Earlier this week, we wrote about Sen. Angus King’s GOSAFE Act, which seeks to regulate the production of firearms. It’s a blatantly unconstitutional effort, one that thinks it can get around our right to bear arms by simply infringing on what arms are available.
And, unsurprisingly, some of the gun rights groups are taking issue with the measure. Cam wrote about the NSSF’s response.
But they weren’t alone.
First, let’s look at GOA’s response on Twitter.
Another day, another piece of bad legislation from an anti-gunner. 🙄
There are no exceptions to “shall not be infringed,” and even if this bill were to pass we will make sure to tie it up in court so long you're not even in office anymore. https://t.co/cwIeFHGhJg
— Gun Owners of America (@GunOwners) December 1, 2023
I can’t say I blame them for suggesting they’d tie it up in court. I don’t think it’ll pass, but if it does, I don’t see it surviving legal challenge.
The Firearms Policy Coalition also offered their initial thoughts on the bill.
🚨 Legislative Action Alert 🚨
The GOSAFE Act is the most aggressive attack on our rights yet.
— Firearms Policy Coalition (@gunpolicy) December 1, 2023
Finally, the NRA sent a press release in the wake of the GOSAFE Act’s announcement.
The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action’s (NRA-ILA) Executive Director Randy Kozuch released the following statement on the unconstitutional Gas-Operated Semi-Automatic Firearms Exclusion (GOSAFE) Act introduced by Sens. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., and Angus King, I-Maine.
“This legislation blatantly violates the U.S. Constitution and U.S. Supreme Court rulings by banning the very types of firearms and magazines most often utilized by Americans for defending themselves and their families. This bill unjustly and improperly places the full burden of the law on law-abiding residents, while doing nothing to take guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals. The NRA opposes this legislation and will fight to protect the constitutional freedoms of all law-abiding Americans.”
What this apparently tries to do is do an end around on the Constitution by apparently trying to say that the right to keep and bear arms isn’t being infringed because the law really just regulates what can be made. At least, that’s the only way I can see this somehow not being viewed as an assault weapon ban, which is a case King tried to make.
Of course, since it also bans the sale and purchase of so-called assault weapons, that’s kind of a stretch for anyone to try to make.
Right now, we mostly have the basics, including the role of the attorney general in “approving” guns for manufacture, which of course means those guns can be unapproved (See also: Bump stocks, pistol braces). That’s going to create a regulatory nightmare, one that the Founding Fathers never envisioned and would never have supported.
Moreover, there’s no historical precedent for this law, and yet King and others who support this measure have to be aware of the text and history standard laid down by Bruen.
Yet because it’s early, opposition to the bill is still in the early stages. Expect to see gun rights groups take even more issues with the GOSAFE Act as the debate develops. We should also remember that there’s still the filibuster in the Senate that can keep this from being passed no matter how much anti-gunners wail and gnash their teeth.
And then there’s the House, where this would be about as popular as George Santos doing a strip tease on the floor of the House itself.
So, not very.
But that doesn’t mean we need to dig in. After all, lawmakers rallied together across party lines to expel Santos. Who knows what else they might consider crossing party lines to do.