By David Codrea
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- “Felons and other people who have lost the right to own a firearm will be reported to law enforcement if they try to buy a gun in Washington,” The Spokesman-Review reported Wednesday. “A bill signed Wednesday requires gun dealers to report anyone who fails a background check to local law enforcement, who can then seek prosecutions. Victims of domestic violence can ask to be notified if their abuser fails a check.”
So much for Michael Bloomberg’s I-594 living up to its promises. Not that anyone expected it to have any effect whatsoever on predators. What it did do, aside from forcing “law-abiding” gun owners to give up private transfers, was create and put a new class of “criminal” at risk for life-destroying consequences —the previously “law-abiding” who chose “I will not comply” civil disobedience over submission to new Intolerable Acts.
This new reporting law, Substitute House Bill 1501 also raises some questions I don’t see being addressed in “mainstream media” accounts.
For instance, in Haynes v. U.S., the Supreme Court ruled a felon could not be required to register a gun because that would violate the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. Is requiring a person to submit to the background check and then prosecuting him if he fails equivalent? Especially if he doesn’t realize he’s “prohibited”? (Hey, it’s happened, and Neil Gorsuch said knowledge was necessary.)
And what about “false positives”? Per economist and author John Lott:
“The problem is that at least 95% of these initial denials are false positives and that is just the tip of the iceberg.”
An undeniable truth (well, the antis can deny it, but they’d be wrong) is that anyone who can’t be trusted with a gun can’t be trusted without a custodian. As far as released felons are concerned, if they’re still truly dangerous, Robert J. Kukla made a brilliant observation in his classic “Gun Control,” equating their release with opening the cage of a man-eating tiger and expecting a different result. As for those determined to stalk and attack a former partner, we’ve seen time and again how “restraining orders” aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on.
Of most concern: Citizens who pose no danger but are nonetheless “prohibited,” such as victims (and yes, I use that word intentionally) of ridiculous Lautenberg hysteria over pocket-tearers and key throwers, the abuse of restraining orders, and the afore-mentioned “I will not comply” activists whose only “crime” would be defying disarmament edicts. And that’s personal, because there but for the grace of God go I.
This is all ground we’ve covered before though, and while we may understand these realities, don’t expect them to persuade those bent on citizen disarmament, who either know they’re lying and impose it anyway, or are just useful idiots. Still there’s one more question I’d like to ask, based on a notation buried in the Spokesman-Review report:
“Work on the bill represented coordination among the National Rifle Association, the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, law enforcement organizations and victim’s rights groups.”
Noting NRA’s penchant for the “law and order/enforce existing gun laws” mantra, what about this reporting bill did they craft and/or signal a green light for, thus ensuring no repercussions for Republican support in the legislature?
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.
In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.