Sunset News: Gun bills

"We know we belong to the land and the land we belong to is grand"

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Gun bills

On the Hill this week are several gun bills that merit attention. Reps. Steve King (R-IA) and Zack Space (D-OH) introduced H.R. 2296, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Reform and Firearms Modernization Act. This legislation, which corresponds with the Senate version S. 941, seeks to streamline BATFE's operations to make it easier for gun owners and dealers to comply with regulations while ensuring that criminals are punished for violations. Similar legislation cleared the House in the 109th Congress and was cosponsored by a majority of the House in the 110th Congress.

Before readers applaud the return of common sense in Congress regarding the Second Amendment, however, let's consider the Gun Show Loophole Closing Act. Introduced by Reps. Michael Castle (R-DE) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) in the House and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) in the Senate, the bill would place draconian restrictions on gun dealers and would not close any so-called loopholes, unless by loopholes they mean gun shows and private sales in general. The bill is based on the false premise that these shows are a major source of guns used in crimes, despite several government studies showing otherwise.

Rep. Pete King (R-NY) introduced the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2009, H.R. 2159, which gives the attorney general the power to deny a person the right to buy a gun if the AG "determines that the transferee is known (or appropriately suspected) to be or have been engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to terrorism, or providing material support thereof, and the Attorney General has a reasonable belief that the prospective transferee may use a firearm in connection with terrorism." This remarkably vague language is doubly disturbing since Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano deemed as potential terrorists virtually anyone who doesn't vote Democrat.

No comments: