Entries in S.649 (4)

Thursday
Apr182013

Obama Turns Up the Heat, Declares War on Second Amendment Rights

Childishness and demagoguery are a dangerous mix especially when exhibited by the President of the United States.  Yesterday angry Barack Hussein Obama branded the defeat of his gun control agenda as shameful and accused Senators of going against the wishes of 90% of the American people. Seriously?

Obama said, “All that happened today was the preservation of the loophole that lets dangerous criminals buy guns without a background check. That didn’t make our kids safer.”

Since when do dangerous criminals buy their guns from licensed dealers?

Even Dianne Feinstein admitted on the floor of the Senate that a universal background check would not have prevented Newtown.

Ringed by relatives of the Newtown victims, Obama lashed out at the Senators, including Democrats, who voted against the gun control legislation, vowing to continue the fight for gun control.

Ironically, while accusing opponents of lying, Obama cited false claims and statistics about current laws, including the repeatedly debunked argument that 40% of gun sales are private, and that guns can be bought over the Internet without background checks.  In fact it was the dishonesty of the Bloomberg/Obama coalition  that led potential supporters of the legislation to doubt the administrations motives in supporting the bill.

Here are the highlights of the vote:

(1) The most important vote was the Toomey-Manchin-Schumer national gun registry proposal. With 60 votes needed for passage, the Toomey-Manchin-Schumer amendment was shot down by a vote of 54-46.

(2) The Cornyn-Vitter-Thune amendment - pushed hard by Gun Owners of America - received a 57-43 vote This provision would have allowed concealed carry holders and persons in constitutional carry states to carry nationwide. The overwhelming vote on this amendment sets the stage for bringing it up again. We need to pick up just three Senators in the 2014 midterm elections. 

(3) The Feinstein gun ban lost by a vote of 40-60 - falling far short of a majority - and the magazine ban lost by a vote of 46-54. Neither garnered even the simple majority of 51 votes.  Ironically, Obama expressed dismay that the Senate rules required the super majority of 60 votes to pass the legislation.  If that had been the case, National Concealed Carry Reciprocity, which the left vehemently opposes, would have passed.

Obama made clear his intention to use Wednesdays defeat to rally supporters against Republicans, whom he blamed directly and angrily, suggesting that they had defied the will of the American people and attempted to silence the families of Newtown victims who had a right to be heard in the debate.

Forced to cover a rare political defeat for the left, the mainstream media largely echoed his emotions. Virtually all of CNNs correspondents agreed that the Manchin-Toomey-Schumer bill had been defeated because of the power of the National Rifle Association and the fear of politicians afraid to take on Second Amendment activists. None considered that support for gun control has been declining, or that the legislation itself was deeply flawed.

Again and again, Obama noted that 90% of Americans, and a majority of National Rifle Association members, supported expanded background checks. The former constitutional law lecturer seemed to expect that that majoritys will should be self-executing, ignoring the fact that constitutional rights like the Second Amendment exist precisely to protect minorities against majoritarian passions and presidential demagoguery.

His opponents, the president insisted, refused to make it more difficult for dangerous criminals to buy weaponsignoring one of the core arguments of the other side, namely that dangerous criminals ignore the laws to obtain weapons, while law-abiding citizens bear the burden of new rules and restrictions. He reduced his opponents motives to pure politics, accusing them of being afraid of being punished by an organized, determined minority.

Rarely have Americans ever seen a president attack his opponents so viciously, expressing and evoking such visceral emotionsespecially at a time of mourning. President Obamas tirade contrasted with his reserved, measured response to the Boston Marathon bombings, in which he urged Americans to speak and act with restraint. If this has been, as he claimed, a pretty shameful day in Washington, the presidents tantrum was the most shameful moment of all. 

Wednesday
Apr172013

Tell Your Senators to Vote NO on Manchin-Toomey Amendment, YES on Grassley Proposal

Later today the U.S. Senate is expected to begin debate on gun-control legislation including The Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act, S. Amdt. 715, proposed by Sens. Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Toomey (R-Pa.) that will infringe upon your Second Amendment Rights. Your senators need to hear from you now!

