Last week Democrats on the U.S. House of Representative’s Judiciary Committee passed a gun-control bill they officially say “may be cited as the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019” with a partisan, party-line vote of 23–15. This legislation is expected to be voted on by the entire House this month. The Senate isn’t likely to vote on this legislation, and it’s hard to imagine President Donald J. Trump signing legislation that would make it illegal for Americans to sell, trade or just give firearms to other law-abiding citizens–as they always have–without first getting the approval of the FBI.
This gun-control bill, then, is little more than political positioning for 2020. But don’t grit your teeth and move on just yet. These early, anti-freedom moves from the Democrats now in charge of the House are exposing what they really want.
If all these Democrats really wanted to do was to make it more expensive and cumbersome (it is already illegal to knowingly transfer a firearm to someone who can’t legally possess it) for law-abiding Americans to give or sell their guns to other good citizens, then they might just get away with it.
After all, it is unlikely much of the national media will point out that criminals, by definition, won’t abide by such a law. The mainstream media also won’t report that most gun crimes are already committed with illegal firearms. The media also wouldn’t dare point out that this law would be almost impossible to enforce, as Americans now own about 400 million guns and the government doesn’t know who owns what or how many—this, of course, is a privacy fundamental to our individual liberty.
So this so-called “Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019” is in reality squarely aimed at law-abiding citizens—not at criminals. It is a way to make gun ownership more expensive and burdensome. Gun-control advocates hope that by bureaucratically infringing on this freedom, they can shrink the huge block of voters who defend this individual liberty. That’s a long-game tactic they hope will morph America’s electorate into a more subservient, unarmed populace who then can be disarmed.
Interestingly, part of the reason this mainstream-media spin isn’t completely controlling the narrative is because the 2018 Midterm Election has convinced many of the politicians who would like to take away Second Amendment freedoms that it’s now safe to say what they really think.
“Our country is awash in guns, and we have the shameful death toll to show for it,” said House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., as he shut off debate on the so-called “Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019.”
Rep. Nadler said this after Democrats on the committee stopped Republicans from adding amendments. One amendment, from Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., would have required law-enforcement be notified “when an individual attempting to purchase a firearm fails a federal background check.”
“In rejecting this amendment, the Democrats have shown their true colors. It is clear they are not interested in preventing gun violence or stopping the illegal purchase of firearms, but rather they are only interested in limiting the rights of law-abiding citizens to advance their own political agenda,” Steube said, after the vote.
After the vote, another Republican from Florida, Rep. Matt Gaetz, said on Twitter: “Democrats in the Judiciary Committee just voted against notifying ICE when an illegal alien fails a background check to buy a gun. They hate ICE so much that they’d keep ICE in the dark when illegals try to get guns!”
Republicans also tried to add amendments to make it less costly for gun owners to pay for background checks, but Democrats blocked these amendments—again showing that what these Democrats are really trying to do is to make it more expensive and difficult for American citizens, especially the poor, to utilize their Second Amendment-protected rights.
Meanwhile, A Murderer in Illinois Exposed Real Problems with Background Checks
When a murderer in Illinois killed five people after being fired from his job on Feb. 15, Democrats thought it was a convenient tragedy to help them push so-called “universal” background check legislation.
But soon the facts starting to come out, and the story became inconvenient for Democrats. The man had served time in prison in Mississippi for aggravated battery. In 1994, when his then-girlfriend told him to get out of their apartment, the man beat her with a baseball bat and stabbed her with a butcher knife. He subsequently served about two years for the felony. Years later, in 2014, he lied about his criminal record on an application for an Illinois Firearm Owners Identification card (known as a FOID). A background check at the time didn’t turn up his 1995 felony conviction. He soon got a FOID and used it to buy a handgun. When he later applied for a concealed-carry permit, his felony conviction (barring him from buying or owning a firearm) turned up. The police sent him a letter telling him to turn in his FOID card and his handgun, but they never did go and get the gun from him.
He would use this handgun to murder five people and to wound multiple police officers in a shootout before our heroes in blue killed him.
His case is another failure of our bureaucracy. They failed us in Parkland, in Sutherland Springs, and so many other times. This is at least something we can try to fix.
The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) relies on state and local agencies, as well as the U.S. military, to give them records so they can prevent prohibited people from buying firearms. Investigations of this system are needed. We need to understand the failures and to, if necessary, pass legislation to fix the system so our layers of government do a better job of applying laws already on the books.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has been lobbying—with the help of the NRA—for FixNICS initiatives since 2013 after it was determined that some states were barely giving any records to NICS. Since then, this lobbying has gotten many states to give more records to NICS.
When investigating this latest failure of government, officials should also acknowledge that the man should have been prosecuted for lying on the forms he used to get a handgun. He lied when he applied for his gunowner’s ID. He also lied on a federal form when he filled out the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Form 4473. (This is the form someone fills out when they want to purchase a gun from a licensed dealer. It is used by the FBI to perform the NICS check.) Lying on this form is a felony.
Unfortunately federal prosecutors rarely go to court to attempt to convict someone of illegally attempting to buy a firearm from a licensed dealer. Juries, they argue, can be understandably lenient with a person who, for example, committed some stupid nonviolent crime when they were 18 years old and so ended up with a felony conviction. But when you have a person, such the one mentioned—who went to jail for attacking someone with a baseball bat and a knife, and who is lying on a federal form to get a gun—it should be a commonsense to prosecute that person.
Before even debating any so-called “universal” background check law, we need to fix the background check laws we already have.
Most-Revealing Anti-Freedom Quote of the Week
Last Saturday in New Hampshire, for example, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat from New York, was pushing the false narrative that gun owners and their associations are responsible for the actions of criminals when she said that “we don’t pass gun reform in this country because of the NRA. It’s not about the Second Amendment or hunter’s rights. Let me be really clear: It’s about the gun manufacturers that fund the NRA that want to sell more weapons… They don’t care that they’re selling a gun to someone who has grave mental illness and a violent record or someone with a criminal conviction or a violent crime. And that’s why they oppose universal background checks.”
Really Senator, is that why the NSSF and the NRA have been lobbying state by state for FixNICS legislation since 2013?