H.R. 127: A Firearms Dealer’s Perspective


washington dc, capital, america

The United States Congress has before it a sweeping gun control bill with provisions that change everything about gun ownership. To read the bill without commentary find the text on the congress.gov website. For an FFL Dealer’s perspective, read through it line by line with me.

Introduced by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, a democrat from Texas, H.R. 127 was introduced on January 4, 2021 and referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

Entitled the Sabika Sheikh Firearm Licensing and Registration Act, this bill’s goal is to “provide for the licensing of firearm and ammunition possession and the registration of firearms, and to prohibit the possession of certain ammunition.

I am including the entire text of the bill because you won’t believe what is in there if you don’t see it for yourself. If you don’t read any other legislation this year, please read this one.

The text of the bill is in italics. My thoughts are in normal print, except the most important thoughts, for which I have used bold print.

Section 1. SHORT TITLE

This Act may be cited as the “Sabika Sheikh Firearm Licensing and Registration Act.”

Sabika Sheikh was a Pakistani exchange student killed in a shooting in Texas in May of 2018.

Sec. 2. LICENSING OF FIREARM AND AMMUNITION POSSESSION; REGISTRATION OF FIREARMS.

(a) FIREARM LICENSING AND REGISTRATION SYSTEM.—

This is where you and I tell the government all about the firearms we own. Currently there is not a national registry of firearms. The government has a general idea of how many firearms are out there, but it doesn’t know who has which ones.

(1) IN GENERAL.–Chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

Chapter 44 of title 18 is the current criminal code concerning firearms. The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution states that the right to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed,” but Congress doesn’t take that literally.

We have an ever changing body of national laws governing the use and ownership of firearms. H.R. 127 is the latest version to be offered.

“§ 932. Licensing of firearm and ammunition possession; registration of firearms

Your guns are about to be regulated as closely as your car.

“(a) IN GENERAL.–The Attorney general, through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, shall establish a system for licensing the possession of firearms or ammunition in the United States, and for the registration with the Bureau of each firearm present in the United States.

Are you realizing the enormity of this task? Each firearm present in the United States! Your carry gun, your home defense gun, your plinking gun, your Grandpa’s revolver, the guns in your safe, the shotgun in the back of your pickup, the rifle in your garage…

“(b) FIREARM REGISTRATION SYSTEM.–

“(1) REQUIRED INFORMATION.–Under the firearm registration system, the owner of a firearm shall transmit to the Bureau–

“(A) the make, model, and serial number of the firearm, the identity of the owner of the firearm, the date the firearm was acquired by the owner, and where the firearm is or will be stored; and

“(B) a notice specifying the identity of any person to whom, and any period of time during which, the firearm will be loaned to the person.

Did you hear that? They want to know where you keep each gun! They want to know ahead of time who might borrow your gun AND FOR HOW LONG!

“(2) DEADLINE FOR SUPPLYING INFORMATION.–The transmission by paragraph (1) shall be made–

“(A) in the case of a firearm acquired before the effective date of this section, within 3 months after the effective date of this section; or

“(B) in the case of a firearm acquired on or after the effective date, on the date the owner acquires the firearm.

You have three months to itemize and declare the serial number AND LOCATION of every gun you own.

“(3) DATABASE.–

“(A) IN GENERAL.– The Attorney General shall establish and maintain a database of all firearms registered pursuant to this subsection.

“(B) ACCESS.–The Attorney General shall make the contents of the database accessible to all members of the public, all Federal, State, and local law enforcement authorities, all branches of the United States Armed Forces, and all State and local governments, as defined by the Bureau.

Everyone in the government, everyone in the military, and everyone in the entire world who owns a computer will know how many guns you own and where they are stored. ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION?

“(c) LICENSING SYSTEM.–

(1) REQUIREMENTS.–

“(A) GENERAL LICENSE.– Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the Attorney General shall issue to an individual a license to possess a firearm and ammunition if the individual–

The states are no longer in the business of regulating firearms. Now it’s the national government deciding not only who owns a gun but who is allowed to buy ammunition.

George Washington is rolling over in his grave. This is serious.

“(i) has attained 21 years of age;

“(ii) after applying for the license–

“(I) undergoes a criminal background check conducted by the national instant criminal background check system established under section 103 of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, and the check does not indicate that possession of a firearm by the individual would violate subsection (g) or (n) of section 922 or State law;

Currently you have to undergo a background check to purchase a gun. This extends the background check to all guns, and ammunition, INCLUDING WHAT YOU ALREADY OWN.

