1/07/2009

Some notes on Eric Holder, the next Attorney General for the US

Here is an email that I received today.

Mr. Holder:
- Officially opposed the Heller vs. D.C. gun decision, signing onto an amicus brief with former Attorney General Janet Reno;[1]
- Supported a three-day waiting period for handgun purchases;
- Supported a one handgun per month rule;
- Supported licensing and registering all gun owners;
- Opposes the “gun-show loophole,” claiming in an editorial shortly following 9/11 that terrorists would be/were procuring weapons illegally at these gun shows.

In his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee as Deputy Attorney General under President Clinton and Janet Reno, Mr. Holder proclaimed that 13 kids on average die every day because guns are too easily accessible and proposed four measures to “reduce inappropriate youth access to firearms:”[2]
1. Raise the minimum age that a young person can possess a handgun from 18 to 21;
2. Ban the possession by youth of all assault weapons.
3. Require the sale of a child safety lock or safe storage device with every firearm.
4. Hold adults criminally responsible for not preventing a child from finding/using a gun and causing death or serious injury.

Obama has stated on his campaign Website that he will seek to reauthorize the assault weapons ban and eliminate the Tiahrt amendment. At the same time, Obama has stated that he believes the Second Amendment is an individual right. While the gun issue may not come to the forefront this year, the nomination or Eric Holder is not encouraging to gun owners and could have a negative impact on gun owners through the regulatory and administrative process at the Department of Justice. It is clear that Mr. Holder views gun control on law-abiding citizens as a solution to crime. . . .

[Holder quotes]

“The Second Amendment Does Not Protect Firearms Possession or Use That Is Unrelated To Participation In a Well-Regulated Militia.”

Eric Holder, Jr., et al., Brief for Former Department of Justice Officials as Amici Curiae Supporting Petitioners, District of Columbia v. Heller, (2003).

“One measure that is an essential part of any [national security] plan is the need to tighten our nation’s gun laws, which allow the easy and legal sale of firearms to terrorists and criminals. . . . [F]ederal law does not require background checks on all firearms sales. In the interest of national security, this should be changed immediately.”

“To further strengthen the ability of law enforcement officials to track those suspected of terrorism or other criminal acts in this country, Congress should also pass legislation that would give the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms a record of every firearm sale.”

Eric Holder, Jr., “Keeping Guns Away from Terrorists,” The Washington Post, Oct. 25, 2001.

“A mandatory 72-hour waiting period for all happen-gun purchases will help stop heat-of-the-moment killings and a proposed increase in the minimum age for handgun possession from 18 to 21 will get hand guns out of the hands of the most crime-prone age group.”

Eric Holder, Jr., News Clip, “Firing New Rounds,” Online NewsHour, PBS, May 27, 1999.

“[Crime] [p]revention is about keeping guns out of criminals[’] hands and out of our children’s hands. And yes it is about closing the dangerous gun show loophole, it is about making sure that child safety locks are sold with every gun, it is about ensuring that violent juvenile offenders are not able to turn around and buy a gun on their 21st birthdays, and it is also about limiting children’s access to guns by raising the age for firearms possession. These are but a few of the critical, common sense measures that can help keep guns out of the hands of our children.”

Eric Holder, Jr., Deputy Attorney General, Lunch and Keynote Address, “Child Welfare in the District of Columbia,” Nov. 17, 1999.

“I don’t have any doubt that there would be a substantial number of people alive at the end of next year, who might not otherwise be alive, if we had that trigger lock legislation.”

Eric Holder, Jr., Deputy Attorney General DOJ Media Briefing re: Columbine, Apr. 22, 1999.

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