The ATF, precursor to the BATFE, was originally a tax collecting branch of the treasury charged with taxing firearms, tobacco and alcohol. Their primary work on firearms was, until late 1968, enforcing the taxes on firearms falling under the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934, which placed licensing requirements on several types of firearms, mainly fully automatic weapons in civilian ownership.
In 1968, Thomas J Dodd (D-CT) introduced the Gun Control Act (GCA) of 1968, signed into law in October, 1968 by Lyndon Johnson. Responsibility for enforcement of the GCA fell to ATF that same year.
The pedigree of the GCA is suspect given certain events in the life of Thomas J Dodd, going all the way back to his work in 1945 and 1946 when he was an associate of Henry Jackson, later to be a supreme court justice.
Jackson was one of many lawyers charged with the duty of prosecuting the Nazi war criminals in the Nuremberg trials. During that time, apparently, Dodd collected some documents from the Reichsgesetzblatt, the Nazi German equivalent of our Federal Register, including the text of the 1938 Law on Weapons, signed by Adolf Hitler. This law introduced gun control on most people who were not members in good standing with the Nazi Party (National Socialist Party) and was also designed to disarm Jews and interrupt their ability to practice their religion by banning any Jews from owning arms and “weapons of cutting or stabbing”, thus rendering them defenseless and parenthetically making the profession of Kosher butcher impossible.
The Law on Weapons should have been a footnote in the history of one of the vilest and most evil regimes. It would have remained so if not for the fact that on July 12, 1968, the Library of Congress supplied to Thomas J Dodd a translation of that law from the original text that he had provided.
I have first person experience with these documents as I was able to get, from the Library of Congress, not only the translation supplied to Thomas Dodd on July 12, 1968 but also the cover letter to Thomas Dodd on Library of Congress letterhead.
The interesting thing is that the Library of Congress had their own copy of the full volumes of the Reichsgesetzblatt but allegedly the volume containing the Law on Weapons is inexplicably missing. The cover letter states that Sen Dodd supplied the original documents for translation, ostensibly from his collection of German documents.
Taking a translation of the Law on Weapons and comparing it to the Gun Control Act of 1968 is a disturbing process indeed as the comparison quickly brings the reader to the conclusion that the GCA was lifted, often in the whole cloth, from the Law on Weapons. One example is the requirement for serial numbers and manufacturers and importers markings on every firearm. The Law on Weapons also makes use of the “Sporting Purposes” notation we so often hear when gun control advocates cluck about how they really aren’t trying to violate the Second Amendment.
There is no argument that foreign laws sometimes are the impetus for some US laws. Given the interlocking interests of our own government and other governments across the globe, some interaction is expected and can be beneficial. There are limits and certainly the laws of an evil regime is not a proper source for any legislation.