Gillibrand’s Gun Control Bill

Some details are outlined here on her site, which contains some idea of what’s in this MAIG backed bill. I don’t have language of the bill yet, and exactly how bad this will be will depend on that exact language, but here is at least an idea:

  • Makes it illegal to traffick or assist in the trafficking of a firearm, making it unlawful to deliver or receive two or more firearms where the individual knows or has reason to believe that the firearms are being, or will be, used in a felony. [Isn’t this already against the law?]
  • Second, the legislation establishes stiff penalties that are a much-needed deterrent to gun trafficking.  Under this bill, traffickers could face up to twenty years in prison and be fined a significant sum of money.  It also provides greater penalties for kingpins who organize gun trafficking rings, subjecting them to an additional sentence of potentially five consecutive years in prison.  Penalties could increase depending on the number of guns trafficked. [What’s the definition of gun trafficker for the purposes of this bill?]
  • The bill also treats individuals engaged in a conspiracy to traffic guns the same as those who actually traffick a gun. [Again, what’s trafficking guns?]
  • Third, the Attorney General of the United States and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are empowered to impose heightened restrictions, levy tough financial penalties, and suspend or revoke the license of any corrupt gun dealer.  Corrupt gun dealers will be subject to a license suspension of up to six months and a fine of up to $2,500 per violation.  This is the first time that the levying of civil penalties will be widely available as a deterrent for corrupt gun dealers. [This is part of NRA backed ATF reform, but who gets to decide the penalty? How are they so empowered? The devil will be in the details with this. Right now all ATF has is license revocation and criminal charges. There is no civil penalty structure for minor violations.]
  • The Attorney General is given the authority to identify and impose special restrictions on high-risk gun dealers, which could include dealers who have been unable to trace guns as required by federal law or who report significant or frequent inventory losses or thefts, among other criteria. [How broad is this authority, and what does it encompass? Again, the devil will be in the details.]
  • To prevent these high-risk dealers from supplying guns to traffickers, federal law enforcement would be able to impose conditions on them such as increased inspections, inventory checks and reconciliation, training dealers and employees in how to avoid illegal sales, and requiring that the dealer not complete firearm sales until the national instant background check system informs the dealer that they may proceed with the sale. [How do we define corrupt gun dealers? That’s loaded language. Will this bill make it legally impossible to run a gun business in an urban area? If that’s the case, this is a defacto gun ban for the poor and urban. That’s NOT acceptable.]
  • To address this problem, the bill would authorize the Director of ATF to hire more personnel necessary to increase the average inspection rate of gun dealers to three years. [I don’t have a problem with every three years, but what regulations will they be prescribing with this new bill?]
  • Finally, the legislation upholds the Constitution and protects the rights of law-abiding gun owners.  Specifically, the bill provides a defense for an individual seller who obtains a background check on the person to whom he or she is selling prior to the sale. [Specific defense? It’s currently a defense that the seller had no way of knowing they were selling to a prohibited person, are we imposing strict liability now on a sale that ends up being used in a felony? That’s a backdoor ban on private transfers and is not acceptable.]

My take on this legislation? Bloomberg knows that in short order we’ll be moving in to dismantle New York City’s gun control laws through the courts. He may be able to keep some restrictions, but for the most part, if someone wants to be able to own or carry a gun in New York City, there’s not much the city is going to be able to do to stop or frustrate them. Given that, it’s quite likely Bloomberg is going to appeal to the “conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms” language in Heller in order to try to make operating a gun store in an urban area so legally risky and subject to extreme regulation, that no one can make a living doing it. The Second Amendment can’t effectively mean anything if it doesn’t mean there’s also a right to manufacture, distribute and ultimately sell firearms, even if there are is some legal regulations and qualifications that the government may constitutionally apply to the process. Bloomberg wants to effectively destroy that right in urban areas through regulation of commercial sale.

