Oftentimes, when I hear about new firearms legislation, a pit falls into my stomach. Another groundless restriction designed by legislators unfamiliar with firearms function to ineffectively treat a symptom of a greater problem. Fortunately for myself, and other firearms enthusiasts, H.R. 4547 is, instead, a breath of fresh air.
Proposed on May 1st, 2014 by Louisiana representative Bill Cassidy (R), H.R. 4547 would modify the current legislation that defines what firearms are considered “antique guns.” The Gun Control Act of 1968 made it illegal “for any person, except a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer, to engage in the business of importing, manufacturing, or dealing in firearms or ammunition, or in the course of such business to ship, transport, or receive any firearm or ammunition in interstate or foreign commerce…” Firearms that are considered “curios and relics,” that is, guns created prior to 50 years from the present date, are somewhat less restricted for purchase and transport, for those who have a C&R license, that is. But, firearms that are considered antiques (rather than curios or relics) are, by the GCA of ’68, completely unregulated.
With the current law, as established in the Gun Control Act of 1968, the definition of antique guns reads: “any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898; and … any replica of any firearm described [in the previous sentence], just so long as the replicas aren’t configured to fire rimfire or conventional centerfire ammo. Although, if the replicas fire rimfire or conventional centerfire ammo, it must be ammo that is no longer manufactured in the U.S. and isn’t readily available through normal avenues of purchase. H.R. 4547, if passed, would change the dividing line for antique guns from 1898 to 1913. Firearms enthusiasts who enjoy guns such as the M1903 rifle or the original M1911 pistol would find those firearms exempt from the restrictions to which they are currently subject.
If H.R. 4547 were to pass, what “new” antique guns would you want to grab?
Featured image of US soldiers using the M1903 courtesy of Wikimedia Commons via wikipedia.org.