How excited should gun enthusiasts get about the Obamacare roadblock? Not very...
Language only prevents HHS from collecting gun ownership data.
What will Obama do now? His end-run strategy to restrict Second Amendment rights has been stonewalled by - Obamacare. Language quietly inserted into the Obamacare law specifically forbids the at least one branch of the government from collecting information about lawful gun ownership and use.
More astounding yet, the language embedded deep in the pages of the Affordable Care Act was inserted by none other than Democratic House Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV).
Essentially, Obama was blocked from collecting data on gun owners by language in his own pet bill, inserted by one of his cohorts.
As complicated as this sounds, the reason is actually quite clear. Reid hails from Nevada and Nevada is a pro-gun state. It is extremely difficult to identify yourself as anti-gun and get elected in Nevada. Additionally, Reid was tasked with garnering the support needed to pass the bill through the House. However, the NRA, a traditionally conservative and powerful lobby appeared poised to stand against Obamacare. To win over the lobby, Reid needed to make a concession.
It also helped that NRA boss Wayne LaPierre is friends with Harry Reid.
The pro-gun language in Obamacare is that concession. Reid purchased the silence of the NRA for the benefit of passing Obamacare.
The provision escaped national attention because the rest of the nation was obsessed with talking about death-panels and other controversial aspects of the ACA.
However, before getting too excited, a few things should be understood. The language does not prevent Obama from doing all he can to gather data on gun owners. Instead, the language specifically prohibits those working in health care from collecting this data and sharing it with law enforcement or anyone else.
So, if you suffer an accident involving a firearm, the law prevents Health and Human Services from aggregating and sharing the data about your accident and any guns you may own. It also takes away any notion that Obamacare can be used as a tool to disarm law-abiding citizens on the grounds that guns are hazardous to health.
Ultimately, this means Obama is still free to use his executive authority, but he may find it a bit more difficult to come up with a working plan since he can no longer draft your doctor into the fight -- every little bit helps.
Still, it would be naÔve to think that Obama will give up his efforts to disarm Americans so lightly. If anything, the language will probably inspire him to work more creatively. And what Harry Reid does so stealthily, so too can Nancy Pelosi, Obama, and all the others who don't accept the Second Amendment at face value.
It's by no means time to celebrate. Instead, it is time to be more vigilant than ever before.
Here is the text of the Obamacare provision:
(c) PROTECTION OF SECOND AMENDMENT GUN RIGHTS.-
"(1) WELLNESS AND PREVENTION PROGRAMS.- A wellness and health promotion activity implemented under subsection (a)(1)(D) may not require the disclosure or collection of any information relating to-
''(A) the presence or storage of a lawfully- possessed firearm or ammunition in the residence or on the property of an individual; or
''(B) the lawful use, possession, or storage of a firearm or ammunition by an individual. ''
(2) LIMITATION ON DATA COLLECTION.-None of the authorities provided to the Secretary under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act shall be construed to authorize or may be used for the collection of any in- formation relating to-
''(A) the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition;
''(B) the lawful use of a firearm or ammunition; or
''(C) the lawful storage of a firearm or ammunition.
''(3) LIMITATION ON DATABASES OR DATA BANKS.-None of the authorities provided to the Secretary under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act shall be construed to authorize or may be used to maintain records of individual ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition.
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