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The Perlman Firearms Responsibility Bill Proposal

Posted Jan. 07, 2013, at 12:23 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 07, 2013, at 12:43 a.m.

The Perlman Firearms Responsibility Bill proposal

Preface

In the aftermath of the Sandy Hill massacre, it it’s clear that the majority of American people would like to see more effective policies for gun control in our nation, and indeed, Washington seems to be willing to attempt creating those policies.

My concern and reason for this article however, is that I believe any gun control bill conceived in Washington will be both largely ineffective at solving the problems, and will also end up trampling the second amendment rites of responsible gun owners in our country.

In light of these current events I have decided that it is time I present my own gun control bill proposal, most of which I had worked out about 6 years ago.I have added some additional details after and as a result of the Sandy Hook incident.

From this point on, I will be referring to my gun control bill proposal as my Firearms Responsibility bill proposal. I believe that this title better describes the intent of this proposed bill.

The Brady bill was a good start for it’s time, and the basic premise is still sound. In the present day it does not go far enough nor does it take advantage of modern technology which can help to keep background checks thorough and fully up to date, while at the same time streamlining the process.

The following are the individual directives which make up my proposed Firearms Responsibility bill…

The Perlman Firearms Responsibility Bill proposal

The Perlman Firearms Responsibility Bill proposal is intended to be enacted as a federal law and enforced as a minimum standard in all 50 states of The United States Of America. Individual states, cities and Towns may at their option maintain or enact stricter laws within their jurisdictions in addition to the proposed Perlman Firearms Responsibility Bill, providing that these additional laws do not conflict with the requirements of the proposed Perlman Firearms Responsibility Bill.

Expand Upon The Brady Bill

Expand upon the foundation of the Brady Bills background check requirements to cover all firearms of any type.

Move to a Card Based System (The Firearms Responsibility Card)

The current Brady Bill system of paper submissions for background checks and gun purchase approval shall be replaced by a card based system ( The Firearms Responsibility Card ) using current credit card electronic verification technology.

All United States citizens must possess a valid Firearms Responsibility Card with a current “approved” status before acquiring ownership or possession of any firearm.

Exception: A US citizen may examine and handle an unloaded firearm while in the direct presence of either the firearms owner or a certified firearms dealer.

Only full United States citizens are eligible to apply for the Firearms Responsibility Card; non US citizens are not permitted to possess a firearm with in the borders of the United States of America under any circumstance.

Mandatory Firearm Safety Coarse

A mandatory firearms safety course is required as a prerequisite to application for the Firearms Responsibility Card.

Clip Limitation

New firearms manufactured in the US or imported from other countries shall not have ammunition preloading mechanisms capable of holding more than ten rounds.

New firearms manufactured in the US or imported from other countries shall not have ammunition preloading mechanisms capable of being removed without partial disassembly of the gun.

Ammunition preloading mechanisms refers to any device which stores ammunition rounds and automatically feeds those rounds to the entrance of the firing chamber; these mechanisms include, but are not limited to clips, feed tubes and ammunition drums.

Special attention must be given to firearms of the revolver design, since with these firearms the ammunition holding device and firing chamber are one in the same.

Revolving firing chambers, for the purpose of this bill, shall be treated as other ammunition preloading mechanisms. They shall not exceed a capacity of 10 rounds, and the revolving chamber must not be capable of being removed without first completely removing some sort of retaining device from both gun body and revolving chamber,

Firearms of the revolving chamber design must be manufactured such that when the revolving chamber retaining components are removed, either the revolving chamber will not stay in place or the firing mechanism is disabled.

Exempt Personnel

Firearms manufactured for the US military, law enforcement agencies and federally certified security agencies shall be exempt from the clip limitation stated in this proposed bill. Such firearms exceeding public firearms restrictions, must stay within approved agency control or be demilled before being taken out of service. Approved personnel working for any of the aforementioned approved agencies are exempt from the clip limitation only while on duty for said agency.

