A Democratic bill introduced this year in the House of Representatives would create a mandatory and publicly accessible registry listing the names of all gun owners, how many guns they have, and where they keep their firearms.
The bill (H.R. 127) would also ban several types of ammunition .50 caliber or greater, require gun owners to purchase firearm insurance that costs $800 per year, and require people to complete a psychological evaluation and government training prior to purchasing a gun.
If gun owners do not comply with these new restrictions, they face up to 10 years in prison and fines of $50,000 to $150,000.
Democratic Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee sponsored the bill, which is one of the most aggressive attempts yet by progressive lawmakers to infringe on Americans’ Second Amendment rights. Gun rights groups have already expressed their concerns about the bill.
“All gun control bills share the same basic goal: a world in which fewer people own firearms,” the National Rifle Association wrote. “Some bills simply ban certain types of firearms or ammunition outright. Others place obstacles in the path of owning firearms or ammunition to make them more difficult and expensive to obtain, thereby shrinking the market for them … H.R. 127 combines both failed approaches.”
“It bans common types of ammunition and original equipment magazines for most self-defense firearms. And, it makes all firearms more difficult to obtain and possess through a punitive licensing and registration scheme,” the statement continued.
Leaders of several retired police officer groups spoke with the Washington Times expressing their concern for the bill. Under the legislation, retired officers would not be exempt from the public registry.
“This is very dangerous, especially for retirees,” Kevin Hassett, president of the New York’s Retired Police Association, told the outlet. “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.”
Association of Retired Police Officers president Gerald G. Neill Jr. expressed concern that a registry would lead to the targeting of former cops.
“There is danger in having this as part of the public record,” he said.
While the bill has a long way to go before becoming law — it has no co-sponsors and has yet to be scheduled for a committee hearing. But its introduction demonstrates the confidence of anti-gun lawmakers under the Biden administration and in a Democratic Party-controlled Congress.
“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,” the NRA also said.
Biden has not yet commented on Jackson Lee’s bill. However, he has made gun control a major issue of his presidency. This week he called on Congress to enact “commonsense” reforms, such as banning assault weapons.