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Gun Registry Bill Draws Massive Resistance

February 18, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

With the election of Barack Obama in November came anxiety among gun owners that the constitutional right to bear arms would be curtailed. As the rest of the economy slumped, gun and ammunition sales surged following the election. Now there is a specific piece of legislation in Congress that gun-rights activists have identified as the leading threat – the Blair Holt’s Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Bobby Rush [D, IL-1], would establish a federal gun licensing and registry program that would help the government track information on gun ownership and gun sales across the country. It would apply to handguns and all rifles with a “detachable ammunition feeding device.”

Currently, this kind of registry is specifically banned under U.S. Code, so the bill proposes to undo a rule enacted by the 99th Congress under President Reagan, which reads:

No such rule or regulation prescribed after the date of the enactment of the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or dispositions be established.

Along with the federal registry, the bill also proposes a federal licensing requirement for all gun owners. In order to get a license, a person would have to submit a photo, thumbprint, their address, a release of their mental health records, and more to the United States Attorney General. Current gun owners would have two years to acquire a license.

There are several other controversial provisions in the legislation, including the ability for the Attorney General to, “during regular business hours, enter any place in which firearms or firearm products are manufactured, stored, or held, for distribution in commerce, and inspect those areas where the products are so manufactured, stored, or held.”

It would also add a new “child access prevention” provision to U.S. law making it “unlawful for any person to keep a loaded firearm, or an unloaded firearm and ammunition for the firearm, any 1 of which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce, within any premises that is under the custody or control of that person” if that person knows that a child could potentially acquire the firearm. Notice the “interstate commerce” language here that places this in Congress’ jurisdiction under Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the Constitution. Similar language can be found in the bill’s findings section.

A similar bill was introduced by Rep. Rush in the last session of Congress, but it was never considered by committee. Like last year’s version, the Blair Holt’s Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009 is currently sitting in the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security with no legislative action planned.

For a bill that has received so little attention from Congress, it has received an incredible amount of attention from the public. In just the past 7 days, 35,769 people have viewed its page on OpenCongress. It’s also the second-most blogged about bill in Congress and second in the list of bills most often covered in the news. It’s gotten all this attention at the same time that the country’s focus on Congress has been firmly fixed on the $787 billion stimulus bill, nonetheless. One more thing – the bill’s standing among OpenCongress users as of this writing: 24 in favor – 1138 opposed.

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Displaying 1-30 of 39 total comments.

ttharp 02/20/2009 9:17am

The following excerpt from the Bill directly contradicts the Second Amendment:

Section 922 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

‘(aa) Firearm Licensing Requirement-

‘(1) IN GENERAL- It shall be unlawful for any person other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector to possess a qualifying firearm on or after the applicable date, unless that person has been issued a firearm license—

Tony in Texas

Anonymous 02/19/2009 3:52pm

you have got to be kidding me…my god when will this crap end…they are out of control

no way in hell

Anonymous 02/19/2009 5:33am
in reply to Anonymous Feb 18, 2009 4:54pm

That’s the point. This senator doesn’t want to fix the problem. He just wants to restrict our freedoms until they no longer exist. One of these days they are going to go too far, and any real Americans will oppose them with force.

Dem02020 02/19/2009 7:42am

What problem does it solve?
None… it just creates fractures and divides among the American People, it makes them oppose one another angrily on this truly low priority national policy issue (what problem does it solve), and it drives apart Democrats also, when in fact they have common policy opinions on more important higher priority national policy issues, ones that not only pose problems but have solutions that we can work toward together… but alas too often, someone pulls this wedge issue out, and drives even Democrats one from another.
What problem does it solve?
None… it just creates fracture in the majority (not just the majority of Democrats, but of the American People all together), and weakens the majority in their work, by turning members against one another on things that just aren’t worth the political price.

Anonymous 02/19/2009 9:25am

The problem is that it does not solve any problem. It just creates more by making an honest citizen a criminal. There is enough gun laws on the books if the Feds would just start to enforce them in court. How many crimes how been charged under Federal laws for gun usage in crimes? Very few. Most of the crimes have been charged as state or local due to the Feds not getting involved. Put some teeth into and then use the laws on the books to prosecute the CRIMINALS not the people who don’t cause troble.

