Whitehouse.gov Petition to Repeal the NFA

| January 23, 2017 | 5 Comments

There is a petition on the official White House Web site to repeal the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934.

I think you should “sign” it. I don’t think it will have any immediate result, but I’ll discuss why it’s important to signal our opposition to this extraneous legislation.

What is the NFA?

The NFA regulates certain types of firearms and accessories:

  • Automatic weapons
  • Any rifle with a barrel shorter than 16″ or an overall length of less than 26″
  • Any shotgun with a barrel shorter than 18″ or an overall length of less than 26″
  • Suppressors
  • Destructive Devices — explosives, usually, but also smoothbore weapons with a diameter greater than 0.5″
  • Any Other Weapon — items that are firearms that are designed to look like something else, (e.g., briefcase MP5) or do not fit the definition of other items above (e.g., shotgun on a “pistol” receiver with a barrel less than 26″)

It is possible to get approval from the ATF to own these items, but it entails paperwork, fingerprinting, notifying your local chief law enforcement officer that you intend to own/make one, a $200 tax, and waiting for ATF approval. There is no time limit for how long the ATF can hold your application.

You must pay for the NFA item while you wait for your application to be approved. This is referred to as “NFA Jail.” When suppressors became legal in Minnesota, my friends had several suppressors waiting approval. This meant they had $2000 – $5000 in items in NFA Jail. Imagine if you had to buy all the materials to build a house before getting a building permit … and then wait months to see if you were approved or not.

If you filled out your paperwork correctly, the ATF runs what amounts to a usual NICS background check on you. You’ll probably pass.

The effects of the NFA aren’t over, though. Many of the NFA items require you to get written permission before taking them out of state. It can take 3 – 5 months to get approval back from the ATF, and you have to be very specific about where you are going and what you are taking with you.

What Will This Petition Accomplish?

The petition to the White House isn’t going to do anything by itself, because the President doesn’t have the authority to do anything about the NFA.

Changes will have to go to Congress first, then to Trump for approval.

I think it’s still important to “sign” the petition for several reasons:

  1. to demonstrate that people want to change / abolish the NFA
  2. to encourage legislators to draft bills to change / abolish the NFA
  3. to test Trump’s reputation as a “friend” of firearms rights
  4. prompt Trump to force the ATF to change how NFA applications are processed (there was a huge change in 2015), staff approval agents, etc

“Signing” the petition is easy and takes less than 2 minutes.

Even if you don’t have an NFA item right now, please click the link and sign the petition. The petition needs 100,000 “signatures” by February 19, 2017 and as of this writing has less than 1200.

Sign the petition to repeal the NFA.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.
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5 Comments on "Whitehouse.gov Petition to Repeal the NFA"

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  1. bob boff says:

    Doesn’t Destructive Devices restrict all firearms with a bore greater than .5″ regardless of rifling or not? IIRC, our “approved” shotguns are all those that meet the sporting purpose clause. Things like the striker 12 and other 12g smooth bore shotguns weren’t deemed to have a sporting purpose. Rifled barrels like the .577 Tyrannosaur have been deemed to have a sporting purpose and is not considered a Destructive Device.

  2. Greg Kazen says:

    Repeal the NFA

  3. Joe says:

    I personally think we should at least leave SOMETHING for them to do over there. Perhaps repeal all the suppressor and SBR crap, but make an $1000 full-auto stamp (anyone with the money to burn ammo that fast could afford it). I think supppressors and SBRs have legitimate PRACTICAL reasons for being legal, but I’m willing to compromise on full-auto just to keep the legal challenges and lawsuits to a minimum. We already know a criminal could use a $8 filter and a $8 adapter to make a suppressor, OR a $5 hacksaw to make an SBR/AOW.

  4. van der lin says:

    I am all for repealing it and replacing it with NOTHING, excepting perhaps maybe stuff stuff about explosives and such, but all man born firearms of whatever bore, barrel length and features should be cash and carry, and especially suppressors. I think the things we have the most chance at accomplishign sooner are:

    -removing suppressors from the NFA entirely.
    -challenging the NFA tax per the you cannot tax rights (poll taxes anyone)
    -removing notification requiremnts for temporary interstate transport of SBRs, SBS and maybe MGs, one of the most odious requirements, especially for those living near a state line.
    -repealing the Hughes amendment to the FPA which banned new registration of machine guns.

  5. Dale Fricke says:

    Yes repeal it please! It is silly and has done nothing to help anyone but criminals…

    With the utmost respect,


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