Now, let’s get the most obvious problem with this bill out of the way right up front. There is no way in hell that President Obama will sign it, nor can the House and Senate Republicans overcome his veto. So, why bother? That’s a good question and the only answer I can come up with is feeding the base meaningless headlines. I doubt more than a handful of people outside of DC will even read the bill, so it’s all about the headlines out here in “fly-over country.” So, let me clue you in on what the bill says. It protects travelers who are transporting firearms and/or ammunition across state lines.
“§926A. Interstate transportation of firearms or ammunition
(a) Notwithstanding any provision of any law, rule, or regulation of a State or any political subdivision there of:
(1) A person who is not prohibited by this chapter from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm or ammunition shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where the person may lawfully possess, carry, or transport the firearm to any other such place…”
However, during that transportation the firearms must be unloaded, inaccessible and otherwise useless to the traveler for any means of personal protection along their journey. So basically as long as that chunk of Kryptonite is securely locked up in a lead-lined concrete vault in the trunk, then you can move it from point A to point C without killing Superman at point B along the way. Ok, that’s a slight exaggeration, but you get the point. So, now that it has been rendered useless, you may safely travel from one place to another without having to worry about the local or state authorities arresting you for a violation of their unconstitutional anti-gun laws, right? Well, not quite.
This bill provides an affirmative DEFENSE to such prosecution, but does NOT protect you from arrest or detention. So, there you are driving along with your Kryptonite securely locked away and you get stopped for whatever reason and local law enforcement finds out you are transporting Kryptonite. Odds are that you will go to jail, depending on what state you are in. However, such arrest and/or detention does entitle you to “bring an action in any appropriate court against any other person, including a State or political subdivision thereof, who causes the person to be subject to the deprivation, for damages and other appropriate relief.” This includes “reasonable attorney’s fees” of course that means you still have to pony up the bail money and attorney’s fees out of your pocket and then HOPE the “appropriate court” awards you enough to cover your true out of pocket expenses and other damages resulting from being detained in the course of your travels.
Now don’t get me wrong, it is a SLIGHT improvement over the current law, but not even close to some of the headlines I have already seen on this subject. Including my own which is intentionally misleading to prove a point. Here is an example, from guns.buzz “Congress Puts 2nd Amendment On Offense With H.R. 131” and the NRA-ILA while not sensationalizing the headline had this to say, “The NRA fully supports H.R. 131 and appreciates Rep. Griffith’s leadership on this important issue.” As I said, it is a slight improvement over current law, but in my not so humble opinion it falls well short of anything resembling leadership on the issue. Leadership would be something more along the lines of “the right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED” in a constitutional amendment perhaps, but wait WE HAVE THAT ALREADY. Perhaps we need to abolish all of these piecemeal legislative infringements that have accumulated over the years rather than engage in this piecemeal deconstruction of them. Granted a wholesale repeal of federal, state and local gun control laws is unlikely to garner any support in the Oval Office. It would however send a statement to the American people that our constitutionally protected rights still have validity.
I’m not holding my breath expecting any true leadership to step forward, but I am also not all that excited about this half-hearted, half-measure of half-assed legislation being proposed. With all due respect to Rep. Griffith and the others who co-sponsored this bill, you can do better than that. Perhaps you could sponsor a bill requiring ALL government employees to attend a Constitutional Refresher Course annually, or better yet WEEKLY, so that they fully understand the documents that they swore an oath to uphold and defend.
Jon Britton aka DoubleTap is Chief Operating Officer of CDH, Inc., a regular contributing author and regularly involved in most aspects of their social media. “Writing was never a goal or even vaguely contemplated as a career choice, it just happened, an accidental discovery of a talent and a passion.” A passion that has taken him in many directions from explorations of the zombie subculture and zombie stories to political advocacy. Joining the U.S. Air Force right out of high school, Jon had the opportunity to experience many different parts of the world and different cultures. His post military career path, both white collar and blue collar, allowed him to work alongside both CEOs and average Joes. As a founding member Cold Dead Hands his study of human nature and writing ability found a purpose. His zombie roots provided a variety of issues from prepping to human behavior under crisis to firearms that he applies to his advocacy for gun rights. A ravenous appetite for the study of history combined with his current events political junkie addiction led to him writing an e-book Gun Sense: Past, Present and Future.