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Old April 20, 2013, 11:22 AM   #1
Bartholomew Roberts
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Text of Proposed Coburn Amendment to S.649

Hat tip to gc70 for the link:
Since a revamp of the background check provisions s now the only thing that can bring S.649 back to life, I thought it was worth looking at what GOA's "Most Important Election of 2004" and GOA A+, NRA A+ proposed as a UBC Amendment:
http://www.coburn.senate.gov/public/...5-ea18337f9151

Here are the first impressions from my second read through (I read through Toomey-Manchin maybe 10 times and still missed stuff though):

1. You can sell to any relative down to first cousins/spouse of parent/child/sibling with no background check.
2. Qualifying CHL permits exempt nationwide based on state reciprocity
3. All other sales require transfer through FFL OR a 30-day self-check permit (You can run a NICS check on yourself only and it will give you a permit showing you can buy a gun)
4. You can buy a firearm from any FFL, anywhere in the nation as long as it is legal in both states.
5. 15yr penalty for firearms registry
6. Improved language that prohibits ANY officer of the U.S. from registry, not just AG
7. ATF Agents subject to $1000 fine for wrongly seizing records first offense, termination and year in jail second offense
8. No Form 4473 generated on non-FFL sales
9. Not a transfer requiring check unless intended to be permanent
10. The ATF must document it's testing procedures, and re-examine all cases any past cases found to be based on unreasonable or irrational standards.
11. The ATF must audit the NFA registry, and if the registry is found to be inaccurate correct it's testimony otherwise.
12. The ATF must certify before the court that it has not committed any crimes of which it accuses others. If it is unable to do so the case must be dismissed with prejudice. If it does so dishonestly all ATF agents involved in the case go to jail for 5 years or the sentence imposed.
13. Entire law sunsets in 5 years unless reauthorized by Congress - except for registry prohibitions, which are permanent

I need to read it a lot more; but I am interested in what concerns everyone else has. Are there particular legal problems we can identify with this bill since it may be the next amendment to S.649 we see*

*I am really skeptical of that - this bill would let you buy guns anywhere and eliminate a lot of recordkeeping. I think Schumer is lying about his love for background checks and is more interested in the recordkeeping aspect than the checks. If so, this bill is his worst nightmare and he would be better off killing it and ramming something like Toomey-Manchin through during the next tragedy.

Last edited by Bartholomew Roberts; April 21, 2013 at 05:39 AM.
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Old April 20, 2013, 06:25 PM   #2
gc70
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Coburn's amendment has some very good points, but shares some problems with Manchin-Toomey, probably because Manchin-Toomey was derived from it, sans the consumer portal and no records provisions that would be loathsome to Schumer.

(t)(1)(A) contains a specific definition of a "covered transfer" which clearly rules out temporary transfers. The scope of covered transfers as defined in (t)(1)(A) is broader (maybe) than in M-T because there is no exclusion for face-to-face transactions.

However, (t)(8)(D) supplements the definition of a "covered transfer" as a transfer that occurs at a gun show or online (in language nearly identical to M-T). Therefore, the Coburn amendment may have a broader scope than M-T, or it may have the same scope.

Whatever degree of background check expansion is involved in the Coburn amendment, that expansion is more than offset by the ability of individuals to use a consumer portal to self-generate a 30-day permit.

(t)(2)(D)(ii) allows individuals in different states to do transfers if both states have laws that comply with subsection (s) and the states have entered into a reciprocal agreement. In short, this provision appears to allow interstate transfer reciprocity.

(t)(4)(A) contains the same registry trap that Kopel and the Heritage Foundation criticized in M-T, the primary difference being that far fewer records would be produced and held by FFLs to potentially be within the government's reach in the future.

Quote:
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, except for section 923(m), the Attorney General may implement this subsection with regulations.
(t)(4)(B) and (t)(4)(d) mirror M-T in prohibiting regulations to require FFLs to do transfers or place a cap on transfer fees.

(t)(7) waives the background check requirements of section (t) while the consumer portal is temporary shut down for more than 7 days or if the consumer portal is permanently shut down or defunded.

Possibly most importantly, Sec. 202(e) provides a 5-year sunset on the entire Sec. 202 on background checks.
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Old April 20, 2013, 06:52 PM   #3
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From gc70 excerpt:
"(t)(2)(D)(ii) allows individuals in different states to do transfers if both states have laws that comply with subsection (s) and the states have entered into a reciprocal agreement. In short, this provision appears to allow interstate transfer reciprocity."

