Mission statement:

Armed and Safe is a gun rights advocacy blog, with the mission of debunking the "logic" of the enemies of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

I can be reached at 45superman@gmail.com.You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/45superman.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

More proposed federal tyranny, courtesy of Commissar Senator Feinstein

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 Summary

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.
Never 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?

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 2007

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 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?

I have a feeling that S. 1331 is going to get pushed hard--we'll need to push back, harder.


Anonymous said...

Finally, why the hell are we allowing people convicted of felonies into the country, anyway?

They may be US citizens. People traveling can unwittingly (or wittingly for that matter) break the laws of the visited country and then return to the US (or be deported to the US) afterward.

When I was in the military I spent three years stationed in Spain. One of the wives of a service member...while he was on deployment...gave a neighbor that she felt she knew pretty well a ride to the next town, was asked to come back and get him in a half hour, and then, on the way home, was informed that he had just robbed the bank.

She was scared he would hurt her if she didn't cooperate so she took him back to the city they were from and dropped him off at home; Then she called the Command and the Police in that order. The local cops wouldn't believe that her involvement was innocent and swore out an arrest warrant for her.

Knowing that, after a few days in a Spanish jail under their "creative" interrogation techniques, there was a good chance that she would have admitted to pretty much anything, the Navy sheltered her on the base while the State Department tried to come to a diplomatic solution. Basically, the end result was that her and her husband were shipped back to the states. As far as I know, she's still considered a wanted felon in Spain.

I myself ran afoul of the law in Spain. I could have easily been charged with a felony but a sympathetic official accepted my pleas of not understanding the law and I was not charged.

Basically, I bought a moped for cheap transportation. I bought it from the Navy Exchange which means I didn't have to pay Spanish taxes on the purchase. I used and abused that moped for three years and by the time I was ready to transfer, it was pretty much junk. I sold it for a pittance to a Spanish National to use for parts. Unfortunately, since I didn't pay taxes on it when I bought it, selling it to a Spanish National...even at a huge loss...technically constituted smuggling. I could have spent 5 years in Spanish prison had they decided to pursue the matter. And I would now be considered a foreign felon.

Needless to say, I'm not a big fan of the "foreign felonies justify denying constitutional rights for life" concept.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

Hadn't considered that--thanks for the information--and I'm glad you didn't rot in a Spanish prison!

Anonymous said...

In allot of contries it's illegal to critcise the monarchy, dictator, party, etc.. Those who fought for our independance from England would run afoul of this proposed law.