The Honorable Bill Cassidy (R, LA. 6th District) 202.225.3901
506 Cannon Hob
Washington DC 20515
Representative Cassidy:

On January 6, 2009 Congressman Bobby L. Rush (D, IL. 202.225.4372 ) introduced H.R. 45, “Blair Holt’s Firearm Licensing and Sale Record Act of 2009” (no cosponsor) for consideration. On February 9, 2009 this proposed legislation was referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, where it resides today.

In brief I am writing to voice my opposition to this bill. It is an unwarranted and blatant attack on not only our individual second amendment rights, but our fourth amendment rights as well. Additionally, this legislation would set incredibly dangerous precedent on what would amount to a total removal of State’s rights in favor of federal regulation as pertaining to individual citizens and residents.

The entire bill is ludicrous and irreparably flawed if one attempts to apply any logic, reason, and fact; but I will give two brief examples:
Page 4, lines 13 – 16 under “Purposes”, the bill states, “to protect the public against unreasonable risk of injury and death associated with the unrecorded sale or transfer of qualifying firearms to criminals and youth…”, and the way the document is crafted, this reads as the main objective.
  • The process for legal transfer already involves federal approval on all transfer of ownership for firearms. As part that transfer, the federal form filled out is utilized to conduct an immediate background check of the applicant. Among those qalready not qualified to complete the transaction include (but are not limited to): criminals and youth.
Page 3, lines 18 – 23 under “Findings”, the bill states, “on the afternoon of May 10, 2007, Blair Holt, a junior at Julian High School in Chicago, was killed on a public bus riding home from school when he used his body to shield a girl who was in the line of fire after a young man boarded the bus and started shooting.”
  • First of all the death of Blair Holt was tragic and needless, and it was purely criminal in every way imaginable. Blair Holt’s final actions showed him to be a young man of unusual character & valor, and of course that only serves to magnify the already heinous nature of the crime.
  • The killer: Michael Pace, was convicted of 1st degree murder and will be serving between 50 years to life in prison.

Per the US Department of Justice report number NCJ189369, in 80% of crime involving firearms, the firearm is not legally transferred.

The answer to criminal behavior is not to remove the rights of law abiding citizens, and never has been. As a matter of fact, there is a very legitimate position that states that were more law abiding citizens to utilize their second amendment rights responsibly there were be even less criminal behavior. To use a rather dramatic example, when is the last time you have heard of a gun store being robbed during business hours? I tied to “google” that and only came up with “attempted robberies” (example: ).

And finally, as for that very small minority that would participate in criminal behavior with a legally obtained firearm? The laws in place currently are more than sufficient to deal with those individuals, and to hold them liable for their own actions. Further legislation of any kind would at best be redundant, and at worst could be detrimental. We must shift our focus back to one of personal responsibility and hold individuals accountable for their own actions, not expecting the government to regulate every waking move of the citizenry, nor should the law abiding people be stripped of their liberty or freedom as a consequence of criminal behavior present in society.

The automatic reaction that legislation can solve a problem is a seriously flawed trend in our country today that has got to be dealt with. Outside of our founding documents, and major constitutional amendments, you can point to no time in our past to a single instance where additional legislation has gotten our country out of a difficult situation. Please bear that in mind when you consider any legislative action.

In closing Congressman, I know that you are in fact a strong proponent of our second amendment rights, but here you need to make it a point to ensure that this bill not only not make it to the House floor, but that it is retired permanently with no hope of revival or reincarnation.

Chris Beall
Baton Rouge, LA

Cc: Senator David Vitter (R, LA) 202.224.4623, Senator Mary Landrieu (D, LA) 202.224.5824,

House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security
Bobby Scott (D, VA). 202.225.8351
Louie Gohmert (R, TX) 202.225.3035
Pedro Pierluisi (D, PR) 202.225.2615
Ted Poe (R, TX) 202.225.6565
Jerrold Nadler (D, NY) 202.225.5635
Bob Goodlatte (R, VA) 202.225.5431
Zoe Lofgren (D, CA) 202.225.3072
Dan Lungren (R, CA) 202.225.5716
Sheila Jackson Lee (D, TX) 202.225.3816
J. Randy Forbes (R, VA) 202.225.6365
Thomas J. Rooney (R, FL) 202.225.5792
Maxine Waters (D, CA) 202.225.2201
Steve Cohen (D, TN) 202.225.3265
Anthony Weiner (D, NY) 202.225.6616
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D, FL) 202.225.7931
Mike Quigley (D, IL) 202.225.4061

RE: H.R. 45, Blair Holt’s Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009
Subject: Opposition