Personally, I'd like to see better language that specifically allows it, thus restricting states from placing their own limitations on it. No "if's, and's or but's". Relying on NJ (and I'm almost certain of a few others) to enter reciprocal agreements with 49 other states ain't gonna happen.

Anyway, I agree there are a couple good things that I agree with, like excluding family transfers and temporary transfers.

What really matters is what the bill winds up as after all the pro-control senators have their turn bastardizing it then voting for it.
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Old April 20, 2013, 07:22 PM   #4
Bartholomew Roberts
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Quote:
(t)(4)(A) contains the same registry trap that Kopel and the Heritage Foundation criticized in M-T, the primary difference being that far fewer records would be produced and held by FFLs to potentially be within the government's reach in the future.
I saw that and had the same thought but one big difference is the language immediately after prohibiting any officer or agency of the United States from establishing a registry.

I also noticed a 5yr sunset on everything but the registry prohibitions.
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Old April 20, 2013, 08:31 PM   #5
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Take out #1 and #3 and you'd have a hell of a thing there.
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Old April 20, 2013, 08:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartholomew Roberts
I also noticed a 5yr sunset on everything but the registry prohibitions.
I haven't read the text yet, but this scares the bejeebus out of me because it just screams "this is just the first step."
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Old April 20, 2013, 09:43 PM   #7
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I don't care what it might give us. It's still unenforceable without a registry.

If it passes, things like reciprocity can get stripped by later legislation, and we'll be left with the fundamental problems.

I'll take stand-alone bills that help us, but we don't need that carrot when it's attached to a nasty stick.
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Old April 20, 2013, 10:22 PM   #8
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I agree with Servo on,
Quote:
'll take stand-alone bills that help us, but we don't need that carrot when it's attached to a nasty stick.
However, how likely is it that stand-alone bills will get introduced?
I don't see it happening soon, but maybe if their is a sufficient change in the House(s) and Senate after the next elections.
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Old April 20, 2013, 10:29 PM   #9
terzmo
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personaly, any background check is asking for permission to sell a gun. They are personal property and I feel this is an infringement of rights as an owner.

Elevate the penalties that exist for illegal anything involving a gun. Enforce them also.
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Old April 20, 2013, 10:38 PM   #10
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Re: Text of Proposed Coburn Amendment to S.649

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepstrapped View Post
However, how likely is it that stand-alone bills will get introduced?
I don't see it happening soon, but maybe if their is a sufficient change in the House(s) and Senate after the next elections.
If it means waiting, so be it. I'd rather wait for good legislation to pass than have to roll back bad legislation passed in haste.
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Old April 20, 2013, 10:42 PM   #11
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We need an offensive strategy and that strategy should probably start where we are most vulnerable. Background checks are the issue on which our opponents have the greatest prospect of prevailing against us.

We deny the validity of multiple polls, over a number of years, that show very high public support for background checks. And we are deluding ourselves.

Our opponents have invested 20-30 years of effort -largely successful- to equate "background checks" with "keeping guns out of the wrong hands" in the minds of the general public. Yes, if people were better informed, that would not be the case. And, yes, our opponents tout background checks while actually pursuing recordkeeping that is the prerequisite to registration. But we may not have 20-30 years to undo our opponents' efforts and re-educate the general public; we only have to lose once.
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Old April 21, 2013, 12:09 AM   #12
Tom Servo
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Re: Text of Proposed Coburn Amendment to S.649

Quote:
Originally Posted by gc70 View Post
We deny the validity of multiple polls, over a number of years, that show very high public support for background checks. And we are deluding ourselves.
This is the thing that shows the underlying fallacy of their approach. We still live in a country with a bicameral legislature and a clear separation of powers. Why? So that the majority can't run roughshod over the minority. The Founders would be appalled at the idea that contemporary public opinion would be allowed to override constitutional limits on power.

We are not, and should not be, governed by polls. Even if the 90% myth had a bit of truth to it (and we had a recent thread refuting that), it should not be allowed to have significant influence over lawmaking in the short term.
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Old April 21, 2013, 01:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Servo
The Founders would be appalled at the idea that contemporary public opinion would be allowed to override constitutional limits on power.
The Founders were realists; the Article V amendment process recognizes that a substantial enough majority can change constitutional limits.

We should also be realists. Whether polls or public misconceptions about issues should or should not influence lawmaking is far less important than whether they actually do influence lawmaking.
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Old April 21, 2013, 05:35 AM   #14
Bartholomew Roberts
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As I think most of you know, I don't think you can deal in good faith with Schumer, et al; because I believe that they do want to ban guns from most of the American public and are working on an incrementalist strategy to do that.

