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Thread: Ownership of Full Auto weapons for civilians: My objective quandary.

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    Regular Member Miss Black Rifle Disease's Avatar
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    Ownership of Full Auto weapons for civilians: My objective quandary.

    I wanted to get some input from gun owners as I have always debated in my mind the issue of civilian ownership of F/A weapons.

    Firstly my current stance: I don't see that a fully automatic weapon in the hands of a law-abiding citizen is any more of a threat than a semi-automatic one. But I do see that should someone get a hold of that weapon through coercion or theft they could pose a threat to the public, but then again, so could a semi-auto weapon. This seems to be more of a take down issue for law enforcement than anything else. Obviously a villain armed with a F/A weapon would pose a larger threat to LEO lives than with a semi auto weapon. Insofar as a threat to civilians, i.e. a restaurant full of people is just as easily dispatched with an S/A rifle than a F/A one. But, at the end of the day what I ask myself is what practical reason other than just to have one for the sake of having one does a civilian have? Semi-weapons in trained hands are every bit as effective for self-defense as an F/A one so the self-defense issue really doesn't justify the need right? Or does it?

    I want one to be prepared for the unthinkable. If a total breakdown of law and order were to occur for whatever reason, especially if it was very long term or permanent an F/A weapon has some very potent use insofar as tactical value, i.e. suppression fire, intimidation, deterrence. But is that enough justification? Would it be responsible of a government to allow fluid F/A ownership beyond the tight NFA and ATF form 4/Tax stamp restrictions for a weapon that only has value if we got invaded or the world went Mad Max? That is where it gets blurry for me. Ultimately I have to make up my own mind how I feel about it, but fresh perspectives are always good.

    I'm not suggesting restricting F/A ownership and I still plan to get myself a transferable M16A2 lower for myself eventually. But it would be nice if we could buy new ones for 2 or 3 grand vs. the 10K and up price on the current ones out there. I'm just not sure that looser restrictions have any merit or justification...But then again neither does owning a hundred thousand dollar 220 mph sports car...

    Thoughts?

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    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    Talking to a political candidate yesterday, I had the following conversation:
    C: If someone wants fully automatic weapons, they should join the military.
    Me: I did, and spent over 22 years. Why should I give it up just because I retired?

    I'm still the same person I was then, and just as likely to use it in civilian life as in military (which is to say, highly unlikely since there is still no formal combat role for women). In fact, I didn't serve in combat, so statistically speaking am less likely to have combat-related psychological issues.

    I don't really see it as an issue of need, and I certainly don't want the government determining I can only have what I need.

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    Regular Member Miss Black Rifle Disease's Avatar
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    Isn't it in Sweden where everyone serves then you take your assault rifle home even after you have done your time on the military? I think, if I recall correctly, that even there an armorer removes the full auto capability of the weapon before it goes home with the citizen. My point is, though I believe you certainly should be able to have an F/A weapon, which you can legally in most states if you have the dollars, I don't see that military service entitles you to special consideration with this issue. A vet is no more or less likely to do evil with a machine gun then a citizen who never served. But all that being said your point is interesting and not lost on me nevertheless. Something to add to my deliberations on this topic for certain..

    Yes I was in the military btw...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miss Black Rifle Disease View Post
    Isn't it in Sweden where everyone serves then you take your assault rifle home even after you have done your time on the military? I think, if I recall correctly, that even there an armorer removes the full auto capability of the weapon before it goes home with the citizen. My point is, though I believe you certainly should be able to have an F/A weapon, which you can legally in most states if you have the dollars, I don't see that military service entitles you to special consideration with this issue. A vet is no more or less likely to do evil with a machine gun then a citizen who never served. But all that being said your point is interesting and not lost on me nevertheless. Something to add to my deliberations on this topic for certain..

    Yes I was in the military btw...
    Switzerland

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    Regular Member twoskinsonemanns's Avatar
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    I thought it was legal?
    I thought there was a stamp for it or something? I really don't know because I've never considered paying $20,000 for gun or what ever is was.
    IMHO it is the same song and dance about disarming civilians. The only way to truly control people to the point of forcing them (without question) to do exactly what the governing body wants is violence. Since the governing body is the minority they must be stronger. Bigger, badder guns. Or NO guns for the people.

