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whether or not they must be registered. Two pictures of the same gun-a flintlock blunderbus approximately 200 years old-were submitted taken from opposite sides of the weapon. The Department ruling was that it must be registered on one side but was not subject to registration on the other.
We cite these, gentlemen, merely as examples of the misuse of regulatory power already in existence. To broaden it to the point that this law could be rewritten a week after it was passed would be dangerous indeed.
In short, gentlemen, we ask that the rulemaking authority given to the Secretary of the Treasury be clearly defined as to its scope.
7. License fees: The license fees set forth in the original bill are completely discriminatory but from the standpoint of the dealer it is my opinion that the proposed changes given in Mr. Cohen's undated memorandum are acceptable for dealers.
We ask, however, that consideration be given to the fact that individual craftsmen do make an occasional gun of original design that fall in the category of art work such as these, and we strongly recommend that these people be excluded from the $500 manufacturer's license.
8. Unserviceable firearms: This reference is made to the importation of "an unserviceable firearm (not readily restorable to firing condition), imported or brought in as a curio or museum piece.” This provision is included on page 15 of H.R. 6628, lines 5 through 7. It is felt that no restriction whatsoever should be placed on museum pieces and certainly I know of no museum or serious collector who would want an unserviceable piece not restorable to firing condition.
C. RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING THIS LEGISLATION
1. Collectors in general recommend that this particular bill, H.R. 6628, and its companion bill, H.R. 6783, not be favorably reported and not be passed.
2. A person purchasing a handgun by mail which is not an antique be required to submit a sworn statement as to his age and eligibility under his State law to receive the same legally; parenthetically, Mr. King's bill, H.R. 7472, would accomplish that purpose.
3. We have no objection to import restrictions on the cheap type of .22-caliber revolver which has figured so prominently in crime and serves no collector nor sporting purpose. This could well be a tariff law change.
4. If restriction is necessary on heavy ordnance items such as bazookas, grenades, mortars, and cannon that that legislation be enacted as an amendment to the National Firearms Act.
However, in the event that is done, we feel that all sporting firearms, not just shotguns, should be specifically excluded from the definition of "destructive device.” This can be very simply accomplished in H.R. 6629 by the insertion of the words "or a rifle having a barrel or barrels 16 inches or more in length or a pistol or revolver” immediately following the words "other than a shotgun having a barrel or barrels of 18 or more inches in length" of page 2, line 23 of H.R. 6629.
5. To combat crime we fully support H.R. 5612 by Congressman Casey of Texas to punish the user of the gun in a crime and not the gun itself.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen. The collectors of this Nation stand ready to assist in the passage of meaningful legislation directed at crime, but will continue to resist any infringement on their constitutional right to keep and acquire small arms.
Mr. King. Thank you, Mr. Jackson. Are there questions of Mr. Jackson?
Mr. BETTS. I would like to ask a question.
Mr. BETTS. Did any of you three have the opportunity to look over the proposed amendment on the definition of antique firearms?
Mr. JACKSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. Jackson. I do not believe it would, Mr. Betts. It lends itself to a type of ignition and a cutoff of 1870. Now, why they chose that date I have no idea. It is not a transitional year for any type of arm or any type of ignition and they might as easily have chosen 1889 or something else.
It would not protect the collector on the really rare firearm that shoots an obsolete cartridge which, still under the act, could be called a fixed ammunition.
Mr. Berts. Could either of you prepare an amendment which you think would be satisfactory so that we could have it at hand when we have this bill in exectuive session for consideration ?
Mr. Jackson. Yes, sir. There is one in my testimony, I think, Mr. Betts, that would do it.
Mr. BETTS. Mrs. Moss is at the table with you. Is there a woman's angle to this you would like to have her talk about? I think it would be interesting if there is.
Mr. JACKSON. Yes; we would like very much to have Mrs. Moss express the lady's view.
Mrs. Moss. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, my very thought of sitting in with Mr. Jackson and Mr. Johnston was to reflect agreement with anything they have said. Anything that I would say would be repetitious. The only thing I can say is that, being a woman, I would like to bring to your attention that the women of your country are definitely interested in sports, especially with the firearms.
We are definitely collectors. We collect them and we shoot them. We reserve this right as part of our heritage. We incorporate it in our living and our different shoots that we attend, and by any means we don't like to see it disturbed.
Another thing that I can say is that I am a mother, which will not be repetitious at this point, and I have been very fortunate in having a son who is now serving in the U.S. Air Force, and we have enjoyed a most companionable relationship through firearms. We have enjoyed hunting together. We have enjoyed target shooting together. And I have enjoyed seeing him go to the portion of the service that he has enjoyed the most, and he has gone there and I have no fear of anything that is going to happen to him because he has a thorough knowledge and has had thorough training in firearms since he was a little boy.
So all in all it is a most enjoyable sport. We don't want our integrity doubted. Safety is our utmost factor. At our muzzleloading shoots we have never had a fatal accident, and I would judge, as I say, then from the mother's standpoint that is my viewpoint. Otherwise it would be very repetitious.
Mr. Edwards? Is Mr. James Edwards in the room? I had understood that the Florida Sportsmen's Association was represented by a Mr. Edwards. He is not in the room.
The hearing is adjourned until 10 a.m. tomorrow morning.
(Whereupon, at 11 o'clock, the committee recessed to reconvene at 10 a.m., Friday, July 23, 1965.)