Petitions Are Fine, But Legislation Is Final

In News & Opinion by TWANGnBANG

Recently, a whitehouse.gov petition calling for a repeal of the National Firearms Act reached the 100,000 signatures required for a response from the White House.  That’s certainly great news, but the bad news is twofold: first, this White House hasn’t responded to a single petition and will possibly never do so; second, the petition itself doesn’t change a thing even with a positive response from the White House.

Well, what will make a change? First, a bill must be introduced into each house of Congress.  Then, the bills must make it through their respective committees so that they can get to the floor.  Next, they must pass with enough votes to pass in spite of motivated opposition (greater than 50% in the House and greater than 2/3rds in the Senate).   Lastly, the President must sign the bill into law.  Each step takes phone calls, emails, and letters from constituents to get any movement whatsoever.  No voter involvement means no politician involvement.  It’s that simple.

As much as I want the NFA to go away in its entirety, we already have the tip of the wedge in committee- the Hearing Protection Act of 2017.  This act will remove silencers from the NFA and classify them as “firearms” under federal law.  It will also provide full credit for all taxes paid for silencers after October 22nd, 2015.  As of this writing, the HPA currently has 104 co-sponsors and climbing.

It’s exactly the kind of law I like- one that removes authority from the federal government while eliminating a tax at the same time.  It promotes real gun safety as shooters will no longer be compelled to choose between subjecting themselves to fingerprinting and taxation or exposing themselves to unsafe sound levels while enjoying a perfectly legal activity.

With the many distractions facing Washington right now, we can give them something to focus on- passing the HPA. Contact your members of Congress and tell them to co-sponsor the HPA even if you assume they won’t.  Contact the members of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations and tell them to move the HPA to the floor for a vote.  It is largely a pro-2A committee that supported the recent repeal of the Social Security Administration gun ban.

Do not threaten or use foul language.  Do not rant.  Simply tell them that you are a constituent who wants to see the HPA pass, and you are willing to help them with what they need to get that done.