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Democrats to Introduce Bill Expanding Background Checks on Gun Sales

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Jan. 8, 2019 10:00 a.m. ET
 

Democrats’ long-pledged push to tighten the country’s gun laws will take center stage when lawmakers introduce legislation Tuesday aimed at expanding background checks on gun sales.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), Rep. Mike Thompson (D., Calif.), who leads a task force focused on reducing gun violence, and former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D., Ariz.) will officially unveil the legislation expanding background checks to more commercial sales and private transfers, with the goal of flagging people with criminal or mental-health histories that disqualify them from gun ownership.

 

The legislation will expand background checks to almost all commercial sales, including private sales at gun shows, as well as other transfers, with just narrow exemptions, according to people familiar with its text. Currently, federal laws require the checks only for sales by federally licensed dealers, though some states have added their own requirements.

The measure, which is expected to have some Republican support, will likely pass the House later this year but is expected to stall in the GOP-led Senate. Yet, after decades of little action under both Republicans and Democrats, proponents of tighter gun laws said passage in even one chamber would mark political progress on an issue that flares up frequently after mass shootings.

“It’s a political moment that is a necessary prerequisite to a policy moment,” said Mark Glaze, the former executive director of Everytown for Gun Safety, a group founded by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “A shift in political attitudes in the House is step one toward a shift in political attitudes among more Republicans in the Senate.”

The bill’s introduction falls on the eighth anniversary of the day Ms. Giffords was shot in the head outside a Safeway in Tucson. Less than a week after Democrats took control of the House, the timing also highlights how high they plan to prioritize reducing gun violence as the 2020 presidential primary heats up. In the 2018 midterms, gun control became a litmus test for Democrats, a shift from years past when many in tight races emphasized their support for gun rights.

Some Republicans are expected to back the measure in the House, but many GOP lawmakers have criticized bills expanding background checks as ineffective in stopping criminals from obtaining firearms.

“To me it doesn’t violate anyone’s rights and it puts in very basic protections,” said Rep. Peter King (R., N.Y.), who is a co-sponsor of the bill. But he said for many Republicans, critics of tighter gun laws are a stronger political force. “Those who are opposed to it are much more intense and much more likely to vote on that as their main issue,” he said.

The National Rifle Association said it expects to oppose the House bill, noting that there already is a background-checks system in place.

“So-called universal background checks will never be universal because criminals do not comply with the law,” NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said in a statement. “Instead of looking for effective solutions that will deal with root cause of violent crime and save lives, antigun politicians would rather score political points and push ineffective legislation that doesn’t stop criminals from committing crimes.”

Congress has made only incremental changes to the country’s gun laws in recent years. After the shooting of 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., a bill to expand background checks to all online sales and sales at gun shows narrowly failed in the Senate in 2013.

Bipartisan groups of lawmakers have also pushed to prevent suspected terrorists from buying firearms by prohibiting individuals on the government’s “no fly” list, but a series of proposals all came up short in 2016, following the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

In March, Congress did tuck a provision in a spending bill signed by President Trump to strengthen compliance with the national background check system for buying firearms. The measure added incentives for states and federal agencies, including the military, to submit criminal-conviction records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS. Federal law requires agencies to submit relevant records, but at the state level, compliance is voluntary unless mandated by state law or federal funding requirements.

The last time Congress passed far more sweeping changes to gun laws was in the 1990s after a series of mass shootings. A federal 1994 ban on sales of more than a dozen models of assault weapons, including those capable of holding more than 10 bullets, expired in 2004 and hasn’t been renewed since.

The Trump administration last month issued a sales ban on bump stocks, the firearm attachments that allow semiautomatic weapons to fire like machine guns that were used during the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting.  Although the NRA supported that move, others, including some federal regulators, have questioned the government’s authority to issue the ban.

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My question is how do they plan on enforcing this? The only way possible is massive enforced registration... Am I right or am I missing something?

Because this seems to be getting some RINO support..

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1 hour ago, 1fast4by said:

My question is how do they plan on enforcing this? The only way possible is massive enforced registration... Am I right or am I missing something?

Because this seems to be getting some RINO support..

In its current form the bill won't pass the Senate.  In the House, it will perform a useful function -- all Republicans who vote for it can be added to the list of those to be vigorously opposed in the 2020 primaries.

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I have a feeling that we'll be on the losing side of this fight. It appears that the majority of the populace want this.

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1 minute ago, SWJewellTN said:

I have a feeling that we'll be on the losing side of this fight. It appears that the majority of the populace want this.

