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Below the Radar: The Gun Theft Prevention Act

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Article first appeared on Ammoland.com

United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- The old saying “actions speak louder than words” is one that Second Amendment supporters should keep in mind. As Maryland Governor Larry Hogan showed, it’s easy to talk a good game on the campaign trail but disappoint in office. But it is also important to look at what a bill does and not what its title is or what some say about it. One example is HR 2674, the Gun Theft Prevention Act.

Introduced by Representative Joseph Morelle, this law is not like the one introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham. Just reading the release from his office shows that Morelle’s legislation is supported by Bloomberg’s Everytown group. That alone is a red flag about this bill. But let’s look at what it actually does.

In remarks on the House floor in May 2019, Morelle said, “Last year, more than 500 gun shops were burglarized nationwide, releasing thousands of deadly weapons onto our streets and into the hands of criminals.”

However, looking at the text of the legislation, Morelle’s response is not to target the bad guys, as Senator Graham did. Instead, Morelle proposes to target not just the Federal Firearms Licence holders (FFLs) who end up as victims of crimes, but potential victims of crimes as well.

The potential victims get a slew of unfunded mandates – micromanaging from Washington D.C. in a one-size-fits-all mandate. Among the new hoops that will be added for gun dealers are the following:

  • FFLs will be required to come up with a security plan (which will likely require hiring consultants).
  • FFLs will have to annually certify compliance with that plan (a time and money drain).
  • The bill will require employees of FFLs to undergo NICS checks.
  • BATF will be able to inspect much more often than under current law.
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For actual victims, this bill is even worse. It heaps injustice on top of all the trauma and losses suffered by being the victim of a crime. Why? Because the bill has a slew of punishments for FFLs who are unlucky enough to be the victims of a burglary or robbery, including the suspension or revocation of an FFL.

In other words, become a crime victim often enough, you lose your livelihood. Yep, the victim of the crime gets punished for the actions of criminals. Eric Swalwell and Beto O’Rourke were pushing sweeping gun bans during their presidential runs, but Morelle’s bill takes heartless to a whole new level by attacking crime victims. Of course, keep in mind that the unfunded mandates and the bureaucratic hoops for victims and potential victims do nothing to the criminals who break the law, and only add costs to the FLLs, which get passed down to those who wish to exercise Second Amendment rights by buying a firearm, ammunition, or accessories.

The release from Morelle’s office claims that HR 2674 “will not impact the rights of responsible legal gun owners.” But revoking the licenses of gun dealers who are crime victims too often will impact responsible gun owners by depriving them of a place to legally purchase firearms. That deprivation – whether it is from the FFL not being able to afford the unfunded mandates or being punished for being victims of a crime – is the goal of this legislation.

Loyal Ammoland readers should get in touch with their Representatives and Senators, and politely but firmly urge them to oppose HR 2674 and instead support Senator Graham’s legislation instead. Criminals, not the victims of crime, should be the ones punished over stolen firearms.

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About Harold Hutchison

Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.

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