Analysis Of HR 2640
By Mike Hammond, legislative counsel to GOA
June 13, 2007
It can hardly be any surprise that anti-gun House members worked to sneak this bill through before anyone was aware that it was going to be considered. The negotiations have left legislation which is WORSE THAN THE ORGINAL McCARTHY BILL.
The worst aspect is, in section 3(2), that it STATUTORILY FREEZES IN regulations at 27 CFR 478.11 which would make you a “prohibited person” if:
* You were found by any “lawful authority” (including a IDEA school therapist, a Medicare psychologist, or a VA doctor to:
1. Represent even a minimal suicide risk;
2. Represent even a minimal playground risk to other students; or
3. Be incapable of managing your own affairs; or
* Were referred by such “lawful authority” to a psychiatrist or psychologist to be evaluated in connection with child custody proceedings or other contexts in which professional assessment is ordered.
This means that a future hypothetical pro-gun administration would be powerless to change the regulations so that they did not apply to:
– Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder;
– Kids put on Ritalin in connection with the IDEA program;
– Seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in connection with Medicare’s home health care assistance; or
– Seniors (perhaps with a gun collection accumulated over a lifetime) who continue to live in their homes, but are put under guardianship by their adult children.
In the pretense of doing gun owners some huge favor, the bill explicitly recognizes, in section 101(c)(1)(C), that a psychiatrist’s finding is sufficient to make you a prohibited person, so long as that finding is based on one of the three criteria listed above. And, incidentally, when a kid is put on Ritalin, mom is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, a vet is found to have post-traumatic stress disorder, or gramps is put under a guardianship, it is ALMOST ALWAYS based, in whole or in part, on one of those three factors.
The bill, in section 101(c)(2)(A) and section 105, also requires federal agencies like the Department of Veterans Affairs and states to set up procedures for prohibited persons with “mental disabilities” to “clear their names.” There are at least four problems with this:
1. First, prior to this bill, vets suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder were arguably not required to “clear their names.” Ditto, seniors with Alzheimer’s kids on Ritalin, etc. By statutorily codifying 27 CFR 478.11, this bill, for the first time, makes it statutorily mandated that these persons ARE and SHOULD BE prohibited persons under 18 USC 922 (d) & (g). So the bill makes it absolutely clear that vets, seniors, and adults who were problem kids are statutorily prohibited from owning guns (for life), and then graciously opens the possibility that they may apply for relief, in accordance with unspecified standards based wholly on the discretion of the government.
2. Second, there already is a procedure for persons to “clear their names.” It was created by McClure-Volkmer and is contained at 18 USC 925(c). The problem is that, for many years, Congress, on appropriations bills, has barred anyone from using this procedure. So, having blocked procedures allowing people to “clear their names,” the House is now creating redundant procedures to do the same thing. And they expect us to trust them?
3. Third, the bill states that “[r]elief and judicial review shall be available according to the standards prescribed in section 925(c) of title 18, United States Code.” But, since Congress has blocked the implementation of section 925(c), there is at least a question of whether this new, redundant procedure would not be similarly automatically blocked, at least at the federal level.
4. Fourth, there is also a procedure for “clearing one’s name” in subsection (g) of the Statues-at-Large portion of the Brady Law, when the name is erroneously submitted to NICS. The problem is that persons seeking to invoke this procedure to establish that they were incorrectly classified are routinely sent a form letter denying relief.
Ironically, a particularly dangerous person who is actually held in a mental institution may be able to obtain relief after he is “released or discharged,” pursuant to section 101(c)(1)(A). But a person who is found to be suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, childhood behavioral problems, or Alzheimer’s — and who is not held anywhere (or subjected to anything) from which they can be “released or discharged” — could never take advantage of a provision which is available to the criminally insane. And even this limited provision applies only to federal agencies, and not states.
Incidentally, if Congress appropriates NOTHING to implement this bill, the states will still be required to comply with the unfunded mandates or risk loss of DOJ funds under section 104.
All of this is on top of the usual concerns that the McCarthy bill would still require the states to turn over 90% of all information which was “relevant” to whether an individual was a prohibited person by reason of being “an unlawful user of or addicted to” any controlled substance or a mental defective (as that term will now be defined.).
