It’s one thing to hear the gun-grabbing rhetoric coming out of Washington. But Texas?
We knew that President Biden’s administration would be far less Second Amendment-friendly than the previous administration. At one point, Biden even promised to put Beto “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15” O’Rourke in charge of his administration’s gun policies.
Yet it wasn’t a D.C. denizen who filed H.R. 127; it was a member of Congress from Texas. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s bill resuscitates some long-ago debunked “public safety” measures that wouldn’t increase safety, but would instead penalize law-abiding gun owners and put barriers in place that would prevent Americans from exercising their rights.
The bill would require the U.S. Attorney General (who is expected to be Judge Merrick Garland) to establish a licensing scheme for gun ownership. It would require every gun owner to report to the AG’s Office when and where the gun was acquired, where it is stored, and whether the firearm might ever be loaned to someone else.
It would make the estimated 40 percent of Americans who own a firearm into instant felons, unless they apply for a license and pass both a criminal background check and a psychological evaluation.
The evaluations sounds both expensive and intrusive. The bill says the AG’s Office will require licensed psychologists to interview “any spouse of the individual, any former spouse of the individual, and at least 2 other persons who are a member of the family of, or an associate of, the individual to further determine the state of the mental, emotional, and relational stability of the individual in relation to firearms.”
The bill would also require gun owners to purchase firearm insurance. It would establish a publicly searchable database (which will become known to burglars as a “shopping list”). And it would set mandatory minimum sentences for any violation of the Act.
The fee for all of this is $800, according to the text of the bill (not including the head-shrinking).
The unintended consequences of such a bill would be legion. Many working class Americans would be priced out of defending themselves and their families—at least legally. And the criminals who haven’t obeyed even the existing gun laws? They’ll be undeterred.
What’s more, it will put our law enforcement officers in an untenable position. They’ve sworn oaths to uphold both state and federal constitutions, as well as local, state and federal laws. What are they to do if ordered to break that oath? It would take every cop in America to enforce H.R. 127, and there would be many, many confrontations that would no doubt turn deadly.
Police already have their hands full with the spike in crime rates that have followed the “defund the police” fad. It is unconscionable to set the police against law-abiding citizens as in pursuit of progressive orthodoxy.
Fortunately, our states have effective recourse. For example, the state legislatures can prohibit local entities from participating in federal grant programs that attempt to push the anti-gun agenda. Governors can similarly refuse to participate in federal programs that do the same. A number of governors, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, have gone as far as declaring their states “Second Amendment sanctuaries.
The new administration in Washington may have high hopes for gun control, but here in Texas, the motto on the Gonzales battle flag lives on: “Come and take it.”