A new Democratic bill by Texas Democrat Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, quietly introduced H.R.127 on the second day of the 117th Congress (2021-2022) with the goal to create a publicly accessible gun registry.
The legislation, H.R.127 called the Sabika Sheikh Firearm Licensing and Registration Act was named after Sabika Sheikh who was killed in a May 2018 shooting at Santa Fe High School near Houston that left 10 people dead and at least 13 others wounded.
Sheila Jackson Lee’s ultra-leftist bill would create a mandatory registry that lists the names of gun owners, the number of firearms they possess, and where they keep the guns.
It also requires all gun owners to participate in the registry, irrespective of having a law enforcement background. Only current law enforcement would be exempt from the database.
Kevin Hassett, president of the Retired Police Association of the State of New York one of many who are fighting the bill because it puts their lives in danger’ stated:
“This is very dangerous, especially for retirees. Things have gone so downhill with this level of hostility towards cops and we are out there with the label that we are no longer cops. Retired cops don’t have partners or backup. We are out there on our own.”
Hassett added that he stopped carrying a gun after he retired in 2003 but started packing again after last year’s anti-police sentiment from BLM/ANTIFA racial justice rioting started growing more and more violent.
The bill’s supporters argue that everyone is safer by giving police and the public information about who has guns and where the guns are kept.
But Hassett stated that opponents of gun registries argue that the bill will most likely make law-abiding gun owners the targets of criminals looking to steal weapons.
“This bill will go after all the lawful gun owners,If you are ever interested in robbing my house, you can look me up and know where my guns are stored.”
Jackson Lee introduced similar bills in the past, but they went nowhere.
But this time, the legislation has the advantage of Democratic control of the White House and both chambers of Congress, although narrowly.
President Joe Biden who on many occasions has called for stricter gun laws has yet to endorsed Jackson Lee’s bill.
H.R.127 would require gun owners to pay $800 per year for firearms insurance and ban ammunition that is .50 caliber or greater.
It also establishes a minimum gun ownership age of 21 and requires a psychological evaluation and completion of a government training course before the purchase of a firearm. Even antique firearms displayed in a home would have to be registered.
Those who run afoul of the regulations could face prison time and fines of $50,000 to $150,000.
Gun control advocates have pursued a national registry since Franklin D. Roosevelt was in the White House.
A handful of states, including New York, California, and Hawaii, operate state registries, but none goes as far as Ms. Jackson Lee’s bill.
Ms. Jackson Lee declined to answer any questions about her insidious legislation.
Gun rights groups savaged H.R.127
“H.R. 127 is so outrageous, persecutory and unworkable that its main function is simply to display the hostility of its author and supporters toward firearms, those who own them and those who want to own them,”
Gerald G. Neill Jr., president of the Association of Retired Police Officers, said former cops would face discrimination and could be targets of offenders looking for revenge.
“There is danger in having this as part of the public record,”
Neill added that many former cops work jobs like security guards, and he believes they would rather give up their weapons than appear on the registry.
Robert Spitzer, a professor at the State University of New York College at Cortland claimed gun registry databases have been effective at keeping guns out of the wrong hands, and that he doesn’t think the retired officers have much of an argument.
“These databases are not the civil liberties, gun-grabbing nightmare gun rights people would claim they are. It’s not hypothetical.”
Spitzer maintains the bill is in its early stages and exemptions for retired officers could be added, and that the names and addresses of former police are not closely guarded secrets.
“If I wanted to find the names of the retired officers in my hometown, I probably could.
It’s a safe assumption that they have a gun, and there is no evidence of systemic crimes against retired police officers.”
Neill countered by saying the measure is another example of Washington elites’ misguided efforts on gun control.
“These people live in a different world.
They have security, they have money, and don’t have the same worries about personal safety as the regular person does.
If you take arms away from retired officers doing security or something else, you are going to have less people out there able to provide a level of protection for everyone.
They are not looking to still be police officers, but if they see something, they will stop and help.”