws they make together. Are we submissive cowards because we pay our taxes, or stop at red lights even when no one is coming?

      • Lyle says:

        The details are unimportant. The “fox” (Man’s [false] authority) has been in the “hen house” in the U.S. since the early 20th Century if not from the get-go. Progressive creep has been in play ever since.

        After the fall of the Roman Empire, there were the Dark Ages, dominated by papal “authority”, even over kings and queens (i.e. Rome didn’t really die so much as change its structure to a more fascistic one, without the republican trappings). The Protestant Reformation lifted civilization out of it, partially and briefly, and Protestant “heretics” were slaughtered in huge numbers in the process, but the back-sliding took hold very soon and…here we go again, in a Long March back to those Dark Ages.

        It is unstoppable because it is so deeply engrained in everyone of us. Far from being in any position to stop it, we cannot even image stopping it, and most of us would reject the very notion if it hit us in the face. Conservative, republican and libertarian will attack conservative, republican and libertarian before it could be stopped.

        Yet it worked circa the 1500s. There was a respite, but we won’t look there for that recipe. We dare not look. Perish the thought! and we wouldn’t understand even if we did look (but we won’t look because one simply does not go there).

  9. ET says:

    The reason short barreled rifles are illegal to own is because gangsters in the 30s could hide them under their coats. Of course, bullpup rifles that one can also easily hide under a coat are entirely legal.

    Time to end the rifle length thing.

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