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Big Brother's New Target: Tracking Firearms

Friday, January 23, 2009

U.S. Representative Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) recently sponsored H.R. 45, also known as "Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act."  The bill is, at its core and as its name implies, a licensing and registration scheme. 

The measure calls for all handgun owners to submit to the federal government an application that shall include, among many other things:  a photo; an address; a thumbprint; a completed, written firearm safety test; private mental health records; and a fee.  And those are only some of the requirements to be licensed! 

The bill would further require the attorney general to establish a database of every handgun sale, transfer, and owner's address in America.  Moreover, the bill would make it illegal to own or possess a "qualifying firearm" -- defined as "any handgun; or any semiautomatic firearm that can accept any detachable ammunition feeding device…" [emphasis added] without one of the proposed licenses. 

Additionally, the bill would make it illegal to transfer ownership of a "qualifying firearm" to anyone who is not a licensed gun dealer or collector (with very few exceptions), and would require "qualifying firearm" owners to report all transfers to the attorney general's database. It would also be illegal for a licensed gun owner to fail to record a gun loss or theft within 72 hours, or fail to report a change of address within 60 days.  Further, if a minor obtains a firearm and injures someone with it, the owner of the firearm may face a multiple-year jail sentence. 

H.R. 45 is essentially a reintroduction of H.R. 2666, which Rush introduced in 2007.  H.R. 2666 contained much of the same language as H.R. 45, and was co-sponsored by several well-known anti-gun legislators--including Barack Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.  H.R. 45 currently has no co-sponsors. 

Rest assured that NRA-ILA will continue to monitor this bill closely, and will keep you informed of any developments if they materialize. 

To view the complete text of the bill, please click here.

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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.