I was sitting in my favorite local coffee shop last week when two deer-hunting friends entered and took seats at my table. One of them asked why the U.S. Senate voted down the bill that would have expanded background checks on all gun transfers. He thought that was a pretty good bill.
I explained that what he had heard through the mainstream media was only a small part of what that proposed legislation actually contained, and the senators who took the time to read all of the legislation did not want to support it. And that was why there was such an enormous push by anti-gun senators to get it passed before the public had any chance to learn what was in it.
Activities that we do now as lawful activities — or did in New York until the SAFE Act was passed — would suddenly become federal crimes. That is my view, based on my reading of the legislation, as well as from information gathered on the bill from the office of Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning.
Loaning a gun to a friend for hunting would have become a "transfer" under this legislation. If the friend obtained the gun before the season
actually opened, or if he had not purchased his hunting license prior to receiving the gun, or if he drives through any area where the season is not open on his way to his hunting area, then both of you have committed several federal felony crimes.
Also in this proposed legislation, only the firearms owner can relocate his guns. If any gun leaves its "home" without the actual owner in possession, it is considered a transfer. All transfers require going through a federally licensed firearms dealer, paying a transfer fee and getting a background check for the transferee.
Putting any weapons, even temporarily, in someone else's possession, requires a transfer made through a licensed dealer. There are no exceptions. Any situation in which your gun leaves your home without you is considered an illegal transfer, and is a federal felony crime that will result in a prison term and the forfeiture (as a convicted felon) of all of your guns.
Oh, and if you loan two or more guns to a friend for hunting, or if you allow someone else to relocate two or more of your guns, that is considered weapons trafficking, and you would be prosecuted under this bill as a terrorist arms dealer.
And, if you did take the time to go to a firearms dealer and pay the transfer fees for the background checks, you would probably be upset to discover that records of that transfer, including names, addresses, description of firearms involved and their serial numbers, would be registered with the federal government. Gun registration that got in through an open back door.
Page 2 of 2 - Thank goodness this "universal registration of all gun transfers" bill was shot down in flames. There is only one reason the feds want registration of firearms, and all of us know what that is. And the worst part of all of this attempted anti-gun legislation, by both New York and the feds, is that none of it would have stopped a mass shooting.
Sportsmen, please keep one thought in mind. Because anti-gun proponents use terms such as common sense and reasonable when they are talking about gun laws does not make it so.
Len Lisenbee writes an outdoors column for Messenger Post Newspapers and lives in Potter, Yates County.