I've posted many times in these pages about firearms, security and self-defense. Fortunately, many of my readers already understand these issues, and others have come to do so through the discussions we've had here. Over the past year alone, I've helped more than 20 people upgrade existing firearms or buy them - sometimes multiple firearms. Over the more than two decades since I came to this country, I daresay I've helped over 500 people in that way, plus taught at least as many disabled and/or handicapped people to shoot defensively. I'm quietly pleased about that.
However, the time when you're able to buy a gun without jumping through impossibly onerous hoops - and be recorded in a government database for your trouble - may be getting very short. Ammoland reports that the following bills have been pre-filed in Congress:
- H.R. 130: To require the safe storage of firearms and ammunition, and to require the investigation of reports of improper storage of firearms or ammunition.
- H.R. 135: To require the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to report to the Congress semiannually on the number of firearms transfers resulting from the failure to complete a background check within 3 business days, and the procedures followed after it is discovered that a firearm transfer has been made to a transferee who is ineligible to receive a firearm.
- H.R. 121: To provide for the hiring of 200 additional Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents and investigators to enforce gun laws.
- H.R. 127: To provide for the licensing of firearm and ammunition possession and the registration of firearms, and to prohibit the possession of certain ammunition.
- H.R. 125: To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide for a 7-day waiting period before a semiautomatic firearm, a silencer, armor piercing ammunition, or a large capacity ammunition magazine may be transferred.
- H.R. 167: To prohibit the transfer of a firearm at a gun show by a person who is not a federally licensed firearms dealer.
- H.R. 30: To increase public safety by punishing and deterring firearms trafficking (which almost certainly means no more private, unrecorded firearms and/or ammunition sales from person to person).
I'd like to know how they intend to check on your firearms and ammunition storage facilities if no crime has been committed. A search warrant is normally issued only when there is probable cause to believe that it will uncover evidence that may be used in a court of law, or lead to further evidence ditto. Are these bills going to embody a no-search-warrant-required, no-probable-cause-required clause to allow ATF agents to enter your home and search it? That's flatly unconstitutional, but as we've discussed earlier this morning, our constitutional protections are likely to be worth only as much as the powers that be will allow.
Friends, if you don't already own a firearm or firearms suitable for your defense, buy them NOW, before such legislation - or executive orders from the incoming Biden administration - make it impossible or unreasonably difficult to do so. If you can't afford them, find the money somehow, even if it means going into debt. Do the same for ammunition, both practice and defensive. Don't limit yourself to one firearm if you can afford more than one - you undoubtedly have friends and family who might need one.
Finally, if you're worried about your firearms being declared illegal or subject to registration and licensing, consider the example of New York and Connecticut firearms owners. We discussed it recently.
3. The incoming Biden administration has promised to ban, confiscate or tax AR-15's. Doesn't that mean it's not worth buying one?
I'm not going to tell anyone to break the law. That's a personal decision each of us has to make. However, I'll point out three things.
- For almost as long as the USA has existed, and particularly during the Civil Rights era, civil disobedience became part of the American political and legal lexicon. Laws were deliberately defied if they were seen as oppressive or discriminatory.
- When New York passed its "NY SAFE Act" in 2013, requiring the registration of all so-called "assault weapons" (including AR-15's), civil disobedience was - and remains - massive. "Based on an estimate from the National Shooting Sports Federation, about 1 million firearms in New York State meet the law’s assault-weapon criteria, but just 44,000 have been registered. That’s a compliance rate of about 4 percent."
- When Connecticut passed new gun control legislation in 2013, the same thing happened. "The governor's new gun law is a dismal, unmitigated failure. According to figures recently released by the state police, approximately 50,000 out of an estimated half-million "assault rifles" in the state of Connecticut were registered under the new gun law. That is a compliance rate of only about 10 percent ... The figures are even more acutely low for large capacity magazines. The compliance rate for large capacity magazines appears to be considerably less than 1 percent of the estimated number of affected magazines."
Does anyone expect a national ban or registration requirement to be any more successful? I certainly don't! Furthermore, the number of gun owners I've heard loudly lament the "terrible loss" of all their so-called "assault weapons" and large-capacity magazines in an "unfortunate boating accident" must surely mean that the bottoms of most US dams, lakes, rivers and streams are now several feet deep in firearms!
I'll also point out the well-known proverb from the days of the Old West: "I'd rather be judged by twelve (i.e. jurors) than carried by six (i.e. pallbearers at my funeral)".
Each of us will have to make up our own mind about that issue. Frankly, if push comes to shove, I predict the most widespread and comprehensive civil disobedience in US history - and I wouldn't like to be in the shoes of the average cop asked to investigate it. In fact, if I were such a cop, I'd be inviting the politicians who passed the law(s) concerned to show me how it's done, while I hang back at a safe distance and watch.
(Banging on door) Open up! OPEN UP! This is the [insert party name] Congressional caucus!
(Voice from inside) Bubba, break out more ammo! We done got us a target rich environment!
Heck, I might even sell tickets to the show on pay-per-view!