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.