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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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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.