by Tim Brown
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced S. 54 on January 22, 2013. The bill, titled Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2013, is a cleverly disguised gun grab. How so? According to Gun Owners of America (GOA) the bill “could end gifts and raffles of firearms, and possibly ‘necessitate’ gun licensure across the country.”
GOA’s Michael Hammond writes,
At its core, Section 3 would send a person to prison for 20 years if you ATTEMPTED or PLANNED (“conspired”) to buy a firearm as a gift for another person or to conduct a raffle of a firearm, and negligently failed to note that the gift recipient or the winner of the raffle was, for instance, a veteran with PTSD who had been placed by the Department of Veteran Affairs onto the NICS list.
Note that you don’t have to actually transfer the firearm to go to prison for 20 years, nor do you have to know that the proposed recipient is a prohibited person. It is enough that you acted negligently, that you planned to gift or raffle the firearm, and that you engaged in one “overt act” necessary for conspiracy to take effect (e.g., getting in your car to drive to the gun shop).
In fact, the veteran or “prohibited person” doesn’t even have to be on the NICS list and doesn’t have to know they are a prohibited person. A marijuana smoker is a “user of … [a] controlled substance.” If you buy a gun with the intention of gifting or raffling to one of those, you can go to prison for 20 years, be subject to draconian forfeiture provisions (933(a)), be prosecuted and sued under RICO (933(c)), and be prosecuted for money laundering (933(d)). In other words, unless you’re “feeling lucky,” the bill would effectively outlaw gifting and raffling firearms.
Finally, buying a gun for any other person — even though it’s perfectly legal for him to own a gun — is illegal under all circumstances except for a gift or a raffle. Hence, if a person buys an AR-15 in another state where he has a vacation home (under 18 U.S.C. 922(b)(3)) and leaves it with a friend in that state for safekeeping — 20 years.
But there are other issues in the bill.
For instance Section 5 could theoretically prohibit anyone in the country from owning a firearm without a license. Yes, it’s bizarre to say the least seeing that this would be state legislation that would cross state lines.
The text of Section 5 reads,
Section 922(d) of title 18, United States Code, is amended–
(1) in paragraph (8), by striking `or’ at the end;
(2) in paragraph (9), by striking the period at the end and inserting `;’; and
(3) by striking the matter following paragraph (9) and inserting the following:
`(10) is prohibited by State or local law from possessing, receiving, selling, shipping, transporting, transferring, or otherwise disposing of the firearm or ammunition;
`(11) intends to sell or otherwise dispose of the firearm or ammunition to a person described in any of paragraphs (1) through (10); or
`(12) intends to sell or otherwise dispose of the firearm or ammunition in furtherance of a crime of violence or drug trafficking offense or to export the firearm or ammunition in violation of law.
This subsection shall not apply with respect to the sale or disposition of a firearm or ammunition to a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector who pursuant to subsection (b) of section 925 is not precluded from dealing in firearms or ammunition, or to a person who has been granted relief from disabilities pursuant to subsection (c) of section 925.’.
So if you are a person who is prohibited by State or local law from possessing a firearm, according to the emphasized portion of the legislation, you are not banned by federal law and presumably it would be mandated that you were placed in the NICS system.
I suppose the laughable part of the legislation is Section 7, which deals with someone who “smuggles or knowingly brings into the United States, a firearm or ammunition, or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined under this title, or both.”
I’m guessing this would apply to the Obama Justice Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Eric Holder and many subordinates, maybe even Barack Obama himself. Yeah, I’m not holding my breath on that one.
GOA also pointed out, in an action alert, that “Gun Owners of America today submitted testimony at the request of the Ranking Member of the Senate Constitution Subcommittee. GOA took a strong stance against all the gun control legislation on the table and urged the Senate to put forth real solutions to school violence — like letting teachers and principals protect their students.”
The pro-Second Amendment group also warns,
The Judiciary Committee bill will probably not contain the Feinstein semi-auto gun ban, and it may or may not have a magazine ban which would render most of the nation’s guns unusable, at least for the foreseeable future.
But the Judiciary Committee bill will almost certainly ban all private sales of firearms — or any private exchange where the gun buyer does not first get permission from the FBI. And it’s this background check requirement that will inevitably set up a framework for a universal gun registry.
The Leahy bill will most certainly have a “gun trafficking” section that is based on other legislation (S. 54) that he’s already introduced. This would turn everyone who lives under repressive state gun laws into a federal “prohibited person,” as well. Hence, if your state requires a license to possess a gun, you would also become a federal prohibited person. Oh, and the Leahy bill would also send you to prison for 20 years for unknowingly selling a firearm to a marijuana user. So, the next time you’re thinking of selling a gun, all we can say is: “Are you felling lucky?”
Anyway, here’s Harry Reid’s strategy: He has at least eleven Democratic senators running for reelection in pro-gun states in 2014 — and they don’t want to SEEM anti-gun. The eleven Democratic senators in pro-gun states are: Mark Begich (Alaska), Mark Pryor (Arkansas), Mark Udall (Colorado), Mary Landrieu (Louisiana), Al Franken (Minnesota), Max Baucus (Montana), Jeanne Shaheen (New Hampshire), Tom Udall (New Mexico), Kay Hagan (North Carolina), Tim Johnson (South Dakota), and Mark Warner (Virginia).
All of these Democrats will vote for the national gun registry and gun licensure. And, in exchange, Reid will allow them to vote against the Feinstein gun ban, which will be the sacrificial lamb to the more important gun control which Democrats really want.
The solution to the wave of gun control legislation is simple. GOA concludes, “First, we cannot allow one word of gun control to move to the Senate floor; not one word.”
“Second, the way we keep gun control from reaching the Senate floor is to defeat the “motion to proceed” to the Leahy Bill,” GOA adds. (The “motion to proceed” is usually offered by the Senate Majority Leader — in this case Harry Reid — to bring up a bill for consideration. The Senate quite often brings up legislation under a Unanimous Consent agreement, but if there is not unanimity, the “motion to proceed” can usually be debated, if not filibustered.)
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