Congressman Wants to Require Government
Permission to Build or Print Guns



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By Kurt Hofmann, September 24th, 2014
JPFO writer contributor, © 2014.

Michael Honda (D-CA)

United States Representative Michael Honda (D-CA) introduced a bill last Thursday that would impose all of the same restrictive federal laws regarding sales of commercially produced firearms, to guns produced at home for one's own use. Text for H.R. 5606 is not yet available, but The Hill offers some "highlights":

Honda's proposal would apply existing gun regulations, including criminal background checks, to all homemade firearms.

"The laws should be the same for the gun you buy and the gun you make," Honda said. "Our system of background checks and registrations are [sic] in place to ensure public safety. There's absolutely no reason these checks and registrations should apply to guns made by a licensed manufacturer, but not apply to other, equally dangerous, weapons."

Picture, Oleg Volk

Honda might be onto something with that last sentence, and there's an easy "shall not be infringed"-type solution to that problem--remove the "checks and registrations" (hmm . . . "registrations?" Plans for the future, Congressman?) from commercially manufactured guns. That, though, does not appear to be what he has in mind.

According to Honda, his legislation was prompted by the growth of 3-D printing, specifically the 3-D printing of firearms. He is not the first anti-gun politician to fear the loss of government control of firearms that this technology promises to bring about. What good, after all, are gun bans, background checks, and other controls over who can buy guns, and what types of guns they can buy, if we the people can simply produce life and liberty preserving firepower at home, with the click of a mouse?

This is of course intolerable to those who believe that the government must be the people's master, and that there must be a government "monopoly on force," which is another way of saying that the people must be denied any means of effective resistance to tyranny.

That being the case, it comes as no surprise that Honda has found enthusiastic support for his bill among "gun control" advocacy groups:

Supporters of the legislation, including the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the Violence Policy Center, are quick to note that homemade firearms have already been used in deadly crimes. A 2013 shooting spree in Santa Monica, Calif., for instance, was carried out by a man who assembled his own semi-automatic rifle. Five people were killed.

"The parts needed to build an untraceable homemade gun are readily available at gun shows and on the internet," Kristen Rand, of the Violence Policy Center, said in a statement. "Now is the time to bring homemade guns under the same laws that apply to all other new firearms."

Left unexplained is how such legislation would do anything to reduce violence. If, for example, the Santa Monica college shooter could not have legally constructed the rifle he used, are we to believe that he would have balked at doing it illegally, when he was clearly willing to commit mass murder?

Any law against a violent felon or dangerously mentally ill person making a gun at home without submitting to a background check depends on the aspiring gun maker complying with that law. Are we really expected to count on that happening?

The federal law against violent felons buying guns came about with the Gun Control Act of 1968. "Gun control" advocates were disappointed with the results, since these "prohibited persons," being criminals, tended not to care about violating the law against such purchases. That, we were told, is why we needed the "Brady Law" in 1993, imposing a requirement for FBI-administered criminal background checks on all gun purchases from licensed dealers. Since then, laws (whether on the books or as yet merely proposed) to require "universal background checks," to require the prompt reporting of lost or stolen guns, to permit no more than one gun purchase per month, etc., are all intended (however futilely) to address the fact that criminals don't obey laws.

But we're to assume they will obey this one.

Back in July, Honda introduced H.R. 5344, a bill banning private citizens' purchase of body armor capable of stopping rifle rounds. He wants, in other words, to make gunfire more dangerous, because he believes "public safety" requires that the "authorities" can more easily kill the people. The Violence Policy Center, by the way, is also enthusiastically on board with that bill.

If someone comes up with a practical way of making effective body armor at home, we will undoubtedly see Rep. Honda spring into action again. An aspiring tyrant's work is never done.

A former paratrooper, Kurt Hofmann was paralyzed in a car accident in 2002. The helplessness inherent to confinement to a wheelchair prompted him to explore armed self-defense, only to discover that Illinois denies that right, inspiring him to become active in gun rights advocacy. He also writes the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column. Kurt Hofmann Archive.

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