Background Check Bill Moves in US Senate
Anti-gun lawmakers kept the so-called “background check” bill that they planned to move in the US Senate under wraps, only putting forth a shell bill with no specifics. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) applied the text through an amendment at the last minute, before it passed. We now have the details of that bill, including the text. Only having time to skim the details, but here are the key problems:
- If a gun owner leaves town for more than 7 days, and leaves a domestic partner or unrelated roommate at home with the guns, they would be committing a felony transfer. For states that recognize marriages that the federal government does not, there’s no exemption for those spouses. In any of these situations, it means 5 years in prison for the people involved.
- Actually, even married couples are questionably legal because the exemption between family only applies to gifts, not to temporary transfers. The 7-day implication is if a gun owner leaves their spouse at home for more than 7 days, it’s an unlawful transfer and they become a felon facing 5 years in prison. I suppose one could gift them to a spouse, or related co-habitant, and then have them gift the entire gun collection back upon arrival back home. Maybe the Attorney General will be generous enough to create a form for that type of temporary gift.
- It would be illegal to lend a gun to a friend to take shooting. That would be a transfer causing the offender to face 5 years in federal prison.
- The bill steals the livelihood of gun dealers by setting a fixed fee to conduct transfers. The fee is fixed by the Attorney General. What’s to prevent him or her from setting it at $1,000 in order to punish firearms owners?
- The legislation enacts de facto universal gun registration through record keeping requirements.
- All lost and stolen guns must be reported to the federal and local government. This means everyone will have to fill out the theft/loss form, and not just FFLs. Gun owners will only have 24 hours to comply. If one lose a gun on a hunting trip deep in the woods, and that person cannot get back home to fill out the form in less than 24 hours, they become a felon and will face 5 years in federal prison.
- If one hunter wants to lend a gun to a friend to go hunting, it’s a felony.
- The bill makes no exception for state permits to carry or other permits that require regular background checks. All transfers must go through a dealer or offenders will face 5 years in federal prison.
- Even gun owners who are teaching someone to shoot on their own land will be committing a felony with 5 years in prison if the new shooter is handed the gun. Such a transfer on private property is not exempted as lawful.
Gun owners need to punish any lawmaker who voted for this extreme bill. It’s nothing more than an attempt to put more gun owners in prison. Sen. Schumer was wise to keep this under wraps because his bill is truly draconian. I not only expect the GOP to vote against this bill, I personally expect them to filibuster it. Let’s see if the Democrats can get to 60 without any Republican support, and the party may see how many of them want to lose their seats in 2014. (Neither of Pennsylvania’s Senators are up for re-election in 2014, but many are in states that take pride in their strong pro-gun traditions.)
This bill has nothing to do with ensuring people who are getting guns are law-abiding, and everything to do with getting backdoor registration and creating a patchwork of rules and laws that will land anyone who uses guns without first possessing a law degree in federal prison for a long time. Lots of otherwise law-abiding people are going to federal prison if this ends up passing, and many are convinced that’s the whole idea.
Pennsylvania gun owners need to contact Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey as soon as possible and ask them to oppose this so-called background check bill.
If you have heard a rumor that NRA plans to back this horrible legislation, please do not believe it. This rumor is being promoted by the former network known as MSNBC – a home to many hosts who do not believe in the individual right to bear arms. NRA-ILA has even put out a statement to address this issue.