Friday, January 27, 2012

Firearms Owners Freedom Act - A Modest Proposal

A Bill

To restore constitutionally protected firearms rights to lawful firearms owners and other purposes

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as `Firearms Owners Freedom Act'.


The Congress finds the following:

    (1)  The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees and protects an individual right to keep and bear arms for all citizens of the United States. 
    (2).  The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Section 1, guarantees and protects equal treatment under the law for all citizens of the United States.
    (3). Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution grants the power to regulate interstate commerce and collect taxes to the Federal government.
    (4).  The National Firearms Act of 1934 and the codes and regulations enacted to fulfill it currently contain an unreasonable restriction on firearms accessories that suppress the noise of the firearm discharging.
    (5).  The Gun Control Act of 1968 and the codes and regulations enacted to fulfill it contain unreasonable restrictions on the lawful and constitutional interstate commerce of firearms.
    (6).  Several states, territories, and the District of Columbia impose onerous restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms by requiring a license to own a firearm but still receive funds paid as excise taxes by citizens when purchasing firearms and ammunition.
United States Code Title 25, Chapter 53 shall be amended to remove any reference to silencers or suppressors.  Existing licensed suppressors shall no longer require licensing to own.  All future sales of suppressors shall be done in the same manner as other firearms, with no need for additional licensing nor taxation.


United States Code, Title 18, Chapter 44, Section 922 shall be amended to remove language that restricts the interstate commerce of firearms, ammunition, and firearms accessories by anyone other than restricted persons.  The requirement that interstate commerce in firearms, ammunition, and firearms accessories require a Federal Firearms License shall be dropped.


United States Code, Title 16, Chapter 5b, Section 669 shall be amended to include the following paragraph:

No funds collected as excise taxes on the manufacture or sales of firearms, ammunition, or firearms accessories shall be dispersed to states, territories, or districts that require a license in any form to keep and bear arms.  The Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of the Treasury shall jointly determine on a quarterly basis which, if any, of the states, territories, or districts of the United States shall have their share of excise taxes withheld.  Any withheld funds shall be held by the government of the United States until such time as the effected state, territory, or district shall drop such firearms licensing requirements.

Y'all, that's just 477 words that would restore a lot of our gun rights.  There would be some proforma stuff added to the top and bottom, and I'm sure it would be cut up, thoroughly blended, and have amendments added to it before it got out of Congress, but if the core survived, I'd be a much happier gun owner.

First, Congress declares publicly and no uncertain terms that the legislative branch agrees with the judicial branch that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms.

Next, it removes the part of NFA '34 that makes putting a muffler on the end of your gun barrel something that requires paperwork, months of waiting, and a yearly tax.

Then it makes it possible again to buy and sell firearms across state lines.  That does two things:  First, you can buy a handgun while you're in another state and not have to go through the hassle of finding an FFL on both end of the transaction to ship it home.  Next, if city or state makes it difficult to have a gun by making it exceedingly difficult to be an FFL, you can cross state lines to buy a gun.

Finally, while not telling states that they have to drop licensing requirements to own a gun, which would violate the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, the act tells those states that as long as they require a license to exercise a right, they won't be getting the money from the excise taxes on firearms and ammunition.  Want the money from firearms owners to pay for your parks and such?  Then treat firearms owners as first class citizens and adults.

What do y'all think?


B said...

you give too much to the commerce clause that way. It already is over- (and mis)-used.

Other than that, I like it.

MrGarabaldi said...

Good article, well researched. Thanks DB Now we have to find a congresscritter that would sponsor it.

DaddyBear said...

Mr. B - I agree that I'm using the powers of the Commerce Clause as a club when I withhold the funds from the excise taxes, but when I use it to lose the restrictions on interstate commerce in firearms and ammunition, I believe that that's exactly what the Clause is for.

Thanks MrG's. I don't have much hope of that, but this was an interesting thought exercise.

Bob S. said...

I would add that the 9th Amendment protects the rights not mentioned.

Short cuts the militia argument.

Other than that, great work.
When are you running for Congress to sponsor the bill?

MSgt B said...

Not a snowball's chance in hell.

Nicely written, though.

Old NFO said...

Makes too much sense, so it'll never fly... sigh

TinCan Assassin said...

You send it to your Congressreptile, I'll send it to mine. Let's send a copy to the GOA to boot, and have them lobby it.

I agree, a snowballs chance, but let's throw the snowball at Hell's Gate anyway.

DaddyBear said...

You guys are absolutely right. It makes sense, it's not that complicated, and it has absolutely no chance of getting to see the light of day on Capitol Hill.

Would be nice, though, wouldn't it?

DaddyBear said...

TinCan Assassin - If I thought it would be worth the stamp, I'd consider it.

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