Lautenberg Amendment


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64 jeep
February 7, 2013, 12:50 PM
Hi everyone.
I see many of you are as concerned about this amendment as I am.
Time to write your elected Congressman, and Senators. I already have. The squeaky wheel gets greased.
Feel free to copy and paste this letter.

I request you to pass legislation to Repeal the Lautenberg Amendment
(section section 658 of Public Law 104-208 ) that Bill Clinton signed into
law back in 1996. It serves no purpose other than to create very thin and
questionable criteria to permanently ban citizens from their "Right to
Keep and Bear Arms".
Soldiers, police officers, and anyone who has been judged to have
committed a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence has incurred a lifetime
ban to own or possess firearms.
As you know, a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence need not involved a
physical crime, but a mere verbal exchange, with the punishment sometimes
being only a $10 fine. In many metro areas, a second phone call to a
house over a family altercation will result in the standard police
procedure of automatically arresting the male occupant, regardless of who
is at fault or whether any threats were made.
Just as bad, this legislation associates gun owners with "wife beaters" as
if the two are some how linked, which they are not. It is an intentional
slander to law abiding citizens, a breach of Constitutional freedoms, and a
hindrance to our military and law enforcement services. Many soldiers and
police officers have lost their jobs over their legal ban on carrying
weapons because of this dishonest law.
And I won't even bother going into its unconstitutional ex-post-facto
characteristics.
Next all Misdemeanor convictions will result in a lifetime gun ban.
If a Convicted Felon can have gun rights restore a person with a Misdemeanor conviction should have the same opportunity.

Sincerely

Please work to repeal the Lautenberg Amendment.

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locnload
February 8, 2013, 09:39 PM
Jeep, while I agree completely, I suspect that in todays climate, this will get nowhere. They will say things like "we need to be tightening laws on who can get guns, not adding wife beaters to the rolls of legal buyers".

Maybe if the same restrictions on gun ownership were extended to serving in elected or appointed public office, the political hacks would be a little more careful about the laws they dream up. Misdemeanor Domestic Abuse, sorry Senator, go get a job in the private sector. Convicted of corruption and bribery, no you can not say your sorry and run for another office. :D

mljdeckard
February 8, 2013, 09:44 PM
You will find no love for the Lautenberg Amendment here.

But do you think this is the right time for this fight, with the .gov currently trying to get new legislation through?

JERRY
February 8, 2013, 09:54 PM
its the only misdemeanor that strips away your 2nd amendment rights.

mljdeckard
February 8, 2013, 10:14 PM
Still....NOW?

Still Shooting
February 8, 2013, 10:16 PM
I have an ex-wife who over 11 years siphoned off $50K from our joint accounts, and intercepted/cashed 2 checks for $10K each issued to me from my father's estate. She had hidden the money away in personal accounts I wasn't supposed to discover, but I did. I left her on account of this, and other similar actions. She filed 2 bogus Petitions for Incarceration based on New Jersey's errors in posting my child support payments, and lies she told about my payments for our daughter's health insurance. She filed 9 more Petitions claiming I owed her money, all dismissed when I produced documents to the contrary, including some written in her own hand. She kept the divorce proceeding going for 3 years. If this law had been in effect at the time, I have NO DOUBT that Her Vindictive Highness would have claimed some form of domestic abuse, only to deprive me of my firearms for the rest of my life.

Any of us who are married could face the same situation in the event the marriage "comes apart". Bad Law!

mljdeckard
February 8, 2013, 10:30 PM
Right. Nobody likes it. I had to tread lightly in my divorce. We get it. But......NOW?

Milamber
February 8, 2013, 10:51 PM
I don't see why not now. We need to fight for the second amendment to stand for and be interpreted as it was written. Shall not be infringed. I see no creveats.

This amendment makes a victim of everyone convicted of this ludicrous misdemeanor. If the cops feel it was a physical assault or threat that would warrant removing firearms from the so called aggressor, charge it as a felony.

You can pick up this lifetime firearm ban for arguing in a parking lot with a girl or boyfriend when you are young dumb and naive. Then never ever see that person again. But not be able to defend your beloved wife and children twenty years latter in a home invasion. This law is heinous and needs repealing. I have copied and sent your letter sir.

mljdeckard
February 8, 2013, 11:05 PM
How's this for a reason why not.

It could be used as a bargaining chip in the real fight. "We'll ease up on Lautenberg, and give you nationwide reciprocity for CCW, if you will give us universal background checks and capacity limits." See how this works?

