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Mar 18

Written by: Diana West
Wednesday, March 18, 2009 7:51 AM 

It hasn't worked  (yet), but the Obama administration clearly wants to limit ammo manufacture in the United States.

They also want to disarm airline pilots--secretly--who since 9/11, as a matter of public safety, have been allowed to be armed.

Then there's H.R. 45, aka., Blair Holt’s Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009, an alarmingly onerous piece of legislation that takes federal regulation of not only of gun ownership but also of gun owners to new levels of intrusion and control, and placing the Attorney General in charge of both. The bill, introduced by former Black Panther Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL), has received scant attention in bigtime media (not many gunowners there, I reckon), but is just starting to be covered in local papers across the country. Here's a report from the Wilson County News in Floresville, Texas that puts the bill into much-needed context:

County commissioners, judge oppose firearms legislation

by Robert C. MacDonald

During the Wilson County Commissioners Court meeting March 9, commissioners voted unanimously to support a resolution in opposition to H.R. 45, introduced to Congress Jan. 6. The resolution was initiated by County Judge Marvin Quinney after a few concerned citizens had approached him on the subject of the bill.

Known as Blair Holt’s Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009, H.R. 45, in its current form, would prohibit a person from owning or possessing a “qualifying firearm” unless that person had a special license.

Under the proposed bill, all handguns, not just semiautomatics, and any rifle, shotgun, or other firearm capable of accepting a detachable magazine would be considered a “qualifying firearm” and would therefore be subject to the licensing restriction.

The bill requires that an application must be submitted to the attorney general, along with any applicable fees. Along with the application, those seeking a license will also need to provide a passport photo; name and address; the date and place of the applicant’s birth; a list of any other names by which the applicant was ever known; a thumbprint, which must be given in the presence of the “licensing entity”; and a statement from the applicant’s state of residence indicating they are not prohibited from obtaining a firearm.


In addition, there are several other requirements. An applicant must also provide certification that they will keep all firearms stored away from children; an authorization for the attorney general and/or his staff to look into an applicant’s mental-health history; and a certificate of completion for a written firearms exam, testing the applicant’s knowledge of safe-storage practices, safe-firearms handling, use of firearms in the home, the legal responsibilities of firearms ownership, to include federal, state, and local laws; and any other subject the Attorney General “determines to be appropriate.”

If H.R. 45 becomes law, the special license will be required to buy any “qualifying firearm” from any dealer. It will also prevent the sale of firearms from one private citizen to another, without processing the transaction through a licensed dealer, who will be required to check that the person buying the firearm holds the proper license.

In addition, H.R. 45 reads that “it shall be unlawful” for any person to fail to report a firearm loss or theft to the attorney general within 72 hours; fail to report a change of address within 60 days; or keep a loaded firearm or unloaded firearm and ammunition, knowing a child could get hold of the firearm and cause death or injury.

Although the signing of the resolution in commissioners court March 9 can’t prevent the passage of H.R. 45, it should send a clear message to Texas representatives in Washington about where Wilson County stands on the issue. Quinney said his office sent a copy of the resolution to other counties, and he hopes they follow suit.

“This is a scary time for our nation,” Quinney said during a telephone interview March 12. “There is the saying that ‘guns don’t kill people, people do.’ We need to think about focusing on the criminals and criminal activites, not on the honest citizens.”

More on the chilling effects of the bill in The Arkansas Democrat Gazette here.

 

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