Below The Radar: Unlawful Gun Buyer Alert Act

Millions of law-abiding citizens submit to background checks, as intimated by the president's comment to reporters. (Dave Workman)
Millions of law-abiding citizens submit to background checks, as intimated by the president's comment to reporters. (Dave Workman)

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- One thing to remember when legislation is introduced – it’s never just about what the stated goal is. You need to not only look at the text of the legislation but also who introduced it. Otherwise, it becomes very easy to walk into a trap that could cost us our rights.

One case in point is HR 3552, the Unlawful Gun Buyer Alert Act. This was introduced by Representative David Cicilline (D-RI). Cicilline has introduced a number of anti-Second Amendment bills, including the Untraceable Firearms Act of 2019. Such a track record means that he should not get the benefit of the doubt, even when the stated goal of the legislation is innocuous – or even praiseworthy.

The Unlawful Gun Buyer Alert Act purports to require that law enforcement be informed when a prohibited person tries to acquire a firearm (or actually does). Now, this is a laudable goal. Those who try to buy firearms in violation of the law ought to be punished. According to the text of the legislation, the local and state law enforcement agencies are to be notified, along with the local field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Sounds good, right? Get the guy trying to illegally buy the firearm and hit him with the appropriate sentence after conviction. Well, there’s just a couple of problems. First, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives are nowhere to be seen – and isn’t that the agency that’s supposed to be handling that sort of thing?

That’s a minor problem. Beyond that bit of bureaucratic stuff comes the big issue: Not all of the denials issued by the National Instant Check System are legit.

In fact, a significant number of them are erroneous, and there is no effective appeals process for those who are caught up in those denials.

Now, there is legislation, the Firearms Due Process Protection Act that has been covered here on Ammoland, that would fix those problems, which you’d think would be a good thing so as to prevent wild goose chases – or worse, wrongful convictions that could land people some serious time in federal prison.

But Cicilline’s legislation lacks those measures that provide a modicum of fairness for people wishing to exercise their Second Amendment rights that have become the victims of a bureaucratic mix-up. The fact is, Cicilline’s poor track record on Second Amendment issues means his bill, as written, is a complete non-starter.

This is not to say that some notification when a prohibited person tries to buy a firearm isn’t warranted, but Cicilline’s bill is not the place to start, given the problems NICS has with erroneous denials. Therefore, Second Amendment supporters should contact their Senators and Representative and politely urge them to oppose HR 3552 and to instead support the Firearms Due Process Protection Act.


About Harold HutchisonHarold Hutchison

Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.

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Degforyou
Degforyou
4 months ago

Harold; I got to hand it to you on this 1, good article.

Stag
Stag
4 months ago

All arms laws are unconstitutional. It doesn’t matter who authors them.

Pa John
Pa John
4 months ago

As an example of how much the democrat party has changed in recent decades, consider the following quote by a former democrat president: “You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered.” – Lyndon B. Johnson Lyndon B. Johnson’s thinking in that quote would obviously have no place in the democrat party of today. John F. Kennedy, with his famous “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country” speech, would find himself a… Read more »

PMinFl
PMinFl
4 months ago

I agree, but you said politely again, I’m sure that alone will bring reprisals here. You can’t win .

KDude
KDude
4 months ago

So many “laws” illegally deny individuals rights to purchase and own firearms. Saying there are already laws on the books which aren’t enforced is giving all this tyrannous illegal legislation a pass. Now legislators want to double down, and further restrict, further rescind, and further track gun buyers attaching multiple local, state and federal agencies? That’s ridiculous. Government has absolutely zero say as to who can have a firearm among free men. It’s that simple. And whats more, those who would force laws contrary to our 2nd Amendment must be held accountable. Or it’s the law of the jungle and… Read more »

SoSueMe
SoSueMe
4 months ago

We already have laws and regulations covering this…they aren’t enforced.

jack mac
jack mac
4 months ago

If the governing did not deny rights from ‘free’ citizens there would not be unlawful citizen gun buyer.