IraqVeteran8888 on Open Carry, Constitutionality of NFA Items

At SHOT Show 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada, I got a chance to meet IraqVeteran8888, also known as Eric, and his crew. As you probably know if you’re a regular GunsAmerica reader, I’m a big fan of his Youtube Channel. As a matter of fact, we regularly feature his videos on our homepage, in our weekly digest and on our Facebook page.

Why do I like Eric? Well, the answer is simple: He’s authentic, he’s intelligent and he loves guns. Were I to answer that same question from an editor’s perspective I’d say that the content Eric produces is worthy of your time because it’s compelling, informative and entertaining. I don’t know about you, but I almost always watch his videos from start to finish, a compliment I wish I could say about more youtube personalities.

Getting a chance to interview Eric was bittersweet in that it was nice to chat with him but I feel like we barely scratched the surface on the many topics there are to discuss.  At some point in the not too distant future I’m hoping we can sit down once again for a more lengthy and in-depth discussion.

That said, what we did get a chance to talk about was Eric’s thoughts on open carry and the constitutionality of NFA items.

“When you open carry you are an ambassador for the gun community,” Eric explained, adding, “You want to make sure you’re representing gun owners in the most positive light that you can. You want to bring people in, not scare them away.”

I couldn’t agree more. Selling the Gospel of guns is about winning hearts and minds, making gun ownership look like an attractive lifestyle choice, not a feckless hobby reserved for thugs and dunderheads. To Eric’s point, those who open carry should be mindful that they are representing more than just themselves but an entire community of individuals who value the 2A.

On the other subject we discussed, Eric said, “Repeal the NFA, get rid of it.” Again, I agree. However, I pressed him a little bit about whether there should be a different standard or issuing process with respect to machine guns, which is where I’ll open up the discussion to you guys.

Supposing you agree that the NFA should be repealed, what type of laws, if any, should exist when it comes to the sale, transfer or possession of machine guns? Should there be some sort of mandatory training class before one is allowed to possess a machine gun? Should there be a machine gun registry? While your answers to those questions may be framed under ideal circumstances (No ATF, No DOJ, No anti-gun movement), what should a pragmatic gun owners expect in the real world? What is a reasonable, yet attainable compromise?

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 37 comments… add one }
  • Penrod February 7, 2015, 3:18 pm

    I don’t want the NFA or any other gun law repealed: I want them struck down as explicitly prohibited by the Constitution. I won’t hold my breath.

    I understand that all subtle thinkers understand that the obvious meaning of “shall not be infringed” is “of course we can make it a felony”, but I make no claims to being subtle.

    The Constitution takes certain policy options off the table. It does not matter a whit if they are good or bad policies: either they are not authorized by the Constitution, or they are explicitly prohibited. In the case of arms laws (not just guns, but arms as understood by those who framed the Constitution: guns, knives, swords, brass knuckles, billy clubs, you name it) they are explicitly prohibited.

    Subtle thinkers, of course, understand that their belief a policy is good makes it constitutionally authorized.

  • DaveGinOly February 6, 2015, 2:31 pm

    The NFA should go for two practical reasons (without discussing constitutionality).

    First, when it was made law, there was no such thing as an instant background check. Instant background checks have become the standard (even the anti-gun nuts’ standard) for whether or not a person is qualified to purchase a firearm. Instant background checks eliminate the reason for the existence of the NFA’s background check (which was instituted at a time instant checks did not exist).

    Second, the record of NFA weapons owners is sterling. Although the anti-gun nuts would say this shows that background checks and gun registration work, it also proves that in the hands of the law-abiding these weapons present (statistically) ZERO threat to the communities in which their owners live. Statistically, this is the same level of threat that that average firearms owner presents to his or her community with their non-NFA firearms. So why is the acquisition of NFA firearms treated differently than than the acquisition of non-NFA guns? The NFA background check, registration, and tax stamp payment do not make the owner of the NFA weapon any more (or less) law-abiding and “safe” than the processes for purchasing an ordinary firearm, so why retain the system if it provideds no real or quantifiable safety, public health, or law enforcement benefit?

  • HARRY HOLIDAY February 6, 2015, 2:12 pm


  • ts.atomic February 6, 2015, 1:00 pm

    “…shall not be infringed…”

    Shall not be infringed is blunt and straightforward. You would have to employ some twisted logic to make it mean — even slightly — different from it’s plainly stated intent.

