Even though a pair of background check bills approved by the House of Representatives earlier this year are stuck in a legislative limbo in the Senate, anti-gun lawmakers are forging ahead with pushing even more restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms. Eight House Democrats have signed on to a new package of gun control bills, though “new” might be a bit of a stretch, since several of the proposals have previously been introduced in Congress and others seek to codify in law what the Biden administration is attempting to do via executive action.
This is how Democrat Rep. Val Demings of Florida described the bills in a press release:
The Protecting Our Communities Act is a broad legislative package that closes loopholes in America’s gun laws. The legislation:
- Regulates “ghost guns” by requiring gun kits to include a serial number and a background check to complete a sale;
- Regulates concealable assault rifles which fire armor-piercing ammunition and were specifically designed by gun manufacturers to circumvent the National Firearms Act;
- Help states enforce existing laws by requiring federal authorities to alert state and local law enforcement within 24 hours when an ineligible individual lies on a background check and tries to purchase a firearm; and
- Codifies the last Administration’s ‘bump stock’ final rule to regulate bump stocks, which allow modification of a weapon to enable rapid firing.
We already know that “ghost guns” is the term that gun control activists have come up with to describe home-built firearms, which have been perfectly legal since this nation’s founding, but what exactly are “concealable assault rifles”? No text of the bill is available yet, but it sounds like Demings and her Democrat colleagues are trying to place all AR-style pistols under the National Firearms Act, meaning that the millions of Americans who lawfully own these firearms could face ten years in prison and a $100,000 fine if they continue to possess them without paying $200 bucks to the federal government to register them under the NFA.
This too is part of Joe Biden’s playbook. In fact, the Justice Department and the ATF are currently drafting a proposed rule that’s expected to largely mirror the legislation introduced today.
Demings, a three-term congresswoman and former Orlando police chief, recently announced that she’s challenging Marco Rubio for his Senate seat in the 2022 elections, so this is mostly red meat for her Democratic base. Still, as Democrats like Rashida Tlaib have demanded an end to policing altogether, its worth pointing out that Demings and her colleagues are hoping to create new federal crimes out of the right to keep and bear arms, which, if enforced, will mean putting more people in prison for non-violent, possessory offenses and will almost certainly have a disproportionate impact on racial minorities.
That might not matter to Demings and her squad of anti-gun allies in the House, but her embrace of new gun bans probably won’t play well at home in Florida, home to more than 2-million concealed carry licensees and a state where Black gun ownership has been increasing over the past few years. The Sun-Sentinel newspaper even profiled the growing number of Black gun groups in the state last September.
Gun ownership is not just about guns and bullets, “it’s a political statement,” says Travis Campbell, the president and founder of the Black Arms Gun Club of South Florida. The organization is based out of Miami but its members are from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, and the club meets at various shooting ranges in South Florida.
Campbell — who grew up with firearms in his house, but is a relatively new shooter — formed the group to promote the Second Amendment, wanting Black Americans to be more open about their historical and current connection to guns and the need for armed self-defense.
“I didn’t want to just approach this idea from the standpoint of, ‘Yeah, we just come together and shoot guns,’” Campbell, 38, of Miami, said. “I really wanted to do something a little bit more.”
Members train toward improving marksmanship, fixing jammed guns and shooting under pressure from a variety of positions. They also practice first-aid techniques, such as administering CPR and using tourniquets.
The group, with 30 dues-paying members and several more joining, has an even number of men and women, ranging from people in their 20s to senior citizens, he said. It’s one of four local affiliate chapters of the National African American Gun Association in Florida.
I don’t see these bills getting any traction in the Senate, but they could very well pass the House by a narrow margin. Now would be a good time for gun owners of all racial and ethnic backgrounds to contact Rep. Deming’s office to let her know they stand opposed to her new gun control measures, which would only empower violent criminals at the expense of responsible gun owners.