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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Virginia Tech massacre has prompted some new gun-control legislation that is very likely to pass through Congress and to be signed by President Bush.

The bill is H.R. 2640 - "NICS Improvement Act". It was sponsored by one of the more rabid anti-gun congress critters, Rep Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY). The twist is that the body of this bill was hammered out as a compromise between gun-ban extremists and the NRA.

Here is the announcement today on the NRA website: H.R. 2640, The "NICS Improvement Act," Passes House By Voice Vote
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The basic premise of the bill is to provide an effective mechanism to help screen would-be gun buyers with adjudicated mental illness records. H.R. 2640would require federal agencies to provide records of prohibited individuals for use in the NICS, providing financial incentives to states to do so. It would not prohibit any additional people from owning guns. Those blocked from buying a gun due to newly provided and updated records in the NICS are already prohibited under current law.
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I haven't yet studied the bill itself, and so am reserving my final judgment on this one. However, it always gives me the creepy crawlies when we're in bed, so to speak, with the most rabid of anti-gunners.

If they really want to prevent another Virginia Tech-style massacre, then they should do something really effective. They should remove all restrictions that keep the law-abiding unarmed. I'd like to see that pass Congress and get signed into law. Don't hold your breath.

Here's an article on this in the Deseret Morning News: House votes to close gun-purchase loophole
 

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Scan the text of the bill. Down at the end:

... a person convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence ...

Guys, this is the evil of government: scope creep. Now we're down to MISDEMEANORS.

Also, the "mental illness" provisions are nasty. This is the federal government collecting personal medical information. You thought HIPPA and other "privacy" laws were protecting you?

The constitution does NOT give the federal government authority to do this. If the states wanted to band together, that's a whole different kettle of fish, but the Founders were justly worried about centralized power.
 

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The NRA has supported almost every piece of federal anti-gun legislation. I guess I'm going to send another letter to them why I have not been a member for years.

I know, I said the unforgivable, and I know the people believe that we "need" the NRA. But they're consistent on this. They cave in whenever some nut job makes the news. When push comes to shove they appear to be more concerned about good PR than the 2nd Ammendment.

That's my two bits. I know people disagree. That's your business. I'm under no obligation to fawn over the NRA.
 

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Another gun rights group, Gun Owners of America, opposed the measure. Erich Pratt, the organization's communications director, said it forces "honest, law-abiding people to have to prove their innocence to a bureaucrat before they exercise their constitutional rights."
Hear! Hear!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The NRA sent out this updated alert on this issue.

"NICS Improvement Amendments Act" Not Gun Control!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Last week, when the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed H.R. 2640, "The NICS Improvement Amendments Act," by a voice vote, some gun owners were confused as to the exact scope and effect of this proactive reform bill. Let’s look at the facts.

H.R. 2640 provides federal funds to states to update their mental health records, to ensure that those currently prohibited under federal law from owning a gun because of mental health adjudications are included in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). For many years, NRA has supported ensuring that those who have been adjudicated mentally incompetent are screened by the NICS.

In several ways this bill is better for gun owners than current law. Under H.R. 2640, certain types of mental health orders will no longer prohibit a person from possessing or receiving a firearm. Examples are adjudications that have expired or been removed, or commitments from which a person has been completely released with no further supervision required. Also excluded are federal decisions about a person’s mental health that consist only of a medical diagnosis, without a specific finding that the person is dangerous or mentally incompetent. The latter provision addresses very real concerns about disability decisions by the Veterans Administration concerning our brave men and women in uniform. Remember that one of the Clinton Administration’s last acts was to force the names of almost 90,000 veterans and veterans’ family members to be added to a "prohibited" list. H.R. 2640 would help many of these people get their rights restored. H.R. 2640 will also require all participating federal or state agencies to establish "relief from disability" programs that would allow a person to get the mental health prohibition removed, either administratively or in court. This type of relief has not been available at the federal level for the past 15 years.

