Speaker of the House Mike Johnson hasn’t been in his new job for very long. Based on the tenure of his predecessor, though, he likely learned a few lesson.
One of those might well be not to allow your fellow Republicans to think you’re too soft for the job.
I’m not saying he is, but he’s likely to be tested often, particularly over the next handful of months. One such test involves the reauthorization of, perhaps, the dumbest gun control measure humanly possible.
The Undetectable Firearms Act is up for reauthorization and, frankly, many Republicans don’t want to see it reauthorized.
A group of nearly 75 Republican members of the House of Representatives are demanding that Speaker Mike Johnson oppose the reauthorization of a decades-old gun control law, according to a letter obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The Undetectable Firearms Act (UFA) was enacted by the 100th Congress in 1988 and bans the manufacture, sale or import of any firearm that isn’t detectable by a door-frame metal detector or other security technology, which are commonly termed “ghost guns.” The law’s provisions need to be reauthorized before their statutory expiry date of March 8, with House Republicans demanding that Johnson not bring the Senate’s reauthorization bill, which was passed in July of 2023, to the floor.
“The Biden Administration has already demonstrated its ability to weaponize the Undetectable Firearms Act into a widespread plastic gun ban. Congress must not permanently reauthorize this law, especially while ATF’s final definition of a ‘frame or receiver’ is still being considered in the courts,” wrote the signatories, who are led by Republican Reps. Andy Ogles of Tennessee and Thomas Massie of Kentucky.
And let’s be honest, if someone really wants to produce a firearm today that’s undetectable to metal detectors and they have the capability to do so, there’s literally nothing in the law that will stop them from doing so.
Oh, the average person might be interested in doing it just for fun, but they’ve never really been able to. The Undetectable Firearms Act was passed at a time when people literally thought Glocks’ polymer construction made them easy to sneak into secure areas. Lawmakers apparently were unaware that a steel slide, barrel, internal mechanisms, magazine springs, etc would all be detected just fine.
Today, we’re getting to the place where it could be done.
Some would argue that’s all the more reason for Johnson to push through reauthorization, but again, those you have to worry about aren’t going to be bothered by a law on the books since it’s likely they want such a weapon for illicit means anyway.
Plus, as noted above, the Biden administration doesn’t need yet another law that can be twisted and weaponized against law-abiding American gun owners. As it stands, he’s already trying to twist long-standing laws to effectively create universal background checks without actually going through Congress. The last thing he needs is yet another cudgel.
So, as for me, I join these Republicans in calling on Speaker Johnson to block reauthorization of a decades-old but never relevant gun control law that never should have passed in the first place.