Monday, February 16

Who's Blair Holt? And What's He Got to Do With Your Rights to Bear Arms.

Amber wrote and asked what I thought about H.R. 45. To be honest, I didn't even know what H.R. 45 was all about and I'm betting you don't either. So here's a little background:

Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., introduced a firearm-licensing bill in January that will significantly rewrite gun-ownership laws in America. The bill claims its purpose is "to protect the public against the unreasonable risk of injury and death associated with the unrecorded sale or transfer of firearms to criminals and youth."

H.R. 45, is also known as "Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009," named after an Illinois teenager killed by a gunshot. According the bill, "On the afternoon of May 10, 2007, Blair Holt, a junior at Julian High School in Chicago, was killed on a public bus riding home from school when he used his body to shield a girl who was in the line of fire after a young man boarded the bus and started shooting."

The bill then argues that interstate firearm trafficking and children dying from gun violence create legitimate cause for the federal government to monitor gun ownership and transfers in new ways. If passed, the bill would make it illegal to own or possess a handgun or any semiautomatic firearm that takes an ammunition clip – without a "Blair Holt" license.

To obtain a "Blair Holt" license, an application must be made that includes a photo, address, all previous aliases, thumb print, completion of a written firearm safety test, and release of mental health records to the attorney general.

The bill also makes it illegal to transfer ownership of a qualifying firearm to anyone who is not a licensed gun dealer or collector. Exceptions to this rule include transfer to family members by gift or bequest and loans, not to exceed 30 days, of a firearm for lawful purposes "between persons who are personally known to each other."

The bill also requires qualifying firearm owners to report all transfers to the attorney general's database. It would also be illegal for a licensed gun owner to fail to record a gun loss or theft within 72 hours or fail to report a change of address within 60 days. And if a minor obtains a weapon and injures someone with it, the owner of the gun – if deemed to have failed to meet certain safety requirements – faces a multiple-year jail sentence.

So that's the bill in a nutshell. You can go here and here and here to read more. Let's chew on it for a day or so and then we'll discuss it.


doorhealthy said...

First, as a mom of two, I am concerned about my children’s safety as well. However, given that handguns are completely banned in Chicago and Washington DC, and yet they have the highest gun crime rates in the country, how would this law prevent someone who has murder in their heart from obtaining a gun or other implement to carry out their desires? As I recall the Columbine killers had rigged propane tank bombs as well as using guns. Fortunately, their skills at bomb making were not very good and none of the bombs went off. Also, Tim McVeigh didn’t use any guns in his quest to murder innocent people like my children. My point being that if someone has a desire to murder, there are many easy ways to accomplish that goal. This law would do nothing in my opinion to protect my kids from someone with a desire to kill. So what is Blair Holt (HR-45) really about?


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