Pennsylvania Case Reveals How McCarthy Bill Could Threaten All Gun Owners
-- Troubling questions in HR 2640 still go unanswered
Gun Owners of America E-Mail Alert
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151
Phone: 703-321-8585 / FAX: 703-321-8408
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
"For the first time [in history, HR 2640], if enacted, would
statutorily impose a lifetime gun ban on battle-scarred veterans." --
Military Order of the Purple Heart, June 18, 2007
1. Even if you have already sent an e-mail to your Senators on the
McCarthy bill, please send another such as the one at the end of this
alert. Yes, you might have already taken action on HR 2640. But if
you (and many other gun owners like yourself) haven't taken any
action recently, then NO ONE is taking action. After all, the NRA is
supporting this bill, so they're not rustlin' up the troops in
opposition to this massive gun control bill. Remember the
immigration fight -- it took weeks of continued activism to kill that
bill. This fight may very well be the same.
2. Please try to get as many of your friends as you can to join with
you in this effort to kill the McCarthy bill (HR 2640). Now that
Senators are returning from their July 4th holiday, we need to get as
many gun owners as possible to remind them that HR 2640 is
McCARTHY BILL COULD COME UP AT ANY TIME IN THE U.S. SENATE
Now that Congress returns to work this week, your liberties are in
jeopardy once again!
You will remember that before the Independence Day break, the House
of Representatives passed a McCarthy gun control bill (HR 2640)
without any hearings, without any committee action... they put it on
the Suspension Calendar and simply got a non-recorded voice vote.
An important part of the legislative process is to introduce a bill
in committee, to get both public and private observers to ask
questions, make recommendations and offer comments on the bill.
But for some reason, HR 2640 was not given this benefit. The bill
was rammed through the legislature with very few Representatives
present on the House floor... there was no recorded vote at all!
So it's not surprising that, having skipped much of the legislative
process, there are still a lot of unanswered questions regarding HR
2640. In fact, these questions have only been magnified after an
offhanded, tongue-in-cheek remark made at the Harrisburg Community
College in Pennsylvania cost a man his gun rights for life in that
Newspapers last month reported that Horatio Miller allegedly said
that it could be "worse than Virginia Tech" if someone broke into his
car, because there were guns there. It is not clear whether he was
making a threat against a person who might burglarize his car, or if
he was simply saying that the bad guy could do a lot of damage
because of the guns he would find there. Nevertheless, Miller was
arrested, but not charged with anything.
The comment Miller made was certainly not the smartest thing to say.
But realize, we don't incarcerate people for making stupid statements
in this country -- at least not yet. Miller was a concealed carry
permit holder who, as such, had passed vigorous background checks
into his past history. Miller does not have a criminal record.
Regardless, the county district attorney did not like what he had
said, so, according to the Harrisburg Patriot News on June 20, "I
contacted the sheriff and had his license to carry a firearm revoked.
And I asked police to commit him under Section 302 of the mental
health procedures act and that was done. He is now ineligible to
possess firearms [for life] because he was committed involuntarily."
Pennsylvania is operating exactly the way Rep. McCarthy's bill (HR
2640) could treat all Americans. You might be thinking, I've never
had a mental illness... I'm not a military veteran... I've never been
on Ritalin... hey, I have nothing to worry about under the McCarthy
Well, think again.
DO YOUR VIEWS ON THE SECOND AMENDMENT MAKE YOU A POTENTIAL DANGER?
The Pennsylvania case shows how all gun owners could be threatened by
HR 2640. After all, did you ever tell anyone that the Second
Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights because the Founders
(such as James Madison) wanted the people to be able to overturn a
tyrannical American government?
Or, while you were watching the nightly news -- and getting a
detailed account of all the crime in your area -- did you ever make a
statement such as, "If someone were to break through my door, I'd
blow him away!"
