One of the worst fears for gun owners is gun registration. The reason for that is that once firearms are registered, it’s that much easier to confiscate them. We’ve seen how this shakes out elsewhere and that’s always the end result of any registration scheme.
Up until now, Democrats have been smart enough to steer clear of this at the national level. While it may play well enough in anti-gun states, it doesn’t do well with the United States as a whole.
Yet it seems those days are over. Not just do they want gun registration, but also licensing according to a bill recently filed.
A group of Democrats in Congress this month have filed legislation that seeks to set new, much more restrictive standards for even the most basic handgun ownership in the United States.
Plainly titled the Handgun Licensing and Registration Act of 2021, the proposal would require that any handgun owner be at least 21 years of age. Before their mandatory license is issued for a pistol or revolver, would-be handgun owners would first complete approved firearms training and clear a background check after submitting fingerprints and photographs. Licenses would have to be renewed every five years.
“Our government requires registration and basic standards for voting, operating a vehicle, even opening a business,” said U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, a New Jersey Democrat who is a sponsor of the bill. “Yet, for weapons created with the single intent to take a life, we have developed a dangerous aversion to any mechanism to understand where and with whom these weapons reside.”
Going past the licensing requirement, the bill would direct the U.S. Attorney General to establish a system for the “registration of all handguns owned, possessed, or controlled in the United States.”
It’s funny that Coleman invokes voting as an example of requiring gun registration considering how her party consistently tries to make fraud easier by removing as many requirements to prove your identity as possible. Further, all you have to do to register to vote is fill out a bit of paperwork and wait a bit for your registration card to show up.
There’s no training requirement to vote or open a business. While there may be for driving–standards vary by state–driving has been held by the courts to be a privilege, not a right. So, two of the three examples don’t require any training and the one that does isn’t classified as a right by the courts.
Yet gun ownership is a right. That’s been established by the courts and Heller found it to be an individual right.
Further, any cost incurred in trying to meet these requirements, whether a fee for the license or cost for the training course, constitutes the equivalent of a poll tax. You’re telling people they have to pay in order to exercise a constitutionally protected right. There’s absolutely no way that will fly in the courts.
Honestly, this is a horrible bill.
The good news is that there’s not a hope in hell of this passing. Right now, Democrats can’t even get measures through the Senate that seem to poll well enough with the American public. This kind of thing doesn’t. Don’t be surprised if this bill never even makes it out of committee. While plenty of Democrats are more than willing to sign onto this, there are a lot that know this will be too much for their constituents and will likely steer clear of it completely.
Without the votes in the House, it’s likely to die a lonely death without a single hearing, debate, or discussion.
The sad thing, though, is that anyone actually thought gun registration and licensing was a good idea in the first place.