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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Brady and Lautenberg Take Gun Show Attack National

Yesterday, U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) joined Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Brady Campaign President Paul Helmke at a press conference to introduce legislation taking Brady's attack on gun shows and private firearm sales national. Referring to the so-called "gun show loophole" Lautenberg said:

There is no rational reason to oppose closing the loophole. The reason it’s still not closed is simple: the continuing power of the special interest gun lobby in Washington.
No senator, the reason the bill has not passed is because there is no "loophole."

Using the shootings of Columbine as their backdrop, Lautenberg and Brady held their press conference one day after the 10th anniversary of the shootings and a few days after the 2nd anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting to unveil the legislation. Omar Ramaha, the brother of a Virginia Tech shooting victim and who last week shared the stage with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg when he unveiled an attack ad against Virginia GOP candidate for Governor Bob McDonnell, was also present.

What would Lautenberg's bill do?

  • The bill will define gun shows as any event where 50 or more firearms are offered or exhibited for sale. Under this bill merely “offering” to “exchange” a firearm at an “event” could be banned. The National Matches at Camp Perry and your local gun club’s Sunday trap shoot would be defined as “events” subject to the bill’s provisions. Even talking about a gun at an “event” could be seen as an illegal “offer” to sell a gun. Even if you are not a dealer, but you display a gun at a gun show, and then months later sell the gun to someone you met at the show, you would be subject to the same requirements as if you completed the sale at the gun show. If you are at home with a collection of 50 or more firearms, it would be a five-year felony to “offer” or “exchange” a single gun -- even between family or friends -- unless you first registered with the BATFE and paid a fee, the cost of which would be at BATFE’s discretion.
  • Gun show promoters would be required to register with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), maintain a list of vendors at all gun shows, and ensure that all vendors acknowledge receipt of information about their legal obligations. This means that a person who attends a show, even without a gun, who even discusses the possibility of selling a gun, would be required to sign “a ledger with identifying information.” That's because a promoter cannot know whether a person who attends his show will discuss the sale of a gun, he will have to require every customer to sign the ledger, and check every customer’s ID to verify the information required on the ledger. Gun show promoters would have to retain the ledgers indefinitely for inspection by the BATFE.
  • Requires that all firearms sales at gun shows, including those by private sellers that may be selling one or more pieces of their private collection, go through a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL). A private seller would be required to use an FFL at the gun show to complete the transaction. The FFL would be required to maintain records of the transaction just like they do for any transaction they make for their business. This means that at any time the FFL goes out of business, that information would be transferred to the ATF.

Lautenberg also took the opportunity to trot out the latest talking point of the anti-rights crowd, relating U.S. gun control to drug cartel crime in Mexico.

Thirty percent of the guns that go to Mexico are bought at gun shows. We don’t know whether they’re bought from unlicensed dealers, but logic would say let’s have some idea who it is that bought those guns and what their intentions might be.
At a time when President Obama is doing everything he can to avoid talking about guns and gun control, the anti-rights lobby and their lap dogs in congress are making it priority #1.

1 comment:

JR said...

The text is not yet posted, but the bill is S.843.

It has 11 cosponsors, heavy hitters in Dem Senate majority.