What Have We Gained
From the AWB Sunset?
By Glen R. Parshall
With all of the hype being spewed out by Dan Blather and company this last month, one would think that all gun laws were repealed, machine guns and flame throwers were available mail order or over the counter with no ID needed at the local 7-11 and all of the crazies had been let out of the loony bin with a gun in their hands. After all, we were being 'warned' about 'Uzi's and AK-47's FLOODING the streets, weren't we? Of course all that happened was that the manufacturing restrictions on magazines holding more than a 'magic' number of cartridges and certain cosmetic features such as bayonet lugs and flash suppressors have ended. I'm really amazed that it is being called a 'win'. And after a conversation I had recently, I'm even more amazed.
I've worked in the firearms industry for over 20 years now, from local gun shop to head technical rep for a gunpowder company. I am back in the shop these days but I still have some industry contacts, one of whom I spoke with. He had spent some time talking this month with a well connected attorney that works for various firearms concerns and he relayed some of their conversation to me.
He, and others he knows, are of the opinion that this 'win' will be a very short lived affair, basically designed to get voters off the politicians backs for this election. Others in Internet e-groups I subscribe to have expressed much the same thing. The opinions from this gun industry attorney is that sometime after the first of the year, (no matter who wins the election and after the voters will be able to do anything about it), a new bill will be introduced and passed with GUN MAKER support to permanently ban many brands and models of semi-auto guns, grandfathering those already in existence, sparing some select golden guns (as happened in kalifornia) that will be deemed to still having some social value but making it impossible to make any more that don't make the cut. Ever. He feels this will be accomplished by a 'compromise' struck with some of the gun makers who will get protection from any further law suits if they get behind and support this new bill.
Remember we were placed in just such a position earlier this year, when pro and anti gun politicians joined together to 'kill' a bill to help protect gun makers from the constant barrage of law suits aimed against them when their products are misused, after a ban on guns was added. Of course, many that voted to kill the bill did it because it didn't create such a ban, NOT because they wanted to protect the gun industry in any way. Others in the e-groups have expressed that they feel some sort of a 'Stockton' will take place to help out this new ban as well. As one person said it best, a few A-rabs (and that is not meant as a slur against any race, but rather a comment about the media's 'bogey man du jour') grab some AK's, SKS's, AR's and related guns and shoot up a shopping mall and see how fast Mr. & Mrs. Joe American call for a ban on guns of this sort.
All one has to do is to look at Bill Ruger and see his years of support for bans of this sort to see how many of the gun companies can and do stab us in the back. And the NRA isn't much better. They were some of the same boosters that brought us the GCA 68. In 1968, General Franklin Orth, Executive Vice President of NRA, testified before Congress in favor of the Gun Control Act (GCA'68) stating that the "[NRA does] not think that any sane American, who calls himself an American, can object to placing into this bill the instrument which killed the president of the United States," (a ban on the mail-order sale of firearms). His statement of NRA support is very similar to the NRA support that brought us the NFA 1934.
No general agreement on what will or will not happen to magazine production and sales at this point. Some of the gun companies are shipping good magazines again, others are reserving good magazines for new guns right now, still others still haven't told distributors what they plan on doing. One of the big gun companies (Sig Sauer) is apparently afraid that their magazines will end up in kalifornia and they will get sued, so they are not releasing any just yet. (This has not been stated publicly but comes from a good industry source. Their website still states that only 10 round mags are available to the general public.) Ruger has also not stated their position on magazine capacity but with Bill Ruger's long held opinion that ten rounds was more than enough for a 'sportsman' I'm not holding my breath about getting any new factory mags for my mini-14. But Springfield Armory is shipping XD mags, Beretta and others are shipping certificates with new guns good for free factory hi-cap mags (unless you live in kalifornia or another area with state restrictions) and many others are gearing up production and starting to ship as well.
The prices have really dropped on the new mags that were available. If you have been to a gun show in the past month, you have undoubtedly seen more magazines available for sale than you thought were in existence - and at much better prices. The market is very dynamic right now with makers still deciding what to do and the supply channels filling up. I'm going to fill in a few I need very soon at the old time prices. Butler Creek has already shipped 10-22 mags, new AR mags are down to $8, STeN mags down to $3 again and Mec Gar has sent a boat steaming this way with other goodies.
