Grandfathering — a.k.a. Sticking It To The Next Generation
There are few things less noble than looking out for your own interests at the expense of those who will follow. But that’s exactly what is happening every time a law is put into place that “grandfathers” YOUR continued legal possession of a freshly banned item, while outlawing your DECENDANTS from having it. After all, nobody is going to take YOUR gun/magazine/part/etc., so why should you have any objections? Who cares about the next generation; you’re set for life!
Grandfather clauses are a popular way to get gun control and other controversial legislation to pass. It’s illegal now, but since you already own it, you won’t have to give it up. That makes it easy to sell the line ‘nobody is coming for your guns’ when you don’t have to give up what you already have. But, there’s a lot more to it than you realize.
Grandfather clauses tend to have a lot of conditions attached to them. Obviously, you have to have legal possession of the item before the deadline. That is almost impossible to determine for items such as firearm magazines, which are not serialized. The exception would be a magazine for a new firearm that wasn’t even invented before the deadline, but that’s not the point. Law enforcement hates this since the burden of proof is on them to show you didn’t own this when you say you did. Of course, that doesn’t stop many agencies from confiscating first and trying to make you prove your item was grandfathered — innocent until proven guilty be dammed.
Stricter grandfather conditions are those that include registration. Again, nearly impossible for items without serial numbers so this is most commonly used with items such as firearms. The most common example of this is for newly defined so-called “assault weapons”. That common, everyday rifle you have legally owned for years/decades has just been ruled as being too-dangerous-to-be-in-your-civilian-hands, so you must register it to keep it under the grandfather exception.
In these cases, it is expected that you as the good, law-abiding citizen you are will register it and accept the numerous legal conditions that come along with it including how and where you can transport and use it as well as the fact that you can never sell it or hand it down to your descendants. In other words, the life of your now illegal but grandfathered firearm is tied to your own life. When you die, it must be surrendered and will die with you. But hey… NOBODY came after YOUR firearm!
Obviously, the biggest problem with the grandfather clause is your property can never be passed along to your family. How many of us have been bequeathed a firearm from a parent, grandparent or other relative? Other than the actual monetary value, those items represent a passing of heritage from one generation to the next. Except now, your too-dangerous-to be-in-your-civilian-hands firearm will never see the light of day again. Hopefully your descendants will be satisfied with what they are allowed to own in the future.
The other, less publicized consequence of a grandfather clause is it is nothing more than words on a piece of paper. At some point, some gun hating politician is going to look at all those grandfathered items out there and simply say — let’s get rid of them. The grandfathered exemption is taken away and your property, the property they promised you could keep for as long as you lived, is now illegal for YOU to own and you have to turn it in or be criminally charged for possession of illegal items.
Think it can’t happen? Way back in 2000 California outlawed so-called “high capacity” magazines. Anything over the arbitrary 10 rounds was ruled as too-dangerous-to be-in-your-civilian-hands, unless you already owned them — the grandfather clause. Then in 2016, they changed their minds and removed that exemption. Go ahead and turn them in please.
If you think registered, grandfathered items are any safer; they are not. Anti-gun politicians have repeatedly called for firearms registered under the original California Assault Weapons Ban to be redefined as too-dangerous-to be-in-your-civilian-hands EVEN IF registered. The ONLY reason why that hasn’t been done to date is that the definition of “assault weapons” is continuing to evolve and more and more currently legal but NOT too-dangerous-to be-in-your-civilian-hands firearms are being added to the list. ONLY WHEN the most comprehensive list of registered “assault weapons” is compiled will the final hammer drop and all those grandfathered items be illegal for YOU to own. And guess what? They know where you are and what you have. Expect a not-so-polite knock at your door.
So why do we accept grandfather clauses in these ridiculous gun control laws? Because we are selfish, ignorant bastards who are more concerned about what we have to give up than the next generation of firearm owners. As long as we get to keep our magazines and firearms, what do we care about those who come after us?
Grandfather clauses are nothing more than deferred confiscation notices. It may not be for a few years or for the rest of your lifetime (HA!), but that grandfathered item is going to be taken and destroyed.
Fighting for YOUR Second Amendment rights isn’t the same as fighting for EVERYONE’S Second Amendment rights. If you aren’t willing to fight for your descendant’s right to own the type of firearms, magazines or other accessories you own now; then you might as well turn your crap in now. Don’t pretend to be a patriot if you aren’t willing to defend the Constitutional rights of the next generation.
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