View Full Version : hughes amendment question
08-26-2011, 12:11 PM
i know i bitch about this alot, but for those of us born after may 19 1986 its extremely unfair. anyways i got this off of the nra-ila site.
After passage of the FOPA, a law-abiding Georgian named Farmer applied for the registration of a fully-automatic firearm manufactured after May 19, 1986, but his application was rejected by BATF. Farmer contended that BATF's interpretation of the measure as a prohibition on possession of fully-automatic firearms manufactured after May 19, 1986 was incorrect, since the law exempted fully-automatic firearms newly-manufactured under the authority of the United States, thus it would exempt firearms approved for registration by BATF. Farmer also questioned whether Congress had the power, under the Constitution, to ban the mere possession of a type of firearm and whether the exercise of any such power would violate the Second Amendment to the Constitution. The U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Georgia ruled in Farmer's favor. On appeal by the federal government, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed the decision with respect to BATF's interpretation, but did not rule on the constitutional issues raised. The NRA's Firearms Civil Rights Legal Defense Fund asked the Supreme Court of the United States to review the case. The Court declined, as it does the vast majority of cases. Thus the decision stands in the Eleventh Circuit, which encompasses Alabama, Florida and Georgia.
so new machineguns can be manufactured under the authority of the United States "BATF" but since the atf is chocked full of antigun dickheads they just dont want to approve a form 1 for a machinegun?
08-26-2011, 06:51 PM
The highest court to hear the Farmer case said no, the Hughes Amendment does indeed ban possession of new MGs by civillians and that ATFs interpretation was proper. The SCOTUS of the day refused to hear the case, so the ruling stands. However, the higher court only ruled on the ATF interpretation versus Farmers and totally ignored the Second Amendment and Congress' failure to assert an Interstate Commerce or Taxation reason for the law issues Farmer raised.
However, many Yarons ago I did read of a case in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that essentially overturned the MG ban on Constitutional grounds, basically the same circumstances as Farmer V Higgins. I cannot find reference to it anywhere now, though. ATF decined to appeal it further, so in theory at least, a Form 1 MG app should be approved in the 7th's territory. Doubt if they will, however.
08-26-2011, 08:44 PM
Yeah the '86 laws blows.
If you can pass a thorough back ground check you should be able to purchase an FA firearm, I could see restrictions like it has to be over a certain age or something like that, but that law should be dropped or changed.
08-27-2011, 01:57 PM
at the very least ex military personel who were not dishonorably discharged should be allowed to make/purchase new machineguns.
08-27-2011, 02:00 PM
not to mention the buttload of $$$ that would come in from the $200 tax should be persuasive to make them want to change it. so if the supreme court agreed to hear it could it be overturned? not getting my hopes up just curious
08-27-2011, 06:12 PM
Ever hear of the Miller case? Right after the NFA passed, a guy named Miller was busted with a sawed of shotgun, or SBS. Got appealed all the way to SCOTUS. Unfortunately, by that time Miller had died and his atty didn't even bother appearing. So the SCOTUS essentially had only one side heard, but still ruled that the 2nd protected a right to own weapons "suited for militia duty".
The prosecution either lied or was ignorant of the fact that short bbl shotguns had been commonly used by the US military in WWI and even before. Faced with the (false) testimony that an SBS was not a suitable militia weapon, and lacking any argument to the contrary, they upheld his conviction and the NFA tax on an SBS because they were not militia type weapons.
However, their ruling that it protected militia weapons was ignored and twisted around to be the Liberal argument that Miller only guaranteed the right of the States to keep militia weapons. With the new ruling that the 2nd is an individual right, one merely has to argue that Miller was in fact correct (they only specifically ruled that an SBS is not a militia weapon, MGs were not addressed) and the Hughes Amendment is toast.
That is in a perfect world where the letter of the law is respected and logic prevails. In the the world of DC politics, it could go either way. Free speech is probably the most defended of the bill of rights, yet some forms of it are legally prohibited. If the SCOTUS thinks there is a compelling public safety reason to ban MGs from civillians, then we lose. Remember, the vote was 5 to 4, all they need is one Justice who thinks MGs are a bad thing and that's it, game over.
08-27-2011, 06:25 PM
interesting. a machinegun would definitely count as a militia type weapon. i have only shot one machinegun in my life it was a suppressed uzi dealer sample that a class 3 sot had at the range one day i offered to use my own ammo and he said yes. it was a lot of fun! but i seriously doubt it would give any advantage to a violent crime over a semi auto. the problem is that the word ''machine gun'' is a ''scary'' word and people associate it with violent crime. same thing with suppressors. there was an article in shotgun news recently that talked about how suppressors are common courtesy in other countries and are even required for hunting in some areas. you can order them and have them shipped to your doorstep.
08-28-2011, 01:19 AM
Yep, I've got one of Paulson's silencer books and he has a pic of a silencer display in Europe. Simple AL tube silencer for a .22, they are stacked in a display carton just like you would find a box of "impulse buy" screwdrivers beside the register in any ACE Hardware store. Around $12 each, IIRC. The silencers, not the screwdrivers.
As I said, in a perfect world where logic prevails, MG ownership (with the paperwork the NFA entails) would endanger no one. IIRC, the only documented case of a legally registered MG used in a violent crime was an off duty Cop in Ohio who used his MAC to off his rival in the drug dealing business. Other than recreational shooting, not much use for one unless you plan on a Mad Max scenario. Only civillian SD MG shooting I am aware of was an HK sales rep that had a Ruger AC556 on him when attacked by some bikers. He put a burst into the guy in self defense. Justified shooting, and the Jury eventually agreed, but the prosecution felt he "used too much gun" and went after him for murder. Many thousands in legal fees later, he was cleared. He owns Al MAR Knives now.
Unless you have one of those bottomless movie magazines, most full-auto SMGs and rifles are probably less effective than the same weapons on semi. In real life, a magazine in my MAC-11 lasts less than three seconds.
A repeal of the Hughes Amendment would instantly reduce the "value" of the MAC by a factor of 10, not really relevant since I don't intend to sell it. But it would sure make it easier to finish up my DP-28 build...
11-23-2011, 03:21 PM
not to mention the tax money that would come in! I think alot of people dont get sbr's and suppressors because they just dont wanna jump through the hoops but would be willing to do so for a machinegun so alot more tax money would be coming in.