I have some major problems with the Federal Government's stance on the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. I have seen bills and amendments brought up by you in the House and definitely agree with them, however I think the truly important issues are not being attacked and I would really like to see something done about them. The following is long, but I really feel strongly about it and would like you to hear my position. The National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) needs to be abolished. The NFA contains useless and unconstitutional laws. How do we allow the government to set people up and give a definitive reason of what exactly the people are going to do with these weapons without anything actually occurring? The NFA does exactly this. It defines some "scary and evil" weapons as restricted. With certain cases, such as, machine guns, destructive devices, and silencers, it even bars owning parts to assemble. Depending on what judge is ruling the federal court system on a given day, possessing parts that can be assembled into a short barreled weapon can also be illegal. The Supreme Court has stated that mere possession of parts to assemble a weapon into a short barreled version is legal until the weapon is assembled. The wording of the NFA backs this Supreme Court finding. However, lower courts have ruled opposite after the United States vs. Thompson/Center Arms ruling. What ever happened to checks and balances, or the Supreme Court being the highest court in the land? Possessing parts with absolutely no intention of construction lands you ten years in federal prison along with a $250,000 fine. Intent to assemble is automatically assumed by the ATF no matter what. As you may know, demilitarized machine gun parts kits are unregulated items. Many of these legal parts kits use a simple, commonly available, steel tube for their receiver. A machinegun receiver is a controlled item, per the NFA, defined in 26 USC 5845 b. It is reasonable to believe that a law citizen could simply possess a tube of the required diameter out on his pipe rack or in his scrap steel pile. Templates for cutting the correct holes in the receivers are unregulated items easily available on the internet. Printing out a template from the internet for academic purpose is definitely not unreasonable. According to the NFA, the citizen has committed a federal felony and can possibly forfeit ten years of his life and $250,000 dollars of his hard earned money. How has it gone this far? Why do we continue to waste our tax money on prosecuting these victimless crimes? We throw people in federal prison for 10 years for victimless gun crime. Ten years for a victimless crime. I suppose we can throw out the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution, while we are walking all over the Second Amendment. People who murder have been sentenced to less time. What is wrong with this? Should local governments start making DUI arrests of those who own a car and drink alcohol? A person who owns a car and consumes alcohol has all the necessary items needed to “construct” a DUI offense. Similar to the wording of the NFA, which states in the definition of a machine gun, “…any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.” Neither person has done any wrong, but using the fundamentally flawed position of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the NFA wording, if they can, they will. A similar situation would be issuing speeding citations to anyone driving a car with the capability of exceeding the speed limit. No actual crime is committed; however, the government wrongfully assumes intent. Would you charge someone with arson if they possessed two common household items known as gasoline and matches? There are an infinite amount of cases similar to these listed above, yet the only one that is enforced, or even considered, is firearms. With regards to the above issue, the ATF needs desperate change. I am aware there is a current bill designed to help stimulate this change. I do not anticipate the change will be enough. The ATF hunts out unsuspecting citizens and basically entraps them into committing federal firearms violations. What has the United States government come to if we are putting people in prison for ten years because their rifle has a barrel that is 15 inches long instead of 16 inches? ATF has issued letter that some legal semi automatic firearms must be designed so that the original short barrel cannot be fitted to the weapon. I have to ask, why? If this is the case, why are we not going after people who own a gun and a tool to cut steel? After all, anyone can convert a rifle into a short barrel version in a few seconds with a cutting tool. If ATF could go after these people on firearms charges, it seems like they would. The NFA and ATF enforcement has caused at least three separate incidents that were, and still are national news stories. The incident at Ruby Ridge was very directly related to an ATF short barrel shotgun setup of a law abiding citizen. Many tax dollars wasted, many people dead, all the direct result of the ATF undercover operation to trick one citizen into committing a victimless gun crime. Next is the incident in Waco, Texas involving the Branch Dividians. A religious group minding their own business in their own building, yet the federal government decides to interfere in more victimless crime. Both cases lead up to the Oklahoma City Bombing. Tim McVeigh, angry at the federal government, chose the wrong ways to express his unrest, but he was definitely justified in having that unrest. These are major eyesores for this country over something guaranteed in the Constitution. Supreme Court rulings in 1939 would have already overturned the NFA if the United States government did not tell blatant lies about the usefulness of NFA items in the Supreme Court. In United States vs. Miller, Miller is charged with possession of an unregistered short barreled shotgun. The Supreme Court opinion states: “In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length' at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense.” The Supreme Court implies that if a weapon had a militia or military use, it would be illegal to regulate this item like the NFA does. The US military used short barreled Winchester 1897 shotguns in World War I. As time has progressed, the above quote has become even more inapplicable. Allied soldiers fighting in World War II used numerous short barreled weapons including but not limited to: Thompson M1A1, M3A1 Grease gun, and the British Sten. The military or militia use of NFA items certainly does not end at short barreled weapons. The military and militia use includes machine guns, silencers, any other weapons (AOW), and destructive devices. Our soldiers fighting overseas are currently using these weapons. Why has the NFA not been eliminated, when even the Highest Court in the land has implied it should be eliminated? How come this nation does not have a national concealed carry license? Criminals do not want to commit crime if they fear there is danger to themselves. Criminals want an easy way out. Driver's licenses and other documents not even mentioned in the US Constitution are recognized nation wide, but there is not provision to exercise the very right to “bear arms” guaranteed in the Constitution. I think it can be reasonably stated that criminals will conceal their weapons either legally or illegally. You see this on the nightly best videos shows. A criminal pulls out a concealed weapon, for which he probably does not have a permit for. It is apparent that criminals do not care what the laws state, so what can be bad about a law abiding citizen having a concealed weapon as well? On the same topic of nation wide concealed carry permits, why is there no national law stating that a person can defend themselves, their property, and their homes without fear of legal or criminal repercussions? A person should be able to defend their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness without being punished. Instead, we should punish the criminal who is the real wrongdoer. Let’s push for stronger penalties for using firearms in crimes. Why does the United States fear letting people who obey the law have firearms? Anyone can make a machinegun easily. There is plenty of media available detailing the process. Anyone can make a short barreled weapon, as stated above by simply cutting off the barrel. The problem is the person committing the act, not the tool being used. If we enacted legislation whenever someone misused a tool, the majority of this country would be in prison. To further prove that firearms are not the problem, a recent story details about a person who went on a stabbing spree, and was stopped by a person who had a concealed firearm. Are we going to enact legislation banning knives because one person misused them? Should we restrict automobiles whenever someone drives drunk and kills a person? The North Hollywood shootout shows how incredibly useless gun control legislation actually is. Two laws were in place that should have prevented this event. The NFA required that the two offenders register their automatic weapons. The Firearm Owner’s Protection Act (Pub. Law 99-308) has banned new production of machine guns for civilians. In theory, these two criminals should not have been able to obtain these machine guns. This incident is just further proof that criminals do not follow the laws, nor do they care about the laws. Criminals will keep committing their crimes. Let’s arm our citizens to defend themselves against criminals, stop taking away freedom, and further stiffen the penalties for using firearms in crimes. The person behind the tool is the problem, not the tool being used. Allow citizens who obey the law to do what they please in America (supposedly the land where you are free and can do almost anything) as long as they are not infringing on another’s rights. Severely punish those who do wrong with these rights granted to them. Randy Weaver did no harm to anyone in purchasing two shotguns with barrels shorter than 18 inches. Look what the useless gun control legislation and government turned it into.