by Ron Paul of Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity
Gun control was already a Biden Administration priority before the recent shootings in Georgia, Colorado, and Virginia. In fact, the House of Representatives passed two gun-control bills weeks before the shootings.
One of the House-passed bills expands background checks to include private sales, including those made at gun shows. Under this bill, someone who is not a licensed federal firearms dealer cannot sell a firearm without first relinquishing it to a federally-licensed dealer. The dealer must then conduct a background check on the prospective purchaser.
The second bill allows the federal government to indefinitely delay a background check, thus indefinitely delaying a gun purchase. Other legislation introduced in Congress would create a national firearms registry, which would only facilitate gun confiscation.
This same legislation would forbid anyone under 21 from owning a gun. The ban does not apply to the military, so it will not stop the majority of gun violence committed by 18-21 year-olds.
The bill requires Americans to obtain a federal license before getting a firearm, but individuals cannot receive a license unless they undergo a psychological evaluation. The psychological evaluation mandate could lead to individuals losing their Second Amendment rights because they once suffered from depression. It could also cause people to lose their Second Amendment rights because someone told the police they may become violent.
Police officers in 20 states and the District of Columbia already have the authority to take away an individual’s Second Amendment rights based on allegations and without giving the individual due process. These “Red Flag” laws are supported by politicians of both parties, including some who claim to be pro-gun rights.
For example, former President Trump supported Red Flag laws. President Trump and Congressional Democrats were on the verge of reaching a “bipartisan” deal to expand Red Flag laws in the fall of 2019. Fortunately, the Democrat attempt to impeach the President ended all efforts at “bipartisan” deals to take away our rights.
A psychological evaluation could also be used to deny an individual Second Amendment rights because they may engage in “domestic terrorism.” Among those likely to be considered as potential “domestic terrorists” are opponents of US foreign policy, mass surveillance, the income tax, the Federal Reserve, and – ironically – gun control.
There is also legislation to reinstate the assault-weapons ban. Like the original ban, which was in effect from 1994-2004, the new legislation bans an arbitrary list of firearms and will do little to reduce gun violence.
Criminals and psychotics are not going to be deterred by background checks and licensing requirements from obtaining a firearm. There will be a black market to service those who cannot obtain firearms by legal means.
By discouraging law-abiding Americans from owning firearms, these laws leave millions of Americans defenseless against gun violence. There is a reason why most mass shootings occur in gun-free zones.
If Congress is serious about protecting Americans from violence, it would repeal all federal gun control laws. A good place to start would be with the Brady background check law and the misnamed “Safe and Gun-Free Schools” law, which leaves children defenseless against mass shooters. Congress ending the unconstitutional and anti-liberty war on drugs would also greatly reduce gun violence. Gun control, like all attempts by government to control our lives, makes us less safe, and less free.