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    Regular Member Miss Black Rifle Disease's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boyscout399 View Post
    Switzerland
    Thank you. I could not remember which country it was.

    Quote Originally Posted by twoskinsonemanns View Post
    I thought it was legal?
    I thought there was a stamp for it or something? I really don't know because I've never considered paying $20,000 for gun or what ever is was.
    IMHO it is the same song and dance about disarming civilians. The only way to truly control people to the point of forcing them (without question) to do exactly what the governing body wants is violence. Since the governing body is the minority they must be stronger. Bigger, badder guns. Or NO guns for the people.
    It is currently legal depending on your state, paying your $250 Tax stamp to the ATF and your local chief LEO's willingness to sign off on your ATF Form 4 unless you have a trust set up. But you cannot purchase new F/A arms. They must have been manufactured prior to March of 1987 I believe and the weapon must have been originally registered as a civilian full auto weapon for it to be legally transferable. The limited amount of Pre-Brady ban F/A weapons out there has inflated the price to absurd levels. For example the cheapest I have ever seen a transferable F/A M-16 was an A1 model and it sold for $9000. The cheapest F/A weapons out there are probably Uzis (around 4 to 5k) and MAC10s (around 5 and 6 thousand) followed by MP5s, then M14's and then M16's with every other F/A weapon dropping in between those popular models in various order depending on condition.

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    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miss Black Rifle Disease
    It is currently legal depending on your state, paying your $250 Tax stamp to the ATF and your local chief LEO's willingness to sign off on your ATF Form 4 unless you have a trust set up.
    $200, & while I can't find the info on the ATF site, I remember reading that they were either doing away with or considering doing away with the chief's stamp of approval.

    They must have been manufactured prior to March of 1987 I believe
    Close... had to be "lawfully possessed" before May of 1986, actually.
    http://www.atf.gov/firearms/nfa/
    http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/nati...-firearms.html

    Firearm Owners’ Protection Act
    In 1986, this Act amended the NFA definition of “silencer” by adding combinations of parts for silencers and any part intended for use in the assembly or fabrication of a silencer. The Act also amended the GCA to prohibit the transfer or possession of machineguns. Exceptions were made for transfers of machineguns to, or possession of machineguns by, government agencies, and those lawfully possessed before the effective date of the prohibition, May 19, 1986.
    Last edited by MKEgal; 06-06-2012 at 11:02 PM.
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    Regular Member Miss Black Rifle Disease's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MKEgal View Post
    $200, & while I can't find the info on the ATF site, I remember reading that they were either doing away with or considering doing away with the chief's stamp of approval.


    Close... had to be "lawfully possessed" before May of 1986, actually.
    http://www.atf.gov/firearms/nfa/
    Thanks for the fact check! Good news on the LEO signature req. being dropped.

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    I would argue that full-auto weapons are less of a threat to public safety. Full auto serves well for area denial in military operations, but not so much for hitting a specific target.

    Probably the best active shooter scenario, in terms of stopping the shooter, is one in which the shooter thinks he's playing a video game with a real-life bullet hose. He'll quickly be out of ammo, and easy to take down, after probably hitting not much except dirt and sky.

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    Regular Member altajava's Avatar
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    "Ownership of Full Auto weapons for civilians: My objective quandary."

    It is no quandary to me. The second of the first ten amendments. The first ten amendments, i.e. The Bill Of Rights, was put in place by some very smart gentlemen. The Bill of Rights was put in place to protect the citizen from the government and as such the citizen should be well armed. I would love to see the NFA act of '86 repealed as I think it would drive the cost of select fire guns down. They still wouldn't be cheep to feed though. I would love to see the NFA act of '34 repealed so I could buy a select fire gun with less paperwork involved than currently needed for a handgun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by altajava View Post
    "Ownership of Full Auto weapons for civilians: My objective quandary."

    It is no quandary to me. The second of the first ten amendments. The first ten amendments, i.e. The Bill Of Rights, was put in place by some very smart gentlemen. The Bill of Rights was put in place to protect the citizen from the government and as such the citizen should be well armed. I would love to see the NFA act of '86 repealed as I think it would drive the cost of select fire guns down. They still wouldn't be cheep to feed though. I would love to see the NFA act of '34 repealed so I could buy a select fire gun with less paperwork involved than currently needed for a handgun.
    This is the only answer you ever need.