“(II) undergoes a psychological evaluation conducted in accordance with paragraph (2), and the evaluation does not indicate that the individual is psychologically unsuited to possess a firearm; and

Every gun owner in the United States will be evaluated by a mental health profession who gets to decide whether you and I are capable of owning the guns that we ALREADY OWN.

“(III) successfully completes a training course, certified by the Attorney General, in the use, safety, and storage of firearms, that includes at least 24 hours of training; and

Can you take a week off work to spend 24 hours in a class about gun safety?

“(iii) demonstrates that, on issuance of the license, the individual will have in effect and insurance policy issued under subsection (d).

I do think firearms owners should have liability insurance. I don’t think the government needs to mandate the terms of that insurance.

“(B) ANTIQUE FIREARM DISPLAY LICENSE. –The Attorney General shall issue to an individual a license to display an antique firearm in a residence of the individual if the individual–

“(i) is the holder of a license issued under subparagraph (A);

“(ii) supplies proof that the individual owns an antique firearm;

“(iii) describes the manner in which the firearm will be displayed in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Attorney General, and certifies that the firearm will be so displayed; and

“(iv) demonstrates that the individual has provided for storage of the firearm in a safe or facility approved by the Attorney General for the storage of firearms.

Note that there is no provision for hanging Great Granddaddy’s rifle over the mantle. Put it in a safe.

“(C) MILITARY-STYLE WEAPONS LICENSE.– The Attorney General shall issue to an individual a license to own and possess a military-style weapon if the individual–

“(i) is the holder of a license issued under subparagraph (A); and

“(ii) after applying for a license under this subparagraph, successfully completes a training course, certified by the Attorney General, in the use, safety, and storage of the weapon, that includes at least 24 hours of training and live fire training.

Are you having trouble fitting a Concealed Weapons course into your schedule? That’s only a one-day course. Imagine every gun owner in America having to do 24 hours of training all at the same time, with a live fire component!

That would be quite a boon for our CWP courses, assuming the Attorney General was quick about certifying such a course and licensing the instructors. Do you suppose that will be an efficient and orderly process?

(2) PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION. –A psychological evaluation is conducted in accordance with this paragraph if–

“(A) the evaluation is conducted in compliance with such standards as shall be established by the Attorney General;

Conceivably the Attorney General’s standards could include voting history, online statements about political issues, religious convictions…

“(B) the evaluation is conducted by a licensed psychologist approved by the Attorney General;

Not just any psychologist will do.

“(C) as deemed necessary by the licensed psychologist involved, the evaluation included a psychological evaluation of other member of the household in which the individual resides; and

It’s not enough for the gun owner to meet the standards. Anyone in your home could disqualify you from keeping the guns THAT YOU ALREADY OWN.

“(D) as part of the psychological evaluation, the licensed psychologist interviewed any spouse of the individual, and former spouse of the individual, and at least 2 other persons who are a member of the family of, or an associate of, the individual to further determine the state of the mental, emotional, and relational stability of the individual in relation to firearms.

You’d better go make friends with your ex, because he or she can prevent you from keeping your guns. Not only that, but two other people have to vouch for you!

“(3) DENIAL OF LICENSE.–

“(A) REQUIRED. –The Attorney General shall deny such a license to an individual if–

“(i) the individual is prohibited by Federal law from possessing a firearm; or

“(ii) the individual has been hospitalized–

“(I) with a mental illness, disturbance, or diagnosis (including depression, homicidal ideation, suicidal ideation, attempted suicide, or addiction to a controlled substance (within the meaning of the Controlled Substances Act) or alcohol, or a brain disease (including dementia or Alzheimer’s); or

HIPAA violation, anyone?

“(I) on account of conduct that endangers self or others.

I wonder if that includes high risk behaviors such as skydiving or race car driving.

“(B) AUTHORIZED.– The Attorney General may deny such a license to an individual if–

“(i) the psychological evaluation referred to in paragraph (2) indicate that the individual–

“(I) has a chronic mental illness or disturbance, or a brain disease, referred to in subparagraph (A)(ii)(I);

“(II) is addicted to a controlled substance (within the meaning of the Controlled Substances Act) or alcohol; or

Those of you who use marijuana derivatives for pain relief need to pay attention to the Controlled Substances Act.

