HR 1552 – The “Juveniles Can Never Be Rehabilitated Act”

Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY-1) introduced HR 1552 last week. The text of it has finally become available and is seen below. Congressman Israel has titled his bill “Preventing Gun Violence Act”. The bill would prohibit the possession of a firearm by anyone who had been convicted of any crime involving violence while a juvenile that would carry with it a sentence of more than one year if committed by an adult.

That sounds like a great get-tough-on-crime approach except when you think about it.

It seems barely a week goes by where you don’t see some third grader is arrested at school, put in handcuffs, and taken down to the police station for some imagined crime by an overzealous law enforcement officer. We roll our eyes, make fun of the system, and get on with life. What happens if this child is found guilty of assault in a family or juvenile court? Under Israel’s bill, he or she would probably be precluded from possessing a firearm for the rest of his or her life.

What this bill precludes is the idea that someone can be rehabilitated. It never imagines that kids who have grown up on the wrong side of the tracks and gotten into trouble as a kid would ever become a productive member of society. The idea of redemption is foreign to the author of this bill. It isn’t a three strikes law aimed at habitual criminals; it is a one strike and you’re out law. There is no rehabilitation, there is no redemption, there is no repentance for past sins.

Beyond being the author of this bill, Congressman Israel is also the Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. His bio there states he is a “defender of civil and human rights”. You wouldn’t know it by this bill.

H.R.1552 — Preventing Gun Violence Act (Introduced in House – IH)

HR 1552 IH

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1552

To amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to prohibit the possession of a firearm by a person who is adjudicated to have committed a violent act while a juvenile.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

April 14, 2011

Mr. ISRAEL introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to prohibit the possession of a firearm by a person who is adjudicated to have committed a violent act while a juvenile.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Preventing Gun Violence Act’.
SEC. 2. PROHIBITION ON POSSESSION OF A FIREARM BY A PERSON WHO IS ADJUDICATED TO HAVE COMMITTED A VIOLENT ACT WHILE A JUVENILE.
(a) Possession Ban- Section 922(g) of title 18, United States Code, is amended–
(1) by striking `or’ at the end of paragraph (8);
(2) by striking the comma at the end of paragraph (9) and inserting `; or’; and
(3) by inserting after paragraph (9) the following:
`(10) who has been adjudicated by a court of the United States to have committed a violent juvenile act,’.
(b) Violent Juvenile Act Defined- Section 921(a) of such title is amended by adding at the end the following:
`(36)(A) The term `violent juvenile act’ means an act by a person before the person attains 18 years of age that, if committed by an adult, would be punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year, and–
`(i) has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against another person; or
`(ii) that by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against another person may be used in the course of committing the act.’.


One thought on “HR 1552 – The “Juveniles Can Never Be Rehabilitated Act””

  1. Don't you understand that rehabilitation, redemption, and repentence only count when it comes to voting rights? Of course, it doesn't count then either unless you are likely to vote Democrat.

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