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Knowledge, your best anti-gun defense!

* Often the efforts of anti-gunners can be thwarted when gun owners are simply knowledgeable about the gun control laws that already exist in their own areas as well as on the federal level. Add to this nowledge an up-to-date awareness of exactly who the gun grabbers are, their impressive record of failure, plus their latest tactics, and you--as a defender of our right to keep and bear arms--will usually have the upper hand in the battle for public opinion.

But then again, you may be one of those shooters or hunters whose knowledge of existing gun laws is scant. Perhaps you have paid little attention to the ongoing anti-gun circus because it has not affected you personally yet! If this describes you, then please, I implore you to avoid confronting a skillful gun grabber in public, because in any such confrontation it is quite likely that he will eat you alive. And, of course, such an event would be particularly damaging because it could effect non-gun oriented people who are honestly trying to form an opinion on the subject. Your being humiliated in public can only hurt the pro-gun cause.

It is the public's ignorance (unfortunately this public ignorance includes many serious shooters and hunters) about existing gun laws that the ban-the-gun bunch always seeks to exploit. Whenever the "antis" gather together to plot some new design against your Second Amendment rights, you can be sure that they will offer some additional restrictive and redundant legislation without mentioning the cornucopia of gun control laws that already exist. Remember, ignorance should always be looked upon as the anti-gunner's most potent weapon.

A good example of the "ignorance vs. knowledge" confrontation took place in 1982 over California's notorious anti-gun initiative, Proposition 15. Early in the spring of 1982, before most of California's electorate was even aware of the eixstence of the initiative, a statewide poll was taken. This poll asked the citizens of the Golden State if they felt that laws were needed to control the availability of handguns in the state. The poll mentioned nothing about the tough laws that already existed in this trend-setting state; it just asked if such laws were needed. This poll implied (by omission) that few or nor such laws already existed, and it also suggested (by the way the questions were phrased) that gun control would reduce crime. The results of this poll were frightening. The vast majority of people responding to it said that they would vote for some form of gun control.

The battle over Proposition 15 waged on during the summer and fall of 1982. The gun grabbers claimed that if Californians would only get with it and vote-in-gun control, they could expect some relief from society's most serious problems. With the big media backing gun control, it sounded as if the proposition could cure everything from murder to herpes. On the other side of the arena, the pro-gun forces were saddled with the laborious responsibilities of patient educators. It became necessary for every concerned gun owner and hunter to acquaint his non-gun-owning friends and neighbors with the rather stringent gun laws that already existed in California. This was in addition to refuting the usual warped logic and outright lies of the ban-the-gun bunch.

The results? On election night 1982 public opinion in California had turned completely around, and Proposition 15 failed. But, more importantly, many thousands of citizens now had something that they did not have prior to the campaign; they had acquired knowledge on the gun control issue and of the laws concerning the acquisition, possession and use of firearms already in force. They had also been exposed to both sides of the gun control issue and found the arguments of the anti-gunners weak and lacking substance.

Are you up-to-date on today's gun laws? Have you been paying attention to current events as they apply to your right to keep and bear arms? Maybe you are not sure, because a law enforcement officer has never had reason to examine any of your guns, or perhaps you have, as yet, still not been called upon to step forward to defend your Second Amendment rights. Well, this article may prove useful if you are in doubt, because it is "test time." That's right, it's back to school for another fun-filled, 25-question, multiple-choice quiz.

My intent in creating this quiz is not simply to jump on the current trivia games' bandwagon. The laws and regulations that govern the possession and use of firearms in this country are a serious matter and should never be viewed as trivia by gun owners. An honest mistake, or just one flaw in your knowledge of these laws, can sometimes be enough to land you in jail for a long time.

Knowing who the anti-gunners are, where their support comes from, and becoming familiar with their tactics is, of course, the fundamental basis of an effective pro-gun stratagem. Simply stated, you must know who your enemies are and what they are up to if you are going to have any chance of defeating them.

As I said earlier, this quiz consists of 25 multiple-choice questions. Some of the questions deal with federal firearms laws or with state laws of general interest. Other questions are concerned with the ongoing gun control battle. A few of the questions may appear to have more than one correct answer. Your taks is to select the most compelling, most complete answer. Also, please understand that none of the questions should be viewed as legal advice. There are many state, county and municipal laws in effect and they can (and usually do) complicate any attempt to generalize on the subject of firearms laws. In other words, you should always be aware of the local laws that apply to you because they may be at odds with federal law.

On these important topics, one could easily come up with hundreds of pertinent questions. So, 25 just barely scratches the surface. But, I do believe that this quiz does touch on some significant high points.

Please read the questions carefully and good luck.

