That didn't take long. In the first
session of the 111th Congress, a bill, H.R. 45, was introduced
by Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IIl.) of Chicago to implement a system of
licensing for purchasers of certain firearms and for a record of
sale system for those firearms.
No big deal? Well, there's more -
a lot more.
Guns involved in this are any
handgun, or any semi-automatic firearm that can feed ammo from a
So, if a man wants to give his
son his first .22 rifle for plinking at squirrels, he couldn't
do so without a license and all kinds of paperwork.
In fact, anyone possessing one of
the "bad guns" would have to obtain a license, and
there is no grandfather clause. Meaning, to legally possess the
guns you already own, you would have to get a license. That
means, a photo, thumbprint, a certification to store the gun
safely, and the passing of a firearms "test."
According to the bill, the
attorney general will handle all the licensing, and there is no
time constraint on how fast the licenses would get processed.
Don't play by the new rules and
that Remington 1100 that grandpa gave you that's locked up in
the gun safe could cost you two years in prison.
Sen. Mary Lazich of New Berlin
says the bill has little chance of going anywhere next session
as it has no co-sponsors, but it still could be the start of
other bills that could pass.
"The bill treats law-abiding
citizens like criminals," she said. "Gun owners and
hunters are among the most responsible members of our society.
The bill won't prevent illegal sales of guns, or street sales,
that are already illegal. But it just might make it illegal for
a grandfather to gift a hunting rifle he's owned for decades to
his grandson or granddaughter."
Think of it. Every gun owner in
America having to submit a thumbprint to the attorney general's
office. Imagine the hassle. Imagine the paperwork and funding
that would be needed to get that done.
"Why should a law-abiding
citizen have to inform the attorney general's office that he or
she is changing their addresses, simply because that citizen is
exercising their Second Amendment right," Lazich said.
Buster Bachhuber, a director for
the National Rifle Association out of Wausau, said there are
greater issues than how the bill would affect what gun we carry
in the woods.
"We need to remind ourselves
that whether a gun bill reduces crime or not is not the object
of the game," he said. "In the mind of Thomas
Jefferson, the Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting
or so-called sporting purposes, but all about maintaining
freedom in the face of tyranny. We tend to overlook such reasons
and get caught up in just sporting purposes."
Right now, sitting in my locked
gun cabinet, is a Remington 870 Wingmaster 20-gauge that my dad
bought for me when I was a kid. It's got my son's name on it
when he gets old enough. It is not considered one of the
"bad" guns on this bill, but how long will it be until
Heck, I know guys who are just as
proficient AND quick with a pump shotgun as most guys are with a
semi-automatic versions like the ones in this bill. How long
before another member of Congress decides,"He knows what's
best for us," regarding guns even though he or she might
never have even touched one?
Again, we're not talking about
semi-autos with huge banana clips that you'd see in a Rambo
movie. These are guns that are used all the time whether it's on
a trap range or in a cedar swamp.
Yup, the times they are a changin',
and don't be fooled into thinking it could never happen in
America. There is probably a bunch of people in Europe and
Australia who thought that, too.
Give your local congressman a
(Dan Durbin writes a weekly
outdoors column for The Freeman. Call Durbin at 644-7940, or
e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you have a story idea.)