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NRA e-mail : "The truth about the NICS improvement act"

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Redneck with a 40, Jun 16, 2007.

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  1. Redneck with a 40

    Redneck with a 40 Member

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    Here it is, I recieved this in my in-box today....interesting.

    On June 13, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed H.R. 2640, the "NICS Improvement Act," by a voice vote. H.R. 2640 is consistent with NRA's decades-long support for measures to prohibit firearm purchases by those who have been adjudicated by a court as mentally defective or as a danger to themselves or others. Additionally, H.R. 2640 makes needed, and long overdue, improvements to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).


    While the media continues to characterize this bill as a "gun-control" measure, nothing could be further from the truth. The national media either have not bothered to read and accurately assess the text of the bill, or are deliberately manipulating and "spinning" the facts in order to stir up controversy and forward their agendas.

    Here are the facts: H.R. 2640 would provide financial incentives to states to make records of prohibited individuals available for use in the NICS, and would also require federal agencies to provide such records. Those blocked from buying a gun due to these newly provided and updated records in the NICS are already prohibited under current law from owning firearms.

    The basic goal of the bill is to make NICS as instant, fair, and accurate as possible. While no piece of legislation will stop a madman bent on committing horrific crimes, those who have been found mentally incompetent by a court should be included in the NICS as they are already prohibited under federal law from owning firearms. H.R. 2640 is sound legislation that makes numerous improvements over existing federal law, including:

    Certain types of mental health orders will no longer prohibit a person from possessing or receiving firearms. Adjudications that have expired or been removed, or commitments from which a person has been completely released with no further supervision required, will no longer prohibit the legal purchase of a firearm.
    Excluding federal decisions about a person's mental health that consist only of a medical diagnosis, without a specific finding that the person is dangerous or mentally incompetent. This provision addresses concerns about disability decisions by the Veterans Administration concerning our brave men and women in uniform. (In 2000, as a parting shot at our service members, the Clinton Administration forced the names of almost 90,000 veterans and veterans' family members to be added to a "prohibited" list; H.R. 2640 would help many of these people get their rights restored.)
    Requiring all participating federal or state agencies to establish "relief from disability" programs that would allow a person to get the mental health prohibition removed, either administratively or in court. This type of relief has not been available at the federal level for the past 15 years.
    Ensuring-as a permanent part of federal law-that no fee or tax is associated with a NICS check, an NRA priority for nearly a decade. While NRA has supported annual appropriations amendments with the same effect, those amendments must be renewed every year. This provision would not expire.
    Requiring an audit of past spending on NICS projects to find out if funds appropriated for NICS were misused for unrelated purposes.

    Neither current federal law, nor H.R. 2640, would prohibit gun possession by people who have voluntarily sought psychological counseling or checked themselves into a hospital:


    Current law only prohibits gun possession by people who have been "adjudicated as a mental defective" or "committed to any mental institution." Current BATFE regulations specifically exclude commitments for observation and voluntary commitments. Records of voluntary treatment also would not be available under federal and state health privacy laws.
    Similarly, voluntary drug or alcohol treatment would not be reported to NICS. First, voluntary treatment is not a "commitment." Second, current federal law on gun possession by drug users, as applied in BATFE regulations, only prohibits gun ownership by those whose "unlawful [drug] use has occurred recently enough to indicate that the individual is actively engaged in such conduct."
    In short, neither current law nor this legislation would affect those who voluntarily get psychological help. No person who needs help for a mental health or substance abuse problem should be deterred from seeking that help due to fear of losing Second Amendment rights.

    This bill now moves to the Senate for consideration. NRA will continue to work throughout this Congressional process and vigilantly monitor this legislation to ensure that any changes to the NICS benefit lawful gun purchasers, while ensuring that those presently adjudicated by the courts as mentally defective are included in the system.


    If anti-gun Members of Congress succeed in attaching any anti-gun amendments to this bill, we will withdraw support and strongly oppose it!


    For additional information, please click here: http://www.nraila.org/Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?id=219&issue=018.
     
  2. Autolycus

    Autolycus Member

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    Sorry but I will not be renewing my membership. I cant support any more gun control.
     
