New Schumer Gun Possession Bill: Let's Get Tough on Even Those Not Convicted of Drug Crimes

Since so many people were very upset that someone who had not yet committed a crime but who apparently smoked dope, couldn't get in the Army, and was weird was able to buy a gun, Democratic Senator/Public Menace Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has introduced a bill to further limit those who can legally buy a gun in some infuriatingly dumb ways. Jeff Winkler, former Reason intern now at Daily Caller, dug up the details:

Under Schumer’s bill, the definition of a “drug abuser” would include anyone with “an arrest for the use or possession of a controlled substance within the past 5 years.”

Current federal law already specifies that two kinds of drug users can be barred from owning a gun: (1) Those who have been convicted of possessing or using a controlled substance in the past year and (2) Anyone who has had multiple drug arrests in the past five years, including one within a year of applying for a firearm, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

....the “arrest” language of Schumer’s bill and a clarification from the ATF indicate that a greater number of innocent Americans would be barred from owning a gun if the Senate bill becomes law.

“Under the definition of ‘unlawful user’ … an inference of current use could be drawn if the one arrest resulted in a conviction for use or possession of a controlled substance within the past year,” the ATF told the The Daily Caller.

To clear up any confusion, Schumer’s bill would expand that “inference” to say: if you’ve ever been arrested for any kind of drug use or possession in the past five year, you can be denied the lawful possession of a firearm.

The bill’s definition of an “unlawful user” also includes anyone arrested for drug paraphernalia within the past five years if the paraphernalia is found have traces of a drug, and those who make an “admission” to using or possessing a controlled substance in the past five years. The meaning of “admission,” however, is not defined.

And that's a lot of people who would be barred from their Second Amendment rights:

A little more than 1,600,000 people were arrested in 2009 on drug violations, according to statistic from the Federal Bureau of Investigations. About half of those people were arrested on marijuana charges, with simple drug possession — rather than sale or manufacturing — accounting for nine-tenths of those collars, according to Reason magazine. It’s those last set of figures that could very well rally two groups most people might consider odd bed-fellows: pot-smokers and firearms enthusiasts.

Even the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence told Winkler they didn't like this aspect of Schumer's bill--but let's see if this leads them to openly oppose it.

The Fix Gun Checks Act of 2011, in all its grimness. The bill also strives to extend Brady Act background checks to "all sales and transfers of firearms," not just ones through licensed dealers.

I wrote in part of Reason's April 2011 cover package on the Loughner Panic about why we should not think it necessary to institute dumb things like this new Schumer bill in reaction to Loughner's crime.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    damn original sin. if only everybody wasnt guilty of something...

  • rst||

    Say it with me, Chuck: "Due Process".

    Dipshit lawyers.

  • ||

    Schumer's on a roll... But I take an optimistic view: perhaps Chuck found out he was dying of manbreast cancer and is trying to fit in a lifetime of stupid into his remaining few months. All we have to do it outlast him and then we can shit on his grave.

  • alan||

    I too am optimistic that in the near future we shall be witness to the headline: Schumer Accidentally Shot By His Own Security Detail With the subhead. Bullet Okay. Remains Intact For Reuse.

    Really, without that subhead, it would be tragic given Schumer would be the waste of a perfectly good one.

  • ||

    I'd like to see him get titty-fucked by STEVE SMITH. Be nice for him to see what it's like to fucked by a sweaty, shit-smeared half-human beast for once, considering how many times he's shown us.

  • STEVE SMITH||

    FUCK YOU, SUGARFREE! STEVE SMITH NO GO WITHIN 100 FEET OF SHIT BAG LIKE SCHUMER. NOT EVEN FOR TITTIE FUCK.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    I was just thinking that.

  • TonyJ||

    Schumer has already produced a lifetime (as if it was only one!) worth of stupid. There's absolutely no need for him to feel pressed for time no matter how short his life expectancy.

  • ||

    Democratic Senator/Public Menace Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)

    So true. So true.

  • MNG||

    A restriction for an arrest that does not lead to a conviction? WTF?

    Hey, reason number 100,001 why I hate Chuck Schumer! Nice to know he's not slowing down with age in his attention whoring ambulance chasing unprincipled stands!

  • ||

    How else can we keep guns out of the hands of people that we don't have the evidence to convict of anything, but we "just know" that they shouldn't have them?

  • prolefeed||

    This bit about taking away Second Amendment rights for arrests, not convictions, is racist, since the number of arrested alleged drug users is disproportionately skewed toward darker-hued alleged users.

  • Achtung Baby||

    In what reality are the policies of Chuck Schumer considered "liberal."

  • Enrico Rossi||

    Maybe "liberal" is secret code for statist.

  • fish||

    A restriction for an arrest that does not lead to a conviction? WTF?

    Welcome MNG to the land of skepticism of the state.

    Stay as long as you like.

  • ||

    How does Schumer make me hate him more with every single thing he does? I didn't think it was possible; how do you get above "hate with every fiber of my being"?

  • ||

    The fiber of your being is composed of atoms, and those are composed by even smaller particles.

    You hate Schumer down your tau neutrinos.

  • ||

    What happens when I get down to bosons? WHAT THEN?!?

  • ||

    What you do with your bosons is your own business.

  • ||

    Not so fast.

  • ||

    She rose slowly from the pool of cherry Jello. Despite the danger I could only stand transfixed at the sight of her bare, heaving bosons.

    Her voice was husky with desire. "Take me, you fool! Take me now!"

  • ||

    but not his higgs-boson's

  • ||

    No one gave you permission to address us, you moronic fuck.

