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ments supply more complete definition of the terms in $ 125.5 which implements | 1715 of Title 18 United States Code prohibiting the mailing of pistols, revolvers, and other firearms capable of being concealed on a person except when mailed to categories of persons designated in the law. Paragraph (g) is revised to include a detinition of antique firearms and a new paragraph (h) is added to supply other needed definitions. Simultaneous with the issuance of this notice the Postmaster General adopting temporary regulations containing the same provisions. These temporary regulations will be in force for a period of 90 days unless otherwise ordered.
This notice is being issued in order that members of the public may have an opportunity to comment on the terms of the regulations prior to any order making them permanent. Accordingly, written data, views and argument regarding the proposed regulations may be filed with the General Counsel, Post Office Department, Washington, D.C. 20260 at any time prior to the 30th day following the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. The proposed amendments to Part 125.5 read as follows:
$ 125.5 Concealable firearms.
(g) Antique firearm8.-Antique firearms sent as curios or museum pieces may be accepted for mailing without regard to the provisions of $$ 125.5(a) through 125.51d) and $ 125.9. The term “antique firearm" means any firearm manufactured in or before 1898 (including any matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar early type of ignition system) or replica thereof, whether actually manufactured before or after the year 1898; and also any firearm using fixed aminunition manufactured in or before 1898, for which ammunition is no longer manufactured in the United States; and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.
ih) Nonmailable firearms.-(1) Pistols, revolvers, and other similar firearms capable of being concealed on the person, addressed to persons other than those indicated in $ 125.5(a), are nonmailable and shall not be received or carried in the mails. (2) The term "pistols" or "revolvers" mean hand guns styled to be fired by the use of a single hand and to fire or otherwise expel a projectile by the action of an explosion, spring, or other mechanical action, or air or gas pressure with sufficient force to be used as a weapon.
(3) The term "firearm” means a device from which a projectile is fired or otherwise expelled by the action of an explosion, spring, or other mechanical action, or air or gas pressure with sufficient force to be used as a weapon.
() The phrase "all other firearms capable of being concealed on the person” includes, but is not limited to, short-barreled shotguns, and short-barreled rifles.
15) The term "short-barreled shotgun” means a shotgun having one or more barrels less than 18 inches in length and any weapon made from a shotgun (whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise) if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches. A short-barreled shotgun of greater dimensions may also be regarded as nonmailable when they have characteristics allowing them to be concealed on the person.
(6) The term "short-barreled rifle” means a rifle having one or more barrels less than 16 inches in length and any weapon made from a rifle (whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise) if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches. A short-barreled rifle of greater dimensions may also be regarded as nonmailable when they have characteristics allowing them to be concealed on the person.
Note: The corresponding Postal Manual section is 125.5. (50.S.C. 301 ; 18 U.S.C. 1715; 39 U.S.C. 501)
TIMOTHY J. MAY,
General Counsel. JUNE 11, 1968.
[39 CFR PART 125) Delivery of Firearms
NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULE MAKING
Notice is hereby given of proposed rule making consisting of a proposed amendment to Part 125 of Title 39, Code of Federal Regulations. The proposed amendment would add a new $ 125.9 and provide that the postmaster at the office of address shall not make delivery of any firearm without first notifying the chief law enforcement official for the community in which the addressee resides that delivery of a firearm to the addressee will be made in the ordinary course of the mails. Simultaneous with the issuance of this notice the Postmaster General is adapting temporary regulations containing the same provisions. These temporary regulations will be in force for a period of 90 days unless otherwise ordered.
This notice is being issued in order that members of the public may have an opportunity to comment on the terms of the regulations prior to any order making them permanent, Accordingly, written data, views, and arguments regarding the proposed regulations may be filed with the General Counsel, Post Office Department, Washington, D.C. 20260 at any time prior to the 30th day following the date of publication of this notice in the FEDERAL REGISTER. The proposed addition to Part 125 reads as follows: § 125.9 Notice of delivery of firearms.
(a) Paragraphs (c) through (g) of g 125.5 relative to Concealable Firearms shall apply to every mailing of a firearm without regard to whether it is capable of being concealed on the person. Firearm parcels not complying with this provision may not be admitted to or carried in the mails.
(b) The postmaster at the office of address shall not make delivery of any firearm without first notifying the chief law enforcement official for the community in which the addressee resides that delivery of a firearm to the addressee will be made in the ordinary course of the mails. (5 U.S.C. 301 ; 18 U.S.C. 1715 ; 39 U.S.C. 501)
TIMOTHY J. MAY,
General Counsel. JUNE 11, 1968.
Mr. Nix. I have several items to submit for the record including two advertisements by Mr. Walter Craig, of Selma, Ala., and other assorted advertisements, articles from several gun magazines, a short legal memorandum from the staff on the constitutional question on gun control and numerous articles on the question of gun control so that when the hearing record is published next week it will be a useful reference for all those who wish to use it.
