Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Friday, October 14, 2011

H.R. 822 in the House- new version

The game is back on. Today House Judiciary members decided whether guns should be available to domestic abusers or not, among other things. October is Domestic Abuse awareness month- good time to decide that domestic abusers should, indeed have guns. Here is how the discussion went as reported by a Twitter friend along with my editorial comments about the debate:
H.R. 822 is opposed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, the Police Executive Research Forum and the 600+ mayors in Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Never mind. What does law enforcement know about anything? What do mayors know? Surely the NRA knows much more.
Rep. Johnson points out that LE's lack of ability to verify out-of-state permits with H.R. 822 would allow armed domestic abusers to cross state lines without impunity. Oh well. So much for safety for women who are abused and threatened by their abusers. Common sense isn't a factor here at all. Nor, apparently is safety.
Rep. Franks stepped up to defend concealed handgun permit holders who have been subjects of protection orders. Really Representative Franks? Are you sure you wanted to say that? You want to defend folks who have had protection orders served against them? Great idea.
Rep. Johnson pointed out to the committee that October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Good for him. See my comments above. I doubt that the Republican NRA bought Congress members care a whit about that.
Rep. Franks suggested that the best strategy for women is to arm themselves gun for gun against their abusers. Right. Great idea. Except it just doesn't work out that way. Statistics show that women are at much greater risk for their own safety when living in a home where there are guns. Using guns to protect themselves has just not worked out the way the Congressman is claiming. It's a stupid and dangerous idea founded on no proof.
These Representatives voted to allow those who have been subjects of domestic abuse protection orders in the past 10 years to legally carry guns in public in states outside their home state: Smith, Coble, Gallegly, Forbes, King, Adams, Franks, Marino, Chabot, Chaffetz, Griffin, Gowdy, Lungren, Ross. Now we know who is in favor of safety for women and who is not. Shame on them. If any of these are your Represtentatives, let them know you are incensed by their vote.
Rep. Quigley (D-IL) introduced an amendment to require concealed handgun permit holders who carry guns into other states to have a modern, photo ID. Steller idea. The NRA will hate it though. It might just lead to registration and licensing. Oh my gosh. Terrible.  
Rep. Quigley (D-IL) introduced an amendment to prohibit those convicted of assaulting or impersonating a cop from carrying guns into other states. Novel idea. I wonder who will vote against this one?
Rep. Franks described misdemeanor assaults and impersonations of police officers as "minor" crimes. Oh dear. It keeps getting stupider and worse the more this guy says.
Rep. Forbes (R-VA-4) suggested that prohibiting those who have assaulted cops from carrying guns into others states is a frivolous regulation. He's got to be kidding. Where do these guys come from? Another planet? How can it be frivilous to prohibit people who have assaulted cops to carry their guns into other states? Wow. Amazing. Just amazing.
The following Republican House Members just voted to allow those with misdemeanor convictions for assaulting or impersonating a police officer to legally carry guns in public in states outside their home state: Issa, Smith, Forbes, Franks, Marino, Chabot, Chaffetz, Griffin, Gowdy, Lungren, Ross, Sensenbrenner, Goodlatte, Quayle, Amodei, Gohmert. Is your Representative one of these?
Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) introduced an amendment to prohibit those who have been convicted of selling drugs to minors from carrying guns in other states. Sounds reasonable to me. How about you? If not, why not?
Rep. Nadler highlights House GOP hypocrisy and cites their repeated attacks on women's reproductive rights. True enough from my viewpoint. I mean, where are the jobs bills? Abortion bills don't create jobs. But I digress. And then this comment, all too true: H.R. 822 would force states to allow concealed handgun permit holders from other states to carry guns on their streets.
And then, Rep. Quigley tells Rep. Gowdy that the GOP has taken "civil liberties" so far it protects the 2nd Amendment rights of suspected terrorists. Again, who are we protecting with this bill? Not the public, that's for sure. I suggest that the NRA bought Congress members are protecting the rights of domestic abusers, terrorists, sex offenders, drug abusers and others who shouldn't be carrying guns around on our streets.
Democrats on the House Judiciary tell Rep. Gowdy that states have a right to legislate for public safety, per the Supreme Court. Duh. Didn't they already know that? I guess they had to be reminded.
Rep. Gowdy (R-SC-4) suggested that the U.S. Constitution enshrines the right to carry a gun for self-defense, but he can't cite where. Hmmm. Oh well.
Oh, and then this: The following Republican Members of the House Judiciary Committee just voted to allow those with misdemeanor convictions for selling drugs to minors to legally carry guns in public in states outside their home state: Issa, Smith, Forbes, Franks, Marino, Chabot, Chaffetz, Griffin, Gowdy, Lungren, Ross, Sensenbrenner, Goodlatte, Quayle, Amodei, King, Poe. Another great idea. What are they thinking? Is one of these your representative? Call him or her out on this dangerous voting.
