Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Responsible Gun Owner Amendment





I had a dream that somehow we needed to add an amendment in the Bill of Rights that protected people harmed by others who misuse firearms and deny their fellow citizens the right to live in safety.

That's why I created a petition to The United States House of Representatives.

Will you sign this petition? Click here:

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/the-responsible-gun-owner?source=c.em.cp&r_by=3391810
Thanks!


Here is the text I wrote in full:

“The Responsible Gun Owner Amendment”

I propose a Constitutional amendment which states:

All individuals in the territorial boundaries of the United States of America and its possessions who wish to own a personal firearm must pass all mandated federal, state and local background checks and pay a $1000 per year federal licensing fee per weapon. Owners who do not renew their firearm license and undergo an annual background check review will be fined $10,000 for each firearm not in compliance with the law. Persons found to be in possession of an unlicensed firearm whose legal owner cannot be verified will bear full responsibility of paying any and all fines and fees associated with said firearm and must be able to pass all mandated federal, state and local background checks. These federal fees and fines are not intended as a substitute for punishment of criminal or civil laws, and the state or local municipality where the owner/person in possession of the firearm resides retains the right to file criminal and/or civil charges against the firearms owner and/or individual in possession of said firearm for violation of state or local laws.

For every use of a firearm in the commission of a crime and/or physical assault against another person or persons by either the owner or an individual in possession of said firearm—whether or not permission to use said firearm was expressly granted by the owner—the owner of the firearm will be fined $1,000,000. Furthermore, for every instance of permanent disability or death of a victim of firearm violence incurred, the owner of the firearm will be fined $10,000,000. If the legal owner(s) of a firearm used to commit a crime, assault or death cannot be verified, the person or persons found to be in possession of the firearm will bear full responsibility of paying any and all fines and fees associated with said firearm. These federal fines are not intended as a substitute for punishment under criminal or civil laws, and the state or local municipality where the firearm violence occurred retains the right to file criminal and/or civil charges against the firearms owner and/or individual in possession of said firearm for violation of state or local laws.

All moneys raised by the firearm licensing fees and fines for misuse of firearms will be deposited into a designated federal fund that will go toward compensation of property/livestock/pets stolen, lost, damaged, destroyed or harmed during the commission of a crime while using a firearm. Also, moneys from said fund will go toward compensation to the immediate family for any and all wages or income lost by the disability or death of a family member by firearm violence. Moneys raised by the firearm licensing fees and fines will also go toward funding the mental and physical rehabilitation of the victims, friends and family members who have suffered as a result of firearm violence, as well as funds to create information programs to educate and promote firearm safety.

A firearm is defined as any weapon that is capable of propelling a projectile with such force to cause harm or death. Such weapons include hand guns, rifles, and automatic assault weapons. Antique or replica firearms used for display purposes or historical reenactments that are modified so as to become incapable of shooting a harmful projectile will be exempt from the law, provided the owner can demonstrate safety precautions have been taken to the satisfaction of law enforcement officers and accepts liability for any misuse of the firearm under criminal/civil laws.

Firearms owned by the federal government and in the possession of active duty members of the United States Armed Services (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, National Guard, or Coast Guard) while on sanctioned maneuvers will be exempt from fees and fines, but the possessor of the firearm may be subject to criminal/civil laws. Firearms owned by the federal government and in the possession of active duty members of federal policing agencies while on sanctioned maneuvers will be exempt from fees and fines, but the possessor of the firearm may be subject to criminal/civil laws. Firearms owned by state or local municipalities and in the possession of on-duty law enforcement officers (i.e., police, sheriff or highway patrol) will be exempt from fees and fines, but the possessor of the firearm may be subject to criminal/civil laws.

Firearms owned by private clubs or organizations, incorporated or unincorporated, will not be exempt from the law. The officers or presumed leaders of the club or organization will be considered the owner(s) of said firearms and will be held responsible for the licensing and care of these weapons in compliance with the law. The officers or presumed leaders of the club or organization designated as owners of said firearms will be liable for any and all fees, fines and criminal/civil charges for misuse of the club’s/organization’s firearms by them, their members or others who may take possession of their weapons.

Congress has the right to enact further legislation to aid the implementation of this amendment such as a gun amnesty program in an established period before the law goes into effect to allow individuals and organizations to relinquish without penalty any and all firearms they do not wish to license.






4 comments:

A J said...

Signed. There's no way the NRA's policy on gun ownership can any longer be construed as "necessary for a well-regulated militia."

Cindy said...

I doubt most NRA members would qualify to join a "well-regulated militia". They'd have to get in physical shape first AND pass some psychological tests... Yeah, doubtful any of the ammosexuals would make it past those two roadblocks.

Anonymous said...

Well, the whole thing is not a Constitutional Amendment; it's a screed on guns from someone who has no experience with them and just "feels" they're wrong. Ms. Matthews is also NOT a Constitutional scholar. A.J. and Cindy, neither are you a gun expert or Constitutional scholar. Let's play a game, since you think the Constitution should be changed to please you. Let's look at the First Amendment. Freedom of the press must mean, according to you, that we can't use modern conveniences to communicate. Thus get out those goose quill pens and get rid of all mass media except that printed on the old presses of the 1780s.

Cindy said...

Well, I don't claim to be a Constitutional scholar--just a mother with a dream that children can attend first grade without fears of being gunned down in their classroom along with their friends and teachers. I can claim to have knowledge of what it's like to have to deal with tragedy and death with young children, however, and believe me, it's not a walk in the park.

Whatever quill pens and the mass media has to do with licensing firearms is beyond me. We license our cars, we are tested and receive driver's licenses from the state in which we reside. To work in the school system or with children in any licensed facility (which I have done and currently do) a person must undergo a criminal background check and be passed on it before you can be hired. In both driving and in education/child care, licensing and background checks are the norm.

So why can't gun owners be tested in order to receive licenses and undergo background checks likewise? it seems entirely more logical and rational than equating a weapon with a quill pen.