February 03, 2021
By Mark Chesnut
If you’re not living under a rock and still get occasional news from some credible source other than so-called “mainstream” media, you’ve likely heard of House Resolution 127 introduced by U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas.
My first thought when hearing about the legislation was, “How bad could it be?” After all, Lee has in the past proven herself profoundly ignorant of all things firearms related, so surely she couldn’t come up with a measure that would be taken seriously by anyone.
Full disclosure, the measure is chock full of provisions so ridiculous that reading it can make you want to laugh more than it makes you want to cry. Unfortunately, with the party of gun bans and forced buy-backs now controlling the House, Senate and White House, things we used to see as funny aren’t quite so entertaining anymore.
So, what part of the measure is worst? It certainly could be the blatantly illegal firearms registration mandated by the legislation. That portion states in no uncertain terms, “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.”
That provision further states: “Under the firearm registration system, the owner of a firearm shall transmit to the Bureau — (A) the make, model, and serial number of the firearm, the identity of the owner of the firearm, the date the firearm was acquired by the owner, and where the firearm is or will be stored; and (B) a notice specifying the identity of any person to whom, and any period of time during which, the firearm will be loaned to the person.”
Perhaps, however, the licensing system instituted by the measure could be considered worse than that. After all, it states that: “Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the Attorney General shall issue to an individual a license to possess a firearm and ammunition if the individual — (i) has attained 21 years of age; (ii) after applying for the license— (I) undergoes a criminal background check conducted by the national instant criminal background check system established under section 103 of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, and the check does not indicate that possession of a firearm by the individual would violate subsection (g) or (n) of section 922 or State law; (II) undergoes a psychological evaluation conducted in accordance with paragraph (2), and the evaluation does not indicate that the individual is psychologically unsuited to possess a firearm; and (III) successfully completes a training course, certified by the Attorney General, in the use, safety, and storage of firearms, that includes at least 24 hours of training; and (iii) demonstrates that, on issuance of the license, the individual will have in effect an insurance policy issued under subsection (d).”
Yes, it requires a psychological evaluation and completion of some unspecified training course (24 hours’ worth, certified by the U.S. attorney general) to get a license. But even more incredible is the last part requiring proof of an insurance policy, which is later spelled out to be provided by the attorney general for a fee of $800. And, oh yeah, the license must be renewed every three years, although the legislation doesn’t mention the fee for that.
Of course, the licensing requirements for “military -style weapons” are much more stringent. Obviously, these weapons are far more dangerous, as actually listed in the legislation are such frequently use murder guns as revolving shotguns (stagecoach holdup, anyone?), semi-auto rifles with both a telescoping stock and a pistol grip (can you say most stock AR-15s, also seldom used in crimes, according to the FBI?), and any semi-auto shotguns with a pistol grip and a magazine capacity over five or the ability to accept a detachable magazine (there goes your favorite turkey gun, also!). If you think those examples are outrageous, take a look at the legislation yourself to see what other guns the genius Jackson Lee mentions, some even by name. You can find the text here.
If that’s not the worst, maybe it is the ban on any ammunition .50 caliber or larger . Or perhaps the ban on all ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Or maybe the stipulation that nobody can transfer a firearm to another unless they have a Federal Firearms License or permission from the attorney general. Boy, is he going to be busy!
Maybe, however, all those parts of the legislation actually pale when compared to the proposed penalties for not complying with these serious infringements. There will be no hand-slapping under the new law. According to the legislation, an unlicensed person possessing a firearm that hasn’t been registered by him or her “shall be fined not less than $75,000 and not more than $150,000, imprisoned not less than 15 years and not more than 25 years, or both.” The law further stipulates that anyone illegally transferring a firearm—like, say, loaning it to your brother-in-law for a hunting trip without permission from the government—“shall be fined not less than $50,000 and not more than $75,000, imprisoned not less than 10 years and not more than 15 years, or both.”
In the end, the question of what part of the measure is worst is, of course, a rhetorical one. No law that infringes on the right of the people to keep and bear arms is better or worse than any other, and all of these provisions are grossly unconstitutional.
Of course, none of Jackson Lee’s outrageous proposals are new to anyone who has been following Second Amendment politics for the past several decades. All have been proposed at least once in the past. What’s scary about these proposals this time around is that both branches of Congress and the presidency, charged with checking and balancing each other, are now all under the control of power-hungry gun-banners who care not a whit if they trample the Second Amendment—or any other, for that matter.
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.