1. Without notifying anyone, you have permanently attached to your new 6-inch barreled .44 Magnum revolver, a rifle-type buttstock. As a result you are:

a. required by law to notify the dealer from whom you purchased the revolver, so that his 4473 form can be amended to reflect the alteration.

b. in violation of federal law and face severe penalties.

c. now in possession of an altered weapon that could make you and the gun's manufacturer civilly liable should the gun malfunction and injure an innocent party.

d. now in possession of a firearm that is ideally suited for long-range target shooting and hunting.

2. In the 1982 general elections, the anti-gun movement suffered a defeat when a statewide gun control referendum in California (Proposition 15) was rejected by the voters. What was the pro-gun margin of victory?

a. 55 percent against, 45 percent in favor

b. 51 percent against, 49 percent in favor

c. 63 percent against, 37 percent in favor

d. 60 percent against, 40 percent in favor

3. You are a private citizen and wish to possess a selective-fire assault type rifle. You look into the matter and find that you must:

a. obtain from the federal government the necessary permission and pay a special tax. However, if the state that you reside in does not allow the possession of such a weapon, you are then out-of-luck because the feds will not overrule the states on this matter.

b. obtain from the federal government the necessary permission and pay a special tax. The state that you reside in does not matter because federal law takes precedence.

c. forget the idea, because only the police and military can legally possess selective-fire weapons according to federal law.

d. comply with current federal law that requires you to post a $1,000 bond before you purchase such a firearm.

4. Of the following actors, three have in some way supported or used their celebrity status to encourage the enactment of more restrictive gun control laws. One of the actors listed, however, is well-known for his public support of your right to keep and bear arms. Can you pick him out?

a. Ed Asner

b. Gregory Peck

c. Charlton Heston

d. Leonard Nimoy

5. Because you possess a Federal Firearms License, agents from the BATF can inspect your records:

a. if they first obtain a search warrant just like any other law enforcement agency.

b. if they have a valid complaint from some other party charging that you are in violation of at least one of the BATF's regulations.

c. any time that they want to, without a search warrant or any indication of wrongdoing.

d. no more than once every two years, but if there is a good reason to suspect wrongdoing on your part, a federal judge can allow more frequent inspections.

6. Of the following municipalities, three have passed laws banning the possession of handguns while the fourth municipilaty has passed a law that requires the ownership of a firearm. Which one requires ownership?

a. Evanston, Illinois

b. Oak Park, Illinois

c. Morton Grove, Illinois

d. Goreville, Illinois

7. According to federal law, what is the minimum legal length for a rifle barrel? And what is the overall minimum legal length for a rifle?

a. 16 inches for the barrel, 28 inches overall

b. 18 inches for the barrel, 26 inches overall

c. 18 inches for the barrel, 28 inches overall

d. 16 inches for the barrel, 26 inches overall

8. Of the following national organizations, three are either neutral or pro-gun on the subject of handguns. One of the organizations listed does, however, advocate stricter gun control legislation. Which one wants more controls?

a. The National Education Association

b. The National 4-H Council

c. The Veterans of Foreign Wars

d. The Law Enforcement Officers Association

9. If you take your unloaded handgun and lock it in a sturdy metal box and then lock the box in the trunk of your car, you can legally travel through all of the following states for the purpose of changing residences, except one. Which state can put a nonresident in jail for traveling through it with a handgun in the above-stated condition for the above-stated purpose?

a. New York

b. Rhode Island

c. Pennsylvania

d. Connecticut

10. A few years ago, the mayor of one of America's largest cities championed the passage of a law "completely" banning the possession of handguns by law-abiding citizens, in the city. The law was later thrown out by the courts. The name of this mayor is:

a. Tom Bradley of Los Angeles

b. Diane Feinstein of San Francisco

c. Harold Washington of Chicago d. Edward Koch of New York

11. According to a United States Supreme Court decision (U.S. vs. Haynes) there is one group of people who are not required to comply with any gun registration scheme. Can you pick out that group from among the following?

a. active members of the military

b. law enforcement officers

c. legal aliens

d. criminals

12. "Tough talk aside, none of those phony excuses warrant the purchase of a gun, particularly the stuff about protecting yourself against burglars." This quote is from a recent book written by Dr. Joseph D. McNamara, an outspoken proponent for more gun control and the only police chief in the country with a Ph. D. from Harvard University. He is the police chief of which of the following cities?

a. San Antonio, Texas

b. Kansas City, Missouri

c. San Jose, California

d. Boston, Massachusetts

13. If you possess a Federal Firearms Collectors License, you are entitled to ship and receive firearms and ammunition that the BATF has classified as:

a. non-functional arms

b. obsolete ordnance

c. out of production with substantial collector interest

d. curios and relics

14. Of the following Hollywood celebrities, three are well known as shooters and also as supporters of your right to keep and bear arms. One, however, has been known to support the anti-gun cause. Which one is the anti-gunner?

