United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- When it comes to appropriations bills, many Second Amendment supporters all too often don’t take much notice, other than to grumble about how Washington politicians are wasting our hard-earned tax dollars. While that is true, these bill often are used to attack our rights.
Remember the 1996 Lautenberg amendment? That was inserted into a consolidated appropriations bill for the fiscal year 1997. It is perhaps the most notorious attack on our Second Amendment rights via this process – simply due to how many gun owners who suddenly found themselves instant felons because of the ex post facto nature of that piece of legislation.
At Congress.gov, four bills, HR 4431, HR 4432, HR 4502, and HR 4505 have been introduced, respectively titled Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, and the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. These are all opportunities for the current anti-Second Amendment extremists to replicate what was done a quarter-century ago.
Other antics from anti-Second Amendment extremists have included a prohibition on funding the ATF’s “relief from disabilities” process. On the flip side, Second Amendment supporters have similarly used the appropriations process to halt biased research by the Centers for Disease Control. To date, anti-Second Amendment extremists are trying to bring back that funding, and it is not hard for Second Amendment supporters to understand why – given how health researchers favor attacking our rights.
This means that Second Amendment supporters need to keep as close an eye on these bills, and particularly amendments, as they possibly can. This can be very difficult, given that each of these bills are massive – HR 4431 is 104 pages, and the accompanying committee report is another 174 pages. HR 4505 is 138 pages long, and that bill’s report is another 220 pages. HR 4432 (a 148-page bill and a 409-page report) and HR 4502 (a 196-page bill and a 453-page report) dwarf those two, incidentally.
It’s hard to imagine just how members of the House of Representatives can understand what is in a bill before they vote. That makes it pretty easy for stuff to be slipped in – whether by our enemies or by Second Amendment champions. All of it depends, though, on who controls the appropriations committees in the House and Senate. That is why Second Amendment supporters should be working hard to ensure that anti-Second Amendment extremists are defeated via the ballot box at the federal, state, and local levels 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.