33 thoughts on “Gillibrand’s Gun Control Bill”

  1. Mayor Bloomberg is going to have some problems with that strategy when Mr. Gura is successful in overturning the ban on out of state residents purchasing firearms in other states…

    Ride train, get NICS, get gun, return to Penn Station…


  2. It strikes me as “we want to pass another bill because we can’t get anyone to enforce the ones we passed already.”

    Gillibrand is certainly making a name for herself … and entrenching herself into NY politics. Unfortunately, bills like this won’t hurt her in NY.

  3. I know you don’t like it, but some people are still arguing about the fact that an individual interpretation of the 2nd Amendment may be the result of a several-decades-long con job.

    Now you’re saying this:

    “The Second Amendment can’t effectively mean anything if it doesn’t mean there’s also a right to manufacture, distribute and ultimately sell firearms, even if there are is some legal regulations and qualifications that the government may constitutionally apply to the process.”

    You pro-gun guys are supposed to be more literal in your reading of the Amendments. Don’t you think this is a bit much, also covering manufacture, distribution and sales?

  4. Right to own something that can’t be purchased is no right. Thus, a right to own means a right to purchase. In many ways it’s easier to determine what infringes on the ability to purchase…

    OTOH, I think one of the bits of fallout from this will be a lifting on the ban of interstate handgun sales. Call me an optimist, I suppose.

  5. I know you don’t like it, but some people are still arguing about the fact that an individual interpretation of the 2nd Amendment may be the result of a several-decades-long con job.

    They can argue all they like. Some people still argue that men have fewer ribs than women because God took one from Adam.

    Don’t you think this is a bit much, also covering manufacture, distribution and sales?

    It’s an absurdity to think that the right to own and use an item allows for prohibitive regulation of the production of that item. Do you think the First Amendment freedom of the press allows for the deliberate “diminishment” of publication through burdensome regulation of paper, ink, and type production?

  6. I have read a few sources that claim this bill would also deny gun rights to those on the “terror suspect watch list.”

    But I can’t vouch for the source (below). While Gillibrand does discuss the bill on her website, it’s not impossible that she didn’t highlight the terror watch list aspect (because it’s controversial … or maybe a poison pill).

    Unfortunately, I cannot find the text of the bill yet. Anyone find it?

  7. MikeB:

    The people still arguing the Second Amendment isn’t an individual right are wearing no clothes by this point. They didn’t get a single justice to buy into a collective or militia rights view. The 5-4 split was whether the 2A meant DC could ban handguns.

    Plus, come on Mike, think about what you’re saying about manufacture, distribution and sale? Would you still have a right to free speech and free press if you could still own and read books, but not publish, distribute or sell them? Yes, the right to own is necessarily the right to manufacture, distribute, and sell.

  8. Sebastian, PLEASE tell me the above comment didn’t take you so much effort and research to be “Useful” in your debating skills.

    Now of course I in no way advocate a ban on MikeB, he is useful in he shows the total lack of mental prowess and logic on the anti-gun side. But in what way does this justify propping up a controlled and dishonest website that essentially only exists because of our own traffic?

  9. For what it’s worth, Weerd, I think Sebastian’s right on this one. Commenting at Mike’s place has proven an absolute exercise in futility, but that doesn’t have to be the case here.

    Mike ignores inconvenient evidence at his own place, and the next day it’s yet another baseless attack on gun owners, allowing him to control the direction of the conversation. In other people’s blogs, ignoring a good refutation will stand out: an intellectually honest person is controlling the direction of the conversation. Plus, Sebastian has a much larger voice. Leave Mike’s blog alone, and nobody will really notice. Leave his attacks unanswered here, and it looks like we _can’t_ answer them. The math is different.

    I agree with you that commenting on his blog does more harm than good, but I think answering his “away game” comments does more good than harm. As long as Sebastian has the patience to deal with responding to the same debunked ideas day after day, I’m happy he chooses to. It takes much more patience than I have.