The Manchin-Toomey Amendment, which is co-sponsored by anti-gun Sens. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Kirk (R-lll.), would effectively shut down all storefront National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) checks on weekends by requiring that gun show checks must be COMPLETED before any store check can be completed.

Prioritizing gun show checks over storefront checks will harm firearms retailers businesses. Weekends, when gun shows take place, are the busiest time for storefront retailers who will not be able to run background checks for their customers. The Second Amendment rights of customers at gun shops are just as important as those of gun show attendees. Congress should provide adequate resources to NICS so that ALL background checks are done instantly.

The Manchin-Toomey measure, S. Amdt. 715, also does not address critical product liability concerns for retailers processing private party transfers and imposes record-keeping responsibilities that could result in license revocation for even simple mistakes. Tell your senators not to put retailers livelihoods on the line.

Instead, urge senators to vote YES on Sen. Grassleys (R-Iowa) proposal which is supported by NSSF. This positive measure would help Fix NICS and improve current law, without expanding background checks that punish retailers and infringe on the Second Amendment. Your senators need to hear from you in support of the real solutions in the Grassley measure.


Find and call your U.S. senators here  , or dial 202-224-3121, and tell them to VOTE NO on the flawed Manchin-Toomey Amendment and YES on the solution-based Grassley alternative.

Tuesday
Apr162013

Top Ten Problems with the Toomey-Schumer-Manchin Gun Control Bill

Alan Gottlieb, the chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, who I admire and respect, emailed dozens of gun rights activists on Sunday to announce his support of S.549, the Public Safety And Second Amendment Rights Protection Act.

“If you read the bill you can see all the advances for our cause that it contains like interstate sales of handguns, veteran gun rights restoration, travel with firearms protection, civil and criminal immunity lawsuit protection if you sell a gun plus more,” he wrote in the email.

Alan appeared on Gun Talk Radio on Sunday, and said the CCRKBA helped write the substitute legislation.  He seemed to indicate that the Congress was committed to passing more gun control legislation and that the substitute bill was the best we could hope for as it restored some lost Second Amendment rights, including statutory immunity for selling a gun that is later used in a crime, ability to purchase a handgun across state lines from a FFL and other provisions that would strengthen Second Amendment civil rights .

Alan believes that politically S.649 is a win for Second Amendment supporters.  However, there is disagreement among reasonable Second Amendment civil rights supporters on this Bill.

After careful consideration and listening to the Senate floor debate, I have decided to urge my Senators not to support S.649 as it is currently written.  While it is a significant improvement over the original Bill, Chuck Schumer had final approval the bipartisian substitution.  When Senator Schumer struck National Concealed Carry Reciprocity from the legislation, he killed the compromise Bill. 

I cannot support a Bill that Chuck Schumer, Gun Grabber Bloombergs man in the Senate, changed at the last minute and removed National Reciprocity for law abiding citizens with state issued concealed carry permits.

Listed below are the top ten problems, in addition to the absence of National Concealed Carry Reciprocity, with the Toomey-Schumer-Manchin legislation.

I contacted my Senators on Monday and voiced my opposition to S.649 based on the absense of National Concealed Carry provision already part of the LEOSA and the following reasons:

(1)  First of all, it’s pretty clear by now that the goal of Obama and Schumer is, in the words of the Brady Campaign, to put “points on the board” so they can maintain their momentum for more gun control demands.  Mark Glaze of Mayors Against Illegal Guns said on MSNBC that they would be back with new demands “the day after” background checks are signed into law. So, now that we are on the verge of winning, why, in heaven’s name, would Pat Toomey try to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory, hand a “win” to Barack Obama so he can credibly say he “broke the back of the gun lobby,” invigorate fundraising for anti-gun groups in 2014, let red state Democrats who are up in 2014 off the hook, and create a platform for unending gun control demands that will resume the day his bill is signed into law?

(2)  SECTION 102, Finding 3:  Congress believes the Department of Justice should prosecute violations of background check requirements to the maximum extent of the law.

