The Toomey-Manchin gun bill seeks to build on and expand background checks of gun sales at gun shows/events using the National Instant Criminal Background Check. The authors allege it does not expand the authority of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
However, the ATF and state governments will now have cause to step up “investigations” of legal gun owners.
The data mining from this bill will set up the framework for a potential national registry.
The bill has a severability clause – if one part of the bill fails, it does not affect the rest of the bill.
It establishes a record-keeping system which will be available to the NCIS in four years. It makes arrest and conviction records, court orders, and mental health adjudications or commitments available to Federal and State record repositories. It is intended to be kept in real-time, a costly and near-impossible undertaking which could easily be misused.
There is a clause that offers protections for veterans by stating that their honorable discharge or decoration can be considered in a mental competency disposition. It includes due process.
Transport of weapons is specified to the extreme with government overseers and tight regulations.
The measures do not establish a national registry and it is intended to keep guns out of the hands of the severely mentally ill and criminals. However, there is a dangerous exception which allows the DOJ to pass any regulations he wants: (4)(A) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, except for section 923(m), the Attorney General may implement this subsection with regulations.
The bill proposes a study to determine whether medical doctors and other mental health professionals have the ability, without negative legal or professional consequences, to notify law enforcement officials when a patient is a danger to himself or others. This would be done without due process and would require the patient to go through difficult bureaucratic procedures to get his/her gun rights back. Due process is ignored under this clause.
Senator Toomey believes opposition to the bill is lack of information on the part of opponents. I doubt that is the case. People are concerned because they have seen what happens to these bills once passed or when they are on their way to markup. The massive Obamacare bill, for example, was passed using the skeleton of an innocuous military appropriations bill that had nothing to do with nationalized healthcare.
Senators Toomey and Manchin certainly appear sincere but that doesn’t mean the bill will go the way they intend it to go and therein lies the problem.
One interesting note: Parents who met with the Congress and the president said that they don’t want the Second Amendment infringed and they understand that none of the actions being taken would have saved their babies but even if one life is saved, they feel it is worth it.
President Obama insists gun legislation is not political as he used these parents to make his point.
Many in the media are adopting the same language as the president which has caused some consternation. The media has lambasted the Republicans. That causes a high level of distrust.