Sample Letter to Congress- HR 45

Tea For One

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Not sure if I posted this properly, so just in case, i wanted to make sure it's on here...


The Honorable Patrick McHenry
United States House of Representatives
224 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-3310

Dear Representative:
I am writing to bring to your attention my concerns regarding H.R. 45, Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009.
H.R. 45 would require a license for handguns and semiautomatics, including those currently possessed.

Representative McHenry, all firearms purchases from federally licensed dealers (FFLs) currently require a background check and completion of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) form 4437. In addition, all handgun purchases require a handgun permit issued by a citizen’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO). This in itself requires a waiting period and a thorough background check. These background checks include mental health background checks through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The current system is appropriate and necessary, and no further licensing is required, particularly for older firearms, such as the .22 squirrel rifle I inherited from my deceased great-uncle when I was a child.

H.R. 45 requires the applicant to be thumbprinted and sign a certification that, effectively, the firearm will not be kept in a place where it would be available for the defense of the gun owner’s family.

Fingerprinting is unnecessary, because BATFE will already have a record of a citizen’s personal information due to the background check and form 4437. In addition, the Second Amendment gives “the people” of America the right to keep and bear arms, and the Government should not prohibit law-abiding citizens from being able to use firearms in their own homes to defend themselves and their families.

The applicant must also make available ALL of his psychiatric records, pass an exam, and pay a fee of up to $25.

Many United States citizens are, or have been, under medical treatment for various psychiatric conditions, such as depression or anxiety. This does not mean they are unfit to safely and legally possess a firearm. Both the CLEO handgun permit application and BATFE form 4437 specifically check for whether an applicant has ever been adjudicated mentally defective or been committed to a mental institution. All involuntary mental institution commitments (in which a person is medically determined to be a danger to himself or to others) result in a person being listed with NICS, and thus those individuals automatically fail the current background checks and cannot purchase firearms . This is as it should be, and the current system is already adequate to prevent these people from purchasing firearms. No further disclosure of confidential, psychiatric records is necessary.

The license may be renewed after five years and may be revoked.

Once a person has passed the necessary background checks, why should their right to keep their firearms be jeopardized, and why should they have to pay additional money to maintain those firearms? This amounts to an unfair, additional tax, and citizens already pay sales tax on firearms when they purchase them.

Private sales would be outlawed, and reports to the attorney general of all transactions would be required, even when, as the bill allows, the AG determines that a state licensing system is sufficiently draconian to substitute for the federal license. With virtually no exceptions, ALL firearms transactions (involving semiautos, handguns, long guns, etc.) would be subject to a Brady check.

Firearms sales are, again, already subject to a thorough and appropriate background check.

In addition, the bill would make it unlawful in nearly all cases to keep any loaded firearm for self-defense.

Again, this directly conflicts with the Second Amendment, which states that the rights of the people to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed.”

A variety of “crimes by omission” (such as failure to report certain things) would be created. Criminal penalties of up to ten years and almost unlimited regulatory and inspection authority would be established.

This Bill would effectively treat law-abiding citizens like criminals. Criminals are the ones upon whom the full regulatory force of the United States Government should fall, not law-abiding citizens.

Representative McHenry, it is important to me to inform you of my feelings regarding H.R. 45. I ask for your kind attention and consideration in this matter. As an active member of my church and community, and as a member of the National Rifle Association, I am counting upon you to stand up for the rights of decent, law-abiding citizens.

Thank you kindly for your time.

Sincerely Yours,

Jonathan C. O’Quinn, D.P.M., M.S.

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