House Democrats fired the first two shots on Biden-approved legislation Thursday that purport to—but don’t—address gun violence. And they each received Republican support.
The first, H.R. 8, which would require background checks on the great majority of private transfers of firearms, was approved 227-203. Eight Republicans joined the Democrats:
- Vern Buchanan of Florida
- Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania
- Andrew Garbarino of New York
- Carlos A. Giménez of Florida
- Adam Kinzinger of Illinois
- Maria Salazar of Florida
- Chris Smith of New Jersey
- Fred Upton of Michigan
A single Democrat voted against the bill — Jared Golden of Maine.
The second bill, H.R. 1446, would extend the time the government has to make "instant" background checks from three days to 10. The House approved it 219-210, with two Republicans joining Democrats: Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Chris Smith of New Jersey.
Democratic Reps. Ron Kind of Wisconsin and Golden, again, voted against the legislation.
Both bills sound innocuous on their face. Who can be against more background checks? Three days or 10, what’s the difference?
Both measures appear to be minor inconveniences and a small price to pay in exchange for saving lives and keeping weapons out of the hands of criminals.
But they do neither.
Criminals don’t go to their local sporting goods store to purchase firearms. They either steal them or buy them on the street from another criminal. And the street vendors aren’t going to bother with background checks — after all, they’re criminals.
Instead, Democrats (and the handful of misguided Republicans) want to inconvenience law-abiding citizens.
The Average Joe selling a gun to a friend doesn’t have access to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which means they’ll have to ask a local firearm dealer to run the check. And he won’t do it for free.
Granted, it probably won’t amount to more than $25 to $30, but it’s still an added expense and an added hassle.
Referring to a recent Morning Consult poll indicating that 84% of Americans support universal background checks, Bearing Arms editor Cam Edwards had a few questions for that overwhelming majority.
"Do 84-percent of Americans think a person should go to federal prison if they transfer a firearm to their neighbor who’s afraid of her abusive ex showing up at her door?" he asked. "Do 84-percent of Americans think that it should be a crime to sell a gun to your cousin without a background check, but legal for you to sell a gun to your aunt without one?"
Edwards concluded, "I highly doubt it, but that’s exactly what H.R. 8 would require if it were to become law."
As it now stands, most "instant" background checks are exactly that — instant. If the FBI can’t conduct it within the 3-day limit (which is rare) the benefit of the doubt goes to the buyer, and he gets to take the gun home. After all, he willingly submitted his name into the system.
The new 10-day limit doesn’t work that way. If the FBI can’t conduct the check within 10 days, it can ask for another 10-day extension, then another, and another until the buyer gives up.
And just like with the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, Democrats didn’t want to hear from their colleagues across the aisle.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, shared a provision that Democrats refused to include in the legislation.
"House Democrats just REJECTED an amendment that would have required ICE to be notified if an illegal immigrant tries to buy a gun," he tweeted. “But they’re fine taking away the gun rights of law-abiding American citizens.”
NRA spokeswoman Erica Tergeson told Newsmax TV’s "American Agenda" Thursday that H.R. 8 can only be enforced through "registration of every single firearm in America," which may be the real goal.
Turning Point USA spokeswoman Alex Clark agreed, adding that universal registration always leads to confiscation. "Don’t do it," she implored. "Just stop!"
Tergeson also observed that when the bills arrive at the Senate, "it’s really about maintaining the filibuster." She added that the Democratic-controlled House is sending "as many bills as possible" to the Senate in order to convince it to dump the filibuster.
The Senate’s filibuster rule requires 60 votes to end debate and vote on a bill — unless it’s a tax or spending provision, which only requires a simple majority.
Our most basic freedoms—speech, press, religion, and assembly—are guaranteed under the First Amendment.
Observers say that the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right to keep and bear arms, is in place to protect the rights under the First.
The freedoms of speech, press, and religion are increasingly under attack. And now they’re after the Second — the enforcer?
Like Clark said, "Just stop!"
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. Read Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.
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