COMMENT:  You understand that 18 U.S.C. 922(d)(3) and (g)(3) make a person a prohibited person if they are an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance, right?  And you understand this would subject every gun owner who smokes marijuana (medical or otherwise) to a ten-year prison sentence (under 18 U.S.C. 924(a)(2)), right?  And you understand that records of medical marijuana use, drug diversion programs, etc., are in the possession of many state governments and are, technically, required to be turned over to the FBI under the NICS Improvement Act of 2007, right?  So are you still so enthusiastic about throwing 20,000,000 gun owners in prison for ten years for smoking pot not to mention the thousands upon thousands of military veterans who have also been thrown into the NICS system without any due process whatsoever?

(3) “SEC. 112.  IMPROVEMENT OF METRICS AND INCENTIVES.”

COMMENT:  This section pretty well gives Eric Holder unfettered discretion to demand any information from the states which he, in his unilateral discretion, chooses to demand.  And he would do this, not by threatening to take away funds under this act, but by threatening to withhold already-existing 505 funds.  For anyone who thinks this is innocuous, consider this:  Under section 922(g)(3)’s prohibition of guns for any “user of any controlled substance,” the AG could demand medical marijuana records, diversion records, and arrest records.  Under 922(g)(4), he could demand Medicaid, Medicare, and IDEA records of persons with PTSD, ADHD, and post partem depression.

(4)  “SEC. 114.  RELIEF FROM DISABILITIES PROGRAM.”

COMMENT:  There are already a lot of “relief from disabilities” programs in the NICS Improvement Act of 2007, which the GOA supported.  The problem is that most veterans cannot afford the $30,000 in attorneys’ fees it takes to pursue these remedies in some places.  Every week, we hear from veterans who have lost rights WITHOUT DUE PROCESS under the NICS Act of 2007, and don’t have the $30,000 necessary to get those rights back.  Perhaps someone should ask Chuck Schumer to remove his amendment which continuously defunds the more expansive program under McClure-Volkmer whereby a prohibited person can petition ATF for relief from disabilities.  But, again, the problem is not that veterans can’t get their rights back if they have $30,000 to spend; the problem is that their rights were taken away in the first place without any court order or other due process.

(5) SECTION 117:  “Information collected under section 102(c)(3) of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 (18 U.S.C. 922 note) to assist the Attorney General in enforcing [prohibited persons provisions of Chapter 44] shall not be subject to the regulations promulgated under [HIPAA]”

COMMENT:  Section 102(c)(3) of the NICS 2007 statute provides that the “State SHALL make available to [NICS] the name and other relevant identifying information of persons adjudicated as a mental defective or those committed to a mental institution.”  [Emphasis added]  But, under the 2007 statute, “adjudicated as a mental defective” was redefined to include an individual who was found, in connection with a government program, to represent “a danger [however miniscule] to himself or others” or a person who is “unable to manage his own affairs”  (The “however miniscule” embellishment was added by an ATF interpretive letter issued under Bill Clinton.)  Furthermore, under the 2007 statute, these determinations do not have to be made by a court, magistrate, or even an executive branch administrative court, but, rather, may be made by a government-affiliated psychiatrist who, in the case of the Department of Veterans Affairs, almost always accomplishes this by appointing a fiduciary over the veteran’s financial affairs.  Note also that the psychiatrist is almost never a government employee, but rather a doctor who provides the diagnosis in connection with a government-financed program.  In addition to Medicare, Medicaid, IDEA (in relation to which 15% of high school boys have now been diagnosed with ADHD, and recent articles have suggested that that diagnosis never evaporates, even as they get older), the DVA, the armed services, social security disability, a very substantial amount of private health care will be funded, in whole or in part, or regulated by the federal government under ObamaCare.  Thus, since the HIPAA privacy regulations are being waived by Toomey-Schumer-Manchin, it’s probably not much of an overstatement to say that, under Toomey-Schumer-Manchin, “see a shrink; lose your guns.”

