Silencer Association Calls for O’Reilly Retraction

The American Silencer Association (ASA) wants Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly to immediately make on-air corrections of factual inaccuracies he made about current firearm regulations during his July 24 interview with Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT). The debate, which focused on the validity of additional gun control measures in response to the tragic events in Aurora, CO, found O’Reilly calling for stricter oversight of the firearms transfer process. ASA pointed out that O’Reilly consistently misstated current gun-law requirements. ASA pointed out that O’Reilly used the nonsense term “heavy weapons,” which O’Reilly defined as “mortars, howitzers and machineguns.” These three items are defined and strictly regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934, which falls under the jurisdiction of the BATFE. Under the NFA, mortars and howitzers are considered “destructive devices” because they fire projectiles through a barrel which is larger than one-half inch in diameter.

“Machineguns” are defined as “any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.” In addition to machineguns and destructive devices, the NFA also regulates suppressors, short-barrel rifles, short-barrel shotguns, and “any-other weapons.” In the Chaffetz interview, O’Reilly also stated that “you can buy a machine gun and the FBI doesn’t know,” reiterating his point by claiming that at gun shows “you can buy any weapon you want there and there’s no reporting anywhere.” In a release, ASA pointed out that these statements are entirely and unequivocally untrue.

For a civilian to purchase any item that is regulated by the NFA, the item must be legal in that person’s state of residence, and the buyer must submit Form 4s to the ATF. A Form 4, or Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of Firearm, includes a stringent background check that is conducted by the FBI.

In addition, applicants must submit a $200 non-refundable transfer tax, duplicate copies of passport photos and fingerprints, and receive a signoff from a chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) in their jurisdiction. From start to finish, this transfer process takes anywhere from 30 days to one year to complete.

Additionally, civilians are only eligible to purchase machineguns that were manufactured and registered with the ATF prior to May 19, 1986, the day that President Reagan signed the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act into law.

Also, ASA pointed out that throughout the Chaffetz debate, O’Reilly used the term AK-47 interchangeably with machinegun. The ASA release pointed out that while fully automatic AK-47s are machineguns, referring to semi-automatic variants as machineguns is inaccurate.

The fully automatic versions that O’Reilly refers to are subject to the strict transfer requirements of the NFA, the ASA release said. Thus, O’Reilly’s statement that “you can buy an AK-47 in this country, and no federal agency will know you buy it” is false, unless the AK-47 is semi-automatic.

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Comments (70)

  1. Saw the incredibly unprofessional interview. I was surprised at O’Reilly’s lack of knowledge and the complete absence of research. Every time Caffettz presented a fact that conflicted with O’Reilly’s uninformed opinion, he was shouted down by the host.

    Any respect I had for O’Reilly is gone. Haven’t watched the show since.

  2. A FOX News commentator misrepresented the truth, didn’t fact-check his story, and made up “nonsense terms”? Shocking!

    (The “shocking” part is that anyone who has watched FOX news would be surprised by this. That’s pretty much their modus operandi, isn’t it? Kind of like the television version of the “National Enquirer”. I hope the Enquirer doesn’t sue me for defaming them…)

  3. Bill O’riley is very arroogant and full of himself. This person reminds me of some in the current regieme. I believe he could learn a little bit if he would listen every once in a while, and do a little research bedore he speaks

  4. Bill o’riley has become very arriogent I. Have not waatched his show in several months I don’t know why fox still has him on. I would like ro see someone else onthat searches for facts instead of being so arrogant.

  5. I stopped watching O’Reilly for the reason he so clearly demonstrates. Shoddy research, ignoring facts, constantly interrupting and talking over the guest speaker as well as assuming a selfrighteous arrogant attitude.

    I havn’t purchased a(ANY)gun but in the event I did, it would certainly be due to an attempt to add more gun control.
    A lot of innocent people have been murdered because there was no one there that could stop it.
    If the anti-gun zealots actually beleive more stringent gun laws will work. I suggest they remember 70 or so people shot down in Norway. They have very strict gun laws and it happened anyway. If I want a gun I’ll get one and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Gun laws or any laws are nothing but ink on paper, that simple fact is what no one seems to get.

    1. Hi Stephen, a couple of comments on your post:

      1). You said ” remember 70 or so people shot down in Norway. They have very strict gun laws and it happened anyway.” – I don’t think any intelligent person is claiming that gun laws will prevent ALL gun deaths. The FACTS are: Norway had .04 gun-related homicides per 100,000 people, while the US had 2.83 per 100,000 people. That’s over 70 times as many – still think gun control laws have no value? (source: Wikipedia –

      2). You said “If I want a gun I’ll get one and there is nothing anyone can do about it” – I would recommend that you go out and buy a gun without following the legal process, I think you will find that there IS something that someone will do about it. Or are you claiming that you are a ‘gansta’ with access to illegal weapons?

      3). You criticize O’Reilly for “Shoddy research, ignoring facts,” – I would recommend that purchase a mirror. You might just see someone guilty of exactly that.

      4). You said O’Reilly was constantly “assuming a selfrighteous arrogant attitude”. You follow that up with “arrogant, self-righteous” comments of your own (numbers 1 & 2 above). Again, buy the mirror.

