GOA: Senate Rule Change Would “Grease the Skids” for Civilian Disarmament

 

The National Rifle Association (NRA) said their post-presidential inauguration piece last night. This morning, the Gun Owners of America (GOA) sent out an alert warning that Senate rule changes could ease the way for gun confiscation. Yeah, Larry Pratt’s Boyz are a little further forward-thinking that Wayne’s mob, but just because they’re using the “c” word doesn’t mean they’re wrong. In fact, they’re both right. As you’d hope. GOA press release:

“It’s probably a harbinger of sell-outs to come.  But Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell [above] is apparently about to conclude an agreement with Majority Leader Harry Reid which would sell out pro-gunners and decimate minority rights under the Senate rules.  This change could occur as early as Wednesday.  If enacted, it could handcuff pro-gun forces and keep them from defeating the most radical initiatives aimed at restricting our Second Amendment rights . . .

The first of two changes would allow Harry Reid -– and only Harry Reid –- to circumvent the hurdles that the minority could use to slow down a controversial gun control bill.

As you may remember from the fight over the anti-gun ObamaCare bill, the filibuster of the “motion to proceed” is the last point where pro-gunners can delay a bill before Harry Reid can bribe Senators and buy votes with deals like the infamous Cornhusker Kickback.

If Reid follows this procedure, McConnell could offer two “germane” amendments on behalf of Republicans.  But given the willingness of Democrats to destroy the Senate rules by brute force, you can expect them to drastically limit what amendments would be considered “germane,” thus restricting the ability of the minority to effectively filibuster an anti-gun bill.

The second Reid-McConnell amendment would make it virtually impossible to stop a bill from going to House-Senate conference committee.

Currently, if pro-gunners suspect that Democrats intend to take a tiny bill and write comprehensive gun control in a House-Senate conference, they can stop the bill from going to conference and require that it be bounced back-and-forth in an amendable form — what is known as ping-ponging — between the two houses.

But this Reid-McConnell change would allow Reid to force a conference to prevent the minority from, once again, stopping gun control legislation from being written in a conference committee and crammed down Senators’ throats on a take-it-or-leave it basis.

The bottom line?  Given that Harry Reid has consistently abused the Senate rules and locked Republicans out of the amendment process, why should McConnell reward him with this massive expansion of his powers?

And what does this say about the likelihood that McConnell will show any courage on the gun issue when it comes before the U.S. Senate?

The President and his allies in the Congress want to impose Universal Background Checks, among other things, upon every gun purchaser in America.  This would finally give gun grabbers the information they need to identify and register every gun buyer (whether the purchase was completed as a private sale or through a gun dealer).

Given that the Democrats in New York are trying to CONFISCATE guns from law-abiding gun owners, gun owners should rise with ONE VOICE in opposing any legislation or rules changes that would allow federal bureaucrats to register gun owners.

And more to the point, gun owners need to contact their Senators immediately and demand that they leave the Senate rules alone!

At the rate that Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is going — if he concludes a deal limiting the use of the filibuster — it would not be surprising if a number of primary opponents emerge to challenge him.

ACTION:  Click here to contact your U.S. Senators immediately.  While you can contact them here through CapWiz, we would strongly encourage you to call your Senators and DEMAND that they leave the filibuster alone!

You can reach them by calling the U.S. Senate switchboard at 202-224-3121.  And, please call Sen. Mitch McConnell (202-224-2541) and tell him to make NO DEALS to limit the use of the filibuster.

Please note that we have included separate letters for Republicans and Democrat Senators.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

62 Responses to GOA: Senate Rule Change Would “Grease the Skids” for Civilian Disarmament

  1. avatarAccur81 says:

    Feinstein “represents” me, and won’t repond to my letters…

    • avatarJohn Bergmann says:

      You & me both.

      • avatarChainsaw Ninja says:

        Same here. I’ve written several letters and have gotten 0 responses.

