IndyTruth Blog
H.R. 2640, the sneaky gun snatch bill 
Tuesday, June 19, 2007, 11:37 PM - Activism, News, Policy
Posted by Administrator
The NICS Improvement Amendments Act (HR 2640) was snuck through the house within two days of being introduced. The bill represents the most far-reaching gun ban in years. For the first time in American history, the federal government would impose a lifetime gun ban on battle-scarred veterans and troubled teens -- based solely on the diagnosis of a psychologist, rather than the process of a court of law.

The NRA has supported the bill, showing that they no longer respresent the stance of American gun owners or the constitutional right to bear arms. Gun owners OPPOSE this legislation.

This bill was proposed in the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings, using a tragedy to promote a disgusting removal of constitutional rights. Everyone knows–it is proven fact–that gun control does not keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Most crimes are not committed with legally purchased firearms.

This law will not prevent gun crime. It will prevent war veterans (83,000 of them) and other worthy American citizens from exercising their right to bear arms.

Consider this scenario:

A soldier suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after being shot at by the Taliban while serving our country in Afghanistan, and after he recovers he finds he cannot purchase a handgun to defend his family if, God forbid, terrorists once again strike on our homeland. What can he do to fix the problem? He'll need to hire a lawyer to help him appeal his placement on the list.

This is not only expensive for a working family, but likely ineffective. Many Americans already find they cannot remove their names from the FBI's no-fly list. If this bill is passed, the same will go for purchasing firearms.

I tried to read this bill on the government's Thomas web site. It was hard to find, as it was so sneakily passed through the House. It is a messy bill. It includes vague language that appears to put nationwide control of firearms purchasing into the hands of the attorney general and Department of Homeland Security.

Included in the qualifications to be listed is a person who “has been adjudicated as mentally defective or committed to a mental institution.” The citation for the definition of “adjudicated as mentally defective” is a section of U.S. code that does not contain any definition, but only a similar vague mention of the term.

The bill also states, “The State shall make available to the Attorney General, for use by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, records relevant to a determination of whether a person has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.” The definition of “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence cited from U.S. code includes anything that “is a misdemeanor under Federal or State law; and has, as an element, the use or attempted use of physical force, or the threatened use of a deadly weapon…”

I am concerned about how these vague terms could be interpreted by the states, Homeland Security and the attorney general; DHS and members of this President’s administration have made liberal (and often inappropriate use) of other definitions in the past, such as the word “terrorist.” DHS and the Pentagon have also struggled with their use of the “enemy combatant” terms, which have posed serious problems in the trials of alleged terrorists.

Finally, here is what Congressman Ron Paul said in the short debate about H.R. 2640.

In my opinion, H.R. 2640 is a flagrantly unconstitutional expansion of restriction on the exercise of the right to bear arms protected under the second amendment.

H.R. 2640 also seriously undermines the privacy rights of all Americans, gun owners and non-gun owners alike, by creating and expanding massive Federal Government databases, including medical and other private records of every American.

H.R. 2640 illustrates how placing restrictions on the exercise of one right, in this case, the right to bear arms, inevitably leads to expanded restriction on other rights as well. In an effort to make the Brady background check on gun purchases more efficient, H.R. 2640 pressures States and mandates Federal agencies to dump massive amounts of information about the private lives of all Americans into a central Federal Government database.

H.R. 2640 is a joke. It was snuck through in TWO DAYS, and passed by a voice vote, suspending the rules. Suspending the rules for a voice vote may be appropriate for a bill like the 2005 "H.RES.587 : Congratulating Tony Stewart on winning the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup Championship" (one of my personal favorites), but it is not appropriate for a bill that will restrict constitutional rights for American citizens.

A handful of Senators that have placed "holds" on this bill and object to any Unanimous Consent agreement. I have contacted Senators Bayh and Lugar in hopes that they will do the same.

Submitted by Douglass.
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