(courtesy dailykos.com)

Gun violence is a public heath issue! The civilian disarmament industry failed to gain traction in the court of public opinion with that one. True to form they’re changing their tune and trying again. The never-ending threat to Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms now comes in the shape of pseudo-paternalistic “domestic violence” protection. In an article entitled Administration preps new gun regulations, thehill.com reports that . . .

The Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is looking to revive a rule proposed way back in 1998 that would block domestic abusers from owning guns.

As proposed, the regulation makes it illegal for some who has been convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense to own a gun.

The ATF plans to finalize the rule by November, according to the Unified Agenda.

So the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (and Really Big Fires) want to change the rules – without a Congressional mandate – so that Americans convicted of a misdemeanor crime will become permanently prohibited persons in terms of keeping and bearing arms.

For context . . .

libertariannews.org reports that some 20 million U.S. citizens are convicted felons (roughly 1 in 12 adults). The National Employment Law Project estimates that 65 million Americans have an arrest or conviction that shows up in a routine criminal background check. slate.com tells us that prosecutors file some 10m misdemeanor cases every year; which doesn’t include felony charges walked down to misdemeanors.

Note: persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence have been barred from owning firearms since 1997. “The Gun Control Act (GCA) makes it unlawful for certain categories of persons to ship, transport, receive, or possess firearms. 18 USC 922(g). Transfers of firearms to any such prohibited persons are also unlawful. 18 USC 922(d) . . .

“These categories include any person: “who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence (enacted by the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997, Pub. L. No. 104-208, effective September 30, 1996). 18 USC 922(g) and (n).”

I really don’t understand what they are proposing, other than possibly actually prosecuting people.

Anyway, if the ATF gets its nose in the misdemeanor-shaped tent in a big way, they could move from banning guns for Americans with domestic violence-related misdemeanor convictions to citizens with other misdemeanor crimes, of which there are many. (Click here for a list of federal misdemeanors, including mailing lottery tickets.) The ATF could remove the gun rights of millions of Americans at the stroke of a pen, without Congressional approval.

The antis would/will argue that domestic violence is a special category of crime that deserves special treatment to protect defenseless (disarmed?) women – pushing aside the concept of equal treatment under the law that [supposedly] underpins our entire judicial system. I would argue pound sand please, and point out that Uncle Sam’s unconstitutional ban on felons possessing firearms put us on this slippery slope.

Keep in mind that California somehow managed to enact Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVROs). The law creating this insult to the U.S. Constitution allows judges to order firearms confiscation on the say-so of a relative (e.g. an alienated spouse) without due process for the gun owner. It’s no surprise, then, that antis consider domestic violence an opportunity further their gun control agenda. Who’s going to defend convicted domestic abusers’ gun rights?

The police? womenandapolicing.com reports that “Two studies have found that at least 40% of police officer families experience domestic violence, in contrast to 10% of families in the general population. A third study of older and more experienced officers found a rate of 24%, indicating that domestic violence is 2-4 times more common among police families than American families in general.”

You and I know domestic abuse by law enforcement officers is reported less than it is in the general population. We know its perpetrators are less likely to be arrested, charged, prosecuted and/or convicted. Even so, would/will the LEO community support a federal push that could put their dirty little secret in the public spotlight? I hate to say it but hopefully, we’ll never find out.

61 Responses to ATF: Disarm Americans Convicted of Misdemeanor Domestic Abuse

  1. Gatta love when the police police themselves, yet condemn and treat us “common folk” as criminals having done nothing wrong

    • “Nothing wrong,” he says?

      You misused the Smokey The Bear character:

      18:§711 “Smokey Bear” character or name
      18:§711a “Woodsy Owl” character, name, or slogan

      No guns for you.

  2. There’s more than 1 state that will permanently revoke a LTC with a DUI conviction, so yeah, why not?

    • Yeah, more unconstitutional laws, because “why not?”. Look at the AWB laws in some states, I guess we should just ban scary looking semi- automatics based on a few misguided states. Why not?

      • You may have missed my sarcasm. I saw this posted on-line, don’t know the author, but his/her comment is very relevant to what goes on here all day long. He/she summed it up perfectly.

        “many of you have based you comments on the erroneous presumption that the constitution still applies to anything and is something other than a school book footnotes afterthought. Soon it won’t even be that. The supreme court has repeatedly confirmed its present belief that we now have a “living” constitution that bends and is modified by the PC winds. Constitutional provisions with specific provisions for modification are “suggested” and wasn’t “really” intended to mean what they say by the authors as they couldn’t really state what they meant in English.”

