Last week was a heady time for House Democrats. The mainstream media applauded two gun-control bills Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives pushed through. (You can read about the bills here.)In their pursuit for headlines claiming they’re doing something—anything about gun violence—Democrats were shocked when a Republican amendment to H.R. 8 passed.
The Washington Post revealed a lot more than a Freudian slip ever could when it referred to the amendment this way: “GOP leaders used one of the few tools available to the House minority to amend a Democratic gun-control bill, adding a provision that would require notification to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when illegal immigrants try to buy a gun.” The Post then called this amendment “an embarrassing setback for party leaders who had carefully screened amendments to keep GOP fingerprints off a high-profile bill.”
So telling the FBI, which runs the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to inform ICE when an illegal alien tries to buy a gun is “embarrassing” to Democrats, says the Democrat’s leading rag, The Washington Post.
These gun-control bills were sent to the Senate where it’s very unlikely they’ll be voted on—which is why these bills really are about positioning for the 2020 election.
Meanwhile, the Senate did do something last week the mainstream media won’t make much of a fuss over, but will have a consequential impact on the NICS.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) sent a public letter to Attorney General William Barr reminding him that the Fix NICS Act—signed by President Donald J. Trump on March 23, 2018—requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) to do a lot to ensure that states and federal agencies are giving records of prohibited persons to the NICS.
The letter reads in part:
The Fix NICS Act required a series of steps to be taken and set benchmarks to assess progress in correcting problems with the NICS database. It also requires the head of each agency or department to submit a semiannual certification to the Attorney General indicating if the agency is in compliance with the record submission requirements.
In addition, each agency must establish implementation plans within one year of the bill’s enactment. These implementation plans are designed to ensure maximum coordination and automated reporting of appropriate records to the Attorney General, and must include benchmarks to allow the Attorney General to assess its implementation.
Finally, the Fix NICS Act directs DOJ to assist states that are not in compliance with grant eligibility requirements, and requires the Attorney General to establish implementation plans for each state and tribal government. The Attorney General is required to determine if the state is in compliance with the benchmarks contained in the implementation plan.
The Fix NICS Act isn’t gun-control in the guise of “commonsense reform.” This is something that actually could prevent a bad guy from getting a gun.
As Senator Cornyn wrote: “On November 5, 2017, a gunman walked into the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas and murdered 26 innocent men, women, and children…. [T]he gunman was able to legally purchase his firearms despite having a prior conviction for domestic violence. The conviction should have prevented him from legally purchasing a gun, but the Air Force failed to upload his conviction into the proper databases.”
House Democrats would rather you didn’t know all that. They’d prefer the American people be deceived into believing they need to give up more of their constitutional rights due to the actions of criminals and failures of bureaucracy.
During 2016, a lot of anti-Second Amendment Democrats went after Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) because he wasn’t totally horrible on gun rights. Hillary Clinton attacked Sanders for voting in 2005 to stop frivolous lawsuits from attempting to hold gun companies civilly liable for the actions of criminals. At the time, Sanders said: “We need a sensible debate about gun control which overcomes the cultural divide that exists in this country, and I think I can play an important role in this.”
Sanders—who’s again running for the Democratic nomination for president—has gone all anti-gun. He now says we need to expand background checks to stop people from loaning, selling or trading guns amongst themselves and ban so-called “assault weapons.” Sanders even pushed gun control in hiscampaign-announcement speech: “I’m running for president because we must end the epidemic of gun violence in this country. We need to take on the NRA, expand background checks, end the gun show loophole, and ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons.”
“Section one amends section 265.45 of the penal law to provide that no person who owns or has custody of a rifle, shotgun, or firearm who resides with an individual who is under 16 years of age or who such person knows or has reason to know is prohibited from possessing a firearm shall store or otherwise leave such rifle, shotgun or firearm out of his or her immediate possession or control without having first securely locked such rifle, shotgun or firearm in an appropriate safe storage depository or rendered it incapable of being fired by use of a gun locking device appropriate to that weapon. Failure to safely store rifles, shotguns, and firearms in the first degree is a class A misdemeanor.” The “safe storage depository” this legislation refers to is defined as a “container which, when locked, is incapable of being opened without the key, combination or other unlocking mechanism and is capable of preventing an unauthorized person from obtaining access to and possession of the weapon contained therein.”So New York legislators want to invade the privacy of homes and gun cabinets—and even to outlaw gun vault doors—as they are not “containers.” The legislation doesn’t say how they might enforce such a law. Do they want the state police to try to do forced inspections of private residences? If so, they’ll quickly be sued on Fourth Amendment grounds.
Such a heavy-handed mandate from the state treats free and presumably law-abiding citizens as subjects who must be controlled by a sanctimonious nanny state—that is un-American. It also ignores the fact that a free marketplace already has addressed this issue. The National Shooting Sports Foundation has already helped to provide over 38 million gun locks (through partnerships with more than 15,000 law-enforcement departments) to gun owners via its Project Childsafe program.
Pro-Freedom Quote of the Week
“We should be alarmed.” –Illinois State Sen. Dale Righter, a Republican from Illinois District 55. He was referring to SB 107, legislation that would ban possession of almost every semiautomatic rifle and pistol available. If someone already owns one, that person would have 300 days to register the firearm with state police or face a felony charge.