“(III) has attempted to commit suicide; or

“(II) prior psychological treatment or evaluation of the individual indicated that the individual engaged in conduct that posed a danger to self or others.

What if I did something dangerous at age 18 and then matured? Am I barred from gun ownership for life?

“(4) SUSPENSION OF LICENSE–

“(A) IN GENERAL.– A license issued under this subsection to an individual who is under indictment for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year is hereby suspended.

Don’t confuse “under indictment” with “convicted.” An indicted person has only been formally charged.

“(B) AUTHORIZED FOR LACK OF FIREARM INSURANCE. — The Attorney General may suspend a license issued under this subsection to an individual who has violated section 922(dd) in the most recent 12-month period.

“(5) REVOCATION OF LICENSE. — A license issued under this subsection to an individual who is or become prohibited by federal or State law from possessing a firearm is hereby revoked. Such an individual shall immediately return the license, and surrender all firearms and ammunition owned or possessed by the individual, to the Attorney General.

Surrender all firearms and ammunition. Where has that happened in the last century or so? How did it work out for the citizens involved?

“(6) EXPIRATION OF LICENSE. — A license issued to an individual under this subsection shall expire–

“(A) in the case of a license that has been in effect for less than 5 years, 1 year after issuance or renewal, as the case may be; or

“(B) in the case of a license that has been in effecct for at least 5 years, 3 years after the most recent date the license is renewed.

You have to keep applying every year for the first 5 years.

“(7) RENEWAL OF LICENSE.– The Attorney General shall renew a license issued to an individual under this subsection if the individual–

“(A) requests the renewal by the end of the 60-day period that begins with the date the license expires;

“(B) in the 3-year period ending with the date the renewal is requested–

“(i) has met the requirement of paragraph (1)(A)(ii)(II); and

“(ii) has successfully completed a training course, certified by the Attorney General, in the use, safety, and storage of firearms, that includes at least 8 hours of training;

“(C) meets the requirement of paragraph (1)(A)(iii); and

“(D) in the case of a license issued under paragraph (1)(C), in the 2-year period ending with the date the renewal is requested, has successfully completed a training course, certified by the Attorney General, that includes at least 8 hours of training in the use of the weapon subject to the license.

I see quite a lot of business for firearms instructors in this bill. Do you have time for 2 more 8 hour classes for each renewal period?

“(d) FIREARM INSURANCE.–

“(1) IN GENERAL.– The Attorney General shall issue to any person who has applied for a license pursuant to subsection (c) and has paid to the Attorney General the fee specified in paragraph (2) of this subsection a policy that insures the person against liability for losses and damages resulting from the use of any firearm by the person during the 1-year period that begins with the date the policy is issued.

Instead of letting you choose a policy, the benevolent Attorney General is providing you with one!

“(2) FEE.–The fee specified in the paragraph is $800.

I am paying much less for my current gun liability policy.

(2) MILITARY-STYLE WEAPON DEFINED.– Section 921(a) of such title is amended by insterting after paragraph (29) the following:

“(30) The term ‘military-style weapon’ means–

“(A) any of the firearms, or copies or duplicates of the firearms in any caliber, known as–

“(i) Norinco, Mitchell, and Poly Technologies Avtomat Kalashnikovs (all models);

“(ii) Action Arms Israeli Military Industries UZI and Galil;

“(iii) Beretta Ar70 (SC-70);

“(iv) Colt AR-15;

“(v) Fabrique National FN/FAL, FN/LAR, and FNC;

“(vi) SWD M-10, M-11, M-11/9, and M-12;

“(vii) Steyr AUG;

“(viii) INTRATEC TEC-9, TEC-DC9 and TEC-22; and

“(ix) revolving cylinder shotguns, such as (or similar to) the Street Sweeper and Striker 12;

“(B) a semiautomatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of–

“(i) a folding or telescoping stock;

“(ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;

“(iii) a bayonet mount;

“(iv) a flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor; and

“(v) a grenade launcher;

OK, so that means all AR style rifles.

“(C) a semiautomatic pistol that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of–

“(i) an ammunition magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip;

“(ii) a threaded barrel capable of accepting a barrel extender, flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer;

“(iii) a shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the firearm with the nontrigger hand without being burned;

“(iv) a manufactured weight of 50 ounces or more when the pistol is unloaded; and

“(v) a semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm; and

AR style pistols and even some standard semi-auto pistols could fit in this category.

