Hoping to provide cover for legislation that shortens sentences for many federal drug felons (i.e. dealers) and releases many of them early, Team Leniency — Sens. Mike Lee, Dick Durbin and company — touted the fact that their bill increases some mandatory minimum sentences.
This is true. For example, it increases sentences for possession of certain firearms.
That’s the main reason why the Gun Owners of America opposes the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 (S. 2123), stating that it “will be a nightmare for gun owners.” The other reason is that the increase in crime likely to result from this legislation will lead to demands for more gun control:
Gun owners are already in the crosshairs of this anti-gun administration. We don’t need to give Obama more ammunition to entrap law-abiding gun owners and send them to jail for long, draconian prison sentences.
The bill in question is supported by anti-gun Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT). They are cosponsors of S. 2123.
So what are they getting for their support?
Well, while many non-violent offenders are being let off the hook — and even some violent offenders who plea bargained down to “non-violent” offenses — the bill actually increases penalties for many law-abiding (non-violent) gun owners.
Hence, section 105 of S. 2123 increases — from 10 to 15 years — the potential prison sentences for “prohibited persons” and for those who merely possess a new machine gun, even if they are licensed under the NFA.
Have a gun, go to jail … for a long time!
Regarding the penalties for “prohibited persons,” the increased penalties in the bill would include the more than 175,000 veterans who have lost their gun rights, if there is still a gun anywhere in the house.
And it would include the 4.2 million seniors whom Obama proposes to strip of their gun rights by doing a computer search of social security.
Think about it: While this bill lowers sentences for many offenders, it raises the penalties for law-abiding gun owners who have had their gun rights stripped from them — like veterans and seniors mentioned above.
So guess what will happen if crime rates rise after these criminals are thrown back onto the streets? If you said that “anti-gun liberals will have an excuse to go after our guns,” then advance to the head of the class!
Think the government will never frame you? Think again!
Then there’s the increased penalties regarding the possession of a machine gun. This bill raises those penalties to 15 years.
Hence, take someone like David Olofson, who never owned an automatic weapon. The ATF framed him by taking a malfunctioning AR-15 and testing it several times with different ammunition — until it finally burst fired and jammed.
Olofson was prosecuted for owning an illegal “machine gun” and was sentenced to 30 months in jail.
Imagine, if what happened to Olofson were to happen to you — voila, you would now be facing up to 15 years in jail!
If we do anything with machine guns, we should be repealing the ban, not increasing sentences. No wonder why Senator Schumer likes this bill so much.
Bottom line: While this “sentencing reform” bill purports to reduce prison sentences for many offenders, it still “sticks it” to a large class of non-violent offenders — namely, law-abiding gun owners.
But that’s not all.
Fierce penalties for merely sharing information on guns
Remember the Obama administration’s efforts to criminalize posting “how-to” gun information on the Internet? That’s in the bill, too.
Thus, under section 108, anyone putting “technical data” with respect to guns on the Munitions List on the Internet is liable for a five year mandatory minimum prison sentence — even if it is only in a private e-mail.
And this is because the Obama administration has indicated that it will regard a transmission on the Internet to be a communication with any person or country with access to the Internet.
Don’t toke — with a gun in the safe — you’ll be sorry
One more thing: While the bill will generally help many drug offenders (by reducing their sentences), there is one category of drug trafficker who will not benefit from the bill.
If the criminal has a gun — even if it is at home in a safe — he will be exempted from the leniency.
Hence, his simple status of being a gun owner will be punished severely. No wonder that President Obama wants this bill on his desk.
“I am encouraged by what Congress is doing,” Mr. Obama said this week. “I hope they get a bill to my desk so that I can sign it.” (New York Times, October 27, 2015)
Again, there is a lot in here that should concern gun owners.
There is also plenty that should concern any America concerned about drug use, drug crime, and the violence associated with drug trafficking.