Ironically, given the “tough enforcement” language being used to try to dislodge the “amnesty” bill, the new draft excludes crackdowns on illegal aliens — a category which, more than any other, includes terrorists who have snuck into our country. But the Attorney General, without a court order, can, at his or her unilateral discretion, demand any information held by any state (or its agent) which would be “relevant” in determining who fell into other categories, including Medicare medical records, IDEA medical records, National guard medical records, drug diversion records, records of drug charges not prosecuted, etc. And, unlike the convicted serial killer, the unprosecuted marijuana smoker, veteran, or senior would not be protected merely because his records were not available electronically.
And, finally, having compiled, potentially, the biggest list of dangerous persons in existence, the records could not be used to go after terrorists or other criminals.
SUMMARY: It was not the intention of 18 USC 922 (d) & (g) to make veterans, seniors, and misbehaved kids “prohibited persons” with an FBI dossier. Any provision in 27 CFR 478.11 to the contrary is just plain wrong, and should be changed. To freeze these regulations into statutory law is simply evil.
Lautenberg Gun Ban Racking up the Horror Stories
– Lifetime ban disarms unsuspecting parents, spouses
A wife tears her husband’s pocket during an argument. A daughter throws keys at her mom – and misses. Both `assailants’ are arrested, fingerprinted and booked. Welcome to Virginia’s new zero tolerance of domestic violence.
And welcome to some of the most recent victims of the Lautenberg gun ban.
The Washington Post Magazine began its October 26, 1997 issue with the above quote. Page after page of examples showed how innocent men, women and children are becoming victims of the latest war against domestic violence.
GOA Executive Director Larry Pratt with pro-gun Rep. Helen Chenoweth (R-ID).
She has introduced a bill to repeal the Lautenberg gun ban (H.R. 1009)
and has currently secured 37 cosponsors.
And unwittingly, the Post Magazine made it painfully clear how easy it is for honest citizens to lose their Second Amendment rights as a result of the Lautenberg domestic gun ban.
The Lautenberg ban, passed in 1996, imposes a lifetime gun ban on those who have committed minor infractions in the home – “offenses” as slight as shoving a spouse or spanking a child.
Chenoweth bill nets almost 40 cosponsors
Gun Owners of America warned even before the gun ban passed how disastrous it would become. Unfortunately, these predictions have come true with a frightening accuracy.
Many in Congress have ignored the effects of this pernicious law that they helped enact.
But Rep. Helen Chenoweth (R-ID) – who voted against the Lautenberg ban – has shown again and again why she is one of the staunchest defenders of the Second Amendment.
She introduced H.R. 1009 early last year to repeal this law and has secured 37 cosponsors since then.
Rep. Chenoweth continues to press on. But the Republican leadership has dragged its feet and shown no desire to push this legislation.
As a result, the horror stories are flooding in.
Torn pocket brings on Lautenberg sanctions
Consider Judy of Fairfax County, Virginia.
The slight tearing of her husband’s pocket last year was enough to cart her off to the police station – even though her husband refused to press charges.
The husband, Tom, states he had only called the police to get “documentation in a custody dispute.”
When Tom insisted he didn’t want to press charges, he was told that “pressing charges is not [your] decision, it is the decision of the commonwealth of Virginia.”
Unfortunately, Virginia’s new “zero tolerance” requires police to press charges in such cases. Now, if and when Judy plea-bargains to a misdemeanor and pays a minimal fine, she will lose her Second Amendment rights forever.
Daughter flings keys, loses rights
The Washington Post Magazine also reported how a daughter was arrested, to the shock and horror of her parents, for throwing a set of keys near her mother.
Twenty-one year old Lora, also of Virginia, lost her temper and flung an empty water bottle and her car keys.
The water bottle landed on the front steps, but the keys fell near her mother.
For that, Lora was arrested, booked, and told she must not have any contact with her mom for three days, even though she’s still living at home.
As stated by the Post Magazine,
In Lora’s case, there really is no question. In the eyes of the law, you don’t have to hit somebody to commit assault – all you have to do is try to hit them.
Yet clearly, the rules have changed.
Officer Mike Twomey, who assisted in the arrest, remarks that “in the old days, the proper response would have been to say, `hey, ladies, cool it.’ Now, arrest is the only option.”
