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11 April 2013

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Tyler

I guess McCaine figures that playing 'close the dang border' during the primaries and then going to DC and pushing for amnesty is about done, so he's going for broke on neocon wonkery.

robt willmann

I am starting to get a queasy feeling that the fix is in, or almost so, for a new gun control law.

The 68-31 vote on "cloture" to block a filibuster and allow a bill and amendments to be considered on the U.S. Senate floor for a vote is a very bad sign, as 16 Republicans stupidly joined the Democrats to block a filibuster. The Democrats are the majority party in the Senate and it appears as if they voted as a bloc. Thus, unless all the Republicans vote as a bloc and also persuade some Democrats to join them when the bill and amendments are voted on, a gun control law will pass in the senate. At the end of the successful vote to stop a filibuster, Harry Reid, the Democratic senate majority leader, looked like the cat who ate the canary.

To make matters worse, a rumor today is that Speaker of the House John Boehner has said that he may let some bills go directly to a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives without first going to a House committee to be considered through the committee process. If true, this is coded language that he will send a gun control bill from the Senate directly to the House floor for a vote. And there is no filibuster in the House.

The deceptive bill to be proposed as an amendment from Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey and West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin is here--

http://www.toomey.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=968

A quick glance at it reveals some obvious problems--

1. Existing law that is being amended is not included in the proposed bill so that you have to look up the existing law, make a copy, and do your own interlineation and cut and paste job to see how the resulting law with the amending language will actually read. Congress always does that. It prevents you from more easily understanding the effect of a new law if it amends any existing law.

2. Section 115 does not protect "our veterans". The Secretary of Veteran Affairs can find you mentally incompetent and you have to then demand a hearing to try to prove you are not. There is no notice and trial and appeal before you can be found mentally incompetent; in other words, the veteran gets no due process. And do you get a free lawyer to "request a review" and go through the administrative hearing process and then to federal court? Not in this "Public Safety and Second Amendment Protection Act". Does any veteran have the spare money to hire a lawyer and pay for expert witnesses to prove he or she is not mentally incompetent after the initial unilateral determination is made?

3. Sure enough, section 117 says that the so-called HIPAA "privacy protections" do not apply to the submission of "mental health records" to the National Criminal Background Check System.

4. Section 122(b) prohibits the Attorney General from "seizing any records or other documents in the course of an inspection or examination authorized by this paragraph [but not other paragraphs!] other than those records or documents constituting material evidence of a violation of law." This does not prevent the Attorney General or BATF from copying records; they are only prevented from "seizing" them.

5. Section 122(c) says the Attorney General may not consolidate or centralize the records of acquisition or disposition of firearms or the records of possession or ownership of a firearm maintained by any medical or health insurance entity. It does not prohibit the consolidation of records from an individual psychiatrist or psychologist that say a patient possesses or owns a firearm; only those records of a "medical or health insurance entity". But notice that Missouri has already turned over its database of concealed weapon permits to the federal government--

http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/highway-patrol-gave-feds-missouri-weapon-permits-data/article_266b644e-a235-11e2-a8e7-0019bb30f31a.html

See how law is vocabulary and definitions? Your concealed carry permit is not a record of "the acquisition and disposition of firearms", so the Attorney General will not be prohibited from consolidating those records from around the country, if your State turns them over as Missouri apparently has.

6. And the Big Lie that the bill applies only to gun shows and Internet sales; it also applies to a "publication of the transferor" that is not on the Internet. Section 129(1).

7. And so on.

The legislative affairs person from Gun Owners of America did a good, quick analysis of the anticipated Toomey-Manchin bill before it was finalized and posted--

http://www.gunowners.org/congress04112013.htm

Stopping this sophisticated attempt to establish that the federal government can control who gets guns and compile information on gun owners outside of the narrow prohibitions in the Toomey-Manchin bill will be difficult. But the opera is not over until the fat lady sings.

William R. Cumming

robt Willman!

Excellent comments and actually worse than you can imagine since I would bet that less than 20 members of Congress understand fully the bill or even have read it personally.

