Gun Laws & Legislation

Korwin: “Prohibited person” is now “Prohibited household”

By Alan Korwin,

There is a new wrinkle in rights-denial and the lame-stream media told you nothing, except we want to get as many people into the background-check system as possible, to make everyone safer. 90% of the public supports this. (92%, according to a democrat’s party mailer with Mr. Obama’s name on it)

First, let me repeat: 90% of the public doesn’t support much of anything, especially gun stuff, so that number, like most “news” numbers these days, especially from advocates, politicians or government (unelected apparatchiks) is totally bogus (John Lott dissected their ludicrous math). Even so, try this “thought experiment” opinion poll: “The bill proposed for universal background-checks will create a government list of everyone in America who owns firearms, and makes a criminal out of anyone whose list of guns is inaccurate or incomplete. Do you support this?” Still 92% in favor? Not. I described the actual bill in plain English last year:

An insightful analysis of background checks, by Bryan Potratz in Wyoming, and reviewed by myself and gun-rights attorney Dave Hardy, has received little attention before now. It makes it clear that if a Prohibited Possessor lives anywhere, no one else who lives there can have free access to firearms or ammunition. This has gone basically unreported, even though it is in effect.

If you can’t prove that your security measures are satisfactory — to BATFE’s unwritten standards —  you become a felon for providing contraband to a prohibited person. Even if they never touch anything.

Even a single round of ammo out in the open would put the prohibited person in violation of ‘proximity to guns or ammo’ (a red-tape concoction that is a long stretch from the law as passed, which talks about “possession”). This is the same standard they use for drug busts, technically called “constructive possession,” enabling them to arrest everyone in a house where drugs are found (or planted). Courts have backed up this method completely.

The government, as it always does, takes the most restrictive view it can take: If freedom is at stake, drive a stake through freedom, even if it’s just a little. Mere presence in the same home meets their definition of possession, and creates the violation.

The real downside is that this now creates “Prohibited Households” — entire private homes where you cannot have a readily available gun for emergencies, or even for cleaning or showing to friends. Everyone in the house is (technically) disarmed by the presence of one person on the NICS Index.

The anti-rights people probably don’t mind a bit — it’s like a four-for-one sale on gun bans for an average-size family. And it’s unlikely the antis actually worked this out ahead of time. It is a boost though for the forces of darkness, because for every person they can get on that NICS Index, that’s a multiplier for people they’ve disarmed. Five people in NICS, figure 10 to 20 or more denied their rights at home.

Bryan goes on to predict that the NICS Index (the prohibited persons list) could be cross-referenced with hunting license, CCW, FOID or similar databases, to identify addresses where violations might be occurring. This sort of cross-checking is routine police work. He also suggests, “BATFE will be able to claim that such correlations are de-facto probable cause for a warrant to check for/arrest a ‘prohibited person in possession of firearms or ammunition.’ ”  He continues, quite rationally, that, “We know how subtle BATFE can be when prosecuting such warrants.”

This threat to the right to keep and bear arms has not hit the radar of any of the national gun-rights groups, at least not publicly. But millions of people nationwide are suffering under it right now.

Action item:
The concept of “constructive possession” regarding firearms is an affront to freedom and The American Way and should be abandoned in favor of actual physical possession with deliberate mens rea (criminal intent). Prohibited Households is a miscarriage of justice, and anyone attempting to prosecute such a case should be brought up on charges themselves, in an overdue application of 18 USC §241 et. seq. (denial of civil rights under color of law, look it up).

Alan Korwin, is the foremost publisher of books on American gun laws. He can be reached through his website