Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

The "Blame and Punish Gun Owners Act"

Friday, July 16, 2010

Anti-gun politicians have often looked for ways to penalize law-abiding gun owners rather than go after violent criminals.  Now, through "lost or stolen" laws, they increasingly want to punish gun owners who are crime victims.

These laws, which have already been passed in some California and Pennsylvania towns, make it a crime if a stolen firearm is not reported to police, typically within two or three days. In practice these ordinances place a legal gun owner at risk of prosecution for being the victim of a crime, and do nothing to stop or hinder the theft or illegal sale of stolen firearms by real criminals.

Now, anti-gun Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) has introduced H.R. 5736, what she calls" The Firearm Owners Responsibility Act," but which would be far more aptly called "The Blame and Punish Gun Owners Act."

H.R. 5736 would make it a federal crime if a law-abiding gun owner fails to report, within 72 hours, the loss or theft of a legally possessed firearm.  If a firearm is lost or stolen and the loss is not reported within 72 hours of when the owner becomes aware of the loss, the penalties would apply. The time limit would not allow for any mitigating circumstances, such as travel time or the inability to contact authorities.  For example, a hunter who loses a firearm during a wilderness emergency could face criminal penalties, even if it takes more than 72 hours just to return to civilization.

The reporting requirement would not simply require a call to local law enforcement, but also to the U.S. Attorney General (i.e., the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives). So, if a burglary victim calls his local police -- as most crime victims would do -- but fails to also notify the U.S. Department of Justice, the person would violate the law. The requirement to report to the federal government would also allow the U.S. Justice Department to collect information about law-abiding gun owners and provides no limit on what can be done with that information by anti-gun officials.

Perhaps the most outrageous element of H.R. 5736 is that it specifically exempts criminals from its impact.  The bill clearly states that it would apply to a person who "lawfully possesses or owns" a firearm.  So, a legal gun owner who fails to report a theft would face a fine, imprisonment or both.  But if the thief himself later loses the gun, he would not be required to report the loss, and would face no penalty whatsoever for failing to report it.  While the bill was probably written this way to avoid issues of self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment, it is unfortunate that Rep. McCarthy doesn't show equal concern for the Second Amendment.

TRENDING NOW
Washington: NRA Files Legal Challenge Against Misleading Ballot Title for Gun Control Initiative

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Washington: NRA Files Legal Challenge Against Misleading Ballot Title for Gun Control Initiative

Yesterday, NRA filed a legal challenge in the Thurston County Superior Court objecting to the misleading and inadequate ballot title for Initiative 1639, which seeks to further restrict the Second Amendment rights of Washington's law-abiding citizens.  The Thurston ...

Massachusetts: Anti-Second Amendment Bills Rolled into Committee Substitute

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Massachusetts: Anti-Second Amendment Bills Rolled into Committee Substitute

On May 23rd, the Massachusetts state House of Representatives will be voting on House Bill 4517, which would allow firearms to be seized from individuals following baseless accusations without proper due process.

Illinois: Gun Control Bills to be Heard This Week

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Illinois: Gun Control Bills to be Heard This Week

The Illinois state House of Representatives can take action any day on House Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 2580 to expand the 72 hour waiting period to all firearms.  On May 24th, the Illinois state ...

Hard Times for Dick's as Second Amendment Supporters Respond to Company’s Anti-Gun Bent

Hunting  

News  

Friday, May 11, 2018

Hard Times for Dick's as Second Amendment Supporters Respond to Company’s Anti-Gun Bent

We have recently been reporting on the bizarre anti-gun activism of one of the nation’s larger firearm retailers, Dick’s Sporting Goods and its affiliated Field & Stream stores. First, the company announced it would stop selling most centerfire semi-automatic ...

New Jersey Action Needed: Senate Committee Passes Multiple Gun Control Bills

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

New Jersey Action Needed: Senate Committee Passes Multiple Gun Control Bills

Yesterday, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee considered and passed multiple anti-gun measures. 

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Sorry, Alyssa, But We're Glad We Came

News  

Friday, May 11, 2018

Sorry, Alyssa, But We're Glad We Came

You likely recall we mentioned a new anti-gun organization recently formed, which was billed as the brainchild of actress Alyssa Milano.  You may also recall that we reported her group, NoRA, had made the vaguely threatening proclamation, ...

News  

Friday, April 27, 2018

NRA Statement on Yeti

The National Rifle Association released the following statement from in response to Yeti’s inaccurate statements:

Anti-Gun Democrat Proposes Banning Semi-Autos and Going After "Resisters"

News  

Friday, May 11, 2018

Anti-Gun Democrat Proposes Banning Semi-Autos and Going After "Resisters"

The headline of the USA Today op-ed said it all. Anti-gun Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) last week advocated for legislation to ban an as-yet undetermined class of semi-automatic firearms and to “go after resisters” who refuse to relinquish their ...

California: New Gut and Amend Aimed at Gun Shows

Monday, May 21, 2018

California: New Gut and Amend Aimed at Gun Shows

Late last week, Senate Bill 221, until recently dealt with “Criminal Fines: HIV Prevention and Education,” was gutted and amended to prohibit the sale of firearms and ammunition at the Cow Palace starting January 1, ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

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.