PA Case Shows How HR 2640 Threatens Gun Owners


Pennsylvania Case Reveals How McCarthy Bill Could Threaten All Gun Owners
— Troubling questions in HR 2640 still go unanswered

“For the first time [in history, HR 2640], if enacted, would statutorily impose a lifetime gun ban on battle-scarred veterans.” — Military Order of the Purple Heart, June 18, 2007


1. Even if you have already sent an e-mail to your Senators on the McCarthy bill, please send another such as the one at the end of this alert. Yes, you might have already taken action on HR 2640. But if you (and many other gun owners like yourself) haven’t taken any action recently, then NO ONE is taking action. After all, the NRA is supporting this bill, so they’re not rustlin’ up the troops in opposition to this massive gun control bill. Remember the immigration fight — it took weeks of continued activism to kill that bill. This fight may very well be the same.

2. Please try to get as many of your friends as you can to join with you in this effort to kill the McCarthy bill (HR 2640). Now that Senators are returning from their July 4th holiday, we need to get as many gun owners as possible to remind them that HR 2640 is unacceptable!


Now that Congress returns to work this week, your liberties are in jeopardy once again!

You will remember that before the Independence Day break, the House of Representatives passed a McCarthy gun control bill (HR 2640) without any hearings, without any committee action… they put it on the Suspension Calendar and simply got a non-recorded voice vote.

An important part of the legislative process is to introduce a bill in committee, to get both public and private observers to ask questions, make recommendations and offer comments on the bill.

But for some reason, HR 2640 was not given this benefit. The bill was rammed through the legislature with very few Representatives present on the House floor… there was no recorded vote at all!

So it’s not surprising that, having skipped much of the legislative process, there are still a lot of unanswered questions regarding HR 2640. In fact, these questions have only been magnified after an offhanded, tongue-in-cheek remark made at the Harrisburg Community College in Pennsylvania cost a man his gun rights for life in that state.

Newspapers last month reported that Horatio Miller allegedly said that it could be “worse than Virginia Tech” if someone broke into his car, because there were guns there. It is not clear whether he was making a threat against a person who might burglarize his car, or if he was simply saying that the bad guy could do a lot of damage because of the guns he would find there. Nevertheless, Miller was arrested, but not charged with anything.

The comment Miller made was certainly not the smartest thing to say. But realize, we don’t incarcerate people for making stupid statements in this country — at least not yet. Miller was a concealed carry permit holder who, as such, had passed vigorous background checks into his past history. Miller does not have a criminal record.

Regardless, the county district attorney did not like what he had said, so, according to the Harrisburg Patriot News on June 20, “I contacted the sheriff and had his license to carry a firearm revoked. And I asked police to commit him under Section 302 of the mental health procedures act and that was done. He is now ineligible to possess firearms [for life] because he was committed involuntarily.”

Get that?

Pennsylvania is operating exactly the way Rep. McCarthy’s bill (HR 2640) could treat all Americans. You might be thinking, I’ve never had a mental illness… I’m not a military veteran… I’ve never been on Ritalin… hey, I have nothing to worry about under the McCarthy bill. Right?

Well, think again.


The Pennsylvania case shows how all gun owners could be threatened by HR 2640. After all, did you ever tell anyone that the Second Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights because the Founders (such as James Madison) wanted the people to be able to overturn a tyrannical American government?

Or, while you were watching the nightly news — and getting a detailed account of all the crime in your area — did you ever make a statement such as, “If someone were to break through my door, I’d blow him away!”

Well, those kinds of statements will certainly make anti-gun nuts think you’re a potential danger to yourself or others. So if you make the local district attorney or police officer nervous, how difficult would it be for him to get a psychiatrist (most of whom are very left-wing) to say that you are a danger to yourself and to others?