“(D) a semiautomatic shotgun that has at least 2 of–

“(i) a folding or telescoping stock;

“(ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;

“(iii) a fixed magaaine capacity in excess of 5 rounds; and

“(iv) an ability to accept a detachable magazine.”

(3) CLERICAL AMENDMENT.– The table of sections for such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following;

“932. Licensing of firearm and ammunition possession; registration of firearms.”

(4) DEADLINE FOR ESTABLISHMENT.– Within 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Attorney General shall prescribe final regulations to implement the amendments made by this subsection.

(b) PROHIBITIONS.– Section 922 of such title is amended by adding at the end the following;

“(aa) It shall be unlawful for a person to possess a firearm or ammunition, unless–

“(1) the person is carrying a valid license issued under section 932(c)(1); and

“(2).(A) in the case of a firearm owned by another person, the firearm is registered to the person under section 932(b); or

“(B) in the case of a firearm owned by another person; and

“(i) the firearm is so registered to such other person; and

“(ii) such other person has notified the Attorney General that the firearm has been loaned to the person, and the possession is during the loan period specified in the notice.

Translation: you can’t loan a gun to your hunting buddy without telling the Attorney General of the United States how long you plan to let him keep it.

“(bb) (1) It shall be unlawful for a person to transfer a firearm or ammunition to a person who is not licensed under section 932(c)(1).

Translation: you are in trouble if you sell your gun to someone who has not obtained the national firearms license.

“(2) It shall be unlawful for a person to sell or give a firearm or ammunition to another person unless the person has notified the Attorney General of the sale or gift.

Translation: you can’t give your brother ammunition for Christmas without notifying the Attorney General of the United States.

“(3) It shall be unlawful for a person to loan a firearm or ammunition to another person unless the person has notified the Attorney General of the loan, including the identity of such other person and the period for which the loan is made.

“(4) It shall be unlawful for a person holding a valid license issued under section 932(c)(1) to transfer a firearm to an individual who has not attained 18 years of age.

Translation: you can’t give your 17-year-old a gun.

“(cc) A person who possesses a firearm or to whom a license is issued under section 932(c)(1) shall have in effect an insurance policy issued under section 932(d).”.

2) PENALTIES.—Section 924(a) of such title is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(8) Whoever knowingly violates section 922(aa) shall be fined not less than $75,000 and not more than $150,000, imprisoned not less than 15 years and not more than 25 years, or both.

WHOA! $150,000 and 25 years in prison for owning an unregistered gun, even if you have not committed any other crime!

“(9) (A) Whoever knowingly violates section 922(bb)(1) shall be fined not less than $50,000 and not more than $75,000, imprisoned not less than 10 years and not more than 15 years, or both.

“(B) Whoever knowingly violates section 922(bb)(2) shall be fined not less than $30,000 and not more than $50,000, imprisoned not less than 5 years and not more than 10 years, or both.

A $50,000 fine and 10 years in prison for selling your gun, in the absence of any other offense!

“(C) Whoever knowingly violates section 922(bb)(3) shall be fined not less than $5,000 and not more than $10,000.

A $10,000 fine for not notifying the Attorney General that your best friend borrowed your gun to go to the shooting range!

“(D) Whoever knowingly violates section 922(bb)(4) shall be fined not less than $75,000 and not more than $100,000, imprisoned not less than 15 years and not more than 25 years, or both, except that if the transferee of the firearm possess or uses the firearm during or in relation to a crime, an unintentional shooting, or suicide, the transferor shall be fined not less than $100,000 and not more than $150,000, imprisoned not less than 25 years and not more than 40 years, or both.

A $150,000 fine and 40 years in prison if you give a gun to your underage nephew and he commits a crime with it.

“(10) Whoever knowingly violates section 922(cc) shall be fined not less than $50,000 and not more than $100,000, imprisoned not less than 10 years and not more than 20 years, or both.”

Not having liability insurance at $800 per person will cost you $100,000 and 20 years in prison.

(3) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.—

(A) ELIMINATION OF PROHIBITION ON ESTABLISHMENT OF CENTRALIZED FIREARM REGISTRATION SYSTEM.—Section 926(a) of such title is amended by striking the 2nd sentence.

Note that the current law prohibits a national gun registry.

(B) APPLICABILITY TO GOVERNMENTAL AND MILITARY FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION.—Section 925(a) of such title is amended in each of paragraphs (1) and (2), by inserting “and except for section 932,” after the 2nd comma.

