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« February 2013 | Main | April 2013 »

Gun Owners Could Back Part of Schumer's Plan

According to published reports (AP, 3/14/13), Sen. Charles Schumer, speaking about his proposed background-check bill, said, "The bill explicitly says there is no registration, explicitly says no confiscation." It's good that Mr. Schumer put this on the table, it's a step in the right direction.

The firearms community might accept this, in principle, with slightly different wording. It's a question of laws with teeth. What if, instead of saying "no gun registration," Schumer's bill said, "Anyone who creates or attempts to create any sort of gun registration shall go to prison."

Think of it as constitutional comitatus law -- law with teeth that holds officials accountable, instead of laws that merely make statements (like Mr. Schumer's draft). The rewrite is modeled after our posse comitatus law that has worked so well for a century and a half.

Similarly, instead of "explicitly" saying no confiscation, let it say, "Anyone who confiscates or attempts to confiscate firearms (or ammo or accessories) that the public bears shall go to prison, too. And pay serious fines." Mr. Schumer's noble assurance would be met.

I'll bet the pro-rights community might support Mr. Schumer along those lines, and we'd have at least partial agreement at last. Let's work together for reasonable bipartisan compromise. No registration and no confiscation, under penalty of law. It's just common sense. Honest legislators should have no reason to object.

Note: Because the NICS background-check system is inherently a registration-prone model, the registration-free BIDS model should get serious consideration at this point in time.
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About the Author

  • Freelance writer Alan Korwin is a founder and past president of the Arizona Book Publishing Association. With his wife Cheryl he operates Bloomfield Press, the largest producer and distributor of gun-law books in the country. Here writing as "The Uninvited Ombudsman," Alan covers the day's stories as they ought to read. Read more.

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