Background Checks

A live computerized central database shall be created to which all applicants for the firearms responsibility card will be added and maintained in real-time. I believed that this database would be most appropriately handled under the ATF.

The ATF, FBI, CIA and the Department of Homeland Security all shall have direct two way access to the entire database in that they may write or read any existing persons firearms responsibility database file. In addition they may also create a new file containing relevant data for persons not yet entered in to the system. Other law enforcement agencies below the aforementioned shall have one way access to the database (sections 1 through 5). They may read any existing persons firearms responsibility database file, however they are not authorized to edit, amend or otherwise write to a persons firearms responsibility database file (sections 1 through 5) in any manner. These lower law enforcement agencies are permitted to create new files and to write only to section six (the record of firearms ownership ) of a persons firearms responsibility database file. They may also use information contained in a persons firearms responsibility database file to assist them in their law enforcement duties, including but not limited to enforcing all firearms laws in effect in their distract or region. However, all file data must be considered as confidential and may not be shared outside of the agency.

The Firearms Responsibility Database File

Each persons firearms responsibility database file contains six sections.

The first section is the restricted flag section . Any entry in this section from the ATF, FBI, CIA, the Department of Homeland Security, any United States court of law, or doctor, denies the subject of the file authorization to possess a firearm.

The second section is the convictions section and is a record of all convictions judged in any court within the United States judicial system. Write access is restricted to the United States judicial system only. Read access is restricted to the United States judicial system, the ATF, FBI, CIA, the Department of Homeland Security and all law enforcement agencies below them.

The third section is the classified section . Access to it is restricted to only the following agencies; The ATF, FBI, CIA and the Department of Homeland Security. These agencies may use this section to share specific classified information about the files subject, which has been approved for inter-agency collaboration.

The fourth section is the non classified section . In this section write access is authorized only for the following agencies: The ATF, FBI, CIA and the Department of Homeland Security. Read access is permitted for The ATF, FBI, CIA, the Department of Homeland Security and all law enforcement agencies below them. The intention of this section is for the aforementioned higher agencies to flag the files subject as a person of interest, with specific instructions for the lower law enforcement agencies who encounter the files subject. The instructions may include notification, detainment or other actions.

The fifth section is the medical section . All doctors are required to report any mental or medical conditions (including severe addictions) the files subject has which could potentially affect the subject’s ability to safely and responsibly possess and use a firearm. These conditions must be reported even when in the doctors opinion, they are not severe enough to present a problem; in these cases, the condition(s) will simply be recorded in this section for future reference. However, when in the doctors opinion the condition(s) are severe enough to seriously impair the subject’s ability to safely and responsibly possess and use a firearm, the doctor must also state his or her findings in the restricted flag section. Doctors shall have full read authorization in the medical section, write authorization for new entries and editing their own entries, but do not have authorization for editing entries from other doctors. Doctors shall have read, write and edit authorization only for their own entries in the restricted flag section, they shall be restricted from viewing other entries within this section.

The sixth section is the record of firearms ownership . All firearms purchased, sold, lost, stolen, or destroyed while in the possession of the files subject are required to be reported in this section. Each status change for every firearm reported in the subject’s file must contain the following data: Date of status change, date of record entry, firearm category, firearm manufacturer, firearm model and firearm serial number . Where applicable each of the following shall also be recorded: Former owner, new owner, acting dealer former, and acting dealer . Full (read, write, and edit) access to this section is granted for: The ATF, FBI, CIA and the Department of Homeland Security. All law enforcement agencies below them are granted read access and write access for new entries only. They may not edit existing entries. Firearms dealers, are granted access restricted to specifically the functions defined elsewhere in this proposed bill for firearms dealers to carry out as part of a firearms ownership transaction.

The United States judicial system shall not be granted direct access to section six data, however, the ATF may be subpoenaed for a specific subject’s section six data.

Subjects in the database shall be referenced and entered in by their social security number whenever it is available. In cases where it is determined that a subject is using an alias (name and or social security number), all aliases should added to the subject’s file, parallel to the subjects real name and social security number, such that all are searchable within the system and will all return the same file result. In cases where the subject’s social security number is unknown at the time of their file creation, their full and believed real name should be used; the database system should then set off a flag for human intervention by the agency managing the database system.

