Bloomberg's aggressive stance against guns
Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire mayor of New York City, has been funding a national advertising campaign to promote his congressional gun- control bill. Monday's Denver Post featured a full-page ad urging Sen. Mark Udall to support the Bloomberg bill; Colorado's other senator, Michael Bennett, is already a co-sponsor.
According to the ad, the Bloomberg bill would nationalize Colorado's rule about background checks at gun shows. But in fact, only a small fraction of the Bloomberg bill addresses the issue of background checks. The rest of the bill has a much more aggressive agenda.
For example, gun show promoters do not sell guns. The promoters just operate the shows, renting table space to the people who do sell guns. The Bloomberg bill would give the U.S. attorney general unlimited power to impose fees and regulations on gun show operators. An anti-gun attorney general could make the fees so exorbitant that no one could operate a gun show. Extremely complex and time-consuming registration forms that would have to be filled out every week could also drive gun shows out of business.
Or consider a licensed firearms dealer who never sets foot inside a gun show. He conducts all his sales from his store. The Bloomberg bill hugely increases various prison terms that can be imposed on licensed dealers. This has nothing to do with gun shows.
The Bloomberg bill takes major steps toward national gun registration. Under current federal law, when you buy a gun at a store (or from a licensed dealer at a gun show), you must fill out a form specifying your name, race, address, and so on, along with the serial number of the particular gun you bought. The licensed dealer keeps these records, which are available for law enforcement conducting criminal investigations.
Importantly, the dealer records are not sent to federal government offices, because Congress did not want centralized gun registration. As Congress recognized, gun registration has often been used for gun confiscation.
Sensibly, Colorado's gun show law does not require any additional paperwork or data collection.
But under the Bloomberg bill, every person who sells a gun just once at a gun show can be put in a permanent federal database. Suppose a man who owns seven guns rents a table one weekend to sell three guns, to pay for his family's summer vacation. Bloomberg requires that the gun show promoter keep a record of that person, and allows the federal government to collect those records.
Besides capturing the names of the sellers, Bloomberg has a system for collecting data about the buyers. Bloomberg authorizes regulations for mandatory reporting of information that would not even be required for a sale at a gun store. The additional information could include how often the seller had used the gun, if the gun had ever been used for self-defense, where the seller obtained the gun, what the buyer planned to do with the gun, how the buyer planned to store the gun, and much more.
The Bloomberg bill says that the names of gun buyers are not supposed to be reported, but once the centralized national registration system for guns is in place, then Mayor Bloomberg and his gun-control allies can be expected to start demanding the removal of the "loophole" about names.
In 1999, then-Rep. Mark Udall supported Colorado's gun show initiative, and also voted for a gun show bill in Congress. Both of those measures were far more moderate than the Bloomberg bill. That the Bloomberg bill is so far-reaching should be no surprise, since in 2008 Mayor Bloomberg urged the Supreme Court to rule that ordinary Americans have no Second Amendment rights at all.
David Kopel is research director at the Independence Institute and an adjunct professor of advanced constitutional law at the University of Denver.
Lambs to the Slaughter
Right now, Washington is scheming and scamming to erode and then erase the Second Amendment from our Constitution. And it will accomplish it through the signing of international treaties on gun control, bypassing the normal legislative process in Congress, tightening regulations upon firearm and ammunition manufacturers, using the anti-gun financing of tycoons and ultimately confiscating all firearms under the guise of terrorism patrol and enforcement. Without public debate and cloaked in secrecy, gun control covertly will come upon us like a thief in the night. One day, we will wake up to discover that the U.S. has signed a global treaty that will prohibit any transfer of firearm ownership, force reductions in the number of firearms privately owned and eventually eradicate the planet of guns for law-abiding citizens. Of course, the criminals still will have their guns illegally. And on that day, if you do not comply with that global treaty, you will be fined and face imprisonment. This is not a fictitiousstory or false warning. As sure as government health care has been shoved down our throats, so will the barrels of our guns. And left with little defense, we will go as lambs to the slaughter
McCain And Tester Unveil Legislation To Repeal Many Of D.C.'s Gun Laws
(RTTNews) - Senators John McCain, R-Ariz., and Jon Tester, D-Mont., unveiled legislation Tuesday designed to repeal most of the gun laws currently in place in Washington, D.C.
Dubbed the Second Amendment Enforcement Act, the legislation would repeal Washington's firearms registration system and allow District residents to own firearms.
It would also allow District residents to legally purchase guns and ammunition from licensed dealers in Maryland and Virginia and transport firearms back to their residence in the District since there are no traditional retail firearm stores in the District.
Further, the lawmakers said their legislation would restore the right of self-defense for any District resident in his or her home. Previously, District law stated that residents must keep their weapons "unloaded and either disassembled or secured by a trigger lock, gun safe, locked box, or other secure device."
The legislation would also prohibit landlords from banning legal guns from rented homes or offices, which would prohibit the District of Columbia from restricting the legal ownership of firearms in public housing residences.
In addition, the bill would retain the District's law that would allow the City Council to implement regulations governing licensed carry and the prohibition of firearms in District government buildings that have implemented security measures.
Finally, the bill would codify the District's City Council's repeal of the semiautomatic ban and retain the District's ban on fully-automatic machine guns.
"Some may ask why a Senator from Arizona and a Senator from Montana would introduce legislation that impacts the District of Columbia," McCain said. "It's simple - we believe that residents across this country should be able to exercise their constitutional right to have access firearms to protect themselves."
McCain added that he hopes his fellow Congressmen will join him in "supporting this important legislation that will not only restore District residents' rights, but also ensure that no resident in any state, territory or the District is prevented from exercising his or her Second Amendment right."
Tester said, "This legislation sends a clear message: Washington, D.C., isn't an exception when it comes to law-abiding folks and their Second Amendment rights. I'll always be on the side of our Constitution, and I'm proud of this bipartisan push to make gun rights in America even stronger."