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Information on HR 45, known as the Blair Holt Act and SB 2099.

September 3, 2009 2nd Amendment Issues, Federal Firearms Laws No Comments

I have received a lot of questions regarding the status of a proposed bill currently pending in the US House of Representatives known as HR 45, or the Blair Holt Act.  In the email currently circulating around the web, the bill is said to include language that would make it illegal to own any firearm using a magazine unless the owner has been:

  • Fingerprinted
  • Has a current driver license
  • Supplies a Social Security number
  • Submits to a physical and mental evaluation on request
  • Notifies a government agency if the firearm is transferred either through an FFL or privately
  • Mandates the creation of a Federal database of all firearms sales and transfers.

There are a whole host of additional provisions and penalties discussed in the circulating email.

To clarify the status of this genuine legislation, I researched it on the House website and the Library of Congress website.  The bill was introduced by Rep. Bobby Rush, (Democrat, IL) on January 6, 2009 has been referred to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.  It has NO co-sponsors.

While the mere fact that a bill like this has been introduced is troubling, it is not surprising considering the individual that introduced the legislation.  Rep. Rush has represented the district that is principally the south side of Chicago since 1993.  He was the co-founder of the state’s Black Panther Party and served 6 months in prison in 1969 for illegal possession of firearms.  He is also a supporter of Barack Obama.  While he has consistently refused to take Project Vote Smart’s  ‘political courage’ test, his legislative record suggest that he is highly supportive of the current administration’s far left proposals.

The good news in all this is that without co-sponsors the legislation is unlikely to move forward.  Many Democratic legislators understand that this particular issue can be ‘political kryptonite’ and are avoiding an association with any gun control issues.  Even Hillary Clinton when asked about the possibility of restoration of the Assault Weapons Ban by MSNBC, was quoted as saying “it would be a heavy lift” to get Congress to consider the issue.

While this legislation is not currently a threat to become law, the legislation is real and being closely monitored by organizations that support Second Amendment rights like the NRA and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

In addition, the email also discusses a bill referred to as “SB 2099″ that would supposedly require gun owners to list their firearms on the tax returns.  It supposed requires fingerprinting of the gun owner and requires the payment of a $50 fee per gun owned.  This bill was supposedly introduced in February 2009 and further was to be treated as an amendment to the Internal Revenue Act of 1986.  The email states that it could be passed by vote of the Senate Finance Committee and would not have to come before full Senate for a vote.

Gun owners should not be concerned about this since “SB 2099″ actually does not exist at all.  The original SB 2099 entitled ” the Handgun Safety and Registration Act” was introduced in February 2000 by Senator Jack Reid (Democrat, RI).  It was referred to the Committee on Finance where it died without ever coming to a vote.  The statement that the bill could be passed without a vote is also completely untrue.  Like any other Congressional bill, it would have to be passed by both the House and the Senate and signed by the President or passed by Congress over his veto to become law.

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