Some first thoughts on these two bills…
H.336: The concept of doubling penalties and creating a minimum is tempting, however, we risk distraction by getting into the criminal statute area as firearms libertarians. I would personally applaud the type of sentence increase proposed by Rep. Till, BUT IT SHOULD BE FOR ANY OFFENSE OF THAT TYPE OF CRIME. Singling out weapons executed bodily harm is a red herring. If you wife or daughter is beaten by the bullet or the butt of a modern sporting rifle with all the accessories, do you care about the distinction? Rosenthal and other Vermont Supreme Court cases clearly state that the INTENT of the use of any weapon is the sole determinate that distinguishes a felony crime. This is why we “carry” without restriction, registration or other encumbrance. Proposals to require “training and licensing” of this most cherished right should be weighed against a similar requirement to exercise any other right such as free speech or press.
Second, any statutes which single out the use of any lawfully possessed weapon in the furtherance of a violent felony as creating a “special” crime is by definition an infringement on the RIGHT because it creates a necessity for an “affirmative self defense exemption” to be reasonably administered by the court. Do you trust your free speech rights to such an exemption, much less the safety of your family?
We Oppose this bill in its entirety. Yes?
H.336: Starting at the bottom; $450,000 for grants, REALLY? From what little pot of gold and at the end of which rainbow?
Second, grants to any group, private or public, from any group encumber each party in a contract. Do you really want the Agency of (fill in the blank)… to stand between you and the NRA in improving your range facilities. Please leave my range alone.
Third, Be careful what we wish for on silencer restrictions. At this critical time, the idea that we would acknowledge the authority of the state on ANY accessory or improvement on ANY lawfully possessed weapon is inviting disaster. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in December struck down Illinois’ total carry ban. It will be upheld by the Supremes! We need to be patient with the application of both the Heller v. D.C. and the McDonald v. Chicago cases as our allies take cases to the appeals level. New York is already being tested!!! If there remains a chance that this may include the use and ownership of suppression devices, we are better off to OPPOSE and wait. Also, IF THEY CAN ALLOW THEM, THEY CAN MANDATE THEIR USE IN CERTAIN PLACES, LIKE GUN RANGES. Can you afford a suppressor for every weapon you own???
WAITING PERIODS…. They don’ t work. As my pastor says, look it up. They create an undue burden on the ability of new gun owners to obtain a weapon ASAP when the threat appears. The most likely segment of our country to be endangered by these waiting periods would be women (especially young women – your daughter), minorities (especially blacks and hispanics who live in the most dangerous cities, i.e. Burlington and Rutland?) and those experiencing a new threat that have the desire to protect themselves and their families. Women represent the fastest growing gun purchasing group in America. That is college students, single moms and the elderly. Whenever we can state cleary and concisely the application of our firearms rights to these groups, we expand the constituency away from white guys and appeal to those legislators looking for a way to let these crappy bills to hang on a wall in some committee room.
We Oppose this bill in its entirety, yes?
PLEASE CONTINUE AND RAMP UP YOUR SPREADING THE WORD ABOUT SATURDAY’S RALLY. SEE Y’ALL THERE!
P.S. this mornings Washington Journal on CSPAN had an excellent few hours with Larry Pratt and many others on these issues, including one of their reporters at the range in Virginia. They even fired a black gun… Watch the rerun online.