And the WH has not yet released a SAP on any gun legislation which IMO is a fundamental obligation of the President. SAP=Statement of Administration Position!

scott s.

I don't see anything in the amended bill about "commercial sales", which of course makes sense, as such a sale by a non-licensee would be dealing without a license [922(a)] regardless of any NICS check. Also note that the bill specifically allows police sting operations (like Bloomberg does) I assume to prevent "meet me across the street to do the transfer" avoidance of the NICS. The reference to record of "the acquisition and disposition of firearms" is the 923(g) requirement implemented in CFR 478.125 and commonly referred to as the dealer's "bound book". That plus the 4473 forms (firearms transaction record) provide the source data which could be assembled and collated into a national registry either by executive action (a la fast and furious) or by simple act of Congress deleting the prohibition. Of course at first the data aren't that extensive but over time we will be told ATF needs better access to it to protect the children.

It still seems the way I read the bill is that the seller has to transfer the firearm to a dealer (who puts it in his "inventory") prior to running the NICS so if NICS responds "delay" (currently allowed 72 hours though the bill does provide for reducing to 24 hours in the future) and the sale is not completed the seller would have to do a NICS/4473 to get the firearm back from the dealer. This is how pawn shop and consignment sales are currently handled.

Edward Amame

Forget assault weapon/magazine bans, the Dems want legislation they think they can actually get (and that won't weigh down their Red State brethren): expanded background checks and gun trafficking prevention. That's it. Any poison pill amendments will come from the GOP so that Reid has to pull the bill/force Dems to vote against it. Or the final bill gets so much pro-gun stuff thrown in that it'll more than offset any background check compromise.

John Minnerath

The dirt begins to fly.
Action on gun control was introduced in the Senate and they promptly went on a break.
Now the anti gun side is flooding the media with ads promoting their agenda.
McConnell of Kentucky is accused of being al Qaeda like, A totally false video with an individual dressed to represent a member, of guess who, says anyone can walk into a gun show and buy a fully automatic weapon no questions asked.
A Senator from Connecticut demands a NASCAR race sponsored by the NRA to be pulled.
It goes on and on and gets worse and worse.
The anti gun rallying cry is "common sense".
That might just be their downfall as the electorate does begin to use some common sense and sees these attacks against the 2nd Amendment as too much and leading to other Constitutional Rights being denied.

no one

"expanded background checks and gun trafficking prevention. That's it."

No Edward, that's not it. There is the whole piece about mental health, healthcare and pharmaceutical databases (including the VA) and the huge question of what constitutes mental illness.

I am sure you'd be happy to deny a combat vet who underwent PTSD counseling on return from deployment the right to own a gun. Ditto some upstanding citizen who was prescribed anti-anxiety pills at some point in his life. You probably think it is a good thing. So you just sort of skip right past that aspect of the bill. Right?

At any rate, please tell me again how anything in the bill prevents illegal gun trafficking - any more than prohibition prevented booze consumption or the war on drugs prevents drug consumption.

Edward, I am an upstater and therefore slow. In recognition of backwardness and my need to be enlightened by you city slickers, please explain to me how it works. Thanks.

BTW, who has more gun violence per capita, you enlightened 2nd amendment forfeiting Bloombergians or us gun toting rural troglodytes?

P.S. How is your pistol permit application coming along Edward? Has Bloomberg permitted you to own a gun yet?

Edward Amame

no one

I do not presume to know what makes you happy, please afford me the same courtesy since you don't know me from Adam.

If you want to have a conversation, dropping the attitude might be a good way to start.

That said...

1. I do not think including mental health care provisions (like the ones being put forth) in this or any gun bill is a good idea. The issue of mental illness should be treated separately, as a stand alone issue.

2. I used "prevention" as shorthand. The gun trafficking bill presented by the Senator from upstate NY simply provides a clear federal statute that makes gun trafficking a serious crime with stiffer penalties.

