A Democratic bill introduced in the House of Representatives this year aims to create a mandatory and publicly accessible registry listing the names of gun owners, how many guns they have, and even where they keep their firearms.
Additionally, the bill, H.R. 127, would ban several types of commonly used ammunition .50 caliber or greater, require gun owners to purchase firearm insurance costing $800 per year, and force those seeking to buy a gun to complete a psychological evaluation and a government training course prior to the purchase.
Should gun owners fail to adhere to the new restrictions, they could face an harsh penalty of 10 years in prison and fines of $50,000 to $150,000.
Sponsored by Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas), the bill is one of the most aggressive attempts yet by progressive lawmakers to curb Americans’ Second Amendment rights and is already drawing intense scrutiny from gun rights groups.
“All gun control bills share the same basic goal: a world in which fewer people own firearms,” the National Rifle Association wrote about the legislation. “Some bills simply ban certain types of firearms or ammunition outright. Others place obstacles in the path of owning firearms or ammunition to make them more difficult and expensive to obtain, thereby shrinking the market for them … H.R. 127 combines both failed approaches.”
“It bans common types of ammunition and original equipment magazines for most self-defense firearms. And, it makes all firearms more difficult to obtain and possess through a punitive licensing and registration scheme,” the group continued.
Speaking with the Washington Times, the leaders of several retired police officer groups also slammed the bill as a brazen attempt to curtail Second Amendment rights — and a hazardous one at that. Under the legislation, retired officers would not be exempt from the public registry.
“This is very dangerous, especially for retirees,” Kevin Hassett, president of the New York’s Retired Police Association, told the outlet. “Things have gone so downhill with this level of hostility towards cops and we are out there with the label that we are no longer cops. Retired cops don’t have partners or backup. We are out there on our own.”
Association of Retired Police Officers president Gerald G. Neill Jr. expressed concern that a registry would lead to the targeting of former cops.
“There is danger in having this as part of the public record,” he said.
While the bill has a long way to go before becoming law — it has no co-sponsors and has yet to be scheduled for a committee hearing — its mere introduction demonstrates the confidence of anti-gun lawmakers under the Biden administration and in a Democratic Party-controlled Congress.
“H.R. 127 is so outrageous, persecutory, and unworkable that its main function is simply to display the hostility of its author and supporters toward firearms, those who own them, and those who want to own them,” the NRA added in its blistering writeup.
Biden has yet to comment on Jackson Lee’s bill, but he appears set to make gun control a major issue of his presidency, as this week he called on Congress to enact “commonsense” reforms such as banning “assault weapons.” The White House has not ruled out using executive authority to push Biden’s gun control agenda.
Author: Phil Shiver