Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has quietly added a slew of new measures to his self-sponsored gun control bill currently making its way through the Senate.
Schumer has been fighting to get his Protecting Responsible Gun Sellers Act of 2013 (S 374)–now called the Fix Gun Checks Act of 2013–passed into law, but one of the early problems with the bill was that it was essentially a shell or placeholder bill, incomplete at the time of introduction.
Ostensibly, Schumer’s bill is meant to change current laws to require that all firearm sales initiate a background check on the buyer before the sale is finalized. Currently, private citizens are exempt from performing background checks when they sell guns to other private citizens.
Though the original bill introduced was a shortened version, the New York Senator has since added new amendments to his bill that raise concerns for gun rights advocates.
Schumer’s new Section 202 will make it illegal for an unlicensed person to transfer a gun to any other non-licensed person. The law would require that a licensed gun seller perform an NICS check and fill out a Form 4473 before a transfer would be legal.
Exceptions include transfers from husband to wife or immediate family, short-term transfers for hunting purposes (if the owner is present), or at a shooting range or for firearms instruction.
Section 202 also sets maximum fees for the paperwork and demands that the FFL keep the paperwork during the length of the transfer.
Section 203 is the more problematic section, as it requires that gun owners report the theft or loss of a firearm within 24 hours after discovering the loss. Unless a report is filed with the “Attorney General and to the appropriate authorities,” the gun owner faces five years of imprisonment.
Second Amendment supporters have been fighting to make sure these transfer records are not kept by the federal government in what would essentially become a national gun owner’s database.