This week Alan Gottlieb has been called a traitor and worst. Alan Gottlieb is the guy that started the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF). The SAF has been winning huge court cases for a while now. They are putting up and winning the court cases that no other group wants to take because of the possibility for losing. Working for the Second Amendment Foundation he has won more for gun rights in the last couple years then a lot of groups have done in the last couple decades. Now he is switching tactics and working with lawmakers on a bill that will give more then it takes. It’s a true compromise (unfortunately).
Here is the bill (as of today 4/16/13). Read it before you pass judgment. And read it with an open mind (legalize stinks to read). Here is a link to Senator Minchin’s fact sheet about the bill. The part that sucks the worst about this entire argument is that no side is doing any good reporting. It’s all “he said, she said” crap! I had to dig for the copy of the bill (hat tip to the Senator for actually publishing it on his site). I read 20 or 30 stories this morning about the bill, some from the likes of MSBC and others from alternative media like GunNuts.net. I could not find a copy of the bill in any of them.
Read the bill for yourself. It’s 49 pages of stuff. It forbids the federal government from having a national gun registry and expressly forbids the Attorney General from keeping one. The fact sheet talks about being able to buy handguns in a state other then your residence, but I didn’t see that expressly written in the bill. The bill did get rid of a bunch of text in other bills and it could be under one of those.
Alan Gottlieb and the two sponsoring Senators say it is in there and I think it is. The bill does close the “gun show loophole” by making all sales at or around a gun show have a NICS check. It doesn’t say all gun transfers and has a provision for family members to be exempt. It also only expands the background checks to become necessity when a firearm is advertised. It also gives a good definition of what a gun show or “event” is and what it is not. So if you don’t advertise your gun or show it at an event, you don’t need to go through a background check.
This is really the middle ground. It’s right on the edge and is almost repulsive and almost acceptable at the same time. If I want to sell a gun to a friend and we just talk about it over lunch, I don’t need a background check. If I sell the gun at an “event” or advertise the gun someplace for sale (like the internet or local paper), then I need a check. I think I would rather have it as allowing people to have access to the NICS system for sales. When I sold a gun to my father I certainly didn’t need a NICS check on him to give him the gun. When I wanted to get rid of 1911 I had to get a Glock (didn’t have the extra cash at the time), I sold it to a gun shop because I didn’t want to take the time to find a qualified buyer. This is a law that will effect me very little, but will change how a lot of gun shows are done.
The bill offers a nice civil liabilities block if you sell a gun to someone and that person uses it in a crime. That hasn’t been in the law for individuals before and was hard won by firearms manufacturers when the government tried to put them out of business when Clinton was President by suing them like the tobacco industry.
So the bill is right there on the line. For all those people that say “we have to do something.” This is doing something and further protecting us legal gun owners in the process. I think a couple of the sections could have been worded better and stronger, but all in all it’s a bill I could live with… And I almost thru-up a little when I said that to myself. It hurts to give away any rights at all. If something is going to pass (which it will), this is the least heinous of them all by far and actually has some protections for us law abiding gun owners in it (including better provisions for travelling with a gun).
Lets stop trying to fight everyone and everything on this and work with people that are trying to make it better. I believe that Alan Gottlieb is one of those people, and maybe one of the few we can trust. We have trusted him for the last 5 years and now as soon as he says something that sounds bad we attack him. The fighting has to end somewhere and the work has to begin. If Alan has found a way, we should support him.