Archives and Backgrounders
ESCAPES NEW FEDERAL GUN TAX
Only 20 States
Exempted $13$16 Applies to
Under the general banner of crime reduction, and citing the Brady law for its authority, the FBI plans to tax the retail sale of handguns and long guns, starting Nov. 30, if their new computer systems are ready in time. The proposed tax could generate $1 million per week nationally, based on the bureau's estimates. Detailed information is included in a report just issued by Phoenix-based Bloomfield Press, a book publisher specializing in gun law [Ed.: Summary of Findings on request and website].
Perhaps more significant than a surprising new tax from the Justice Departmentwithout any apparent Congressional approvalis the FBI's announced plans to record complete identifying information on every person who purchases a firearm from a licensed dealer. Any regulation that requires such recording has been prohibited under the McClure-Volkmer Act since 1986. Neither the tax nor the gun-buyer registration scheme appear to be legal, according to Alan Korwin, co-author of The Virginia Gun Owner's Guide. Korwin has written seven books on gun law. His Virginia guide contains the state's gun laws word-for-word and in plain English.
The federal registration and tax plan are being rolled out under the guise of the National Instant Check System, required when Part 1 of the Brady law expires this year. Under Brady Part 2, all retail handgun and long gun sales will have to run through the system, which the FBI has based at its Clarksburg, W. Va., data center. They are hiring 500 people to handle the anticipated load.
The FBI intends to waive the tax for any state that sets up an FBI-approved central firearms clearance center. Virginia's long-standing instant check system has been approved, placing its state police under a degree of FBI control. In other states, each dealer will have to ŅenrollÓ with the FBI to legally make a sale, and pay the tax on every purchase. The Bureau will accept credit cards or will arrange to bill dealers, and those who don't pay (or are real late on the invoice) will be literally out of business. Several authorities have indicated that they expect enough clamor from the taxed dealers to compel their states to comply. When 100 Arizona dealers were told at a government meeting in June, that they would not be taxed, they cheered, apparently oblivious to the implications of federalizing their local police.
TO: State and City News Desk Editors
Phoenix, Ariz., Jan. 26, 1998 / Bloomfield Press
"Virginia is one of the few states that lacks statutes on the use of
deadly force," says publisher Alan Korwin. "This created interest beyond any
we've seen in other states where we publish gun-owner guides." Virginia relies
on common law and court precedent when dealing with legitimate self-defense or criminal
shootings, and these are used in the chapter on justifiable homicide. The book compiles
and describes all of Virginia's rules for gun use and has been widely endorsed by
gun-safety advocates, according to the publisher. In addition to state gun law books,
Bloomfield publishes the unabridged edition of federal gun law, Gun Laws of America.
Contact: Alan Korwin, Bloomfield Press, 602-996-4020 (Phoenix); Korwin is a nationally recognized expert on gun law, available for interview; Media review copies of The Virginia Gun Owner's Guide are available on request.
Highlights of new Virginia gun laws include: 1Tax limitation for handgun permit applicants; 2Chesapeake and other restrictive localities barred from abusive prosecution practices; 3Recognition of other states' concealed-carry permits ("reciprocity") enacted; more, see website for details. Coming soonSupreme Court Gun Cases, Unabridged.
For the first time, a complete set of Virginia gun laws, including the new right-to-carry law, is being released for public use [Note: Early 1997]. The Virginia Gun Owner's Guide is a legal landmarkresidents can now hold all the gun laws in one hand. Written by noted firearms legal expert Alan Korwin and competitive shooter and writer Steve Maniscalco, The Virginia Gun Owner's Guide contains word-for-word text of the gun laws, accompanied by easy to understand descriptions. Release is set for this fall.
"For too long, Virginians have relied on rumor and hearsayinstead of solid informationwhen exercising the right to bear arms," Korwin commented in a recent interview. "We expect this book to find its way onto the desks of both pro-gun and gun-control advocates alike." Co-author Maniscalco agreed, adding, "The Virginia Gun Owner's Guide provides a new framework for the entire firearms debateplain English."
In addition to demystifying state gun laws, the book also provides clear
descriptions of the federal laws for gun ownership and use. The authors cover the subjects
of self-defense and the use of deadly force, and have included lethal encounter scenarios,
material on child and adult safety, 150 self-test questions, rules for hunters, a thorough
prohibited-places list and more. Basically, if it involves firearms in Virginia it was
included in this new book.
Contrary to popular belief, the "gun laws" are not found in any one place; in fact, they are not even called gun laws. You must be able to locate legal codes like "§18.2-288 Definitions," "Courts Not Of Record" and noise ordinances, to find the gun laws. There are 17 separate titles of Virginia law that contain gun laws (see chart), as well as county and city ordinances.
"If more gun owners knew the laws about self defense and gun ownership, accidents would drop, unintentional violations would drop, and I believe crime would drop too," says Alan Korwin, co-author of The Virginia Gun Owner's Guide.
Modeled after successful gun owner guides in Arizona and Texas, The Virginia Gun Owner's Guide contains all of Virginia's gun laws word-for-word, and then describes everything in plain English. "Gun owners are eager for this sort of information," says co-author Steve Maniscalco, "the honest ones want to be in compliance. They're tired of wondering if they're legal' or not. Until now there's been no practical way to find out, short of getting arrested for an innocent mistake." An innocent mistake can cost a person the right to bear arms (and all other civil rights, such as voting) for life.
According to the publisher, Phoenix-based Bloomfield Press, many of the state's gun laws are good, promote fair and responsible behavior, and outlaw criminal activity. Other laws, they say, are probably in need of change. Co-author Maniscalco agreed, adding, "The Virginia Gun Owner's Guide provides a new framework for the entire firearms debateplain English."
AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW
These authors co-wrote The
Virginia Gun Owner's Guide What a resource! PRECISION INFORMATION ON
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