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5 Federal Gun Law You Need to Know

July 30, 20214 min read

What's Up Sheepdogs? Ryan here with Tampa Carry.

There are thousands of federal firearms laws on the books today, so I won’t share them all. Here are five that are critical for every law-abiding gun owner to understand. 

The National Firearms Act — 1934 

Would you believe that in the 1920s, you could purchase a Tommy Gun for $11 and have it delivered right to your front door? What a wonderful country we live in! In 1929, seven members and associates of Chicago's North Side Gang were murdered on Valentine's Day. The man believed to be responsible was the legendary Al Capone, and the weapon used was the Tommy Gun. This act of extreme violence came to be known as the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre. Shortly after this, the National Firearms Act was introduced as a way to restrict transactions in NFA firearms and to reduce the ability for these type of firearms to be used in crimes. 

The NFA Act was initially enacted in 1934, and was later amended as Title II of the Gun Control Act of 1968. Currently, it places a tax on the manufacture, transfer, and a Special Occupational Tax to businesses importing, manufacturing, and dealing in NFA firearms. The goal of the tax was to make the purchase of these firearms so expensive that many people couldn't afford to own them. 

In 1934, the tax rate was set at $200. Thankfully this tax was fixed and does not increase with inflation because if it did, a $200 tax fee in 1934 would cost over $3,800 in 2020. 

As of now, the following types of firearms fall under the category of an NFA firearm. 

  • Short-barreled rifles 

  • Short-barreled shotguns 

  • Machine guns 

  • Silencers 

  • Destructive devices 

The Gun Control Act — 1968 

In 1968, the Gun Control Act was passed to impose stricter licensing and regulation on the firearms industry, establish new categories of firearms offenses, and prohibit the sale of firearms and ammunition to felons and certain other prohibited persons. The primary goal of the Gun Control Act was to regulate the interstate transfer of firearms except among licensed dealers. 

Firearms Owners' Protection Act of 1986

In 1986, the Firearms Owners Protection Act (FOPA) was passed to amend the Gun Control Act. FOPA allowed the interstate sales of long guns on a limited basis. Legalized ammunition shipments through USPS removed the requirement for record-keeping on sales of non-armor-piercing ammo and created the Safe Passage Provision. The most painful thing that FOPA did was ban the manufacture of new machine guns for civilian sales. I was only 3 years old, and it was the worst day of my life!

The Safe Passage Provision creates a standardized process for law-abiding gun owners to transport a firearm through a state with highly restrictive gun laws. I will discuss this provision in greater detail in a later chapter. 

Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act 

The Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act, also referred to as the Brady Law, was passed in 1993. This law was passed to reduce gun violence in the wake of the failed assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan. The purpose of the Brady Law was clear: Create mandatory background checks on firearm purchases throughout the United States, impose a five-day waiting period on the purchase of a handgun, amend the Gun Control Act, and create the National Instant Criminal Back Check System, commonly referred to as NICS.

In 1998, when the NICS system was completed, the mandatory five-day waiting period on purchasing a handgun was lifted. 

You're probably wondering if the Brady Act had an effect on reducing violent crimes with firearms. According to a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association in the year 2000, the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act had zero impact on reducing homicide rates. I find it fascinating that even though data shows these types of laws don't stop evil people from committing acts of extreme violence, the anti-gunners want to pass more gun control laws.

The Federal Assault Weapons Ban 

The official title was the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act. You have to love how these politicians use friendly titles to disguise a gun grab! 

The Federal Assault Weapons Ban prohibited the manufacture of certain semi-auto firearms defined as assault weapons, including certain magazines defined as “high-capacity,” even though these magazines are the standard size created for the firearm by the manufacturer.

The ban only applied to firearms or magazines manufactured after the date the bill was signed into law. This law had one goal in mind: to reduce firearm homicides, gun crimes, and mass shootings. Studies show that the Federal Assault Weapons Ban had little impact on lowering firearm homicides and little to no effect on reducing gun crime.

That's all I have for today. So until next time keep training and stay safe...

Ryan G. Thomas

P.S. You’re one step away from getting your Florida concealed carry permit….FAST & EASY…

And for a limited time you can watch the concealed carry course online for free... Click here to get started...

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Ryan G. Thomas

Ryan believes a trained and aware citizen is the best way to minimize crime, victims and senseless acts of violence. Ryan is a veteran of the United States Air Force and a father of three beautiful children. Ryan and his wife Tiffany met while doing inner city ministry for Operation Explosion in Tampa 12 years ago. He is passionate about God, his family, and his community. Ryan has a passion for the 2nd amendment and believes all Americans should have the right and ability to protect themselves and their families.

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