Since I've been trying to keep up with draconian gun legislation on the federal level, I figured I'd mention Feinstein's latest atrocities.
First, we have S. 1316, introduced Monday, which is supposed to "clarify" that people convicted of felonies or domestic violence misdemeanors in other countries have forever surrendered their right to keep and bear arms here. Her
gloat page press release contains a summary:
Bill SummaryNever mind that some countries, where values are different from those common here, might charge someone with a felony, for an action that would only be a misdemeanor here (but still a crime, thus not subject to the second exemption listed). As for the first exemption, I wonder how one is supposed to "show" that he was denied fundamental due process in the proceedings that led to his foreign felony conviction--and does that mean "fundamental due process" under our Constitution, or by the laws of the country in which the conviction was adjudicated? Finally, why the hell are we allowing people convicted of felonies into the country, anyway?
The Firearms by Foreign Convicts Clarification Act would:
* Close a loophole created by a 2005 Supreme Court decision, Small v. United States, which declared that the law prohibiting felons from possessing firearms did not apply to foreign felony convictions.
* Treat foreign convictions the same as domestic convictions for purposes of purchasing firearms from licensed dealers.
* Provide an exemption only if a person can show that their foreign conviction is invalid because:
o the defendant was denied fundamental due process, or
o the conduct on which the foreign conviction was based would be legal if committed in the United States.
Now for the big one--S. 1331 would ban .50 caliber rifles, despite the near total absence of a credible threat posed by these firearms. This one, though just introduced yesterday, already has ten Senate cosponsors (including the usual suspects: Kennedy, Clinton, Durbin, Lautenberg, and Schumer). It's too new for the text to be available, but we do have some information.
Long-Range Sniper Rifle Safety Act of 2007I realize that, strictly speaking, this is not a "ban," in that if one is willing to jump through all the BATFE's hoops for an NFA registered "destructive device," they can still be owned (at least if one lives in a state that does not ban "destructive devices"). For a great many people, though, such mandatory legal gyrations would, in effect, constitute a ban. The mandatory registration is, in itself, a deal breaker for many people, and with damned good reason. I also wonder who it is that would determine which calibers have "equivalent" destructive power to the .50 BMG. Certainly sounds open-ended--after all, if a person is killed with a .22, is that not "equivalent" to being killed with a .50 caliber rifle--is such a person any less dead?
This legislation would:
* Add the .50 BMG caliber sniper rifle to the list of firearms classified as “destructive devices” under the National Firearms Act, which would mean they must be registered when purchased or sold;
* Require the same registration for any “copycat” sniper rifles that might be developed in the future with destructive power that is equivalent to the .50 BMG caliber sniper rifle; and
* Allow people who already possess .50 BMG caliber sniper weapons up to seven years to register their existing firearms by implementing a registration process identical to what was used when “street sweeper” and other firearms were reclassified as “destructive devices” in 1994.
I have a feeling that S. 1331 is going to get pushed hard--we'll need to push back, harder.