    So, (theoretically speaking) even if there are some reasonable infringement(s) that we can all agree on and everybody is happy with and *desperately* want to implement — a constitutional amendment is required to accommodate them. Otherwise, the right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. There are no exceptions accompanying the 2nd amendment to allow for NFA, waiting periods, magazine restrictions, permits — *nothing*. And as goofy as it sounds (and I agree it would not be a good idea), as stated, “keep and bear arms” does not preclude *any* arms. Yes, that includes everything from your fists up to, and including, weapons of mass destruction. Citizens could own cannons at the time of the writing and cannon were the WMD of the period.

    So, perhaps we should regulate WMD in the hands of citizens. I think that is a good idea. I just believe that you can’t do it merely with legislation under our current Constitution. We just need a Constitutional amendment to do that Constitutionally. Else, any infringement is extra-constitutional.

    • DaveGinOly February 6, 2015, 2:39 pm

      “And as goofy as it sounds (and I agree it would not be a good idea), as stated, ‘keep and bear arms’ does not preclude *any* arms. Yes, that includes everything from your fists up to, and including, weapons of mass destruction.”

      Without getting into a constitutional argument, technically, the word “arms” refers to personal weapons. In colonial times “ordnance” was the word used for what today we call “crew-served weapons” such as cannons and other weapons that cannot be carried and/or employed by a single operator.

  • Rocky February 6, 2015, 12:04 pm

    The National Firearms Act is Unconstitutional, at base. The Federal Government is prohibited, by the Second Amendment, from making any law that would ‘infringer’ upon our ‘right to keep and bear arms’. This includes fully automatic weapons, as well. The States are a bit different. They can outlaw, or Legalize, whatever they wish, except as may be prohibited, or allowed, under the US Constitution.
    Some might object, by referring to the ‘Militia’ portion of the 2nd Amendment, but as our Framers considered every male American, between the age of 16 and 60 to be members of the ‘General Militia’ and because the ‘Militia Act of 1903’ created the ‘Unorganized Militia’, which is comprised of all males, of military age and veterans up to age 60 (considered old age at the time) they too have no recourse to but accept that every citizen has the right to keep and bear whatever they wish.
    BTW ‘well regulated’, in the nomenclature of the day, meant ‘well trained’. Just to remove another Liberal rant.
    To use the words of one of our original American patriots, Tench Coxe on Feb 20 1788; “Congress shall have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American … the unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.”

    • FrankAS May 21, 2017, 4:47 pm

      The States are a bit different. They can outlaw, or Legalize, whatever they wish, except as may be prohibited, or allowed, under the US Constitution. NO THEY CAN’T!, any more than they can over-rule any other than the FIRST.

  • Pete February 6, 2015, 11:53 am

    Machine guns would become the weapon of choice if available, dumb ass. The only thing saving us is their scarcity and expense. The solution is not less gun laws, it’s less gun-slinger culture. At least there is more agreement that open carry is idiotic! Way too many gun owners are just looking of an excuse to have a gun fight with somebody, anybody, the ‘tyranical’ government if need be, criminals hopefully, but somebody! Most people on this site need mental help. I mean that in the kindest possible way.

    • DaveGinOly February 6, 2015, 3:01 pm

      “Machine guns would become the weapon of choice if available, dumb ass. The only thing saving us is their scarcity and expense. The solution is not less gun laws, it’s less gun-slinger culture.”

      Your argument is a restatement of the “blood in the streets”/”wild west”/the sky is falling scenarios that were predicted for states like Florida as they adopted more permissive carry laws over the last two decades or so. Not only didn’t these predictions come true, but in the interim violent crime rates have been halved (I’m not claiming a causal relationship here, just pointing out that exactly the opposite happened from what was predicted). People like you believe the gun makes the criminal when it’s the other way around – the human element is always the determining factor. Guns are just fancy lumps of metal and plastic – they have no motives, no needs or desires, and neither morality nor immorality.

      If anyone needs help, it’s you. You’re “projecting.” You have ascribed to others behavior that you fear you would act out yourself, if you were armed in public. There’s no data to support your claims about the attitudes of armed citizens.

    • John Shirley February 6, 2015, 4:58 pm

      Pete, your kind of a moron!


    • Jlwusmc May 11, 2020, 8:06 pm

      You must be a complete and utter imbecil to make such an ignorant and stupid comment… you most likely sit there with your idiitic liberal idealism that guns are for hunting…. NO… the right to keep and bear arms are for many things but most importantly to aid in the protection against invasion AND to prevent an oppressive government (literally what the government is becoming today) from turning you , all your little libtard friends and every other american into modern day slaves. Every single government in history that has disarmed their citizens followed up with the senseless murder of 1,000’s or nore citizens soon after…. learn to think before you speak you halfwit.