Anonymous 02/19/2009 6:12pm

So much for the Land of the Free…

fastreddie2 02/21/2009 4:06am
in reply to CowboyRick Feb 21, 2009 1:57am

I believe we have the power to over turn this pointless gun law. Can you imagine the billions that would be spent to enforce this sensless, unprovoked law? I also believe that the individual responsible for this publicly unsupported bill; should be held responsible for all of the costs; for valuable time wasted.Why don’t we start holding these renegade congressman, senators and representatives fiscally responsible for their derreliction of duty? I believe any congressman whom speaks on his/Her own interest should be removed from the seat in which they set. An elected official is a representative of our people; not a leader of the people, When will they realize this and give control back to us? I believe our president clearly stated that he had no interest in our guns; why are we talking about a bill; that borderlines communism?

buzzard072 02/21/2009 4:10am

This scares the hell out of me! Don’t they have more important things to do, like getting our economy going? How do we protect our families and our country from criminals and terrorists?
What’s next?

fastreddie2 02/21/2009 4:33am
in reply to Dem02020 Feb 19, 2009 7:42am

The costs hidden costs related to this bill are astronomical. The required man power to police this is going to be ridiculous. The black market is going to profit greatly; giving the hardest criminals the wealth and power to fight back with ease. This will prevent the poor from harvesting wild game to support their families; in these rough times. The application for welfare will increase; therefore putting the costs on to the tax payer. This will drive retailers out of business, cut manufacturers numbers; due to decreased sales. All of these things cost “We the people” money. We can not afford reckless legislation like this. Why don’t we pass a bill; that makes those responsible for wasting tax payers money to fund their witch hunts; liable.

Anonymous 02/21/2009 2:38pm
in reply to fastreddie2 Feb 21, 2009 4:06am

We have given little minded people big powers in the senate and congress
the only legal way is to vote them out or maybe more of us should visit these twits at their(actually our offices) and confront them personally upfront and close…remind them that they represent us not the other way around..

tarantula 02/18/2009 7:39pm

Why is there no “slap Bobby Rush” button on here.

denawilly 02/23/2009 6:53am

It seems so strange to me that when the people of this nation have expressed their views on gun control over and over with their votes so many times that we do not want gun control, that there are still people, who are in the minority, that want to jam it down our throats. Pay attention Congress, we do not want gun control nor will we accept it.

fastreddie2 02/23/2009 10:43am

Im back to say that I did more research on theapguy’s claim that Newyork’s gun laws have lowered crime. I found one article that states the crime rate jumped 77% in 2008; 11% of this was gun crimes. This is per the NYPD’s figures. It sounds like the gun control laws are working great. Perhaps you neeed to leave your house; and take a look at the real world.

fastreddie2 02/23/2009 10:34am

Hello theapguy,

At no point in this response did you demonstrate credible research to back your claim. I found a few web sites that showed crime rates for Newyork; but none categorized a crime into a (hand gun crime.) I believe you fail to realize; gun crimes are committed by those whom disregard laws in the first place. When a governing body places these restrictions on law abiding citizens; only the criminals will benefit. The black market will become a flourishing way of life for the people whom caused this injustice in the first place. As for the government not governing our mortgage industry; I believe it was Bill Clinton whom made it easy for every person to purchase a house; whether it was affordable or not. I know people that were roped into these low interest HUD loans. They were legalized crime in my opinion. If that is the type of governing you choose; please move. I find it saddening that people like you can support a soldier being killed at the hand of our enemies; so you can live the good life; yet you have a problem with that same individual owning a gun to hunt with!

mosander 02/23/2009 1:13pm

Well, Australia banned guns and crime is now escalating one year later. Imagine the lawmakers there just don’t understand it. With the ecomony sinking, crime will rise and old women need to be able to protect themselves. Check this out.
Australian Gun Law Update
Here’s a thought to warm some of your hearts . . ..
From: Ed Chenel, A police officer in Australia

