H.R. 127: Firearm and Ammunition Control Bill
U.S. Representative Jackson Lee (D-TX) introduced House Resolution 127– Sabika Sheikh Firearm Licensing and Registration Act early in January to the House Judiciary Committee with the objective of “licensing and registering gun owner’s firearms and ammunition, as well as prohibiting specific forms of ammunition”.
If signed into law, H.R. 127 would implement a series of reforms aimed at mandating the registration of firearms and their respective ammunition via an amendment to Chapter 44 of title 18 USC. The Attorney General through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives will create a public registration gun owners database.
Contained within this database detailed information pertaining to the owner of the weapon: their identity, the date of the weapon and ammunition purchase, the firearm’s unique information, and the location of the firearm. All ammunition pertaining to the firearm shall also be noted, excluding the prohibited large capacity ammunition feeding devices and ammunition that is 0.50 caliber or greater.
Included is also the detailed process of licensing gun owners who possess this weaponry and ammunition, specifying that an individual is incapable of borrowing or loaning the said weaponry unless they have a license (and are of the age of 21), or have notified the Attorney General. The process by which to receive such a license will contain a criminal background check, 24 hours of training with that weapon of choice, psychological evaluation, as well as an $800.00 insurance policy on the weapon and its respective ammunition.
Gun owners will have up to three months to have any weapons currently in possession licensed and insured following the passage of H.R. 127, otherwise, you may lose the chance to own a firearm and its ammunition required by a general license, antique firearm license, or military-grade license.
As with any bill addressing a contentious issue intertwined with an unalienable right, there will be certain Constitutional concerns raised as to how it may infringe on the very rights of citizens to protect themselves. One such concern being raised is whether H.R. 127 may cause an undue burden on the less fortunate of American society with the $800 insurance fee and training costs required per firearm and ammunition.
It may expose and deprive the firearm’s owner of their right to privacy from criminals and neighbors since every gun owner’s personal information will be made public. A separate concern that may arise is to what extent might a relative or formerly associated individual, participating in the psychological evaluation for the requester, may be entirely acting upon subjective beliefs rather than scientific consideration in regards to determining one’s ability to possess a firearm and ammunition, possibly influenced by an obscure belief or personally held animus towards said requester.
H.R. 127 has a long way to go before becoming law although the Democrats will continue to implement control laws in the future. This objective was echoed by President Biden on the anniversary of the Parkland shooting in which the president called on Congress to “enact commonsense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets.”