Whether or not this bill gains traction in this particular Congress, it clearly signals the extreme views and agenda of the gun control movement.
It’s bad enough that antigun members of Congress want to enact federal legislation to impose the elitist views of their coastal enclaves on the entire country. What’s worse is that in typical Big Government fashion, they want to use your tax dollars to accomplish their schemes. The latest example of this is the “Handgun Purchaser Licensing Act,” which at least has the distinction of having an honest title, a rarity for antigun legislation. Rather than establishing the licensing mandate at the federal level, however, this bill would create a federal grant program to bribe states to do it themselves.
The bill’s sponsors include Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal (both D-Conn.), Rep. Elizabeth Etsy (D-Conn.), and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). All hail from states that have their own handgun licensing requirements. The bill’s findings claim, “Recently published research by top national experts, notably on Missouri and Connecticut hand-gun purchaser licensing laws, have estimated that Missouri’s repeal of its handgun purchaser licensing law led to a 25 percent increase in firearm homicide rates while Connecticut’s adoption of its handgun purchaser licensing law led to a 40 percent decrease in firearm homicide rates.”
Apparently, this claim is supposed to give the bill the veneer of “evidence-based” policy making. In truth, the idea of using a federally-backed licensing requirement to create firearm registries and to suppress firearm ownership by making it more expensive and burdensome is nothing new. For almost a decade, for example, Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) has been introducing the “Blair Holt’s Firearm Licensing and Record Sales Act,” which would enact a direct federal mandate for the licensing of firearm ownership. In other words, the evidence manufactured by Michael Bloomberg’s bought and paid-for “Center for Gun Policy and Research” at Johns Hopkins didn’t stimulate the idea, it is trying to bootstrap it.