Below the Radar: The Multiple Firearm Sales Reporting Modernization Act of 2019
Article first appeared on Ammoland.com
United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- Often, when threats to the Second Amendment are discussed, the focus is on bans on modern multi-purpose semi-automatic firearms, licensing and registration schemes, and universal background checks. However, a lot of other attacks are coming, and many are under the radar – but can still have a huge effect.
One such bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Norma Torres (D-CA). The legislation is officially known as H.R. 4324. The title is “The Multiple Firearm Sales Reporting Modernization Act of 2019.” On the face of it, it does seem unobjectionable – but on closer examination, it’s a bad bill and makes the situation worse for law-abiding citizens who wish to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
Under current law, located at 18 USC 923(g)(3)(A), federally licensed dealers are required to report the sale of multiple handguns (the text of the law says, “two or more pistols, or revolvers, or any combination of pistols and revolvers totaling two or more”). The justification for the current reporting requirement, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, is to fight firearms trafficking. The ATF reportedly estimates that half of illegally trafficked guns start out as straw purchases.
Now, current laws for firearms trafficking are pretty harsh, especially when the person is buying the guns for criminals, drug dealers, fugitives, etc. In 1999, the NRA ran a tab on the prison sentences one very small-time operator who ran just five guns would get. The total was 995 years in prison. But when was the last time you ever heard of someone getting hit with a serious sentence for any of this?
Congresswoman Torres wants it expanded to all firearms – including rifles and shotguns of any type. In a press release issued the day the legislation was issued, Torres claims this is a “commonsense solution to make communities safer.” She makes a big deal about modern multi-purpose semiautomatic firearms, as well.
Sounds reasonable, right? For many Americans, it does. Then again, they don’t know what we know. When a person looks at the facts about rifles and their misuse in crime (more accurately, the lack of their misuse in crime), or if they have seen the latest crime data from the Justice Department, this legislation is not as reasonable as Representative Torres makes it out to be.
In essence, if you were to get a family member interested in cowboy-action shooting a revolver and lever-action rifle (say a Taurus 608 and a Marlin 1894C, both in .357 Magnum), the FFL would now have to fill out a multiple firearms sales report. The same would apply if you were buying three Ruger 8323 bolt-action rifles. That’s extra paperwork for guns not often used to commit crimes. IF the laws were enforced, it would be a minor hassle.
The problem is, of course, that it seems the laws on the books don’t get enforced – or they aren’t enforced enough to deter those who would engage in firearms trafficking. So that really tips the balance on this law as a low-grade, stealthy attack on our rights. It adds one more hoop to be jumped through – not as onerous as having to wait weeks for a license or be arrested for an innocent mistake as which happens all too often in New Jersey, but it is still an infringement.
Second Amendment supporters should take the time to contact their Representative and Senators and politely urge them to oppose this legislation. Let them know that there are laws on the books that should be enforced with regard to the misuse of firearms.
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.