Archives and Backgrounders
CALIFORNIA ESCAPES NEW FEDERAL
Only 20 States Exempted
$13$16 Applies to
Under the general banner of crime reduction, and citing the Brady law for its authority, the FBI plans to tax the retail sale of handguns and long guns, starting Nov. 30, if their new computer systems are ready in time. The proposed tax could generate $1 million per week nationally, based on the bureau's estimates. Detailed information is included in a report just issued by Phoenix-based Bloomfield Press, a book publisher specializing in gun law [Ed.: Summary of Findings on request and website].
Perhaps more significant than a surprising new tax from the Justice Departmentwithout any apparent Congressional approvalis the FBI's announced plans to record complete identifying information on every person who purchases a firearm from a licensed dealer. Any regulation that requires such recording has been prohibited under the McClure-Volkmer Act since 1986. Neither the tax nor the gun-buyer registration scheme appear to be legal, according to Alan Korwin, co-author of The California Gun Owner's Guide. Korwin has written seven books on gun law. His California guide, released in February, has all the state's gun laws and is his latest.
The federal registration and tax plan are being rolled out under the guise of the National Instant Check System, required when Part 1 of the Brady law expires this year. Under Brady Part 2, all retail handgun and long gun sales will have to run through the system, which the FBI has based at its Clarksburg, W. Va., data center. They are hiring 500 people to handle the anticipated load.
The FBI intends to waive the tax for any state that sets up an FBI-approved central firearms clearance center. California's background check system has been approved, placing its state police under a degree of FBI control. In other states, each dealer will have to "enroll" with the FBI to legally make a sale, and pay the tax on every purchase. The Bureau will accept credit cards or will arrange to bill dealers, and those who don't pay (or are real late on the invoice) will be literally out of business. Several authorities have indicated that they expect enough clamor from the taxed dealers to compel their states to comply. When 100 Arizona dealers were told at a government meeting in June, that they would not be taxed, they cheered, apparently oblivious to the implications of federalizing their local police.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Alan Korwin February 10, 1998
For the first time, a complete set of California's gun laws is being released for public use. The California Gun Owner's Guide is a legal landmarkresidents can now hold all the gun laws in one hand. Assembled by noted firearms legal experts Georgene Lockwood and Alan Korwin, The California Gun Owner's Guide contains word-for-word text of all the gun laws (not just the penal code) and extensive supporting material in plain English. California has nearly twice as much gun law as the federal government.
"For too long, Californians have relied on rumor and hearsayinstead of solid informationwhen exercising the right to bear arms," Korwin commented in a recent interview. "We expect this book to find its way onto the desks of both pro-gun and gun-control advocates alike." Co-author Lockwood agreed, adding, "The California Gun Owner's Guide provides a new framework for the entire firearms debatereality."
In addition to making state gun law easily available, the book also provides clear descriptions of the federal laws for gun ownership and use. The authors cover the subjects of self-defense and the use of deadly force, and have included lethal encounter scenarios, material on child and adult safety, 150 self-test questions and more. Basically, if it involves firearms in California it is covered in this new book. Should gun owners be empoweredeven encouragedby getting a copy of all the gun laws? According to the publisher, Phoenix-based Bloomfield Press, it doesn't make sense to own a gun and not know the rules.
The California Gun Owner's Guide is available through bookstores and gun shops statewide at $14.95. Single copies for police department and news media review are free on request. For info or to fire up a copy, call 1-800-707-4020 or visit www.bloomfieldpress.com
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