      I’m an NRA member, and unlike you, I AM a legal gun owner. I also don’t believe that serious problems are solved by simple catch-phrases (when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns, etc.).

  6. What a clueless pompous piece of dreck O’Reilly is.It was 6000 rounds not 60,000.Every gun purchase is gone over like a rectal exam.If this tool ever bothered to purchase one, he would know first hand instead of mouthing this utter BS.There is nothing more infuriating than some loudmouth jerk screaming down the walls that has his “facts” completely wrong and insists he’s right.I hope your hemorrhoids blow up in your shorts!

  7. I recently read that the AK-47 and its variants are generally referred to as Kalashnikovs in Russia and other countries, after the designer of the weapon. Since the AK-47 was only one specific model, it makes sense to refer to them like the other countries do. People like Bill O’Reilly really show their ignorance by making outrageous statements the way he did on that program. He’d do himself a big favor to go get educated on the subject and not use the Brady Campaign website for any of his information.


  9. O’Reilly is also very anti-Big Oil. He has some interesting and troubling liberal tendencies, despite his overall conservative views. I think he’s an arrogant ass, although I usually watch his show, in spite of my revulsion at his overbearing style and talking over all his guests. Fox is otherwise great, but I wouldn’t cry if O’Reilly were hit by a bus.

  10. I watched Fox all the time including O’reilly and was watching that night, but after his rant i will not watch anymore, when O’reilly comes on I will switch channels. Bill no more dumba$$ talk admit your wrong!

  11. I wrote O’Reilly during that segment and told him just how misleading and inaccurate his statements were. He did not have the courtesy to rescind them. He knows next to nothing about firearms, and should not speak about them. I still watch him, as the rest of his program is interesting.
    He has his own opinions, which is why it is called an Opinion show.

  12. Rifles capable of preventing tyranny were precisely the arms, the founders intended to protect the right of the people to keep and bear. The second amendment is not about anybody’s hobby.

  13. He is an idoit. Heavy weapons? what a bone head.. the shooter’s doctor tried to warned them .. O’ reilly is so dumb it aint even funny.

  14. Sadly, Bill had some leftwing nutjob on a year or so ago that told him that anyone could go to a Gun Show and buy ANY weapon he wanted and no one would know it and that Bill, is plain ole BS. All Gun Shows require you to sign the same paperwork you would sign anywhere else to buy a weapon. Now, the problem is, is that the PUBLIC is allowed to bring their own weapons and sell them i or out of the show w/o paperwork, however, they can do that from home so this really has nothing to do with Gun Shows. Also, to the MANY uniformed, just b/c you own an AR15, a M-4 or an AK47 does NOT mean that you own a Machinegun or automatic weapon. ALL AR15’s should be Semi Automatic unless a gunsmith has altered the weapon. The automatic maticversion of the AR-15 is the grandaddy, the M-16 hich is auto but cannot be owned by the average person or a class 3 license must be applied for to the NFA to try to own one. The AK-47 within the US is NOT automatic but semi automatic. To ALL of you that believe these weapons should ONLY beowned by the military, you’re full of B.S. The military would laugh at you if you tried to get them to buy an AR-15 or semi Auto AK47. I truly with that ALL of you tha feel the need to spout off about Gun Control, at the VERY Least become educated as to what you are talking about.

  15. Not the first time O’Rielly spun the gun issue in his spin zone. I was so disgusted with his ” macine guns and bazookas” chant to shut Wayne Lapierre up years ago, that I forever turned off his show. O is a fraud. He’s a back stabbed to his friends (both conservatives and especially other commentators). And people really need to turn to other more honest less pompous and less bloviating personalities to get fair and balanced conservative news from.

  16. O’Reilly really has no idea what he is talking about. It’s very evident. Bill, Your ignorance, in these maters is appalling. I believe you really believe the crap that’s coming out of your mouth. For crying out loud man, get your head out of your ass. To you and your sponsors and Fox “in the hen house” News, I no longer subscribe to your publications. You all no longer have much of any credibility any more. Come on down here to Alabama and get with some of us folks and we’ll sit down over a large pitcher of iced tea or beer, and have a good talk and we’ll edumacate you regarding these things. And then you will know and understand the error of your ways.


  17. I use to like oreilly but I’m tired of he’s pompous east coast elitist atittude. he’s a liberal who acts tough, and there isn’t a shred of modesty in this man. Everyone is free to believe what they want, but unforetunely he has a large audience. Although when he spews anti 2nd amendment garbage out of ignorance then it’s our duty as Veterans, LEO’s, hunters, and sportsmen to keep him in check. He needs to be educated that this great country is free because of us and that we need to train with firearms. And if he doesn’t want to listen then it’s our duty to boycott him. JO

  18. I really liked O’Reilly. I am a premium member of his website, been to see him live, and own every book he has every written including some autographed. I was watching the night this aired with Congressman Chaffetz. O’Reilly was very rude to Rep Chaffetz and showed his ignorance and misguided facts. I was literally screaming at the TV that night. If he doesn’t correct himself publically and apologize, I am done with him. I have not watched his show in 3 weeks!!!!

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