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    Regular Member paramedic70002's Avatar
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    The "political candidate" is a moron.

    1. Your question was not about the military.
    2. Most military arms are NOT full auto. Three round burst but not FA. (or so I've been led to believe)
    3. Does he think the military GIVES you a FA weapon as a parting gift?
    4. Many Colonial Americans had a weapon identical to the military. Heck many brought their own to the fight.

    I'm torn on unrestricted FA. The Libertarian in me says Heck Yeah, and let the free market determine the price. My prudence says gangbangers and terrorists should have a couple walls between themselves and FA. My primary reason for thinking this is that criminals could deploy FA weapons against even a heavily populated CCW crowd with police presence and still hold a strategic advantage, and the police would have that much more incentive to militarize.

    I think a proper solution would be to alter the existing registration procedure for FA weapons to make it more user friendly, while maintaining accountability. Further restoration of FA freedom could be implemented in stages as long as there are no systemic problems.
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    Regular Member Miss Black Rifle Disease's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by altajava View Post
    "Ownership of Full Auto weapons for civilians: My objective quandary."

    It is no quandary to me. The second of the first ten amendments. The first ten amendments, i.e. The Bill Of Rights, was put in place by some very smart gentlemen. The Bill of Rights was put in place to protect the citizen from the government and as such the citizen should be well armed. I would love to see the NFA act of '86 repealed as I think it would drive the cost of select fire guns down. They still wouldn't be cheep to feed though. I would love to see the NFA act of '34 repealed so I could buy a select fire gun with less paperwork involved than currently needed for a handgun.
    I agree in the spirit of this , but not completely in the content. I don't think unrestricted F/A is as simple as a "gun rights" issue. But I too would love to see the NFA act repealed for many reasons.

    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    The "political candidate" is a moron.

    1. Your question was not about the military.
    2. Most military arms are NOT full auto. Three round burst but not FA. (or so I've been led to believe)
    3. Does he think the military GIVES you a FA weapon as a parting gift?
    4. Many Colonial Americans had a weapon identical to the military. Heck many brought their own to the fight.

    I'm torn on unrestricted FA. The Libertarian in me says Heck Yeah, and let the free market determine the price. My prudence says gangbangers and terrorists should have a couple walls between themselves and FA. My primary reason for thinking this is that criminals could deploy FA weapons against even a heavily populated CCW crowd with police presence and still hold a strategic advantage, and the police would have that much more incentive to militarize.

    I think a proper solution would be to alter the existing registration procedure for FA weapons to make it more user friendly, while maintaining accountability. Further restoration of FA freedom could be implemented in stages as long as there are no systemic problems.
    I agree with this completely and well put. You framed some of my thoughts better than I did. The biggest thing I disagree with over the NFA act is the restriction on purchasing new arms. This really makes no sense. We can have F/A, just not a brand new one. What's the difference? F/A is F/A. At minimum that aspect of the NFA should be dropped. I mean the ridiculous part about it is you can get a F/A weapon on the black market for as little as $500 and there are plenty of them. Yet to purchase one legally you will be well over $10,000 by the time it's all said and done. If this restriction was imposed to drive up prices and make F/A or S/F weapons too expensive for just anyone to own and to limit their numbers in civilian hands then that was a major fail.
    Last edited by Miss Black Rifle Disease; 06-07-2012 at 11:35 AM.

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    Regular Member Mas49.56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miss Black Rifle Disease View Post
    Thanks for the fact check! Good news on the LEO signature req. being dropped.
    It's not dropped, I had to get mine to sign or form a trust. He will sign for any law-abiding voter.

