REAL ID – A very real threat to gun rights
Mark Rauterkus | July 21, 2008
Homeland Security claims far reaching power over your guns
Pennsylvania gun owners breathed a sigh of relief at the Heller vs. DC Supreme Court ruling, but the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania (LPPa) warns that major threats to gun rights still exist. One such threat is REAL ID, the federal mandate turning driver’s licenses into national ID cards.
The long-term plan for REAL ID is to force its biometric ID functions on federal, state, local and private entities for all transactions. Thus, ID confirmation by a distant bureaucracy becomes permission for essential daily activities including banking, doctor visits, transit, school attendance and purchases — including guns.
According to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) final rule handed down in January, DHS “will continue to consider additional ways in which a Real ID license can or should be used and will implement any changes to the definition of ‘official purpose’ or determinations regarding additional uses for Real ID consistent with applicable laws and regulatory requirements. DHS does not agree that it must seek the approval of Congress as a prerequisite to changing the definition in the future.”
Do you want to risk your gun rights on the appointment of someone opposed to our second amendment rights as Secretary of Homeland Security?
“The very thought that the sale of firearms and ammunition could be stopped based on some political agenda in Washington is frightening,” remarked LP Activist Mark Crowley. “We saw the disastrous consequences of such an agenda in New Orleans during Katrina when some police abandoned their posts leaving citizens defenseless and criminals armed. We must never put Pennsylvanians into a position where they can only hope that distant Washington bureaucrats will do the right thing.”
“The implementation of REAL ID presents a significant threat to gun ownership in the United States of America.” added Michael Robertson, LPPa Chair.
By participating in REAL ID, Pennsylvanians will be subjected to scrutiny by a host of federal agencies with every swipe of a REAL ID card. This is de facto gun registration, only worse. Once a gun buyer is identified, other information such as military service, purchases, rentals, travel, and medical history will be easily cross-referenced and subjected to interpretation. It’s inevitable that politicized standards will emerge that can be used to deny Pennsylvanians the right to keep and bear arms — everyone except violent criminals and politicians’ bodyguards.
LPPa Media Relations Chair, Doug Leard, added, “A few years ago when the NICS [National InstaCheck System] computer system crashed, no one could be validated for a gun purchase. A political agenda is one thing and bureaucratic incompetence is another. When a state submits to REAL ID, it submits its citizens to the possibility of being denied not just gun purchases, but ATM cash, credit card purchases and even a critical prescription pickup. Pennsylvania must emphatically reject REAL ID.”
The LPPa urges Pennsylvanians to contact their state legislators and instruct them to support state House Bill 1351 and state Senate Bill 1220. Be wary of other recently introduced legislation such as H.B. 2537 that claims to oppose REAL ID, but ignores the central issue of biometric data collection of Pennsylvanians.
Despite the Heller case, the anti-gun movement will continue to seek alternatives to eliminate our gun rights. REAL ID provides them an unguarded backdoor. Let’s nail it shut in Pennsylvania.