FOCUS. This is the time to hold firm, not to try to out-fox anyone. Lautenberg is a flagrant ex-post-facto law, and vulnerable to challenge as such. BE PATIENT.

Milamber
February 8, 2013, 11:20 PM
I agree that right now we have to stand firm and say enough. The blighted a have 31 bills in the house saying the same thing in a multitude of different ways.

mljdeckard
February 8, 2013, 11:21 PM
Trick plays aren't a great idea when the pressure is on. You are more likely to fumble than to win the game.

Milamber
February 8, 2013, 11:26 PM
Interesting analogy

heyjoe
February 9, 2013, 05:04 PM
the best defense is a good offense. we have been knocked back on our heels for long enough. its time for a counter offensive.

joeschmoe
February 9, 2013, 06:25 PM
the best defense is a good offense. we have been knocked back on our heels for long enough. its time for a counter offensive.
Since when have we been "knocked back on our heels"? We've had huge victories in the last 20 years. The anti's have been on thier heels, not us. They are grasping at straws.

mljdeckard
February 9, 2013, 06:30 PM
^^Yep.

heyjoe
February 10, 2013, 02:15 PM
since Newtown some states and at the federal level,have proposed draconian gun control laws and have or are in the process of passing them in most of those. surely you must have heard something about this gun control push nationwide the last 2 months?

joeschmoe
February 10, 2013, 02:45 PM
since Newtown some states and at the federal level,have proposed draconian gun control laws and have or are in the process of passing them in most of those. surely you must have heard something about this gun control push nationwide the last 2 months?
They can "propose" outlawing rainy days for all I care. Only NY has passed such a law, and ,IMO, it will be thrown out as unconstitutional.
We have made huge strides for the last 20 years and we are not giving them up. I disagree with all these fatalist attitudes that claim we are loosing our rights. They are being threatened, yes, but I'm confident we will win. We are winning.

leadcounsel
February 10, 2013, 02:57 PM
It's a terrifying piece of law that I believe needs to be repealed. And it is VERY effective at disarming people. A nefarious person could even pre-emptively disarm a person through this measure.

The anti gunners have also looked at expanding this to ANY violent misdemeanor, like a bar fight.

But it's more than a letter writing campaign.

Hard cold facts from people screwed over by it are needed. Testimony before congress of how vindictive manipulating people abuse this law for illegitimate gain.

Texan Scott
February 10, 2013, 04:11 PM
Voice of dissent here, fellas. While there may be a minority among those so banned, I'd have a hard time believing that most convicted of domestic violence haven't earned it. In many states, simple acts of physical violence such as punching or kicking are not charged as felonies. It is entirely possible for a man with a severe mean streak, serious self control issues, and a proclivity toward violence to physically dominate, hurt, and abuse his wife any time he's in a bad mood, be known to the police and his neighbors as a serial wife beater and bad sort, amass a list of class A misdemeanor arrests for crimes of violence, and NEVER get a felony charge to his account.

The problem is, he's clearly demonstrated that he is violent, mean, and bad. He's the last person anyone who knows him would trust with a gun, and it's sad, but when he ends up finally doing felony violence, nobody will be surprised.

The Lautenberg Amendment is bad policy, IMO, because it is a federal law imposed on states. It would be UNNECESSARY if states were doing the right thing themselves. Yelling at anyone, including a spouse, should be considered rude and poor form, but no crime. DELIBERATELY ASSAULTING AND PHYSICALLY HURTING a spouse should be a felony, and if it were, Lautenberg would be unnecessary.

Texan Scott
February 10, 2013, 04:31 PM
Let me say that I blame the states for not enforcing the law on this count. A man who beats his wife when he's drunk needs to be charged with both a felony assault (requires a change in some states' laws) but also with an alcohol offense, which properly adjudicated will constitute a crime of violence AND a history of substance abuse legal offenses.

Bottom line, crimes of violence and substance abuse indicate a lack of peaceable and sensible self control that OUGHT to preclude gun ownership. This is or ought to be a function of state law, not federal.

NMPOPS
February 11, 2013, 03:45 AM
I agree that laws do need to be changed and while I do not agree with the Lautenburg law it basically says that you will loose your 2nd Amendment rights if convicted of Domestic Violence but I don't think it actually defines it as DV laws do vary from state to state. Some states actually require the officers to investigate to determine the primary offender who is not always the man. In my state DV requires actual physical assault, not just a threat.

