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NAT’L – GUN POLITICS – Biden’s Gun-Registration Scheme Would Cost Firearm Owners Billions — If It Passed Congress and Americans Complied

Joe Biden’s gun-control plans have about zero chance of getting through Congress, especially if Republicans win at least one of the Georgia runoffs. That’s good, because his bright idea for restricting “assault weapons” would force America’s gun owners to choose between (a) giving up millions of their firearms and magazines to a federal “buyback” and (b) registering those guns with the federal government, paying billions of dollars in taxes for the privilege. Any guesses as to how that would play out in this country? As many readers may be old enough to remember, America had a ban on assault weapons for ten years, from 1994 to 2004, and it didn’t start a civil war. That’s because the folks who drafted that law were smarter than whoever is handling gun policy for Biden. The law applied mainly to businesses: It became illegal to sell brand-new semiautomatic guns with certain combinations of tactical features (think folding stocks, flash suppressors, etc.), as well as new magazines that held more than ten rounds at a time. Individual Americans who’d previously purchased the banned items were left alone, and they were even allowed to sell the items on the secondary market. This isn’t to defend the law. I don’t think it reduced crime, in large part because rifles are not often used in crime to begin with, and also because “assault weapons,” despite some military-style features, do not differ from semiautomatic hunting rifles in their caliber or rate of fire. And I do think the ban violated the Second Amendment, for the reasons David French ably laid out in 2018. But for all its flaws, the 1994 law didn’t tell ordinary gun owners that they had to either turn their assault weapons and magazines over to the feds or register them and pay a $200-per-item tax, as Biden has endorsed to go along with a new ban. As explained on his website, which in turn cites a policy memo from the Giffords Law Center, Biden wants to regulate these items under the National Firearms Act (NFA), the law that currently applies to, among other things, fully automatic machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, and sound suppressors.  [full article]

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