We’ve reported on Frank Lautenberg’s knee-jerk Explosive Materials Background Check Act before, but now that the full text has been released people have begun to parse out exactly how bad this thing is. Unfortunately, since it simply re-writes existing law instead of creating new law, it’s fairly hard to understand all the moving parts. Jesse over at Predator Intelligence has a document he put together that shows how the EMBCA amends Federal law to screw over gun owners. Here’s what I take away from this . . .
- Requires those who want to use black or smokeless powder to obtain a “limited” explosives license. ANY AMOUNT OF LOOSE BLACK OR SMOKELESS POWDER WOULD REQUIRE SUCH A PERMIT. Commercial small arms ammunition (finished cartridges) is exempt. For now.
- The bill redefines “manufacturer” in terms of explosives to mean anyone who makes something that goes boom, even if it isn’t for sale or profit. Previously, you needed to be “in the business” of manufacturing to qualify as a manufacturer, which means making a profit from your endeavors. As the current law makes the manufacture of an explosive without a license illegal, this is pretty clearly a stab at making tannerite and other binary explosives that people assemble themselves illegal.
- It expands the factors that would exclude someone from purchasing “explosive materials” to include those who have a restraining order against them.
- Restricts those who are suspected of being terrorists or on one of the many secret terrorist watch lists from obtaining a license for explosive materials, turning the “shall issue” explosives permit process into a “may issue” permit at the Attorney General’s discretion. And they don’t have to tell you why you were denied, or provide a means of redress.
In short, it looks like this bill is specifically designed to restrict the ability of those who load their own ammunition or use black powder firearms from buying the components that fuel their activities. Keep in mind that right now, gun stores don’t need an additional license to sell black powder or smokeless powder. You can even buy it online and have it shipped to your door for a modest fee.
Should this bill pass, gun owners would need to pay $50 every three years to buy and store gunpowder. And gun stores would need a whole new set of licenses to sell the stuff. This is an immense financial burden to law abiding Americans involved with firearms, and doesn’t do a damned thing about fireworks. Or pressure cookers.