On Monday evening, we reported the news that both the National Rifle Association and National Shooting Sports Foundation were sounding the alarm over the possibility that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would begin moving gun control legislation, perhaps as early as next week. Now we’re starting to get a better idea of what exactly Democrats might focus on when they start their push for new gun laws.
On Tuesday, the NRA warned of two bills introduced in the House late Monday evening.
SNEAKY: Late last night, Democrats in Congress introduced two EXTREME GUN CONTROL BILLS pushed by Biden & Pelosi.
🚨@RepThompson’s bill criminalizes private firearm transfers.
🚨@WhipClyburn’s bill gives unelected govt bureaucrats the power to indefinitely delay gun purchases.
— NRA (@NRA) March 2, 2021
There’s actually a third bill that was dropped on Monday night as well, though text of the legislation is not yet available. H.R. 1454, authored by New York Democrat Adriano Espaillat, would “amend title 18, United States Code, to require firearm assembly kits to be considered to be firearms,” making it illegal to sell or buy one of the kits without first going through a background check.
On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co we take a closer look at all three bills that have been introduced in the past 24 hours, because they appear to be the most likely (though not the only)candidates for the Democrats to try to push through the House in coming days.
As the NRA briefly explained in its tweet, the bill by Rep. Mike Thompson is a “universal background check” bill that would require all transfers of firearms, even those that are temporary, to go through a background check conducted by an FFL. Failure to do so would result in up to a year behind bars in a federal prison, and there are few exceptions contained in Thompson’s legislation. Immediate family members, for instance, could still transfer a gun without a background checks, but giving or selling a gun to your cousin would be against the law.
Oddly enough, under Thompson’s bill, it would be legal for you to give or sell a gun to your aunt, who could then turn around and sell it to her daughter without having to go through a background check, but selling or giving the gun directly to your cousin could land you in the pokey.
Thompson’s bill also contains an exception for:
a temporary transfer that is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm, including harm to self, family, household members, or others, if the possession by the transferee lasts only as long as immediately necessary to prevent the imminent death or great bodily harm, including the harm of domestic violence, dating partner violence, sexual assault, stalking, and domestic abuse
What constitutes imminent in this case? The bill doesn’t say. If you got a call from your neighbor at 9 p.m. asking if she could borrow a gun for safe keeping because her ex is threatening to show up at her house and hurt her, are you allowed to loan her a pistol overnight?
Probably not, at least as I read the bill. After all, there’s no guarantee the guy will show up, and therefore the threat to human life isn’t “imminent,” though it may be likely. You’re apparently supposed to wait until the guy’s actually broken down the front door and entered the home before you run over and tell your neighbor that she can borrow your gun to defend her life.
Thompson’s proposal will be roundly ignored by criminals, who aren’t about to go visit a gun shop to conduct a background check on their black market gun sale. For a more in-depth look at the problems with Thompson’s gun control bill, you can click here, but suffice it to say that the impact of this law will be felt almost entirely by legal gun owners, which is also the case with the legislation introduced by Rep. James Clyburn.
Under his proposal, any background check conducted through the National Instant Check System could be delayed indefinitely, as opposed to the three day period currently allowed under federal law. Clyburn’s bill would give the FBI ten business days to conduct a background check, but even after that ten day period had expired, the firearm in question could not be transferred until the seller of the gun submits a petition for review, either through a website or first-class mail. The government would have an additional ten business days to respond, but unless that petition for review is submitted the sale can be put on ice for an indefinite time period.
A right delayed is a right denied, and if the National Instant Check System can’t process background checks within the current three day period, the answer is to add more staff to NICS, not deny someone their right to acquire a firearm for self-defense for weeks or months on end.
So that’s what we know about the latest gun control bills introduced in the House. There’s still a lot we don’t know about the coming push to enact Joe Biden’s anti-gun agenda; whether Biden will also sign any executive actions to go along with the gun control bills introduced in the House, whether more gun control bills are on the way, and whether Nancy Pelosi will include gun control bills that have already been introduced in the House, like the legislative atrocitty known as H.R. 127, introduced by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee.
At the moment, Joe Biden’s proposed ban on modern sporting rifles and ammunition magazines has not been introduced in the House, though that could change before Pelosi starts advancing any anti-gun legislation. We may not know exactly what’s coming our way, but we know it’s nothing good.
Now would be a good time to contact your representative and urge them to reject these measures that are aimed at imposing new criminal sanctions on legal gun owners. If Congress wants to do something about public safety, they should be focusing their efforts on violent criminals, not law-abiding Americans exercising their right to keep and bear arms.
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