Without fanfare, and well below the radar of almost everyone, the House of Representatives has just enabled New York State (and any other State contributing to the NICS database) to violate HIPAA laws and revoke gun permits without justification or cause. It sounds too crazy to be true, and most would think that defenders of the 2nd Amendment would prevent such a violation of rights to occur, but that is not the case.
We first learned of this from Gun Owners of America. In a post on their website they highlight HR 4660 and specifically H Amd 704. It is the Amendment that is critical to gun owners across the nation and especially in New York State. H Amd 704 will provide $19.5 million to States to update the National Instant Criminal Background Check system.
Let’s pause for a few details.
HR 4660 is a boring and relatively bland appropriations Bill that will fund various agencies of the Government. It was passed 5/30/14, in a vote of 321-87 (NY-22 Rep. Richard Hanna voted to pass this Bill). This Bill, like most, contained Amendments to it – in this case 84 of them.
H Amd 704 authorized spending $19.5 million to encourage States to voluntarily add names of citizens to the National Instant Criminal Background Check system (NICS).
What is NICS?
NICS is a database that is used at the point of sale of a firearm. Anyone on this list will be denied the ability to own a firearm. In addition, those on the database with a firearms permit can have that permit revoked and the firearm confiscated. The list is meant for those:
There are other conditions that could cause a person to be added to this list, but for the purpose of this article we will stop here. The 3rd item is the one that matter to those in NYS, as per the NY Safe Act. According to Jim Tresmond of Tresmond Law Firm, on the Tom Bauerle Show – WBEN 930AM, citizens are having their firearm permits revoked,
“That is a fact. We are representing a client right now, who is been impacted by this onerous activity of the Government.” – Jim Tresmond
How is this happening?
Apparently, New York State is searching medical records of firearm permit holders – in violation of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the 4th Amendment – without cause, and isolating those receiving psychiatric care and (at least) anti-anxiety medication. These individuals, a full tally of which is currently unknown, are thus having their firearm license revoked and firearms confiscated. All without any incident, violation of law, or other factor involved. All under the power of the NY Safe Act.
So what does this have to do with HR 4460 and H Amd 704? This is how it all ties together.
Since 2007, Congress has paid States that voluntarily add people to the NICS database. The reasoning is, as sponsor Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) states,
“Our states need more resources to get all their information into the NICS system,” Thompson said. “If we give them these resources, we can stop dangerous people from getting guns. And we can save lives.”
It should be noted that the NICS has never been proven to have prevented a single mass shooting ever. There is large debate if the database can ever prevent a mass shooting, no matter how many are placed upon it. Which says nothing of the debate about the impact the NICS has on criminal possession and use of firearms.
But, back to the point at hand. The NICS database has been limited by the need for funding, which H Amd 704 will increase. New York State is using the NICS, and the NY Safe Act, to revoke licenses and restrict the 2nd Amendment rights of Americans, without cause and in violation of HIPAA law. NYS will now be able to increase the number of people that it will violate the rights of if HR 4660 becomes law – which is likely.
As for the defenders of the 2nd Amendment? Like say the NRA or members of Congress like Rep. Richard Hanna, who has proudly promoted his NRA rating in his bid to be re-elected?
Well in regard to the NRA and H Amd 704, the NRA had no position as of 5/29/14.
Rep. Richard Hanna and 13 Republicans, as well as 11 Democrats, had no position either way. They neither voted for nor against H Amd 704, and its potential to restrict the 2nd Amendment rights of Americans. 142 Republicans and 3 Democrats voted against the funding and imposition on the 2nd Amendment. Thus H Amd 704 passed and is part of HR 4660.
That left another chance for Rep. Richard Hanna, and other “defenders” of the 2nd Amendment to prevent States like New York from violating the rights of Americans. All they had to do is vote NAY on HR 4660. If nothing else it would serve to prove they are reading the Bills they are voting on. It would show they are standing by the very convictions some, like Rep. Hanna, are asking voters to re-elect them for.
Rep. Hanna and 203 Republicans, 117 Democrats as well, voted to pass HR 4660 – and H Amd 704 with it – on 5/30/14.
So to conclude, very quietly, the House of Representatives has just taken a step to enable New York State to increase the number of American citizens – without criminal actions or incidents – that it will restrict the 2nd Amendment rights of. Passage of HR 4660 is likely in the Senate, and removal of H Amd 704 unlikely. Thus Congress is poised to help violate the rights of Americans across the nation potentially, and very realistically in New York State.
Does this sound like what you elected your member of Congress for? Is this the defending of the 2nd Amendment you were told about on the campaign trail? Does this reflect your views and that of your neighbors/co-workers/friends?
You can do nothing, now that you know. You could re-elect the various members of Congress that either didn’t read the Bill or just don’t think the public is smart enough to understand what is happening.
OR, you can vote for an accountable and credible voice of the people in the primaries and mid-term elections this year. You can write a letter to your member of Congress, expressing that you are paying attention to what they are – or are not – doing in your name. You can join an organization of like minded people.
You can do any of the above, if you want. But if you do nothing, especially in New York, especially if Rep. Richard Hanna is your Congressman, then don’t be surprised if tomorrow there is a knock at your door and the Government is there ready to take away your rights.