  • Joe February 6, 2015, 11:47 am

    If the NFA is repealed my tommy gun’s price will drop from $194,000 to $324. Leave it as is. Thanks.

  • C.Hill February 6, 2015, 11:26 am

    I have no problem with open carry, i prefer concealed for myself, but i do ride a motorcycle and would hate for my shirt to blow up and me get fined for not being concealed. The idiots who do have the right to open carry and walk into McDonalds with an AR strapped to their backs are morons who hurt the cause. I feel I have more of an advantage being concealed, “guy walks into Luby’s to kill everyone, if I’m open carry i get shot first, if concealed, hopefully I get to shoot him”. As far as tax stamp items, suppresors and full auto, as long as you are a law abiding CITIZEN, and have training, the government needs to leave us alone and let us have our 2nd ammendment. All it is, is a tracking system and a way for them to make money. Me, a law abiding citizen, i dont need to be tracked.

  • hangingdog February 6, 2015, 11:25 am

    I’d be happy if they’d just repeal the May 5, 1986 ban on future manufacture of machineguns that Bush #1 put into place. All that did was make “the safest weapons in history” become the most expensive one’s too. If you don’t understand the “safest” statement write the ATF and ask them how many people have been killed with “tax stamped” (“registered” to lay people) machineguns. You know, the NFA is the only gun law that really worked and then pure ignorance of the subject further infringed it 50 years later.

  • Daniel February 6, 2015, 10:17 am

    Is the whole of the NFA unconstitutional BS? Yep. Tha said, if we could get a repeal of part of it, I would take that. Not saying that it would be a place to stop at, but it’s a step in the right direction.

  • Abner T Yokum February 6, 2015, 7:56 am

    As we all know, EVERY law (Act) in this country is aimed at controlling the behavior of the .01% of society who will not obey any law because… well, they’re outlaws. This is the position of every Second Amendment organization in a direct and/or indirect manner.

    The NFA, and every other set of laws set up to ‘control’ the misuse of firearms could probably be canned without any real impact on crime and lawlessness, other than to REDUCE the number of rapes, robberies, and homicides in the country. Simple reason… there are still more law-abiding citizens in the country than criminals.Even a criminal with his/her typical sub-average IQ would soon realize that he/she’s outnumbered, and stick to the easier non-confrontational property crimes and welfare fraud schemes.

    As my grandmother used to say: Not knowing whether or not someone has a pistol in their pocket or not teaches one a lot of restraint and self-respect for another person.

    It logically follows that there would be no gain in the misuse of ‘heavy’ weapons if they were put back within the reach of the average citizen. They were legal before until the gangster/mafia elements took advantage of them because of prohibition and other government-instigated disasters. There’s no reason they couldn’t be legal again. The key is training and education, just like properly handling an auto or airplane.

    However, the country’s police forces will have to go through a monumental shift in mindset within its own organizations to understand that not everyone who carries a firearm is their “enemy”…

  • Dennis Siegler February 6, 2015, 7:50 am

    Lets face it, the only reason they created the law in the first place was the criminals of the day had military grade weapons and law enforcement officers still had revolvers and shot guns. Bonny & Clyde were using BAR’s, and John Dillinger had a Tommy gun. That left the FBI a little more than using spitballs to fight crime. So insted of just upgrading their own guns, they had congress pass laws to fight crime. Sound familiar? On top of that, the FBI also received military grade weapons to fight the criminals too! That left the citizens who obay the law in the same boat we find ourselves in now. The only ones that care about the law are the ones that obay it. NOT THE CRIMINALS THAT BREAK THE LAW. In all this time, we still don’t learn that gun control doesn’t work! Congress still hasn’t learned that they can’t pass an anti-evil law.

  • Evan February 6, 2015, 7:42 am

    I could almost agree with some machine guns being subjected to the regulations that non-NFA firearms are now.

    That being said, select-fire rifles, SMGs, and light machine guns shouldn’t be treated differently from any other gun. The additional scrutiny that I could almost endorse would only apply to crew-served heavy machine guns, multi-barreled machine guns like the minigun, etc.

    In trained hands, and in the right scenario, a machine gun can be more “dangerous” than most weapons. In most cases, I’d argue the exact opposite. If Adam Lanza was spraying at full auto, most of his shots would likely have gone harmlessly errant, as opposed to the devastation he caused with aimed fire. The same goes for pretty mmuch every one of these mass shooters. They’re never former military who have any training, they’re all weaklings and lunatics. With full auto weapons they may fire more rounds, but they’ll hit even less than they do now, and waste their ammo quickly, giving people a better chance to get away. Just saying.