Restrictions For Those Under 21

Approved Firearms Responsibility Card holders below 21 years of age, (the subject) may only handle and use firearms while under the direction of another approved Firearms Responsibility Card holder who is older than 21 years of age, (the director) and the following conditions are met:

The subject and the director must remain within reasonable line of sight; temporary obstructions are permissible while hiking, but the lead person is required to stop and wait for the follower whenever the line of sight is broken. The follower having the better view of the lead, is required to notify the lead through voice or other signal whenever line of sight is lost for more than one minute.

The subject and the director must remain within vocal hearing range of each other.

The subject and the director must remain within 200 yards (600 feet) of each other.

The subject may technically own firearms while under 21 years of age. The subject is required to relinquish possession of all firearms to their director when the aforementioned conditions will no longer be met.

Restrictions For Those Under 18

In addition to the requirements for Approved Firearms Responsibility Card holders below 21 years of age, Approved Firearms Responsibility Card holders below 18 years of age, are not permitted own a firearm. However the subject is permitted to Handle or use a firearm under the strict guidance of a qualified director ( another approved Firearms Responsibility Card holder who is older than 21 years of age, and is ether the subject’s legal guardian or a certified firearms safety instructor). A subject below 18 years of age is required to remain within 100 feet of their director whenever the subject is in possession of a firearm.

A person must be at least 12 years of age before they qualify to apply for the Firearms Responsibility Card.

Change of Ownership

All firearms dealers shall be required to have a functional card reader which is programed to interface with The Firearms Responsibility Card system.

Any firearms dealership employing more than one approved firearms dealer shall operate under The Firearms Responsibility Card number of the dealership’s owner. This number shall be programmed into the card reader.

All firearms dealers, (ether working solo or on the behalf of a firearms dealership) shall be required to complete the following actions as part of any sale or purchase of firearms conducted by the firearms dealer on behalf of the dealer or the dealership:

1. The firearms dealer shall scan the clients Firearms Responsibility Card, and appropriately enter into the card reader, the transfer ownership as transfer (“to” or “from”) in respect to the Firearms Responsibility Card just scanned.

2. Next the dealer shall enter in to the card reader, all firearm parameters as defined in section six ( record of firearms ownership ) of the firearms responsibility database file. ( note, date of entry and date of transaction, Shall be automatically entered using the current date / time as reported by the card reader.)

3. As the final step, the dealer shall scan (his or her) own Firearms Responsibility Card, and enter, “record transaction”; the card reader should normally reply “approved”, however if the Firearms Responsibility Card holders approval status has been denied, then the card reader shall return “denied” and the sale must be aborted.

Notes: When the dealer is working on behalf of a firearms dealership, the transfer of ownership shall be recorded by the system, as between the client and the dealership, and the acting dealer will be recorded as acting dealer. It shall be permitted to record the transfer of ownership of multiple firearms between the same buyer and seller in a single transaction; (the cards are only scanned once).

All solo firearms dealers, while working at their normal place of business, and all firearms dealerships, whenever open for public business shall be required to facilitate transfers of ownership at the request of individuals not purchasing from or selling to that dealer or dealership. The dealer or dealership may charge a reasonable fee for the time involved to facilitate this service. This requirement shall not apply to firearms dealers who are currently traveling or working at a gun show.

All firearms dealers, (either working solo or on the behalf of a firearms dealership) shall be required to complete the following actions as part of any sale and purchase of firearms conducted by the firearms dealer on behalf of the two individuals other than the dealer or dealership:

1. The firearms dealer shall first scan the Sellers Firearms Responsibility Card, and enter into the card reader, transfer ownership as transfer “from”.

2. Next the dealer shall scan the buyers Firearms Responsibility Card, and enter into the card reader, transfer ownership as transfer “to”.

