Last week we looked at four controversial Senate Bills for anti-gun activists to enjoy and pro-gun activists to abhor.  This week, we present four bills anti-gun activists will love in the House.

H.R. 77: Border Security, Cooperation, and Act Now Drug War Prevention Act of 2011
Sponsor: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D.-Texas)
Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Border, Maritime, and Global Counterterrorism on Jan. 31, 2011

This bill performs several functions many Americans will appreciate, such as employing, arming, and equipping new border control and drug enforcement agents to police the US/Mexico border. 

However, this bill also deploys 500 new agents for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.  Given the recent Fast and Furious scandal, gun owners will probably feel uncomfortable with the $150 million of taxpayer money that will go partially to strengthening the ATF.

H.R. 227: Child Gun Safety and Gun Access Prevention Act of 2011
Sponsor: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D.-Texas)
Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security on Jan. 24, 2011

This bill raises the age limit for possession to 21, under penalty of fines and/or prison.

Were this to be law, for example, it would be illegal for a female college freshman or sophomore to own a handgun to defend herself from a rapist. Additionally, this bill would ban anyone under 18—even a teenager who can already hunt and shoot with his father—from entering a gun show without adult supervision.  It requires public schools to offer gun safety courses to parents and children.

H.R. 367: Freedom to Serve Without Fear Act of 2011
Sponsor: Rep. Laura Richardson (D.-Calif), Co-sponsored by Rep. Frederica S. Wilson (D.-Fla.)
Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security on 2/7/2011

The bill prohibits citizens from carrying a firearm within 250 feet of the entrance to any building where a congressman is campaigning or working, with the exception of the gun-owner’s private property or business.  Members of Congress would even have to file a permit with the chief of police in order to carry guns at other members’ events. 

According to the bill, fear of gun violence at campaign and other public events currently deters citizens from entering the political process, so the government should encourage states to create legislation that would similarly disallow the transport of a firearm near any city councilor, even your local school-board member. 

The more draconian version of this bill, H.R. 496, would make the distance 1,000 feet of the building exterior, and raise the penalty to a felony with a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

H.R. 1552: Preventing Gun Violence Act
Sponsor: Rep. Steve J. Israel (D.-N.Y.)
Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security on July 11, 2011

According to the bill’s introduction its purpose is to prohibit the possession of a firearm by a person who is adjudicated to have committed a violent act while a juvenile. Its definition of violent act is any crime which could lock an adult in prison for a year—including a schoolyard fight. 

Israel said Congress has the right to pass this bill based on Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the US Constitution, which gives Congress the right to regulate Commerce.

As with last week’s bills, these bills must survive their subcommittees, then the full committee, before they can make it to the House and then the Senate to become law. 

Some bills may die in subcommittee, but if a bill is very popular among House members, they can vote to have it discharged from the committee and brought to the floor.

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