Rep. Rashida Tlaib
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (Shutterstock)
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Never underestimate the ability of certain Members of Congress to waste taxpayer dollars and time on proposed legislation that’s either already being done or will do nothing to improve community safety.

Burning tax dollars for press releases gives Congress the appearance of “doing something” but the reality is that some ideas are just plain dumb.

Take for example U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s (D-Mich.) Safe Storage Saves Lives Act, H.R. 4201, that would require “firearm retailer[s] have a compatible gun lock available for every firearm for sale” and states that it “shall be unlawful for any person to offer a firearm for sale unless the person offers for sale a secure gun storage or safety device that is compatible with the firearm,” according to a Fox News report.

This is a solution in search of a problem because this is already being done by the firearm industry. Every firearm shipped from the factory includes a free locking device in the box. The firearm industry has been doing this for more than two decades. NSSF took it a step further, however, and has been administering the Project ChildSafe program. That’s a partnership with 15,000 law enforcement agencies in all 50 states and five U.S. territories to give away free firearm safety kits that include a locking device in the package, along with firearm safety material.

The firearm industry wants all firearms that are not in use to be properly secured when not in use and inaccessible to those who cannot be trusted to possess them without supervision. That includes children, prohibited individuals and those who might be suffering through a mental health crisis or suicidal ideations. The firearm industry has been working at this effort for over 20 years, which has been funded by the firearm industry along with periodic federal and state grants.

Between Project ChildSafe and the firearm manufacturers providing locks, more than 100 million have been distributed. If anyone wants a free lock, they’re available by contacting their local police department which will provide them free of charge and with no questions asked.

Ditch NICS?

It doesn’t end there though. Under the category of “it is already being done,” Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.) introduced legislation to undermine the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). That’s the nationwide federal system that allows firearm retailers to know instantly if an individual is prohibited from possessing a firearm. NSSF has been working since 2013 to FixNICS to improve record submissions to ensure all disqualifying criminal and adjudicated mental health records are submitted to the FBI.

Some states use their own background check systems. Those states are called point-of contact states. There are thirteen states, including Rep. Dean’s Pennsylvania, that run their own background checks on firearm purchases. Rep. Dean wants more money for more states to opt out and create a patchwork of state systems with H.R. 4159, to establish a grant program through the Department of Justice (DOJ) to incentivize states to establish point-of-contact systems for firearm sales subject to a background check.

4473 NICS background check

Rep. Dean wants to use federal tax dollars to have state agencies do what a federal agency already does. The point-of-contact states that run their own background checks electronically access the FBI’s NICS. The proposal would create duplicative and costly systems that would only waste taxpayer dollars and create potential delays in the ability of law-abiding citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights when they legally purchase a firearm.

Retailer Burdens

Not to be outdone, Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) re-introduced H.R. 3824, the Trafficking Reduction and Criminal Enforcement (TRACE) Act, to prevent the illegal sale of firearms. The Gun Control Act, signed into law in 1968, already makes it a felony to sell a firearm to anyone who cannot pass a background check. To be fair, Rep. Quigley’s legislation doesn’t do any of that. It would only put more requirements on firearm retailers and the firearm industry but doesn’t address the criminals illegally-obtaining or criminally-misusing firearms.

His bill would require the FBI NICS to maintain an electronic record of every firearm transfer for 180 days, instead of the 24-hour requirement that the transfer record be purged from the system. It would also require firearm retailers to report lost or stolen firearms. That’s already a requirement under Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and federal law. Firearm retailers are required to report lost or stolen firearms within 48 hours of discovery to ATF and to the local law enforcement agency.

The firearm industry has been active on that front too. NSSF partners with DOJ and ATF for Operation Secure Store to raise awareness among retailers and encourage enhancements to security. As part of this effort, when a firearm is stolen from a retailer, NSSF matches ATF rewards to recover the firearm and bring the criminals to justice. NSSF worked with Rep. John Rutherford (R-Fla.) and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to re-introduce the Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act to increase criminal penalties for criminals burglarizing or robbing firearm retailers. Congress should pass this bipartisan legislation that is supported by every major law enforcement group in the country.

Big Brother technology eye

Unfortunately, Rep. Quigley has yet to support that legislation but opts instead to layer requirements on firearm retailers and require firearm manufacturers to include secret serial numbers visible only under infrared light hidden within a firearm and nullify the Tiahrt Amendment by opening up incomplete firearm trace data for public access that would put criminal investigations and law enforcement safety at risk.

