H.R.127 is a bill brought forward by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee from Texas’ 18th District. It is a sweeping gun control bill that covers topics that the Representative clearly knows nothing about. She was asked about the bill and had this to say: “I’ve held an AR-15 in my hand… it is as heavy as 10 boxes that you might be moving, and the bullet that is utilized [is] .50 caliber.” Without even delving into the legislation, it is clear from this one sentence alone that Representative Lee knows nothing about guns and is almost certainly lying about holding one. First, AR-15 is just a generic term to describe a certain type of rifle, creating different specifications. However, most are around 6lbs with the heaviest being around 7lbs, so not anywhere close to as heavy as ten moving boxes. Second, AR-15 rifles use .223 caliber, and approximately zero use .50 caliber. The size difference between .223 and .50 caliber is demonstrated in this photo, and for those who like numbers, .50 is over 3x the size of .223 (138mm vs 57mm).
Now that we know the Representative is completely uneducated on the topic she is attempting to legislate, let’s dive into the legislation. This bill would create a national, publicly available database for all firearm owners, and that isn’t sure to tell criminals exactly where they can get exactly the guns they want for free, not to mention the fact this will publicly dox the 40% of Americans who own guns and make them potential targets of political violence. Also, this registry is totally illegal under the Firearm Owners Protection Act. The bill also says that anyone trying to get a gun will be forced to take a psychological evaluation, which sounds reasonable enough, until you realize that there is no provision as to who dictates what the evaluation consists of, and three relatives of the applicant, including ex-spouses, will be interviewed as well. Because they will have nothing but positive things to say about their former spouse. The bill also requires a license to display antique firearms, so if you want to have an old black powder rifle, you need to tell the Attorney General exactly how you will display it. There is also an $800 fee to apply for a gun license, actively preventing the poor from exercising their constitutional rights.
The bill is also totally nonsensical in its definitions, starting with “Military-Style Weapons.” This included the AR-15, which has never been used by any military, and revolving cylinder shotguns like the Striker 12, despite the fact there are many tube and magazine-fed shotguns not mentioned in this bill that can load far more shells than a Striker 12. Pistols with a magazine that attaches outside the grip are classified as “military-style,” leading to the situation where a 20 round magazine that fits in the grip is fine, but not if it attaches outside. Also included are barrel shrouds to prevent the user from burning themselves and the existence of automatic variants of the same pistol existing defining weapons as “military-style.” Both .50 ammunition and magazines over a capacity of 10 rounds would be banned, and the punishment would be 10-20 years in prison and a $50,000-$100,000 fine. Finally, owning a gun without a license will put you in jail 15-25 years and fined $75,000-$150,00, and this isn’t grandfathered in either. Also, these are longer than the average sentences for rape, robbery, kidnapping, and assault, just to throw that out there. This shows how the Representative is trying to go after “scary” guns without understanding how they work. Reasonable people can debate gun control, but those who don’t even understand what they’re talking about shouldn’t legislate.