  3. If this campaign or it’s Directors/Trustees took a single penny in foreign $ to overthrow our Constitution, there’s a name for that.

    • Yeah the name is the Federal Reserve. That’s the day that sealed the fate of this Constiutional Republic

  4. We CAN have gun control,

    as soon as we’re a dictatorship.

    Get used to screaming “Heil Jose’!” beotches.

  5. I see one of those unforeseen consequences lurking about. When DV defendants start running the risk of permanent gun-rights loss, they will quit pleading to DV charges. The cases will either go to trial, with many an unwilling “complaining witness” being dragged into court to provide unconvincing testimony; many more complaining witnesses will be pressured to sign affidavits of non-prosecution; and more DV charges will be pled to non-DV equivalents. And then the DV “advocates” will complain even more about DV cases being “swept under the rug”.

    • The stupid thing that is in Texas if I shoot my wife , theoretically I can get my gun rights back. After my sentence is complete I can get my rights restored at some point. Not for misdemeanor crimes.

      • IIRC, five years after a Texas felon has served his time (and parole period, if any) he or she can have a gun in his or her home for self defense.

        • I’m ok with that.

          Misdemeanors and non-violent felonies should not be disqualifiers.

  6. This whole BATF stuff is really starting to irritate me more and more everyday. Would I be wrong in my belief that the BATF is an enforcement agency and in existence to create policy and or laws? Seems like lately everytime I open up the internet that the BATF is creating some new restriction on the 2A.

    • Very many government agencies like this have been delegated by congress the power to create new laws. That this itself hasn’t spurred a revolution shows how much of a slave class the American people have become.

  7. This is already the law in many states. The accurate slogan should be: “Let your spouse or significant other whip your ass anytime they want, or lose your guns.” A helpful, practical slogan is, “Choose a mate wisely, for that choice can have consequences more far-ranging than you ever thought.”

    • Technically, your spouse is half-owner of everything in the house. If she whips your ass, you’d still lose your guns because, as a domestic-abuser, she would be unable to have ownership in each gun.

      So maybe the more accurate advise would be don’t marry abusers.

      Or dissolve the BATFE and don’t back silly laws.

      • Nice point, about the shared “community” assets, though if they’re not ‘her’s’ she could probably give a rat’s ass about the monetary loss.

  8. I remember some other wifebeater gun ban frenzy “amendment” that was schemed up in the mid-90s that I thought did the same thing.

    • It did. And as RF notes, it is still the law. A DV misdemeanor conviction results in a life time firearms ban. Obviously The Hill is speculating wildly as to rumored moves by the President and the BATFE for which it can find no evidence.

    • It essentially elevated a misdemeanor at the state level a felony at the Federal level. Unfortunately, SCUTUS upheld this silliness.

  9. List of agencies to dissolve:
    BATFE
    EPA
    TSA
    Dept of Education
    Housing & Urban Development

    What else?

      • Sorry Dirk-I like the Postal service .Cheap and reliable package shipment for my business. They’d be OK if they didn’t have congress stealing from them and have to fund pensions forever…and never lose rights over a freaking misdemeanor. I had a crazy ex accuse me of all kinds of crap that never happened…

        • And, therein lies the ultimate problem. For every agency on that list, someone somewhere will argue why it should not go away…usually some self-serving reason that ultimately costs others in the long run.

          Beware of artificially low prices on services provided by government. There’s a cost somewhere, you may just not see it.

  10. Sounds like a slam dunk 9-0 SCOTUS smackdown; O sure seems to enjoy those. A juryless misdemeanor hearing does not smack of the type of due process owed someone debarred their human rights.

  11. This ATF effort is no doubt a result of the “pen and phone” tactics of the Obama administration to circumvent congress.

  12. In less than two decades we are going to pretty much be like England as far as personal freedom and government overreach goes. Eventually the majority of people will be living in government housing, working in civil service jobs that are massively over-bloated, and personal safety will be in the hands of an equally over bloated policing system.

  13. The problem with the firearms ban for misdemeanor domestic violence convictions is that domestic partners are not offered equal treatment under the law. It’s ALWAYS the fault of the male. Period. In they eyes of the law. I know of several cases where the female outweighed the male and was punching him violently when they (the women) got a bruise and, bingo – domestic abuse charges for the male. I guess you could make the argument that the male deserves what he gets for sticking around with a psycho in the first place, instead of taking off and paying child support for the next couple of decades. Yes, there are plenty of dirt bags out there who beat their women, but it appears that those guys are frequently given guns AND badges.

