AmmoLand Below the Radar: The Santa Fe High School Victims Act
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Texas/United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- Sometimes, anti-Second Amendment legislation is not as noticed simply because the incident it invokes is, in some ways, inconvenient for anti-Second Amendment extremists. That is largely the case with HR 4082, the Santa Fe High School Victims Act, introduced by Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee.
Now, while Representative Jackson-Lee has always been a reliable vote against our Second Amendment rights, she hasn’t often been at the forefront pushing legislation. Well, the legislation she has introduced may not be getting tons of press – or attention – but this bill, one of three she announced in the summer of 2019, is one that Second Amendment supporters should look closely at.
In a release announcing the introduction of her trio of unjust anti-Second Amendment laws, she undermined their rationale from the get-to, pointing out that the shooter at Santa Fe High School stole the firearms used. Now, if one is familiar with federal laws involving firearms (as all gun owners and Second Amendment supporters should be), they would know that 18 USC 922(j) makes possession of a stolen firearm a federal crime – and under 18 USC 924, someone can get ten years in prison for that. Still, she introduced this bill and two others.
What HR 4082 does is make any private sale – even to family or a good friend – illegal. Onerous enough, and a long-running goal of anti-Second Amendment extremists. By forcing all transactions to involve a licensed dealer as either a buyer or seller, it lays the groundwork for registration, especially if the Tiahrt Amendments are repealed.
But this bill doesn’t stop there. The really insidious provisions target Federal Firearms License holders. As noted when discussing another “below the radar” anti-Second Amendment bill, one way to hit at the Second Amendment isn’t to directly target gun owners, it is to go after the FFLs with loads of red tape, unfunded mandates, and other obstacles.
In this bill, Jackson-Lee attacks FFLs on multiple fronts. Mind you, there was no FFL misconduct pertaining to the Santa Fe High School shooting. Jackson-Lee is punishing every single FFL across the country for the theft of firearms from the lawful gun owner by a person who decided to commit murder.
For starters, license fees are sent skyrocketing, from $200 for an initial three-year license to $500 a year. That is for starters. It also includes an escalation to $1,000 after January 1, 2021. Renewals are slated for a similar rise – from $90 for three years to $250, and a jump to $500 starting in 2021.
That’s already a huge hit in the bank account for an FFL – but Jackson-Lee’s bill goes even further in terms of hits, and they will be much worse. First, she requires FFLs to report any instance where a person “is exhibiting signs of mental duress, or suicidal or homicidal ideation, or other behaviors which alarm the licensed dealer.” A similar requirement is required for potential straw purchasers. So, now, they have to become mental health experts – and God help them if they guess wrong.
Dealers also would be forced to display the license, as well as the name and license number of every person selling firearms at the location, and a toll-free number for people to report suspected violations. The former could lead to potential mischief (someone could potentially pose as a FFL), while the latter is just a taxpayer-funded means for potential harassment.
Then, of course, there is the mandatory training – which includes at least 40 hours in a classroom. Tack on a lot of travel expenses for your FFL, who will either have to shutter the location while undergoing the training, or he’ll need more staff.
Second Amendment supporters need to contact their Representative and Senators to urge their opposition to HR 4082. Instead, members of the House of Representatives and Senate should be urged to support pro-Second Amendment alternatives, like the Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act and the School Violence Prevention and Mitigation Act.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.