a. Sylvester Stallone

b. Angie Dickinson

c. Mariette Hartley

d. Robert Stack

15. According to federal law, what is the minimum legal length for a shotgun barrel? And what is the overall minimum legal length for a shotgun?

a. 18 inches for the barrel, 26 inches overall

b. 16 inches for the barrel, 28 inches overall

c. 18 inches for the barrel, 28 inches overall

d. 16 inches for the barrel, 26 inches overall

16. You have just move to the nation's capitol, Washington D.C. Packed away in your belongings is your son's Marlin Model 60, 22 L.R., semi-auto rifle. This rifle is fed by a common 17 round tubular magazine. According to D.C. law, you have brought into the city:

a. the only type of firearm (a .22 cal. rifle) that does not need to be registered with the police.

b. a firearm that is illegal because your son's rifle is considered to be a machine gun in this city.

c. contraband; because no new firearms, of any kind, have been allowed in D.C. since 1977.

d. a rifle that is treated the same as a handgun, because .22 L.R. ammo is classified as handgun ammo only, in this city.

17. This question is slanted toward the ladies, but the legal aspects of the answer are applicable to all.

It is very late one night; you are alone, asleep, and your husband is out of town. You are awakened by the sounds of someone picking the lock on your back door. You immediately call the police for protection, but they never show up. You are subsequently raped and beaten by the intruder over a period of several hours. You decide to file suit against the police for not responding to your plea for help. In this type of a situation, recent court decisions from around the country have ruled that:

a. The plice can be sued, because the basic element of their profession is a public trust that requires that they make every reasonable effort to protect each citizen from harm.

b. the police cannot be sued, because their obligation is to protect society as a whole and not necessarily to protect citizens individually.

c. the police department cannot be sued. But, the specific officers on duty (at the time your call was made) can be sued as private citizens if it can be shown that they had no good reason for ignoring your plea for help.

d. the police can be sued, because every citizen (including police officers) is obligated by law to assist any other citizen who is in immediate danger of death or great bodily harm.

18. Laws pertaining to the use of deadly force in defense of oneself or family in the home vary greatly from state to state. In most cases, these laws require that an intruder (someone who has entered your home by means of a felony) must in some way threaten you with great bodily harm or death before you can use deadly force to repel him. The fact that he has broken into your home is, in most states, not sufficient cause for you to use deadly force against him. In other words, you must wait for him to pull a weapon, or at least for him to act or talk like he intends to harm you before you can respond in kind. A few states, however, do have laws on the books that can allow you to assume that your life is in danger based on the fact that your home has been entered by means of a felony alone; thus, you are relieved of the burden of having to wait for the intruder to act first.

Of the following states, three have laws that in most cases may allow a homeowner to immediately defend himself or his family if his home is broken into without having to wait for the intruder to act first. One of the states listed below, however, still requires the homeowner to wait for some kind of a threat. Can you pick out that one state?

a. Oregon

b. Massachusetts

c. California

d. Texas

A word of caution is needed here. You can still be charged with a crime if it can be proven that you "knew" there was no danger or that the danger had passed but you acted anyway.

19. Listed here are four past presidents of the United States. Three of these presidents were, at some time, members of the NRA and were either supportive of your right to keep and bear arms, or at least were perceived as not being particularly hostile to America's gun owners and hunters. One of the presidents listed, however, headed an administration that was very hostile toward gun owners. This president and his people were so anti-gun that his candidacy caused the NRA to endorse his opponent in a general election. This was the first time that the NRA felt compelled to break with tradition to endorse a presidential candidate. Which of the following was the anti-gun president?

a. Richard Nixon

b. Jimmy Carter

c. Theodore Roosevelt

d. John F. Kennedy

20. You have become accustomed to ridding your property of unwanted rattle-snakes by the use of shotshells in your 6-inch-barreled .357 Magnum revolver. To improve the pattern of the shot, you have the lands and grooves completely milled out of your revolver's barrel. What you end up with, in reality, is:

a. a firearm that is now too dangerous to use with conventional ammunition.

b. an illegal weapon according to federal law because without the lands and grooves, it is now impossible for law enforcement to trace any bullets fired through your revolver.

c. very little improvement in the shot pattern and a gun that now has little or no resale value.

d. a weapon that should have been registered with the BATF before the alteration, because according to federal law you are now in possession of a sawed-off shotgun.