  • Josh Thompson February 6, 2015, 7:26 am

    I also believe that the NFA should be repealed. Though as a dealer standard, a basic safety training should be given to include time on a range. Especially with machine pistols like the Uzi. This is a dealer standard, not a federal law. I am ex military and have been trained in full auto firearms, shooting them required I little bit more care as recoil, and muzzle climb can be quick and significant. This can be seen in the death of the range officer in Arizona and the boy in Connecticut. I am not saying that should be federal law; however, it should be standard pratice.

  • Joe February 6, 2015, 7:08 am

    Like it or not, NFA regulations are an infringement. Nix ’em.

    That said, if we could just get rid of the Hughes amendment and the import restrictions, I’d be fairly happy.

    • FrankAS May 21, 2017, 5:07 pm

      Silencers and weapons with a three shot burst should be allowed along with SBRs and SBSs.

  • Jay February 6, 2015, 6:42 am

    First I am not against open carry at all, what I am against is one the same things I am against with open borders! You can’t tell a legal from an illegal person! How do you and I know that if someone is walking around with a firearm, pistol or rifle that they are legally carrying that firearm, we don’t! With that said, do you think the police are going to stop and question each and every person carrying to check them out, won’t happen. We have a situation with open carry in which an individual or several people can use open carry as way to get the upper hand in a bad situation because no one knows if they are legally carrying that firearm. Those individuals can use open carry to surprize places and commit crimes a bit easier because of no discernable way to know if they are a criminal or not until the act happens. Then we might have individuals who are legally carrying in that situation and then you have a gun fight on your hands with many innocent bystanders in the middle. We also have the same problem as we see with driver license, we look at that as a right but how many people abuse that right each and everyday, they drive drunk or under the influence of drugs, drive recklessly endangering others, drive and text, drive and read, drive and put on makeup, run stop signs, stop lights etc…. We just can not regulate and or control common sense! Some people just have none and you can’t fix that with all the laws, duct tape and bailing wire in the world! If open carry is going to happen and be legal, which it should, then mandatory safety training, firearm firing test, etc… should be the first thing on the agenda to do so. Then how about some form of a ID tag worn and visible at all times that can be seen at a great distance and is reflective. If someone doesn’t have a problem of letting everyone see their firearm, then they surely don’t have a problem with passing a safety training/shooting course and wearing a ID to show, hey I’m legit! That would make all the anti gun crowd at least think about it and a lot more people more comfortable with it. We have to remember that just because we have the right to do something doesn’t mean we should exercise that right in every situation. We have free speech but we have limitations put on the right to sit in a movie theater and scream “Fire”.We have limitations put on that right because of the harm it can cause! In other words, more thought needs to be put into the exercise of this right before we act on this right, it’s called being responsible, not just for ourselves but we also have to realize others have the right to feel safe in the same environment we live in with them! How much safer would everyone feel and be if trained individuals are walking around carrying an equalizer. It would probably put a big dent in criminal activity, especially considering they are packing anyway! Concealed carry has already showed us this with the increase of CHL license and the decrease in crime in many of those States.

    • Larry February 6, 2015, 8:59 am

      While I agree with some of your reasoning I am appalled that you think there wouldn’t be people who made fake “ID’s” that allowed them to fade into the fabric of life until they had that “defining moment” when they suddenly and with no warning turned into the killers they have been all along. The framers of our Constitution saw what happened when they were prohibited from having the means to resist by having things placed on them by a tyrannical monarchy and any and all “gun laws” are leading us into that same area. Who trained those in the Old West to carry? Who granted them the ability to protect themselves from harm? No one did! They did it because it was necessary and much more expedient than hoping and praying that the “law” would be there. This country is rapidly going downhill due to the baseless learning/leanings/defining of our rights by those who have an agenda that bodes us no good while enriching themselves beyond our apparent ability to understand. They become millionaires while we (the people whom they tax out of our shoes) become paupers. Sometime you need to take a look at how many politicians become millionaires after becoming politicians that could have never made it without being elected to enslave us. Slavery is not dead.. we are the new slaves.

