Below the Radar: The Sabika Sheikh Firearm Licensing and Registration Act
Article first appeared on Ammoland.com
United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- One thing Second Amendment supporters should recognize is that a piece of legislation doesn’t need to grab big headlines to be a sweeping assault on our rights. This is particularly true in the case of HR 4081, the Sabika Sheikh Firearm Licensing and Registration Act.
This is part of a package of legislation introduced by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee last summer. Her “Santa Fe High School Victims Act” was discussed earlier. But HR 4081 is arguably the centerpiece of her package – and it is perhaps one of the most onerous pieces of legislation Second Amendment supporters have seen.
Unlike the Blair Holt Firearm Owner Licensing and Record of Sale Act or the Federal Firearm Licensing Act of 2019, this bill adds outright registration, the precursor to confiscation, to a very cumbersome licensing process intended to make gun owners agree to give up their rights. In addition, violation of the licensing provisions can get you 15 to 25 years in prison. By contrast, the current felon-in-possession laws under 18 USC 922 have a ten-year maximum sentence per 18 USC 924.
Under this bill, though, it is more than just punishing someone for not having the Attorney General’s permission to own firearms. Just getting the license entails not just a background check, but a psychological exam, 24 hours of training, and a requirement to have insurance.
The psychological examination is a real doozy, too. Not only must you see a licensed psychologist, but that psychologist must be approved by the Attorney General. Also, the psychologist doesn’t just talk to you. They talk to a spouse, your exes, and at least two other family members (or other associates). That alone is time-consuming, simply because those other four interviews will have to be scheduled.
There is also no time limit for approval on the license – an invitation to create more Carol Bowne situations. And for the first five years, the license must be renewed every year. After five years, it’s once every three years. You also pay an $800 fee for the license. Just remember, if you can’t afford the fee, can’t make the exam, the guns you own right now could land you 15 to 25 is Representative Jackson Lee gets her way. And that’s punishment for crimes and acts of madness you did not commit.
Of course, Representative Jackson Lee took a page from Bobby Rush: She has named this act after a victim of the misuse of a firearm – in this case, Sabika Sheikh, a Pakistani exchange student killed in the Santa Fe High School shooting. She can literally use Ms. Sheikh as a shield against the very legitimate criticisms of this massive infringement on Second Amendment rights.
Second Amendment supporters need to contact their Representative and Senators and politely urge them to oppose this massive infringement that only punishes the law-abiding. Second Amendment supporters should urge them to instead support legislation like the School Violence Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2019 and the Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act, which actually address school security and the misuse of firearms and do not infringe on our rights.
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.