Reid’s Background Check Bill Can Make You a Felon if Your Gun is Stolen

April 4 2013
by GSL Staff
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According to the Heritage Foundation, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s “universal background check” bill can turn otherwise law abiding citizens into felons if they fail to report a stolen firearm within 24 hours.

Section 123 of the Reid bill adds a new provision to section 922 of title 18 of the U.S. Code:

It shall be unlawful for any person who lawfully possesses or owns a firearm that has been shipped or transported in, or has been possessed in or affecting, interstate or foreign commerce, to fail to report the theft or loss of the firearm, within 24 hours after the person discovers the theft or loss, to the Attorney General and to the appropriate local authorities.

The punishment for someone who knowingly violates this law? Up to five years in prison.

What does knowingly mean exactly?

According to the Heritage Foundation,

The Supreme Court said in Bryan v. U.S. in 1994 that when a federal statute punishes someone for a crime committed “willfully,” the federal government must prove at trial that the individual knew that his conduct was unlawful. However, the Court also said that, when the statute provides that the government must prove merely that the crime was committed “knowingly,” the government does not have to prove that the individual knew that his or her conduct was unlawful. Thus, an individual who knew his or her gun was missing and did not report it to local authorities and the Attorney General in 24 hours would potentially face five years in prison.

So there ya go. Even if you aren’t aware of this law, you discover your gun was stolen, and wait 25 hours to report it, you can go to prison for 5 years.

I guess this is the ‘reasonable’ gun control we’ve been hearing about.

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