  3. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    I think this bill is OK. Clearly, it is not new gun control, only a clarification of existing law.
     
  4. Rumble

    Rumble Member

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    Caveat: I recognize that this is a gun control bill, and in principle I object, but after reading it, it seems like its worst offense, besides being gun control, is redundancy.

    However, I think the NRA, having lent itself to the the bill's momentum, is being overly optimistic to say "well, if it changes, we'll just pull our support" (with the implication that doing so will make it go away). I am not positive that is a realistic expectation, after how much the "sensible compromise" and "dogs and cats, living together" of this bill has been trumpeted.
     
  5. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    This bill doesn't disqualify anyone from firearm ownership that is not already disqualified. It just mandates better data sharing so disqualified people are in the NICS data base.

    Do you really want insane people to have firearms?

    I realize this won't keep them from buying them off the secondary market.
     
  6. dasmi

    dasmi Member

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    Nope. But I also don't want the government defining who is or is not sane.
     
  7. Sage of Seattle

    Sage of Seattle Member

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    But you have no trouble in having the government defining who is or is not guilty of a crime?

    And so for the millionth time (said by myself and many other much better writers than I), that's why a person must be adjudicated mentally ill or mentally incompetent -- it's an adversarial contest for a reason. I don't particularly care much for the gun-control laws already on the books, but if this helps people regain their 2A rights, whereas previous laws did not, than I'm all for it.

    However, that brings up a question in my mind: if the laws were already on the books to be able to have one's rights restored, then why did this particular bill put in place a mechanism to have one's rights restored? If the fed's shimmied around the rules by simply not funding the previous laws, why not just mandate funding for the procedures already in place?
     
  8. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    Under the law, an insane person must be declared insane (and I think involuntarily insitutionalized) by a court, not by some government agency or fiat.

    It is no different than the requirement for declaring someone a felon and ineligible to own firearms.

    In a perfect world, I think anyone, including ex-convicts who had committed felonies should be allowed to own firearms. After all, if an ex-felon wants a gun, he can just buy it (or steal it) from a private citizen. Plus, if he is still a threat to society he should be kept locked up in the first place.

    Unfortunately, it is unrealistic to think we will keep all felons and crazy people locked up for the rest of their lives. So I think this law is not so bad.
     
  9. denny

    denny Member

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    Lone_Gunman,

    And to think all along I thought the government, specifically, the legislative branches, defined the crime, by which we the Citizenry declared fellow citizens guilty of such crimes while sitting as jurists.

    Denny
     
  10. jselvy

    jselvy member

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    I honestly don't think that felons should be barred for life either. Our judicial system is supposed to based upon the precept of
    and permanently removing a civil right based on what any person might do flies in the face of this. Yes, felons are more likely to re offend but it is not guaranteed. There is some weight to the idea that by putting them outside of society by barring their civil rights it makes it harder for them to assimilate and adopt societal norms. It certainly reduces any reward for doing so.

    Jefferson
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2007
  11. Brett Bellmore

    Brett Bellmore Member

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    Add trial by a jury of one's peers, and I might be able to stomach that. But deprivation of civil liberties by judicial fiat stinks, period, whether you call it declared "insane", or declared "guilty".

    The truth about this bill is that even with the NRA promising to shield them from our wrath, they were so scared they had to hide who voted for it. And doubtless passed it without the Constitutionally mandated quorum present.

    Any time the NRA feels the need to conspire with anti-gun Congressmen to make sure that pro-gun members aren't present when a vote is held, you know damned well we're being betrayed. You just don't DO that if a bill is genuinely defensible.
     
  12. camacho

    camacho Member

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    This is the part that some folks here choose not to understand and jump on the NRA and interpret this bill as a sell out to our gun rights.
     
  13. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    Camacho is correct, though NRA bashers won't take the time to listen.
     
  14. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    If the NRA brought this bill up out of the blue when there was no movement in this direction, then yes, the NRA bashers might have a point.

