Meet Gun Registration ‘Lite’
Said the Associated Press on Friday:
“A cornerstone of President Barack Obama's drive to check gun violence is gathering bipartisan steam as four senators, including two of the National Rifle Association's congressional champions, privately seek compromise on requiring far more firearms purchasers to undergo background checks.”
Translated, it means a sellout is in the works – something GRNC has warned about for several weeks. When Republican Tom Coburn and Democrat Charles Schumer start scheming, watch out. The result will probably be “gun registration lite,” in which, arbitrarily, some private transactions have to be registered through the National Instant Check System, but not others.
Fool me once …
In case you think this represents “dodging the bullet” on a full semi-auto ban or other more draconian measures, let me tell you how it will work: First, they will try to pass a “reasonable” scheme like registering some private sales via NICS. If that passes, their foot is in the door. Next, you will see more comprehensive measures. After that, they will go back and “close the loopholes” deliberately left open to pass the original bill in a play which recreates how they nearly passed “Brady II” in 1994. The fooled us in 1994. Don’t let them do it again.
National Coalition opposes ‘universal background checks’
The National Coalition to Stop the Gun Ban, a coalition of 37 state and national organizations forged by GRNC and others, has now gone on record promising to punish any politician who supports the universal gun registration masquerading as “universal background checks.”
Never forget that after the Brady Act passed, the Clinton administration immediately set about turning NICS into a defacto gun registry by retaining transaction records from background checks in violation of the law. As demonstrated in Canada, which just scrapped its gun registry, gun registration doesn’t reduce crime, it only provides a mechanism for confiscation. You can see the latest Coalition open letter at the bottom of this alert.
• Email your US House representative and both US Senators and deliver the message below. To find your US House representative, go to: http://www.house.gov/representatives/ and then enter your zip code in the upper right corner of the page.
• Make “15 Phone Calls for Freedom” by also calling not only YOUR House representative, but also ALL OTHER US House representatives to let them know you will be watching their actions and will work for the defeat of any legislator who supports the proposals, whether or not you live in the district.
• Help GRNC stop gun control by joining, renewing or signing up new members at: http://grnc.org/join- grnc/contribute
DELIVER THIS MESSAGE
Dear [Senator or Congressman]:
The Associated Press reports that a “deal” between anti-gun Democrats and ostensibly pro-gun Republicans is afoot to pass a slightly weaker version of “universal background checks.”
Please understand that nothing about this deal changes my opposition to what will inevitably be misused to create a national gun registration system. I will regard passage of weaker measures as nothing less than a “foot in the door” for the more draconian gun bans which will inevitably follow.
I expect you to oppose ALL gun control measures, however benign they might try to appear. As a supporter of Grass Roots North Carolina and the National Coalition to Stop the Gun Ban, I will support efforts to defeat any politician who supports gun control.
I will be closely monitoring your actions via Grass Roots North Carolina legislative alerts.
Senator Richard Burr (R- NC) 202-224-3154 http://burr.senate.gov/public/index.cfm? FuseAction=Contact.ContactForm
Senator Kay Hagan (D- NC) 202-224-6342 http://www.hagan.senate.gov/contact/
Representative G. K. Butterfield, Jr. (D - 01) 202-225-3101 https://butterfield.house.gov/email- congressman-butterfield
Representative Renee L. Ellmers (R - 02) 202-225-4531 https://ellmersforms.house.gov/index.cfm? sectionid=58§iontree=358
Representative Walter B. Jones, Jr. (R - 03) 202-225-3415 https://jones.house.gov/contact-me/email-me
Representative David Price (D - 04) 202-225-1784 https://forms.house.gov/price/we bforms/contact_form.shtml
Representative Virginia Foxx (R - 05) 202-225-2071 https://virginiafoxx.house.gov/forms/wr iteyourrep/
Representative Howard Coble (R - 06) 202-225-3065 http://coble.house.gov/contact/zipcheck.htm
Representative Mike McIntyre (D - 07) 202-225-2731 http://mcintyreforms.house.gov/contact/
Representative Richard Hudson (R - 08) 202-225-3715 http://hudson.house.gov/contact
Representative Robert Pittenger (R - 09) 202-225-1976 https://pittenger.house.gov/contact/email- me
Representative Patrick McHenry (R - 10) 202-225-2576 http://mchenry.house.gov/contact/zipauth.htm
Representative Mark Meadows (R - 11) 202-225-6401 https://meadows.house.gov/contact/email- me
Representative Mel Watt (D - 12) 202-225-1510 https://forms.house.gov/watt /webforms/zipauthen_contact.shtml
Representative George Holding (R - 13) 202-225-3032 https://holding. house.gov/contact/email-me
February 6, 2013
An Open Letter to Congress and the American People
The undersigned members of the National Coalition to Stop the Gun Ban, representing some 37 national, state, and local organizations and millions of individual rights advocates, unequivocally oppose any infringement on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Specifically, we oppose any effort to insinuate government controls on private transfers of personal firearms between law-abiding individuals.