Or, would the district attorney even need to get a psychiatrist? One of the outrageous aspects of the McCarthy bill is that Section 3(2) codifies existing federal regulations. And existing federal code says it only takes a “lawful authority” to “adjudicate” someone as a mental defective.(1) And another section of the bill makes it clear this “adjudication” does not need to be made by a formal court, but can simply be a “determination” — such as a medical diagnosis.(2)

Consider how significant this is. The BATFE has been quietly attempting to amend the federal code by regulatory fiat for years, but they’ve been somewhat restrained in their ability to interpret these regulations because they are, after all, regulations (and not statutory law).

But with HR 2640, much of the pablum that BATFE bureaucrats have quietly added to the code over the years will now become the LAW OF THE LAND — even though those regs were never submitted to a legislative committee or scrutinized in legislative hearings or debated on the floor of the House of Representatives.

When one looks at the federal regs cited above, there are a lot of questions that still remain unanswered. What kinds of people can fall into this category of “other lawful authority” that can deem someone to be a mental defective? Certainly, it would seem to apply to Veterans Administration shrinks. After all, the federal government already added more than 80,000 veterans with Post Traumatic Stress into the NICS system in 2000.

But who else could be classified as a “lawful authority”? A school counselor? A district attorney? What about a legislator, a city councilman or a cop? They are certainly “authorities” in their own right. Could the words “lawful authority” also apply to them?

Do we really want to risk the Second Amendment on the question of what the words “lawful authority” in 27 CFR 478.11 mean — once they have been “statutized” by HR 2640 and BATF is no longer under ANY constraint and can read it as broadly as they want?

If the “lawful authority” thinks you pose a danger to yourself or others (or can’t manage your own affairs) then your gun rights could be gone.

In its open letter of May 9, 2007, BATFE makes it clear that this “danger” doesn’t have to be “imminent” or “substantial,” but can include “any danger” at all. How many shrinks — using the Pennsylvania standard — are going to say that a pro-gun American like you, who believes the Second Amendment is the last defense against tyranny, DOESN’T POSE AT LEAST AN INFINITESIMAL RISK of hurting someone else?

As easy as that, your gun rights would be gone forever.

HR 2640 is Janet Reno’s dream. Does somebody make a politician nervous? Get a prescription pad, get your friendly left-wing psychiatrist to make the “dangerous” diagnosis, and it’s all over. Expungement will be virtually impossible. Just turn in your guns.


(1) See 27 CFR 478.11.
(2) See Section 101(c)(1)(C).

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Supporters of the McCarthy bill are hanging their hat on language which purports to help disqualified people to get their rights restored. So GOA has built a special section on its website that gets to the truth on this issue and informs gun owners of the dangers in HR 2640. Please go to to learn what the specifics of the bill are, who its main supporters are, answers to claims made by proponents of the bill, who faces the greatest risk of being disqualified for buying a gun, and more.

CONTACT INFORMATION: You can use the pre-written letter below to help direct your comments to your two U.S. Senators. Please visit the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center to send your Senators the pre-written e-mail message below.

—– Pre-written letter —–

Dear Senator:

The Military Order of the Purple Heart got it right when it stated that for the first time in history, HR 2640 “would statutorily impose a lifetime gun ban on battle-scarred veterans.”

The Military Order of the Purple Heart, which is chartered by Congress, is urging the DEFEAT of HR 2640, the Brady-expansion legislation introduced by anti-gun Rep. Carolyn McCarthy.

Despite what you may have heard elsewhere, this bill THREATENS gun owners’ rights and represents one of the biggest gun bans in history.

A recent case in Pennsylvania shows how easily a gun owner can be slapped with a LIFETIME gun ban, without any due process, based solely on a mere accusation by a shrink or other “lawful authority.” For more information on this — and for a point-by-point analysis of HR 2640 — please go to the website of Gun Owners of America.

All the background checks in the world will NOT stop bad guys from getting firearms. Severe restrictions in Washington, DC, England, Canada, Germany and other places have not stopped evil people from using guns to commit murder.

Again, I hope you will OPPOSE the McCarthy bill (HR 2640). Thank you.



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