The Post Magazine reports that seven states plus the District of Columbia have mandatory arrest policies, and 26 others, including Maryland, have “presumptive arrest” policies that give officers a bit of discretion but still encourage them to make an arrest. Another 12 have laws that blend the two approaches.
Lautenberg creating new victims
With the Lautenberg gun ban in place, a new category of “victim” is emerging as a result of these tougher state laws – like the one in Virginia.
“A lot of times, I think arrests are being made when they shouldn’t be,” says Kenneth E. Noyes, staff attorney and coordinator of the domestic violence project for Legal Services of Northern Virginia.
He is not alone in this opinion.
“I am stunned, quite frankly, because that was not the intention of the law,” says Judith Mueller of the Virginia-based Women’s Center.
“It’s disheartening to think that it could be used punitively and frivolously. Frivolously being the operative word.”
Dial 911; someone goes to jail
Before the Lautenberg gun ban, most people involved in minor altercations would simply plea-bargain to a domestic violence misdemeanor, pay a small (say, $25) fine, and be on their way.
But times are changing. Even the Post Magazine questioned whether every 911 call should end in an arrest. For example, what should the police do when:
* A man calls 911 to report that his wife has destroyed his Mercedes with a ball- peen hammer and would like her, please, arrested?
* A father calls to say that his son threw food at him, and now he would like the teenager, please, arrested?
* A husband calls 911 to say that his wife slapped him with an open hand and he would like her, please, arrested?
Under the new laws, all these “assailants” could spend a night in jail. The question is, do they really deserve to have a domestic violence misdemeanor on their record?
And even more importantly, should they now lose their gun rights forever?
It is true that the Lautenberg law allows for the restoration of rights following the expungement of the domestic violence record or an official pardon.
But while this is true on paper, it rarely occurs in practice. As a rule, elected officials fear having to “stick their necks” out on what is considered to be a politically sensitive issue.
Moreover, it is especially true that judges are reluctant to expunge the records of people who have since moved out of the county or the state.
Spank your child, forfeit your guns
Gun Owners of America reported last year how one GOA member – who probably represents scores of others – stepped forward to tell his horrific story.
Many years ago, this father gave his child a swat on the rear. Because the father was going through an ugly divorce, his estranged wife, with the encouragement of her mother, reported the man to the police for child abuse.
The father had spanked his daughter with an open hand on the buttocks. After a nasty court battle, the man finally accepted a domestic violence misdemeanor conviction.
Now he is disarmed for life by the Lautenberg gun ban, simply because he spanked his child.
Upon learning of the Lautenberg gun ban, this GOA member, seeking to be in compliance with the law, sold his collection of firearms. He has forfeited his Second Amendment rights, for simply spanking his own daughter.
Lautenberg disarming people from all walks of life
More recently, a Michigan woman made national news when her case went to trial for the same offense.
Kathi Herren, 32, swatted her child in discipline. The result? She has now lost her Second Amendment rights because of that swat.
“In today’s politically correct world, parents can’t even spank their children in public,” said GOA Executive Director Larry Pratt.
“If you do, you could lose your right to protect your children — forever. That makes absolutely no sense at all.”
Judge Brian MacKenzie announced that “he had no intention of sending her to jail.”
And thus, the irony remains: despite serving no jail time, despite this being a very minor “offense,” Herren will be punished for the rest of her life.
No guns. No self-protection. In an emergency, her only recourse now is to dial 911.
All of the above examples are, of course, only the tip of the iceberg.
Gun Owners of America frequently receives reports of police officers, army sergeants, gun dealers and people from all walks of life who are being disarmed by the Lautenberg ban for the very slightest of infractions.
“This law must be repealed,” Pratt said. “And Congress owes it to the people to put Rep. Chenoweth’s bill to a vote.”
“But if Congress doesn’t, then we will rate the cosponsorship of her bill instead of a vote. Those who cosponsor H.R. 1009 will be listed as having cast a pro-gun vote. All the others will have to answer to their constituents in November.
“And gun owners will remember in November,” Pratt said.
Point-by-Point Response To Proponents Of HR 2640
By Mike Hammond, legislative counsel to GOA
June 15, 2007
“You can dress up a pig, but you can’t make it sing.” Likewise, efforts to paint the McCarthy/ Schumer gun control bill as anything other than an anti-gun travesty are going to be just as unsuccessful
There are a lot of (intentional) tricks in this bill. But there are two important things to remember:
* First, for the first time, this bill would statutorily impose a lifetime gun ban on battle-scarred veterans, troubled teens, and ailing seniors — based solely on the diagnosis of a psychologist, as opposed to a finding by a court.
