Representative Bobby Rush (D-IL) from introduced H.R. 45 in the 111th Congress on January 6th, 2009. It is a verbatim retread of H.R. 2666, which was introduced by Mr. Rush in the 110th Congress. At that point in time, the bill never made it out of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, though it did pick up 16 co-sponsors, most notably Rahm Emanuel who is currently serving as Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff.
H.R. 45 would do the following:
- Require all owners of firearms to get a license. Getting said license would require filling out an application, getting a background check, being fingerprinted, and passing a written test.
- The U.S. Attorney General would keep a database of all issued licenses.
- Mandate that all sales go through a licensed dealer, preventing any and all person-to-person sales. Violating this would be a felony.
- Each firearm sale would result in a record being filed with the U.S. Attorney General. This record would contain the firearm’s manufacturer, model, serial number, and the license numbers of the transferrer and transferee.
- Mandate that if you lose a firearm or have it stolen, that you must report it to the U.S. Attorney General within 72 hours. Failure to do so would be a felony.
- Mandate that you inform the U.S. Attorney General of a change of address within 60 days of that change. Failure to do so would be a felony.
- Make it illegal to have a firearm (loaded, or unloaded with ammunition available) in a house with a child
In short, this bill would create a national database of firearms and their owners. Such registration could then easily be used to confiscate firearms that would be made “illegal” by a future piece of legislation.
With anti-gun advocate Eric Holder as Attorney General, H.R. 2666 co-sponsor Rahm Emanuel as Obama’s Chief of Staff, and an administration which has a stated agenda of repealing the Tiahrt Amendment and renewing the Clinton “assault weapons ban” and making it permanent, H.R. 45 amounts to a dangerous bill that would enable the disarming of the people of the United States.
The proponents of this — and all anti-gun legislation — say that it is to reduce crime. With the USAToday reporting that “[c]riminal gangs in the USA have swelled to an estimated 1 million members responsible for up to 80% of crimes in communities across the nation”, the problem is not an issue of gun ownership, it is a failure of law enforcement.
Some people use the argument that you have to get a license to drive a car, own a pet, and go fishing, so why should firearm ownership be any different. It is different because the right to keep and bear arms is just that: a right.
Should the government be allowed to register Bibles? Should the purchase of newspapers and magazines require a license? Should the government be allowed to keep a database of what you read and which books you own? Should the government be allowed to make it illegal to own books and magazines in a home where there is a child?
Freedom cannot be licensed. Liberties cannot be regulated. Rights cannot be granted. For when the rights and liberties of a free people have restrictions upon them, they cease to be freedoms and rights, but instead become privileges.
Free people are not privileged to be free. They do not give thanks to any mortal man for the privileges offered them. They look upon no generous benefactor other than their Creator who have given all people their freedom. It is the will of a tyrant, of an oppressor, and of a king that wishes to take rights away from free people, and turn them into obedient subjects.
You can track the current status of this bill in our Action Center