I understand why there are different concerns about guns between people who live in rural vs urban/suburban areas. I was hoping those concerns would have been addressed by serious people during the post-Newtown debate, but so far it's been disappointing.

The concerns are pretty basic. Urban: universal background checks/gun trafficking laws could lead to fewer illegal guns to be used in crimes. Rural: universal background checks will lead to a national gun registry.

So come up with ways that a universal background check law could be enforced without requiring all gun owners to register their guns. There are ways. For instance. Illinois requires private citizens who resell their guns to make sure that the buyer's passed a background check and has a firearm owner's id card from the state police. The reseller has to keep a record of the sale for 10 years. As far as I know, the NRA is OK with it.

Tyler

When are we going to enforce the laws on the books and indict Eric Holder for gun trafficking that led to the death of BPA Brian Terry?

John Minnerath

Edward Amame,
How can you make the statement that background checks/trafficking laws will lead to a decrease in illegal gun use in crimes?
Even FBI statistics have shown for years that there has been no noticeable change with such laws.
Illegal guns are and will continue to be obtained through underground illegal channels.

Edward Amame

John Minnerath

The National Association of Federally Licensed Firearms Dealers says the two big sources for guns used in crimes are theft from private homes and straw man purchases.

ATF says that stolen guns account for only about 10% to 15% of guns used in crimes. ATF cites straw purchases as the most common source, followed by corrupt licensed dealers. Street dealers acquire their product the same way -- via straw purchases, illegal transactions with licensed dealers, and theft.

A federal survey of inmates in state and federal prison found that 75% of felons got the guns they used in crimes from friends, family or illegal sources.

Expert opinion on where exactly illegal guns come from apparently differs, but it would appear that straw purchasing features pretty prominently.

It's not easy to catch and convict straw purchasers and sentencing guidelines currently call for only 2 to 2.5 years' imprisonment for a straw purchaser providing up to 12 guns to a convicted felon. Legislation making it easier to catch and convict must be difficult to craft and/or pass -- it's not being considered as far as I know. The Brady people think limiting purchases to one handgun/month would address that problem, but the NRA says no way. So we're left with deterrence only. New proposed legislation is seeking tougher penalties and that's about it.

The proposed limited expansion of background checks will help somewhat and so will increasing penalties for straw gun purchases. That's about the best the side favoring stricter gun regs can hope for in this debate. What would be required to effectively shut down illegal channels would probably send Wayne LaPierre into seizures.

Tyler

If straw purchases are such a boogeyman, why don't the US Attorneys prosecute more than 44 out 10,000 illegal gun purchase cases? How does closing down straw man purchases stop what happened in Aurora and Newton? How come no one in the DoJ has been indicted for the murder of BPA Brian Terry?

All questions that, if answered, would cause liberals everywhere to go into seizures.

John Minnerath

The "National Association of Federally Licensed Firearms Dealers" you cite is a tiny trade group with a questionable agenda.
They feel expanding background checks and requiring them to be done through an FFL will hand them the Golden Goose. They would stand to make a fortune by setting unregulated fees for each transaction.
The ATF? A Federal agency no one in their right mind would trust to produce unbiased reports and statistics on guns.

Edward Amame

Because cops and prosecutors say straw purchasing is hard to track and prosecute. And current weak sentencing guidelines probably make the entire effort seem like a waste of time. Universal background checks would probably make more of an impact but they are not being proposed because of objections from the gun lobby.

As far as I can tell, nothing in the legislation being proposed directly addresses what happened in Newtown.

DH

"2. Section 115 does not protect "our veterans". The Secretary of Veteran Affairs can find you mentally incompetent and you have to then demand a hearing to try to prove you are not. There is no notice and trial and appeal before you can be found mentally incompetent; in other words, the veteran gets no due process..."


Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

no one

So Edward, your whole theory hinges on criminals engaging in straw purchases a) being afraid of the law and b) not being able to obtain guns by other means, such as increasing thefts.

You will have to explain why criminals, who by definition defy the law, will be suddenly inclined to adhere to it.