Girodin
February 11, 2013, 04:08 AM
Having dealt with this issue professionally and having written at least one paper addressing in part this issue, I can tell you that the OP is at a minimum mischaracterizing the types of Domestic Violence crimes that qualify to make a person a restricted person. Not all domestic violence convictions carry that result. A verbal exchange alone simply wont do it. Lies and scare tactics may be the number one tactic of the Antis but I wont resort to them and would encourage the OP to fact check next time. One current concern with prosecutions is the level of detail with which misdemeanor assaults are charged. This is an issue because of BCI criminal checks for firearm purchases. A person who is convicted of misdemeanor DV assault may become a restricted person who cannot own firearms. Under federal law one becomes a restricted person if convicted under a state law that “has as an element, the use or attempted use of physical force, or the threatened use of deadly weapon . . .” 18 USC 921(a)(33)(A) In as much as a verbal exchange does not constitute the use or attempted use of force or per se the threatened use of a deadly weapon it is not sufficient to make one a federally restricted person even if we assume it constitutes a state level crime.





My biggest issues with it are that some states have bad definitions of what constitutes domestic violence. For example, in the state I am most familiar with a crime gets a domestic violence enhancement if the defendant and the victim are over 16 and cohabitate, are blood relatives, are married, or have a child together. This definition is both horribly under inclusive and overinclusive all at once. It means to college roommates who are buddies cohabitate and if one punches the other he has committed a crime that can result in him being a restricted person for life. Whereas, an assault not rising to a felony level assault by a boyfriend against his girlfriend does not provided they don't live together and do not have a child together.

Girodin
February 11, 2013, 03:58 PM
Lautenberg is a flagrant ex-post-facto law, and vulnerable to challenge as such. BE PATIENT.

It has actually been litigated as high as the 5th Circuit. That court found it was not an ex post facto law. The SCOTUS did not take the case. It could be challenged in other circuits and a circuit split is the best way to get to the Supreme Court. So yes it could be challenged but it faces a pretty steep hill. Further, it wouldn't be challenging the law as to applying it prospectively anyways.

I have issue with Lautenberg and how it can end up being applied or not applied. In some states it actually doesn't get applied when it should. An excerpt from a paper I wrote discussing this:

One current concern with prosecutions is the level of detail with which misdemeanor assaults are charged. This is an issue because of BCI criminal checks for firearm purchases. A person who is convicted of misdemeanor DV assault may become a restricted person who cannot own firearms. Under federal law one becomes a restricted person if convicted under a state law that “has as an element, the use or attempted use of physical force, or the threatened use of deadly weapon . . .” The assault statute in this state has three subsections, only two of which, A and C, meet the federal requirements. This becomes an issue because of the way BCI conducts background checks. Their default position is to grant an application. If BCI is unable to determine that the conviction was under subsection A or C they approve. There is a belief that people who ought to be denied are getting approved. One solution would be to change the code and have a separate DV statute. Until then prosecutors are being encouraged to file information with the statute listed out to the subsection. This will keep people from erroneously passing a BCI check. It is suggested that doing this would solve 95% of BCI’s problems. Currently officials from the AG’s office are meeting with Justice Court judges and the various prosecutors’ offices encouraging them implement this change (references omitted)

And as I detailed above it also gets applied in cases that are in fact very far from the paradigm the Feds were looking to address.

Then there is the whole idea of denying a person a fundamental right based on a misdemeanor conviction.

Lastly I think it actually does more to harm the victims of domestic violence. DV prosecutions are already very very difficult for a multitude of reasons. The biggest hurdle is simply an evidentiary one. All to often the only person that can offer the evidence needed to reach beyond a reasonable doubt is the victim who often refuses to testify. I have been involved with cases where the defendant was more worried about becoming a restricted person than anything else. As such they have refused to accept plea deals that would have put them in DV treatment and sought to address the underlying root of the problem and instead fought it tooth and nail. I have seen victims refuse to cooperate because they do not want their spouse to become a restricted person. I have seen defendants and sadly even defense attorneys go all out in defense of these cases based on that fear. By going all out I mean crossing the legal and ethical line. Defendants have significantly stepped up their pressure and threats against victims upon learning they will be a restricted person.

If I were going to fight the amendment I would fight it on this bases.

Despite my reservations and concerns with this law. From a RKBA perspective it is down the list of things to take on for me.

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