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Gun Owners of America press release:

Everyone’s heard about the “red herring” Feinstein Gun Ban, which “red state Democrats” will vote down in order to pretend they’re “pro-gun.” But the bigger danger is that Obama will sign “non-controversial” gun control which is just as dangerous, but no one but us is talking about. Take the gun licensure bill which anti-gunners are trying to dub the “gun trafficking bill.” In the Senate, the bill is S. 54, and was introduced by Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT) — although it appears that it could have been drafted by an intern . . .

GOOFBALL PROVISION #1: The bill would impose a 20-year prison term if you planned (“conspired”) to purchase a firearm in order to give or raffle it to a person who, unbeknownst to you, is a “prohibited person.”

Who is a prohibited person?

Well, there are the 150,000 law-abiding veterans who are “prohibited persons” –- for no other reason than that a psychiatrist appointed a fiduciary to oversee their financial affairs.

But probably the biggest category of “prohibited persons” is persons who smoke marijuana. Under 18 U.S.C. 922(d)(3) and (g)(3), you cannot possess a firearm in America if you are “an unlawful user of … any controlled substance…”

In over a dozen states, marijuana has been wholly or partly legalized under STATE law.

It doesn’t matter … if you even think about selling or raffling a gun to this expanding class of persons, you can go to prison for 20 years under S. 54.

GOOFBALL PROVISION #2: The bill would make you a federal “prohibited person” if you are prohibited from owning a gun under “State or local law.”

What does that even mean?

In places like New York and Chicago, everyone is prohibited from owning a firearm without a license. Does that mean that everyone in these jurisdictions is a federal “prohibited person” under S. 54?

What if someone applies for a license and is found not to have a need to possess one? Under the slip-shod language of the Leahy bill, these individuals would probably become federal “prohibited persons” because the bill denies any person from owning a firearm if they are “prohibited by STATE OR LOCAL LAW from possessing, receiving, selling, shipping, transporting, transferring, or otherwise disposing of the firearm or ammunition.” (S. 54, Section 5.)

Oh, incidentally, under the Veterans Disarmament Act, states are required to send the names of 95% of their prohibited persons to the FBI’s NICS system -– or lose federal funding.

So now you will have millions of law-abiding citizens — living in places like New York City and Chicago — who have their names placed in the NICS system. And the Leahy bill doesn’t address some very important questions related to their status as gun owners.

How will these banned citizens get their names cleared? The federal government has for years continued enforcing the Schumer amendment which defunds the ability of the ATF to restore the rights of non-violent prohibited persons. Will New Yorkers and Chicagoans get their gun rights restored after they move away from the localities that banned them from owning guns and which turned them into prohibited persons?

Again, the bill doesn’t say. But we could expect that a few years from now, a future anti-gun President could use the language in S. 54 to impose a federal licensure requirement on these persons — as part of a new 23-point Executive Action memo — and make non-licensees federal prohibited persons (with all that that implies).

Maybe –- just maybe -– the courts would save us from the implications of Leahy’s goofball language.

But answer us this: Why do anti-gun senators and representatives continue to push language which they know is fatally flawed –- just so they can say they “broke the back of the gun lobby”?

The solution is clear: Senators –- if they are pro-gun -– MUST vote against a “motion to proceed” to any of this goofball legislation. That is, they must vote to keep ALL gun control from even being considered on the Senate floor.

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  1. TTAG what’s with the image?! For the record I’m disappointed to find this type of material here.

      • Or masturbation.

        Tod. The image was a reference to the “reefer madness” in the headline. If you don’t know about it, you should familiarize yourself with it.

        It’s a scare-tactic film. Came out in, oh…. 1936. Maybe you missed it.

    • I’ll guess that you haven’t been to college in the past 50 years or have lived a very sheltered life.

    • Gasp! A picture of someone using a non-state-sanctioned drug! Doesn’t that kid know he should be pounding beers instead? Alcohol is obviously much safer than evil plants… the government told me so.

    • OMG! It’s a person smoking pot! OMG! Time to come to grips with the fact that millions of Americans smoke marijuana. Dare I say…gun owners too.

      • Try to explain how states which make weed legal aren’t passing (self) selective back door gun prohibition.

        If we’re being consistent then of course you have the right to ingest the substances of your choice just as you have the right to self defense. Basic natural law. The problem is federal law. And federal law says in 18 USC § 922 that “[i]t shall be unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance.” It also adds that weed smokers may not lawfully “ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.”

        For the time being, in some states you can practice self defense with .gov’s blessing or you can smoke weed. But you *can’t* do both.

        A couple of notes: One, this statute is written in the present tense. Maybe you could argue that you were a user yesterday, but not today. Two, I’m not advocating a position one way or the other on the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802).

