Trigger locks: Part two

Trigger locks: Part two

Hammer, Marion P

IF you were to debate the “handgun safety” issue and claim that the real intent of anti-gunners was nothing less than a step toward total gun confiscation, few people would believe you.

But what if the threat came from the Joyce Foundation in Chicago, or Johns Hopkins University, or from members of the House Democratic Policy Committee in Pennsylvania? Would people believe it then?

Well, it’s true.

A handful of members of Pennsylvania’s General Assembly House Democratic Policy Committee have taken to the road this summer to sell the public on two proposed bills. The first bill mandates that trigger locks be sold with all handguns sold through licensed dealers, and the second bill requires police to seize handguns from private citizens if the handguns do not meet safety standards written by state bureaucrats. Both bills are sponsored by the same members of the General Assembly.

The two bills bridge the gap between what our opponents “say” are “reasonable safety precautions” and the nightmare of the true and final ends of any form of gun control-the forcible taking of private property from your home.

The “trigger lock” bill is of serious concern-it is a Trojan Horse for the second bill, which chills me to the bone. The actual language of the trigger lock bill begins with a lofty-sounding preamble declaring: “The General Assembly believes that a handgun safety performance standard is necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare.”

The legislation would establish “The State Handgun Standard Commission” which “shall adopt a handgun safety performance standard for all handguns manufactured, possessed, sold, offered for sale, traded, transferred, shipped, leased, distributed or acquired within this Commonwealth.” This standard “shall require, but not be limited to, the following:

“(1) A handgun must be personalized so that it can only be fired when operated by that handgun’s authorized user or users.

“(2) The technology creating personalized handguns shall be incorporated into the design of the handgun and be part of its original equipment and not an accessory.”

That rules out all older guns. Under the section labeled “Enforcement,” the legislation bans private possession of all pistols and revolvers “that do not meet the standard prescribed by the commission.”

The second part of the enforcement section is every gun owner’s worst nightmare: the police state.

Subtitled, “Seizure of noncompliant handguns,” it reads:

“If any police officer, during the course of official duties … discovers any handgun which under the provisions of this subchapter does not meet the commission’s standard as promulgated in this Commonwealth, that officer shall take possession of the handgun. The handgun shall be forfeited to the Commonwealth and shall be destroyed.”

If you keep a gun not designed and approved by state officials, you are committing a felony as well. It’s your private property. Your home. But it doesn’t matter.

And there’s more. They get into civil liability.

Under a section labeled, “Unauthorized discharge,” the law would state: “Any person who owns a handgun that does not meet the commission’s standard and that is discharged by an unauthorized person … and thereby causes personal injury to any person shall be absolutely liable for such damages that resulted from the handgun not meeting the commission’s standard.”

“Absolutely liable.” That language would give you no defense in court. In plain English, if you possess a handgun not approved by the state safety commission and it is stolen and used by criminals, or is part of an accident, YOU pay the price-NOT the criminal.

So where does Johns Hopkins University fit in? That institution houses “The Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research” (The Center), which is funded by the Joyce Foundation. The Pennsylvania legislation is a carbon copy of The Center’s “model” bill. Even the Pennsylvania press release materials are generated from The Center.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research is being operated out of Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. The Center’s literature says, “The Center’s faculty addresses gun violence as a major public health issuefocusing on prevention and recognizing the firearm as a vehicle of injury and death.”

Prevention? That means lobbying and propagandizing to take your guns. That means an invasion of your homes. That means gun confiscation. It’s right there in black and white in the laws they propose.

So next time somebody wants to debate the question of gun safety or firearms injury, quote what the anti-gunners are really trying to do-and expose their phoney “safety” rhetoric for what it is: a mask to hide the face of the robbers of Freedom.

Copyright National Rifle Association of America Oct 1997

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