Certain firearms in this country fall under the purview of the National Firearms Act of 1934, which was our country’s first attempt at gun control. It regulated the sale of machine guns, suppressors, short-barreled shotguns (AKA SBSs), short-barreled rifles (AKA SBRs), destructive devices (grenades, etc…) and later, “Any Other Weapons”, a strange grey area I’ll get into in another article. The Act imposed a $200 tax ($5 for AOWs) along with a registration requirement on any items that fell into this category.
The NFA tax was determined to be $200, which was a huge amount back then, considering most guns cost less than $20-$30. The tax would have been tantamount to a ban on all firearms. Thus, the first drafts of the bill were shot down, even in a majority Democratic congress. Later revisions only included handguns, which spawned the “idea” of the SBR classification. Lawmakers theorized people would avoid the handgun tax by chopping down their rifle barrels to a short length for concealment purposes. Though later the handgun registration & taxation requirement was dropped, the SBR, and SBS classifications, and yes the suppressor restrictions, remained intact. Shortening your rifle’s barrel below 16 inches meant it had to be treated like a machine gun, i.e. registered and taxed.
The other day, user ursuslimbs on Reddit posted this interesting bit about an amendment to the NFA, which would benefit those of us who want to get an SBR, but without the hassle.
This won’t require the battle over removing SBRs from the NFA. All it is is a tiny amendment to the SHARE Act: SBR barrel length changes to 10”, and SBR OAL changes to 19”. That’s it, that’s the only change. 6-7” measly inches. No muss, no fuss.
Anyway, the majority of SBRs out there are have barrel lengths between 10 inches and 15.9999999… inches. Why? It’s simple, in the most common caliber for rifles today, which is 5.56mm/.223, the efficiency and accuracy drops off severely below 10 inches. Yes, there’s pistol builds and SBRs out there below that, but those are mostly range toys that generate huge fireaballs due to the unburnt powder exiting the muzzle. In any firearm, you want the most powder possible to burn inside the gun for maximum efficiency, usually. Any powder that exits the gun will usually combust into a large and dramatic fireball. Fun, but not very useful.
With this, and the prevalence of pistol builds would effectively render the SBR classification pointless, while still retaining it in the body of the NFA. According to ursuslimbs:
Arcane. Legalistic. Very boring. Won’t draw even a fraction of the opposition of outright SBR repeal. Not something that the Bloomberg orgs can whip their mailing list into a frenzy about. No red state Democrat will risk their seat by voting against the whole SHARE Act over this.
Later on, we’d move to strike SBRs from the NFA entirely. Gun control creeped on us incrementally, i.e. the old lie of “Oh, just this one little thing and we’ll leave you alone…”, so I dare suggest it’s time we use the same tactics for great success against the opposition. It’ll require patience, but I can almost guarantee a win in the long term.
Read more at: http://regularguyguns.com/2017/07/08/All-about-SBRs/