3. Next the dealer shall enter in to the card reader, all firearm parameters as defined in section six ( record of firearms ownership ) of the firearms responsibility database file. ( note, date of entry and date of transaction, Shall be automatically entered using the current date / time as reported by the card reader.)

4. As the final step, the dealer shall scan (his or her) own Firearms Responsibility Card, and enter, “record transaction”; the card reader should normally reply “approved”, however if the Firearms Responsibility Card holders approval status has been denied, then the card reader shall return “denied” and the sale must be aborted.

Notes: the dealer will be recorded as acting dealer and when the dealer is working on behalf of a firearms dealership, the dealership will be recorded as acting dealership. It shall be permitted to record the transfer of ownership of multiple firearms between the same buyer and seller in a single transaction; (the cards are only scanned once).

Loss Of Firearm

In the event of any loss of a firearm (such as firearm slid or dropped to an inaccessible location, destruction of the firearm, malfunction of the firearm, or theft of the firearm) the owner of the firearm shall be required to report the loss to the nearest local police station in the United States of America, within 48 hours of noting the loss, if possible. Reporting of a loss incurred during an expedition, while out of the country, or other exceptional circumstance, may be delayed until 48 hours after returning to a populated region of the United States of America.

Any firearm reported as malfunctioning or destroyed shall be turned in for proper disposal at the local police station during the time of report submission.

Reporting and submission of a firearm which has malfunctioned is not mandatory; however reporting and submission of such a firearm is an option for an owner who chooses not to have the firearm repaired.

All local police stations within the United States of America, shall be required to have a functional card reader which is programmed to interface with The Firearms Responsibility Card system, and at least one officer trained in the operation of the card reader and required data entry. When a loss of a firearm is reported, the trained officer shall locate the record of the firearm reported as lost in the subjects file section six (the record of firearms ownership ) and create a new entry with the details for that firearm, type of loss, closest possible approximation of the location of loss and both the date of entry and the reported day of loss. Note: Local police are only permitted to write entries to section six (the record of firearms ownership ) and are restricted from writing in all other sections of a Firearms Responsibility Card holders file.

Inherited Firearms

Any person inheriting firearms shall be required to bring said firearm(s) to their local police department to facilitate the transfer of ownership. (Note: For safety reasons, the firearms must not be brought into the department building by the inheriting person or other civilian, but rather the inheriting person should notify the receptionist and wait for an officer to bring the firearms in for processing.)

Firearms Responsibility Card holders with a status of “approved” who inherit firearms, and who wish to keep them simply need to bring the firearm(s), reasonable proof of inheritance, and their Firearms Responsibility Card to their local police station and request for the transfer of ownership to be recorded.

Any person inheriting firearms, who wish to keep them, and who is not yet a Firearms Responsibility Card holder should apply for the card when bringing the firearms to the local police station for facilitating the transfer of ownership. The local police department shall be required to store the firearms until the first of:

1. The person inheriting the firearms is approved and receives a Firearms Responsibility Card.

2. The person inheriting the firearms arranges sale or gift of the firearms to an approved Firearms Responsibility Card holder (the local police department shall be required to facilitate the transfer of ownership in such cases).

3. The person inheriting the firearms arranges to sell the firearm(s) on consignment with a firearms dealer or dealership (the dealer or dealership shall have possession of, and responsibility for the firearms until a sale is completed).

4. 180 days have passed, wherein the firearms become the property of the police department, and may be used or sold to a certified firearms dealer or dealership to help defray the cost of compliance with this proposed bill.

Any person inheriting firearms and not wishing to keep them, may simply notify their local police department when bringing the firearms in for transfer of ownership. wherein the firearms become the property of the police department, and may be used or sold to a certified firearms dealer or dealership to help defray the cost of compliance with this proposed bill.

Non Approved Card Holders

Firearms Responsibility Card holders whose status has changed to not approved, shall be immediately restricted from purchasing any firearms, and shall be notified of the status change, by means stated during their application for their Firearms Responsibility Card. Upon receipt of notification of a status change to not approved, a Firearms Responsibility Card holder (the subject) is required to do one of the following with each firearm the subject owns (individually or together as a lot), within 14 days of receipt of notice:

1, Sell the firearm(s) to a firearms dealer or dealership.

