(Springfield, VA) -- Legislation introduced by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) -- and passed by the House last week -- represents the most massive expansion of gun control in years. If HR 2640 becomes law, untold hundreds of thousands of law-abiding Americans could lose their gun rights.

"Under this bill, based solely on a diagnosis of a psychiatrist, an American's name could be dumped into the National Criminal Instant Check (NICS) system," said GOA Executive Director Larry Pratt. "No due process, no court, just an illegible signature on a prescription pad.

"Conviction by diagnosis needs to be stopped now. Such an abuse of authority will mean the end of the rule of law. Once a person's name is in the NICS data base, he is guilty until proven innocent. The burden should be on the government to prove guilt in court.

"Thousands of returning veterans with Post Traumatic Stress, kids drugged on Ritalin for Attention Deficit Disorder, and anyone with a diagnosis that they could be even possibly incapacitated or a microscopic danger to themselves would have their names shoveled into NICS.

"Moreover, under HR 2640, nothing will be able to stop the medical records of all Americans from being sucked into a massive data base by the FBI and BATFE," Pratt said.

"Getting one's name out of NICS will be no easier than it is now, namely, virtually impossible," said Pratt.

The NRA staff, the Brady Campaign and the liberal Democrats such as Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) are working to whip this through the Senate with no recorded vote, just as they did in the House. Speaking to the CNN audience on June 13, head of the Brady Campaign, Paul Helmke, stated that, "We're hopeful that now that the NRA has come around to our point of view in terms of strengthening the Brady background checks, that now we can take the next step after this bill passes [to impose additional gun control]."

This should shock the NRA membership that their staff would be part of sneaking this bill through the House with no debate and no recorded vote.

"The McCarthy bill is just a first step," said Pratt. "But this bill is going the wrong direction. Nowhere in the current debate is there even a suggestion that the gun control law that demonstrably contributed to the extent of the Virginia Tech massacre should be repealed. Getting rid of gun free zones, especially in schools, should be the first order of business."

For further information, please go to: http://www.gunowners.org/netb.htm .

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