It sounds innocuous. Congressman Bobby Rush (D-IL), on January 6, 2009, quietly filed the Blair Holt Firearm Licensing & Record of Sale Act of 2009 (H.R. 45) in the United States House of Representatives.
While the nation has been distracted by the bailouts, the stimulus, the AIG bonuses, and Britney Spears' comeback, Congressman's Rush's legislation has been winding its way through Congress. Right now it is before the Judiciary Committee.
Should the legislation become law, the second amendment would be fundamentally damaged. While distracted by pocketbook issues, Americans might want to pay attention to this.
Bobby Rush is the only man in America to have ever defeated Barack Obama for office. Beating him in a race for Congress, Rush quickly established himself as a far left Congressman. Like Barack Obama, Rush affiliated himself with the left-wing New Party in Chicago,which was a reconstituted version of the Communist Party USA after the collapse of the Soviet Union. He is not exactly a champion of individual liberty.
H.R. 45, Rush's legislation, is named for Blair Holt. According to H. R. 45, "on the afternoon of May 10, 2007, Blair Holt, a junior at Julian High School in Chicago, was killed on a public bus riding home from school when he used his body to shield a girl who was in the line of fire after a young man boarded the bus and started shooting." The legislation goes on to state as legislative findings that gun violence is epidemic, it mingles in interstate and intrastate commerce, and it is an appropriate function of the federal government to regulate guns. In fact, the legislation specifically states that
firearms trafficking is prevalent and widespread in and among the States, and it is usually impossible to distinguish between intrastate trafficking and interstate trafficking; and it is in the national interest and within the role of the Federal Government to ensure that the regulation of firearms is uniform among the States, that law enforcement can quickly and effectively trace firearms used in crime, and that firearms owners know how to use and safely store their firearms.
Never mind whether any of that is true. What Rush proposes is sweeping legislation handing control over firearms regulations to the Attorney General of the United States.
Under H. R. 45, it would be against the law to keep a gun in a person's house if a child lived in the house, unless the owner kept the gun locked away. Likewise, the legislation would give the Attorney General the power to have federal agents show up on the premises of any place where "firearms or firearm products are manufactured, stored, or held, for distribution in commerce, and inspect those areas." (See § 403).
Couple that with the fact that Eric Holder, the present Attorney General, has spoken out against the second amendment and is widely considered by the second amendment crowd to be the most anti-gun Attorney General ever, and you have a recipe for serious bureaucratic malfeasance.
More onerous, individual American citizens would be forced to register with the United States Attorney General to obtain permission to keep a gun. It would be a criminal offense if the person failed to or if the person moved homes and failed to notify the Department of Justice. Even more troubling, each time a person sold a gun, whether by private or public sale, the person would have to report the sale and pay a $25.00 fee to the feds.
Oh, and let's not forget that Congressman Rush believes everyone wanting to purchase a firearm must undergo a mental evaluation.
Just last year the United States Supreme Court ruled that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right of American citizens to protect themselves and their property. The Court suggested reasonable regulations were appropriate. One wonders if the Court would think this legislation, which amounts to an impossible burden on the right to keep guns and a massive incursion by the federal government into an area designated as a state issue by the Constitution, is constitutional.