Fact Check

Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act

A bill before Congress would prohibit ownership of handguns by those who have not obtained firearm licenses?

Published Feb. 23, 2009


Claim:   A bill before Congress would prohibit ownership of handguns by those who have not obtained firearm licenses.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, February 2009]

It has started.

Very Important for you to be aware of a new bill HR 45 introduced into the House. This is the Blair Holt Firearm Licensing & Record of Sale Act of 2009.

We just learned yesterday about this on the Peter Boyles radio program.

Even gun shop owners didn't know about this because it is flying under the radar.

To find out about this - go to any government website and type in HR 45 or Google HR 45 Blair Holt Firearm Licensing & Record of Sales Act of 2009. You will get all the information.

Basically this would make it illegal to own a firearm - any rifle with a clip or ANY pistol unless:

It is registered

You are fingerprinted

You supply a current Driver's License

You supply your Social Security #

You will submit to a physical & mental evaluation at any time of their choosing

Each update - change or ownership through private or public sale must be reported and costs $25 - Failure to do so you automatically lose the right to own a firearm and are subject up to a year in jail.

There is a child provision clause on page 16 section 305 stating a child-access provision. Gun must be locked and inaccessible to any child under 18.

They would have the right to come and inspect that you are storing your gun safely away from accessibility to children and fine is punishable for up to 5 yrs. in prison.

If you think this is a joke - go to the website and take your pick of many options to read this. It is long and lengthy. But, more and more people are becoming aware of this. Pass the word along. Any hunters in your family - pass this along.

Peter Boyles is on this and having guests. Listen to him on KHOW 630 a.m. in the morning. He suggests the best way to fight this is to tell all your friends about it and "spring into action". Also he suggests we all join a pro-gun group like the Colorado Rifle Association, hunting associations, gun clubs and especially the NRA.

This is just a "termite" approach to complete confiscation of guns and disarming of our society to the point we have no defense - chip away a little here and there until the goal is accomplished before anyone realizes it.

This is one to act on whether you own a gun or not.

If you take my gun, only the criminal will have one to use against me. HR 45 only makes me/us less safe. After working with convicts for 26 years I know this bill, if passed, would make them happy and in less danger from their victims.


Variations:   An August 2009 version of the Blair Holt e-mail combined it with a Handgun Safety and Registration Act (SB2099) e-mail that falsely claims a bill before Congress would require all handgun owners to list their firearms on their federal income tax returns. These are two distinctly different bills.

Origins:   On 10 May 2007, 16-year-old Chicago honor student Blair Holt was riding a bus home from school when another teenager began firing a handgun in a gang-related attack. When Holt moved to shield a girl on the bus from the spray of bullets, he was himself hit in the abdomen and died.

At Blair Holt's funeral, Rep. Bobby Rush of Illinois (representing the state's First Congressional district) promised to honor Holt's memory by introducing a strong gun tracking bill in Congress. One month later, Rep. Rush introduced Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act to Congress, but it was referred to a subcommittee and languished there without ever having been voted upon. On 6 January 2009, Rush introduced essentially the same bill to Congress again as Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009 (H.R. 45).

In a nutshell, the Blair Holt bill would:

  • Prohibit possession of any handguns or any semiautomatic firearms that can accept detachable ammunition-feeding devices (excluding antiques) by anyone who has not been issued a firearm license.
  • Require all sales of those types of firearms to go through licensed dealers.
  • Direct the Attorney General to establish and run a federal record-of-sale system.
  • Require the possessors of firearms to secure them (by secure gun storage or safety devices) when they are kept in locales where children might be capable of gaining access to those firearms.

In order to be issued a firearm license under the provisions of the Blair Holt legislation, applicants would be required to submit the following information to the Attorney General:

  1. a current, passport-sized photograph of the applicant that provides a clear, accurate likeness of the applicant
  2. the name, address, and date and place of birth of the applicant
  3. any other name that the applicant has ever used or by which the applicant has ever been known
  4. a clear thumb print of the applicant, which shall be made when, and in the presence of the entity to whom, the application is submitted
  5. with respect to each category of person prohibited by Federal law, or by the law of the State of residence of the applicant, from obtaining a firearm, a statement that the individual is not a person prohibited from obtaining a firearm
  6. a certification by the applicant that the applicant will keep any firearm owned by the applicant safely stored and out of the possession of persons who have not attained 18 years of age
  7. a certificate attesting to the completion at the time of application of a written firearms examination, which shall test the knowledge and ability of the applicant regarding:

    • the safe storage of firearms, particularly in the vicinity of persons who have not attained 18 years of age
    • the safe handling of firearms
    • the use of firearms in the home and the risks associated with such use
    • the legal responsibilities of firearms owners, including Federal, State, and local laws relating to requirements for the possession and storage of firearms, and relating to reporting requirements with respect to firearms
    • any other subjects, as the Attorney General determines to be appropriate

  8. an authorization by the applicant to release to the Attorney General or an authorized representative of the Attorney General any mental health records pertaining to the applicant
  9. the date on which the application was submitted
  10. the signature of the applicant

(Contrary to the example e-mail quoted above, the bill would not require applicants to "submit to a physical and mental evaluation at any time of their choosing"; applicants would have to authorize the release of any existing mental health records. Also, the right of inspection to ascertain compliance with the law would apply

to "any place in which firearms or firearm products are manufactured, stored, or held, for distribution in commerce," not to ordinary households.)

Proponents of the Blair Holt bill maintain that it is not an attempt to ban or otherwise infringe on the constitutional right to own or carry guns; it would simply establish a system for registering and tracking the ownership of guns that are used illegally, similar to the system currently used for automobiles. Opponents of the bill maintain that it "focuses on the instruments of crime rather than on the criminals who use the instruments," and that, rather than targeting the criminal element, it "would simply further burden law-abiding people."

As was the 2007 version of Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act, the 2009 version was referred to the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, and it died there without being voted upon. The fact that the bill did not have even a single co-sponsor made it unlikely that it would ever have beeen brought to a vote before Congress, much less passed. ESPN Outdoors correspondent Wade Bourne summed up the bill's chances of passage thusly:

So, how likely is the Blair Holt bill's chance for passage? Pro-gun activists are vigilant but don't seem overly worried about it. They point out that the bill's failure to attract co-sponsors is an indication of a lack of enthusiasm for it among other congressmen. They feel it is too far-reaching and repressive of gun owners' rights to merit serious consideration by a majority of Congress.

Lawrence Keane of the NSSF [National Shooting Sports Foundation] states, "If this bill passes, Democrats would likely lose (control of) their chamber in upcoming mid-term elections (2010). The leadership in the House knows that." Keane says some 80 million-plus U.S. citizens own firearms, representing nearly half the households in the nation. He believes that House Democrats will allow the Blair Holt bill to die in subcommittee rather than risk the ire of so many pro-gun voters.

Last updated:   15 May 2012


    Bourne, Wade.   "Blair Holt Gun Control Bill Rehashed."

    ESPNOutdoors.com.   23 February 2009.

    Piland, Thomas.   "Proposed Gun License Law Has Some People Concerned."

    KRIS-TV.   11 February 2009.

    Rozas, Angela.   "Father Relives Trauma of son's Shooting."

    Chicago Tribune.   7 October 2008.

    Simon, Matthew.   "Federal Gun Bill Angers Alaskans."

    KTVA-TV.   17 February 2009.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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