Gun owners are as horrified and outraged as anyone at recent atrocities. Our outrage includes an additional dimension though, as we have come under attack from those exploiting these tragedies to push for new restrictions on guns and gun owners. These proposed restrictions would have no effect on mass shootings or on crime in general, but would interfere with our ability to protect our families.
In recent weeks, the focus of the gun control movement has been shifting from bans on semi-auto firearms and magazines to a stronger push for “universal background checks.” Unfortunately, “universal background checks” are much more complicated, expensive, and fraught with hazards than most people realize, and as American gun owners learn the implications of these proposals, they will increasingly join us in opposition to them.
Background Checks Don’t Impede Criminals
Most criminals obtain the guns they use through theft, straw purchasers, or through the same black market that moves other illicit goods such as drugs and stolen property. They will not be affected by background checks on private sales, just as they are unaffected by current checks on sales from licensed dealers. Nor can background checks stop crazed killers bent on going out in a blaze of infamous glory.
The murderers at Virginia Tech, the Batman Movie, and Representative Gabrielle Giffords’ event in Tucson all passed background checks. The killers at Columbine got a friend to buy their guns, and the Newtown murderer stole the guns he used after killing the rightful owner. Those guns were legally purchased under Connecticut’s strict gun control laws.
Firearms purchased legitimately through private transfers are rarely used in violent crime. There are, however, numerous instances of persons in immediate need of a firearm for self-defense being unreasonably delayed by the “instant” background check system. In some cases people have been seriously injured or killed while they were waiting for government approval to buy the gun that might have saved them.
Injecting Government into Private Transactions is Unproductive and Dangerous
Checking every person every time they purchase a firearm is redundant, wasteful, and unproductive. The current system is already an overreach by the federal government, and it has serious flaws. It is not uncommon for sales to be delayed and even halted nationwide due to errors, system overloads, and technical problems. Adding private transactions into this unreliable system with its potential for abuse will cost taxpayers additional hundreds of millions of dollars that could be better spent on programs that actually reduce crime. Most importantly, if all firearms transfers require government permission to proceed, the government need only withhold that permission in order to halt all legal transfers. A right delayed is a right denied.
These proposals also represent a step toward federal registration of guns and gun owners, something that has been historically demonstrated to be of little use for stopping or tracking criminals while placing law-abiding gun owners at risk and laying the foundations for future confiscation. Additionally, a registration system is subject to abuse short of confiscation as when responsible citizens in New York, were recently identified on a newspaper website as being gun owners and were subsequently targeted by thieves and harassed by neighbors. There is no legitimate reason for government to have this information or to share it with self-serving media.
Compromise on Background Checks is a Losing Proposition
Politicians and members of the industry thinking about compromising on the idea of background checks for private transfers need to remember two landmark events: Passage of the Clinton gun ban in 1994, and the agreement between the Clinton administration and firearm maker Smith & Wesson in 2000.
Within months of passage of the Clinton gun ban, hundreds of members of Congress who had voted for the ban were drummed out of office. Revisionists today claim that gun voters had little impact on that purge, but both sides, notably Bill Clinton, blamed the historic change on people voting their gun rights.
In 2000 Smith & Wesson was almost bankrupted by angry gun owners who boycotted the company after they signed off on an agreement with the Clinton administration subjecting itself to oversight and interference by the federal government in exchange for relief from lawsuits and promised government contracts. Just one year later the company was sold for a $100 million loss.
Don’t Just Do Something; Do Something That Works
If politicians wish to positively impact the criminal misuse of firearms, and reduce the carnage when a deranged individual or group decides to attack innocents, there are several steps they can take that actually work.
1. Keep violent criminals behind bars. While keeping guns away from criminals and lunatics is very difficult in a free society, keeping criminals and lunatics where they cannot get their hands on guns has proven to be extremely effective. Violent crime has been reduced by more than 50% in the past 20 years even though the number of guns and gun owners has gone up dramatically during that time.
2. Put an end to imaginary Gun-Free Zones. Millions of armed, responsible citizens walk the streets of this nation every day without incident. It is ludicrous to suggest that these same people cannot be trusted around schools, churches, or government buildings. Firearms misuse among lawful carriers is extremely rare, and though they have often stopped criminals in their tracks, a person legally carrying a firearm shooting the wrong person or innocent bystanders is almost unheard of. A cardboard sign declaring a space to be “gun-free” is a sham and an invitation to predators.
Restricting lawful access and use of guns will never deny illicit access and use of guns. We are representatives of groups and organizations all over the nation. With this letter, we put on notice any politician, firearms industry member, or organization that we are determined to protect, defend, and extend Second Amend rights by every means at our disposal. We invite like-minded individuals and organizations to join us.
The National Coalition to Stop the Gun Ban
Find Your Representatives
NC STATE House & Senate: http://www.grnc.org/contact_reps.htm
FEDERAL Congressman: http://www.house.gov/writerep/
FEDERAL Senators: http://www.senate.gov/
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