Leahy-Schumer-Reid Gun Bill: Unprecedented Criminalization

Blog Articles · Apr 4, 2013 · Regulation

Next week, dozens of United States Senators are likely to vote in favor of the Leahy-Schumer-Reid gun bill (S.649). When they do, they'll be voting in favor of unprecedented criminalization of law-abiding American citizens. In what appears to be a first, the Leahy-Schumer-Reid gun bill would criminalize innocent acts and victims.

Here is the relevant text Leahy-Schumer-Reid, "Sec. 123. Lost and Stolen Reporting":

"It shall be unlawful for any person ... to fail to report the theft or loss of the firearm, within 24 hours after the person discovers the theft or loss, to the Attorney General and to the appropriate local authorities.''

If you do not report a lost or stolen firearm to both "the appropriate local authorities" and "the Attorney General," you would be in violation of the law, subject to a fine and up to five years in prison.

Sec. 123 of the Leahy-Schumer-Reid gun bill also raises a number of serious questions: 1) how would one contact the Attorney General to report such information? 2) what would the Attorney General do with such information? 3) how would such a report help crime victims or reduce violence? 4) would this discourage reporting after 24 hours elapsed?

Those questions aside, the precedent set by Sec. 123 of the Leahy-Schumer-Reid is startling. Law-abiding citizens could become felons within the span of 24 hours simply because they were victims of a crime or committed the innocent act of losing a firearm.

The "provision merits ridicule," according to Heritage. It also begs the question: do Senators really understand what they're voting for?

Heritage Action: Key Vote "NO" on Leahy-Schumer-Reid