* Second, at the sole discretion of BATFE and the FBI, this bill would compile the largest mega-list of personal information on Americans in existence — particularly medical and psychological records. But information on the mega-list could not be used to battle terrorism and crime… only to bar Americans from owning guns. And, incidentally, it’s the medical records themselves, not just a list of names, that would turned over under section 102 (b) (1) (C) (iv).
And while the worst aspects of a newly enacted law are not always immediately apparent — it took 32 years for 922 (g) to be used against veterans — they will eventually come back to haunt us. And, by then, it will be too late to do anything about it.
ANSWERS TO ERRONEOUS STATEMENTS MADE BY ONE “GUN GROUP”
Recently, another gun group has released a document attacking Gun Owners of America and making a series of misleading statements. Here is a point-by-point rebuttal to that group’s statements.
1. MISSTATEMENT: “… these bills [H.R. 2640 and any counterparts] would only enforce current prohibitions [on gun ownership]….”
THE TRUTH: BATFE has long tried to nudge the law to the point where a simple psychiatric diagnosis would put your name on the FBI’s “list’ and impose a lifetime gun ban on you. But this bill goes even farther in that direction than BATFE could have hoped.
First, a little history: 18 U.S.C. 922(d) & (g) make you a prohibited person if you are “adjudicated as a mental defective….” But the question of what “adjudicated” means and who has to do the “adjudication” is a battle which has been raging for decades.
When I was working in the Senate (1975-93), the view was that this provision barred gun sales to people who had been judged not guilty by reason of insanity — or at least had come before a court, in a context where due process was afforded them. But, there has been an effort to extend this not just to the actions of courts, magistrates, etc., but also to any diagnosis by a federal-(or state)-sanctioned psychologist or psychiatrist.
Hence, if a person were —
a. A vet found by a VA doctor to be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder [PTS],
b. A kid put on Ritalin under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), in part because of the increased danger of playground fights;
c. A senior with Alzheimer’s receiving home health care under the Medicare program —
then, under the new interpretation being pushed by anti-gun advocates, that person would be subject to a lifetime gun ban IF the term “adjudication” included a diagnosis, as opposed to just a court order.
The efforts of BATFE to expand its jurisdiction are most fully contained in C.F.R. 478.11, where BATFE regulations provide that adjudication can be made by any “lawful authority.” The same regulations also expand the ambit of “mental defective” to include a person who is “a danger to himself or to others; or [who] [l]acks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs….” Furthermore, in a letter dated May 9, 2007, BATFE writes that “danger” means any danger, not simply “imminent” or “substantial” danger….” [Emphasis added]
Hence, BATFE takes the position that something short of adjudication by a court — and that alone — is enough to make an individual a “prohibited person.”
In line with this interpretation, the Department of Veterans Affairs, in the final year of the Clinton administration, sent the names of 83,000 veterans to the Instantcheck system, based generally on findings of post-traumatic stress disorder. However, that action caused so much controversy that, to my knowledge, few if any, additional names have been sent, notwithstanding reports that as many as one-quarter to one-third of Iraq veterans suffer from this problem.
So, we have this very broad definition (“diagnosis” = “adjudication”) which we have been battling over for more than a decade. And we have BATFE regulations which BATFE has been loathe to enforce, and which don’t go quite so far as to say explicitly that a diagnosis is the same as court order, but could be interpreted to do so.
This bill would definitively resolve that debate on the side of anti-gun interpretation even broader than BATFE’s, and would make it clear that a psychiatrist’s diagnosis would be tantamount to a court order!
It would do this first in section 3(2), which provides BATFE’s regulations concerning mental health issues now have the force of statutory law — and cannot be changed, except by statute.
In addition, section 101(c) (1) (C) is a Trojan Horse which makes this even clearer — and goes even further. It provides that a person can be made a prohibited person, based “solely on a medical finding of disability” if that finding is (presumably, explicitly or implicitly) based on a finding that the person is a danger to himself or others or is unable to manage his own affairs.
