It shouldn’t surprise anybody that gun owners are being sold out in another political maneuver. Things started heating up with Alan Gottlieb of Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) fame announced that he supported the Toomey-Manchin Amentment. Joining Mr. Gottleib is Cheaper Than Dirt, who generated a bit of anger last year when they ceased selling firearms online and jacked up their prices on standard capacity magazines (which, let’s face it, under a shortage is going to happen) after the Connecticut shooting:
I had a chance to sit down with Allen Gottlieb from the Second Amendment Foundation and get the straight scoop about the gun related legislation pending in the Senate. The following is the summary from my conversation with Gottlieb.
First, let’s start from the point where we lost the cloture vote. The vote lost by a huge margin with 68 senators voting in favor of cloture. Once reached, it was evident something was going to go to the floor and Schumer’s background check bill was simply draconian, bad, evil, and needed to be stopped.
As for Senators Manchin and Toomey, both have “A” ratings from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and care tremendously about the Second Amendment and gun rights. The Toomey-Manchin bill was crafted in Sen. Manchin’s office as a response to Schumer’s proposal. A representative from the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms was present to suggest talking points and provisions for inclusion.
Their support, along with Mr. Gottleib’s support, seems to stem primarily from the fact that the proposed Toomey-Manchin Amendment isn’t as bad as the bill proposed by Schumer. In other words they’re being pragmatic and you know how I feel about pragmatists. The primary thing that concerns me about the recent support for the Toomey-Manchin Amendment is that many of the claims being made by advocates are, according to David Kopel, not true. Specifically the Cheaper Than Dirt post claims that the Toomey-Manchin Amendment prohibits the creation of a national registry but Kopel, who I might add is a lawyer, says otherwise:
The limit on creating a registry applies only to the Attorney General (and thus to entities under his direct control, such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives). By a straightforward application of inclusio unius exclusio alterius it is permissible for entities other than the Attorney General to create gun registries, using whatever information they can acquire from their own operations. For example, the Secretary of HHS may consolidate and centralize whatever firearms records are maintained by any medical or health insurance entity. The Secretary of the Army may consolidate and centralize records about personal guns owned by military personnel and their families.
The Attorney General may not create a registry from the records of “a person with a valid, current license under this chapter.” In other words, the AG may not harvest the records of persons who currently hold a Federal Firearms License (FFL). Thus, pursuant to inclusio unius, the AG may centralize and consolidate the records of FFLs who have retired from their business.
If you support or are considering supporting the Toomey-Manchin Amendment it would be well worth your time to read Kopel’s analysis. It’s a sucker’s deal reminiscent of what us Minnesotans had to suffer earlier this year. Don’t let yourself be suckered into publicly supporting gun control legislation. While people like Mr. Gottleib and organizations like Cheaper Than Dirt will lie and strike fear into you by claiming that we either take the Toomey-Manchin deal or suffer Schumer’s bill remember that they are giving you a false choice. They are conveniently forgetting to mention the third option: opposing all proposed gun control legislation. You don’t have to carry water for your ideological opponent. If gun control advocates want to prohibit us from owning guns then make them do all the damned work.