2, Arrange to sell the firearm(s) on consignment with a firearms dealer or dealership (the dealer or dealership shall have possession of, and responsibility for the firearms until a sale is completed).

3, Sell or gift the firearm(s) to an approved Firearms Responsibility Card holder.

4, Forfeit the firearms to their local police department (wherein the firearms become the property of the police department and may be used or sold to a certified firearms dealer or dealership to help defray the cost of compliance with this proposed bill).

For Firearms Responsibility Card holders whose status has changed to not approved , when their Firearms Responsibility Card is scanned by a firearms dealer as being the seller, the transaction shall go through as normal, and no notification of the subjects change of status shall be presented.

For Firearms Responsibility Card holders whose status has changed to not approved , when their Firearms Responsibility Card is scanned by a firearms dealer as being the buyer, the transaction shall be halted, and the card reader shall return ” transaction denied, buyer not approved.”

Appeals Of Status

Applicants for, and existing Firearms Responsibility Card holders whose status has changed to not approved, may make a request to the ATF to inform them of the reason(s) their approved status has been revoked. However, the following agencies, the ATF, FBI, CIA, the Department of Homeland Security, may simply state ” not approved” in section one , the restricted flag section . A status entry of not approved entered by a doctor, may be appealed by the second opinion of a doctor of the same field, appointed by the ATF, and legally sworn to an objective and neutral stance regarding firearms ownership. The resultant decision shall only apply to entries of not approved status given for reasons of the specific condition reevaluated by the ATF appointed doctor.

A specific Firearms Responsibility Card, section one , the restricted flag section entry, which has changed to not approved as the result of a court decision, may be reversed as a result of the specific Court decision being overturned in a higher court.

Unattended Firearms

All Firearms Responsibility Card holders, shall be required to secure all unattended firearms in their possession, using their own judgement to secure the firearms in a fashion they see as fit for their particular scenario.

Conclusion

In summary I would like to highlight some of the notable points which set The Perlman Firearms Responsibility Bill proposal apart from others.

The Perlman Firearms Responsibility Bill proposal builds upon the basic premise of the Brady Bill and brings it up to date with modern computer technology, expanding coverage to all firearms and creating a system to help effectively limit the catastrophic firearms incidences we have been facing in our changing society, and it does this without creating overbearing restrictions on the second Amendment rights of responsible Americans of sound mind.

If enacted, The Perlman Firearms Responsibility Bill proposal means that anyone purchasing a firearm through legal channels would have a thorough and effective background check before the sale would be approved. This would apply even at gun shows. At the same time, after initial application for The Firearms Responsibility card, background checks at the point of sale are a speedy process similar to running a credit card.

The Perlman Firearms Responsibility Bill proposal also takes a serious approach to addressing the actual technical aspects of various firearm designs which are arguably not responsible features fit for civilian use. These questionable features have recently and rightfully become the focus of the media and many politicians. Unfortunately these questionable features are most commonly and inappropriately referred to, simply as “assault rifles”. I say inappropriate because not all so called assault rifles are equipped with the features in question. Likewise these same features in question can also be found on many firearms of conventional design. Rather than simply banning so called assault rifles, I believe that we need to look at the individual features which have brought the focus of the media to them.

The firearms responsibility card database not only speeds up background checks, but also has two additional substantial benefits:

First the database through shared data and inter-collaboration between agencies, can aid law enforcement agencies and even the higher agencies delegated to protect our national security.

Second the database effectively collects a record of all legal firearms sales transactions, and over time will collect ownership data for many firearms already produced and in private hands. This will happen as these firearms are eventually sold or inherited from one owner to another. Each used firearm recorded in the database, unless stolen, is one less firearm capable of being traded in black markets or of ending up in the hands of someone not qualified to possess a firearm.

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