    On the other hand, my wife was recently ‘gifted’ 4 firearms including an AR15 when her brother plead down to a deferred sentence for one of the cases mentioned above. I’m not sure when or if she’ll be able to give them back under the ‘deferred’ sentence, but it’s my understanding that ‘deferred’ is much better than ‘expunged’. Anyway, his loss our gain, so maybe I shouldn’t be complaining.

    • “The problem with the firearms ban for misdemeanor domestic violence convictions is that domestic partners are not offered equal treatment under the law. It’s ALWAYS the fault of the male. Period.”

      The woman who gave me a face full of glass 20+ years back as of 2013 now has a conviction for DV.

      It would have been felony child abuse and a third DUI (in 10 years) had a cop pulled her over before she got home. The DV recipient was 20 years her junior (yeah, cradle-robber) and stands 6-4 and is *very* physically fit.

      She has a bit of a temper, as you can guess.

      So much for “It’s ALWAYS the fault of the male. Period.”.

      (As you can also guess, parts of the relationship with her were *Wow*)

  14. Hold on a second her guys. A misdemeanor DV conviction ALREADY results in a lifetime ban. Robert even says so in the post. The most recent example of which I am aware was when Sheriff Mirikami of San Francisco (who at the time was not POST certified) got into an argument with his wife and choked her, leaving marks. He refused to plead to DV, knowing that it would mean that he would lose his right to bear arms, and probably his new job as Sheriff. (Eventually there was a plea to something else that did not result in a guns prohibition.) So what is it that the BATFE proposes? Anyone would be guessing. One possibility, as RF suggested, is that the BATFE will be authorized to raid people’s homes to seize guns after a DV conviction–though why this would be necessary is difficult to perceive, as there is no evidence that the States themselves are unable to complete this task.

  15. If it’s a valid proposal and can stand the light of day, then why not follow the CONSTITUTIONAL process and go through Congress?

    Because it’s completely invalid to strip someone’s rights without due process (based on a non-jury validated misdemeanor). Because the People would not support this. Because Obama is a Tyrant and does not respect our Constitution or the People, or anyone but his own blind sycophant followers.

    Anti’s think this is all a joke. Wait until the shoe is on the other foot and a ‘President’ wants to shush his dissenters and summarily waives their 1st Amendment without due process. Or waives their right to an abortion, based on an EO.

    Our entire system is being ripped apart by a Tyrant. A selfish, arrogant Tyrant.

  16. However slight the difference is overall, they are at least this time saying *convicted* of domestic violence.

  17. I suspect the rule is to make the ban a lifetime one, like a felony, so you cannot get your rights restored

  18. Yesterday we limited civil rights based upon conviction of a felony.

    Today we limit civil rights based upon conviction of a misdemeanor.

    Tomorrow we limit civil rights based upon it being Thursday?

  19. Doing some research about Domestic Violence, which was Domestic Abuse turned up some things I think are worth passing on.

    Considering that ATF is pushing the “Gun Violence” card while they are “responsible” Alcohol, a real major cause of escalation in conflicts I took a look at the Alcohol side to see what “common sense” controls of alcohol are being done. Mostly this is to demonstrate the political hypocrisy to the claim that they are doing this for altruistic reasons. Real common sense would indicate that they put efforts toward where the greater harm actually exist, not where the greatest political self interest is.

    “batterers who are under the influence of alcohol when they assault their partners ranges from 48 percent to 87 percent, with most research indicating a 60 to 70 percent rate of alcohol abuse and a 13 to 20 percent rate of drug abuse.” from http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/abuse/a/aa990331.htm

    The caveat is that ” majority of men classified as high-level drinkers do not abuse their partners.”

    It is interesting to see this level of interpretation with regard to alcohol where the statistic are very high for correlation with abuse/violence.

    Yet no such honesty with legal guns and lawful gun owners where the correlation between gun ownership and abuse/violence/intentional criminal homicide is low.

    We have the phrases:

    Domestic abuse becomes “Domestic Violence” and “Violence Against Women”.
    Drug abuse stays drug abuse.
    Alcohol Abuse stays alcohol abuse.
    Gun crime become “gun violence”.

  20. So it’s OK for domestic abusers to beat their partners to death with fists and blunt objects or choke or stab them?
    Oh… wait…. THEY ALREADY DO.