    • I agree with Tod about the image of the idiot with the bong. Please select a picture of someone NOT breaking the law. We are above that here. Sure people smoke pot – I don’t associate myself directly with those people.

      I do think it’s funny how the stoners’ comments give them away. haha

      • How do you know he is breaking the law? Is that location somehow bearing proof that it was taken in the USA?

        You can’t assume that he is doing anything wrong.

        For example – A picture of a person holding a gun in the USA wouldn’t be a problem, but if it was posted on a UK citizen’s facebook page one would automatically assume that the person was breaking the law….even if they weren’t.

        • Maybe it’s tobacco. After all, its clearly labeled in all of the shops “FOR TOBACCO USE ONLY” surely no one would ignore such a sign.

      • If that kid is in Washington, Colorado, or any medicinally legalized states than its legal do you associate with him now?

      • How do you know it isn’t in a weed-legal state?

        YOU DON’T.

        How do you know he doesn’t have a medical marijuana permit?

        YOU DON’T. In either case, he would be within the law.

        Or maybe you haven’t heard about that yet. Happened recently in California. 17 years ago.

        • There are med user databases currently and in the works, rec will be the same. In the future not too far off, you will have to register to buy legal or medical marijuana and agree to be put in a database. So stick with black market marijuana to remain anonymous.

    • What is the problem? Do you work for the DEA…are you worried they aren’t gonna let you fast rope outta helicopters to raid the cartels pot fields?
      I’m not seeing the big deal here, it is pretty cool looking glass!

    • A) My kids sometimes check out TTAG with me (they’re 4 and 3). In all seriousness isn’t that part of what we’re doing here? Helping to usher in the next gen of responsible shooters?

      B) I spent several years and was in and out of 5 different high schools with that junk, during which my GPA went from 4.0 to less than 1.0. I ruined every relationship I had and eventually most of my friends ended up on the non-visiting side of the bars. Don’t preach to me about the “benefits” of weed.

      C) Surely, TTAG, as firearms enthusiasts we’ve got better stuff to promote than this image. There’s no difference between this image, and someone showing up to a pro-2A rally with a legal M-60 strapped to their back – both are great ammo for the 2A haters no matter how legal they may be.

      Come on guys, grow up. We’re fighting to give ourselves a good name.

      • “We’re fighting to give ourselves a good name.”

        LIBERTY is our good name. The sooner you stop worrying about what tyrannical, statist, authoritarians think of you, the better.

      • I agree with you completely Tod. The two issues are not related in any shape or form and I find this article by Farago not only misleading but counter-productive to our fight.

      • YOU ruining your life with pot sorta sounds like a YOU problem. If another person can enjoy it responsibly it’s none of YOUR damn business.

        Alcohol ruins millions of lives and sends hundreds of thousands of people to their graves every year, but that’s ok because it’s legal.

        You don’t like marijuanna? Had a previous problem with it? Then don’t use it, but don’t act like someone else who enjoys it responsibly is somehow doing something immoral.

        YOU grow up.

    • Like it or not (I’m on the ‘NOT’ train for the record), weed has been and will be, here to stay.

  2. GOA is a joke. They flap their jaws, take people’s money, but have little political clout to actually get anything done.

    • The NRA is a joke. They have sold us down the river over and over again. Background checks, NFA, etc. GOA, National Association of Gun Rights, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, these are no compromising groups we need to help. The NRA should stick to firearms safety, training and kids groups. Quit giving money and providing cover to Harry Reed, Joe Manchin and their ilk.

      • The NRA is the only reason you still have the right to bears arms, show some damn respect!

        • The NRA is responsible for my RKBA? I always thought it was an inalienable right memorialized in the Bill of Rights. I also had the (apparently mistaken) idea that the NRA only reluctantly joined Heller and didn’t want the case to go forward. Thanks for setting the record straight.

      • Again…what has the GOA done except take people’s monies and run their mouth….nothing. They can be no compromise because they have no clout to compromise!!!

        +10 to the saf…they know how to get things done.

  3. Bad legislation is bad legislation… Any way you slice it.

    Welcome to the law of unintended consequences – a legislator trying to do something they believe to be worthwhile instead makes things worse in an unforeseen fashion.

    We’re all, I think, much better off when the legislators sit on their thumbs and do nothing at all, excepting those functions required of them to keep the lights on.

    I don’t trust either Liberals or Conservatives to represent my interests, since *neither* camp ultimately cares about my rights. They both wish to impose a particular worldview on the rest of the population, without regard to what people actually want or need.

    That’s why I’m a Libertarian.

    • Democrat or conservative, they both want to control other people, for thier own good, of course.

