Rep. Steve Stockman says he will immediately file a measure to prevent a Senate gun bill from coming to the House for consideration if it includes expanded background checks.
The Texas Republican and leading gun-rights advocate tweeted Tuesday: “If background checks pass Senate we will file blue slip to automatically nix the bill.”
A “blue slip” is a resolution that automatically returns to the Senate any bill that violates the “origination clause” of the Constitution. The origination clause states: “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.”
Stockman argues that expanded background checks impose a new tax by forcing individuals to pay for background checks when selling or giving away a firearm. The mandate to use the National Instant Criminal Background Check System does not provide a service to the buyer or seller but to the government, he says, making it a tax.
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A bipartisan amendment offered by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and GOP Sen. Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania would expand background checks to gun shows and online sales. Supporters say that approach gives them the best chance of pushing a broader system of checks through the Senate.
Stockman thinks otherwise.
“A requirement to make citizens submit to a background check imposes a tax,” he said in a recent statement. “Such legislation cannot originate in the Senate. The bill is automatically unconstitutional.”
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