Hence, a VA-, IDEA-, or Medicare-related diagnosis of a veteran, kid or senior, based on a psychiatrist’s finding of even microscopic amount of danger (or inability to manage one’s own affairs) is enough to put the vet, kid, or senior on the FBI’s “list.”
* According to the May 9 letter, the “danger” can be microscopic in magnitude.
* In addition, cases of post-traumatic stress disorder, ADD, or Alzheimer’s inherently involve at least some amount of “danger” or incapacity.
2. MISLEADING STATEMENT: “H.R. 2640 would allow some people now unfairly prohibited from owning guns to have their rights restored….”
THE TRUTH: I was personally involved in creating a path for restoring the Second Amendment rights of prohibited persons like Iraq veterans when I shepherded the McClure-Volkmer Firearms Owners’ Protection Act of 1986 on behalf of Senator James McClure. Unfortunately, for years, Chuck Schumer has successfully pushed appropriations language which defunded this procedure. And, now, ironically, it is Schumer who is trying to lure us to pass his bill by a “restoration of rights” procedure which is more limited than the one currently on the books — and which he has consistently blocked.
3. MISSTATEMENT: “… H.R. 2640, introduced by Reps. John Dingell, (D-Mich.), Carolyn McCarthy….”
THE TRUTH: In fact, McCarthy — not Dingell — is the chief sponsor of the legislation. Dingell isn’t even the chief cosponsor.
4. MISLEADING STATEMENT: “H.R. 2640 would prevent use of federal ‘adjudications’ that consist only of medical diagnosis without findings that the people involved are dangerous or mentally incompetent.”
THE TRUTH: First of all, up until now there has been no statutory basis for making a person a prohibited person on the basis of a diagnosis. So McCarthy isn’t doing gun owners any favor by establishing this principle — and then “generously” carving a small loophole in it.
Second, in the case of veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, kids with attention deficit disorder, or seniors with Alzheimer’s, de minimis levels of “danger” or incompetence are almost always an underlying issue (and, hence, an implicit finding). And the statement conveniently fails to mention the standard in the BATFE’s May 9 letter, starting that “any” danger, no matter how de minimis, is sufficient.
Third, note the use of the word “federal.” State diagnosis in connection with IDEA, Medicare or the state National Guard would be enough to make veterans, kids, and seniors prohibited persons — even without meeting the de minimis “danger” standard in 101(c) (1) (C), which is applicable only to federal diagnosis, not state diagnosis.
5. MISLEADING STATEMENET: “H.R. 2640 would require all federal agencies that impose mental health adjudications… to provide a process for ‘relief from disabilities’….”
THE TRUTH: As we have seen, McClure-Volkmer created a path for restoring the Second Amendment rights of prohibited persons like Iraq veterans. Given that Chuck Schumer has successfully pushed appropriations language which has defunded this procedure since 1992 (without significant opposition), what is it to prevent him from doing the same thing with respect to the new (redundant) procedures? This is like stealing our money and then using it to bargain with us. And, incidentally, why should we reward Schumer for his bad faith in blocking relief from disabilities under McClure-Volkmer by passing his bill in exchange for a restoration-of-rights “chit” which is more limited than the law currently on the books — and which he has consistently blocked?
6. MISLEADING STATEMENT: “As a practical matter, the mental health disability is the only firearm disqualifier that can never be removed.”
THE TRUTH: As a practical matter, this is just not true. States vary widely on the ability to expunge felonies and “Lautenberg misdemeanors,” even for crimes which are very old, relatively minor, or regulatory in nature.
7. MISLEADING STATEMENT: “H.R. 2640 would prohibit reporting of mental health adjudications or commitments by federal agencies when those adjudications or commitments have been removed…. H.R. 2640 would also make clear that if a federal adjudication or commitment has expired or been removed, it would no longer bar a person from possessing or receiving firearms….”
THE TRUTH: This is not exactly true.
First, it’s not entirely clear how a diagnosis gets “removed” — or what incentive any psychologist would have for issuing a written finding that there is not “any danger” whatsoever that a battle-scarred veteran or an ADD kid will never get into even a minor scrape as a result of the condition. Even if that were possible, the process of proving that to a government agency and getting the agency to tell the FBI to take a name off its “list” is certainly something 83,000 veterans currently wrongly classified as prohibited persons are not going to be able to do.