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    Shooting "full auto" is not like in the movies, literally not two seconds later and the full auto AK is empty, one cool looking rainbow of empty shells though. Most of the rounds will have went into the sky from the skill level of your average gang banger. Criminal types can get them now, so that's a non issue IMHO.
    Now, three round burst on the other hand oooohhhh yaaa

    That being said I would love to FA my PS90's if it were legal! A Glock18 would be tasty too. Most ranges these days have banned full auto weapons, so it would be hard for most folks to find a range to train with them anyway.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Are they worth the price under current conditions? No, not to me. If you are a good marksman, an M-4 fired semi-auto will do the job at least as well as the 'spray and pray' taught in Vietnam. 30 rounds goes fast in full auto, hence the 3 round burst which is now pretty standard. 9 or 10 large buys an awful lot of ammo to practice with, imo.
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    Regular Member Miss Black Rifle Disease's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mas49.56 View Post
    Shooting "full auto" is not like in the movies, literally not two seconds later and the full auto AK is empty, one cool looking rainbow of empty shells though. Most of the rounds will have went into the sky from the skill level of your average gang banger. Criminal types can get them now, so that's a non issue IMHO.
    Now, three round burst on the other hand oooohhhh yaaa
    For anyone that has not actually fired an F/A weapon these are valuable words and something to consider.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    Are they worth the price under current conditions? No, not to me. If you are a good marksman, an M-4 fired semi-auto will do the job at least as well as the 'spray and pray' taught in Vietnam. 30 rounds goes fast in full auto, hence the 3 round burst which is now pretty standard. 9 or 10 large buys an awful lot of ammo to practice with, imo.
    Yep! But one day I hope to have enough financial worth to where 10K for a rifle won't be that big of a deal...I'm probably dreaming...

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miss Black Rifle Disease View Post
    Semi-weapons in trained hands are every bit as effective for self-defense as an F/A one so the self-defense issue really doesn't justify the need right? Or does it?
    In trained hands, an auto is more effective for self-defense than a semi-auto, for one specific reason: Seven shots downrange in less than a second compared to one or two. However, beyond a burst of about three, you're likely to walk off target.

    I want one to be prepared for the unthinkable. If a total breakdown of law and order were to occur for whatever reason, especially if it was very long term or permanent an F/A weapon has some very potent use insofar as tactical value, i.e. suppression fire, intimidation, deterrence. But is that enough justification?
    Enough justification for what?

    Would it be responsible of a government to allow fluid F/A ownership beyond the tight NFA and ATF form 4/Tax stamp restrictions for a weapon that only has value if we got invaded or the world went Mad Max?
    If someone will be using an auto for illegal purposes, they shouldn't own a firearm at all. If someone will be using an auto for legal purposes, what's the point of trying to restrict them?

    Back to that three round burst... Machine guns go through a whole lot of rounds in a hurry. Your 1,000 round stash can get used up in a couple of firefights that way, and lugging around ammo isn't easy. That's why some machine guns with selectable fire had single, 3, and full auto. Distance targets - single for taking them out, three-shot for suppression fire. For closer work, three-shot for taking them out, and full auto for suppression fire against many targets.

    Wasting ammo is fun on the range! It can cost you your life in combat.
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    The AF changed up their weapons qualification training for the M4/M16 and we now get to fire it on burst a few times. The very first time I pulled that trigger I couldn't hold the gun on target. In fact while the first round hit center mass, the third round hit the heavy-duty metal clip that holds up the target (which caused the frangible round to shatter, slide down the angled clip, and the shards cut the head off at the throat, causing my target to fall to the ground). So honestly, I wouldn't be too scared about 99% of badguys having a FA gun as it would likely end up pointing straight up if they tried to hold the trigger down too long.

    As for should we be able to, yes. I mean simply looking at the intent of the 2A (and ignoring the whole "...shall not be infringed" bit which should be the end of the arguement) it was for the citizens to be properly armed should our government become so corrupt that there is a need to overthrow it just as how they had just overthrown the British. And even in the SCOTUS case where they erroneously rule the NFA of 1934 to be Constitutional, they state that if the weapon in question (a sawed off shotgun) had any use in the military then the law would have been unconstitutional.

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    Regular Member Jack House's Avatar
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    I don't need no justification for exercising my right to arms.

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    Regular Member Freedom1Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack House View Post
    I don't need no justification for exercising my right to arms.
    Best response so far. +3
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    Regular Member DrakeZ07's Avatar
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    I have a friend in Ohio who owns an NFA M16. He often invites me up there to play with it on his personal range. Amusingly enough, he always re-counts how he got his NFA application approved; mentioning his reason for applying, when asked by his town's Sheriff, a person my friend claims to never have spoke to before, he told the LEO "because I can". The Sheriff thought it funny enough, that he signed off on the form.

