Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 1 decade ago

How does the N.F.A. (National Firearms Act) usurp police power?

I'm researching the supreme court case of United States v. Miller

One of the points made by the defensive is:

"The National Firearms Act is not a revenue measure but an attempt to usurp police power reserved to the States, and is therefore unconstitutional."

I do not understand how the National Firearms Act is an attempt to usurp police power. As far as I understand, it simply dramatically raises the taxation on certain firearms.

Does anyone understand how the National Firearms Act might be read as an attempt to usurp police power?

Thanks in advance for your help

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    There are two reasons for passing a tax law. One is to increase revenue for the government, the other is to make the taxed conduct less common.

    The NFA was clearly not a revenue increasing act. A transfer tax of $200 on weapons that, in 1934, could be bought for as little as $20, was intended to "tax them out of existence", not to collect revenue. As such it was clearly a 'police powers' act, not a revenue act.


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