Hi Yanks, I thought you all would like to see the now available data from Down Under. It has now been one year (12 months) since gun owners in Australia were forced by a new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by our own government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million dollars. The first year results are now available: Australia-wide, homicides are up 6.2 percent; Australia-wide, assaults are up 9.6 percent; Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent); In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent as compared with the last one year period when private ownership of a firearm was legal. (NB: the law-abiding citizens did turn in their personal firearms, the criminal element did not and thus criminals in Australia still possess their guns.) While data for the 25 years preceding the confiscation of privately owned guns showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months as criminals now are assured their victims will be unarmed. There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the elderly, while the resident is at home. Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort and expense was expended in ‘successfully ridding Australian society of guns.’ This story of well intentioned government intervention in the rights of lawful individuals to own and possess firearms won’t be seen in the mainstream US media or on the American evening news. Senator Obama who advocates a similar confiscation in the US will not be reporting any of this to you. But, the Australian experience speaks for itself. Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws affect only the law-abiding citizens. Americans may want to take note before it’s too late! FORWARD TO EVERYONE ON YOUR EMAIL LIST. DON’T BE A MEMBER OF THE SILENT MAJORITY. BE A PARTICIPANT IN THE VOCAL MINORITY WHO DOESN’T WANT TO SEE WHAT HAPPENED IN AUSTRALIA HAPPEN IN THE US !
pdorsett 02/23/2009 1:44pm

Our forefathers saw this coming when they wrote the Constitution! 2nd Amendment " A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. " This amendment was adopted so that Congress could not disarm a state militia.. Right to Bear Arms!!! Senators are you listening to the people. The Bill of Rights is to protect individuals from unjust acts of the government. Unjust invasion of privacy of personal property covered under 14th amendment is what I think. Shame on you bunch AGAIN!!

Anonymous 02/23/2009 4:27pm

Who the hell do these twits think they are, not just with the attempt to violate our second amendment rights but all of the rest. They can try and pass any law they want. I will NEVER give up my guns, especially to a bunch of leftist bastards like these. Take our guns and they control us. The arrogance is galling. As a police officer, I would refuse to enforce such a law.

People better start banding together now and get mobilized to stop these fascist jerks before it is too late.

Anonymous 02/24/2009 10:15am

Taking up this kind of legislation against people who own guns, just might be the wrong thing. I am armed, and so are many Americans. I will defend the 2nd Ammendment, so will many Americans.

citizenhbtrack 02/24/2009 10:33am

H.R. 45 needs to be “blown away” immediately because it’s nothing but another attempted scam to dilute and eventually totally flush away our Constitutional Rights that the original Constitution allows as setup by the True Founding Fathers. Why have we allowed a corporate constitution the power to start overruling our Original Constitution and Bill of Rights? Let’s WAKE UP!

Anonymous 02/20/2009 10:33am


Anonymous 02/24/2009 3:14pm

What part of “shall not be infringed” do these demonrats not understand?

NorthGaRepublican 02/24/2009 3:55pm

I am opposed to these Gun Bans. I think that our basic liberties such as guns, religion, and free speech should not be taken away from us. I will never give up my guns, never.

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Wild_Bill 02/27/2009 7:28am

Simply put; Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel and Eric Holder are the triad of all evil and all of them are arrogant, elitist, socialistic, Nazi, jerk, DICTATORS!!!!! If Obama wants my guns then simply come kill me!!!! You are NEVER going to take my guns… “BOY!!!!” I don’t give a damn who you are!!!!

Obama stands for: One Big Ass Mistake America!!!!

Anonymous 03/05/2009 5:16am

Governments should fear the people, the people should not fear the government..

Anonymous 03/06/2009 10:39am
in reply to Anonymous Feb 18, 2009 3:21pm

Please remember that the president has taken an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States Of America and in the Constitution is the Bill of Rights and anytime that he votes for laws that go against our Bill of Rights he is commiting Treason. Remember (We the People)

citizenhbtrack 02/24/2009 2:39pm

H.R. 45 must be thrown out and defeated because it’s another scam to dilute and inevitably take away our Constitutional Rights as originally granted by the True Founding Father’s of the original Constitution, not the Corporate constitution being forced on the American people. Let’s WAKE UP to the travesty of our American Constitution and Bill of Rights being taken away from us.

Anonymous 02/18/2009 4:00pm

Wow, This bill brings to mind the movie “Red Dawn” The information that would be recorded is exactly what an enemy invading the county would want to get their hands on.

Anonymous 02/18/2009 3:21pm

This administration is taking away our liberity!
Count me as an OPPOSED!

Floyd T. Hopkins
Ceder Hill, Texas

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