To Senator Pat Toomey:
First, thank you for posting the proposed “Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act” on your website. Being able to read the entire bill helps in the understanding of its implications. TPATH has spent a great amount of time reading it and reverting back and forth between the many titles and sections of existing law that this legislation would implicate.
Read the full bill here: http://www.toomey.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=968
To Pat Toomey: compare your bill to ours
The Houston Gun Show, at the George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, TX. Photo: M. Glasgow, CC BY 2.0 Generic License
Being relatively sure that you have not seen the proposed legislation that TPATH has put out several weeks ago, please check out this link where you can view or download our proposed bill, which of course was not produced with all the bells and whistles required for actual argument or discussion, but as a guideline for what we think this legislation should entail.
See or download it here – http://www.tpath.org/TPATH_UPDATE_LINKS.html#CNPL_Program
While there are many similarities between our proposals, the most important point of agreement is that the proposed database will not contain names or information on legal and lawful gun owners. It will contain just names and information on those who are not legally eligible or mentally competent to purchase or own firearms.
Senator Toomey, there is no doubt that you have been under great pressure from conservatives and more than likely you are taking some pretty heavy political hits. Sometimes that is the price one pays for stepping up to the plate. Understanding that this is an extremely important issue, it is imperative that our 2nd Amendment rights be preserved, and too, is important we do all we can, to protect society from criminals.
It is a daunting task to try and juggle these two concepts without infringing on both. And it is just as impossible to create a perfectly safe society as it is to prevent firearms from getting into the wrong hands. Progressives and the left, have proven over and over again that they can not be trusted to do anything except the wrong thing. Despite all their rhetoric to the contrary, they would like nothing better than to eradicate the 2nd Amendment. Though we must work with them, we cannot join with them or aide them in that endeavor.
Having said that, I was unexpectedly satisfied that your bill had the correct words and support for the Constitution and the specific requirement for the “Registry” to contain only the names of criminals and not law abiding citizens who have bought or who may be considering buying guns.
Fix these, and your bill will be perfect
But, there appears to be a few items of omission and one glaring section which needs to be removed. TPATH is ready to support your bill if the following adjustments are made:
- It should be made clear that no record of lawful purchases or the the purchaser’s name will be compiled or saved in any Federal database as a result of a background check or any other means. Only those names of persons attempting to buy a weapon and who are on the no purchase list will be saved.
- It should be a crime to try to purchase a weapon if the purchaser is on this list. And that person should be prosecuted without exception.
- There should be a means for a purchaser to check the system, without penalty, to see if he is clear to purchase firearms. That step will not be an authorization to purchase and no record will be kept for that search.
- Section 128: INTERSTATE TRANSPORTATION OF FIREARMS OR AMMUNITION should be deleted completely. This is a blatant infringement on the 2nd Amendment. Once a citizen has been proven not to be on the no purchase list, the Federal Government should have no further ability to infringe on his rights to transport, move or ship his property. This is also an infringement on State’s Rights which already have laws concerning those being suggested under Section 128.
- While the legislation TPATH proposed did not require the States to join this effort at producing and maintaining a “no purchase list”, it is understood that for this to be practicable and to some extent effective, complete participation is necessary. So the deduction of certain payments to the state for non compliance or participation is acceptable.
- There needs to be a very strict penalty for anyone who attempts to purchase weapons after knowing they are on the no purchase list. These penalties need to be mandatory and not plea bargain-able.
- A new section must be added that prohibits the plea bargaining away of gun violation laws for persons who have committed crimes with weapons. Too often, criminals are allowed to walk away from gun law violations if they plead guilty to the crimes they commit with them. This must stop. If we really want gun violence to stop, keep violators in prison.
Please take some time to consider these ideas. 2nd Amendment supporters across this country will work with you or any politician if they can be reasonably secure in knowing public safety is the issue and not destruction of the Bill of Rights.
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