It’s a losing battle–and a worthy one.
The National Firearms act regulation of short barreled rifles and shotguns from 1934 should be eliminated. It made little sense when the primary purpose for the regulation was thwarted when it passed, it has become increasingly irrelevant, and it makes no sense at all after the Heller and McDonald decisions.
The reason for the ban on short barrelled rifles and shotguns had very little to do with the criminal use of such items. After all, criminals use handguns many, many, times more often. Short barreled rifles and shotguns are, in fact, as modified and used by criminals, expediently manufactured pistols.
The National firearms act of 1934 originally lumped in handguns with full auto firearms. It is clear that the Roosevelt administration wanted to subject pistols and revolvers to the same draconian regulations and taxes that machine guns were finally subjected to. Congress simply would not go along. It was a step too far for even the heavily Democrat Congress of 1934.
Once you understand that licensing of handguns to the point of prohibition was the major target of the legislation, the reason for including short barreled rifles and shotguns becomes clear. What is the point of banning handguns if any person can buy a rifle or shotgun, a hacksaw, and make a functional pistol in fifteen minutes from that rifle or shotgun?
Michigan had served as a blueprint for this action. First they had required licensing of handguns; then they made the possession of short barreled rifles or shotguns illegal.
The prohibition on short barreled rifles and shotguns was passed in the hope of making handguns so heavily regulated as to be impossible for an ordinary person to obtain. Without that regulation, the restrictions on short barrelled rifles and shotguns become non-nonsensical.
Well, naturally. And when was THAT ever any obstacle to retaining a law–or a bureaucrat, or an agency, or a government, say–firmly in place anyway?
It does nicely highlight how the gun-grabbers’ true intentions haven’t changed one iota in over eighty years, though. And it serves as a stark reminder, and a warning: they will never, EVER stop. Never. They’re worse than zombies that way, because even cutting off their heads won’t do the trick. And gun-grabbers have a patience completely lacking in your basic Mark-1 Mod-0 zombie, too. They take the long view in a way that zombies just can’t.
Beyond that, though, there’s not a whole hell of a lot to distinguish ’em.