        • avatarKirk says:

          I am with you there, guys. The food’s good in SF — perhaps even the best — but pretty much elsewise a slum with a view.

          Happily, I’m behind enemy lines with you.

    • avatarMark says:

      I used to live near San Franfreakshow and we both know she really doesn’t care what you think.

      • avatarMark N. says:

        To say nothing of the one from the other end of the State, Babs Boxer. No point in writing either one-they are only interested in their own agendas and opinions. As DiFi said before, if she has the votes, she’ll go for the guns. The idea of our republican form of government was to protect the interests of the minority from the tyranny of the majority–and if the fillibuster rule goes, so does protection of the minority. And these dames will be standing there applauding.

      • avatarDirk Diggler says:

        tell her you are a LBGT cross-dressing championship shooter and see what she does

    • avatarDaniel Silverman says:

      Sigh.. Dude I just eat lunch and you said the name of that which shall never be spoken! VERP!!

    • avatarAPBTFan says:

      She’s walked out in the middle of television interviews she didn’t like. No surprise you didn’t hear from her. The woman has been sucking off the taxpayer’s teat her entire working career. She knows who to respond to. You should email her asking that Thanksgiving be officially changed to Tofurkey Day. I bet you’d get a response.

  2. avatarArmchair Command'oh says:

    This isn’t about guns. This is about passing a budget, and immigration reform, and all of the other stuff Congress is supposed to do.

    Harry Reid is not going to force a bunch of Democratic Senators from red states or pro-gun blue states to vote for a ban that has no chance of passing the House. He knows that for those Senators, voting for gun control would be political suicide. Harry is far to self-centered to risk losing his majority in the Senate.

    • avatarTangledThorns says:

      I agree but I don’t take anything for granted.

      • avatarJoke & Dagger says:

        The Feinstein Bill is not the big bad Draconian gun law we need to be worried about. The bad stuff will come in multiple much smaller and stealthier packages outside of the traditional law passing procedures. Repeat, Feinstein Bill is nothing but a distraction.

        • avatarAlphaGeek says:

          Yep. This. In particular, we need to be on the lookout for mag capacity limits getting rolled into a much larger “must-pass” bill.

        • avatarBeninMA says:

          I recall that the Senate put a mag ban into the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, which failed to get the 60 votes needed, but did get a majority.

        • avatarSammy says:

          Until the threat is over I trust no one with my constitutional 2a right. Especially Mr. Reed. The Ds are a treacherous lot, block any advantage they can take. Shoving an economic, budget, or gun control down our throats is equally unacceptable.

        • avatarKirk says:

          Perhaps. But as England has discovered, Gun Control first – sharp, pointy thing later: http://guardamerican.com/index.php/blog/35-politics/453-gun-control-first-sharp-pointy-things-next

        • avatarMark N. says:

          No, its is not a “distraction,” it is an attempt to redefine the playing field as to what is “reasonable.” DiFi will argue–has argued already–that what she is proposing is “commonsense” “reasonable” gun control measures, making anything less than that “unreasonable” and “paranoid.” Last year, except for Reid refusing to assign it to committee, “reasonable” was national reciprocity on CCW. If it does that, it will accomplish its purpose of forcing the pro-gun legislators to compromise. Universal background checks are pretty much a foregone conclusion, as the Republicans have accepted it already. So are tightened state reporting requirements to NICS. A new AWB is unlkely, but mag capacity limits are still on the table, if I read the tea leaves correctly, but not the onerous limits enacted in NY.

    • avatarIrideducs says:

      No. Budgets are passed (under current rules) by 51 votes – no filibuster possible. This is bad bad news on many levels. I remember when the Repubs were threatening to go nuclear (change the rules to largely eliminate the filibuster) and the Dems (including Senator Reid) went non-linear. It was only saved by the Gang of 15. It was a bad idea then and a worse idea now. We need to Senate to do less not more economic and social engineering by the slimmest of majorities. A pox on both their houses, but I would rather have more brakes on both parties than less.

