The idea of a “Mandatory Buy-Back” for guns held in private hands (what the Founders called American citizens).
These guns – erroneously labeled “assault weapons” were legal to buy when they were purchased. They STILL are legal to own – so far.
But, that phrase ‘mandatory buy-back’.
Let’s break it apart.
First, buy-back implies that the person wanting to get possession of the gun owned it at some prior time. Which, the gun-grabbers never did.
So, drop the ‘back’ part.
It’s just ‘mandatory buy’ at this point.
Now, there are a lot of things I DON’T know or fully understand. But, I spent a lot of time in business classes, and my favorite class was Business Law – specifically, that part of it known as the UCC – the Uniform Commercial Code. It governs all interstate commerce.
Even before that code was adopted, there was law relating to commerce. And, I have a real good understanding of the basic foundation of commercial law, which has the essential components of a commercial sale:
- There has to be both a buyer and a seller. The seller has to have legal possession of goods or a service, that the buyer wants to purchase. So far, so good. Gun owners do, as the term implies, OWN the gun in question.
- There has to be an offer, which is a pledge to purchase said good at a specific price – the specificity of the amount is essential. OK, those mandating the buying do make that offer.
- There has to be an acceptance. We may be heading into murky waters here – most of the gun owners are NOT accepting that offer.
- The transaction must be mutually agreed to. Again, this is a problem – the would-be ‘seller’ doesn’t want to sell.
- There must be no undue force or duress involved. Oooh, that’s another sticking point. I’m pretty sure that an offer that is phrased “sell or we’ll take it AND put you in jail” would be considered duress. So, take away that “Buy” part.
All of that is a problem. But a bigger problem occurs when you think about where the money is coming from. And, that would be the same taxpayers the government’s minions are trying to force to sell to them.
Nah. Taking money from someone to ‘pay’ for their forcibly-taken possessions is – I’m PRETTY sure – a commercial no-no.
Otherwise, crooks could forcibly stop your car, take your money, use that money to “buy” that car, and drive away – with no resource for the victims.
Kinda like what happens to people whose cash money gets taken by force by cops exercising their ‘right’ of confiscation under RICO-type laws. Doesn’t matter whether the victims ever did anything wrong. The only way they get out of jail is to sign over their money, and sign a paper indemnifying the police for that confiscation. My own state, SC, is notorious for abuse of that power (called Civil Forfeiture).
More here on Civil Forfeiture at Reason. It makes Robin Hood look like a piker, especially since the cops keep the majority of the money, and they DON’T give it to the poor.
This is an example of public employee abuse – in most cases, by cops and the legal system – that needs to be addressed. There is some reason why the phrase “defund the police” has some resonance with the public. They may have family or friends who got caught up in such abuses. It’s one of the reasons that I am FOR civil oversight of public complaints. Many jurisdictions are notorious about ignoring abuses.
Which leaves the word “Mandatory”. Now, when something is mandatory, you have to ask:
And, under which part of the Constitution do they get that power?
I only took one class on Constitutional Law. But, I do remember some of it.
And, I’m PRETTY sure that this violates the 4th Amendment:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
So, if you manage to – um, accidentally put those ‘things’ in a place not mentioned in that warrant, the government has no right to take them, even if they manage to come up with some probable cause.
‘Course, that’s so Old-School, the idea of limitations on TPTB, or subjecting their proposed laws/rules/regulations to Constitutional oversight. Silly me.
And, then, there is the 5th Amendment (which too many people think is limited to ‘pleading the 5th’):
“…nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.“
But, not-so Civil Forfeiture has been Okayed by the Supremes, although with some vigorous opposition from the DJs (Dissident Justices).
But, that ‘just compensation’? The numbers I’ve heard from the gun-grabbers are laughably low, take no account of historical/sentimental value, and do not rise to the level of parity suggested by the term “just compensation”.
So drop the word “Mandatory”.
Hey, look! There is nothing left!
Which is as it SHOULD be.
Then there’s that pesky “Ex Post Facto” law prohibition…