This has to be the question of the day: Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) wondered why the conservatives on the Judiciary Committee are being so soft on criminals/drug-pushers. Thank you Representative Waters. Someone at least has common sense.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who is currently investigating the ATF, voted today to allow individuals with misdemeanor convictions for assaulting or impersonating police officers and individuals with misdemeanor convictions for selling drugs to minors to carry concealed handguns in public in states other than their home state. More hypocrisy. When it's what he wants, he investigates. Otherwise, he just lets the wrong people carry guns around all over the country. This should be investigated.
A Rep. Lungren amendment to mandate a GAO study of the risks with allowing people to get mail-order concealed handgun permits from outside their own states passed. Really? Something good happened for an instant here. Maybe there's hope. I guess this one made Rep. Chaffetz (R-UT), whose state mails concealed handgun permit holders to just about anybody, nervous. And well he should be. 
The following Republican House Members voted to allow those between the ages of 18-20 to legally carry guns in public in states outside their home state: Smith, Goodlatte, Forbes, King, Franks, Chaffetz, Griffin, Marino, Adams, Sensenbrenner, Chabot, Quayle. Another good idea.
Here is actually a good idea: Rep. Jackson-Lee offers an amendment to create a database for law enforcement officers to access concealed handgun permits from outside states. What are the chances? Cries of licensing and registration will surely follow. 
Check out this video when U.S. Rep. Trent Franks makes an ugly joke about "having to shoot someone" to gain political office in Arizona-
He "hopes" that the media will understand that this is a joke. Haha.
Rep. Bobby Scott reads a letter from the Virginia State Police. They require a 24/7 verification ability to recognize other states' concealed carry permits. Nonetheless- The following Republican House Members voted against creating a national database so law enforcement can verify permits of those carrying guns in public in states outside their home state: Smith, Goodlatte, Forbes, King, Franks, Chaffetz, Griffin, Marino, Adams, Sensenbrenner, Chabot, Quayle. Now we know that the NRA and its' supporters do not want law enforcement to be able to check on out of state permit holders, making their jobs less safe and decreasing overall public safety.
Then Rep. Franks argued that it will protect children by allowing concealed handgun permit holders to carry loaded guns in public in other states. How? What proof does he have? He's just spewing the usual NRA nonsense here. I hope someone will ask him how he knows this.
House Republicans continue to make the absurd and tired old argument that James Madison drafted the 2nd Amendment so that individuals with no militia responsibilities could carry concealed guns in public in states outside their home state. Right. Were there a lot of concealed guns in public when the second amendment was written? Did James Madison even envision such small and concealable guns?
The House Judiciary Committee apparently approved a Rep. Franks' substitute for H.R. 822. This made the bill even more dangerous. Great news for all. 
Here it is- the new version of H.R. 822. It just got worse, thanks to Representative Franks. From the press release of the Brady Campaign:
"Before Thursday, the proposed legislation, sponsored by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), undercut the authority of individual states to set their own rules for concealed carry by allowing anyone with a concealed carry license from any state to carry into other states in defiance of the training requirements or other limitations imposed by that state on its own residents. 
But the Franks Amendment forces states to recognize the concealed carry licenses of non-residents, even if they are ineligible to possess a handgun in the state where the carrying occurs."
And also this:
For example, under Tennessee law, Tennessee residents with concealed weapons permits may be prosecuted for violating the State’s law prohibiting handgun possession by persons ‘while under the influence of alcohol.’
The Franks Amendment would make that prohibition unenforceable against someone with a concealed carry permit visiting from another state, who is caught in possession of a gun in Tennessee while intoxicated. The prospect of a concealed weapon permit holder being arrested while armed and intoxicated is hardly fanciful, since the state legislator who championed Tennessee’s law allowing guns in bars was arrested this week for possessing a handgun while under the influence.
The Judiciary Committee also defeated an amendment offered by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) that would have limited the damage done by the Franks Amendment by at least allowing states to prevent out-of-state gun carriers from carrying concealed if they had been convicted of a misdemeanor sex offense against a minor.  Incredibly, the Nadler Amendment was defeated.
So just in case anyone thought the NRA and its' minions in the U.S. House of Representatives were willing to compromise, we see now this "take no prisoners" approach to legislation that will make us all less safe. This is dangerous and stupid. Where is common sense?


