Bill Introduced To Expand List Of Disqualifiers

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

The Federal prohibitions on who may or may not purchase/possess a firearm are a subject of debate with many. On one side of the aisle we’re told that too many violent people are still able to get access to firearms. The other side might be saying “shall not be infringed” until blue in the face. Personally, just trying to report on this subject, I’ve been accused of being too “progressive” and that my views embrace unconstitutional provisions in the law. I imagine this’ll be no different. Just trying to get the details out in the open. What’s the subject today? Expanding who’s disqualified from firearm ownership.

A bill was recently introduced by Colorado Congressman Joe Neguse, the Vice Chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. Neguse announced on November 4th the introduction of the legislation. The Congressman was joined by Representatives Jake Auchincloss and Robin Kelly in bringing the bill forward. H.R.5878 – End Gun Violence Act of 2021 aims to add certain misdemeanors to the current list of those who no longer have a Second Amendment right.

Today, Congressman Joe Neguse, Vice Chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, along with Representatives Jake Auchincloss and Robin Kelly, are unveiling the End Gun Violence Act, legislation to restrict the sale of firearms to those convicted of violent misdemeanor crimes in the last five years. The shooter who killed 10 people at a King Soopers in Boulder, Colorado on March 22nd, had previously been convicted of a violent misdemeanor. Under this Act, he would not have been eligible to purchase the firearm used to kill 10 individuals that day.

According to reports, the alleged shooter involved in the domestic terrorist attack did have a prior misdemeanor arrest which was “violent” in nature. From what’s available, the arrest involved the suspect punching a classmate in the face while in his final year of high school. A school fight that occurs might not be considered the best litmus test on one’s propensity to commit violence in the big picture, or even acutely. That’s not to say there were not other warning signs that the alleged individual was not of sound mind, but a school fight that results in a misdemeanor conviction I’ll attest could be a bad way of passing judgment.

Turning back to the press release, there are a couple of things we need to pick apart:

Currently, 22 states and the District of Columbia prohibit handgun purchases by persons convicted of certain misdemeanor crimes. However, these individuals are still eligible to purchase firearms in the remaining states, creating a patchwork of eligibility and increasing the risk of firearm-related violence.

There are states that prohibit persons with such convictions from purchasing firearms in those respective states. Okay, to continue by saying that they’re “still eligible” to buy them in other states, might be true, but like most things, “it’s complicated”. The way this is written is slightly misleading. The alleged domestic terrorist was said to have used an AR variant pistol. That was subject of all kinds of crazed full-semi-automatic-magazine-clip talk from the anti-freedom caucus to begin with. If a person can’t purchase a pistol in their home state, they’re not able to jump over to another state to buy one. The intricacies of this AR pistol conversation can get into the weeds quickly. I just wanted to set the record straight that if this release is asserting that someone who was unable to buy a pistol in one state, that they can do so in another, would be false. A NICS and 4473 would need to be done at an FFL in the state of residence.

The bill aims to get rid of the “patch-work” of laws.

Establishing a federal law to prohibit the sale of firearms to those who have been convicted of violent misdemeanor offenses will legally protect vulnerable populations not currently covered by state law and create a national standard. In June, the Colorado state legislature enacted similar legislation barring those convicted of violent misdemeanor crimes from purchasing guns for five years.

“While our local law enforcement seek justice for the senseless act of violence perpetrated against our community on March 22nd, we are working to change the law to prevent future tragedies,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “Ensuring that firearms cannot be sold to violent individuals is crucial to preventing gun violence and saving lives. This law is common-sense and would keep guns out of the hands of those likely to use them to perpetrate violence.”

Neguse, his co-sponsors, the commie mommies, et.al. seem to forget that criminals will find a way. If someone is intent on inflicting harm, they’re going to figure out at way to do so. No law is going to stop evil. Recently when talking to a researcher that’s part of and founder of an organization that looks for solutions to the “gun violence” problem, I presented her with a question. I asked her to do a study on the following question: “Can we will legislate away stupidity and criminal intent?” We both chuckled, because we both know it’s an absurd proposal. What side of the debate is the researcher on? I don’t know for sure. However, she did create a “gun violence” research group – and she found my proposal to be nutty (for all I know she could be miss 2A where she lives).

What are the problems with this proposal? Let’s look directly at the bill text to get to the bottom of that.

To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit the sale or other disposition of any firearm or ammunition to any person who has been convicted of a violent misdemeanor, and for other purposes.

[…]

To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit the sale or other disposition of any firearm or ammunition to any person who has been convicted of a violent misdemeanor, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be referred to as the “End Gun Violence Act of 2021”.

SEC. 3. DEFINITION OF VIOLENT MISDEMEANOR.

Section 921 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(36) (A) The term ‘violent misdemeanor’ means an offense that—

“(i) is a misdemeanor under Federal, State, tribal, or local law; and

“(ii) has as an element—

“(I) the use, attempted use, or threatened use of—

“(aa) physical force; or

“(bb) a deadly weapon;

“(II) the intent to cause physical injury; or

“(III) knowingly causing physical injury.

Shall we get the “shall not be infringed” argument out of the way now? Yes, it’s an infringement.

Going forward, if we had this infringement in place as law, one of the things we need to pay attention to is their definition of what a “violent misdemeanor” is. Imagine an argument that boils over and someone  “threatened [the] use of physical force”. While an arrest for something like that may seem like a fairy tale to many, it’s not. What if the arrest involved someone saying “I’m gonna kick your @$$ if you don’t get outta my face!” Turns out the person has bad luck and ends up convicted. Bam! Five years barred from firearm ownership. The point here with brining this up is for you to use your imagination. Don’t think the anti-freedom caucus is not using their imaginations. They are. Thinking of all the ways to foul someone up through overzealous policing and prosecution.

Just because Neguse can point to a situation and say “See, see. If my bill were law, that woulda never happened” does not mean it’s actually true. Because it’s not. If anything, recent events prove in a very in-your-face, tragic, but divinely timed way that people that want to cause mayhem will without issue and without firearms. Need we weigh in on the Waukesha Christmas Parade domestic terror attack that occurred using a moving vehicle?

We have enough laws on the books as it is. As cliché as it sounds, why don’t we start enforcing the ones we have and consider tossing out the ones that are ineffectual. As far as “gun control” laws that are ineffectual, to put that into perspective, that’d be most of them. While we waste our time away debating which infringements, if any, are acceptable on the Second Amendment, we also need to remain aware of these seemingly innocent proposals which are ripe for prosecutorial abuse. We’ll keep our eyes on this one for you.