You will also have to explain why there are still so many handgun murders in cities where it is illegal to own a handgun without a permit. In NY it is a felony with a mandatory minimum sentence of three and half years to be in possession of a handgun without a permit. Yet criminals regularly not only carry unpermitted handguns, but commit crimes, such as robberies and murders, with them as well.

It seems that criminals are not intimidated by the laws you like.

On the other hand, many law abiding citizens have been arrested and tormented by the NY criminal justice system for possessing handguns - e.g. people that have declared guns to airlines, properly packed the guns and then their flight lays over in NYC and Bloomberg's boys arrest them at the airport because they don't have a permit, even though the gun is packed per airline reg.s and the person is not walking around with it. Some of these people have done time as a result and their careers are ruined, lives damaged badly. Others have only evaded prison after spending much money fighting in court. They still end up with a criminal record.

All I see in the laws you favor is the persecution of decent every day gun owners, because that's how it's played out in NYC so far.

no one

"How come no one in the DoJ has been indicted for the murder of BPA Brian Terry?"

Ah...this points to a higher truth of the left's attitude toward guns. They are not actually anti-gun. In fact they love them some guns *as long as the guns are in the hands of the managerial state*.

Notice that when NYC police officers shoot up a bunch of civilians the left fails to call for psychological testing of members of the police force. Notice how, increasingly, police forces - even small municipalities - are armed with the very "assault" weapons that lefties dread and they brandish these weapons on the slightest of excuses. Silence from the left.

In my final analysis, the left doesn't like individuals to own guns because they don't like the idea of personal responsibility - it makes them nervous as it threatens the utopian perpetual pleasure seeking childhood that they seek. A competent and confident individual man with a gun makes them reflect on their own cowardice and inadequacy.

All the other reasons they put in the forefront of the discussion are just attempts at justifications. They don't make sense because gun control is an emotional reaction to a deeply ingrained psychological set.

no one

Edward, I apologize for copping an attitude. However, I do find you somewhat exasperating on this topic. Robt Wilmann (above) highlighted the very parts of the bill that concern the most and then you subsequently comment that none of those things are objectives of the anti-gun crowd. Yet, there they are!

I will just assume that you are naïve - as opposed to disingenuous - and do don't recognize how those sections of the bill would play out if they became law. You probably good naturedly trust government to do the right thing and to not abuse powers we give it.

Tyler

Universal background checks lead to universal registration. stop being disingeneous.

'hard and difficult'. Bullshit. They had how many millions of dollars and manhours to throw at Barry Bonds for steroid use and Sheriff Joe for enforcing law that the Obama Admin didn't like? How'd that work out? Don't try and sell me that line of nonsense.

Tyler

Don't forget that NYC, Chicago, and LA have the most stringient gun laws but fail to prosecute those they do catch in the act.

Tyler

There are differences even inside the apparatus of the state. If BPA Brian Terry was an FBI agent maybe things would be different, but the boys in green have always been the red headed step children of federal law enforcement. Too many country boys catching future Democratic voters and not enough degrees from 'elite' universities.

Tyler

also explain why nothing has been done about the murder of BPA Brian Terry by the DoJ?

Edward Amame

"You will have to explain why criminals, who by definition defy the law, will be suddenly inclined to adhere to it."

Criminals will continue to defy, but the theory is that much stronger penalties for the friend or family member or whoever who gets caught/convicted straw purchasing may act as a deterrent. It might have some impact, who knows.

"You will also have to explain why there are still so many handgun murders in cities where it is illegal to own a handgun without a permit."

Because some 85% of guns recovered in crimes in New York City were originally sold out of state.

"All I see in the laws you favor is the persecution of decent every day gun owners."

Congratulation on fitting the stereotype of nutty gun owners as portrayed on late nite tv.

Edward Amame

I wish you would stop with the BS characterizations, no one. Not all NYers, myself included, are happy about the increased militarization of the NYPD.

Edward Amame

Sorry, I am not wading into that right wing fever swamp with you.

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