The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism held a hearing yesterday on one of Mayor Bloomberg’s pet projects. The bill, S. 436, the Fix Gun Checks Act of 2011, was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). The witnesses were what might be expected from in the Democrat controlled Senate with one exception.
Attorney David Kopel appeared to testify before the subcommittee in opposition to the bill. He correctly tore the bill to pieces. His conclusion is the quote of the day.
S. 436 violates the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, the Fifth Amendment guarantee of due of law, the Fifth Amendment guarantee of equal protection of the law, and the Tenth Amendment’s reservation of state authority over purely intrastate activities. S. 436 further violates the Tenth Amendment by imposing on the vast majority of states an extremely repressive system of restrictions on law-abiding gun owners which those states have already rejected.
Ever since 1776, Congress has recognized that a national gun registry would be a dangerous violation of the right to keep and bear arms. S. 436 creates such a registry.
S. 436 has no legitimate constitutional basis of authority, because S. 436 attempts to twists Congress’s real power to regulate interstate commerce into the power to regulate what is not interstate and not commercial.
S. 436 treats arrests as if they were convictions.
S. 436 takes the current gun ban for the criminally insane and applies it to non-dangerous people who have been ordered to get counseling for mental problems that have absolutely nothing to do with dangerousness—including stuttering, lack of sexual desire, and nicotine dependence.
Whatever good intentions might lie behind S. 436, the actual bill as drafted is grotesquely overbroad, and a Pandora’s Box of the dangerous consequences that are the inevitable result of making it a felony for law-abiding Americans to possess and use firearms.