Second, there is language in the bill which could arguably restore the rights of the most dangerous — but not those who were simply “diagnosed” with PTS, ADD, Alzheimer’s, etc. Hence, while someone who was actually intended to be covered by 922(d) & ) (g) and is dangerous and locked up might actually be able to get his rights back by proving that he had been “released and discharged” under 101(c) (1) (C) (A), someone who is just subject to a diagnosis — and hence can’t be “released or discharged” from an institution which never restrained him — cannot benefit from this provision.
Third, again, note the use of the word “federal.” State diagnosis in connection with IDEA, Medicare, or the State National Guard would be enough to make veterans, kids and seniors prohibited person — but these victims would not be able to restore their rights under sections 101(c) (1) (A), even if a thousand psychologists testified that they were wholly “normal.”
8. MISLEADING STATEMENT: “States that receive funding would also need to have a relief from disabilities program for mental adjudications….”
THE TRUTH: As we’ve already stated twice, McClure-Volkmer created a path for restoring the Second Amendment rights of prohibited persons like Iraq veterans, ADD kids, and seniors with Alzheimer’s. Given that Chuck Schumer has successfully pushed appropriations language which has defunded this procedure since 1992 (without significant opposition), it is certainly not beyond the capacity of an appropriations rider to bar even state procedures which are directly or indirectly funded by federal funds under this bill.
Incidentally, even before Schumer blocked the procedure, the ability to get “relief from disabilities” under section 925(c) was always an expensive long shot. Presumably, this new procedure will be the same.
9. STATEMENT: “… it would give states an incentive to report people [like Seung-Hui Cho]… who were found after a full court hearing to be a danger….”
OBSERVATION: You can debate forever whether the facts of the Cho case bring him under 18 U.S.C. 922(g). But the fact is that, if you want to reach persons adjudicated by court, why don’t you just limit the bill to court adjudications, rather than extending it to diagnoses?
10. STATEMENT: “The legislation requires removal of expired, incorrect or otherwise irrelevant records.”
OBSERVATION: Subsection (g) of the Statutes-at-Large portion of the Brady Law already requires removal of inaccurate information. However, persons we know who have tried to invoke this section have received a form letter summarily rejecting their requests. If the FBI is willing to ignore subsection (g), why would we expect that a redundant procedure doing the same thing would be effectual?
11. STATEMENT: “The legislation prohibits federal fees for NICS checks.”
OBSERVATION: I DRAFTED THE ORIGINAL Smith amendment, which, in modified form, is carried over annually on appropriations bills to achieve this result. (Incidentally, the “gun group” which is currently attacking GOA was, at the time, urging Smith not to force his amendment to a vote, on the assumption that he would lose.) If we really want to make the Smith amendment permanent — and I suspect there is supermajority support for this — we can do it on this year’s appropriations.
12. STATEMENT: “The legislation requires an audit [by the GAO]….”
OBSERVATION: A congressman — particularly a chairman or ranking member — can order a GAO audit anytime he wants without this legislation.
13. MISLEADING STATEMENT: “Neither current federal law, nor H.R. 2640, would prohibit gun possession by people who have voluntarily sought… counseling….”
THE TRUTH: 27 C.F.R. 478.11 does, at least initially, exclude a person who voluntarily seeks counseling. However, the regulation specifically states that the “voluntariness” can quickly turn to “involuntariness” under a number of circumstances, such as when the individual seeks to withdraw from the “voluntary” arrangement.
Section 101(c) (1) (C) of this bill establishes that a diagnosis based “solely on a medical finding or disability” makes a person a prohibited person under the bill — and requires that the person’s “records” be turned over to the FBI — if the diagnosis is based on a finding of even a microscopic amount of risk, which will be invariably involved with any PTS veteran, ADD kid, or Alzheimer’s senior.
This subparagraph makes no voluntary/involuntary distinction, and will probably trump section 3(2), which statutorily codifies 27 C.F.R. 478.11.
As a result, it is fairly clear that the question of whether treatment is voluntary or involuntary will no longer be relevant under the bill.
Agencies invariably use the regulatory process to try to expand their jurisdiction. And it is never a “status quo act” to codify these abusive and expansive regulations — which only gives an agency a platform to expand further.