  3. avatarjwm says:

    I think that if the gop wants to destroy it’s base of support amongst all but the wealthy few they can do it by caving in to the dems on gun control.

    I think it’s time for gun owners, regardless of their liberal or conmservative beliefs, to abandon both the dems and the gop in the coming 2014 races. Get all 2a supporters to vote independent and send a clear message to both the dems and the gop. If you don’t support us we will support someone else. And in all our letter writing and emails and phone calls we need to make this clear. No more free ride because we’ve always voted for you.

  4. avatarJohn Bergmann says:

    Called Boxer and DiFi just now. Left a message with staff….for what that is worth.

  5. avatarjames h says:

    I don’t understand how universal background checks without a gun registry. How would the government prove unlawful transfer if they don’t know who owns what? Ahh, wait…. that is the point of universal background checks: to create a registry. Then the registry will be used to confiscate, tax, or otherwise infringe on the rights of gun owners. Clever.
    I am 38 years old, and most of my life gun owners have been losing rights- mostly. I seem to remember that it was illegal at some point to transfer a gun over state lines. Thats been abolished. Concealed carry has also been passed in a lot of states, so that is a victory. On the other hand, I can think of these losses: 2005 barrel ban, 89 ban, 86 ban, along with a ban on most guns from Russia, and a ban of most guns and all ammo from China. Overall we are losing.

    • avatarBrian says:

      You could design a universal check system without a registry component, similarly to how FFLs run checks without a registry. It would rely on gun owners using it to be effective (but so would a registry model). The only point of enforcement would be if a gun was misused and the police or a plaintiff worked out where the gun came from (because the perp told them). The real value to that system is in screening out people who can’t legally buy guns.

      Not saying that is the system that is going to be proposed, or that the actual intent of the system is pure, but it could be done if a pro-2A guy designed it.

      • avatarMark N. says:

        That is how most states ran their long gun checks all along–a background check but no registration of the firearm itself except in the dealer’s records. I don’t know if this applied to handgun sales–in California, handgun sales have been registered for years with the state DOJ. (That has recently changed in California, which as of Jan 1, 2014 will require registration of all long arms as well as handguns.)

        • avatarandarm16 says:

          Here in the state of IL, our background check system is a defacto registry. The state police use the background check system to connect 4473s to FOID holders, and when they know what everyone has.

  6. avatarDDay says:

    Reid won’t try for much for gun control. But what this is about is to get through REALLY liberal judges who will do from the bench what they can’t in legislation. This is about exploding out the bureaucrats to destroy our rights and lifetime appointment judges.

  7. avatarEagleScout87 says:

    sent!

  8. avatarBlinkyPete says:

    Reading through this, and the way things happen in DC, all I can think is “I think a bunch of Kindergartners are making the rules down there.”

  9. avatarMatt in FL says:

    I hit both Marco Rubio and Bill “AK47s are only for killing people” Nelson, for whatever good it will do.

  10. avatarPaul says:

    Sent! And I’ll send another one, too.

  11. avatartdiinva says:

    The change the to filibuster rule was coming and the Democrats will rue the day when they are once again in the minority.

    The bill won’t make through the House. For a group of people who claim to understand the Constitution they seem to think that the Senate can pass legislation on it own.

    • avatarMark N. says:

      The filibuster rules sought to be changed are Senate procedural rules only–rules the Senate is free to enact or change without any input from the other house or any other branch of government.

      • avatartdiinva says:

        And your point is?

        • avatarMark N. says:

          That the bill to change the filibuster rules won’t go to the house, which is what I assumed you refered as you never mentioned the gun ban bill(s). That aside, I think something will pass the House as well, but it won’t be DiFi’s bill.