      • Jay February 6, 2015, 4:54 pm

        Larry, you might want to become educated on some of the almost impossible to duplicate ID’s that are available today. Some are holographic, reflective digital imagery, and those that withing the ID it can even be chipped by a digital machine which only that particular machine can make, without that one machine you can not duplicate it, they can also be scanned a distance. There are many ways to prevent ID fraud and just like Drivers license fraud it should be punishable by fines and jail time but then again with all the bleeding hearts in the world that’s why crime is so prevalent. The old west most think of and about is all hollywood, the truth be known most citizens at that time had guns for survival, like hunting for food first, then self preservation from others second and not all had a firearm. We still have the means to resist (limited in comparison to government), for now, however it was up to government we probably would not and yes ,many of the gun laws should be nixed period! You are correct that government officials have become rich off the backs of ordinary citizens butt hey also go further by protecting themselves with exemptions form laws that affect us. They live in their self made world and shield themselves from the real world and most if not all don’t give one moments thought to the citizens that grant them their existence, as they are in a position of servitude to the people and over time they have been allowed to turn it around the other way and we are now the servants!

    • shooter February 6, 2015, 9:15 am

      You are just proposing a different set of regulations which would be just as easily used to control firearms possession.

    • Chris February 6, 2015, 12:07 pm

      My only comment to you and the masses of people that support gun laws and the like… at the end of the day, laws are made for LAW ABIDING CITIZENS. The criminals don’t have to have a weapon permit to rob the local stop n rob… you are cripplING the very people that you are TRYING to protect…the innocent.

    • mike petersen February 8, 2015, 6:33 am

      Jay since when is a drivers license a right ? i dont know any one who thinks that it is a right . it doesnt seem like a valid comparison .

      • Jay February 9, 2015, 7:58 am

        Mike, I said, We, (people) Look At that as a right!

  • Johnny Cirucci February 6, 2015, 6:04 am

    The National Firearms Act was a critical advance for tyranny and the statists will NEVER allow it to be repealed. It’s like the progressive tax code: it’s one more weapon aimed at enslaving the Middle Class.

    The only way it will get repealed is if there are renegade politicians (all of the leadership roles are filled with compromised and co-opted shills) who so fear the overwhelming advances of the Orwellian Police State that they wish to throw a monkey wrench in by taking down the NFA.

    The key to being responsible with heavy firepower is maturity and those are the limitations that should be placed upon machineguns. Veterans and law enforcement could have a fast-track but it’s critical that average citizens have access to military arms as that is the point of the 2nd Amendment.

  • Slim February 5, 2015, 7:32 pm

    With a slide fire stock your close to a machine gun capabilities. What’s the difference, not much in my book so I feel theirs nothing to fear about removing the burden of acquiring a machine gun.

    • Ricky February 6, 2015, 4:24 am

      Slide fire is just a toy.overpriced at rather have the real thing Nad not have to pay exorbitant amounts of cash and wait months and months and months and months and months all for something that should be cconstitutionally already legal without the government interferring.

      • Jim S. February 6, 2015, 11:23 am

        I have to agree with that. I have an SKS with a Tapco stock. I would love to have a slide fire stock. However, the slide fire stock for it costs more than I paid for the SKS. I’ve seen You Tube videos of homemade slide fire stocks for less than $20. Rough looking, but functional. I don’t see any reason, other than greed, a slide fire stock should cost almost $400.

      • Brad February 6, 2015, 2:41 pm

        Yes, original Slidefire is a little money($260). I got mine in a few days. Another site has similar to SF for $99 (last month). Yes, there was a wait for those. In contrast, what do you think a full auto AR or AK would cost if you could buy them directly? BTW, have you shot a Slidefire? Not much difference(from a full auto), as far as eating lots of ammo!

        • Gregory Romeu February 6, 2015, 10:29 pm

          You CAN purchase full autos, beltfed, sub guns directly, (Up to about a 6 month waiting period of course), plus a $200 tax stamp per item, Silencer, Sub Gun, Belt Fed machinegun, etc. and the costs are now in the tens of thousands unless you buy something low in quality like the MAC 10 / 11 series of stuff which will run around $5000 each… Just goodle “Machineguns for sale” and do your browsing.

    • Bob Harris February 6, 2015, 7:04 am

      Amen. The auto gun community isn’t large enough for ‘opening the flood-gates’ to be a bad thing. 2,977 people died on 09-11-01 because of a box cutter. Stop limiting my gun ownership, stop gun free zones, clearly the 2nd amendment works.

    • Arnfred Maberg February 10, 2015, 8:26 am

      I think Constitutional carry should be the norm. After all, it is our Constitution. It should apply to all weapons. Now, if you misuse it like anything else, then you should be punished. It’s just like using a car. You can destroy with a car but you don’t get punished for driving, but you get punished for the misuse. Also like yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded auditorium – that is freedom of speech. You should be punished for misuse of your right if there is no fire.

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