HR 2640, The NRA’s Latest “Victory.”
“We commend the United States Congress for its action today to strengthen the Brady background check system.”
Those were the words of Paul Helmke the President of the Brady gun ban group. The action to which he was referring, as you no doubt know, was the passage of HR 2640, in lighting moves with no debate and no recorded votes.
Both the US Senate and the US House passed this bill on December 19th under “unanimous consent” agreements. That means it was not even discussed. In order for this to happen, the leadership of both parties had to agree to allow it.
We are not surprised politicians would push more gun control with no accountability. But what is greatly troubling is that the National Rifle Association was the primary force behind this latest attack on gun rights.
The NRA’s spin machine is operating at full capacity praising the passage of a bill written by the most anti-gun members of Congress.
The bill expands and extends the failed Brady background check system, a gun registration scheme which has cost thousands of qualified people the ability to purchase a firearm.
It is amazing the NRA would revive a bill that was going nowhere just to give more power to the people who are denying legitimate purchases now.
You will recall the NRA supported the original Brady Bill because they approved of background checks for gun buys. That a “pro-gun” organization could support prior restraint of a right is bad enough, but now, years after this system has been in place, the NRA joins forces with an organization that has raised millions to strip Americans of their Second Amendment right in order to expand this dangerous law.
The NRA has insisted that this bill, rammed though when they hoped no one was watching, is going to benefit gun owners. On their website, the NRA uses the following quote to prove what a great deal this is for gun owners:
“Provides that if a person applies for relief from disabilities and the agency fails to act on the application within a year—for any reason, including lack of funds—the applicant can seek immediate review of his application in federal court.”
A year? A person who applies for relief has to wait a year before they can demand that some action be taken? That’s a mighty long time to wait for the right to have a firearm …especially if you need one. Oh, and then they get to go to court, to “seek” review. At their own expense of course.
Aside from the fact that the enemies of gun rights are crowing about this “victory” the biggest problem,(lost in NRA’s extensive justification for what CBS News called the first major new gun control bill in more than a decade,) is a simple reality the NRA refuses to acknowledge.
This bill turns over more power and more information to the very agencies which have used existing law to deny the rights of Americans or make it impossibly expensive to exercise those rights.
In Oregon, countless qualified buyers are denied purchases because of the intentional obstruction of government agencies who maintain these records. But it is even worse than that.
The original Brady Bill allowed for an end to the mandatory waiting periods when the availability of records allowed for an “instant” background check. We have long since passed that point, but for far too many people the background check is anything but “instant” stretching to weeks and months for many. How can the NRA and its apologists believe that the abysmal record keeping (or the outright obstruction of some agencies) is going to improve by handing these bureaucracies more power and personal information?
The NRA, in an article entitled “Clearing The Air On The Instant Check Bill “ said the following:
“In the late 1990s, gun buyers often experienced ridiculous delays while NICS sorted through cases of mistaken identity or incomplete police records. Many purchasers were wrongly denied and forced to go through a cumbersome appeals process. At the same time, state officials testified before Congress about woefully incomplete records they provide to NICS–a problem confirmed in recent reports by the U.S. Department of Justice”
Well someone needs to alert these guardians of our gun rights, that nothing’s changed. And now we are well passed the 1990’s. Gun owners are still being delayed and denied and still face cumbersome appeals processes. If you are delayed without cause, it’s your tough luck. The so called “safeguards” built into the law are meaningless and ignored. Sure, the law says if you don’t get an approval within three days, a firearms transfer may take place, but just try it.
Now NRA wants to solve the problems they created with Brady by giving us more of the same. They are telling us that the government bureaucrats will now be using accurate records, we should all be thankful and this is a great step forward.
In the world of gun rights, “good intentions” don’t cut it . As poorly kept and abused as the records of criminal behavior are, at least crimes are generally easy to quantify. “Mental illness” is far less black and white. You will recall the Bush efforts to screen the entire US population for “mental illness.”
The NRA has joined forces with politicians and organizations who have declared their intention to end gun ownership in this country. They have rammed through legislation that requires that more records be handed over to people who have proven they cannot be trusted with them. They have asked that gun owners believe that the same people who defunded the process to allow people to get their gun rights back under the current law won’t defund the lengthy process to get your rights back under this new law.
If you believe that more records in the hands of more government operators is a good idea, you may want to think about the first act of the Clintons when they took over the White House. The FBI record scandal proved beyond any doubt how unscrupulous and criminal political operatives can bypass the law to ruin people’s lives.
In an alert title “Outrage of the Week” the NRA has invited readers to share their “weekly outrage.”
They say “If you see something that you feel would be a good candidate for the “Outrage of the Week!” section, please send it to: email@example.com.”
We think the sneaky passage of NRA/Schumer/McCarthy bill more than qualifies.
800-392-8683 – Grassroots Hotline