Watchlists, Serialized Ammo & More Taxes

Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) re-introduced H.R. 4202, Multiple Firearm Sales Reporting Modernization Act, which would require firearm retailers to report the sale of two or more long guns, including semi-automatic rifles such as AR-15s and AK-47s, to an individual within a five-day period. Since AR-15s – or modern sporting rifles (MSRs) are the most-popular selling centerfire rifles in America, and the legislation would require a report on sales of two or more of all firearms.

To be clear, this would be a report of any individual that’s already passed a background check to legally purchase a long gun. Rep. Torres’ bill wouldn’t provide actionable intelligence for law enforcement to hold criminals accountable. It would only add mountains of needles to the haystacks that investigators must sort through. It would also set a troubling precedent of creating government watchlists for individuals lawfully exercising their fundamental Constitutional rights.

Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) might have the most outlandish notions, though. He introduced H.R. 4330, legislation to require serial numbers to be engraved on ammunition. That would turn the production of ammunition from a day-long process to one that would potentially take a month. That would also considerably increase the cost of ammunition as the technology required to make this possible and the record-keeping overhead would be passed along to the customer. Cartridge serialization ideas already failed in California and New York because it was impossible to implement.

9mm ammunition ammo cartridges
(Dan Z. for TTAG)

Rep. Davis doesn’t stop there. He also introduced, H.R. 4283, the Gun Violence Prevention and Safe Communities Act. That bill would increase the federal excise tax on firearms and ammunition and add a new tax on MSR frames and receivers to fund federal gun control grants. The firearm and ammunition industry already pays a 10 and 11 percent excise tax that funds wildlife conservation. This new tax, though, would direct an estimated $20 to $36 million in new taxes that would be added to the costs shouldered by law-abiding gun purchasers but doesn’t do anything to hold criminals accountable for their crime.

There are better things to do with taxpayer dollars and time. Introducing do-nothing bills is the antithesis of “doing something.” These Members of Congress should be focused on holding criminals accountable instead of chasing headlines.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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    • so tired of having to look at nasty toenails, skin tags, fat people, and zits to read stuff on this website.

      the comment section used to be worth reading too. now everything is “demonrats” or “congress critters” or other puerile crap.

      what happened to all the adults that used to comment here?

  1. The lists are always a hoot.

    You’re too dangerous to fly, too dangerous to own a gun, too dangerous to do whatever and you must be watched 24/7 but apparently you’re totally safe to leave out on the streets among other people so I guess the government making these lists doesn’t really care for the other people, then, right?

    Prisons will be a thing of the past soon enough as the surveillance state, growing popular disdain for any individual rights and coming federal police force effectively turn the totality of the United States into one big prison complete with random cell tossing. How else will they check up on those safe-storage requirements?

  2. Let’s see…Could the problem be the stupid people who vote for wordsmith democRats who lie, cheat and scheme to sell Gun Control? But don’t bother Defining Gun Control for an obviously Gun Control History illiterate voting public…why that’s a waste of time…so I have been told.

  3. If you really want to tax something in order to save lives, how about a $10,000 tax on every abortion? Any money collected would go toward adoption of children.

  4. 🤣🤣🤣

    Media meltdown IMMINENT: DeSantis advocates to “Drop a few smuggling cartel members” at the border.

  5. “ensure all disqualifying criminal and adjudicated mental health records are submitted to the FBI.”

    Please stop saying this. In 2014 in PA the State Police (PSP) began prosecuting ALL background check denials that aren’t appealed. What we found out is that it is a bunch of people who had some minor run in with law enforcement or the mental health system in their youth and were improperly reported into the PSPs PICS (Pennsylvania Instant Check System).

    Years, often decades, later they try to buy a gun for a legitimate purpose and get jacked up by the system. It’s a mess, a disaster, and a life altering tragedy for thos it happens to.

    No one has any interest in fixing it. The PSP is getting good arrest numbers and can say they stopped ‘dangerous criminals’ from getting guns. The anti gun crowd never met a denial they didn’t like. The pro gun crowd is afraid they will get labeled soft on crime. And God forbid they helped one of these people get a gun and some tragedy happened later, the antis would beat that drum forever.

    So these poor souls are on their own, and most don’t have the time, or money to fight it or the knowledge to even know what to do.

  6. anyone following this?

    White House Orders Department Of Defense To Limit YOUR Access To Guns!!

    • “White House Orders Department Of Defense To Limit YOUR Access To Guns“

      Fake news, no new limits placed on any civilian purchases.