    But the fact is that some form of this bill was going to happen after VT no matter what ... the NRA was able to turn a potentially big negative into something that is mostly positive. Had they taken the "all or nothing" approach so many in this forum seem to prefer, they would have had zero effect on the form this bill would have taken and I can guarantee you when it was all said and done we'd wake up the morning after to something worse than the '94 AWB (and probably a repeal of the good parts of the '86 FOPA).


    Yes, I agree any gun law is a violation of the 2A, but some of you all-or-nothings really need to start looking at these 50% filled glasses as half full.
     
  15. pcosmar

    pcosmar member

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    I find I have some mixed feelings about this.
    My first thought is that it adds a high cost (to taxes) to pay for what should already be done.
    Next that the NCIS should not exist in the first place, so it is"fixing" what should not be in the first place.
    On the plus side it MAY help me and others like me, in suppling restoration of rights to the database. Though since that was already in the law, and is ignored or obfuscated, I have little hope that this will change anything.
    My biggest concern is that at some later date the definition of mental defect will be changed. That is another can of nitecrawlers.
     
  16. walking arsenal

    walking arsenal Member

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    Agreed, look whats they call good and bad now. A communist country is one of our major manufacturing centers.
     
  17. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    Ok, so what is your alternative plan? How would you keep guns out of the hands of the insane?

    If your solution is to institutionalize all of them, how would you pay for it?
     
  18. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

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    Mentally Defective?

    Can of worms.

    We have a mental health system derived from techniques and technologies employed by countries whose primary use of them was (and is) political control.

    Never forget that.

    Watch closely for "obsession with weapons" to become a "syndrome" or "disorder" appearing in a DSM near you.

    It's the ultimate end run.

    People trust "doctors" (Hippocratic oath and all that), and this trust is all too easily subverted and betrayed.

    Psychiatry is in many ways the enforcement arm of socialism.

    So keep a watchful eye on anyone who wants the authority and power to abridge rights based on one's "adjudicated mental health" condition.

    What was crazy 60 years ago is normal today.

    What was normal 60 years ago is scary and frightening and . . . crazy today.

    Consider also this: once a "condition of crazy" is all that's needed to deprive you of your rights, one need no longer pursue new legislation to exclude you from self defense; they need only re-define your condition (whatever it is) as the new crazy.

    Talk to those who have lived through it in Eastern Europe.

    Talk to the former crazies.

    And watch your six.
     
  19. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    As long as the sane are armed we can deal with the few insane that are both armed and attempt to do people harm.

    NOTHING is going to guarantee that the insane (or criminal) are not going to find some way to arm themselves, so its foolish to disarm the sane and law abiding.



    Before this law existed a "condition of crazy" was ALREADY all that was needed to deprive you of your rights, and you had no guarantee that you could ever get them back. THIS bill requires EVERY state to give you the opportunity to get your rights back.

    In addition, it was only a matter of time before the fed.gov would start charging you for the NICS check (law makers are trying to pull that crap here in CO). This law forbids the Fed.Gov from doing so (and may prevent states from doing it too ... not sure about that though).

    Honestly I believe this bill will make that harder to get away with. But again, nothing would have stopped the antis from pulling that before this bill.


    Too many people are acting like because this bill had NRA input and support that its 100% their idea, but again THIS LAW WAS GOING TO BE WRITTEN AND WRITTEN NOW. The question is, would it have been written by Schumer, Feinstein, McCarthy, Kennedy and the other gun grabbers? Jesus, imagine what they could have put in it without the NRA standing over their shoulder. :uhoh:
     
  20. precisionshootist

    precisionshootist Member

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    Concerning felons: Some might be suprised at how easy it is for an otherwise law abiding person to be charged and convicted of a felony. Read the active thread on the guy that video taped a traffic stop and has been charged with "wiretapping" which is a felony. If the DA wants to make it stick he's toast. I could go on and on with other examples so be careful when you state "felon" and make it sound like they are all rapist and murderers. Former detective Mark Fermon, from the OJ trial fame is now a convicted felon because of a trumped up perjury charge. The 2nd amendment has no qualifications based on felony convictions.
     
  21. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    Arfin, I agree there certainly is a slippery slope to adjudicating someone mentally defective, and that it is possible that this could be abused in the future.

