Sen. Chuck Schumer has spent much of his time in Congress making sure no one would mistake him for being pro-gun. In fact, I can’t think of a single gun control bill he’s ever come out against.
For the New York Democrat, the Second Amendment isn’t so much part of the Constitution as an annoying suggestion.
So the odds of him supporting anything that could be considered pro-gun are pretty astronomical. I long figured I’d have Kate Beckinsale calling me up to ask me out before I’d ever see Schumer take a pro-gun position.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) reaffirmed his commitment to expeditiously advancing a revised marijuana banking bill—and he says he will also push to attach legislation on cannabis expungements and gun rights for medical marijuana patients.
The majority leader added that he intends to bring the SAFER Banking Act to the floor “with all due speed,” and he said he’s “committed to including” the Harnessing Opportunities by Pursuing Expungement (HOPE) Act and Gun Rights and Marijuana (GRAM) Act in the final legislation.
The GRAM Act, meanwhile, would allow medical cannabis patients to purchase and possess firearms that they’re currently prohibited from under a statute that’s been challenged in a number of federal courts over the past year.
“I’ve long advocated for expungement of records for cannabis offenses, and with SAFER Banking moving through the committee in such a strong, bipartisan way, I believe now is the time to get it done,” Schumer said. “I look forward to seeing the bill pass out of committee, so we can vote on it on the Senate floor.”
So there we have it, Sen. Chuck Schumer backing a pro-gun bill.
Well, kind of.
My guess is that Schumer sees this as a pro-marijuana bill as opposed to being pro-gun, yet there most definitely is a pro-Second Amendment component here with the GRAM Act’s inclusion. The truth of the matter is that we’ve seen people be penalized or face other issues due to consuming marijuana in accordance with state law while also being gun owners.
Currently, some of that is being challenged in court, as the above-linked piece notes. However, a change in law renders much of that effort irrelevant and prevents others from being prosecuted in other parts of the nation.
So while Schumer is taking a stance we might call pro-gun, it’s unlikely he views it that way or this signals some kind of change on the issue of guns for him. It looks to me that the GRAM Act component here is part of a larger compromise that Schumer was made to swallow if he wanted GOP support at all.
Since nothing gets passed in the Senate without at least some Republicans on board, he didn’t have a choice.
Still, this is a good move overall and I’m glad to see it. I’d have rather just seen marijuana reduced from being a Schedule 1 drug, but I’ll take what I can get at this point and this law will accomplish the same thing: Keep responsible gun owners out of prison over a disagreement between state and federal law.