Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Firearm Owners' Protection Act Of 1986

Dave Hardy, attorney and legal scholar, has done gun rights activists a great service. He has posted and updated his legislative history of the Firearms Owners' Protection Act of 1986. As he notes:
A large portion of what we today regard as the Gun Control Act of 1968 -- and virtually all of its safeguards and protections -- derives, not from the legislation of 1968, but from the amendments known as the Firearm Owners' Protection Act, pushed in the House by Rep. Harold Volkmer, and in the Senate by Sen. James McClure. That statute extensively rewrote the earlier law, expressly overruled six Supreme Court decisions construing it, and negated about a third of the case law which had arisen under it.
Having an understanding of the Act - and what it took to get it passed - is important if we want to continue to pass legislation to preserve, protect, and advance our Second Amendment rights.

Dave deserves a great deal of thanks for the hard work that it took to assemble this history of FOPA. Much of the data and historical information was buried in various government documents. Out of this morass of historical documents, Dave has assembled something that is readable and understandable.


  1. Gee, seems like he left out the part where LEGAL machine gun owners were THROWN UNDER THE BUS by NRA, et al. Now, a "legal" select fire AR-15, which costs maybe $5 more than a semi-auto, is $15,000. Oh, and New Jersey, Illinoise, DC and other jurisdictions still refuse to recognize the "breathtaking" advances this "historic" law brought.

  2. Well, yeah. The quoted part just tells us "how big", not "what" (and I was surprised at just how big a change it was). I don't have to look at his coverage of the legislative history to know that he covers the machine gun ban.

    And its my understanding that while New Jersey was slow on the uptake they did eventually start acknowledging the law (can't remember about Illinois but I'm pretty sure we would be hearing about the horror stories if there were any). It's not too relevant to D.C. given that it has no retail gun stores (which I strongly suspect happened in the '70s when they established the anti-gun regime overthrown in Heller) and no one drives through it to get from one state to another (not even if you're a local trying to get from NoVa to suburban Maryland or the reverse).