  10. I will go father than Elmo – responding on his blog is worthwhile as well; as long as the comments don’t get stuffed into the oubliette. Leaving the points unrebutted on his page is worse than not responding here.

  11. My opinion of responding at his place is based mostly on the fact that he seems to get very little traffic apart from gunnies debunking him and a small handful of back-patting ultra-liberal bloggers. If my assumption’s wrong, so’s my conclusion.

    Either way, if somebody has the superhuman patience to carefully rebut the same arguments over and over and over again in a venue that Mike controls without slipping into the kind of frustrated namecalling that “confirms” the angry-gun-nut stereotype, that’s absolutely fantastic, and will be a better option than ignoring him _anywhere_. It’s more patience than I have.

  12. Can we discuss the Gillibrand/McCarthy bill? Why allow aberrant commentators to totally detrack this thread?

    Has anyone found the text of the bill?

  13. Elmo that’s all I’m asking for. Sebastian berated me for calling for a boycott of his WEBSITE of which gunnies like us and Sebastian are responsible for driving up his traffic.

    I’m all for, and intentionally engage him outside his blog where he cannot manipulate our comments and arguments as he sees fit.

    I’m not calling for an echo-chamber, but the very opposite.

  14. Weer’d,

    I wasn’t berating you, I just don’t agree that a boycott is necessary. I don’t link to MikeB all that often, though I sometimes comment on his blog, and respond to him here. What’s the point of boycotting him? I view him as relatively harmless, even if I think he’s deeply flawed in his rhetoric and thinking much of the time.

    1. Where is the berating part of the post, Weer’d Beard? I read that post many times and found it to be a simple disagreement in how to respond to and engage so-called trolls on pro-gun blogs. To claim that Sebastian was berating you in that post is rather extreme language.

  15. I didn’t take kindly to being insinuated as one who wishes to create an Echo Chamber or somehow avoid those who have differing views than myself.

    Maybe my verbiage was less than ideal, but I think we can get above a semantic argument here.

  16. I apologize if you were offended by it, but it wasn’t meant to be an accusation that you, or anyone else, were trying to create an echo chamber.

    I know these aren’t your words, but I get concerned when I hear something like MikeB is “not a person who wants a real debate, or who can be swayed to a more 2A-friendly mindset.”

    Personally, I don’t care if MikeB isn’t persuaded, and just want’s to believe in the anti-gun nonsense religiously. That applies to most people who are deeply convinced that guns in society are a net negative. The real question is what we have to lose/gain by engaging them. I certainly won’t blame anyone if MikeB has exhausted their patience, but that doesn’t mean I see the sense in waging a campaign against him. That strikes me a much more a product of emotion than of careful thought.

  17. I don’t think Sebastian Reads. And you haven’t for Months.

    Tho if any of the Common Readers between Weer’d World and Snowflakes in Hell would like to boycott me I welcome that freedom.

    Oddly enugh, I gave a reason why I’m boycotting your blog, and I WAS a regular reader and commenter.

    You have a reason Mike, or are we just talking spite?

  18. When I said, “let’s all boycott Weer’d’s blog” I was joking. I suspect Sebastian knew that, even though he answered with a simple “no.” But it seems Weer’d and Ian didn’t. That’s really funny. You guys are seriously lacking in the sense-of-humor department.

    The point of the joke, which was lost on most of you, was to highlight how foolish Weer’d has been in all this. For self-proclaimed pro-freedom people to talk about boycotts and to censor comments, all the while criticizing others for doing it, is the height of hypocrisy.

  19. For a variety of reasons, if you want to make a joke in a text-only medium, make it a little more obvious that you’re trying…

  20. Ian, this is MikeB’s childish MO, he makes an insulting statement then claims it was just a joke, and then points a finger at any rational people in the discussion.

    It wasn’t ment as a joke, it was just yet another troll.

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