21. Most Americans (including many that own guns) are unaware of the fact that there is a federal office for encouraging and developing the ability of the public to safely and effectively learn the use of firearms (high-powered rifles in particular). In addition to firearms training, it is also possible for qualified citizens to actually purchase M1 Garands (at reduced cost) through one of this office's programs. What is the name of this federal office?

a. Office of the Civilian Militia

b. Office of the Director of Citizen Reserve Training

c. Office of the Director of Civilian Marksmanship

d. Office of the National Home Guard

22. In recent months the anti-gun crowd has waged a campaign to outlaw the so-called "cop killer bullet." This term, "cop killer bullet," is the name (invented by the anti-gunners in the media) for armor piercing handgun ammunition. They claim that such a ban is needed to protect police officers who sometimes wear soft-body armor. In spite of the fact that this kind of ammunition is not readily available to the public, legislation was still proposed at the national level in a sneaky attempt at "backdoor" gun control. If passed, this legislation could have been used to ban nearly all hunting and sporting ammo. Question: In the history of American law enforcement, how many officers have died as a result of having their body armor penetrated by an armor piercing handgun bullet?

a. 3

b. 0

c. 1

d. 2

23. According to national statistics compiled for the year 1981 by the FBI, police officers killed less than 400 criminals in the line of duty. Private citizens, however, killed more felons (in justifiable self defense) than the police did. How many criminals were killed by law-abiding citizens during this period of time?

a. more than 600

b. more than 800

c. more than 1,200

d. more than 1,400

24. In recent years the more fanatic proponents of gun control have shown that they will do just about anything to disarm America's law-abiding citizenry. One of the more reckless and bizarre tactics now being employed by these gun grabbers are "product liability suits." These law suits claim the manufacturer or dealer or both are civilly liable should a gun that they have made or sold ever be misused in the future. Several of these suits have been tried around the country recently and fortunately all of them have failed. Most of these actions have been brought by one particular Dallas-based attorney, in fact, his name has become synonymous with these anti-gun product liability suits. Can you identify him?

a. Donald L Colwell

b. R. Windle Turley

c. H. William Smalley

d. Vernon (Sonny) Turnipseed Jr.

25. This question differs from the others in that it is not based on any specific law, but rather on common sense. This question also only deals with a few of the things that you should do or be aware of in the situation that follows. Nevertheless, it is an important question and the answer is valid in all areas of the country.

It is the middle of the night and the worst had happened. Your home has been broken into and you were forced to use your handgun to defend yourself. The felon is lying motionless on the floor and appears to be dead. You have summoned the police and they will be arriving at any moment. What is the "most" important thing that you should do before the police get there and how should you greet the police upon their arrival?

a. Collect all of the weapons involved (both the intruder's and yours) and present them to the officers as soon as they enter the scene.

b. Unload your gun, and if it is a revolver leave the cylinder out; if it is an autoloader lock the slide back, then hold the gun by the barrel only. Holding the gun in this manner will allow the arriving officers to easily see that the gun is now in a safe condition.

c. Unload your gun and put it in your pocket, belt or waistband. Then meet the police at the door and inform them that you are the homeowner. Then with your hands out of the way, invite the officers to disarm you by permitting them to take your gun.

d. Before the police arrive be sure to place your gun out sight and out of reach. Under these circumstances you should never greet the police with a gun in your hand. You should also keep your hands in plain sight and make no sudden moves. Let the police tell you what to do.


25 correct (perfect score)--Congratulations, you certainly are up-to-date on the gun control issue and your knowledge of gun laws is first-rate. You should leave your name with your local gun club so that you can be called upon to serve as a spokesman if and when the anti-gunners show up in your community.

23 to 24 correct--Congratulations to you, too. As long as there are enough gun owners like you around, the gun grabbers don't stand a chance. Call your local gun club and tell them that you are available if the guy with the perfect score can't make it.

20 to 22 correct--Your understanding of the issues and the laws is good, but there appear to be some flaws in your knowledge. You are still, however, quite capable of defending your Second Amendment rights. At the next meeting of your local gun club you should show up so you can ask the guy with the perfect score some intelligent and revealing questions.

16 to 19 correct--Your grasp of these issues is fair. The next time that you attend a meeting of your local gun club be sure not to say very much; just applaud wildly when the guy with the perfect score is done talking. 15 or less correct--Your heart is in the right place because you found the time to take this quiz. From this point on, you should read and study everything that you can about gun laws and related issues. Also, carefully go over your guns with someone knowledgeable about the law. You may find some violations.
COPYRIGHT 1985 InterMedia Outdoors, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Kavey, Fred
Publication:Guns & Ammo
Date:May 1, 1985
Previous Article:Washington report.
Next Article:The guns of J.P. Sauer & Sohn.

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