16 comments:

  1. Can you point to the change that would allow this?

    "The Franks Amendment would make that prohibition unenforceable against someone with a concealed carry permit visiting from another state, who is caught in possession of a gun in Tennessee while intoxicated."

    I have checked opencongress.org but see no language that would allow this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The new info is likely not there yet. The Repubs screwed up and have to wait until next week to mark it up. They didn't have enough committee members there today. Too bad.

    ReplyDelete
  3. japete,
    Is your link to the Franks Amendment broken? I got the Brady Campaign's press release.

    Here's the actual text of the proposed law (pdf file).

    I'd like to call attention to subsection (b), which starts on line 12 of page 2. In plain English, it says that a licensee from another State is subject to the same "conditions and limitations" - i.e. NOT being intoxicated while carrying -- as apply to residents of the State they're in.

    This means that tourists in Ohio and Tennessee can't be drunk while carrying, and can be arrested if they do carry while intoxicated.

    Also, I'd like to note - because it's come up here before - that subsection (c) defines "identifying document" for the purposes of carry permits: it must have the same form - layout, information, picture, purpose, etc. - as "a type intended or commonly accepted for the purpose of identification of individuals." Common example: driver's licenses.

    If a minimum-wage bartender can spot a fake or altered ID, isn't it a safe assumption that a highly-trained police officer could do the same?

    May Peace favor you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm not sure the new version of the bill is up yet since it didn't pass out of committee yesterday due to a screw up on the part of the Committee. Permits to carry are the issue here, not drivers's licenses. They are different in every state as are the people who qualify to get one. That is the larger issue here. Who gets a permit? In Florida there is a different standard. That person, who couldn't get a permit in Minnesota, would now have to be allowed to carry in Minnesota in the same places people can carry in Minnesota- thus we will have sex offenders, domestic abusers, etc, who are not disqualified in Florida, to carry in Minnesota bars if they are visiting here.

    ReplyDelete
  5. japete writes:"That person, who couldn't get a permit in Minnesota, would now have to be allowed to carry in Minnesota in the same places people can carry in Minnesota- thus we will have sex offenders, domestic abusers, etc, who are not disqualified in Florida, to carry in Minnesota bars if they are visiting here. "

    To be clear, a person convicted of a misdemeanor or felony crime of domestic violence is prohibited federally from possessing a firearm for life.

    B

    ReplyDelete
  6. In some states these folks are granted permits. That was the reason for the discussion yesterday. Take Witchita, Kansas. They will not prosecute misdeamor domestic abuses any more for lack of funding.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't understand what you don't get here:

    1. To be issued a license, the applicant must pass a background check. Anyone with a felony or violent misdemeanor conviction will be rejected. Please do spare me the occasional person who gets through the system. If an occasional error is reason for junking the whole process, we must eliminate our criminal justice system, since it convicts innocent persons from time to time.