That is one of the intriguing things about the Coburn amendment though, IF it can deliver what is promised (a big IF admittedly) - recordless background checks, then the antis are going to hate it and shoot it down if my belief is correct.

I think the political theater benefits of proposing a background check that covers MORE sales than Manchin-Toomey; but that lays the foundation for recordless interstate gun sales between law-abiding citizens may open some eyes in the "Nobody wants to take your guns" crowd. This bill has great potential as an incrementalist strategy to work in our favor for once. Once you can establish private sales without any recordkeeping and it works, the obvious argument becomes "Why are FFLs keeping all of these records?"

And like gc70, I am concerned about the potential of background checks to become a wedge issue. Schumer tried to sell his bill as "reasonable background checks on all sales" when we all know it was much worse. The "much worse" aspects got ZERO coverage in the press which led to many people here asking "What is wrong with background checks?" That is a snake that has to be defanged somehow.

I've also been reading a lot of gun grabber assessments of what they think they did wrong, and I can tell you one thing ALL of them agree on. The next time this happens, they aren't going to wait 4 months to push massive gun control. They are going to come at it hard and fast before we can rally support - and with debate on S.649 already started and the bill hanging out in limbo, they can mounting a major push on gun control in 30 hours right now. My guess is next time it happens, we will get maybe one day while Bloomberg coordinates his media circus and then it will be a full on simultaneous assault in the media and legislature with many preformatted bills hitting the desks the next day.
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Old April 21, 2013, 05:38 AM   #15
Bartholomew Roberts
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Quote:
I haven't read the text yet, but this scares the bejeebus out of me because it just screams "this is just the first step."
Maybe I phrased this poorly on my part... the enhanced background checks sunset in five years. The provisions against the feds establishing a registry and the penalties are permanent. So if for any reason Congress fails to act, we get to keep the "no registration" goodies we pick up here.
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Old April 21, 2013, 07:29 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gc70
The Founders were realists; the Article V amendment process recognizes that a substantial enough majority can change constitutional limits.

We should also be realists. Whether polls or public misconceptions about issues should or should not influence lawmaking is far less important than whether they actually do influence lawmaking.
1) The founders provided a method for altering the constitution. Ignoring it is not the method.

2)Public opinions effecting laws-makers is entirely different than public opinion justifying the lawmakers passing unconstitutional laws. Yes, we should be realists, and make sure that we do everything in our power to see that such politicians don't get elected/reelected.
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Old April 21, 2013, 09:10 AM   #17
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I like it.

#3 is likely to be rife with fraud but there are ways to deal with that.

I don't see #12 surviving. In fact the bill is likely to die but there is a lot there to like.
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Old May 6, 2013, 12:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Pfleuger
Public opinions effecting laws-makers is entirely different than public opinion justifying the lawmakers passing unconstitutional laws. Yes, we should be realists, and make sure that we do everything in our power to see that such politicians don't get elected/reelected.
When one makes a categorical and principled stand against a proposed expansion of federal authority, he can expect to be accused of insufficient realism. I believe the accusation rests on an unsound planted axiom.

The planted axiom is that a realist can secure the benefits of compromise, where as the categorical and principled opposition to a measure risks an all or nothing sort of result. However, in a political matter one may reach a compromise with an opponent, but that compromise can secure nothing. The compromise in which one permits and unwarranted extension of federal authority can be revisited at any time. The primary difference when the issue is revisited is that the "realist" is less convincing in making the categorical and principled arguments on which he has already compromised.

There is also a strategic argument in favor of an all or nothing legislative approach. If one is to have legislation challenged in the courts, would he like to challenge the moderated or attenuated expansion, or the expansion offered by those who have enthusiastically transgressed a constitutional limit? It was the enthusiastic infringement of the DC law that contributed to Heller. I can only guess that the political process of moderation would make the resulting piece of legislation more likely to survive whatever scrutiny it is accorded.

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Old May 8, 2013, 12:13 AM   #19
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Additional provisions: The self-background check should be only to purchase a firearm or firearms. The description of the firearm should never be furnished to the Gov't. If under 21, the authorization could say "Authorized to purchase rifle or shotgun" (until Federal law is changed or overturned); if over 21, "Authorization to purchase rifle, shotgun, or handgun."

Make the background check valid to purchase any number of firearms from any number of persons within the 30-day authorization period.

While we're at it why not lower the age for buying a handgun to 18.

And deny Federal law enforcement funding to any state which doesn't recognize any other state's concealed weapon permits.

Add these provisions, and see how Schumer, Bloomberg and their ilk squirm. Now THEY'LL be the ones blocking common-sense gun laws!
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