The bad news is that today, the US Senate Judiciary Committee passed Senator Charles Schumer's (D-NY) bill, S. 374, the misnamed "Fix Gun Checks Act of 2013", mandating the "universal background checks" which are gun banner's code words for "universal gun registration."
The good news is that your input to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), who was working a "deal" with Schumer which would have won Republican support, made him back away from the bill. As a consequence, the vote was 10-8 along party lines, with all Republicans voting against the bill.
But how bad is the bill? Let's look at its language:
- If you left town for more than 7 days, and left your gay partner, or unrelated roommate at home with the guns, you’d be committing a felony. This should be called the “denying gun rights to gays act.” Remember that the federal government does not recognize gay marriage, even if your state does, thanks to DOMA. 5 years in prison.
- Actually, even married couples are questionably legal, because the exemption between family only applies to gifts, not to temporary transfers. The 7 day implication is if you leave your spouse at home for more than 7 days, it’s an unlawful transfer, and you’re a 5 year felon. I suppose you could gift them to your spouse, or related co-habitant, and then have them gift them back when you arrive back home. Maybe the Attorney General will decide to create a form for that.
- It would be illegal to lend a gun to a friend to take shooting. That would be a transfer. 5 years in federal prison.
- Steals the livelihood of gun dealers by setting a fixed fee to conduct transfers. The fee is fixed by the Attorney General. What’s to prevent him from setting it at $1000?
- Enacts defacto universal gun registration, because of record keeping requirements.
- All lost and stolen guns must be reported to the federal and local government. This means everyone will have to fill out the theft/loss form, and not just FFLs. You only have 24 hours to comply. If you lose a gun on a hunting trip deep in the woods, and can’t get back home to fill out the form in 24 hours, you’re a felon and will spend 5 years in federal prison.
- Want to lend a gun to a friend to go hunting? It’s a 5 year in prison felony.
- No exception for state permits. All transfers must go through a dealer or 5 years in federal prison.
- Teaching someone to shoot on your own land is a felony, 5 years, if you hand them the gun. Not an exempted transfer.