NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Inside The Gun Control Bill

June 30, 1999

Political analysts warn that there are a number of freedom- robbing elements lurking -- but not publicized -- in the juvenile crime, or gun control, bill. Both houses of Congress have passed separate versions of the bill, with the differences to be worked out in a conference committee.

New York University Law School's Dave Kopel has been writing and speaking out on some of the legislation's hidden provisions.

  • The federal government would be allowed to seize the property of a person who is convicted of any federal felony -- and this forfeiture rule applies to state felonies as well.
  • The federal government could also seize the property of a person who commits a misdemeanor under state law if physical harm results from that misdemeanor.
  • Police would be allowed to monitor private pager communications without a warrant.
  • The bill would void a federal law that restricts the government from compiling a list of gun owners.

It also imposes a mandatory one-year sentence for violating a federal gun law which says that adults can't give handguns to minors. In a report for the Independence Institute, Kopel and James Winchester pointed out that a father who gives a family heirloom in a locked case to his son on the boy's 17th birthday would have to spend a mandatory year in prison.

Source: David B. Kopel & James Winchester, "Unfair and Unconstitutional: The New Federal Juvenile Crime and Gun Control Proposals," Issue Paper No. 3-99, June 3, 1999, Independence Institute, 14142 Denver West Pkwy., Suite 185, Golden, Colo. 80401, (303) 279-6536; Editorial, "A Freedom-Control Bill," Investor's Business Daily, June 30, 1999.


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