The House Judiciary Committee advanced three anti-gun bills this week to the delight of the gun prohibition lobby.
“The U.S. House understands that another day without stronger gun laws means another day of preventable tragedies,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, the gun-control organization funded by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“Now it’s time for the Senate to do its job and pass meaningful gun safety laws — because the American people aren’t going to settle for weak, watered down half-measures,” added Feinblatt.
The bills headed to the House floor include:
- H.R. 1236, known as the “Extreme Risk Protection Order Act of 2019,” is a Red Flag bill that simultaneously encourages more states to adopt a gun-seizure process while establishing one at the federal level. Per the language, authorities and family members would be able to petition a court to confiscate firearms from a person accused (not adjudicated, nor convicted) of being a threat to himself/herself or others.
- H.R. 2708, known as the “Disarm Hate Act,” the bill would permanently revoke 2A rights for anyone convicted of a hate crime. That includes misdemeanor offenses.
- H.R. 1186, known as the “Keep Americans Safe Act,” would criminalize the import, sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession of large capacity ammunition feeding devices (LCAFD) aka magazines with a capacity exceeding 10 rounds. While there is a grandfather clause for current mags in circulation, owners would be banned from selling or transferring them to friends, family, children, grandchildren, etc. Federal funds would be made available under a “buy-back program” to compensate individuals who surrender their mags to the government.
Even though the legislation was passed along party lines, Democrats and gun-control activists hope that it will spark similar action in the GOP-controlled Senate.
“In the past week, we’ve seen everyone from members of the House of Representatives, to Walmart executives and the Lt. Gov of Texas lead on gun safety,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “It’s time for Majority Leader McConnell to lead, too.”
However, McConnell (R-KY) was quick to dampen expectations, saying that a bipartisan group of lawmakers are “working on coming up with a proposal that the president will sign. Until that happens, all of this is theatrics,” according to The Hill.
“So we do in fact await word from the White House about what the president is willing to sign. That’s important to a lot of my members. It also, at the risk of repeating a history lesson, is the only way we will get a law,” McConnell added.
Alan Gottlieb, the founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, told GunsAmerica via email that this anti-gun legislative push is bound to backfire.
“So far all Democrats have accomplished with their gun prohibition agenda is increase gun sales by 15% over the last month. This happens every time they introduce or pass new restrictions. They just don’t get it,” said Gottlieb.
“Their attack on Second Amendment rights is really going to increase gun owner voter turnout in the 2020 elections,” he continued. “The more extreme they get with their bans and restrictions the more they telegraph that they have no respect for our Constitutional Second Amendment rights.”
Looking ahead, it’s all eyes on Trump. What, if anything, will his administration put forward now that Congress is back from its six-week summer recess?