United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- The National Instant Background Check System (NICS) has always been a flashpoint of contention among Second Amendment supporters. “No compromise” types viewed the push for NICS in 1993 as a sellout, while those who were of the incrementalist school of thought pointed out – justifiably – that NICS prevented a permanent waiting period.
In this light, we come to S 1261, the Illegal Alien NICS Alert Act, introduced by Senator Tom Cotton, a Second Amendment champion. This bill is a narrower version of the NICS Denial Notification Act, since it is strictly aimed at those in the country illegally. This falls under the “enforce existing laws” argument that some Second Amendment supporters have successfully wielded to halt anti-Second Amendment efforts in the past – see Project Exile.
Under 18 USC 922, illegal aliens are prohibited from possessing any type of firearm.
Regardless of your opinion on whether or not illegal immigration is a threat to the Second Amendment, this is a law that should be enforced, if for no other reason than a conviction for a federal felony charge serves as grounds for deportation. But on a more important factor, this legislation could be an opening for Second Amendment supporters in places where MS-13 runs rampant.
Already anti-Second Amendment extremists like Senator Chris Murphy are trying to put the blame for the rise in violent crime on law-abiding gun owners. Allowing that nonsense narrative to take hold would be tactical and strategic incompetence. Between the prohibition on illegal aliens possessing firearms of any sort, and the sentencing enhancements from 18 USC 924, a lot of bad guys can be put away for a very long time, and it would greatly reduce violent crime involving the misuse of firearms. Second Amendment supporters need to get ahead of this by highlighting just what current laws can do in some cases, and to put anti-Second Amendment extremists on record as refusing to use those tools.
When corrupt big-city mayors – or other anti-Second Amendment extremists – refuse to enforce laws, then demand that injustice be inflicted on those law-abiding American citizens who wish to exercise their Second Amendment rights, pointing to the tools they refuse to use can expand the pro-Second Amendment coalition that makes winning elections easier. When we win elections and have Second Amendment supporters running legislatures and in governor’s mansions (or the White House), defending our rights is a much easier task.
The reality is that NICS will be part of the landscape for a while. The question is whether Second Amendment supporters can make lemonade out of a lemon. Second Amendment supporters should contact their Representative and Senators and urge them to support this bill. In addition, they need to support the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action and Political Victory Fund to ensure that the current anti-Second Amendment regimes in the House, Senate, and White House – and those at the state and local level – are defeated at the ballot box as soon as possible.