    2. The driver's licenses of the fifty states all also look different. The police have no trouble recognizing those. Why do you think that they'll have difficulty with carry licenses? Besides, we live in the Information Age. When in doubt, the officer just has to place a call with the issuing agency of the person's home state.

    3. Someone who hasn't been convicted of a crime, even of domestic abuse, is--can you guess?--innocent, until proven guilty. That's what due process is about. You say that we gun enthusiasts trouble you. You scare me with your presumption of guilt.

    It may surprise you to learn that I don't object to training requirements for licenses. I don't like it, but it's a compromise that I'm willing to accept. That being said, what I do argue is that each state ought to recognize the license that my home state issues me. That's the principle of Federalism. We gun enthusiasts would be more willing to work with you if you'd recognize those of us who have passed the various requirements for a license as bona fide good citizens.

    ReplyDelete
  8. gregory- I have stated my position several times at least here. I don't get that you don't get what I am for and what I am against. But if you insist on being persistent, the data base is entirely different. One is a national, or mostly so, data base that police can check from computers in their patrol cars. The other is state based and not in computers that police can readily check. There.

    ReplyDelete
  9. "In some states these folks are granted permits. That was the reason for the discussion yesterday. Take Witchita, Kansas. They will not prosecute misdeamor domestic abuses any more for lack of funding. "

    So What? It isn't true but if it was, so what? Federal law makes them a felon if they touch a gun. What good would a permit be without a gun?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Apparently it doesn't. That was the point of the discussion at yesterday's sub committee meeting. No one said it wasn't true. They just voted in favor of allowing these folks to carry their guns around in every state.

    ReplyDelete
  11. No, they didn't. The reciprocity provision does not apply to those prohibited by federal law from gun possession. If someone prohibited carries, permit or no, they could be arrested and charged under the laws of the state they are visiting as if they did not have a permit. They would also be liable for federal charges, and/or state charges for illegally possessing.

    ReplyDelete
  12. No right, Keith- they didn't vote on the bill in its' entirety yet. They only voted on the provisions I laid out in my post. They did vote in favor of allowing those folks to carry their guns around. Check out the amendments and you will see what they voted on. I didn't make up what they did in committee. The whole point of the bill, as you know, is to allow people from one state to carry in another. When one state has different provisions for allowing certain people to carry in a different state, the result will be that people from Florida, where the permitting requirements are different, to carry in Minnesota and other states who don't allow those folks to carry. That's the result. If this bill meant no changes, you guys wouldn't be pushing it so hard. It will change gun laws in most states and force changes in who can carry guns around. If people just had to follow the laws already in place in those states, why would you need this bill? States don't recognize carry laws in other states for a reason.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I didn't mean no changes. I meant no changes in respect to prohibited persons under federal law. Most of the qualification differences between shall-issue states are minor when you look at categories of people who are not prohibited. Where this bill will make the most difference is in states that are may-issue, which have no reciprocity. Congress is forcing reciprocity on them through the 14th amendment. So I could carry in NJ on a PA license. This would be a big deal for NJ, where I fear even shooting competitively with unloaded guns in the car because of how bad their laws are. Not such a big deal between MN and Florida, both of which are shall-issue, and who have similar requirements.

    ReplyDelete
  14. What Sebastian says is correct - the changes made to HR 822 do not change the elements of 18 USC 922, the federal law that prohibits individuals convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence from possessing a firearm.

    A person that is federally prohibited from possessing a firearm is not going to get a carry permit in any state that issues them - and would still be prohibited from possessing a firearm even if/after HR 822 is made into law.

    b

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yes, it must be a great inconvenience for you not to be able to carry in NJ which has strict laws. I'm sure they will be delighted to see all of you PA gun guys coming into their state now with your loaded guns.

    ReplyDelete
  16. That was not the nature of the discussion at the hearing on Friday. And what about 18 year olds and sex offenders who are granted permits in some states? It' s very clear that you guys don't care what the qualifications are in other states. You just want to carry your guns wherever you go and never mind who else gets to in public places where the rest of us don't care to have them with their guns.

    ReplyDelete