The dumbest proposed Gun Control Bill of 2023… I really hate to waste that title so early in the year, but HB 586 is a real lulu. Over 40% of Pennsylvanians own at least one firearm. However, that little fact did not stop anti-gun lawmakers in Pennsylvania who surged to the head of the class with HB 586 — Ammunition Encoding.
According to the proposed legislation in HB 586, manufacturers would be mandated to encode a serial number on the base of each bullet A matching serial number would be required inside the case. The outside of each box would be required to have the serial number labeled.
For most, hunters, shooters, and the self-defense minded, the solution would be to stock up ahead of time or make a run across the border to a free state. It’s sad but true. Los Angeles, California passed a law requiring a fingerprint for all ammunition purchases in the 1990s. Many shooters opted to drive 10-15 miles to a local store and buy their ammunition. It was not a desire to subvert the law that prompted them to travel… It was a fear of the government.
Taking notes from the past, Pennsylvanian lawmakers added a provision… all ammunition that does not meet the aforementioned microstamping requirements would be required to be surrendered or destroyed by January 1, 2024. HB 586 (like so many gun control bills) is billed as a crime prevention measure. However, HB586 does nothing to prevent criminals from committing more crimes, it only seeks to turn the law abiding into criminals.
HB 586: The Database
The process would be an incredible burden on manufacturers. Creating a single round would go from a few steps to several. The time to create the ammunition and match the serials numbers to a box would skyrocket. And which manufacturer would want to take on the task and risk the liability and penalties? Manufacturers are already struggling to keep up with demand.
Can you imagine what would happen if they were required to add several steps, develop new factories or assembly lines to manufacture the micro stamped ammunition and the wasted time for all the new steps? And what would it do to the price? How many financially disadvantaged citizens would simply be ‘priced out’ of their right to self-defense?
Perhaps they would simply stop practicing. Is society safer when gun fail to become proficient or simply cannot afford to maintain or hone their skills? What about the Constitutional rights of Pennsylvanians for self-defense under the Second Amendment? The right to bear arms, by definition, means the right to “loaded arms.”
Manufacturers’ solution would be to simply not sell ammunition to Pennsylvania. While that is the end goal of the lawmakers, it would hurt many people beyond hunters and shooters. Think about all the industries affected by hunting — food service, lodging, sporting goods, meat packing, gas stations, travel, etc.
Backdoor Gun Registry
The Federal government is prohibited from maintain a registry of gun owners. However, HB 586 would be a de facto gun registry. Under HB586 all current ammunition would be illegal as of 1/1/24. Reloading would be outlawed. Manufacturers would be required to provide to the state, name, and address of the manufacturer and serial numbers of the ammunition sold in the state.
The seller would be required to provide the date of purchase, driver’s license number, and serial number of each round sold to the buyer. Manufacturers would get fined $1,000 for the first offense, $2,000 for the second, and $3,000 for every violation thereafter.
And the lawmakers more. Why pass a law, when you can also add a sin tax and plump up the coffers? Lawmakers also added a 5 cent per round tax to HB 586.
HB 586 gives an exemption to members of the military and law enforcement. However, as the industry has proven in the past, it will boycott states and refuse to sell ammunition or firearms to exempt members in protest to the rights of the citizenry that are being trampled.
To be honest, HB 586 has very little chance of passing. The bill is fraught with short-sighted ideas espoused by gun control advocates. The mechanisms and infrastructure are not in place to comply or enforce the provision if passed.
Pennsylvania lawmakers who authored and support HB 586 are hardly the first to fail at banning guns and then seek to go after ammunition by wrongly believing it is not covered under the Second Amendment. As a result, little of what has been reported on above is newsworthy at all.
The takeaway you should now have is how far the anti-gunners are prepared to go. The danger of elections and an imbalanced legislature running amok. Ludicrous proposals are only a small number of votes away from becoming reality. Then lawful, gun-owning citizens’ rights are stripped, canceled, trampled. Oh sure, the matter will go to the courts, but at what cost? How much time?
Think this is all a red herring? Ask a gun owner from Illinois, New York, California, New Jersey, Washington… and the list goes on!
Supporters and sponsors of HB 586 argue it would make it easier to track down criminals and prevent them from obtaining ammunition. Who really believes a criminal, drug sealer, gang member etc. would buy and register ammunition? They would simply skip across a border and buy the ammunition. After all, if they are not afraid of the consequences for committing a murder, what would they care about a misdemeanor and $1,000 fine? Pennsylvanians need to get moving and stanchly oppose HB 586 with their voices, votes, and financial support of those fighting these draconian gun control measures.
For those of you not living in Pennsylvania, you need to get moving and stanchly oppose HB XXX — coming to your state soon — with your voices, votes, and financial support of those fighting these draconian gun control measures, before your rights are stripped while states and lawmakers fight you in court — using your tax dollars…