Three More Federal Gun Laws To Reform Under President Trump

Yesterday’s Five Fast Gun Reforms President Trump Will Sign Into Law focused on five gun law reforms that newly election President Donald Trump could implement shortly after taking office.

They included:

  • Ending Gun-Free Zones On Military Bases
  • National Concealed Carry Reciprocity
  • Legalizing Silencers
  • NICS Background Check Reform
  • Allow Importation of Collectable Historical Firearms

Those are not, however, the only gun law reforms that President Trump, a Republican-controlled Congress, and his newly formed Second Amendment Coalition may decide to tackle during his Presidency.

In addition to those four important shorter-term goals, there are other popular ideas for reform within the Second Amendment community that are implementable, but which may take a little more time to explain to the public and develop as a matter of political realities.

Remove the “Sporting Purpose” clause from Federal Gun Control Legislation

One of the more refreshing parts of President-Elect Trump’s position paper on Second Amendment Rights (PDF) was his acknowlegement that the Constitution and Bill of Rights does not create rights, but instead merely reflects them. The Second Amendment merely reflects the pre-existing natural right for one to be armed for his or her self-defense.

The Lawful Purpose and Self Defense Act introduced in last year’s Congress but stymied by the promise of a veto under President Obama is designed to correct a difficiency in a century of federal gun control laws, which holds that firearms and ammunition could be banned by executive fiat if they weren’t “for sporting purposes.”

This means that firearms and ammunition designed for self-defense instead of hunting are often banned from being brough into the United States.

5.56 M855 “green tip” ammunition commonly used as cheap practice ammunition for AR-15s and similar rifles was targeted by President Obama and House Democrats just last year, and a federal judge upheld a ban on military surplus 5.45×39 7N6 for AK-74 style rifles based upon the “sporting purpose” clause last year. Because of this absurd law, a Glock 19 in 9mm is legal almost everywhere in the nation (except in certain backward slave states), but a Glock 25—a gun from the same manufacturer with the exact same specs by in the slightly less powerful .380 ACP—is heavily restricted.

It’s long past time to pass the Lawful Purpose and Self-Defense Act and rid us of language in federal gu control laws that does not acknowlege the natural right of self-defense

Repeal the Hughes Amendment

One of the most deplorable acts of legislators is to slip amendments into bills just before they are being voted upon, before other legislators know what they’re voting upon. In 1986, a gun control fanatic from New Jersey slipped a “poison pill” into the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 (FOPA) in hopes of derailing the bill. Instead, House Democrats momentarily had a numerical advantage, and “passed” the so-called Hughes Amendment on a voice vote over strenuous objects. The Hughes Amendment meant that no private citizen could own a machine gun manufactured after the bill went into a law in 1986, though they could continue to possess, buy, sell, and trade any machine manufactured before that time as long as they complied with the stringent controls put in place by the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA).

Lawfully purchased machine guns are simply not used in crimes, despite there being some 240,000 in existence. The Hughes Amendment was not passed to stop crimes with lawfully-owned machine guns (as they simply do not exist), but was instead nothing more or less than a spiteful law meant to keep law-abiding citizens already closely monitored by the ATF from being able to purchase new machine guns.

The Hughes Amendment was nothing more or less than an act of spite by anti-gun Democrats three decades ago, and should be repealed in the same manner it was introduced, with a simple amendment to another piece of legislation.

Remove Short-Barreled Rifles, “Any Other Weapons” From the National Firearms Act

The most confusing aspect of the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) was the completely arbitrary decision that some firearms need to be treated differently under the law, and that firearms with different features, combined with an arbitrary barrel length, are somehow bad.

Under NFA a rifle with a barrel of 16″ or longer is “good” and has few restrictions. That exact same rifle with a barrel of 15.99″ or shorter is considered a “short barreled rifle” and is highly restricted That same firearm with the stock removed is then a pistol, and is “good” again, but if you put a vertical grip on that pistol, it is then classified as “any other weapon,” and is “bad again.

Here’s an image from Emptor Maven high-lighting the obscurity of the these bewildering federal rules and regulations brough to us by federal gun laws, specifically the National Firearms Act.


The “heart” of the XCR firearm above remains the same in each one of the examples above, with the same operating system, rate of fire, controls, barrel length, etc. The bewildering array of classifications for this same core of a firearm based upon accessories and the whims of politicians nearly a century ago. Like the law restricting the use of suppressors, the parts of the NFA treating firearms differently because of barrel lengths and accessories needs to be repealed, just to make these laws coherent and logically consistent.