How to Make Teddy Bears More Regulated Than Guns Posted by Howard Nemerov </site_search.asp?auth=141> Wednesday, May 19, 2004 Some gun banners are attempting to portray the firearms industry as a wild west environment, where anything goes and no product safety exists. They claim that teddy bears are more regulated than firearms. (1,2) That isn't true, of course. So, to help them out, I am sending this proposal to my fine congressional representatives, so that they can enact teddy bear regulations in line with those pertaining to firearms regulations. Many lawmakers repeatedly tell me how much they care about children. Once this new law is enacted, the gun banners will actually be telling the truth for the first time, as far as I can tell. Draft of New Legislation: The Lawful Protection Against Teddy Bears Act Hereafter, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, or BATFE, will be known as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Explosives, and Teddy Bears, or BATFETB. All facilities involved in the manufacturing, storage, transportation, and sales of teddy bears or related components must register with the BATFETB and pass an inspection for safe handling and storage. Upon passing inspection, the facility must pay a operator's license fee of not less the $5,000. This license must be renewed each year at the same fee level. All persons involved with the manufacturing, transporting, selling, or supervising of manufacturing must attend a BATFETB certified training. Prior to being accepted for registration in the training, all such persons will undergo a background check administered by the FBI and a psychological analysis administered by the CIA. Fees for these tests and the training are paid for by the attendee. Once candidates passes the tests and graduates from the training, they will be assigned a license by the BATFETB. The fee for this license shall be no less than $300, to be determined by the Treasury Department based upon the inflation index at the time of issuance. The license must be renewed each year at the same fee level. All finished components of teddy bears, including but not limited to stuffing, fabric for covering, thread for seams, and nose buttons will be registered individually with the BATFETB. Each of these finished items will be assigned a serial number. Records of each piece and the corresponding serial number must be maintained by the manufacturer and made available to inspection by the BATFETB at all times. When a manufacturer of the finished product (teddy bear) purchases these component items from the original manufacturer, each individual piece must be registered and transferred via the BATFETB, in order to maintain traceability. The finished teddy bear must have a unique serial number assigned to it, with serial numbers of components linked to the finished product's serial number. When the finished teddy bear is sold to a distributor or retailer, a transfer document must be registered with the BATFETB, listing each teddy bear by serial number, along with the serial numbers for each component. Any discrepancies between the finished product's serial number and the components' serial numbers will result in the BATFETB shutting down all facilities involved with the manufacturing, sales, and transfer or all related components while an investigation is completed to determine where assigned serial numbers became disassociated. Facilities determined to be in violation will be fined $10,000 per violation. Any acts of negligence or product defects committed by the manufacturers, distributors, transporters, or retailers, are felonies, punishable by both prison of up to 20 years, and fines of a minimum of $25,000. Retail purchasers of teddy bears must attend a mandatory teddy bear storage and handling training prior to qualifying for purchase. Fees for this training will be determined by local authorities. Having attained a Basic Teddy Bear Safety Certificate upon successful completion of the training, retail purchasers must pay for and submit to a background check prior to purchase via the National Instant Check System (NICS.) Purchasers must be of age 21 or older at the time of application. Having passed the background check, the retail purchaser will be allowed to buy no more than one teddy bear per month. Each purchase will link the buyer's Basic Teddy Bear Safety Certificate to the serial number of the finished teddy bear, as well as those serial numbers assigned to the components. Any proposed retail buyer who fills out the background check form with erroneous information risks being charged with perjury. Once the buyer passes the background check, the assigned teddy bear will be held in escrow at the seller's store for a period of 10 days. At the end of this waiting period, the buyer may pick up the teddy bear. Upon successful purchase, the retail buyer must register the teddy bear with local law enforcement. Teddy bears must be kept in a registered safe storage container in the home. At the discretion of the local authorities, inspections may be held without prior notice. Violations of safe storage laws will result in a felony with a prison term of 1-3 years. Children under the age 21 may not handle teddy bears without direct supervision of the adult purchaser. Violation of this mandate is a felony resulting in a prison term of 3-5 years. Any theft of a teddy bear is a felony resulting in 5-7 years of prison per bear stolen. Brandishing a teddy bear in public or dismantling or modifying a teddy bear by the retail buyer is a felony resulting in a prison term of 5-10 years. If such violations are done in conjunction with other crimes, an enhancement penalty results in which the basic sentence is doubled. For example, brandishing a teddy bear while drunk results in a minimum sentence of 10 years, plus time for public drunkenness. Assault Bears Just as the First Amendment does not entitle a person to yell ''Fire'' in a movie theatre, or for an organization of citizens to yell ''Crook'' on TV during an election season, the right to own teddy bears is not unlimited. Assault bears are a class of bears that resemble real bears in coloring, size, and/or facial features. Any bear that looks like a real bear can cause a Depends Moment in citizens who have no experience with real bears. These bears are a clear and present danger to the public welfare, as they look like they may assault a person. In order to protect the public from the danger of sudden fear and loathing over what they do not comprehend, any teddy bear that has brown or black coloring, teeth, claws, or is of a size larger than one foot tall is therefore illegal. Possession of an assault bear is a felony, punishable by 10-20 years in prison. Now teddy bears are more regulated than firearms!