Congress Fires First Shot

H.R. 45 Filed on First Day

   Representative Bobby Rush (D-IL) filed a comprehensive anti-gun wish-list bill in the 111th Congress on its first day in session.  No sooner were the new members of Congress sworn in than Mr. Rush, a former Black Panther leader, file his bill which he calls the "Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009".  The bill has no cosponsors and was automatically referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

   If passed, this bill would require that anyone wishing to purchase, own, or possess a "qualifying firearm" – that's any handgun, and any long gun capable of accepting a detachable magazine – would have to be licensed by the state or the federal government in a licensing program managed by the Attorney General.  To get a license you would have to prove you're you, provide a passport-style photo, a thumbprint, and take a written exam which includes questions about firearms safety, safe storage, the risks of firearms ownership, and anything else the Attorney General deems appropriate.   All transfers would be required to go through a licensed dealer with the exception of occasional gifts or bequests between parents, children (18 or over), and grandparents, or loans of not more than 30 days between "persons who are personally known to one another." (It actually says that.  I'm not making this up.)  And all transfers would have to be recorded in a "Transfer Record" established and maintained by the Attorney General.

   The bill also makes it a crime for a dealer to have shoddy records or fail to appropriately cooperate with any inspectors. It makes failure to report the loss or theft of a firearm within 72 hours a felony punishable by up to 2 years in prison.  Failure to keep a firearm locked up in such a way as to keep it inaccessible to anyone under 18 becomes a federal felony too.

   There's more, but it's just more nonsense and I'm getting a headache.  You can read the bill by clicking here then entering "HR 45" in the search box, click "Bill Number" and hit "Search."

   The inescapable irony here is that the bill is named for a young man who gave hi life shielding a girl on a city bus in Chicago.  Of course Illinois already has a licensing law and Chicago has laws against possession of almost any firearm, but still a 16-year old gang-banger got a semi-auto pistol from a 15-year old gang-banger and told students waiting at the bus stop what he was going to do before the bus arrived.  This sad story is just proof positive that gun control works.  The fact that the bill was introduced by Bobby Rush, former Black Panther, is just more irony than I can stand.

   The good news is that I don't think this bill is going to go anywhere, but it does clearly indicate the direction our opponents want to take things.  Note that the bill keeps stacking more responsibility and authority on the Attorney General.  Don't let this anti-gun pipe-dream distract you from the immediate task at hand – fighting the appointment of Eric holder as Attorney General.

   Whenever you see discussion of this or any other legislation on the gun forums this week, please be sure to post a comment reminding folks to send e-mails and make calls to the Senate demanding that the nomination of Eric holder be rejected.

   While H.R.45 is ugly, it is not imminent – Holder is.