The State of the Union
This article was submitted by a Mom-at-Arms reader that is in the silencer/suppressor industry that we’ll call Mrs. Silence Dogood. Very good read.
As I sit here writing this on the 246th anniversary of the start of the American Revolution with shots being fired in the battles of Lexington and Concord after British General Thomas Gage seized citizen weapons and gun powder being stored just outside of Boston Massachusetts. It was dubbed, the shot heard round the world and kicked off one of the defining wars in American history.
Not unlike at anytime before, Americans don't like the threat of their property and firearms being seized. And now we seem to have went nearly full circle. The founding fathers were intelligent enough to provide safeguards to common citizens to protect our right to defense. Any military today would have rifles, machineguns, cannons, mortars, aircraft, naval ships, etc. Private ownership of arms by citizens should not be restricted today either, and if anything, history has proven we need it as much now as ever.
Common ordinary men and women alike would still answer the call to protect their families, their communities, and our country. The government is intentionally insulting and disrespecting and trying to weaken the largest, toughest, and most able body of force ever known to mankind. Even the Japanese knew not to launch a land invasion here due to a rifle being behind every blade of grass.
There are several in government who are determined to repeat tyrannical confiscation of arms including magazines, firearm parts and take away the ability to manufacture personal owned weapons, taxing ammunition and a host of other unconstitutional laws, all the while calling anyone that speaks out against it extremists and domestic terrorists. Those are some very antagonizing words being directed straight at common citizens that doesn't wish to harm anyone and just be able to live their lives in peace without constant governmental harassment.
Many in government have forgotten that when the second amendment was written, the sting of confiscation was still very recent in their minds and why there were three very intelligent men who are mostly accredited for developing and promoting the second amendments language. George Mason, Patrick Henry and James Madison. Just the words "shall not be infringed", should be so simple that even a child could understand it.
Let's skip forward some. In 1910, just a few months after Hiram Maxims patent for a firearm silencer was approved, the United States armed services purchased some. Since that time, every country in the world has adopted their use and on every continent. Allies and foe alike. Russia. China. Iran. England. Israel. Europe. Australia, South America. North America. That fact alone should make civilian owned arms absolute to allow us to have equal standing with any military in the world if we must defend our homes and families, communities, states, or country. That is the entire purpose of the second amendment. It was never about hunting and sporting goods as many are conditioned hearing.
Without getting too far down into a political rabbit hole that I don't wish to be, I would like to concentrate on one such current confiscation bill written by Senator Bob Menendez and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman that wishes to seize more than two million legally owned suppressors from law abiding citizens under the guise of public protection.
Suppressors have existed for nearly half as long as the United States itself. Since 1934 when the National Firearms Act became law, In order to own a silencer, the owner must submit to two background checks. Local law enforcement must be notified and federal government goes through an even more extensive search of your legal background through the FBI.
Fingerprints have to be provided so they can cross reference them to unsolved and open crime scene fingerprints as well as past criminal activity that are on file. A hefty tax of $200 per item has already been paid. Their physical locations are all registered with the government and it's a felony to transfer one without the next purchaser doing the same background checks prior to transferring it to them. Yet now they are just wanting to outright seize them altogether despite no criminal activity or wrong doing on the owners part. If anyone needed proof that registration leads to confiscation, look no further than this bill and the recent executive directives that Biden signed and further cements the fact that it's the government which can't be trusted.
All this despite that they are untaxed and unregulated in many other countries altogether. That's right. Walk right into a store and buy them no questions asked. No different than when you replace the muffler on your car. In fact, many other European countries, require a suppressor to be used when you shoot to keep noise pollution levels down and to comply with their equivalent of OSHA standards. The are often called moderators, suppressors, mufflers and silencers depending on which keyword you want to search.
Let's get into some even more muddy waters in regards to some things that the government has always gotten itself into trouble with. Interstate commerce; Intrastate commerce and the 10th amendment.
Technically, if an item has never crossed state lines in open (interstate commerce) the authority to regulate trade or manufacture of items within a state is not a federal matter and congress shall not make laws against the states restricting it. That would seem to be pretty straightforward to anyone. Well, anyone except the government.
There are a lot of people in all 50 states who exercise their rights and make their own private arms and yet never cross state lines either for travel or for commerce. So, in banning any item (or silencer as they are wanting to do at this moment) is an overstep in congressional authority.
I keep hearing the term "buybacks" being thrown around a lot, which is nothing more than government speak and feelgood words for taking your tax dollars from you and then turning around and telling you that must also surrender your weapons, but they are going to give you some of your taxes back for them. For anyone capable of critical thinking, that is nothing more than paying yourself to disarm yourself and is one of the most foolish things that I have ever heard. This just proves that their claim of protecting the common good and wanting to make more background checks and registration and higher taxes is straight up BS. This doesn't even fit their own narrative. This is tyrannical at the very core of its' meaning.
The ban bill says that the government will pay for silencers seized with Byrne Grant money for the "fair market value" of the silencers. Legally, one of the conditions required to establish fair market value is that “the parties involved are acting in their own interest, are free of any pressure to buy or sell, and have ample time to make the decision.” In a mandatory “buyback” or confiscation scenario the "free from pressure" condition cannot be met therefore a “fair market value” cannot be established.
The term "fair market value" might sound great on paper and politicians like to throw it around a lot during interviews for nightly news to the uneducated masses and those unaware, but when a person makes their own silencer or firearm, there is no fair market value because there is no standard or basis for the cost of them because they have never been sold nor would they be.
This brings me to an even more disturbing point altogether about this law. Not every silencer simply threads onto a barrel and has the ability to be taken off of the weapon and handed over at a whim. There are many different silencer designs that do not come off of their host weapon. Integral suppressors, Reflex Suppressors, and otherwise permanently attached suppressors. In the case of all of those types, they are permanently affixed; nor can they be separated, short of destroying the entire weapon or other severe legal ramifications.
The bill does not address that. Truth is, it never could. There is no fair market value for those types of arms because not only are they destroying the silencer they just outlawed for citizens (while always exempting itself of course) you would also be losing the host weapon too which there was no just compensation paid for it.
Since silencers have been in existence for over 100 years, some of those host guns may be very rare and out of production guns that they can't be replaced or repaired and be made in compliance with existing firearm laws. Or, in the instances of being handmade by Great Grandpa that has been passed down as an heirloom after the lawful heir passed the background check in order to comply with NFA ownership laws, "fair market value" cannot adequately address sentimental value and loss of your family heritage.
And all those points notwithstanding, many internal designs are personal intellectual property and unlike anything that is made commercially.
For those silencers that are built in this manner, this law specifically puts you in legal double jeopardy. You either don't turn in the silencer to them and be a felon, OR you cut the silencer off and in effect create an unregistered, untaxed illegal short barrel rifle, and again, be a felon WHILE complying. The simple act alone of creating a short barrel rifle is a class A felony. Any violation of the NFA is a felony punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and/or up to 10 years in prison for each firearm and offense, and any firearm involved is forfeit.
As is often the case, this bill was clearly authored by persons without the requisite knowledge of the subject matter and will put citizens in a position where compliance with the law requires them to commit a felony . Or, maybe that was some of their goal all along to see someone with different views than them jailed for decades and fines that would bankrupt them. I used to think that politicians made bad laws because they were just ignorant. But in recent years, I have determined they do it as attrition. If you still have any doubts after all that I've told you in this article, look up the US Department of State and read for yourself. https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/arms-control-and-international-security