This week, U.S. Representative Denny Rehberg (R-MT) urged Congress to pass H.R. 442 -- the "Veterans' Heritage Firearms Act" that he introduced in early January. The legislation would provide a limited amnesty period for veterans who served overseas before 1968. During the amnesty period, the veterans would be able to register war relic firearms without fear of prosecution. This amnesty would also extend to a veteran's lawful heirs who inherit these firearms.
During WW II and the Korean War, many veterans acquired war relic firearms, which, at the time, was a lawful practice. Under current law, however, if these firearms are not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, the veteran or his heir may be convicted of illegal possession.
"Gun control is bad enough, but turning law-abiding veterans into criminals for possessing antique firearms obtained in combat is ridiculous," said Rehberg. "This bill would give veterans and their heirs the opportunity to register these war relics without fear of prosecution under an unjust law."
Commenting on the legislation, NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox said, "The NRA supports Congressman Rehberg's "Veterans' Heritage Firearms Act." Brave Americans who placed service to country above self, and who put their lives on the line on foreign shores should never have to fear prosecution for keeping a memento of their service. It serves no national interest to prosecute a veteran for having a war relic."
This a good thing or just the government counting heads?
As a vet I have mixed feelings. My grandfather brought home a WWII Nazi pistol that is still in the family. However, as a Police Officer I have been disapponted in the number of gangmembers that the military has allowed to serve to fill positions in time of war. A few months ago a friend who works for a different department than I do was ambushed by a gangmember -Marine who had smuggled home an AK47. As long as the bill would require background checks just like any other citizen has to pass I wouldn't have a problem with it. It's unfortunate that our military has chosen to let dirtbags join the service. It diminishes the service of the rest.
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It's a little of both.
The National firearms act requires registration and a $200 tax on any title 2 weapons. This would include fully automatic weapons, short barreled rifles and shotguns, silencers and so on. More here
The Gun Control Act of 1968 banned the importation of "non sporting" weapons. and tightened a number of other unconstitutional controls on firearm ownership. More here
The Firearm Owners' Protection Act of 86 banned the fed from accepting new registrations of automatic weapons for civilians. More here
What the Veterans' Heritage Firearms Act would do is allow veterans or their families to register any title 2 weapons they may have by means of an amnesty. They would be treated as if they had been in compliance all along.
Right now, if they're caught, they're prosecuted and their historical firearm is seized and most likely destroyed.
"But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." - Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, 1782
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