Isn’t it remarkable to see despots employ terms like “common sense gun control” when they wave the guns of the state to threaten peaceful people and their natural rights?
The first towering middle-finger to the natural right of self-defense and the explicit wording of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution comes in the form of HR 8, called the “Bi-Partisan Background Checks Act of 2021,” and, heck, if it’s got the word “bi-partisan” right there in the title, you know it’s just peachy.
Among the glorious things the government thugs plan to do with the backing of their government guns is to mandate that all gun transfers occur via “federally licensed dealers,” and that virtually all people transferring possession of firearms register as “dealers” and conduct the already unconstitutional federal “background checks” on buyers.
As anyone can figure out, that’s equivalent to a federal gun registry.
H.R. 8, a.k.a the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, would make it a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, to complete a gun transfer unless it involves a federally licensed dealer. Under current law, such dealers are required to conduct background checks to see if would-be buyers are legally disqualified from owning guns. This bill would extend that requirement to private transfers, except for ‘loan[s]’ or ‘bona fide gift[s]’ between close relatives when 'the transferor has no reason to believe that the transferee' falls into a prohibited category.
And guess who defines “bona fide gift?”
That would be the friends of Nancy Pelosi in the federal bureaucracy - a bureaucracy that already operates inefficiently and saw COVID-19 lockdowns also hamper the operations of the lovely federal offices that handle the background checks.
As Sullum observes, HR 8:
…aims to ‘ensure [that] individuals prohibited from gun purchase or possession are not able to obtain firearms.’ But it assuredly would not do that, since criminals already evade background checks by buying guns on the black market or through straw purchasers, and the people who supply them are unlikely to be deterred by an additional layer of illegality.
And Sullum correctly notes that, on the practical side, this kind of bill merely will make it harder for peacefully-minded people to obtain guns, wrangling and entangling many folks who are not dangerous and who, if outside the walls of a prison, are supposed to be able to exercise their inherent right to self-defense.
Federal law prohibits gun possession by absurdly broad categories of people, including anyone with a felony record, no matter the nature of the offense or how long ago it happened; anyone who has ever undergone involuntary psychiatric treatment, whether or not he was ever deemed a danger to others; and cannabis consumers, even in states that have legalized marijuana.
If the state claims the power to tell citizens who aren’t in custody of the state that they cannot exercise their right to self-defense via the ownership of a firearm, the state is claiming custody of those outside the bounds of jail. It is making all of us potential wards of their political wardens.
And Sullum writes:
Under current law, the FBI has three business days to process background checks—which makes the name of that program, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), something of a misnomer. After three business days, the dealer is allowed to complete the sale even without a response. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is therefore sometimes charged with retrieving guns from people who took possession of them before it was discovered that they were not allowed to own them. The inspector general found that ‘ATF special agents did not consider most of the prohibited persons who had obtained guns to be dangerous and therefore did not consider it a priority to retrieve the firearm promptly.’
And then there’s the second horrendous House bill passed last week. Writes Sullum:
H.R. 1446, a.k.a. the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021, is just as poorly targeted. The bill, which was supported by 217 Democrats and two Republicans, would more than triple the amount of time allowed for a background check, from three to 10 business days. In practice, that means even legally qualified buyers could have to wait nearly two weeks—possibly longer, depending on holidays and other restrictions on government hours—before taking possession of a gun. For someone who urgently needs a gun for self-defense—say, a woman afraid of an abusive ex-boyfriend or ex-husband—that delay might prove lethal.
This is not conjecture. This is fact, a fact to which NJ resident Carol Bowne could testify – if she had not been murdered in 2015 while she waited for the government to give her permission to get a pistol to defend herself against a known threat.
This reminds us not to miss the forest for the trees. Whether the imposition is three business days or ten is not the core of the matter. The core is that agents of the state are threatening people, infringing on their rights, and breaching their oaths to abide by the very document that created their tax-fed seats in office. If that isn’t disdainfully hypocritical, insulting, and evil, what is?
The eight Republicans who sided with the Dems on H.R. 8 were Vern Buchanan (FL), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), Andrew Garbarino (NY), Carlos Gimenez (FL), Adam Kinzinger (IL), Maria Elvira Salazar (FL), Chris Smith (NJ), and Fred Upton (MI).
The two Republicans who sided with the Pelosi pack on H.R. 1446 were Fitzpatrick (PA) and the ever-lovin’ Smith of New Jersey.
Perhaps one might want to ask them if the possession of something is an aggressive act, if possession connotes intent, and who would be engaging in gun-backed aggression should the government move to punish peaceful people for owning or selling a gun.
The answers are clear, and should be shared with as many people as possible as these bills head to the Senate.