Two days, two gun control bills passed by the House of Representatives. Sorry…as the Democrats are fond of portraying their latest efforts to restrict, complicate and raise the cost of gun ownership, they’ve passed two “gun reform bills.”
On Wednesday they voted to outlaw private gun sales (while preventing 18-20-year-old adults from buying handguns, and raising the prospects of high mandatory transfer fees). Yesterday, they passed an “enhanced background check” bill.
As CNN describes the bill,
The legislation addresses a loophole in current law that enables some firearms to be transferred by licensed gun dealers before the required background checks have been completed, a loophole that allowed Dylann Roof to buy a gun in 2015 and kill nine people at Mother Emanuel Church — one of the most well known historically black churches in Charleston, South Carolina.
The so-called Charleston Loophole, if you’ll remember, resulted from 1) the Columbia, SC police failing to enter Roof’s arrest record into the NICS system, and 2) the FBI failing to complete the background check within the mandated three days.
This bureaucratic failures — hardly unusual — combined with the Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives in November opened the door for the civilian disarmament caucus to “do something” about the Charleston loophole with HR 1112. The fact that there is no Charleston loophole was utterly beside the point.
But as the NRA-ILA makes clear, the House Bill that passed yesterday does much more than add a little extra time for the FBI to do its business.
Under (HR 1112), the 3-day safety valve would be eliminated and replaced with a procedure that provides gun buyers with no protection. If an FFL initiates a check and does not receive a response from NICS after 10 business days, the prospective purchaser may petition the FBI to permit the transfer to proceed. The FFL may not proceed with the transaction until an additional 10 business days have elapsed from the date of the petition.
Existing federal law limits the validity of a NICS background check to 30 calendar days from the date it is initiated. Because H.R. 1112 uses business days and the NICS validity provision is in calendar days, in practice, H.R. 1112 would have no default proceed available.
For example, if H.R. 1112 were to become law, gun buyers who are delayed on the busiest gun buying day of the year, Black Friday, would not be able to clear their delay under H.R. 1112’s provisions before their NICS check expired. Black Friday 2019 falls on November 29th, so the first day that the prospective purchaser could file a petition would be December 14th.
The additional 10-business day wait after the petition would make December 31st the first day that the FFL could transfer the firearm, but that would be prohibited because the NICS check expired on December 29th. The purchaser would have to begin the process again with another NICS check, with the likely result being another delay and the process beginning all over again.
Perfect. Like HR 8, HR 1112 now goes on to the Republican-controlled Senate. And, again, President Trump has promised to veto it if it gets to his desk.
The House just passed #HR1112 to close the Charleston Loophole that let a man filled with hate—a prohibited gun buyer—kill 9 black Americans at the Mother Emanuel AME Church. The new House majority is showing us what it means to truly #honorwithaction. https://t.co/gdU7ALJDYR
— Gabrielle Giffords (@GabbyGiffords) February 28, 2019