(4) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendments made by this subsection shall take effect on the date final regulations are prescribed under subsection (a)(4).

SEC. 3. PROHIBITION ON POSSESSION OF CERTAIN AMMUNITION.

(a) In General.—Section 922 of title 18, United States Code, as amended by section 2 of this Act, is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(dd) (1) It shall be unlawful for any person to possess ammunition that is 0.50 caliber or greater.

The caliber is the diameter of the bullet. A .50 caliber bullet is half an inch in diameter.

“(2) (A) It shall be unlawful for any person to possess a large capacity ammunition feeding device.

“(B) Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to—

“(i) the manufacture for, or possession by, the United States or a department or agency of the United States or a State or a department, agency, or political subdivision of a State, or the possession by a law enforcement officer employed by such an entity for purposes of law enforcement (whether on or off duty);

“(ii) the possession by an employee or contractor of a licensee under title I of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 on-site for purposes of establishing and maintaining an on-site physical protection system and security organization required by Federal law, or off-site for purposes of licensee-authorized training or transportation of nuclear materials;

“(iii) the manufacture or possession by a licensed manufacturer or licensed importer for the purposes of testing or experimentation authorized by the Attorney General; or

“(iv) the manufacture for, or possession by, an organization that provides firearm training and that is registered with the Attorney General, or the possession by an individual to whom such an organization is providing firearm training during and at the location of the training.”

It’s not that .50 caliber rounds are bad; they just want to decide who can have them.

(b) Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Defined.—Section 921(a) of such title, as amended by section 1 of this Act, is amended by inserting after paragraph (30) the following:

“(31) The term ‘large capacity ammunition feeding device’ means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition, but does not include an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.”.

Twelve round magazines are currently standard size. This bill makes them large capacity.

(c) Penalties.—Section 924(a) of such title, as amended by section 2 of this Act, is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(11) (A) Whoever knowingly violates section 922(dd)(1) shall be fined not less than $50,000 and not more than $100,000, imprisoned not less than 10 years and not more than 20 years, or both.

“(B) Whoever knowingly violates section 922(dd)(2) shall be fined not less than $10,000 and not more than $25,000, imprisoned not less than 1 year and not more than 5 years, or both.”

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

As an FFL dealer, Double Eagle Gunworks LLC makes background checks for every firearm we transfer. The online system is pretty quick, but there are multiple outages per month causing delays for the dealer trying to process the transaction.

When my husband Chris calls to verify someone’s background for a gun transfer, he spends a good bit of time repeating himself because the connection is not great and if one little piece of information is wrong, it could cause the background check to come back as a denial.

We also help people register for their Concealed Weapons Permits. In South Carolina it currently takes about three months to get your CWP card if you apply on paper or use the electronic system, which requires you to visit specific locations to be fingerprinted.

Previously, the electronic system would cut the wait time in half but since so many people have been getting their permits, the system has become backlogged.

Other states can take up to a year to run a potential concealed carrier through the system.

In 2020, the NICS system processed 40,000,000 transactions. A majority of those were new gun purchases, either by new gun owners or people buying their second or third or 15th gun. The rest would have been transfers of used guns.

So if that many guns were purchased last year, not to mention the millions of guns already owned by law abiding Americans, imagine how backed up a brand new national gun registry will be.

Go read about the implementation of Obamacare to get an idea, or look at how efficient the VA program has been for veterans.

Frankly, this bill is not about facilitating gun ownership. It’s about making it so difficult that you won’t even try.

How to Respond to HR 127

Please find the names and phone numbers of your Congressional Representatives on this list from house.gov. Call them and give your name. Politely share your thoughts about the provisions in this bill.

Double Eagle Gunworks LLC provides onsite training in all things gun related as well as provided FFL services for those who wish to buy, sell, or transfer a firearm. Contact us, see our calendar, or join our newsletter.

I have written much more about the Constitution and other issues related to gun ownership. Please continue to read my blog and stay involved in the shaping of our gun laws. Your future as a gun owner depends on what you do now.

Use our code “double10” to get a 10% discount on your first purchase at the following websites. We get a small commission when you use our links.

Carla Pittman

Carla is a Speech Pathologist working in Home Health by day and a blogger by night. She married Chris in 2008 and is working to help him unite his love of guns with his passion for teaching others to carry safely. Her other impetus for blogging is to make Americans aware of their Constitutional rights, which are at risk in the current political environment.

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