Tuesday, August 21, 2007

DarthDoyle Strikes at Gun Rights, Updated!

When announcing this package of "progressive legislation," Doyle was accompanied by Tommy the Mayor, who nodded, nodded, and nodded.

Credit where it's due: this part makes all the sense in the world:

Doyle wants to increase monitoring of individuals who have been civilly committed or prohibited by a court of law from using [a] firearm. The state currently coordinates with the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) to track individuals who are civilly committed and prohibited from obtaining or using a firearm in Wisconsin. Governor Doyle is taking the next step, proposing legislation to share that information with the federal government, contributing to a national database. This step prevents these individuals from traveling to a state where their background is not available to purchase a firearm, and then bringing it back to Wisconsin to commit a crime.

Bearing in mind that the devil is in the details, that proposal is a good one. In some States, there's a 5-year waiting time imposed after release from the commitment before purchasing a weapon is allowed again.

However, there are some problems with this proposal:

...the Governor is proposing a rollback of the preemption law to give cities like Milwaukee the flexibility they need maintain order and keep their citizens out of harms way.

I, too, have difficulties with State pre-emption. It can be called a violation of the Principle of Subsidiarity. In other words, let locals govern themselves...

Since at this time there is no "concealed carry" in the State, and since there are no licensed gun-dealers in the City of Milwaukee, there are few imaginable immediate effects, unless Milwaukee's Common Council & Mayor decide to prohibit all Milwaukee residents from owning any guns at all--not a likely occurence. Of course, if "concealed carry" DOES become law, and Milwaukee prohibits same, then there will be problems.

However, since ownership of weapons for "all lawful purposes" is protected by the State Constitution, and "all lawful purposes" includes self-defense (doh...) and since even Screechin'Shirley's Supremes cannot get around that Amendment, it will be very interesting to see what the City of Milwaukee decides to do without violating the Constitution, which DOES pre-empt all local ordinances.

Now here's one which will be a real problem:

Under current law, individuals who are not federally licensed firearm dealers can sell firearms without background checks at places like gun shows that are unregulated by state law – providing a loophole for guns to end up in the hands of criminals. To close that loophole, Governor Doyle is proposing prohibiting any individual in the state from selling or buying a firearm, transferring or obtaining ownership of a handgun unless two provisions are met: One person involved in the transaction must be a federally licensed firearms dealer; and the seller or transferor of the firearm must make the transaction through a licensed firearm dealer.

That means that your Uncle Joe cannot give you (or sell you) his S&W without running the transaction through an FFL-dealer. Nor can you buy a gun from Sam, nor Chris, nor Wendy without that dealer's assistance (which they will render for a fee, of course.) This is something that Badger Guns backs 100%, by the way.

(The text is not clear; that proposal COULD include rifles and shotguns, too.)

Here is a case of "Show, not Go" inanity:

To track guns being used in multiple crimes, Governor Doyle is proposing required ballistic fingerprinting, a technique that matches marks made by a bullet when fired from a gun with marks on the inside of the barrel of the gun, creating a trail for law enforcement to track down both guns and criminals. Under this legislation, the state would require all firearms sold in Wisconsin to provide fired cases for DOJ to keep a record of the firearm’s fingerprints, to access during criminal investigations. This step would allow the state to build up a comprehensive database of ballistic fingerprints, and more resources to track violent criminals.

We know that criminals, by and large, are idiots. But some are not complete idiots--meaning that they can apply a rat-tail file to the chamber and/or barrel of a gun to change the "fingerprint" at will--several times in one day, if they want to. (They can also purchase replacement barrels/receivers from any one of several dozen vendors.)

And, of course, that law will add a cost, whether to the manufacturer or dealer, which will be passed on to the buyers--not to mention the cost to the State for warehousing all those records.

A lot of silliness because it's easily and totally defeat-able with a lousy $6.00 file.

This next one may make sense (again bearing in mind that details count:)

Governor Doyle is proposing legislation that would prohibit the possession and purchase of a firearm for an individual who has been convicted of a misdemeanor that involved a firearm. Additionally, Governor Doyle is proposing to prohibit sales of handguns to individuals under the age of 21, to help keep guns out of the hands of the state’s young people.

Can't purchase a pistol, but you CAN use one to kill the enemy in a war...Can't purchase a pistol but you CAN vote...Hmmmmm. UPDATE: Currently, no one under 21 years of age may legally purchase a HANDGUN in Wisconsin. Doyle will prohibit sale of ALL GUNS to people under 21, including .22LR rifles, shotguns, etc. So forget about recreational or target-shooting (or varmint control) until you're over 21.

That provision is pure crap. There are far too many good target-shooter contestants (Olympics, anyone?) who begin their avocation's training regime at the age of 12 or so; and far too many rural youth who shoot trap, or control critters. This should not fly, and I doubt that it will.

As to the 'gun-involved' misdemeanors: who was in possession of the gun during the act? Seems to me that if there are differing indictments leveled against various parties who were part of a 'gang,' then this will be a nightmare for enforcement.


DarthDoyle's "fingerprint" scheme was used by the State of Maryland.

It was so effective that the Maryland State Police requested that the State abandon the program after only 5 years.

An Associated Press story from 2005 reported, "...a state police report says such 'fingerprinting' has not helped a single criminal investigation. The superintendent of Maryland State Police says, 'The system really is not doing anything."

But hey! Darth's going to raise taxes, so wasting several million dollars won't be a big deal.


Billiam said...

Nothing I can add. Excellent post.

James Wigderson said...

Don't the ballistic fingerprints change over time with repeated use even without filing?

Dad29 said...

Yes, Wiggy, they do.

James Wigderson said...

See what I learn from my gun guru?