United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- While a lot of attention is rightfully being paid to the threat posed by HR 127, the Sabika Sheikh Firearm Licensing and Registration Act that we have covered earlier this month and in the last Congress, there are other bills targeting our Second Amendment rights. As of this writing, a search for the term “firearm” under legislation in the 117th Congress reveals 29 entries.
Not all of them are massive assaults on our rights. Some are relatively minor, or they seem neutral but the lead sponsor of the legislation means that they require significant scrutiny. One such bill is HR 121, the Gun Violence Reduction Resources Act of 2021. The lead sponsor is Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee, who also introduced HR 127.
According to the text of the legislation, the bill seeks to add 200 agents and investigators to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Now, that in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing. The problem is just how these agents will be used. 200 ATF agents, in the right places, could make a big difference in the violent crimes we see in cities like Chicago and Baltimore.
The problem is that Representative Jackson-Lee doesn’t intend for some common-sense ideas for how to use those agents, like following up on arrests of violent criminals in possession of firearms and using the provisions of 18 USC 922 and 18 USC 924 to get some lengthy prison terms for them.
Let’s just look at a few from 18 USC 922:
- 18 USC 922(a)(6) makes it a federal crime to make any false statement or to present a false ID to a FFL. Penalty: 10 years in prison.
- 18 USC 922(d) makes it a federal crime to provide a felon a firearm. Penalty: 10 years in prison.
- 18 USC 922(g) makes it a federal crime for a felon to possess a firearm. Penalty: 10 years in prison.
Then there are these provisions from 18 USC 924:
- 18 USC 924(b) provides for a 10-year sentence to ship, transport, or receive a firearm in interstate or foreign commerce if they know or have reason to believe a felony would be committed in that transaction.
- 18 USC 942(h) provides for a 10-year sentence for anyone who provides a firearm knowing or having reason to believe it will be used in a crime of violence or drug-related crime.
In the findings, she mentions how many are killed, but doesn’t discuss the problem of violent criminals. Instead, the bill claims, “Millions of guns are sold every year in “no questions asked,” transactions and experts estimate that 40 percent of guns now sold in the United States are sold without a background check of the purchaser.”
In other words, these agents will be sent, often on wild goose chases, harassing FFLs who, in all likelihood, followed the law and did nothing wrong. The actual violators of the law won’t be touched – and there are significant provisions that could work to address those who run guns to violent criminals. Those provisions have been around for a long time and could work.
So, in the scheme of things, HR 121 is not a bill Second Amendment supporters should back. Instead, they should contact their Representatives and Senators and politely urge their opposition to this bill, and to instead support legislation like the Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act, which actually addresses the misuse of firearms and does not infringe on our rights. Second Amendment supporters should also support the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action and Political Victory Fund to ensure that the current anti-Second Amendment regimes in the House, Senate, and White House are defeated at the ballot box as soon as possible.
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.