  • MNG||

    "How does Schumer make me hate him more with every single thing he does?"

    You have to give him credit, he's good at what he does.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Has scummer been on a roll lately or what? I mean a roll of stupid policy proposals. Maybe he's trying to get his name out there.

  • Chucky Babe||

    When you grab their mikes, the media expects you to say something, any thing. The awkward silence is the only thing they wont tolerate.

  • cynical||

    Peter King was stealing his thunder.

  • X||

    I know a heart I'd like to see a dagger in.

  • AlmightyJB||

    So basically, Shumer is a rascist.

  • AlmightyJB||

    ...and a racist

  • ||

    A restriction for an arrest that does not lead to a conviction? WTF?

    I guess this is some of that "social justice" that Tony likes to go on about.

  • ||

    This illustrates what a lie the whole "we're aren't trying to take guns away" meme is.

    Yeah, sure, the right to own a gun will exist--on paper. But little tricks like this will stop innocent people from exercising the right.

    A right that you are blocked by force from exercising IS a right that is being infringed.

  • Paul||

    Here's why mainstream Democrats will never overturn the War on Drugs: Power.

    As long as the war on drugs remains in place, it can be used to enforce all kinds of secondary policy prescriptions.

    I mean, how are you going to ban fast food restaurants in L.A. or fight the war on obesity without a War on Drugs?

  • Paul||

    Even the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence told Winkler they didn't like this aspect of Schumer's bill--but let's see if this leads them to openly oppose it.

    Probably becaused 87% of the Brady Campaign's employees use "medical marijuana".

  • Schmed||

    Chuck, let's implement the same for those who hold a position in political office.

  • Schmed||

    They want this, but to ask an illegal immigrant for ID is unconstitutional.

  • Schmed||

    Up-Chuck, YOU really need to get off the drugs, or whatever the hell you are on. Your ancestor's aggressors in the Rhine, circa 1942, would be very proud of you

  • ||

    Chuck, we already hate you. There's not need to waste your energy on this, just tell people to watch Waco: The Rules of Engagement and they'll get the picture of what a miserable, statist fuck you are.

  • ||

    What we need is Grand Unified Theory of Constitutional Rights.

    Namely, if you can be denied any right guaranteed in the Constitution, you can be denied every right guaranteed in the Constitution.

    So, if you want to take away somebody's right to own a gun, you also have to take away their right to vote, to speak, to worship, etc.

    I mean, if you're serious that a drug arrest is grounds for denying Constitutional rights, then you shuold have no problem with this, should you?

  • Paul||

    Before we develop this theory, we first need Constitutional Rights. I propose some sort of document which lays these rights out, in plain language. We'll start with half a dozen or so basic individual rights-- we can call this first part of the Constitution, oh, The First Page of Basic Individual Rights, or The Half Dozen Or So Individual Rights.

  • fish||

    You're clearly insane.

  • bob||

    But it's those religious nuts on the right which assume the worst with drugs. I bet the left ignores Tipper Gore's parental advisory label also. You know the only reason we have all this military spending is because of those dumb righties, too.

  • ||

    You’d THINK these congressmen (from BOTH PARTIES) WHO REPEATEDLY COME AFTER OUR GUNS WITH THEIR NEVER-ENDING BILLS would have something better to do since they’ve just STOOD BY AND FUNDED A 3RD WAR we can’t pay for, we’re already in two wars we can’t or don’t want to win – for over a decade, and the country is bankrupt due to Federal Reserve/Treasury/Bankster/Wall Street/Congressional THEFT.

    PLEASE DON’T FORGET WHO THESE PERPETRATORS ARE IN 2012.

    Every single person should FIGHT to stop this NEVER-ENDING assault on our right to own guns. EVEN CRIMINALS HAVE 3 STRIKES. THESE CREEPING GUN LAWS ARE AN ASSAULT AND ABOMINATION! Any cop can cook up one minor offense to deprive you of gun ownership! When Bill Clinton was in office, he cooked up WACO and a whole bunch of mind-controlled school shooters to turn the public against gun ownership. When the guns are confiscated, only the GANGS will have guns. They will get them DESPITE THE LAW; they are, after all, criminals. YOU WILL BE DEFENSELESS. Every nation where guns were confiscated has shown huge increases in crime.

    The banks and wall street criminals have become so brazen they’re committing crimes like Foreclosure Fraud right in front of our eyes; yet NO LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY IN THE LAND IS ON THE SCENE! THE FBI AND DOJ ARE SMUG IN THEIR “HOMEGROWN” TERRORIST SPYING TOO BUSY TO CHECK UP ON SUCH TRIVIAL MATTERS. WE NOW LIVE IN A POLICE STATE AT THE HANDS OF HOMELAND INSECURITY. THE WHOLE BUNCH OF THEM ARE DISGUSTING.

  • Terc||

    Amen, my good fellow!

  • ||

    Since Obama admitted to using marijuana and cocaine in his autobiography, and never did say when,or even if, he stopped that drug use, can we now assumre that Schumer's bill would prevent him from being able to use the firepower of the US Military? Can't have a gun, you certaiinly should be denied the use of conventional and nuclear weapons. Wonder if Chuck is gonna go after Obama's "heat".

  • mad libertarian guy||

    The bill also strives to extend Brady Act background checks to "all sales and transfers of firearms," not just ones through licensed dealers.

    This in itself will kill this bill.


    Hopefully.

  • Cure ear infection||

    Your post is really good providing good information. Food for fertility I liked it and enjoyed reading it.Keep sharing such important posts.Natural laxative foods

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement