United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- With a lot of anti-Second Amendment extremists trying to get firearms registration by various back-door methods involving records from the National Instant Check System, it is worth noting that they are not the only ones pushing legislation involving NICS. To paraphrase Gandalf, there are forces at work in the halls of Congress besides those that hate the Second Amendment.
One of the bills Second Amendment supporters can turn to is S 4040, the Gun Owner Privacy Act. This was introduced by Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA). Loeffler replaced Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), a Second Amendment champion who resigned due to Parkinson’s Disease. For being in office less than seven months, Loeffler’s already marking herself as a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights with this legislation.
When you look at the text, it carries some very strong provisions when it comes to addressing privacy concerns about NICS, especially when compared to the current text of 18 USC 922(t). Now, the current text requires the destruction of all records of transactions that don’t violate the law. The reason for that is clear: Those who are lawfully exercising constitutional rights should not have the government keeping records about said rights.
The Gun Owner Privacy Act adds a new section to 18 USC 922(t), which prohibits spending federal funds on any background check system that doesn’t immediately destroy records of transactions that don’t violate the law. This is huge – it eliminates any wiggle room for creating a back-door registration system. In fact, it is the polar opposite of Carolyn Maloney's NICS Review Act.
But there is another benefit as well. Loeffler’s bill also prohibits charging any fee for the use of NICS. Again, we get down to a principle – people shouldn’t have to pay to be able to exercise a constitutional right. In a very real sense, this is akin to charging a poll tax so that people could vote. The poll tax was emphatically rejected with the 24th Amendment.
We should also note that the objections to ensuring the privacy of law-abiding gun owners are one of the biggest “tells” that you can get from anti-Second Amendment extremists, and objections to prohibiting a fee for using NICS run a close second as well. It isn’t just that they want to ban so-called “assault weapons,” they don’t think owning a firearm is a right at all.
When you look at some of the more “ambitious” proposals from Elizabeth Warren, Sheila Jackson Lee, Cory Booker, or even Tammy Duckworth (who teamed up with Bobby Rush), that attitude is palpable in the number of hoops they want law-abiding citizens to jump through. The high crime rates in Baltimore, Chicago, and elsewhere that already have strict laws show that their agenda isn’t about safety.
Second Amendment supporters ought to contact their Senators and Representative to politely urge them to support passage of S 4040. The Gun Owner Privacy Act isn’t perfect, but it makes things much better for those who exercise their Second Amendment rights.
About Harold 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.