Former Baltimore Mayor and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley hates the Second Amendment the way Hillary Clinton hates accountability, and has come out with a platform of what he would do to the Second Amendment rights of Americans if he was elected.
Let’s take his platform point-by-point.
…I am putting forward a comprehensive policy plan for cutting deaths from gun violence in half — homicides, suicides, and accidents — within 10 years.
In ten years… just two years after any possible second term might be up? How convenient. Now, let’s get into the details.
My plan starts with expanding safeguards to all gun purchases, whether from a licensed dealer, online posting, or private sale. Under my plan, a background check would be required for each and every gun purchase. And every person seeking to purchase or transfer a gun would have to obtain a fingerprint-based license, including completing safety training and a waiting period. Without such protections, it will remain far too easy for criminals to legally buy guns.
As has been proven time and again, the supermajority of criminals do not buy guns legally. They obtain their firearms via straw-purchases and through the black market of stolen gun sales. O’Malley’s plan will have no discernible impact whatsoever on weapons trafficking. O’Malley’s attention is focused exclusively on making legal gun ownership onerous and expensive for law-abiding citizens.
My plan will also cut gun violence by focusing on the largest purchaser of firearms: our government. By adjusting federal procurement policies, the federal government can encourage both gun manufacturers and dealers to prevent trafficking and violence, while spurring innovations that improve gun safety. This means requiring agencies to purchase only cutting-edge guns, such as those that have hidden serial numbers that cannot be defaced.
One again, O’Malley bravely confronts a red herring of his own design. There is no such thing as a serial number that cannot be defaced, but it’s a strawman argument in the first place; most criminals don’t make any attempt at all to deface serial numbers on firearms that they acquired illegally, and which cannot be traced through lawful channels to them.
This proposal is frankly terrifying for law enforcement; O’Malley is public stating that he will cram unproven and faulty technologies such as “smart guns” down the throats of our police officers, saddling an already dangerous career with weapons that are needlessly complex and failure-prone.
The industry will respond to this threat not be engaging in a “smart gun” arms race, but will instead err on the side of agency safety, and will refuse any and all research out of a respect for the officers they supply.
Guns are now the second leading cause of death among children and teens, so I would take steps to require safe storage of guns at home. Because gun violence is committed disproportionately by young people, I would set a national age requirement of 21 for all handgun purchases and handgun possession.
According to FBI data, negligent discharge deaths are on a steady long-term decline. O’Malley is being dishonest in how he frames his argument, which is unsurprising. “Safe storage” laws have been tried in numerous locations, and have had no discernible impact on negligent discharges. I hate to beat an expired equine, but as we’ve noted already, criminals acquire their firearms illicitly. This proposal would serve the singular purpose of denying parents the ability to teach their children to learn how to use handguns safely until they are already adults, and would likely contribute to more gun handling mishaps, not fewer.
And because the U.S. is the most dangerous country in the developed world for women when it comes to gun violence, I would fight to close loopholes that allow domestic abusers to own and purchase guns.
People convicted of violent crimes such as domestic violence are already barred from purchasing firearms, which is why that specific question is asked on ATF Form 4473, 11 (i) and the related crimes of harassing, stalking, and threatening an intimate partner or child is mentioned in 11 (h).
Quite frankly, he seems to be pandering to ill-informed people.
Above all, law enforcement must be empowered to uphold these protective measures — by revoking the licenses of dealers whose guns routinely end up in the hands of criminals. And to shut down the pipeline of illegal guns that flow from states with weak gun laws to states with strong ones, we should establish strong federal penalties for gun traffickers. Possessing marijuana can be a felony under federal law; outrageously, trafficking guns is not.
Once again, O’Malley is simply being duplicitous.
Saying that a gun dealer should be put out of business because firearms that dealer sold ended up in criminal hands really says nothing at all about the dealer. A FFL that sells 1,000 firearms a month is going to have more firearms in the overall market than someone who sells 50 in a month, and therefore this more successful businessman runs a greater chance of some number of firearms being stolen and diverted to the criminal market. Should this dealer be put out of business simply because he’s successful?
O’Malley sure seems to be making precisely that argument.
As for his claim that trafficking is not a felony, O’Malley is playing word games. A single strawman purchase is a felony can put the purchaser in prison for ten years and have them facing a fine of up to $250,000, per offense.
The problem is that the Department of Justice refuses to prosecute these cases with any enthusiasm. They recently colluded with a judge to sentence one gun trafficker to just probation when hey could have put him in prison for the remainder of his natural life, plus a few hundred years more.
Even as the vast majority of gun owners are law-abiding, we know the immense harm that comes if guns end up in the wrong hands. By establishing a national firearms registry, we can track guns to the root cause of tragedies. By requiring all lost or stolen firearms to be reported to law enforcement, we can monitor the number of illegal guns in our communities.
Let’s put this in terms that even O’Malley might understand. There is one reason, and one reason only, for registration. Registration is a requirement for confiscation, and weapon registration has been used as such throughout human history, around the planet.
Any attempt to force gun registration on the American people will be met… harshly.