Written by attorney and firearms expert Lenden Eakin, DISARMING AMERICA: The Effort to Redefine the Second Amendment gives details of the plan to go around the Constitution. Several states, including Colorado, New York and Connecticut, as well as Washington D.C., have already passed “bans” of semi-autos and their magazines. Learn how the courts could uphold these laws, despite their obvious violation of the Second Amendment.
Affectionately known as the “Creek,” Class 3 Only traveled to West Point, KY last weekend to be a part of the largest machine gun shoot and show in America. After a 6-year wait(we got lucky bc it’s usually 10 years), we got tables and were well-positioned at C-6. Not far from the important dealers and gunsmiths in the machinegun world.
Yes, important Class 3 people like Neil Smith who specializes in Gatling Guns and Hothckiss Revolving Cannons or Bob Landis of Ohio Ordnance who runs one of the biggest gun manufacturing companies but is quick with a handshake and a quip or Jeff Folloder of National Firearms Act Trade & Collectors Association (NFATCA) who is the new Director and was on hand every hour of the show to speak with its members.
We also talked with other machinegun business fixtures like Larry Cheatham and his sister, Lana, of L&L Machineguns, Frank Galati of Galati International, Phil Flack of PF Custom Guns and even the founder of Knob Creek Shooting Range, Old Man Somner himself. Yes, indeed! We felt right at home with our Class 3 friends.
And speaking of the firing line, those guys couldn’t get enough ammo. The table across from ours sold out of ammo by midday both Friday and Saturday. Another ammo dealer sold a tractor trailer load of 9mm and .233 by 9:02 am. The show didn’t open until 9:00 am! So ammo was going fast and at a steep price but that didn’t stop the shooters from tearing it up for three solid days.
If you haven’t already, put Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot & Show on your bucket list. It’s a real blast!
Lenden is getting out of the Class III side of his gun business and we are down to 16 machineguns. Don’t miss the opportunity to own an investment grade, collectible machine gun – Inventory of Transferables.
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Vice President Biden continues to misstate the law on the right to keep and bear arms when he says that double-barreled shotguns are all we should own under the 2nd Amendment. His obvious effort to rewrite the Constitution to leave out the right to have weapons suitable for “common defense” is misleading and false. The Supreme Court has clearly explained that the 2nd Amendment covers more than self-defense and hunting. DC v. Heller, 554 US 570 (2008) pp. 588-599. There can be no doubt that the 2nd Amendment covers the AR-15, due to its widespread lawful ownership and use by citizens and value as a weapon for the common defense. Id@pp624-628. The VP would do the American people a great service if he would focus on keeping all weapons out of the wrong hands and stop trying to disarm law-abiding citizens.
According to Joe Biden, “You have an individual right to own a weapon both for hunting and for self-protection.” This statement ignores the words of the Constitution, history and the Supreme Court cases on the 2nd Amendment. The relevant words of the Constitution say: “We the People of the United States…..in order to provide for… the Common Defense…. ordain [that].. the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” (Preamble and 2nd Amendment)
Historically, Americans have always kept arms suitable to defense of country and community, from the 1600s to today. The Supreme Court says American citizens have the right to own firearms that “could contribute to the common defense,” “of kind in common use” at the time in question and are “typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes.” US v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939) @178-9; D.C. v Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) @ 625.
It would be far more productive if the White House would focus on keeping all weapons away from criminals and the mentally ill instead of trying to disarm everyone.
-Lenden A. Eakin, Attorney, www.rvalaw.com
Owner of Class 3 Only
President Obama’s goal of removing “weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets” may be in direct conflict with the Constitutional right of American citizens to be armed. While taking illegally possessed military style weapons or any weapon whatsoever out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill is important to everyone, the Constitution calls for the American people to possess weapons suitable for war. In other words, according to the Supreme Court, Americans have the right to own firearms that “could contribute to the common defense,” “of kind in common use” at the time in question and are “typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes.” US v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939) @178-9; D.C. v Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) @ 625.
A ban on AR-15s and their standard magazines appears to violate our Constitution. Every American who has served in the military and most who have been in law enforcement during the past 40 years has trained with and carried the M-16. The AR-15, the civilian version of the M-16, currently provides millions of Americans with the most familiar and effective arm for common defense and self-defense. Legislation that restricts ownership of the AR-15 in hopes that the courts will not recognize the historic and legal meaning of the Constitution seems unlikely to survive judicial scrutiny. The Supreme Court already stated “that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.” Heller at 636.
Those that would argue that AR-15s are dangerous and therefore restrictions are allowed under Heller are ignoring the full text. The language is “dangerous and unusual” and not simply “dangerous.” There is nothing unusual about an AR-15. So unless there is a change to the 2nd Amendment by the American people or by activist judicial reconstruction of its meaning, an AR-15 “ban” will not be legal under the Constitution.
Hopefully our lawmakers will focus on preventing possession of any weapons by the wrong people rather than attempting to disarm responsible, law-abiding American citizens.
February 7, 2013-
Lenden Eakin, owner of Class 3 Only and firearms law attorney with the firm of Ferris & Eakin, PC, appeared last tonight on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight show at 9:38 pm EST. He was asked to join the discussion because he is uniquely qualified to speak on the legalities and practicalities of gun control.
