Examples of media gone wild are all over the damn place. Once in a blue moon you come across some stuff that is actually informative and dusts the cobwebs off of the old gray matter. This time it is concerning attempts to abridge your 2nd Amendment rights and the interesting strategy the government is using.
We have all heard the rumors about the heavy taxation that the Federal government is going to attempt to levy on firearms and ammunition. While this might happen, another strategy was pointed out by Glenn Beck today.
Rep. Kenneth Dunkin, state Representative from Illinois and flaming Democrat, has introduced legislation in the state House to make gun-owners responsible for carrying firearm insurance.
From 96TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY, HB0687,
Introduced 2/6/2009, by Rep. Kenneth Dunkin
SYNOPSIS AS INTRODUCED:
430 ILCS 65/4.5 new
430 ILCS 65/8 from Ch. 38, par. 83-8
Amends the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act. Provides that any person who owns a firearm in this State shall maintain a policy of liability insurance in the amount of at least $1,000,000 specifically covering any damages resulting from negligent or willful acts involving the use of such firearm while it is owned by such person. Provides that a person shall be deemed the owner of a firearm after the firearm is lost or stolen until such loss or theft is reported to the police department or sheriff of the jurisdiction in which the owner resides. Provides that the Department of State Police shall revoke and seize a Firearm Owner's
Identification Card previously issued under this Act if the Department finds that the person to whom such card was issued possesses or acquires a firearm and does not submit evidence to the Department of State Police that he or she has been issued in his or her name a liability insurance policy in the amount of at least $1,000,000 specifically covering any damages resulting from negligent or willful acts involving the use of such firearm while it is owned by such person. Effective January 1, 2010.
Now here is the thing, try finding an insurance company that will cover you for this. If you do, how much do you think it will cost? Beautiful legality, you still keep the right to bear arms, no technical abridgment of your Constitutional rights, but you cannot due to the cost of covering the bill for insurance coverage.
A few other items to think about, this is not on the federal level, this is state. If the citizenry of Illinois want this, then by the states' rights credo, have at it. However, this does open the door for interpretation on the federal level, and if you think the government hasn't successfully enforced legislation like this in the past, think again.
Say hello to the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 enforced by the now defunct Federal Bureau of Narcotics, via the History channel. The very same act which kept marijuana in check until 1970 when the Nixon administration successfully passed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970
Long story short, in order to possess or sell marijuana, you had to receive a tax stamp from the federal government. The only problem was that only a limited number of stamps were printed and no one could attain any. If you were caught in possession of any Mary-Jane, without the tax stamp, you could go to jail for up to five years and face $2,000 in fines. But there was no way to get the tax stamp. Catch 22. (Little disclaimer: We are in no way advocating marijuana usage, trafficking, sales, or banking. This bill was brought up to use as an example that this same type of legal tactic has been used successfully in our past.)
Rep. Dunkin's bill works similar to this, to possess a firearm you need liability insurance. Again try finding it cheaply or finding it at all. Don't have it? Oh well you can't have a gun, too bad for you.
Punishment under Dunkin's bill is far less egregious though. If you don't have any proof of insurance or have none at all your firearm will be seized. Nevertheless, to my untrained legal mind, it seems if your firearm is stolen and used to injure or kill another party, you are open to a serious lawsuit.
Final thought on all of this is, you can learn something from television, you just have to know what to watch. :)
Another bill to keep an eye on is Rep. Bobby Rush's (D. IL-1) legislation, H.R. 45. The general idea is directing the Attorney General to establish and maintain a federal record of sale system, obligatory protection laws (Like we don't have any of those already.), and manufacturing records of weapons. Just food for thought.