Big Brother's New Target: Tracking Firearms Friday, January 23, 2009 U.S. Representative Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) recently sponsored H.R. 45, also known as "Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act." The bill is, at its core and as its name implies, a licensing and registration scheme. The measure calls for all handgun owners to submit to the federal government an application that shall include, among many other things: a photo; an address; a thumbprint; a completed, written firearm safety test; private mental health records; and a fee. And those are only some of the requirements to be licensed! The bill would further require the attorney general to establish a database of every handgun sale, transfer, and owner's address in America. Moreover, the bill would make it illegal to own or possess a "qualifying firearm" -- defined as "any handgun; or any semiautomatic firearm that can accept any detachable ammunition feeding device " [emphasis added] without one of the proposed licenses. Additionally, the bill would make it illegal to transfer ownership of a "qualifying firearm" to anyone who is not a licensed gun dealer or collector (with very few exceptions), and would require "qualifying firearm" owners to report all transfers to the attorney general's database. It would also be illegal for a licensed gun owner to fail to record a gun loss or theft within 72 hours, or fail to report a change of address within 60 days. Further, if a minor obtains a firearm and injures someone with it, the owner of the firearm may face a multiple-year jail sentence. H.R. 45 is essentially a reintroduction of H.R. 2666, which Rush introduced in 2007. H.R. 2666 contained much of the same language as H.R. 45, and was co-sponsored by several well-known anti-gun legislators--including Barack Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. H.R. 45 currently has no co-sponsors. Rest assured that NRA-ILA will continue to monitor this bill closely, and will keep you informed of any developments if they materialize. To view the complete text of the bill, please click here.