  21. Is it legal to dispose of guns by just, well, throwing them out? Or dropping them in the metal recycle can, or whatever?

    If so, and you needed to (legally) dispose of a firearm, is this how you would do it? If not, then how?

  22. I truly believe this is much ado about nothing. They put in place an “interim rule” in regards to domestic violence offenders (all being prohibited persons) back in 1998. The current “Final Rule” action is most probably just finalizing that “interim rule”.

    The gun control lobby is trying to present it as if it is something else, to make it seem like they are ‘doing something’, and probably MDA and the rest will say that it is some type of ‘victory over the NRA’ once it is finalized.

    Here is another interim rule that was passed, and commented on back in 1997, the current action is:

    “This rule finalizes the interim regulations that require a firearms purchaser’s affirmative statement of his or her State of residence on ATF Form 4473 (Firearms Transaction Record) when acquiring a firearm from a Federal firearms licensee.”

    http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201504&RIN=1140-AA05

    Which is another reason I believe the ‘domestic violence’ Final Rule is nothing more than finalizing what we already have.

    • Isn’t this already federal law? I know it caused a lot of issues in the LE world when it was first passed. I thought some were “exempted” if it was prior to the law but if it happened after the date of the law there were no exceptions. I’ve researched it but I cant find any info on if any LEO’s were exempted if the DV conviction was prior to the law, only hear say from LEO’s I’ve talked with.

  23. It’s already a fed law. No police officers or military can possess a gun if they have a domestic violence conviction. My police fired several officers who had domestic convictions.

  24. Obviously we are not going to get the liberals to give up their fear and ignorance, so maybe we need to meet in the middle. In that if someone gets their gun rights removed for slapping their spouse, they can get them back by completing an anger management course. But I wonder if we’ve become so polarized these days that we can no longer reach the middle ground. But also keep in mind that women lie, as they know the cops will show up being their “white knight”. It happened to me, and it cost me $5,000 to prove my innocence.

    • That is the problem in so many areas including gun rights….
      If we meet in the middle then ( you think) everyone will join hands and sing ” oh joy”! Everytime some thing is met in the middle you have effectively taken away 50 percent of what was.
      Then at a future point you meet in the middle again, thus losing another 50 percent.
      So from the original start point before any “meet in the middle ” compromising you have lost or gained ( depending on your view) 75 percent of what was. You have some misguided view that it stops at the first meet in the middle. That is what the term “Erosion of rights” means.
      Slowly and/or methodically something disappears. Thus the gun grabbers win eventually.

      Hey what about those people that drive pickup trucks?

      Boy , a lot of them types like to drink beer. Well they might get unruly and get into a fight if they have a beer or so…

      So how about not allowed to own a gun if you drive a pickup truck.

      Hey I own a pickup truck and I don’t drink beer.

      Hmmmm, so how about no gun ownership if you drink a beer and ride a Harley,
      cause all those motorcycle people are bad news.

      Cool !! works for me, I have a pickup truck, I don’t drink beer or ride a a Harley.

      MEETING in the Middle is NOT a fair and unbiased way to deal, if one side is losing Rights. ANY give or take diminishes what was!

  25. A woman can disarm domestic violence by shooting a man who is beating her half to death right between the eyes. 🙂

  26. I’ll make this real simple: The ONLY thing that should permanently make a person a prohibited person for firearms is violent felonies that show disregard for human rights and freedom. Everyone else should automatically get their rights back following their prison sentence when they are released with no strings attached. Absent some obvious factor that the person would be dangerous with a weapon after prison I see no reason to take someones rights away more or less for ever and if they are that dangerous perhaps they should stay in prison for life or at minimum heavy supervision.

  27. I believe Iowa enacted a law similarly to this a few years back. It was retroactive as it barred a hunting buddy of mine from hunting because of something he did 19 years ago. His wife and him got into it and charges were filed. They made amends though a misdemeanor was a result. They have been married for 20+ years but a trooper pulled him over for a dirty license plate during hunting season and informed him was was not legally allowed to own a shotgun due to the change in the law. Has been a model citizen and a good husband for a long time.

  28. Gabby Giffords and Dork Kelly were in Oregon a couple weeks back Yipping about guns and domestic violence to further their anti-gun agenda.

      • Kelly should be on the NICS diminished list also. TOO many G forces and weightlessness,
        seem to have scrambled his brain- because he babbles like an idiot.

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