Public domain graphics FTW

I recently extended an offer to my Facebook friends — they could submit anonymous questions about guns or gun policy here, and I’d do my best to answer. I’ll repeat what I said in my original Facebook post:

There are no stupid questions — we all start from zero. I’m aware that the information asymmetry on this topic is huge, and if you’re on the short end of it, that likely has more to do with circumstance than anything else. Ask away.

  1. How do we address mass shootings without infringing on the right to bear arms?

Over the next few…


Advanced Armament Corporation Aviator 2 Silencer on an M&P 22 Compact

Note: I use the terms “suppressor,” “silencer,” and “can” interchangeably. You should, too — there are better things to argue about. But, yes, “silencer” is on Maxim’s patent.

I’m not a gear review guy, but I felt compelled to write this because I’m certain many of you are in the same place I was a few months ago: You want to buy a suppressor, but you haven’t pulled the trigger yet. You, quite fairly, find the legal process confusing, intimidating, invasive, or, at the very least, annoying.

Setting all that aside, you’re also unsure about which suppressor you want —…


Even diminutive automatic knives like this Microtech are subject to a mess of federal, state, and local policies. However, many excellent state-level reforms have been achieved in recent years. Federal policy should move to keep up.

The New York Times editorial board probably doesn’t strike you as a champion of Second Amendment rights. Sometimes, though, a law is so obviously ridiculous that surprising voices rise against it.

In 2016, the Times shed light on an archaic New York law that banned “gravity knives,” knives with an opening mechanism that functions with — you guessed it — the force of gravity. To be clear, there’s nothing particularly menacing about gravity knives, and banning them is stupid: The mechanism by which a knife opens is not a serious matter of public safety concern.

But the enforcement of the…


Dressed for success

Last year, I resolved to produce more writing on firearms policy and the right to bear arms. In addition to posting pieces here on Medium, I had several published with The Truth About Guns, the Foundation for Economic Education, and, most recently, the Washington Examiner.

The Examiner op-ed, which I co-wrote with Matthew Larosiere, offers a historical perspective on the NFA’s the minimum-size rules. If you’ve wondered why — and thought it ludicrous — that you could go to prison for owning a rifle with a 15" barrel, you need to read this op-ed.

Here’s a short excerpt:

At first…


What follows is my comment on the ATF’s recent and highly problematic notice. Nearly 50,000 comments have been submitted over the past few days. I encourage you to add your own, but please be thoughtful about what you write — explain what’s wrong with the proposed guidance. Don’t just rail against the NFA. I like doing that, too, but this isn’t the place for it.

Dear Acting Director Lombardo,

As a firearms policy researcher and certified firearms instructor, I wish to offer my thoughts on “Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with ‘Stabilizing Braces’” (85 FR 82516, Docket No. 2020R-10).

The…


Marlin 1895 Trapper — half an inch away from being an SBR under the NFA

The gun community was inflamed by the ATF‘s recent notice, “Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with ‘Stabilizing Braces.’” Matt Larosiere provides a thoughtful, levelheaded analysis of the document in this video. (I encourage you to subscribe to his channel to keep up with his excellent gun policy content.)

There’s an additional point I would like to add to the conversation. In our attempts to parse what exactly the ATF’s actions will mean for gun owners, let’s not lose sight of what the ATF has revealed itself to be.

Consider the following excerpt from the notice:

“Until that (registration, disposal, or…


I could hunt with this rifle, but my right to own it exists independently of its utility as a hunting tool.

In a recent opinion piece titled Guns and the Rural Vote, Ryan Davis offers his thoughts on what people fail to understand about American gun culture. Unfortunately, Davis himself overlooks the essential and distinguishing features of Americans’ attitudes towards firearms and the right to bear arms. In doing so, Davis misunderstands why American “gun people” (for lack of a better term) find gun control so utterly unpalatable.

Davis makes some good points — I particularly like what he had to say about the shared practice of hunting being able to bridge social divides. However, Davis’s core thesis is completely wrong…


It’s a common trope of American political discourse: a politician will emphatically declare his respect for the Second Amendment. He will deny that he’s “coming for your guns.” (After all, he knows that gun-grabbing is unpalatable to many Americans.)

But, in his very next breath, he’ll backpedal a bit — surely, civilians don’t need and ought not possess “military” firearms, those notorious “weapons of war.” And…well, yes, he will come for those guns.

Clearly, the politician believes that there is a real, categorical distinction between military and civilian firearms. Many American voters do, too. Moreover, they think this distinction matters.


Over and over again, innocent people unwittingly find themselves in the ATF’s crosshairs

What if government agents could, by declaration, make you into a criminal? What if, without legislative change, bureaucrats could decide that what was legal yesterday is, today, a felony? What if we were governed not by law, but by edict — arbitrary statements telling us what we may or may not do?

Unfortunately, those questions are not merely hypothetical. Millions of American gun owners are grappling with this capricious governance. Even if you aren’t a gun owner — even if you hate guns — you should be…

Mark Houser

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store