Proposed regulations of the internet in legislation sponsored by [mc_name name=’Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’C001076′ ] which intent to regulation internet-based gambling could also imperil gun rights. Michael Hammond, the Chief Counsel for Gun Owners of American (GOA), recently appeared on the Johnny Rowland Daily radio show, which focuses on news, guns, and motorsports, to discuss guns rights and related issues. As part of an interesting and fascinating discussion of gun related issues, Hammond noted how efforts to regulate the internet in other areas also threaten gun rights.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and others to require a Brady check for any internet-based gun transactions, Hammond pointed out, and such regulations could lead to further restriction of gun rights exercised over the internet. In the context of the gun issues he discussed, Hammond mentioned the effort by [mc_name name=’Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’C001076′ ] to ban internet-based gambling by enacting the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA).
“Some conservatives, such as Jason Chaffetz of Utah, says let’s regulate online gambling on the internet…this legislation is being pushed by the bricks and mortar gambling people lead by Sheldon Adelson of Las Vegas who don’t want online gambling because they want people coming to their casinos,” Hammond stated, “It’s just another move which compromises conservatives ability to say don’t regulate the internet because you have people saying, conservatives should regulate the internet for conservative purposes.”
Taking a strong pro-liberty stance on internet regulation, Hammond made it clear that regulation of the internet for any reason will endanger not just gun rights but basic freedom in general. The internet has, since the early days of its existence and use by millions of citizens, been held up as a vortex of freedom that should not be violated by government at all levels.
“The bottom line,” Hammond said, “is don’t regulate the internet…don’t regulate it for conservative purposes, don’t regulate it for liberal purposes, it’s just none of government’s business.”
An overbearing federal government that can trample of the Tenth Amendment and tell states they can not legally allow gambling over the internet could likewise tell states they can’t allow their citizens to purchase guns and ammunition over the internet. Currently, there many retailers selling firearms and ammunition online to those who reside in states where such purchases are legal. States have long been recognized to play a role in regulation gambling and firearms sales. The Tenth Amendment prohibits the federal government from legislating in these areas.
As Hammond noted, conservatives and progressives alike should think about these issues before seeking to regulate the internet for gambling or guns before realizing how liberty is endangers by taking these actions.