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Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Guns Donate to DU
benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-11 09:07 AM
Response to Reply #54
55. Thoughts...
How many bullets are enough or too little? Is there anyone on the gun side that has a reasonable response to this? Do you all agree on it?

An upper bound of 19-20 rounds for pistols and 30 for rifles (reflecting the standard capacities of the most popular lawfully owned civilian guns), not counting the round in the chamber, would be reasonable, though I don't see it as necessary or helpful. Nor, unfortunately, do I see the gun-control lobby backing away from their 1860s-ish 10-round limit.

I hear often that there should be no limits. If that's the case, what exactly does no limits include?

You mostly hear that as a false caricature of the pro-gun-ownership side. It does not reflect reality.

Existing Federal law, by longstanding consensus, places very tight controls (10-year Federal felony for unauthorized manufacture/possession, with a few exceptions) on the following:

  • Automatic weapons (machineguns, submachineguns, burst mode weapons, actual assault rifles, guns easily convertible to full auto)

  • Weapons over .50 caliber, except shotguns and some over-.50 hunting rifles (a 12-gauge shotgun is .73 caliber)

  • Sound suppressed firearms

  • Rifles with barrels shorter than 16" or overall length shorter than 26"

  • Shotguns with barrels shorter than 18" or overall length shorter than 26"

  • Disguised firearms (wallet guns, cell phone guns, cane guns, etc.)

  • Firearms undetectable by X-ray

  • Armor-piercing ammunition for handguns and the most popular rifles

  • Possession of any gun or any round of ammunition by anyone convicted of any felony or certain misdemeanors

  • Possession of any gun or any round of ammunition by anyone adjudicated mentally incompetent

There are more, but those are the high points. The relevant legislation is the National Firearms Act of 1934, the Gun Control Act of 1968, the McClure-Volkmer Act of 1986, the armor-piercing bullet ban of 1986 as amended in 1994, and a couple of miscellaneous laws.

Most gun owners, and even the NRA, are OK with the above. The gun issue is primarily about preserving the existing right of mentally competent adults with clean records to lawfully purchase, own, and use non-automatic, non-sound-suppressed NFA Title 1 civilian firearms (plus shotguns) without harassment. It is not about legalizing machineguns, guns for toddlers, etc.

Is a .50 cal acceptable to you all?

.50 caliber is the upper boundary of what has been considered an ordinary civilian firearm for many decades. Guns .51 caliber and up are restricted as "destructive devices" by Federal law, with exemptions for shotguns (typically .73 caliber) and a handful of big-game hunting rifles (e.g. .585 Nyati or .700 Nitro Express).

Do you stop at a rifle, or does this include the machine gun with a belt fed clip?

All machineguns, regardless of whether they are fed by linked belts, magazines, clips (very rare!), or feed hoppers, are as tightly controlled in this country as 500-lb bombs, howitzers, and shoulder-fired rockets and have been for 76 years.

Seriously, where, if at all does it end for you?

Non-automatic, non-sound-suppressed NFA Title 1 civilian firearms under .51 caliber, plus shotguns. I do not support restrictions on rifle stock shape (e.g., the "assault weapons ban") or ridiculously low limits on magazine capacity.
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