In yet another example of how both parties are willing to completely compromise their ostensible principals to further the agenda of usurping your rights, the Republican-controlled house just recently voted to federalize gun laws across the country. Not only was this bill—which makes it easier for the federal government to disarm the citizens—voted for by the alleged pro-2nd Amendment Republicans but it was also supported by the NRA.
There are more government-growing, unconstitutional, anti-liberty pieces of legislation moving through the House this month than in any month I can remember.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) December 5, 2017
After finding out that the US Air Force failed to turn over the information that would’ve made it illegal for Devin Kelly—the coward terrorist behind the horrific shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas—the federal government came up with the “Fix NICS” bill. NICS stands for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System which was missing information that could’ve prevented Kelly from buying a gun.
It is important to note that checks were already in place to prevent Kelly from acquiring a gun. Kelly was given due process and legally lost his 2nd Amendment right. However, he was allowed to by a gun, not because NICS failed, but because the Air Force did.
To make sure the Fix NICS bill gets passed, Democrats joined together with Republicans and tied an ostensible pro-gun bill in with it called the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 38), sponsored by Rep. Richard Hudson, R-NC. This bill amends the federal criminal code to allow a qualified individual to carry a concealed handgun into or possess a concealed handgun in another state that allows individuals to carry concealed firearms.
However, Fix NICS, as noted above, does nothing to prevent what could’ve happened in Sutherland Springs as that was a mistake on behalf of the government. Instead of punishing the Air Force for allowing a wife beating psycho to discharge with no criminal record—despite having a criminal record—this bill simply throws money at states to force citizens to turn over more data.
Sens. Schumer and Feinstein have long tried to deprive people of their fundamental right to keep and bear arms. Today, the House will vote to double down on their unconstitutional program to deny Americans this right without adequate cause or due process.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) December 6, 2017
While it may seem rational to bolster the Federal gun registry, we need to heed the warning from those in Congress as to how it’s been used in the past to violate the gun rights of veterans and senior citizens.
As Congressman Thomas Massie noted in his own criticism of the bill:
When President Obama couldn’t get Congress to pass gun control, he implemented a strategy of compelling, through administrative rules, the Veterans Administration and the Social Security Administration to submit lists of veterans and seniors, many of whom never had a day in court, to be included in the NICS database of people prohibited from owning a firearm. Only a state court, a federal (article III) court, or a military court, should ever be able to suspend your rights for any significant period of time.
Guess who championed that Obama-enabling measure as a pro-gun bill when it passed? The NRA did, that’s who—and now they are doing it again.
Ten well-informed Republicans chose to vote “NO” on the bill last week, however, the overwhelming majority of them voted for it. Here’s why:
The NRA threatened them.
“Please vote “YES” on the Rule for H.R. 38, as reported. Due to the importance of this issue, votes on this rule will be considered in future candidate ratings and endorsements by the NRA Political Victory Fund,” read the NRA’s threat.
The irony and ignorance of Republicans being threatened by the NRA for wanting to uphold the 2nd Amendment rights of Americans is glaring, to say the least.
As the Mises Institute notes, while Republicans and supporters of the NRA may not fear the Trump Administration coming after their guns, it is obviously reckless to grant additional power and resources to future administrative states that may be quite hostile to the right to gun ownership. To put it simply, there is never a good reason to give Federal agencies the power the revoke an individual’s ability to lawfully purchase a weapon without due process.
To see how this gross abuse of power is already being used without this bill further increasing federal reach, we need only look at Hawaii who began disarming their citizens in compliance with a 2011 federal mandate that prohibits medical marijuana users from owning firearms.
As TFTP reported last month, residents in Honolulu, Hawaii, were recently informed that if they use cannabis for medicinal purposes, they will be given 30 days to “voluntarily surrender” their firearms and ammunition before the Honolulu Police Department begins confiscation.
Similar confiscations are happening in Ohio as well.
As Tho Bishop explains in his article for the Mises Institute, while the simplicity provided by nationalizing laws is an understandable appeal, especially if you’re a gun owner who frequently travels, political centralization is never the answer. By supporting this flawed attempt at “National Concealed Carry Reciprocity,” the NRA and their supporters in the House have sided with the power of Federal agencies over the Second Amendment rights of Americans.”
Even if you are for the reciprocity bill, and you are willing to take a hit on NICS just to get it passed, as Business Insider reports, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said that Senator Cornyn, R-Texas, agreed with him to push “Fix NICS” as a stand-alone bill. Meanwhile, he says reciprocity is dead in the Senate.
Even with the already expanded NICS that happened under Obama, thanks to a grossly negligent mistake in the Air Force, Devin Kelly was able to purchase a gun. Even if this bill is passed, it won’t prevent that from happening again it merely expands the state’s authority to remove rights with no due process.
As CR reports, the NRA suggests that this bill actually helps those wrongly placed into NICS by truncating the appeals process. But that is only a moderate fix on the back end once people have already lost their rights without due process. We need a fix on the front end. Though government has the power to limit the gun rights of someone who is a threat to society, the Second Amendment is the most foundational right and requires due process to take it away. Imagine if we placed people on a No Free Speech list without due process and invited them to prove they could have their free speech back after the fact.
In short, this bill will pressure federal agencies and states to place as many names as possible on the list, making it only a matter of time before this list becomes so large that nearly any activity could serve to remove your 2nd Amendment rights. And, Republicans and so-called gun rights activists in the NRA are willing to sell you out to get it passed.