Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Groovy: Former NY Times Editor Wants to Return to 1960 Gun Laws

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Groovy: Former NY Times Editor Wants to Return to 1960 Gun Laws

Proving once again that ignorance is no bar to publication in the U.S. legacy press, former executive editor of the New York Times Howell Raines has offered his inane take on the current gun control debate in a piece for the Washington Post. According to the gun-control supporting newspaperman, the key to solving the political stalemate over firearms is to “revert to the gun laws that prevailed in the United States around 1960.” Raines claimed such a move would “break the maniacal hold of the National Rifle Association on the nation’s recreational shooters, not to mention Congress.”

If this proposal seems downright bizarre coming from a gun control supporter, readers should keep in mind that Raines had no idea what he was writing about.

Harkening back to a fictional past, Raines wrote,

law-abiding hunters and target shooters had all the weapons and firepower they needed and were not in a state of constant turmoil over state and federal laws that restricted most shotguns to three rounds and most semiautomatic rifles and handguns to fewer than 20 rounds… Deer and elk hunters who used larger caliber rifles felt amply equipped with standard magazines of a half-dozen or so shells.

A return to these basic restrictions on loadings would appeal to most hunters, firing-range shooters and gun collectors who battle the nonstop whirlpool of NRA paranoia.

Contrary to Raines’s memory, there was no federal restriction on shotgun or semi-automatic rifle magazine capacity in 1960. A restriction on magazine with a capacity greater than 10-rounds was enacted under the 1994 Clinton “assault weapons” ban.

To consider some of the consequences Raines’s proposal would have for gun owners, one must look to the actual laws in 1960. On the federal level that means gun owners would be subject to the Federal Firearms Act and the National Firearms Act.

In 1960 the federal prohibited persons categories were far narrower. The FFA prohibited the possession of firearms by fugitives and those who had been convicted of a “crime of violence.” 

There would be no National Instant Criminal Background Check System or requirement that gun dealers run any kind of background check on gun buyers. Gun buyers could order firearms through the mail directly to their doorstep.

As the Hughes Amendment wasn’t enacted until 1986, Americans could once again purchase newly-manufactured machineguns, provided they pay for the tax stamp required under the NFA. There would be no federal restriction on the composition of handgun projectiles.

However, were Raines’s proposal to be carried out, there would be some ways in which firearms laws would be more restrictive.

In 1960 gunowners did not enjoy the strong state firearms preemption laws that they do today. Old versions of ATFs State Laws and Published Ordinances are replete with all manner of local registration, may-issue licensing, permit to purchase, and carry ordinances that have been wiped off the books by state preemption laws. 

The same goes for the Right-to-Carry. The Right-to-Carry revolution did not start until 1987, when Florida passed its landmark legislation. Prior to 1987, there were 9 Right-to-Carry states. Today there are 42. Before this sea change, many Americans could only lawfully exercise their Right-to-Carry at the discretion of a government official. 

Not to be overlooked is the Firearms Owners' Protection Act of 1986. Much of FOPA was enacted to remedy deficiencies in the Gun Control Act of 1968, which would be repealed under Raines’s scenario. However, the law was also important for ensuring that an individual “shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm” regardless of the laws of any jurisdictions they are traveling through, provided the firearm is stored in compliance with FOPA. 

Was it Raines’s intention to propose a gun law regime where you can meet the mailman in your driveway to pick up your new AR-15 while carrying a Glock 18 loaded with KTW ammunition? Unlikely, considering his misconceptions of federal law. What is likely is that more lazy thought pieces containing inaccurate information will disseminated by a legacy press eager to publish anything that promotes a gun control agenda.

IN THIS ARTICLE
New York New York Times
TRENDING NOW
NRA Wins Supreme Court Case, NYSRPA v. Bruen

News  

Second Amendment  

Thursday, June 23, 2022

NRA Wins Supreme Court Case, NYSRPA v. Bruen

The National Rifle Association (NRA) welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision in NYSRPA v. Bruen. The Court affirmed that the right to bear arms does not stop at a person’s front door. This is the most ...

Treachery! White House Moves to Strangle U.S. Ammunition Supply

News  

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Treachery! White House Moves to Strangle U.S. Ammunition Supply

Last night, news broke that the Biden Administration is taking behind-the-scenes steps to further strangle the already constricted market for ammunition in the United States. The move could result in a reduction of the commercial production ...

Supreme Court Gets it Right, Congress Gets it Wrong

Friday, June 24, 2022

Supreme Court Gets it Right, Congress Gets it Wrong

On Thursday, SCOTUS released a historic decision in the NYSRPA v. Bruen case when they found the Second Amendment protects the right of law-abiding Americans to carry a firearm outside of the home. Despite the hysteria from ...

Gun Control Package Passes U.S. Senate; House Vote Imminent

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Gun Control Package Passes U.S. Senate; House Vote Imminent

On Thursday, the U.S Senate passed a sweeping package of gun control measures. The text of the legislation was only unveiled Tuesday evening. And while much of the 80-page bill did indeed seek to address ...

Senate Gun Control Package Creates De Facto Waiting Periods

News  

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Senate Gun Control Package Creates De Facto Waiting Periods

Most law-abiding Americans over the age of 18 enjoy the right to purchase a firearm from a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL or gun dealer) following an instant background check through the FBI’s National Instant Background ...

Federal Judge Rules Against New Jersey and In Favor of Retired Officers In LEOSA Case.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Federal Judge Rules Against New Jersey and In Favor of Retired Officers In LEOSA Case.

Back in 2020, a coalition of retired federal law enforcement officers and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association sued the state of New Jersey for not honoring their carry rights under the Law Enforcement Officer ...

Delaware: Gun & Mag Bans Going to Gov. Carney

Friday, June 17, 2022

Delaware: Gun & Mag Bans Going to Gov. Carney

Last night, the House passed Senate Bill 6, to ban many standard capacity magazines in common use, sending it to Governor John Carney’s desk. The Senate passed House Bill 450, to ban many commonly-owned firearms, and ...

The So-called “Boyfriend Loophole” is About Undermining the Second Amendment

News  

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The So-called “Boyfriend Loophole” is About Undermining the Second Amendment

At present, federal law generally bars anyone who is convicted in any court for a domestic violence felony, or any felony for that matter, from possessing firearms. But federal law also imposes a lifetime firearm possession prohibition on ...

NRA Announces Opposition to Senate Gun Control Legislation

News  

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

NRA Announces Opposition to Senate Gun Control Legislation

This legislation can be abused to restrict lawful gun purchases, infringe upon the rights of law-abiding Americans, and use federal dollars to fund gun control measures being adopted by state and local politicians.

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

News  

Friday, April 1, 2022

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

Half the country will now enjoy the freedom to carry a handgun for self-defense without a permit from the state thanks to the tireless efforts of men and women of the National Rifle Association. 

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.