Anti-gun Democrats Push Bill to Criminalize Private Sales (H.R. 8)

Democrat Rep. Mike Thompson of California has introduced a Universal Background Checks bill (H.R. 8) — a bill that could, if enforced to the letter, put millions of gun owners in prison.

House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi has put her full support behind this bill, tweeting that,

It is truly blessing to have former Rep. @GabbyGiffords join us to introduce #HR8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, eight years after the Tucson shooting.

While there are many dangerous ramifications to this bill, at its core, the bill would criminalize private sales without first getting government permission.

Even more than that, the bill would outlaw the “transfer” of a firearm without a Brady Check. [See the proposed language for 18 U.S.C. 922(t)(1)(A) in Section 3 of H.R. 8.]

The term “transfer” is nowhere defined, but it’s clear from the bill that handing your gun to a neighbor for as little as one second is a “transfer” unless you’re covered by one of the bill’s so-called exceptions.

So if you hand your firearm to a friend while you both are cleaning weapons, and then go into the kitchen to get another towel, you’re a criminal and can go to prison for up to a year under 18 U.S.C. 924(a)(5).

Now, for the supposed “exceptions” in the bill which will do gun owners no good.

THE “EMERGENCY” EXCEPTION: If you hand a firearm to a friend because you hear a noise in your house in the middle of the night — and the noise turns out to be your teenage son — you’re a criminal. [See the proposed language for 18 U.S.C. 922(t)(2)(D) in Section 3 of H.R. 8.]

(NOTE: If you transfer a gun in the face of an emergency, it can’t be a false alarm.)

THE “HUNTING” EXCEPTION: If you hand your gun to a hunting partner, and, unknown to you, he doesn’t have a hunting license, you’re a criminal. [See the proposed language for 18 U.S.C. 922(t)(2)(F)(ii)(II) in Section 3 of H.R. 8.]

If you hand your gun to a hunting partner who is a veteran and, unknown to you, he has been stripped of his gun rights by the Veterans Administration, you’re a criminal.

THE “RELATIVE” EXCEPTION: If you give a gun to any family member who is not covered by the bill, you’re a criminal. So if you give a gun to your stepson or daughter-in-law, you’ve committed a crime. If you give a gun to your great-grandson, you’re a criminal. [See the proposed language for 18 U.S.C. 922(t)(2)(B) in Section 3 of H.R. 8.]

If you buy any gun from anyone without signing the form the Attorney General orders you to sign, you’re a criminal. [See the proposed language for 18 U.S.C. 922(t)(4) in Section 3 of H.R. 8.]

If you live in a remote area, it appears that both the buyer and the seller will have to take a day off of work, pay a fee that can be set at any amount, and hope that you’re not one of the 8% of all purchasers who gets a “yellow” indicator from the FBI for no particular reason.

And the previous paragraph is true even if you’re giving your gun to your next-door neighbor whom you’ve known for your lifetime.

NATIONAL GUN REGISTRY: Under H.R. 8, since every gun transfer will go through a dealer, every gun owner will have a 4473. We know that the ATF, in connection with annual inspections conducted under federal law, is increasingly copying these forms to its database in a centrally accessible format. See examples here.

So here’s the problem: if everyone has a 4473, everyone is potentially in the database. Even the Obama Administration recognized this in 2013, when a leaked memo from the Justice Department revealed its assessment of Universal Background Checks:

Effectiveness depends on the ability to reduce straw purchasing, requiring gun registration …. (Emphasis added.)

Regardless, gun grabbers today are trying to put a new spin on Universal Registration Checks. They claim that section 5(1) in the bill prohibits registration.

The problem is that the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 CURRENTLY prohibits a national gun registry. And yet, the ATF is not interpreting that prohibition from preventing it from doing what it’s already doing.

So if the current prohibition isn’t effective, why would anyone suppose that putting it in the law a second time would make any difference?

Are we putting the ATF on double super-secret probation?

Please contact your Congressman in opposition to H.R. 8. You can reach him or her at 202-225-3121.