(6)  SECTION 122, REVISED 18 U.S.C. 922(t)(1):  “it shall be unlawful for a [non-licensee] to complete the transfer of a firearm to any other person if the transfer occurs pursuant to [a] posting on the Internet”

COMMENT:  No one should assume this requirement applies only to Amazon-type sales on Armslist.  If you ever talked about the gun on the Internet, you have arguably lost your right to make a private firearm transfer.  You have certainly done so if you put an ad in the church bulletin and it were distributed to shut-in parishioners over the Internet.  The bottom line:  Unless the buyer approaches the seller face to face and conducts the sale in cash on the spot, you can assume it’s covered.

(7) SECTION 122(a):  “(4)(A)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Attorney General may implement this subsection with regulations.”

COMMENT:  The “chapter” referred to is Chapter 44.  So this means that any limitations on federal action built into federal gun law by McClure-Volkmer or any other pro-gun legislation automatically disappear as impediments to Eric Holder in implementing the massively expanded background checks. Incidentally, the provisions in “this chapter” he can ignore could include the prohibitions on demanding information from dealers and creating a national gun registry.

(8)  SECTION 122(c):  “The Attorney General shall be prohibited from seizing any records or other documents in the course of an inspection or examination”

COMMENT:  First of all, if your private gun transaction is covered by Toomey-Schumer-Manchin (and virtually all will be), you will have a 4473, and, if you have a 4473, you can assume you will be part of a national gun registry.  Schumer’s staff, in drafting this section, might have benefited from talking with pro-gun advocates in connection with the real nature of the problem.  First of all, although taking a storeful of 4473’s to an ATF agent’s home is not unheard-of, the real problem is when ATF agents go into an FFL with a laptop and copy all of the information on the 4473’s.  This language would not stop that.  Second, whatever ATF thinks it’s compiling with the 4473’s it does not regard it as a “national gun registry,” even though we regard it as such.  I drafted the language in McClure-Volkmer prohibiting national gun registries.  I also drafted the first draft of the Smith/Tiarht amendment doing the same.  ATF does not regard itself as violating these.  Third, with respect to making unauthorized copying a crime, the person who will determine whether the Department of Justice is prosecuted is Attorney General Eric Holder (who, by the way, is the head of the Department of Justice).

(9) “SUBTITLE C – NATIONAL COMMISSION ON MASS VIOLENCE.”

(a) There is established a commission to be known as the National Commission on Mass Violence

COMMENT:  Half of the members (including the chairman) are appointed by Harry Reid, in consultation with Nancy Pelosi.  It is hard to imagine that this is anything other than a platform for continuing agitation for more gun control.

(b)  The members [of the commission] shall include individuals who have expertise, by both experience and training, in (I) firearms

COMMENT:  Tacked onto a bill which ignores any remedy for violence except gun control, we now have a commission which has, as priority number one, guns.  Weve seen this movie before.  Media efforts to exploit Newtown in order to achieve gun control will inexorably lead to more copycat shootings.  And, when they do, this commission will be there to serve as an engine for advocacy for anti-gun legislation.

(c)  [The issues which the Commission shall study include] whether medical doctors and other mental health professionals have the ability, without negative legal or professional consequences, to notify law enforcement officials when a patient is a danger to himself or others

COMMENT:  Its not a huge thing, compared with the other problems in the bill.  But its probably an indication of something that the draft looks not into whether turning in your patients to police or, possibly, the NICS system is ethical or ultimately efficacious, but, rather, whether its legal.

(d)  [The issues which the Commission shall study include] the availability and nature of firearms, including the means of acquiring such firearms, and all positive and negative impacts of such availability and nature on incidents of mass violence or in preventing mass violence

COMMENT:  Self-explanatory.

(e)  [The issues which the Commission shall study include] the role of current prosecution rates in contributing to the availability of weapons that are used in mass violence

COMMENT:  Many of us dont share the notion that harassing veterans and other potential gun owners for violating the inexplicable myriad of gun laws is a good thing.  I can say from having negotiated with the highest officials in ATF in 1984 that even ATF doesnt understand our gun laws, and sending otherwise law-abiding citizens to prison for petty violations is not a good thing.

