The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Larry Keane calls Chuck Schumer’s announcement of an imminent vote on the GOSAFE Act a political stunt, but says the bill should still be seen as a legitimate threat to our Second Amendment rights.
Speaking to Bearing Arms on today’s Cam & Co, Keane says he’d actually be somewhat surprised if Schumer follows through on his pledge to bring the bill to the floor this week, which would likely entail bypassing the usual committee process.
“He’ll maybe ask for unanimous consent, which of course would properly be denied, and then he’ll run in front of the cameras and say Republicans are not for gun safety, et cetera; the usual talking points,” Keane mused.
“I don’t think it would have fifty Democrat votes, let alone the sixty needed to overcome a filibuster,” Keane added, questioning whether senators like Jon Tester of Montana or Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona would vote in favor of the sweeping gun and magazine ban so close to next year’s elections, even if they might philosophically be in favor of a ban of some sort.
Keane calls the text of the GOSAFE Act “very problematic,” though he acknowledged that previous attempts to ban so-called assault weapons authored by the late Dianne Feinstein were awful as well. But in attempting to ban all gas-operated rifles, Keane says the authors of the GOSAFE Act are clearly going after arms that are in common use for a wide variety of lawful purposes; not just modern sporting rifles but the vast majority of all semi-automatic rifles. An infographic released by sponsor Martin Heinrich (D-NM) buttresses Keane’s point.
Forget about bayonet lugs or folding stocks as defining characteristics of a so-called assault weapon. Now the test is pretty simple… and would encompass almost every center-fire semi-automatic rifle on the market, as even gun control groups like Everytown admit.
As least Everytown is willing to say what the sponsors of the bill are trying to use terminology to hide behind – the intention is to ban all semi-automatic rifles pic.twitter.com/qJ91wwxhBp
— Rob Romano (@2Aupdates) December 5, 2023
While King billed the GOSAFE Act as a legislative response to the shootings in Lewiston, Maine, Keane says he’s learned that the language of the bill has actually been in the works “for months”; going back to at least the spring of this year.
“It’s very disappointing to see Sen. King, who’s voted ‘no’ on ‘assault weapons’ bans in the past; it’s very disappointing to see Sen. Heinrich, who’s voted ‘no’ on gun bans in the past, sponsoring this legislation,” Keane told me, adding,” it’s also interesting to me that when the bill was introduced it only had four co-sponsors [Sen. Mark Kelly and Sen. Michael Bennet were the other original sponsors], so where are all the other anti-gun Democrats? Why aren’t they on the bill? Why wasn’t it introduced with dozens and dozens of Democrats on the bill?”
It’s a good question, though I suspect that if and when the GOSAFE Act does hit the floor for a vote the vast majority of Democratic senators will be in favor of it, even if they weren’t original cosponsors. Frankly, I doubt many anti-gun politicians care all that much about the specifics of the legislation, so long as they can call it a ban.
Will Schumer actually bring the GOSAFE Act to the Senate floor this week knowing full well the votes aren’t there to send it to the House, where it doesn’t even have a companion bill? I guess we’ll know soon enough. But even if a vote doesn’t materialize this week, the fact that the bill has the backing of all the major gun control groups means the legislation is likely to be a major part of Joe Biden’s reelection campaign in 2024, as well as the campaigns of those Democrats who rely on donations and independent spending from groups like Everytown and Giffords.
Be sure to check out the entire conversation with Larry Keane in the video window below, which touches not only on the GOSAFE Act but the new lawsuit against Smith & Wesson that’s being brought by activist anti-gun shareholders as well.