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WHEREAS, the National Firearms Act (NFA), 73rd Congress, Sess. 2, ch. 757, 48 Stat. 1236 was enacted on June 26, 1934, and is currently codified and amended as I.R.C. ch. 53. And since the law is an Act of Congress in the United States that, in general, imposes an excise tax on the manufacturer, and transfer of certain firearms, and mandates the registration of those firearms. The NFA also is referred to as Title II of the federal firearms laws, with the Gun Control Act of 1968 ("GCA") as Title I; and
WHEREAS, according to numerous news articles and various news commentaries such as one written by Jay Andersen in the AZMIRROW, an Arizona Newspaper, "AR-15 style rifles have played a prominent role in many high-profile mass shootings in this country and have come to be widely characterized as the weapon of choice for these crimes. AR-15s or similar rifles were the primary weapons used in around half of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern American history, including the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting (in Connecticut); the 2017 Sutherland Springs Church shooting (in Texas); the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting (in Florida). Many of the nation's most recent shootings in 2022 have involved AR-15s or similar rifles; and now in Buffalo, (New York); Uvalde, (Texas);" and the Fourth of July shooting in Highland Park, Illinois; and
WHEREAS, assault weapons originally were designed for military use as full or semi-automatic weapons of war. As such, they were designed to fire ammunitions at three times the velocity of ordinary rifles and with such force to kill people in warfare; and
WHEREAS, there is no rational reason to sell such weapons to the general public, especially when weighed against the increasing danger to public safety caused by the sale of each and every such weapon; and
WHEREAS, assault weapons are commercially manufactured and sold as semi-automatic weapons in the U.S. to persons 18 years or older based on a background check via the "National Instant Criminal Background Check System" (NICS). The background check is based on having proper identification such as a government-issued photo I.D. card, driver's license, or passport. The purchaser must also complete the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) form 4473 when purchased from a Federal Firearm Licensed (FFL) dealer; and
WHEREAS, sawed-off (short-barreled) shotguns, rifles, or firearm suppressors classified as Title II devices under the NFA have additional requirements when purchased or transferred. The purchase or transfer must be completed through a Class III (FFL) dealer. The applicant is required to complete ATF Form 4, provide two passport-style photos, a set of ATF fingerprint cards, and pay $200.00 for a tax stamp. The purchase or transfer cannot be completed by the (FFL) dealer until approval has been received from ATF; and
WHEREAS, an applicant for the purchase or transfer of a Title II device through a Class III dealer must be; a United States Citizen, at least 21 years of age, meet the requirements for buying a handgun; and be a resident of the state where the firearm is purchased or transferred; and
WHEREAS, a law requiring assault weapons to be classified as Title II devices and sold or transferred under these laws and regulations is an option that would deter undesirable applicants and slow down the process to obtain an assault weapon. Such safety requirements would establish controls to ensure this type of weapon is not readily or easily obtainable for illegal purposes, most notably, mass shootings; and
WHEREAS, the physical and mental damage is done to victims of such shootings who, particularly in the case of children are left unrecognizable by assault-style weapons and the victims and families of shootings must bear the financial burden; and
WHEREAS, the rapidity at which mass shootings are occurring with the use of such weapons is continuing to increase rapidly making clear that such shooting violence in our country has reached a crisis, with another taking place just this week in Indiana; and
WHEREAS, the FBI has made public pronouncements indicating that our greatest threat from terrorists in our country is from domestic terrorists; and
WHEREAS, the Federal Assault Weapons Ban in effect from 1994 to 2004 was found in multiple studies to reduce public mass shootings, gun deaths, and gun injuries; and
WHEREAS, there are estimates that over 20 million Americans now possess these types of assault, automatic or semi-automatic weapons; and
WHEREAS, the use of such weapons can and has given various mass shooters certain advantages over law enforcement and security officials who, after or during a shooting, try to restore the public peace and/or arrest the shooter who is in possession of an AR-15 style assault weapon.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the NAACP urges the members of the United States Congress to adopt a new ban on the purchase and ownership of all assault weapons, automatic weapons, semi-automatic weapons, or weapons that operate similarly thereto.
THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will advocate for and seek the introduction of legislation to mandate the registration of any and all assault weapons now in possession of individuals who reside in this country, under the National Firearms Act.
THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the law includes a $200.00 fee to establish a mass shooting crime victims' compensation fund to help compensate victims of gun violence related to mass shootings.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the NAACP will disseminate this Resolution to the appropriate members of the Executive and Legislative Branches of the Federal Government.