The bipartisan group of Senators who have been “negotiating” our rights is all the talk right now. “Negotiating” is in quotations because only one side is giving anything up here, as usual. TTAG’s Jennifer Sensiba has a rundown of that if you need to get up to speed.
The deal announced over the weekend is still just a “framework.” No legislation has been written. It’s basically an agreement to consider a bill, but gun owners aren’t the only ones who are unhappy. Many gun control advocated aren’t happy with the deal either…they think the restrictions on gun rights don’t go far enough, but they see it as a first step.
The US House of Representatives recently passed a series of bills that are loaded with the kinds of “commonsense” “gun safety” restrictions Democrats really want. None of those measures is likely to pass the Senate with its filibuster. But as the Senate has clearly shown, Republicans are willing to talk about gun control.
There are at least ten Republican Senators who can’t be counted upon to stand up for Constitutional rights. That’s enough to break the filibuster if the gun controllers sweeten the deal enough.
The bipartisan group means to put more “red flag” confiscation laws in place by structuring a bill that incentivizes states to enact them. It’s basically an end run around the filibuster to get what they want without forcing Senators to actually vote on confiscation. Never mind that red flag laws are, by definition, unconstitutional violations of individuals’ due process rights.
If that works, expect the Feds to try the same approach with other measures. State legislatures are always looking for more federal cash, so it might be an effective tactic.
The gun control industry want to move fast and get this done while the media are actively helping to push their agenda and Uvalde is fresh in voters’ minds. Pull up any news site and you’ll see how many “mass shootings” took place last weekend.
Never mind that it’s like that it’s almost all gang-on-gang and criminal activity taking place in Democrat-controlled large cities. Why let nuance get in the way of a perfectly good agenda?
So, here’s a quick look at what still on the anti-gunners’ wish list . . .
1: Universal Background Checks
Yes, I know we hear this one constantly. The House passed this back in 2019 as HR 8 and then again as HR 1446 last March. It’s been floating around ever since. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer would dearly love to bring this one to the floor, but he knows he doesn’t have the votes.
Keep in mind that background checks on every gun sale, commercial or private, is only enforceable through a national gun registry, which is currently illegal. Savvier anti-gun politicians, including Schumer, know that.
“Universal” background checks will fail to reduce crime in any meaningful way, giving civilian disarmament advocates an excuse to push for a full-blown registry. I think that’s the real endgame here. Schumer is on record saying that all he’s asking for is registration. This is a step in that direction.
2: A National Firearms License
The current iteration of this idea comes from New Jersey Senator Cory Booker. His bill, if passed, would raise the age to buy any firearm to 21 and require anyone wishing to own a gun to obtain a license from the Department of Justice.
It’s unclear whether that license would cover all firearms or if you have to get a license for each one. I suspect Booker would prefer the latter. The bill doesn’t have anything close to the support it needs to pass the Senate.
3: An ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban
This has been a big one since Bill Clinton’s ban expired in 2004. California’s Dianne Feinstein has reliably trotted out her versions again and again. Given the fact that so-called assault weapons are used in only a tiny fraction of crimes committed and AR pattern rifles are incredibly popular among the gun-buying public, none of the proposals for a new AWB have some anywhere close to passing. This could, however, be a prime candidate for federal bribery of the states.
There are an estimated 20 million AR-15s in the US. That doesn’t count the other models that would also qualify under various definitions of an “assault weapon.” So America’s favorite rifles are, by any definition, in common use as defined in the Heller decision. But since when have gun controllers cared about constitutional niceties?
4: The House’s Gun Control Bills
As noted earlier, the House passed a package of eight bills they predictably named the Protecting Our Kids Act. While it isn’t expected that any of it could clear the Senate, the measures include . . .
This raises the age to purchase any firearm to 21 years old. Interestingly, the very liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that California’s ban in sales to adults under 21 is unconstitutional. But that was only a three-judge panel. Whether an en banc panel agrees remains to be seen.
Straw Purchase and Gun Trafficking Measures
This would make straw purchases of firearms and gun trafficking illegal. Never mind that both are already illegal and have been for decades. I sometimes wonder about the people’s mental capacity of our elected representatives, but this was done for a purpose.
Gun controllers never pass up an opportunity to stoke fear in the ignorant and gullible and this is one of those times. It furthers the narrative of unfettered, unregulated gun transfers on street corners and in parking lots. Most people only know what the media spoon feeds them and they rarely dish up anything accurate where the topic is America’s gun laws.
All Firearms Must be Traceable
This is a federal ban on “ghost guns.” Americans have been making their own firearms since we were British colonies and no one in the gun-grabbing community is happy about that. This would only be truly enforceable through a national registry that accounts for all gun sales.
