10/00 S. 2099 — A Bill to License Handguns

S. 2099 — A Bill to License Handguns
Larry Pratt

Senate bill 2099 caused quite a stir toward the end of this Congress shortly before its overdue adjournment. Although it had been introduced quite some time ago, someone much later on posted its contents on the internet, and S. 2099 became a phenomenon.

S. 2099 would treat handguns the same way federal law treats machine guns. Ownership of a handgun would require a license from the Treasury Department costing, at least at first, $50. One would also have to submit fingerprints and a photo as well as submit to a background check done by the FBI.

I can see it now. The lines will be stretched for blocks outside the too many federal buildings we have throughout our land. People waiting to get their registration forms. And at the head of the lines, criminals — all of them eager to get their paperwork in order. Not.

Until the gun grabbers produce convincing evidence that they have figured out how to keep the bad guys from getting guns in England, we must assume that they want our guns because they do not trust us. England has confiscated all handguns and everything else but for a few shotguns. Yet their violent crime rate is now above ours. We need to be convinced that the same thing will not happen here before we even consider cooperating with an unconstitutional law requiring licensing and registering gun owners.

While S. 2099 went nowhere this year, unlike many pro-gun Republicans who won’t fight unless they are assured of victory the first time out, Democratic Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island has promised to be back with his bill next year. Stay tuned.