Well, with 2013 now firmly in our rear-view mirror, recent events hint that 2014 will be no less contentious between gun right advocates and pro-regulation members. In fact, several key provisions will be in place for early 2014 that will indeed set the stage for the future of gun ownership. And with the coming year being an election cycle for Congress, any number of political promises, overtures, and flat-out lies will be shed all in an effort to sway the sheep to mobilize behind one cause or another. So here we go…what will 2014 hold for the continual 2nd Amendment debate?
Citizens in Connecticut were told to register their weapons by late December 2013, or risk becoming labeled criminals amid the State’s continued knee-jerk reaction to Sandy Hook Elementary. In a deadline set for January 1st, 2014 citizens who owned any of the government’s growing list of defined “assault weapons” and high-capacity magazines, were required to register them into a State-established database and receive ownership certificates. (Haigh)
“If you get caught with a banned assault weapon after tomorrow night then you’re going to be prosecuted as a felon,” said Mike Lawler, Gov. Daniel P. Malloy’s Undersecretary for Criminal Justice. (Lucey)
The database will serve as a statewide registry for all future purchases, and monitor for “parolees” whose crimes involved use of weapons. Never mind the fact that all firearms in Connecticut (and
most states) are de facto registered with a DPS-3 or DPS-3-C form at time of purchase. News and video described last-minute lines as owners apparently felt (or thought) a decision would come down to negate the continued incursion of the government into their lives – but no such effort came.
Instead many citizens went blindly (if only slightly less than willingly) to the various government offices to register – surrendering “the individual’s name, address, telephone number, motor vehicle operator’s license, sex, height, weight and thumbprint, as well as information about the weapon, including the serial number, model and any unique markings” required in the registration form. Connecticut gun-owners have since been derided as “rolling over” without large-scale mobilization, no involvement of pro-gun lobbyists or groups (aside from The Connecticut Citizens Defense League – which still maintained the law was unconstitutional but suggested people comply), and no engagement of the public with politicians to challenge the law.
The citizens meekly surrendered themselves to the anti-gun agenda, something I feel is demonstrated by Lawler’s commentary saying, “I think over time, there’s just going to be fewer and fewer of those [assault weapons and high-capacity magazines] in circulation”. (Haigh)
Clearly, the goal in Connecticut is to squeeze gun owners out of their rights in ever-encroaching legislation during 2014 under the guise that registration will be used to find criminals whilst only the law-abiding are the ones whom will actually be complying.
Similar anti-gun agendas are on stage for 2014 in California as well. Like Connecticut, California all but raced to be the State with the toughest anti-gun laws, proposing measures that would have made any weapon with a detachable magazine labeled an “assault” variant and thus illegal. But the measure failed, and in that demise the anti-gun community turned then to crafting AB 809, the mandatory registration requirements for all rifles and shotguns, as well as your ammunition that goes into effect in 2014.
“I don’t like it, but I’m living in a State where I don’t have a choice,” said a California resident as he waited in a late December line to purchase a rife. (White)
The bill, AB 809, essentially establishes a statewide registry of all legally purchased firearms in the State, and the residences of their owners. Previously, the California Department of Justice was required to destroy any files filled out during the normal purchasing process for a firearm, but beginning in 2014 they will be able to store this information so that multiple State and federal agencies can review its holdings at any given time, specifically its para-military unit responsible for researching, locating, and interdicting “criminals” within the gun registry the California Department of Justice’s Armed Prohibited Persons System.
Fairfield Police Chief Walk Tibbet made the atypical ascertain that this registry is needed stating, “It’s not our intent to take guns away from law-abiding citizens. I’m trying to keep my officers from being shot.” (White)
He overlooks the fact that it is not the criminals who would be completing this data, nor subject to database reviews, searches, or seizures by California law enforcement.
Amanda Wilcox, advocate with the Brady Campaign in California, blithely States “We know gun laws work. Studies have shown that States with stronger gun laws have fewer gun deaths. Many of us feel that military-style weapons do not have a place in our streets in California.” (CBS 13)
Problem is…recent academic studies have refuted this oft common claim and whose research proves almost the exact opposite. (Hawkins) So good luck California gun owners…you’ll need it in the year to come.
And lastly, there is perhaps the most restrictive State for gun owners – yet oddly has among the HIGEST gun-related acts of violence in the US right next to NYC, Chicago, and Detroit. In an effort to ensure the continued dominance of government regulations in the D.C. region, effective January 2nd, 2014 residents who already legally own and have registered their firearms with law enforcement, will again be required to pay $48 and re-register each weapon before the end of a 60-day window or become a registered felon in possession of an illegal weapon. The unregistered weapon then falls into the same category as sawed off shotguns and machine guns with a convection carrying a minimum of 1-yr in prison and a $1,000 fine. And since Washington D.C. has such a strong weapon registration program, anyone who fails to meet the deadline or chooses to forgo this new mandate has little chance to avoid the new levies as, the police are already in possession of each registrants’ home addresses so confiscation and arrests would be that more simple.