The articles from the magazines cover the possible use of submachineguns for hunters, which raises a question in my mind as to how much of a sportsman the owner of a submachinegun is. I suppose it makes as much sense for Mr. Walter Craig to sell antiriot guns to hunters unless there is some fear in Selma, Ala., that game animals are going to riot.
The meeting of the subcommittee will be adjourned.
(The items referred to above, for inclusion in the record, are as follows:)
THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS
From : Subcommittee Counsel Thomas Kennedy.
The second amendment to the Constitution of the United States is only 27 words and seems plain on its face.
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
The reference to a "well regulated Militia” would seem to govern the phrase "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” which means in its context the right of the States to organize a Militia. This amendment is part of the Bill of Rights, which was written to protect the rights of the individual States and govern their relationship with the Federal Government. This amendment does not protect an individual right to bear arins since tough gun control measures as the "Sullivan law” in New York State would have been successfully challenged
James Madison, principal author of the second amendment, drafted an additional clause for inclusion in the amendment which read, "but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service.”
These words were taken out of the amendment by a congressional committee but they show that the framers of the Constitution were thinking of the right to bear arms in relation to the Militia on National Guard.
It is generally agreed that since the Bill of Rights applies to States, there is Dothing that prevents them from regulating the gun trade.
There is little or no case law on this subject. The principal case involved a sawed off shotgun which the Court held was not vital to the maintenance of a well regulated Militia."
(From the Congressional Record, June 18, 1965)
MAIL-ORDER MURDER Mr. Nis. Mr. Speaker, as chairman of the Postal Operations Subcommittee, I will introduce a bill which will bar all firearms, whether in condition to be used or not, and all destruction devices from the U.S. mails, with penalties for violation of up to 1 year in prison and or $1,000 fine. In addition, the Postal Operations Subcommittee will hold hearings on this bill on the 24th of June, and I invite the Postmaster General to appear and ask all Members of this and the other body to submit testimony on this bill. The hearings will be held in room 210 of the Cannon House Office Building. The United States of America is described in the last stanza of the “StarSpangled Banners as the home of the brave. With 100 million firearms unaccounted for in the United States, we are rapidly becoming a fearful nation when you consider that we only have 60 million households in the United States. That is one and a half firearms per household. In 1966 there was a major gunconnected crime every 5 minutes. Over 6,500 murders a year are committed by firearms in this country, 43,000 aggravated assaults connected with guns and 60,000 gun-connected robberies. Murder by gun in the United States is 55 times
that of Great Britain, 25 times that of West Germany, and 90 times that of the fi Netherlands. Against this staggering record which gives our enemies the chance
to say we are not a civilized nation, is balanced the convenience of hunters in obtaining mail-order weapons. This service to hunters was illso a great convenience to Lee Harvey Oswald, who was able to kill a President of the United States with a long-range weapon at a total cost to himself of less than $20. John F. Kennedy was murdered through a service provided by the U.S. mails.
European nations have been dumping the deadly trash of war-army rifleson our doorstep because they know that they can sell these weapons at cutrate prices through our mail service. There is no reason why an inherently dangerous object such as a firearm should be mailed. There is no reason why the U.S. Government should provide a mass distribution system for these things.
The ban on the sale and distribution of firearms through the mail will prefent the easy violation of State and Federal gun control laws. What is more, this prohibition will be applied against all weapons whether they are in a condition to be fired or not. Many weapons have had plugs inserteci in their barrels or have the firing pin removed and then these weapons are sold as collectors items. There are cases where the plugs have been removed by merchants and the fring pins replaced, restoring the weapons to firing condition.
Postmaster General Marvin Watson took the first step in making State gun control laws effective last week by issuing postal regulations which require that packages containing firearins be labeled as such and that postmasters notify local police officials of the arrival of firearms in their communities. The journey begun by Postmaster General Watson will be completed by this bill in that firearms will mot he forvarded by mail. One large distribution system will be dried up.
When Lee Harvey Oswald murdered President John F. Kennedy almost 5 years ako by use of a mail-order Army rifle, I thonght action would be taken. Nothing tapened, The National Rifle Association is igain tighting for time the way they dil after John F. Kennedy's death. They are a powerful lobby, murh too powerful for the good of the United States. I think we must act now to restore lai and order and civilization to this country and gun control is the first step. Veither virious lobbying nor the convenience of hunters should be allowed to stand in the way of restoring peace at home. If we want law and order, the arms traffic
must be stopped.
At the conclusion of our hearings a clean bill will be introduced so that sponsors may be added to the subcommittee bill. I hope that many of you will find time to enter written statements in our hearing record. We must take action this time.
[From the Congressional Record, June 13, 1968]
WATSON TAKES ACTION ON GUN CONTROL Mr. Nix. Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Postmaster General of the United States, Marvin Watson, issued regulations in the wake of the killing of last week requiring that mailed shipments of firearms be labeled as such and local police officials notify that the addressee is receiving firearms. This will give police officials in States where there are firearms laws the chance to enforce State law. It is ironic that the Federal Government, up until yeserday's announcement by General Watson, has helped to violate State firearm statues.