So what is a person to do? Myself, I plan on building a couple more AR's for my younger sons to go along with the 1911's and other items they don't know they have just yet. I’ll continue to tell all of the political pollsters that are calling that guns are THE issue and will determine how I will vote, though I’m sure they will just be checking the ‘other’ box on their tally sheets. I’m hoping that at least one candidate will come to my door asking for my vote, though in my assembly district the anti-gun incumbent has no strong opposition, and I’ve never, in 30 years of voting, had a CONgressional or Senate or even state senate candidate stop by the house. I want to tell them face to face that the gun issue is the ONLY issue in my book. Not because it is the only one of course, but everything else falls in place behind it. You’ve all seen the results when you send a letter to them. Telling me they share ‘my concerns’ about the crime rate and guns in the schools and how they are strong on crime isn’t quite what I wrote to them about. The canned answers never seem to come even close to what you write about. Otherwise, my wife and I have a good inventory that we put together back in the 80's, so we will just sit back and wait. Because I'm sure that the fat lady hasn't sung just yet.
So just what have we won? A very brief window perhaps where SOME things will be available for a while. A chance for 'us' to vote for 'them', along with the new $5000 a year pay raise they approved for themselves this month. A chance for 'them' to wait until they are safely re-elected before they have to do 'something' to fix some 'problem' the news media stirs up. And to take another plank out from under our feet as we are standing with a rope around our collective necks.
So have fun with the 'win.' Celebrate the 'freedoms' we have 'won' from our masters. But don't be too surprised if our masters take back more than they have granted us just now. Remember, It's not in their collective interests to let us rattle our chains too long - or too loudly.
Glen R. Parshall is a husband and father, family man with 4 children ranging from 4 to 24 and a grandson, a gun and coin dealer, former Boy Scout rifle and shotgun merit badge counselor who stopped doing that when they told me I could no longer teach handgun safety or even take along a handgun when I taught my gun classes, and a 13th generation American who is proud of my ancestors who fought in both the first American Revolution against tyranny under the king and the second American Revolution when they fought for the Confederate States of America to restore their short-lived freedoms. My wife and I both have and use handguns, rifles, shotguns, muzzleloaders and machine guns, and have multiple states CCW’s and we both work with guns on a daily basis in our shops. She has had several occasions where her carrying has prevented a crime from being committed against her. I started teaching my daughter to shoot when she was five along with her older brother. When she was in the second grade, I started her on an M-16. Better trigger control than most adults I know. She graduated as class valedictorian and went into the army for the educational benefits. In basic training she was the only one in her group that shot well enough to qualify on the first trip to the range.
Been hearing this for a while now.
I call "sky is falling" BS.
If it's political suicide to push gun control now, it'll be suicide to do it after the elections. No support for it, never was, and there won't be unless a Dunblaine style massacre happens.
Move along, nothing to see here.
This actually wouldn't be too far from the truth, IMO. Generally, I tend to think that many gun mfg'ers aren't much for flag-toting nor are they BoR vanguards. Sure, there are stalwarts, but the big names are big corps, in it purely for the business. Bill Ruger did try to sell the legislature on a 15-rd mag limit (which coincidentally happened to fit what he happened to be producing), & Colt's (former) CEO pretty much cow-towed to the former president (what's his name?) to get a pass on the representative-sponsored frivolous lawsuits. HK & Colt, among others, seem to have made their intentions pretty plain. Both are in it for long-haul gov't contract awards, & are probably hard-ball politicking for favor, to include bowing to various pressures to restrict or even halt their civlian marketing, in order to win a bid. Being the supplier for the U.S> military's "next big thing" in primary small arms is a shiny penny, to say the least, & potentially a financial do-or-die endeavor as well.
Yeah, I can see us getting sold out down the line - it has happened before.
Civilian ownership is taking a harsh political beating world-wide. It'll be interesting to see how La Pierre handles the UN debate against what's-her-name-I-can't-remember-&-don't-care-'cause-her-'global agenda'-is-plainly-clear. Really, it's a classic indicator of power jockying, me thinks. The have's want more, & can start doing so once this threshold is crossed. We are becoming the last stand. Be that as it may, the taunts, insults, condescention, etc., only reinforce my view that I'm right, since factual comparison & logical argumentation are usually sufficient to at least achieve a level of concession & compromise from those who would argue against owning guns (I had such a conversation earlier this evening w/ a friend of mine - the analogies to sports cars & SUVs are good persuasive points for most anyone except a pale-skinned tree-hugger).
It is pleasantly surprising to see some of the mfg'ers suport us, & we ought to respond in kind for their efforts, as they risk political back-lash. Such companies deserve our business.