      The madness of the war on drugs and the war on guns are the result.

  4. Gentlemen you have been given an article that focuses on the powers that be figuring out new and enhanced ways to go after your 2nd amendment rights-and you choose to focus on a photograph?!?

    • Agreed. That is a cool Tommy Gun bong though. Now back to our regularly scheduled 2a talk. ….

    • So why post a photo that was clearly going to ignite a debate? I can only think of two reasons: (i) TTAG wants readers to think about how citizens may only practice certain rights at the discretion of the state, or (ii) TTAG wants readers to become distracted. I’m open to suggestions for other motivations.

  5. That image really is offensive, I mean that is a clear violation of the 1st rule of gun safety. ALWAYS point the muzzle in a safe direction. I might just have to confiscate that piece of hardware.

  6. Violent tendencies, urges, rages and impulses are NOT part of PTSD!!!!

    What a disgusting, underhanded way to ebb away gun rights!

  7. Didn’t Obama smoke pot? But, but, I saw a picture of him with a shotgun. Who gave it to him? Something must be done!

  8. How is an “unlawful user” defined? Obama has admitted to using drugs — is he a prohibited person, even if he hasn’t used drugs for many years?

    • I imagine in the end, whether on the marijuana or gun side or both, they will force registration of rec and med users and use that list as unlawful users. There are already a few databases of med users, anyone that holds a med card in any state is in a database. It hasn’t been talked about yet much but I can guarantee you in any new marijuana or gun legislation this will be dealt with and marijuana users will get the bad end of the stick.
      We all have to make choices I guess.

  9. Ummm, I like reading TTAG but you guys are wrong. Please read the actual bill! It specifically says that the bill does NOT apply to purchasing firearms for a raffle or to give as a gift! Please do your own homework people and not jump to conclusions.


      “…‘(b) Subsection (a) shall not apply to any firearm that is lawfully purchased by a person–
      ‘(1) … or
      ‘(2) to be given to a bona fide winner of an organized raffle, contest, or auction … unless the person knows or has reason to believe such recipient is prohibited by Federal, State, or local law from… the firearm.

      So, if you have reason to believe one of your raffle contestants is a pothead (or ever passed a joint), your raffle is no longer exempt. Complaint against existing law: “prohibited person”. Complaint against current bill: 20 year sentance.

      • It just says “winner”, not contestant. Basically it just says it is illegal to give a gun to a person if you suspect they are not allowed to have one. It’s common sense, so I really don’t see the problem with that.

        • The problem as I see it is when someone else’s “common sense” says I violated this law because they disagree with the due dillegance I performed before giving away my property.
          Thinking back I can’t think any raffle where a gun was just handed to the winner, they usually had to pick it up at the donating gun store. But 20 years sure discourages me from ever giving a gun away without going through a FLL for a NICS. And I’m not a fan of universal compulsory background checks.

          I’m not sure what the current definitions or sentancing guidelines are for straw purchaces, but I see how this could be twisted to abuse us in the future.

          The main complaint of the article seems to be the current definitions of “prohibited persons”. We can agree that the connection between canabis and raffles this bill were sensationalized.

  10. Why is a Vermont legislator proposing ANY gun control bill?!?!? I hear that does not sit too well the originla “Constitutional Carry” state–doesn’t he have an obligation to represent his constituency?

  11. It doesn’t actually limit firearm ownership, it cracks down on straw purchasers…….READ the actual bill, TTAG got this story WRONG!

    • The issues are how straw purchasing is defined, limits on gift giving, and steep sentancing tied to a very broad and somewhat undefined class of “prohibited person”.

      • No, it’s actually quite clear when it comes to gift giving and raffles: It is illegal to give a firearm to someone who you suspect is not allowed to possess a firearm. If you can say “I had no reason to believe they were ineligible” you can give them away like candy.

        • I don’t trust someone else to tell me what I have reason to believe.

          As I mentioned above, I see this leading to universal NICS, and the prohibited class is overly broad. Thanks for keeping us in the real world.

  12. The marijuana legalization fight and the gun rights issue are two totally different things, please don’t even attempt to relate the two.

    • The natural, inherent right to own and use your property absent causing harm to others is an issue of LIBERTY, and it applies equally to plants and tools. It’s called Self-Ownership.

  13. No, it’s actually quite clear when it comes to gift giving and raffles: It is illegal to give a firearm to someone who you suspect is not allowed to possess a firearm. If you can say “I had no reason to believe they were ineligible” you can give them away like candy.

  14. I grew up in a house with guns. I become an adult in a country where guns weren’t so common. I can confidently say that no-one needs guns. Guns give you a false sense of power. Just let it go!

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