This Draconian Bill Would Turn Millions of Peaceful Gun Owners Into Felons
A gun control bill that Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D–Texas) recently introduced gives you an idea of what Democrats might do if they did not have to worry about the Second Amendment. The Sabika Sheikh Firearm Licensing and Registration Act would establish a national database that is supposed to include every gun in the country, make it a felony to own a firearm or ammunition without a license from the Justice Department, ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and “ammunition that is 0.50 caliber or greater,” and criminalize possession of a “military-style weapon” without a special license. Violating the bill’s provisions would be punishable by hefty fines and long minimum prison sentences, which Lee ordinarily claims to oppose.
The registration requirement applies to both currently owned firearms and guns purchased after the bill takes effect. The bill would give current owners three months to report “the make, model, and serial number of the firearm, the identity of the owner of the firearm, the date the firearm was acquired by the owner, and where the firearm is or will be stored” as well as “the identity of any person to whom, and any period of time during which, the firearm will be loaned to the person.” New buyers would have to report that information on the date of purchase. Failure to comply would be punishable by a minimum fine of $75,000, a minimum prison sentence of 15 years, or both.
Licenses would be limited to people 21 or older who pass a criminal background check, undergo a “psychological examination,” complete at least 24 hours of training, and pay an $800 “fee” for liability insurance. The examination, which may include assessing “other members of the household in which the individual resides,” would be conducted by a government-approved psychologist charged with determining whether the applicant is “psychologically unsuited to possess a firearm.”
The psychologist would be required to interview “any spouse of the individual, any former spouse of the individual, and at least 2 other persons who are a member of the family of, or an associate of, the individual to further determine the state of the mental, emotional, and relational stability of the individual in relation to firearms.” Denial of a license would be mandatory if the applicant has ever been “hospitalized” because of “conduct that endangers self or others,” a “brain disease” such as “dementia or Alzheimer’s,” or a “mental illness, disturbance, or diagnosis,” including (but not necessarily limited to) depression, homicidal ideation, suicidal ideation, attempted suicide, and addiction to a controlled substance or alcohol.
That disqualification goes far beyond the psychiatric restrictions that federal law currently imposes on gun ownership, which are already overly broad but apply only to people who have undergone court-ordered treatment. Lee is saying that anyone who has ever been treated in a hospital for any of these conditions, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, should never be allowed to own a gun, no matter how long ago it was and regardless of his current mental state.
In addition to those mandatory disqualifications, the attorney general “may” deny a gun license to someone who “has a chronic mental illness or disturbance, or a brain disease,” is addicted to drugs or alcohol, has attempted suicide, or has “engaged in conduct that posed a danger to self or others,” as determined by “prior psychological treatment or evaluation.” That casts the net even wider, since it includes people who were never hospitalized for these reasons and leaves open the question of how the government determines that someone is “addicted” or has a “mental illness or disturbance.” According to some estimates, nearly half of Americans qualify for a psychiatric diagnosis at some point in their lives, which gives you a sense of how expansively “mental illness” is defined but is hardly a sound basis for denying people their Second Amendment rights
Article from Latest – Reason.com