Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D.-N.J.) is using Americans’ fear of terrorism to promote legislation that could restrict the right to own a handgun. Lautenberg is a sponsor of S. 843, the Gun Show Background Check Act of 2009, a bill that would effectively close gun shows throughout America. Lautenberg also supports reinstatement of the so-called “assault weapons ban,” a bill that would expand the definition of an “assault weapon” in a manner that would ban types of guns that are rarely used in crimes while ignoring the fact that more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens actually reduces crime. In short, Lautenberg aims to severely restrict the right of Americans to own a handgun.
Last week, the Senate Homeland Security Committee held a hearing on two Lautenberg proposals. The first, S.1317 is a bill that would grant the attorney general the power to deny the transfer of firearms if the AG determines that the transferee is a suspected terrorist. Citizens wrongly placed on a no-fly list would lose their constitutional right to possess a firearm without any due process. The second bill, S.2820, would allow gun records to be maintained by the federal government for six months. These ideas infringe on law-abiding citizens’ right to self defense.
Brian Darling is director of U.S. Senate Relations at The Heritage Foundation. The article above appeared in Human Events