We have the final language of the McCarthy Bill, as introduced in Congress. A key aspect to this proposed law, which I have not touched on before, is perhaps the most important aspect of it:
(v)(1)(A)(i) Except as provided in clause (ii), it shall be unlawful for a person to transfer or possess a large capacity ammunition feeding device.
The law begins with the default presumption that it is illegal to possess a “large capacity ammunition feeding device.” That you possessed the magazine prior to the ban would be an affirmative defense to the charge in court that you possessed a magazine with 11 rounds or more. You could be arrested and charged for possessing one, and be forced to prove in court that you owned it prior to the ban. The original assault weapons ban contained this:
(4) If a person charged with violating paragraph (1) asserts that paragraph (1) does not apply to such person because of paragraph (2) or (3), the Government shall have the burden of proof to show that such paragraph (1) applies to such person. The lack of a serial number as described in section 923(i) of title 18, United States Code, shall be a presumption that the large capacity ammunition feeding device is not subject to the prohibition of possession in paragraph (1)
McCarthy’s bill contains no such exemption, which puts the burden on you to prove you fall under one of these two exemptions. Carolyn McCarthy has been on NPR saying that the things bloggers have been saying about her bill aren’t true. She knows damned well they are true, and so do the anti-gun groups. The purpose of this bill is to try to get more of us thrown in federal prison.
I am not naive enough to believe that they merely don’t know how to draft laws. Dennis Henigan is not a fool or an idiot. He knows federal guns laws, and I would be very surprised if McCarthy’s staffers didn’t consult with the Brady Center on this bill. By removing the original grandfathering and protections that were in the original 1994 ban, the effect is vastly different than what we lived under with that regime. Under this law, you may really only possess 11 round or greater magazines, unless you have proof you possessed them prior, at the arbitrary discretion of the authorities. How many magazines do you have documentation for?
Remember when they call for “common ground,” and “common sense,” they want you in prison. They are at the height of their disingenuousnessÂ when they use this kind of language in the debate. If I were a lawyer, and I was your lawyer, I’d suggest the safe thing to do is throw all your magazines that hold 11 rounds or more in a river, along with your Henry Rifles, if you wanted to be completely safe from
prosecution persecution in the even this bill were, God forbid, to actually pass.
Proving it was manufactured before a certain date is not enough, and the burden is on you to prove you had it prior, and possession and transfer are felonies otherwise. If you can’t prove ownership, it’ll be illegal for you to have it, for all intents and purposes, under McCarthy’s proposed law. The grandfathering provided here is actually meaningless. This bill effectively bans all magazines that hold more than 11 rounds, turning millions and millions of Americans into potential felony prosecutions.Â NRA has put out a letter to Capitol Hill announcing opposition to the bill, telling members to expect more from their office in the coming week. I hope among the information supplied to members is just how radical and draconian McCarthy’s bill really is. We have to fight this tooth and nail, and continue to drive these people into political extinction.