The intent of this law was touted several years ago as an effort by D.C. regulators, “…to uncover if a gun owner does something that makes him suddenly a danger to society, such as committing a felony, becoming a drug addict or being involuntarily committed to a mental hospital”. (Miller)
However, aside from the threat of prison and fines, perhaps the real reason D.C. is requiring the re-registration is the revenue it hopes to gain. From not only the registration fee, but the additional cost of digital fingerprinting ($35) and for an FBI background check clearance ($18) dispersed amongst the 30,000 residents previously registered D.C. regulators will bring in considerable funding. So in essence D.C. legislatures are using the State’s gun registry as a form of perpetual extortion and harassment, subjecting gun owners in the district to greater scrutiny that what many sex-offenders currently receive. And after all, the real objective is to reduce the amount of weapons in the hands of those who have them illegally, but again only the law-abiding are in danger of the scrutiny by these new regulations.
2014 Will Be a Long Year
So really the overarching goal for gun-control advocates in 2014 is already shaping up to be in the direction of Statewide, or perhaps even national, gun registration similar to what I wrote about earlier. And with that registry State and federal legislators will be able to freely levy charges/fees on legal firearm owners, or add to pre-existing legislation in an attempt to further regulate the industry and public access. And while States like Connecticut, California, and Washington D.C. lead in those efforts – other States that are more center-to-right are moving to further guarantee a citizen’s 2nd Amendment rights. In Missouri, State Senate Bill 613 is a remake of the Second Amendment Preservation Act due for a vote later in the year, and would effectively make any federal law requiring additional taxation, registration or tracking unconstitutional. (Shorman) Elsewhere in regions of Colorado and Florida local sheriffs are already publicly proclaiming they will not enforce federal regulations intended to further infringe on gun ownership or the 2nd Amendment. (Goode) So 2014 is shaping up to be yet another contentious year, complicated by the political cycle, and subject to the ever-present pressures of the federal government. My biggest advice to all the sheep out there is again, get informed. If you rely on people to tell you what to do, how to think, and that a registry can’t be used against legal gun owners then you owe it to yourself to find your own voice, do research and due diligence, and then most importantly – get involved. It’s clear the direction gun control advocates will be moving and every effort at the federal and local levels must be made to stop it. America has gotten in the situations it now finds itself because the citizenry has largely advocated its role as the true source of political and social power, and in their absence legislators in D.C. pass laws on the basis of their own personal goals and not the Will of the People.
CBS 13. “California Gun Rights Advocates Want State Constitutional Amendment.” 2013, 27-December. CBS Sacramento. 2013, 31-December http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2013/12/27/california-gun-rights-advocates-want-state-constitutional-amendment/
Goode, Erica. “Sheriffs Refuse to Enforce Laws on Gun Control.” 2013, 15-December. The New York Times. 2014, 8-January http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/16/us/sheriffs-refuse-to-enforce-laws-on-gun-control.html?_r=0
Haigh, Susan. “Conn. Gun Owners Rush to Register Weapons, Ammo.” 2013, 29-December. ABC News. 2014, 1-January http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/conn-gun-owners-rush-register-weapons-ammo-21361035
Hawkins, Awr. “Study: Concealed Carry Saves Lives, Assault Weapon Ban Ineffective.” 2014, 4-January. Breitbart. 2014, 7-January http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/01/03/Study-Concealed-Carry-Saves-Lives-Assault-Weapons-Ban-Had-Little-to-No-Effect
Lucey, Kim. “Connecticut gun owners rush to register weapons.” 2013, 30-December. WFSB 3 News. 2014, 1-January http://www.wfsb.com/story/24327384/connecticut-gun-owners-rush-to-register-weapons-ammunition
Miller, Emily. “Gun re-registration begins in D.C., may lead to arrest and confiscation.” 2014, 1-January. The Washington Times. 2014, 4-January http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/1/gun-reregistration-law-dc-goes-effect-2014/?page=all
Shorman, Jonathan. “Fight over gun laws heading for Round 2.” 2013, 30-December. Springfield News-Leader. 2014, 5-January http://www.news-leader.com/article/20131230/NEWS06/312300020/Missouri-federal-gun-law-enforcement-Second-Amendment-Preservation-Act
White, Jeremy. “California gun owners warily eye rifle, shotgun database requirement.” 2013, 17-December. The Sacramento Bee. 2014, 7-January http://www.sacbee.com/2013/12/16/6003230/california-gun-owners-warily-eye.html