  7. I didnt read the article, I might go back, but that pic of that woman got me laughing so hard, lolx2. I seen a cottonmouth snake all pissed off and mad about it. That picture is funny.
    Would you stick your Gock in a mouth like that? Not me buddy. Might get it bit off clean up to the elbow Amos.

    • Hey, if it’s a dangerous animal, you just MIGHT have to stick your Glock…oh wait, we’re not talking about firearms, are we? Nevermind!

  8. Well it points out two things very quickly. Most of these anti-gunners are dumb and too lazy to see what already exists. In actuality they really don’t care and keep collecting checks for doing nothing important or good for the Country. We need to boycott providing any services to the federal government and its agencies until they start acting responsibly. No food, office supplies, military weapons, gasoline, etc. etc. . Just shut them down until they start doing their jobs or quit.

  9. I noticed that when the RINO’s have no chance in hell of passing the bills that we gun owning conservatives want, they will propose them. When they get control of congress and the white house they forget all about it. Smoke & mirrors.

    • Ed,

      My oldest son has a theory about that that I am intrigued with. It is his contention that NEITHER side WANTS to “solve” any of these problems; they want to fund raise and campaign off of them. If the Dims or Republicans actually FIXED any of these problems, they’d have to actually find some other reason for you to vote for them and give them money. When the Republicans took back Congress after the Obummercare debacle, they had campaigned on “repealing Obamacare” – and would introduce bills, and hold show votes on them, but somehow never managed to use their majority to actually pass anything. Ditto for the Dims and “comprehensive immigration reform”, the Republicans and getting rid of corporate welfare, or passing the Hearing Protection Act.

      I can’t prove it, but . . . it forces one to ask “cui bono?”. BOTH parties, by maintaining reliable campaign talking points that appeal to “their base” and keep those sweet campaign contribution dollars flowing. It’s all Kabuki theater.

      • Thats an interesting take actually. I read an article the other day about the gay movement being hijacked by the LGBTQ whatever movement, and the gays are not cool with it (they were happy with being accepted in society/gay marriage etc) but it just keeps careening left. And the reason is these groups have to keep their coffers fed. Have to keep money coming in because this is their “job” now. I can’t explain it as well but maybe you get the picture

        • And I would say that BLM is in a similar vein…it’s all grift and doesn’t actually help the communities it’s supposedly standing up for–look at how great things have gone in Minneapolis post-Floyd.

      • Good luck getting Congress to do a useful job–other than trying to keep their job. Campaigning is hard…just like adulting.

  10. The bill i want passed into law would remove any and all lawmakers that write, sign onto, or vote for a bill that goes against the constitutional rights of the citizens. Once removed , they could never run for office again nor have voting rights.

    • How about: “For every reduction of 1,000 federal regulations, every congressman gets a $10k bonus. It must however be a true, net reduction. None of this “We slowed the pace of growth, therefore it is a reduction” water buffalo crap. Bonus them on true net reductions.

      Then, bonus them again on true net reduction to the Federal payroll (including contractors).


  11. “Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) might have the most outlandish notions, though. He introduced H.R. 4330, legislation to require serial numbers to be engraved on ammunition.”

    Someone better invent some new numbers because a 10 digit system won’t suffice for this Brainiac’s idea.

  12. Running their own background checks just sounds like somebody’s brother in law needs a job.
    I’m about tired of these Make A Jobs that cost tax money. Grifting.

  13. Looking in that hag’s mouth makes me wonder if she is in the same club as Veepthroat 😂

    • I was thinking Lorena Bobbitt but Lorena probably had a little more sense than ratshita.

  14. If these anti gun idiots could wave their magic thingy and make ever firearm in North America disappear today, someone would be on the net, or phone figuring out how to smuggle in shipping containers of misc. machine parts disguised as guns. Hell, if the powers that be can’t stop some peon toting a bale of pot or rucksack full of coke, how do they think the same routine wouldn’t happen with a couple rifles, several handguns or a couple ammo cans?
    Next question is just how are these proposed laws, restrictions, or regulations supposed to prevent any person with evil or criminal intent from finding a way to arm themselves?
    Sorry, but murder, robbery, assault/battery and rape have been illegal for quite some time. Have any of those who committed those crimes been deterred by it being illegal? Not so you’d notice.

  15. Maybe if Rashida Tlaib would just focus on passing Redflag laws then Larry Keane could get behind her and then the NSSF would give her A-grades on her legislative report cards.

  16. Democrats only have lies, cheating, and hypocrisy to stand on. Everything else is merely contrivances to cow their lemmings into thinking they are worth their salary.

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