Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Gun Rights News Roundup

Articles, news stories, and op-eds of interest to gun owners:

Columnist Paul Valone answers the question: What's the big deal about background checks?:
... While reasonable and well-intentioned, the argument contains a presumption which, unfortunately, rarely pertains in politics: It presumes the intentions of the bill are honest. Below are the main three reasons why legislation purporting to require “background checks” is unacceptable.


After 15+ years of political action, I say with certainty that subterfuge is the rule rather than the exception: I have seen politicians claim undying support for a bill … just before firing an arrow through its heart. I have sat in the chamber as a legislator killed a bill by offering a “poison pill” amendment while assuring everyone: “This amendment is intended to make a good bill better.” I’ve been assured by a subcommittee chairman that a bill I opposed would never get a hearing, minutes before being told by the chairman of the full committee that it would be heard on Thursday.

In teaching legislative tactics seminars, I tell students: “Lest you think the political process is designed to exclude you, let me assure you that it is.” With few exceptions, politicians are weasels, and the few legislators with character I’ve met will never advance to higher office precisely because they are trustworthy.

Lessons of the Brady Act: In 1993, we were assured by Handgun Control, Inc. and the NRA alike that the National Instant Check System (NICS) would never be used to register guns. NICS transaction records, we were assured, were required to be expunged. Unfortunately, the fine print didn’t say when they had to be expunged, and the Clinton administration immediately instructed the FBI to retain them indefinitely, creating a de facto gun registration system in violation of federal law. Although the Bush administration ordered transaction records expunged in 24 hours, Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have already proposed again retaining them.

Conclusions: You cannot create a “background check” system that manipulative politicians can’t turn into a gun registration system, as they already have. The goal of “gun show” legislation, in truth, is to not only decimate the gun culture which reinforces itself via gun shows, but to register private gun sales – in the case of S. 843 – with both the Attorney General and the FBI. [emphasis added]

“Perhaps,” you say, “but what’s wrong with registering guns? It isn’t as though somebody is taking them away from you.” ...

Comment: Go read the whole thing. The government can abuse background check databases for backdoor gun registration, and registration is a necessary prerequisite for effective confiscation.

Bill aims to protect veterans' Second Amendment rights:
A bill aimed at protecting the gun rights of some veterans is under Senate consideration.

The Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act, pending before the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, would limit the circumstances in which a veteran’s name could be added to a federal database used to do instant background checks for gun purchases.

By law, anyone “adjudicated as a mental defective,” such as people found to be a danger to themselves or others or who lack the mental capacity to manage their affairs, must be registered in the database.

The bill, S 669, which has 15 co-sponsors, would prohibit VA from submitting names to the National Instant Criminal Background Check database unless a judicial authority finds the individuals to be a danger to themselves or others. ...

[New Jersey] Supreme Court considers challenge to one-gun-a-month ordinance:
TRENTON - The New Jersey Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday in the legal battle over a Jersey City ordinance that would limit handgun purchases.

The discussion centered on whether the 2006 ordinance improperly preempts existing state gun laws by limiting handgun purchases to one per person each month.

At issue is the ability of urban communities such as Camden, Newark, and Jersey City to reduce gun-related crime by more closely regulating handgun purchases.

Supporters of the Jersey City ordinance say urban areas need tighter handgun sale standards to prevent surrogates from buying weapons for criminals. Opponents say that existing laws offer sufficient protection and that the ordinance punishes law-abiding citizens to advance a national gun-control agenda.

"There's no legitimate reason on earth why anyone needs to buy five handguns a month," said Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy. [emphasis added] ...

[New York] More infringements may be on the way:
Nine gun-control bills are slated to come before the state Assembly this week.

One of the bills would impose new requirements on firearm dealers, including more stringent record-keeping and employee training and prohibition of so-called straw purchases, when someone purchases a firearm on behalf of someone prohibited from carrying such a weapon. Dealers also would need to carry at least $1 million in liability insurance for criminal acts committed using weapons they sold.

"The additional requirements set forth in this bill will help to reduce the diversion of firearms to the illegal market and will also assist police departments, prosecutors and other law enforcement officials in their efforts to trace and recover illegal weapons," the bill summary says.

Another bill would require firearm license holders to renew them every five years and take safety courses.

"It is incumbent upon us to make sure that handguns are kept out of dangerous hands so that we may better protect our citizens and prevent further tragedies like the melee in Binghamton," the bill summary says. ...

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