Democrats are introducing gun control legislation timed for the anniversary of the shooting of former Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords. “Now is the time to come together,” Giffords said at a Capitol Hill news conference Tuesday. (Jan. 8) AP
As a New Jersey small business owner, I’m painfully familiar with government red tape. As a New Jersey gun owner, I’m painfully familiar with the government’s distrust and overregulation of a constitutionally protected right. Now the 119th Congress is aspiring to pour more salt in that wound in the name of H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019.
You can ignore the title because it’s not really a bipartisan bill; hardly any are these days. But what you can’t ignore are the additional hardships this bill would impose on law-abiding gun owners.
law-abiding gun owners.
We’re told that H.R. 8 will prevent bad guys from getting their hands on guns. That would be a great if criminals actually purchased guns legally. Unfortunately, they’re criminals and seldom follow the law. A recent Bureau of Justice Statistics report from the Department of Justice tells us just that. Released in January of 2019, the report found that the overwhelming majority of people convicted of gun-related crimes obtained those guns by stealing them, buying them on the black market, or through a straw purchase (where someone with a clean record buys a gun for a criminal). H.R. 8 does nothing to prevent any of those crimes.
What it does prevent is the private transfer of firearms. Not just private sales but private transfers as well. That means an employee who is being harassed by a crazy ex-boyfriend can’t borrow a firearm for self-protection. It means my stepdaughter wouldn’t be allowed to borrow a firearm if she moves into a sketchy neighborhood. Not without finding a federally licensed firearms dealer to conduct a background check first. And after the threat has passed? When the crazy ex-boyfriend has gone to jail or moved away? Then I have to pass a background check before she returns my gun. How does this make any sense?
The sad part is people like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi already know that universal background checks don’t work. She knows this because Johns Hopkins and UC Davis released a study in December of 2018 that said California’s universal background check system had no impact on gun deaths. If universal background checks had no impact on gun deaths in California – a state with the strictest gun laws in the nation according to the Giffords Law Center – then why would anyone think they could have an impact on a national scale?
Probably because the only impact people like Pelosi and Michael Bloomberg (former New York City mayor and founder of multiple gun control groups including Moms Demand Action) are concerned with is the impact laws have on good, honest, law-abiding gun owners. H.R. 8 is one of those laws.
We elect politicians to improve our lives. To expand our freedoms and protect our rights. Passing the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 will do none of those things. What it will do is outlaw a perfectly legal activity, make it more difficult for honest people to protect themselves and their loved ones, and have no impact on crime.
We didn’t send those politicians to Washington to make life easier for the bad guys. Maybe it’s time to remind we them of that.
Anthony P Colandro, a lifelong New Jerseyan and Second Amendment activist, is owner of Gun For Hire Woodland Park Range.