This acion is long overdue. I am glad that something is finally being done. The action of Marvin Watson shows, I think, why the President of the United States needed Mr. Watson in the White House. It also shows, I think, great strength of character to stand up to the National Rifle Association, one of the strongest lobbying groups in the United States. For years they have managed to frustrate the will of the American people that firearms be regulated. Not even the assassination of the President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, caused them to reexamine their own policy in promoting the sale of firearms.
The United States, Mr. Speaker, is fast becoming an armed camp. In 1966, firearms were used in more than 109,000 crimes of violence, 6,552 killings, 43,500 aggravated assaults, and 59,680 robberies. There are 100 million firearms in the hands of American citizens. On top of that, we all know that gun sales have in. creased during the past year.
I believe that the hour is late, that if we do not regulate and register firearm sales, if the United States continues to be an armed camp, that the trouble of this spring will in time overwhelm us. With 100 million weapons unaccounted for in a nation whose total population is only 200 million—that is one out of two Americans is already armed—we have a serious problem. We have 60 million households in the United States and we could send 40 million arms abroad and still leave a gun in every household. At one time our national goal was a car in every garage. Now we have a gun in every home. Marvin Watson and the President of the United States see the evil. I wish the Congress did, particularly the other day. News articles follow:
"PosTMASTERS TO TELL POLICE OF MAILED GUNS “The Post Office today announced it will notify local police chiefs before delivering any guns in their communities.
"The announcement came as tough new bills regulating firearms in the United States were introduced in the Senate.
“Postmaster General W. Marvin Watson said he has ordered that all postmasters
shall not make delivery of any firearm without first notifying the chief law enforcement official of the community.'
"Watson said he also has 'issued regulations that all firearms shipped through the mails be clearly labeled with the words "firearms”.!”
"[From the Washington (D.C.) Evening Star, June 13, 1968] "RIFLE ASSOCIATION CHALLENGES NEW GUNMAKING REGULATION "The National Rifle Association is questioning the legality of a Post Office Department move to curb mail-order guns.
"Postmaster General W. Marvin Watson yesterday announced new postal rules under which packages containing guns will not be accepted for mailing unless clearly labeled 'Firearms.'
"Further, he said, delivery of firearms will be held up until the chief law enforcement officer of the community to which the package is addressed is notified.
"TYPES TO BE BANNED "Watson also said sawed-off shotguns and short-barreled rifles will be banned from the mails under 'concealed weapons' regulations unless addressed to authorized law enforcement or military personnel.
"I don't think this will solve the problem,' said Harold Gardenswartz, a New Mexico sporting goods executive. 'I think people who commit crimes steal guns,'
"Police Chief Donald I. McNamara of Portland, Ore., said the only use he could see for the regulations is that they would provide police with descriptions and serial number of guns, helping owners recover those that are lost or stolen.
"Miami Police Chief Walter Headley said that if a gun is not bought in his city 'there's nothing I can do to make him register it.'
"DOUBTS ANYTHING NEW “Harold M. Goodman, largest gun dealer in St. Louis, said he was in favor of regulations, but didn't think Watson had come up with anything new.
"A postal department spokesman said Watson's ban, which goes into effect immediately, will apply to guns “26 inches in length or which have the characteristies of a concealed weapon.'
**Pistols were not included because they have been banned from the mails for years, the spokesman said.
"The NRA questioned whether Watson had the authority to hold up mail
"Watson also urged private express companies to follow the department's lead.
"President Johnson has not indicated whether he will sign the bill now before
"Ten senators, headed by Maryland Democrat Joseph D. Tydings, introduced a still stricter measure yesterday that would go far beyond what Johnson has called for. It would provide for registration and licensing of all firearms.
Tydings called the NRA a lobby and said it should be taxed. And he criticized Maryland Gov. Spiro T. Agnew's appointment of a former NRA officer as his representative on a panel studying state gun legislation as 'unconscionable.'
"Sen. Edward W. Brooke, R-Mass., reintroduced his bill to establish a firearms registry in the Treasury Department in which all firearms would have to be registered.
Meanwhile, 20 House Democrats urged the President yesterday to veto the crime bill, saying its passage was an act of 'legislative hysteria' which would take 'three giant steps to a police state.'
"In a letter to the President, the group took particular issue with a section of the bill intended to overturn Supreme Court decisions safeguarding individual rights. It also attacked provisions that would authorize wiretapping and electronic eavesdropping under certain conditions."
(From the Congressional Record, June 20, 1968]
POSTAL REGULATIONS RESTRICTING THE GUN TRAFFIC
Jarrin Watson's action of a week ago has set off shock waves that will bring
The Postal Operations Subcommittee is holding hearings on it this coming
I hope that whoever our next President is he will see the value in the service