On Monday, April 12, the House Judiciary Committee passed House Bill 1391 by a vote of 6 to 5. This legislation, which solidifies an unconstitutional provision in the state’s background check system, will now be heard on the House floor.
House Bill 1391, sponsored by State Representative Joe Rice (D-38), would extend a provision in state law that was due to sunset in July 2010. The bill extends a provision that would deny gun purchases to those with an arrest on their record, even if they were never convicted. This deny-on-arrest provision would remove a constitutional right to own a firearm based on an arrest (an accusation), NOT a conviction. It directly conflicts with the fundamental American doctrine that persons are “innocent until proven guilty.”
Because the disposition of an arrest record isn’t always available, the burden of proof falls on gun buyers to prove they are eligible to purchase a firearm. In many cases, this costs an individual thousands of dollars of their own money, simply to prove their innocence.
Please call your State Representative and urge him or her to vote AGAINST HB1391 and this unconstitutional attack on the Second Amendment rights of