The reality is anyone can buy the parts needed to build a gun at Home Depot in exchange for a piece of paper with Andrew Jackson’s portrait on it. They can also buy a 3D printer for under $250 and turn out their own very functional firearms with increasing ease. In other words, whatever the law says, government simply can’t stop the signal.
Safe Storage Mandate
As usual, gun controllers want to dictate how you use your own property. Of course we should store our firearms safely. But if you have a home defense gun, storing it unloaded and locked away, separate from the ammunition means you don’t really have a home defense gun.
Let’s be honest…that’s the point for the anti-gunners, isn’t it? Say it with me: The operative word in “gun control” is “control.” Safe storage laws also appear to be questionable under the Heller decision, but that’s yet to be decided.
Closing the ‘Bump Stock Loophole’
Whatever that is. Seriously, that’s a new one on me. The ATF put bump stock makers out of business years ago and “loophole” means anything that gun controllers don’t like.
Magazine Capacity Limits
They say this will help keep Americans safe. If I roll my eyes any harder, I’ll be looking out the back of my head.
Here’s an excerpt from the bill’s language . . .
It shall be unlawful for a person to import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, a large capacity ammunition feeding device.
Notice they don’t provide a number defining “large capacity.” That gives them room to keep reducing it as they see fit. The goal, as we all know, is an ultimate magazine capacity of ZERO.
Remember that police and other government agencies are exempt from this limit. The people looking to impose these restrictions on you aren’t about to compromise their own security. Because they’re important.
Also remember that the Supreme Court has already ruled that cops have no duty to protect private citizens. That’s on you. Not that gun controllers give a damn about that. Or you.
And let’s not kid ourselves. The gun controllers don’t really want to get rid of guns. They just want the government to have a monopoly on them and their use. Big difference. Again, it’s all about the control.
5: The ‘Accountability for Online Firearms Marketplaces Act’
Colorado Congressman Jason Crow thinks it would be a great idea to remove legal protections for online sellers of firearms and gun parts. There’s a Senate version, too. If enacted, the bill would remove section 230 protection from online sellers.
As Feinstein’s press release noted . . .
The Accountability for Online Firearms Marketplaces Act would clarify Section 230 to ensure that the law’s blanket liability shield does not apply to online firearms marketplaces. In enacting Section 230, Congress did not intend to grant a sweeping liability shield to all companies, including firearms marketplaces, merely because they operate in cyberspace. Under the Accountability for Online Firearms Marketplaces Act, online firearms marketplaces will no longer enjoy sweeping, blanket immunity—a change which will help take guns out of the hands of dangerous persons seeking to evade background checks and other gun safety measures.
In other words, if someone shoots up his workplace and bought the firearm legally through a transaction arranged on a web site like, say, Armslist or Gunbroker, the platforms could be sued into bankruptcy.
It would effectively shut down many of these online platforms. But that, of course, is the goal.
6: A 1,000 Percent Tax on ‘Assault Weapons’
You’ve may have heard about this garbage bill being pushed by Virginia Congressman Don Beyer. It’s patently absurd, but there’s a slim chance it could be brought to a vote through the reconciliation process.
That means that, as a tax measure, it’s attached to a large general tax bill that most of our “representatives” will vote for. Reconciliation bills only require a simple majority in the Senate, thus bypassing the 60-vote filibuster hurdle. That’s how oily politicians like Beyer get things done.
No one really thinks this one will fly. It raises legal questions under the 1943 Supreme Court Murdock vs. Pennsylvania case on taxing Constitutional rights and would be ripe for court challenges.
I’ve heard it opined that the bill is intentionally extreme in order to make the other stuff in the pipeline seem “reasonable.” Maybe. Control freaks like Beyer will do everything they can to kill things they don’t like and they really don’t like civilian gun ownership.
Once again, Beyer’s personal security would be unaffected because the police and government agencies would be exempt from the tax.
Keep Up to Date
This stuff is important. Ever since the 1934 National Firearms Act, gun rights on the federal level have flowed steadily away from We the People. Rarely has anything come back our way.
Once something is gone, it tends to stay gone, especially in the current political climate. Unlike the 1994 “assault weapons” ban, there won’t be a sunset clause on any of this that may be signed into law. If you don’t stand up and speak now, you might never get the chance.
If you don’t care about ARs and AKs, I urge you to reconsider your stance. It won’t be long before your deer rifle becomes a “sniper rifle” and your bird gun a “riot gun.” Stay informed. The control freaks will never be satisfied.