  12. avatarChuckN says:

    The filibuster is a two edged sword and Reid knows it.
    Essentially, he is seeking to remove the ability of
    the senate minority to hold up bills. This would for all
    intents give the majority unilateral power. However,
    this only works for Reid and progressives as long as
    they remain in the majority. Once out there is nothing
    to stop a full 180 of their implemented policies.
    For example without a filibuster, a conservative majority
    could ram through national CCW, remove the NFA,
    call for a flat tax, and there would be nothing the Senate
    minority could do (Congress would still need to agree)
    Remember what happened in ’94. Reid would be taking
    a huge risk that progressives must cement their positions
    to tyrannical levels before 2014. Removal of the filibuster
    would also remove any doubt that a majority was
    ruling over a powerless minority. Makes it a lot harder
    to blame the opposite party (not that he won’t try).

    He may be seriously considering to remove the filibuster,
    but he could also be bluffing in order to get the GOP
    to agree to raise the debt ceiling.

    • avatarHuman Being says:

      “Reid would be taking a huge risk that progressives must cement their positions to tyrannical levels before 2014.”

      Which inaugural address were *you* watching?

  13. avatarRalph says:

    Once upon a time, there was only one kind of filibuster — the talking filibuster. A senator would take the floor an talk a bill to death by reading peotry, the dictionary or whatever he wanted to do. When he needed a bio break or a nap, he’d yield the floor to a friend for a point of order or a question, which could go on for hours. Then the filibusterer would return to the floor, the friend would send it back to him and the filibusterer would start talking again.

    The rules changed in 1975 because the Senate felt that talking filibusters were unseemly and unnecessary. As a result, we have the motion to proceed filibuster, where any Senator can squash a bill by just saying so unless he’s overridden by 60 votes declaring cloture. But at no time has the talking filibuster been outlawed.

    It takes only 51 votes to change Senate rules. However, Dick Durban said that the Dems don’t have the 51 votes to do so. It’s also notable that a rules vote can be filibustered, and until the rules are changed it would still take 60 votes to invoke cloture (end a filibuster) and proceed to a floor vote.

    No matter what Mitch McConnell might want or say, one Republic Senator — or a Democrat for that matter — who smells a rat can kill the rules change.

    • avatarRussell says:

      One senator can not stop a rules change. He can delay until the majority leader files for cloture and then there is a vote to end debate and then a measure can proceed beardless of opposition. A cloture vote will be needed for any rules change unless the majority makes a move to question the constitutionality of the 60 vote rule with the parliamentarian. If the parliamentarian agrees that it is unconstitutional then the 60 vote dies without even voting on it. This is what was called the nuclear option during president bushes judicial nominee process.

  14. avatarGs650g says:

    They really don’t comprehend the trouble they are brewing. God help us all.

  15. avatarAharon says:

    I’m starting to feel like one of the characters in the ‘Last of the Mohicans’.

  16. avatarduke nukem says:

    ive send a couple of letters to imbecile nelson here in fl and still yet to have a response

  17. avatarRussell says:

    Wile this sounds bad it doesn’t matter what bill leaves conference if the house stays firm and votes it down. Reid can change the rules in the senate but he has no authority over the House.

    • avatarRalph says:

      If you mean that Reid can’t make the House approve a gun ban, you’re right. But if you mean that the House needs to accept the anti-filibuster rules change, then you’re incorrect. The Senate rules are controlled by the Senate only. The House has nothing to say about them. And there’s no such thing as a filibuster in the House.

  18. avatarflboots says:

    If your congressman votes for gun control. Vote them out next election.

  19. avatarLance says:

    Go to National Association for gun rights they have a congressional petition already collecting votes.

  20. avatarNazgul says:

    There are some republicans that don’t give a rat’s a$$ about gun rights, and are waiting for the opportunity to let someone else implement gun prohibition. That way they can be covered by blaming others.

  21. avatarNotsocommon says:

    If anyone thinks that contacting anyone in government will help anything is living in la la land. If enough money is paid to these parasites the best you can hope for is a delay. This issue will not be resolved through kneeling to your King and begging for mercy or compromise. This issue is not negotiable. Anyone that understands what freedom is knows that!

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