First of all, the act will not require citizens to declare their firearms on the 2010 Income Tax form. That's the good news. It is the only good news about this act.
H.R. 45 is the brain ...ahh ..child of Illinois representative Bobby Rush, a man who went AWOL from the Army, formed the Chicago chapter of gun toting Black Panthers and did prison time on a weapons bust. Some credentials.
The bill is named after Blair Holt--a Chicago honor student who stepped into a barrage of gang related gunfire to protect his friend, Tiarra Reed, from certain death. Tiarra survived; Blair Holt died on the tenth of May 2007. He was only sixteen years old.
I understand the terrible pain suffered by this teenager's family. Losing a child is the most horrific experience a parent can undergo; time will not ease the pain. I know. It's a lesson I learned 13, 550 days, 1 hour and 4 minutes ago--at the death of my daughter. Difficult as that experience was, I am comforted by the knowledge her loss did not become a political postiche.
H.R. 45 is just that: a shameful ploy to wrangle support for an anti-gun agenda. Of the 443 homicides in Chicago during 2007, how many rated the appearance of the congressman? Two, that I could find on record. Both were high profile murders of black teenagers: Blair Holt and Kiyanna Salter, who also attended Julian High and was also shot by a gun wielding maniac on a city bus.
As a point of reference, both children's funerals were attended by Jesse Jackson, an activist known for showing up if, and only if, television crews are there to record his outrage for posterity. But I digress...
The H.R. 45 Blair Holt Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act wants to place the following restrictions on firearm ownership:
- Require a permit to own any firearm with a detachable ammunition clip
- Require all sales of those firearms to go through licensed dealers
- Direct the Attorney General to build and maintain a database of all firearm sales
- Require all owners of firearms to store them securely
In order to get a permit to own or use a firearm the following conditions must be met:
- Provide current passport-like photograph
- Provide proof of name, address, date and place of birth
- Provide details on any alias or other name ever used
- Statement from applicant vowing all Federal requirements are met
- Statement from applicant regarding awareness of and ability to provide secure firearm storage
- Successful completion of knowledge and skill tests on the firearm and its operation
- Submit to testing on safe handling, reporting requirements, legal responsibilities
- Submit to testing on 'any other subjects the Attorney General deems appropriate'
- Authorize Attorney General or representative full access to the applicant's mental health records
- Payment of $25 fee
Allow me to digress once again, just long enough to point out 50,000,000 Americans own at least one firearm. In this area of Missouri, most everyone has a safe filled with handguns, rifles and shotguns. Like any good tool, they are taken out only when needed, then cleaned and return to the proper place.
Congressman Rush would have you think simple ownership equates to mischief and mayhem. Our kids are licensed hunters but not shooting their classmates; our neighbors are licensed hunters but not going postal. Still, Congressman Rush would have you believe that all our guns contribute to the crime in America. Not so. Local 'crime sprees' consist of teenagers bashing mailboxes. No graffiti. No murders. No home invasions. No gangs. One car theft a few years ago, by someone from out of state.
Why? We don't call 911. Our peace of mind is provided by Smith & Wesson, Winchester and Glock ...not by triplicate forms and yearly fees.
It works for us as it worked for the Minute Men in 1774. It will work for you, too, unless Congress strips you of that right.
Think about it.
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