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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Gun Control Groups Emboldened by Collapsing Filibuster

As reports surface that a filibuster of Senator Harry Reid's gun control legislation is falling apart, The Hill reports that gun ban groups are becoming emboldened and telling Democrats to stop trying to find compromise on the issue of so-called "universal background checks."
Instead, the groups say Democrats should hold their ground and force Republicans to vote on the language drafted by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), currently in the bill, which would dramatically expand background checks and require record-keeping to accompany them.

“If we can break the filibuster with the Schumer language, that changes the whole dynamic of the negotiations,” said Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “I say let’s go vote on it because I don’t think they can vote no on it. I think it’s a very, very difficult vote for people to vote no.”
What CSGV has not calculated is whether people like Manchin can vote for Schumer's "Fix Gun Checks Act" language.  We know that even though Lindsey Graham has said he does not support a filibuster, he also does not support the Schumer language on transfers.

And that is an important distinction.  As you contact your Senators, don't use their language.  The "Fix Gun Checks Act" is not about background checks but about transfers.  What constitutes a transfer that will wind up making you a felon if you violate it?
  • If you left town for more than 7 days, and left your gay partner, or unrelated roommate at home with the guns, you’d be committing a felony. This should be called the “denying gun rights to gays act.” Remember that the federal government does not recognize gay marriage, even if you’re state does, thanks to DOMA. 5 years in prison.
  • Actually, even married couples are questionably legal, because the exemption between family only applies to gifts, not to temporary transfers. The 7 day implication is if you leave your spouse at home for more than 7 days, it’s an unlawful transfer, and you’re a 5 year felon. I suppose you could gift them to your spouse, or related co-habitant, and then have them gift them back when you arrive back home. Maybe the Attorney General will decide to create a form for that.
  • It would be illegal to lend a gun to a friend to take shooting. That would be a transfer. 5 years in federal prison.
  • Steals the livelihood of gun dealers by setting a fixed fee to conduct transfers. The fee is fixed by the Attorney General. What’s to prevent him from setting it at $1000?
  • Enacts defacto universal gun registration, because of record keeping requirements.
  • All lost and stolen guns must be reported to the federal and local government. This means everyone will have to fill out the theft/loss form, and not just FFLs. You only have 24 hours to comply. If you lose a gun on a hunting trip deep in the woods, and can’t get back home to fill out the form in 24 hours, you’re a felon and will spend 5 years in federal prison.
  • Want to lend a gun to a friend to go hunting? It’s a 5 year in prison felony.
  • No exception for state permits. All transfers must go through a dealer or 5 years in federal prison.
  • UPDATE: Teaching someone to shoot on your own land is a felony, 5 years, if you hand them the gun. Not an exempted transfer.
Gun control groups are crowing that they have clogged up Mark Warner's phone lines. Senator Pat Toomey may have indeed stabbed us in the back as one person has said, just when it looked like everything was dead.  I know I sound like a broken record, but now is not the time to let up.  The battle begins as Reid has signaled he will bring the bill to the floor on Thursday.  Will you Stand and Fight?

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