    But the law that actually required mentally defective people to be banned from gun ownership (via NICS) is now 13 yrs old, and I don't think there has been widespread abuse of it so far. I am not saying there won't be in the future, just that so far it doesnt seem to have happened. All the new law will do is centralize records so a NICS check won't miss those people. Plus, this new law does actually give people who have been listed as mentally defective a venue to appeal and get off the list, and I believe that determination will be made by the state, and not federal government. Haveing a way to get off a government list is actually a good thing.

    I agree with you philosophically, but pratically speaking you will have a hard time convincing 250 million Americans accustomed to suckling at the teat of the federal government of that. Its a slippery slope, though, without doubt.
     
  22. jselvy

    jselvy member

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    I think that this might just be the first volley.
    As I said in another thread this is an advance along a second front.
    Doctors due to the nature of the profession are easily influenced by professional organizations like the AMA. The AMA is already anti-gun and would not need much prompting to add a new "disorder" to the soft science of psychology.
    The reason why I oppose this legislation is due to these facts.

    Jefferson
     
  23. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    I agree that the end game of some antis is to use the medical profession to do an end run around RKBA, but thats one reason I support this bill.

    Most of you guys keep reading past this bit:
    I don't think many of you realize how HUGE this is, this forces state and federal government to give you the opportunity to get your rights back if they take them away. Currently all the evils people are afraid of coming to pass because of this bill were ALREADY POSSIBLE, but before this we had no redress if we got caught up in the system.


    Now another area the NRA (and the rest of the RKBA movement) need to go is to the doctors ... sure the AMA is anti-gun, but if there are enough pro-gun doctors out there then either the AMA drops the anti gun crap or the doctors drop the AMA and poof ... it has no more power.

    Those of you that oppose this bill because you oppose any government interference in our gun rights, you're buying into a false dilemma fallacy of logic here. The choice wasn't between this bill and doing nothing, it was between this bill and another NICS Improvement Act that would have likely done significant damage to RKBA.


    I too would love to see every gun law passed since 1776 repealed (I'm an absolutist that believes the 2A protects my right to own any weapon, all the way up to a Nimitz class aircraft carrier and all the accoutrement if I could afford it). But we have to be realistic here. We're not going to get our way overnight in one fell swoop (if ever), until we can get them out of office, we have to either work with those in government that oppose our rights or kill them. I for one, don't look forward to another civil war.
     
  24. czbegenner

    czbegenner Member

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    Guys i have a situation like this:I got a job in 1998 working for a telemarking
    com.I took out this add from the news paper.I had to take a drug test to get
    the job.About a month latter the F.B.I. Came and arested everone and took us to jail:charge Theft,and contempt to commit theff:I bonded out the next day,did not hear from no one about 8 months,Then the F.B.I. Came to my door and told me"Let's take a ride" We went to there office,after a hour they
    came to me and told me that based on what they got from me(tapes) They see no need to hold me at fought for working there i was only making $5:15 an hour,also i never got anyone to so call donate any money.So they told me
    "Have a nice life" Now this is still on my record as an arest,but i never went to court,and never saw a judge,so this is not a fellon,but When i go for a job
    they tell me i can't get hired,When i apply for a hand gun it always get delayed.About two weeks,then i am allowed to pick it up.But when you look at the N.C.I.C IT says No charge,I asked the FBI what can they do about this
    They told me nothing,so this is why i feel this bill is somewhat a good thing.
    My life has been messed up because of this situation.I lost one Law-enforcement job because of this,So if someone has not been found guillty and is on N.c.i.c. i fell they need to be cleared off.
     
  25. camacho

    camacho Member

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    Absolutely, and neither has been an outcry (that I know of) from the gun community about this specific clause of the law. All of sudden, now it became the most important thing and something that we should not enforce at all cost. I just don't get it.


    Now, ArfinGreebly, with all due respect this is a little overboard. It sounds like something Tom Cruise would say.

    I am one of those, and I have heard of "enemy of people" who were branded as crazy. However, I know several folks (including one close relative) who had mental illness and were helped by the psychiatry professionals and lived productive lives.
     
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