The Trace: The NRA Has Been Making the Same Slippery Slope Argument Since 1934
Confronted with federal regulation that sought to restrict access to certain types of military-style firearms, as well as taxes on handguns, the NRA rallied its members in opposition. Its stance was less categorical than it is today, as the organization declared itself “absolutely favorable to reasonable legislation” that confined itself to submachine guns and sawed-off shotguns, exclusively. At the same time, the group was developing the argument that gun restrictions on any kind of firearm were the first step on a slippery slope to a federal registry and excessive gun taxes.
Since then, the slippery slope apparently hasn’t included mail order bans, age limits, a new class of prohibited persons, ex post facto misdemeanor prohibitions, prior restraint background checks, “gun-free” zones, an “assault weapon ban,” arbitrary new definitions of machine gun, state-level bump-fire bans, and an upcoming federal ban on bump-fire stocks that would make any semi-auto a machine gun.
The NFA is also notable as the first major federal victim disarmament legislation for which the NRA rolled over and bared its belly.