Well, those kinds of statements will certainly make anti-gun nuts
think you're a potential danger to yourself or others. So if you
make the local district attorney or police officer nervous, how
difficult would it be for him to get a psychiatrist (most of whom are
very left-wing) to say that you are a danger to yourself and to
Or, would the district attorney even need to get a psychiatrist? One
of the outrageous aspects of the McCarthy bill is that Section 3(2)
codifies existing federal regulations. And existing federal code
says it only takes a "lawful authority" to "adjudicate" someone as a
mental defective.(1) And another section of the bill makes it clear
this "adjudication" does not need to be made by a formal court, but
can simply be a "determination" -- such as a medical diagnosis.(2)
Consider how significant this is. The BATFE has been quietly
attempting to amend the federal code by regulatory fiat for years,
but they've been somewhat restrained in their ability to interpret
these regulations because they are, after all, regulations (and not
But with HR 2640, much of the pablum that BATFE bureaucrats have
quietly added to the code over the years will now become the LAW OF
THE LAND -- even though those regs were never submitted to a
legislative committee or scrutinized in legislative hearings or
debated on the floor of the House of Representatives.
When one looks at the federal regs cited above, there are a lot of
questions that still remain unanswered. What kinds of people can
fall into this category of "other lawful authority" that can deem
someone to be a mental defective? Certainly, it would seem to apply
to Veterans Administration shrinks. After all, the federal
government already added more than 80,000 veterans with Post
Traumatic Stress into the NICS system in 2000.
But who else could be classified as a "lawful authority"? A school
counselor? A district attorney? What about a legislator, a city
councilman or a cop? They are certainly "authorities" in their own
right. Could the words "lawful authority" also apply to them?
Do we really want to risk the Second Amendment on the question of
what the words "lawful authority" in 27 CFR 478.11 mean -- once they
have been "statutized" by HR 2640 and BATF is no longer under ANY
constraint and can read it as broadly as they want?
If the "lawful authority" thinks you pose a danger to yourself or
others (or can't manage your own affairs) then your gun rights could
In its open letter of May 9, 2007, BATFE makes it clear that this
"danger" doesn't have to be "imminent" or "substantial," but can
include "any danger" at all. How many shrinks -- using the
Pennsylvania standard -- are going to say that a pro-gun American
like you, who believes the Second Amendment is the last defense
against tyranny, DOESN'T POSE AT LEAST AN INFINITESIMAL RISK of
hurting someone else?
As easy as that, your gun rights would be gone forever.
HR 2640 is Janet Reno's dream. Does somebody make a politician
nervous? Get a prescription pad, get your friendly left-wing
psychiatrist to make the "dangerous" diagnosis, and it's all over.
Expungement will be virtually impossible. Just turn in your guns.
(1) See 27 CFR 478.11.
(2) See Section 101(c)(1)(C).
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Supporters of the McCarthy bill are hanging
their hat on language which purports to help disqualified people to
get their rights restored. So GOA has built a special section on its
website that gets to the truth on this issue and informs gun owners
of the dangers in HR 2640. Please go to
to learn what the specifics of the
bill are, who its main supporters are, answers to claims made by
proponents of the bill, who faces the greatest risk of being
disqualified for buying a gun, and more.
CONTACT INFORMATION: You can use the pre-written letter below to
help direct your comments to your two U.S. Senators. Please visit
the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center at
to send your Senators the
pre-written e-mail message below.
----- Pre-written letter -----
The Military Order of the Purple Heart got it right when it stated
that for the first time in history, HR 2640 "would statutorily impose
a lifetime gun ban on battle-scarred veterans."
The Military Order of the Purple Heart, which is chartered by
Congress, is urging the DEFEAT of HR 2640, the Brady-expansion
legislation introduced by anti-gun Rep. Carolyn McCarthy.
Despite what you may have heard elsewhere, this bill THREATENS gun
owners' rights and represents one of the biggest gun bans in history.
A recent case in Pennsylvania shows how easily a gun owner can be
slapped with a LIFETIME gun ban, without any due process, based
solely on a mere accusation by a shrink or other "lawful authority."
For more information on this -- and for a point-by-point analysis of
HR 2640 -- please go to http://www.gunowners.org
on the website of
Gun Owners of America.
All the background checks in the world will NOT stop bad guys from
getting firearms. Severe restrictions in Washington, DC, England,
Canada, Germany and other places have not stopped evil people from
using guns to commit murder.
Again, I hope you will OPPOSE the McCarthy bill (HR 2640). Thank