Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Manchin-Toomey Gun Bill

The Manchin-Toomey Gun Bill went down to defeat today, as should any gobbledygook called a bill.

From the text:
SEC. 121. PURPOSE.
The purpose of this subtitle is to enhance the current background check process in the United States to ensure criminals and the mentally ill are not able to purchase firearms.
SEC. 122. FIREARMS TRANSFERS.
(a) In General.-Section 922 of title 18, United States Code, is amended-
(1) by repealing subsection (s);
(2) by redesignating subsection (t) as subsection (s);
(3) in subsection (s), as redesignated-
(A) in paragraph (1)(B)-
(i) in clause (i), by striking "or";
(ii) in clause (ii), by striking "and" at the end; and
(iii) by adding at the end the following:...

"(C) In this paragraph-
"(i) the term ‘interactive computer service' shall have the meaning given the term in section 230(f) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 230(f)); and
"(ii) the terms ‘qualified civil liability action', ‘qualified product', and ‘seller' shall have the meanings given the terms in section 4 of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (15 U.S.C. 7903).
"(D) Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to affect the immunity of a provider of an interactive computer service under section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 230)....

(c) Prohibition of National Gun Registry.-Section 923 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
"(m) The Attorney General may not consolidate or centralize the records of the-
"(1) acquisition or disposition of firearms, or any portion thereof, maintained by-
"(A) a person with a valid, current license under this chapter;
"(B) an unlicensed transferor under section 922(t); or
"(2) possession or ownership of a firearm, maintained by any medical or health insurance entity.".
That last is interesting: Section (c)(m)(A):
" Prohibition of National Gun Registry.-Section 923 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
"(m) The Attorney General may not consolidate or centralize the records of the-
"(1) acquisition or disposition of firearms, or any portion thereof, maintained by-
"(A) a person with a valid, current license under this chapter;"
So that means that, contrary to the assertion that a national gun registry is prohibited, in fact this would allow the creation of a national gun registry -albeit an incomplete one- by consolidating and centralizing the records of gun dealers who go out of business. Such dealers are required to turn their records in. So this bill would have done exactly what it claims to have prohibited. And it only prohibits the Attorney General from acting, not other departments or agencies.

If interested, you can find the text of the 7800 word bill here.

UPDATE: Dave Kopel has much more at Volokh Conspiracy. It's even worse than I wrote.

UPDATE II: Kopel links to this additional analysis, but it deserves its own link here. As the author, Michael E. Hammond of Gun Owners of America, wrote:
Second, whatever ATF thinks it’s compiling with the 4473’s it does not regard it as a “national gun registry,” even though we regard it as such. I drafted the language in McClure-Volkmer prohibiting national gun registries. I also drafted the first draft of the Smith/Tiarht amendment doing the same. ATF does not regard itself as violating these. Third, with respect to making unauthorized copying a crime, the person who will determine whether the Department of Justice is prosecuted is Attorney General Eric Holder (who, by the way, is the head of the Department of Justice).

Labels: ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home