Despite their colossal losses in the Lone Star State, Democrats sponsored a slew of distasteful gun control bills unwelcome in Texas. Among them is a proposal that requires background checks for private firearm sales involving families and close associates.
However, we do not expect criminals to submit themselves to such requirements; thus, the law only targets law-abiding citizens who are least likely to commit crimes.
Rep. Lina Ortega (D - District 77) sponsored HB 118 that makes it a crime to transfer a private firearm without an FFL or a background check.
The bill states that it's a crime for a person to transfer firearms unless:
1. the person is a licensed firearms dealer; or
2. the person is not a licensed firearms dealer, and:
A. the person sells or transfers the firearm to a licensed firearms dealer, a peace officer, a law enforcement agency, or a person licensed to carry a handgun under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code;
[DELIBERATELY OMITTED "OR" ]
B. the transferor and the transferee are related within the third degree by consanguinity or within the second degree by affinity as determined under Chapter 573, Government Code; OR
C. before delivering the firearm to the person to whom the firearm is being sold or transferred, the person selling or transferring the firearm requests that a licensed firearms dealer conduct, in the manner required by 18 U.S.C. Section 922, a national instant criminal background check to verify that the person to whom the firearm is being sold or transferred may lawfully possess a firearm.
The main bone of contention is clauses 2 A and B, which must apply for a transfer to be authorized. As you can see, there lacks an “OR” clause to separate A and B, meaning that both conditions must be met if the transferee is not an FFL holder.
The way the bill is crafted means that, it’s either condition 1, 2AB, or C is met. Therefore, a transfer can only proceed if the transferee an FFL holder (1), transfers to law enforcement, peace officers, or licensed individuals, who are also relatives (2AB), or requests background checks (C).
We can only assume that Rep. Ortega meant that the transferee could sell to another FFL, law enforcement, or peace officer “OR” a close relative within the third-degree consanguinity or second degree by affinity. However, gun control is mostly based on treachery, and it appears that Rep. Ortega was trying to pull a fast one on the legislators.
Even with corrections, the bill leaves out many relatives, household members, and other trusted individuals who do not pose any threat. Essentially, no version of this bill is palatable in gun-friendly Texas, and we hope the legislators will lay it to rest as fast as possible.
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