Have republicans on the state or federal level tried to make it easier to own Class III firearms

Machine guns, suppressors, short barrel shotguns and SB rifles, auto shotguns, etc?

Are there efforts on either the state or federal level to ease restrictions on civilian ownership of these kinds of weapons coming from the GOP?

Most recently, Matt Salmon (R-Arizona) introduced legislation to remove suppressors (also known as silencers) from the National Firearms Act. I’ll have to do some research to dig up other bills on machine guns and such.

Yes, but I don’t want to give away any surprises in the future.

It doesn’t address your question directly but you can buy and own all of those legally in many states already and always could as long as you fill out the right paperwork and pay the $200 transfer tax. My father was a gun dealer and we had a sound suppressed Mach 10, a fully automatic Uzi, an a true M-16 among every other conceivable gun when I was growing up.

The problem is that they are almost useless except as a gimmick and incredibly expensive to shoot in full auto mode. The Mach 10 for example burns through eighteen 45 caliber rounds a second IIRC which means that it costs tens of dollars every time you pulled the trigger no matter how briefly. That is despite the fact that it wasn’t fun to shoot. Good luck with any accuracy. It is like trying to hold on to a rocket launch.

Truly automatic firearms are almost never used in real crimes because they are impractical. It is the National Firearms Act of 1934 that still regulates this stuff in response to the Prohibition era gang wars. The transfer tax was expensive at the time but it was set at a fixed amount of $200 and completely affordable to almost anyone now.

I don’t have a problem with the restriction in general except for the parts that restrict silencers. Silencers are anything but that because it is impossible to make a round that goes supersonic very quiet at all but they do cut down on noise. That helps prevent nuisance to others as well as hearing damage to the shooter. There is little reason for those to be in the same category as weapons of war.

I’d argue that, like suppressors, SBR’s and SBS’s have no business being Class III firearms. It’s perfectly legal to buy an AR or AK pistol and an AR or AK rifle without a tax stamp, but if you pick the in-between one, a SBR, you’ve got to go through all this bullshit with the ATF. It’s stupid. There’s no logical reason for it.

Apparently they make handguns that hold .410 shotgun shells like the Taurus Judge. A .410 is not the same thing as a 12 gauge, but still the fact that you can buy a shotgun pistol or a shotgun with an >18" barrel, but can’t own a 12" barrel doesn’t make much sense.

The American Suppressor Association is a decent resource to follow news on suppressors. Lots of state level action and some federal.


I suspect that we might see these things come off the list. It would be great if a Democratic president pushed it so that we could regain some of our lost credibility with the gun owners but I would be happy with a few Democratic co-sponsors.

Machine guns are illegal in Washington (state). I was surprised, when I moved up here, that silencers were allowed. The catch was that while they were legal to own, they were illegal to use. Someone here at SDMB informed me that the law was changed a few/several years ago to allow owners to use their suppressors.

The real stake through the heart of civilian purchase of machine guns was The Firearms Owners Protection Act which outlawed production of new machine guns for sale to civilians. The ones already in circulation can still be purchased but the prices have skyrocketed so that they are unaffordable to the average person. A full auto AR should cost roughly the same as a semi only model but I think a class III version goes for well over 20K now.

Montana Firearms Freedom Act, though it didn’t go anywhere as of now. Looks like most/all of the sponsors are Republican, can’t find vote results but the Democratic governor signed it without issue. Looks like other states are/were trying to follow suit.

SBS/SBR laws are incredibly stupid, especially with “Lego” AR-15s that allow you to swap parts. If you buy an AR-15 rifle, IIRC you cannot legally strip it down to a receiver and put a pistol grip and short barrel on it. There is nothing practical preventing you from doing so, and you can buy a separate receiver and put pistol hardware on it. It’s hard to enforce unless you take photographic evidence as there is no law against owning both separately, but the penalty can be 10 years in a Federal PMITA prison.

Some of the suppressor legalization bills have used deliciously euphemistic names like the Hearing Protection Act.

IIRC, you can replace a stock with a pistol grip and shorten the barrel, that’s just an AR pistol. But if you shorten the barrel without changing out the stock for a pistol grip, then you have a short barreled rifle and THEN you get 10 years in PMITA federal prison. So make sure you change out the stock for the pistol grip before you change out the barrel. Otherwise its PMITA federal prison for 10 years.

Well, to be fair, the only reason I want a suppressor is to reduce the report from my SBR

I wouldn’t mind having a gun that doesn’t make so much noise. I already lost enough of my hearing in the army.

This AR-15 is classified as a pistol. Just thought I’d toss it out there.

Rock River makes an AR style pistol in .223 that uses a different operation system that does away with the buffer tube (or whatever they call that) that is left hanging out there when you take the stock off an AR.

Legalizing suppressors sounds like a bad idea. It would make it way too easy to get away with murder if you could just shoot someone and the neighbors don’t hear anything.

How effective at reducing decibels do you think suppressors are?

If they were legal I would have them on all my target shooting arms. Anything to aid hearing protection would be welcome. As it is I already wear the foam AND the earmuffs.

Legalizing suppressors sounds like a bad idea…HAHAHAHAhaaaaa…uh …yeah. :rolleyes:

There are many videos on YouTube of suppressed firearms being fired. Check some out. It doesn’t make them as silent as you may think.
If suppressors were as easy to buy as a handgun I would have several by now and my neighbors would probably be happier.

You can make a suppressor out of a flashlight or an oil filter. There are youtube tutorials to do this. I don’t know if I’m allowed to post links here for that stuff though.

Combine that with subsonic ammo, and you can make a gun much quieter. So if a person is going to commit a murder, there is nothing stopping them from buying an oil filter to make a makeshift suppressor.

Suppressors are nice if you are shooting at a range and want to reduce the sound.