Is gun owner licensing and firearm registration coming to America?
If Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) gets her way, the answer is unequivocally YES, and she’ll ban .50 calibre ammunition, US standard-capacity magazines and a wide swath of semi-automatic firearms while she’s at it.
On January 4, 2021, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) introduced H.R. 127 – gratuitously titled the “Sabika Sheikh Firearm Licensing and Registration Act” – which will, if passed, establish a licensing system for all firearm owners before they can possess firearms or ammunition, as well as force those gun owners to register all their firearms.
For good measure, H.R. 127 would also prohibit the possession of certain ammunition and magazines.
- Section 3 (a) (1) It shall be unlawful for any person to possess ammunition that is 0.50 caliber or greater.
- Section 3 (a) (2) It shall be unlawful for any person to possess a large capacity ammunition feeding device.
National Shooting Sports Foundation Public Affairs Director Mark Oliva called the move a ‘tremendous blunder.’
“A national firearm registry is against federal law. Even Rep. Jackson-Lee’s home state of Texas refuses to consider a registry because of the Orwellian gun control incursions on Second Amendment rights. An examination of the bloated and expensive failure of Canada’s attempt at a national registry demonstrates the tremendous blunder this would be.”
Alan Gottlieb, Chairman of the Citizens Committee For The Right To Keep And Bear Arms (CCRKBA), called the bill an ‘abomination’.
“Over the years we’ve seen some astonishingly bad legislation originate on Capitol Hill, but this one takes the term ‘abomination’ to an entirely new level. One look at this bill and you wonder whether Congresswoman Jackson Lee ever heard of the Bill of Rights, which includes the Second Amendment.
“H.R. 127 is a constitutionally-challenged monstrosity. It ignores the fact that the Second Amendment protects a fundamental right to keep and bear arms, not some strictly-regulated government privilege. Government cannot require a psychological evaluation to exercise a right enumerated in the Constitution.”
I can’t imagine how this abomination could become law in America, let alone pass a constitutional challenge in the unlikely event it does.
Then again, I never believed North America would willingly surrender so many of our precious rights and freedoms because of a bad flu season either.
Our American friends could be in for some even darker days ahead.
Violation of Privacy Rights
Should H.R. 127 become law, gun owners can kiss their privacy rights goodbye, as this firearm owner licensing and gun registration database would be, by law, publicly accessible.
932 (b)(3) The Attorney General shall make the contents of the database accessible to all members of the public, all Federal, State, and local law enforcement authorities, all branches of the United States Armed Forces, and all State and local governments, as defined by the Bureau.
Mandatory Psych Eval and Liability Insurance
In order to be granted permission to possess firearms and ammunition (a firearms licence), American gun owners would be required to be:
- 21 years old
- pass a National Instant Criminal Background Check
- Undergo and pass a psychological evaluation
- pay $800 for government-issued firearm insurance “that insures the person against liability for losses and damages resulting from the use of any firearm by the person during the 1-year period that begins with the date the policy is issued.”
The devil is in the details, as we’re so often reminded, and the psych eval mandated by this bill is no different. Your psych evaluation would only be valid if:
- the evaluation is conducted in compliance with such standards as shall be established by the Attorney General;
- the evaluation is conducted by a licensed psychologist approved by the Attorney General;
- as deemed necessary by the licensed psychologist involved, the evaluation included a psychological evaluation of other members of the household in which the individual resides; and
- as part of the psychological evaluation, the licensed psychologist interviewed any spouse of the individual, any former spouse of the individual, and at least 2 other persons who are a member of the family of, or an associate of, the individual to further determine the state of the mental, emotional, and relational stability of the individual in relation to firearms.
Government defines the test. Government approves the ‘evaluator’. Government-approved evaluators interview your spouse, past spouse and ‘at least’ two others before rendering their verdict.
How would any of this survive a court challenge given the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment basically outlaws all of it?
The Uglier Details
H.R. 127 defines “large capacity magazine” as:
- “The term ‘large capacity ammunition feeding device’ means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition, but does not include an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.”
The penalties contained in this bill are severe.
- “(11) (A) Whoever knowingly violates section 922(dd)(1) shall be fined not less than $50,000 and not more than $100,000, imprisoned not less than 10 years and not more than 20 years, or both.
- “(B) Whoever knowingly violates section 922(dd)(2) shall be fined not less than $10,000 and not more than $25,000, imprisoned not less than 1 year and not more than 5 years, or both.”