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Anti-Gun Legislation in the 110th Congress

Monday, March 19, 2007

H.R. 1022, Going Beyond The Infamous Clinton Gun Ban

Introduced by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), H.R. 1022 would revive the discredited Clinton Gun Ban of 1994. Congress allowed the ban to expire in 2004 for multiple reasons, including the fact that studies by the Congressional Research Service, congressionally-mandated studies, and studies by state and local law enforcement agencies showed that guns affected by the ban had been used in only a minute percentage of crime, before and after the ban was imposed.

Reauthorizing the Clinton ban would be bad enough. The guns that it temporarily banned--very widely used for target shooting, hunting and home protection--are still used in only a small percentage of crime. But McCarthy`s "other purposes" would make matters even worse. H.R. 1022 would ban every gun banned by the Clinton ban, plus millions more guns. For more information see: http://www.nraila.org/Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?id=213&issue=019.

H.R. 96, Aiming At Registering Gun Owners And Putting Gun Shows Out Of Business

Introduced by Rep. Michael Castle (R-Del.), the "Gun Show Loophole Closing Act of 2007"imposes bureaucratic restrictions aimed at shutting down gun shows--without fixing real problems of the National Instant Check System (NICS). Despite changes from the Lautenberg juvenile justice amendment of 1999 that it is based on, this bill fails to address gun owners` most significant concerns--and in several areas is even more restrictive than past attempts to regulate gun shows. H.R. 96 makes no real improvements to the NICS system while creating gun owner registration, massive new government red tape and allows harassment of gun show organizers vendors and attendees. For more information on H.R. 96, see: http://www.nraila.org/Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?id=209&issue=014.

S. 77, The Firearms Dealer Harassment Act

Sen. Charles Schumer, (D-N.Y.) has introduced S. 77, the "Anti-Gun Trafficking Penalties Enhancement Act of 2007." A more accurate title would be the "Firearms Dealer Harassment Act." Here`s why:

  • First, S.77 would require that confidential Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) records on firearms traces be turned over--on demand--to any government entity, for any purpose. (Currently, information from firearms traces can only be used in bona fide criminal investigations by law enforcement agencies.)
  • S. 77 would require that these records be made available to any government agency for any reason, or for no stated reason whatsoever, without any justification or respect for the privacy rights of law-abiding gun owners.
  • S. 77 would also unleash the federal government to harass FFL holders at will, for any reason, as often as it chooses.
  • Finally--and perhaps most ominously--S. 77 would define certain firearm violations as "racketeering activity" under the "Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act" (RICO), allowing massive criminal penalties and civil suits.

For more information on S. 77 see http://www.nraila.org/Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?id=210&issue=023.

H.R. 256, Banning Gun Possession By Law-Abiding Young Adults

Introduced by Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, (D-Texas), H.R. 256 seeks to ban handgun possession by those under the age of 21. This, of course, would include thousands of young people who are currently serving in our armed forces. The bill would also ban the possession of a semi-automatic firearm described as an "assault weapon," but it fails to provide any definition of what firearms would be covered under that section of the legislation. Additionally, it bans possession of "large capacity feeding devices" by those under 21.

In addition to these restrictions of the rights of young Americans, the bill also imposes new regulations on firearms importers, manufacturers and dealers, requiring that a gun storage device be included with each sale, regardless of the appropriateness or need for such a device by the buyer. It provides penalties of up to a $10,000 fine for each infraction.

For more information on gun storage issues, see http://www.nraila.org//Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?ID=47.

H.R. 203, Allowing Arbitrary Seizure of Firearms

Introduced by Rep. Steven Rothman, (D-N.J.) H.R. 203 will involve the federal government in gun confiscations and override state law regulating gun possession when misdemeanor charges are filed in domestic abuse cases. The legislation will block federal grant money, money vital for law enforcement operations, to any jurisdiction that does not adopt the firearms seizure standards set in H.R. 203.

Under those standards, H.R. 203 grants police authority to confiscate firearms, without conviction of even misdemeanor charges, based solely on their belief that domestic abuse has occurred. This authority is extended to "any weapon," which could allow police to seize anything that could be so used. This broad expansion of police powers, without the action of a court or the opportunity for the accused to defend him-self or her-self in court, is unprecedented and unnecessary. The bill also provides federal authority for a court to order seizure of "any weapon" as a part of an order of protection, also granting broad search authority.

The expansion of government confiscation powers provided by H.R. 203, in the absence of any conviction, is an improper abuse of government power. That those confiscations can be made based on a simple allegation, without any judicial action, is appallingly excessive.

H.R. 1168, Giving Foreign Courts Authority Over The Rights Of Americans

Introduced by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) H.R. 1168 seeks to extend the firearm and ammunition prohibitions applicable to convicted felons to those convicted in a foreign court. This would allow deprivation of Second Amendment rights based on convictions in foreign courts, where defendants often do not have the same protections against abuse and intimidation that the accused do in the U.S. These would include convictions for conduct domestic law punishes far less severely or not at all. For instance, convictions for religious proselytizing under Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, or for speaking out politically against repressive regimes, would prohibit firearms ownership. Under this bill, people "convicted" for exercising their religion, or undertaking entrepreneurial activities, would be disarmed in America.

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NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.