My intitial thoughts on HR 7115 (Part 2)

Once again, IANAL warning is issued.

HR 7115 is not a long complicated bill as we can see. Of course, that can change if the bill progresses and Democrats in congress get bolder and want to add their mark on it.

Serialization of home made weapons and the over reaching definition of “assault weapon” to include the most popular handguns in the country are important objectives the Democrats have, but in my opinion the biggest threat is the introduction of two new regulatory agencies to the Second Amendment: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.

As I stated before, the introduction of the Consumer Product Safety Commission to the mix is just the logical extension of the old “Guns are less regulated than Teddy Bears” chant we heard over the years. Gun Control activists love to “confuse” dangerous by poorly design with dangerous if misused.  A gun is not a Pinto that blows up in the hand of its user if you seat the magazine hard with a slap when reloading. And the innocuous teddy bear can be used to  asphyxiate somebody if used in that manner. So at the end what we have is a product that can be dangerous if misused just like almost any other product out there, but rather than punish bad and dangerous design, we inject another regulatory agency in the manufacturing process because some people misuse it.

But we are not going to be lucky and let us go with just affixing a warning label on blank pieces of aluminum, but they will excise full criminal and monetary penalties  or the supposed violations.

Th inclusion of the Federal Trade Commission is also very interesting. The electronic advertising or parts is made illegal. Not its misuse, not its acquisition but the electronic mention of its availability. Is it a case of “If I can’t ban it outright, I’ll try and make sure nobody hears about it”? Which in the era of the internet and with the Streisand Effects is somewhat stupid as proven with the 3D Gun files.

(b) Enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission.—A violation of subsection (a) shall be treated as a violation of a rule defining an unfair or deceptive act or practice described under section 18(a)(1)(B) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 57a(a)(1)(B)). The Federal Trade Commission shall enforce this section in the same manner, by the same means, and with the same jurisdiction, powers, and duties as though all applicable terms and provisions of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.) were incorporated into and made a part of this Act.

So I went and read the mentioned section (15 U.S.C. 57a(a)(1)(B)) and it reads:

§57a. Unfair or deceptive acts or practices rulemaking proceedings
(a) Authority of Commission to prescribe rules and general statements of policy
(1) Except as provided in subsection (h), the Commission may prescribe-
(A) interpretive rules and general statements of policy with respect to unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce (within the meaning of section 45(a)(1) of this title), and
(B) rules which define with specificity acts or practices which are unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce (within the meaning of section 45(a)(1) of this title), except that the Commission shall not develop or promulgate any trade rule or regulation with regard to the regulation of the development and utilization of the standards and certification activities pursuant to this section. Rules under this subparagraph may include requirements prescribed for the purpose of preventing such acts or practices.

I really don’t see up front how internet advertising of legal pieces of metal can be illegal. I then went after the mentioned section 45(a)(1) of the US Code:

15 U.S. Code § 45 – Unfair methods of competition unlawful; prevention by Commission
(a)Declaration of unlawfulness; power to prohibit unfair practices; inapplicability to foreign trade
(1)Unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce, are hereby declared unlawful.
(2)The Commission is hereby empowered and directed to prevent persons, partnerships, or corporations, except (list of exceptions edited out by me) from using unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.

Again, IANAL warning, but I don’t see what Internet advertising has to do with the FTC unless they are trying to pull a 21st century version of the “Affecting Interstate Commerce” abuse they were so fond back in the 90s with the passage of the Clinton’s AWB.  Only this time is not being used only to curtail the second Amendment, but also the First Amendment.  Never forget that anybody who fiercely hates one of the Amendments of the Bill or Rights, probably has little regard for the rest of them.

What we have here is trying to wear us out by splitting our forces and attention. It is hard to fight one government regulatory agency like ATF so it is sound strategy for them to have us fight three fronts. The question then comes: Will the FTC and the CPSC will allow themselves get involved in this fight? We’ll see.

Anyway, that is what I take out

 

4 Replies to “My intitial thoughts on HR 7115 (Part 2)”

  1. Multiple regulatory agencies enforcing different rules on the same activity is a time honored ploy to prevent the activity, as well as growing the size and power of the bureaucracies. The EPA is the usual culprit, with the CPSC and FTC not far behind. At some point, trying to satisfy all conflicting regulations becomes impossible and people decide not to pursue the activity. The scary part is that a lot of this type of action can (and has) been done with executive orders. without congressional approval. Get ready for a rough ride if (when?) President Beto is elected.

    1. You beat me to it Nuke Road Warrior.
      A bureaucrapacy will always seek to increase it’s regulatory powers, no matter how insane and Kafkaesque the results.

  2. I neglected to tell you I linked back to part 1 yesterday. My apologies.

    The question then comes: Will the FTC and the CPSC will allow themselves get involved in this fight?

    Let’s see – do they want more employees, and more power over more of society? Yeah, this a trick question. Of course they do. Of course they will. I don’t see a chance they wouldn’t want to be a bigger more powerful “empire”.

    1. Precisely. The goal of government bureaucrats is more power, larger agencies, larger budgets. The alleged purpose claimed by their PR flacks for their agency is utterly irrelevant. If anything, it is something to be avoided. For example, the EPA wouldn’t want a clean environment because then they would not longer have a purpose. The “War on poverty” does not want to end poverty. And so on.

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