This legislation will also ensureâ€"as a permanent part of federal lawâ€"that no fee or tax is associated with a NICS check¾a NRA priority for nearly a decade! While NRA has supported annual appropriations amendments with the same effect, those amendments must be renewed every year. This provision would not expire. H.R. 2640 will also mandate an audit of past spending on NICS projects to determine if funds were misused in any way.

It is also important to note what H.R. 2640 will not do. This bill will not add any new classes of prohibited persons to NICS, and it will not prohibit gun possession by people who have voluntarily sought psychological counseling or checked themselves into a hospital for treatment.

So why the confusion?

First and foremost, the national media elite is irate that NRA has been able to roll back significant portions of the Clinton Administration's anti-gun agenda and pass pro-active legislation in Congress and in many states. They are desperate to put a "gun control" spin on anything they can. The only real question here is¾given the media's long-standing and flagrant bias on the gun issue¾why are some gun owners suddenly swallowing the bait?

Second, some people simply do not like the NICS. In 1993, Congress passed the Brady Act, including a mandatory five-day waiting period, over strong NRA opposition. Due to NRA’s insistence, that waiting period was allowed to sunset in 1998, once the NICS was up and running nationwide. Now that the NICS is in place, it makes sense to ensure that this system works as instantly, fairly, and accurately as possible.

Also troubling to many is the fact that Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) is a cosponsor of the bill. Carolyn McCarthy is among the most anti-gun Members of Congress. She has introduced another bill, H.R. 1022, which represents the most sweeping gun ban in history. But Rep. McCarthy is not the only co-sponsor of H.R. 2640. She was joined by some of the most pro-gun members of the House of Representatives in crafting this bill, including John Dingell (D-Mich.), Rick Boucher (D-Va.), and Lamar Smith (R-Tex.). A few years ago, when Congress passed a bill allowing airline pilots to be armed, one of the lead sponsors was anti-gun Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Ca.). Sen. Boxer’s support of that legislation did not cause gun owners to oppose it.

Finally, some people have asked why the bill passed on a voice vote. The reality is that there’s nothing unusual about passing a widely supported bill by voice vote. Even so, the House rules allow any House member to request a recorded vote on any issue, and in practice, those requests are universally granted. Despite having that option on the floor, no representative asked for a roll call on this bill.

H.R. 2640 is now pending in the Senate. Rest assured that if the anti-gunners use this legislation as a vehicle to advance gun control restrictions, NRA will pull our support for the bill and vigorously oppose its passage!

(For additional information, please click here: http://www.nraila.org/Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?id=219&issue=018.)
I would still like to get beyond the hype on either side and know for sure what the bill will actually do. I admit that I haven't read through it yet -- but I intend to. Here is a link:
H.R. 2640
Latest Major Action: 6/14/2007 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
 

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Hi guys,

Sorry, I have been away a bit with my computer down and taking care of wedding plans. I want to comment on this :

Scan the text of the bill. Down at the end:

... a person convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence ...

Guys, this is the evil of government: scope creep. Now we're down to MISDEMEANORS.

If I recall correctly, just the fact that a person has been accused of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge (including many police around the nation), is enough to violate an individuals right to keep & bear arms. Until you are either "convicted in a court of law or have the charges dismissed you will not be allowed to purchase guns. This is already in place and it is wrong! :cry:
I hope my info is accurate, I won't have access to the net till tomorrow, or to my other sources of information. But I see this as a severe threat to liberty, and that is just for starters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Cinhil, I totally agree that loss of rights for a misdemeanor conviction is wrong and is scope creep.

However, this bill does not introduce that facet of law. It's already in the law. What this bill does is provide that the NICS records must be kept up-to-date with all the existing categories of things that prohibit a person from owning a firearm.

I'm not saying that I'm in favor of this bill. I just want to be sure that we debate the correct, factual issues pertaining to this bill.
 
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