    Jack's response is the best response regarding NFA items, and because I can, if it works for a buck-eye, has to work for us

    Quote Originally Posted by Miss Black Rifle Disease View Post
    For anyone that has not actually fired an F/A weapon these are valuable words and something to consider.
    I once read on someone's T-shirt, a few years back, that "Happiness is a belt-fed weapon". It wasn't until last April, when I had the pleasure, and patience to wait in line at the lower range in knob creek, and paying the price, to fire the F/A M60 for two 100rnd belts, then the PKM for a 100rnd belt; that I realized... Happiness isn't just a belt-fed weapon, but a full auto one at that. Though off topic, despite always loving the M60 in various First-person-shooters on the PC, I have to say, the PKM pwns the M60...

    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    *snip snip*I'm torn on unrestricted FA. The Libertarian in me says Heck Yeah, and let the free market determine the price. My prudence says gangbangers and terrorists should have a couple walls between themselves and FA. My primary reason for thinking this is that criminals could deploy FA weapons against even a heavily populated CCW crowd with police presence and still hold a strategic advantage, and the police would have that much more incentive to militarize.*snip-a-lou~*
    I feel much the same way as you, on that note, but a thought provoking idea, would be to try to compare free and open ownership of F/A items, with the 1st Amendment. As you state, the Libertarian in you agree's on unrestricted F/A, but your other part wants to keep walls up for 'terrorists' and 'gang-bangers'. Well, We can't exactly have both things, in our world, no matter how we wish and try, human rights are clear and black and white, either you have something fully free, or nothing at all. Like, either you have the right to free speech, or not speech at all. The KKK often abuses free speech, and the NAACP, and other radical groups, but because of them, should Free speech be restricted to us?

    I think I made that sound okay, I dunno, it all sounded better in my flu-infected mind xD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tess View Post
    I don't really see it as an issue of need, and I certainly don't want the government determining I can only have what I need.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack House View Post
    I don't need no justification for exercising my right to arms.
    +2!!!

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    Regular Member Miss Black Rifle Disease's Avatar
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    When talking about this subject we often speak of rights. We of course always fall back on the Constitution to defend our position. But just for the sake of discussion, I have to ask myself if when these wise men that founded this nation and wrote that magnificent document had lived during a time where the range of weaponry that is available today with all of it's destructive firepower been available, would they have envisioned an unrestricted "right to bear arms"? Say what you want, but I'm not so sure. Remember, when the Constitution was drafted firearms were more or less only of one variety, that being single shot flint lock weapons. They didn't even have cartridge firing rifles yet let alone semi-automatic handguns or select fire weapons. If all that existed in 1791 would it have changed the language of the 2nd Amendment? Personally I suspect it would have, though how I can only speculate on. I just don't except that the founding fathers of this nation ever would have envisioned just how good we would get at killing each other.

    Also the Constitution is amendable. That is the genius of this document. It can be adjusted for the times as it was meant to do just that. So always falling back on the 2A argument for the singular justification to own weapons that have no real use outside of military and law enforcement application isn't enough in my mind. I want one yes, for the "just in case the world goes all Mad Max on us." reason. But part of me will always wonder if "just because I can" is really a valid position.

    That being said - I AM NOT SAYING CONSTITUTIONAL RESTRICTIONS TO THE 2A SHOULD BE MADE!!
    I am not condoning the alteration of the 2a to restrict select fire weapons.
    I DO NOT believe that should be done..

    I emphasized that three times for the haters so they didn't dissect my post out of context and bombard me with "in the bubble posts". I am only mentioning what I have stated for the sake of the philosophical debate/discussion.

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    Remember, when the Constitution was drafted firearms were more or less only of one variety, that being single shot flint lock weapons.
    I disagree. A lot of conversation was had as to the verbiage of the second amendment, and why the word arms was used vs other words which could have been used. Multi-barrel firearms were a technology of the time, as where cannons, as were many other implements of war, and yet they did not frame the amendment with any of these distinctions. I feel it was for a very good reason.

    I feel that they would have had a keen understanding of how technology advances, and setting up any distinction that allows a government to control its population by restricting legal access to armament on the basis of technological advancement was not something they felt was good for rational governance.

    Over the course of the war of independence alone many technological advancements where made, and no such distinction was laid out despite these facts.
    Last edited by Xulld; 06-13-2012 at 04:19 PM.

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