(f) [The issues which the Commission shall study include] the availability of information regarding the construction of weapons, including explosive devices, and any impact of such information on such incidents of mass violence

COMMENT:  Huh?  This purpose probably wins the prize for threatening the most constitutional rights in a single agenda item.

(g)  COMMENT:  For all of the Orwellian purposes of the commission, there is one which is noticeably absent:  The role of the broadcast media in generating copycat shootings through saturation coverage intended to serve as an engine for gun control.

(h)  COMMENT:  Also missing from the politically correct platitudes which will serve as the purpose for this commission is one factor which appears to have been present in many school shootings:  The removal of school discipline and replacement with a mental health system which turns perhaps 15% of high school boys into Ritalin junkies.

(10) COMMENT:  For the record, Adam Lanza stole the guns he used in Newtown.  James Holmes and Jared Loughner passed background checks. Given that the background check legislation the centerpiece of Barack Obamas efforts to declare victory over the gun lobby would not address, in any way, the incidents which supposedly gave rise to it, exactly what is its purpose, other than to destroy the Republicans ground game and decimate the most significant remaining pillar of their coalition

Monday
Apr152013

CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb Supports S.649

Alan Gottlieb, the chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and a power player within the conservative ACU, emailed dozens of gun rights activists on Sunday with an explanation of S.549, the Public Safety And Second Amendment Rights Protection Act.

“If you read the bill you can see all the advances for our cause that it contains like interstate sales of handguns, veteran gun rights restoration, travel with firearms protection, civil and criminal immunity lawsuit protection if you sell a gun plus more,” he wrote in the email. (The email, with the “to” field redacted, is posted below.)

Im a member of CCRKBA and a regular donor to the Second Amendment Foundation, both headed by Alan Gottlieb.  Gottlieb works tirelessly to promote and defend Second Amendment rights, including winning the McDonald case in the Supreme Court. I have the utmost respect for Alan Gottlieb. 

I have not make a final decision to support or oppose the substitute bill , which Im continuing to study.  Most gun rights organizations including the NRA and GOA (I belong to both) are opposing the legislation.  The Senate is expected to vote on S.649 tomorrow (Tuesday April 16).

Redstate wrote today that,  Gottleib claimed that if a gun owner has a concealed weapons permit they will not be required to submit to a background check every time they purchase an additional firearm, instead they would merely fill out a form that will be held by the dealer as a record of sale. Now, either he’s confused, or lying, especially where background checks are concerned.

Im not aware of any Second Amendment Rights advocate who has more integrity than Alan Gottleib.  He is responsible for filing and winning dozens of Second Amendment rights cases in both state and federal courts, including some of the most significant victories in the Supreme Court. 

Heres a copy of Alans email that was sent yesterday:

From: AkaGUNNUT
Date: April 14, 2013, 8:54:01 AM MST
To:
Subject: FYI

Just so you all know. I am in support on the Manchin-Tooney substitute bill to knock out the bad Schumer Background Check bill. I and our CCRKBA attorney lobbyist had a hand in influencing and writing parts of it.

The bill bans any federal gun registry and carries a 15 year prison term for anyone who violates it. We protect and expand a good number of pro-gun rights measures as well.

We also have an agreement that an additional amendment supported by Manchin and Toonry will be offered to even make it better by making it possible to get federal firearms rights restored negating the current Schumer legislation that blocks it.

If you read the bill you can see all the advances for our cause that it contains like interstate sales of handguns, veteran gun rights restoration, travel with firearms protection, civil and criminal immunity lawsuit protection if you sell a gun plus more. It also exempts the sale or transfer of firearms between family members and friends as well as sales outside a commercial venue from a background check. If you have any kind of current state permit to own, use or carry no check is done just the Form 4473 to stay with a dealer..

These advances for gun rights can not be made unless we win the Senate vote on Tuesday to substitute it for the current Schumer draconian background check that is in the bill at this time.

The gun grabbers have stepped into our trap.

It will be fun to see Obama forced to sign it!

Alan Gottlieb