Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is demanding Majority Leader Mitch McConnell bring back members of Congress for a special session to pass HR8, the so-called “universal background check” bill passed by the house earlier this year.
BREAKING: After El Paso and Dayton shooting attacks, Minority Leader Schumer says Majority Leader McConnell “must call the Senate back for an emergency session to put the House-passed universal background checks legislation on the Senate floor for debate and a vote immediately.”
— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 4, 2019
As of this writing, we don’t know if the killer in Dayton, Ohio went through a background check, but the Texas Tribune has reported that the suspect in the El Paso shootings did go through a background check and legally purchased the firearm used in the attack.
The gunman charged in the deadly attack that took the lives of 20 people in El Paso has been charged with state capital murder charges.
— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) August 4, 2019
What we do know is the HR8, the federal universal background check law, is completely unenforceable, at least as a pro-active crime fighting tool. Can Senator Schumer explain how law enforcement would find out about a private transfer or sale of a firearm that took place without a background check? We’re talking about private party sales here. How would the federal government even be aware of such a sale?
Even if such a law were put on the books, and could somehow be enforced, fans of the law are ignoring one obvious response at the local level: “sanctuary” policies that forbid local, county, or even state governments from cooperating with federal law enforcement to enforce certain federal laws. There are hundreds of governmental bodies that have adopted similar policies when it comes to ICE enforcement, and while the 2nd Amendment sanctuary movement is much newer, any new federal gun control law is likely to lead to an explosive growth in the number of communities around the country putting 2nd Amendment sanctuary policies on the books.
Obviously if Democrats do get a special session of Congress, they won’t be restricting their demands to “universal background checks”. Already we’ve seen a number of Democrats, including Senator Kamala Harris, demand a ban on semi-automatic long guns.
Sen. Kamala Harris: “Assault weapons are designed to kill a lot of people quickly. There is no reason that they should exist on the streets of a civil society.” pic.twitter.com/EJVClRyVFQ
— The Hill (@thehill) August 4, 2019
As I noted on Twitter, this mindset reminds me of an earlier prohibitionary period in American history.
“Saloons are designed to intoxicate a lot of people quickly. There’s no reason they should exist on the streets of a civil society” – Prohibition advocates, 1918.
“Crap, we made things a lot worse, didn’t we?” – Prohibition advocates, 1933. https://t.co/NTsxDZJWsg
— Cam Edwards (@CamEdwards) August 4, 2019
Anti-gun politicians will be offering empty promises of easy solutions, and gun control groups will be mobilizing as many Americans as they can to demand those unenforceable (and in many cases unconstitutional) laws be put on the books. It is unlikely that Mitch McConnell would bring Congress back into session but now would be a good time to contact your Representative and Senators regardless.