February 12, 2021
By Mark Chesnut
While President Joe Biden will likely rise to the ranks of firearms salesman of the year just like his old boss Barack Obama did, I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the probable firearms instructor of the year and firearms insurance salesman of the year.
We reported a week or so ago how Joe Biden had tapped radically anti-gun judge Merrick Garland as his Attorney General, thereby putting him in position to oversee the Justice Department. You might remember Garland as the judge Obama nominated for the Supreme Court back at the end of his term when Justice Antonin Scalia passed away. Pro-gun advocates, with help from Republicans in the Senate, were able to stop that nomination dead in its tracks. Yet, now Garland has apparently managed to crawl out of the ash heap of history right into the AG’s office.
We also recently told you about HR 127, Sheila Jackson Lee’s horrible anti-gun measure that would pile just about every anti-gun scheme ever discussed upon America’s law-abiding gun owners in one fell swoop. Among other things, it would require licensing of gun owners, registration of firearms, gun safety classes as a condition of firearms ownership and even a mandatory insurance policy for all gun owners.
While both of those were very bad pieces of news, the place where these two stories intersect represents a grave danger to those who appreciate the rights protected by the Second Amendment and don’t want to see them go away anytime soon. Here’s what I mean by that.
A little study of Jackson Lee’s legislation reveals that she puts much of the actual legwork of her gun-ban schemes directly into the hands of Garland as AG, and he likely will be thrilled to help her dash gun owners’ rights yet a little more. After all, he has made it clear in the past that he doesn’t believe the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own a firearm. That being the case, he likely wouldn’t consider these unconstitutional proposals to be bad.
The legislation states: “The Attorney General, through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, shall establish a system for licensing the possession of firearms or ammunition in the United States, and for the registration with the Bureau of each firearm present in the United States.” One section of the measure that details the licensing scheme requires those wanting a license to “successfully complete a training course, certified by the Attorney General, in the use, safety, and storage of firearms, that includes at least 24 hours of training…”
Gun-rights advocates have fought training requirements as a provision for gun ownership for decades because of how easy it would be for an anti-gun administration to make the test impossible to pass or even refuse to test people, thereby leaving them disqualified. The thought of a Biden administration official deciding the requirements of this 24-hour training course should scare all gun owners.
What about the insurance? According to the legislation, “The Attorney General shall issue to any person who has applied for a license pursuant to subsection (c) and has paid to the Attorney General the fee specified in paragraph (2) of this subsection [$800] a policy that insures the person against liability for losses and damages resulting from the use of any firearm by the person during the 1-year period that begins with the date the policy is issued.” Cha-ching! Chalk up another $800 per year for being a firearm owner, above and beyond all the licensing and registration fees. And be ready for the AG to not sell insurance to those he doesn’t think should have a license.
Oh yeah, there is a psychiatric evaluation that would be required to qualify for a license. And you guessed it: “The evaluation is conducted in compliance with such standards as shall be established by the Attorney General.” Apparently Garland is not only an expert on firearms training and insurance sales, but is a genius in psychiatry as well.
I know one thing for sure: If Jackson Lee’s measure were to pass the Democrat-led House and Senate and be signed into law by Biden, Garland would be a dang busy fellow, what with organizing all those gun classes and spending lots of the rest of his time selling insurance to gun owners who don’t even want it. Perhaps instructor of the year and insurance salesman of the year are, indeed, within his grasp.
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for the past 20 years.