“I was hoping to bring out the rational, legal prospective of gun ownership as interpreted by the Supreme Court rather than being part of the emotional outbursts that have been prevalent in the media so far. I think I did that,” said Lenden.
It’s Lenden’s credentials which include being an attorney who practices firearms law, a Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) dealer with a Special Occupancy Tax (SOT) for selling and registering machineguns, a firearms instructor and a former military officer, that led him to be a part of Mr. Morgan’s “Guns in America” reporting.
In his interview with Mr. Morgan, Lenden explained how the 2nd Amendment applies to civilian ownership of Ar-15s.
We will post the interview as it becomes available on the CNN website.
Anderson Cooper did a wonderful job hosting his “Guns Under Fire” Town Hall meeting on Friday night. He was kind to everyone and gave everyone equal time. However, Jeffrey Toobin the CNN “Senior Legal Analyst” who spoke should be called their “Legal Advocate.” His entire statement was filled with arguments advocating the position that ownership of semi-automatic firearms can and should be challenged under the Second Amendment. He took a few words from the DC v Heller case to claim support for his position and ignored the rest of the 66-page opinion. He was wrong on several points:
1. The “18th Century words” of the Constitution has not changed in meaning over time and were perfectly clear to the Heller Court.
2. The rights under the Second Amendment have never been granted by the Court, they preexisted the Constitution as recognized by the Heller Court.
3. Mr. Toobin claims that the language in Heller about restricting ownership of “dangerous and unusual weapons” might include semi autos, ignoring extensive discussions of the right to have small arms “in common use.”
4. The “analyst” also argues that whether an AR-15 is protected by the Second Amendment is “mysterious” despite it being the civilian version of the most common US military rifle for over 40 years and exactly the sort of firearm that the Second Amendment protects.
As CNN continues its advocacy in favor of an “assault weapons ban,” it could at least be honest and not pretend to present unbiased legal analysis. Attempting to mislead the public about the words and meaning of the Second Amendment and related court cases hurts the debate about reducing lethal violence. It fuels the perception of CNN as lobbyists pushing a political agenda and not a news organization. The resulting loss of credibility causes many to discount or ignore what CNN has to say on the issue.
Lenden Eakin, Esq.
Firearms Law Attorney and Weapons Expert, Lenden Eakin, Gives the Answer:
Because the AR-15 is the civilian version of the M-16. Every American who has served in the military and most who have been in law enforcement during the past 40 years has trained with and carried the M-16. The similar AR-15 currently provides millions of Americans with the most familiar and effective arm for common defense and self-defense.
According to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear weapons that are “part of the ordinary military equipment”, that “could contribute to the common defense” and “of the kind in common use” at the time in question. U.S. v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939) @ 178-9. The M-16 fits this definition without any doubt. The AR-15 is the commonly owned civilian version “typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes”. D.C. v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) @ 625.
Therefore, the proposed “ban” on AR-15s will violate the Constitution. The Second Amendment must be repealed or modified to avoid this violation. Further, legislating to restrict ownership of the AR-15 in hopes that the courts will not recognize the historic and legal meaning of the Constitution seems unlikely. The Supreme Court already stated “that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.” Heller at 636.
Senator Feinstein’s (D, Cal.) Gun Control Bill would require adding millions of semi-automatic rifles and pistols to the National Firearms Act (NFA) registry. So far, this registry has been used for class 3* only. The summary of Feinstein’s Bill appears to say that the number of transferable semi-autos would be fixed or “grandfathered” as of the date of the Bill’s enactment, just like the May 1986 freeze on transferable machineguns. President Obama has indicated that he will support the Bill and push for its passage, along with his former campaign team, now called “Organizing for Action.”
The new law, if passed, would result in a massive, nationwide registration. The logistics of such a registration would be tremendous and costly. Millions of gunowners would have a limited amount of time to register their firearms. This would cause a huge workload for the Office of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives (ATF&E). Thousands of additional NFA agents would be needed to process this surge in registration. The management by the NFA of the ongoing selling and buying of these now-registered semi-autos within the federal NFA registry would also create a huge workload on the NFA.
Registration is different from and much more restrictive that the current background check system. It requires permission for possession from the NFA office after a review of the owner’s personal information, fingerprints, photograph and signature of his/her local chief law enforcement official. Please see ATF&E Form 4 for those details.
Lastly, the requirement of registering semi autos in the federal NFA registry will make possession of unregistered semi-auto rifle and pistols a crime, make their owners subject to arrest for a felony and result in confiscation of unregistered firearms.
The constitutionality of this effort is highly questionable, but the Supreme Court would have to provide the definitive answer.
-Lenden Eakin, Esquire
*Currently, Class 3 items are machineguns, rifles with barrels less than 16″, shotguns with barrels less than 18″, sound suppressors, and miscellaneous other weapons like rifles of more than 50 caliber, handgrenades, grenade launchers and various destructive devices. There are legislative proposals to add over 100 semi-automatic rifles to the Class 3 category.