What is the source of your comment?

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2 minutes ago, hipower said:

What is the source of your comment?

Polls I've seen posted.

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Just now, SWJewellTN said:

 

Polls I've seen posted.

I hadn't seen those. But remember polls are subject to really one-sided and targeted responses, as well as can be weighted by the population group taking them.

Not that I'm questioning you as person, I just tend to be very leery of polling stats.

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Just now, hipower said:

I hadn't seen those. But remember polls are subject to really one-sided and targeted responses, as well as can be weighted by the population group taking them.

Not that I'm questioning you as person, I just tend to be very leery of polling stats.

I agree about polls, but my gut feeling on this one says we'll lose too. The majority of people are not invested in the subject and they want to see SOMETHING done whether it will actually accomplish the mission or not. Heck, I don't know off the top of my head if ANY of the mass shooters got their weapon absent a background check.

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This would have zero impact on crime-if background checks were to work they wouldn't be needing anything more.

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4 hours ago, DWARREN123 said:

This is the future, maybe not this time but it is coming!

You are correct. It is not a question of if it will happen but rather when it will happen.

 

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Guys, we need to fight this with every ounce of energy that we have.  The time for letting the NRA, GOA, 2AF, and everyone else fight for our rights is long past.  It's time to actually get off our butts and make it important enough that we call, write, email, and even VISIT our elected representatives and tell them that there will be hell to pay at the voting booth if they support this.

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14 hours ago, krunchnik said:

This would have zero impact on crime-if background checks were to work they wouldn't be needing anything more.

True...but since when do actual real world events matter in the world of politics.

In that world, 2 things matter. Do something...anything...to appear being on top of the situation, and to retain power. Both usually at the expense of the general public.

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Trump is negotiating with congressional leaders today. This is a priority for them. I would bet if any real negotiations take place; support for this is on the table.

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14 minutes ago, DaveTN said:

Trump is negotiating with congressional leaders today. This is a priority for them. I would bet if any real negotiations take place; support for this is on the table.

What do you think the odds are he tries to tie this in as a trade off for his priority, the wall. He is after all, King of The Deal®️. I wonder how the faithful on either side would handle that trade off. 

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I usually dont chime in, but..

Has Trump even thought about this?

tRKidt2.jpg

Kinda makes spending money on a wall seem questionable....

  • Haha 1

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3 hours ago, Chucktshoes said:

What do you think the odds are he tries to tie this in as a trade off for his priority, the wall. He is after all, King of The Deal®️. I wonder how the faithful on either side would handle that trade off. 

Short meeting; no one is moving.

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5 minutes ago, DaveTN said:

Short meeting; no one is moving.

Gridlock I can believe in.

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5 hours ago, Chucktshoes said:

What do you think the odds are he tries to tie this in as a trade off for his priority, the wall. He is after all, King of The Deal®️. I wonder how the faithful on either side would handle that trade off. 

This is why I feel that Trump wants the issue more than the win.  If he was serious about getting the wall, he has to know this is something he has to trade for.  The fact that there are no hints of a concession on another topic tells me he's not as serious as he lets on...and why not, he's based a lot of his short political career on calling for the wall, so what would come next?   

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22 minutes ago, btq96r said:

This is why I feel that Trump wants the issue more than the win.  If he was serious about getting the wall, he has to know this is something he has to trade for.  The fact that there are no hints of a concession on another topic tells me he's not as serious as he lets on...and why not, he's based a lot of his short political career on calling for the wall, so what would come next?   

🤔 

You might be into something here. 

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I sure most here agree that we don't need any more gun laws as criminals continue to break laws everyday. Just remember that if you give them an inch they will take a mile. I have read several comments in the past from folks in the UK and Australia warning Americans not to cave in and give an inch. We all do need to contact our elected officials and voice our concerns. Tell them to look at places like Chicago, New York and other places with stringent gun laws and people are being killed each and every day. To me that proves that the gun laws are not effective in curtailing crime. Kinda like the wall on previous post by Ronald, it won't keep people out, it may slow them down but that is all.

Edited by Dirtshooter

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7 hours ago, Ronald_55 said:

I usually dont chime in, but..

Has Trump even thought about this?

tRKidt2.jpg

Kinda makes spending money on a wall seem questionable....

And here i thought those mexican jumping beans didn't work :)

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3 minutes ago, FUJIMO said:

And here i thought those mexican jumping beans didn't work :)

If they run out of them..they might have to go high tech.

QfxLMp5.jpg

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