Political Editors / February 28, 2019

House Dems Are Pushing Gun Control — Again

Dems seek to pave the way for a back-door federal gun registry.

House Democrats led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi are voting this week on two pieces of gun-control legislation. The first bill, HR 8, passed by a vote of 240–190, with eight Republicans joining the majority. It would require “universal background checks” on all gun sales by virtue of requiring that virtually all sales (with exceptions for immediate family) go through licensed dealers, thus triggering the checks. Reason’s Jacob Sullum explains one problem: “Notwithstanding the exceptions, the bill would criminalize a wide range of innocent actions, including transfers between friends, neighbors, and cousins.”

There was one somewhat humorous development, however. “Republicans in the minority countered with an amendment to require that federal officials notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement whenever a lawful or unlawful immigrant tried to illegally purchase a firearm,” reports The Washington Free Beacon. “In a surprising development, the motion passed 220-209, with 26 Democrats joining the Republicans.” New reports consider it a huge embarrassment for Democrat leadership.

The second bill, HR 1112, would impose up to a 20-day waiting period for all firearm sales. It’s scheduled for a vote today. For either bill, passing the Democrat-controlled House is one thing, but making it to a vote in the Senate is another story. And even if either piece of legislation were to be voted on and somehow pass the Republican-controlled Senate, President Donald Trump has already pledged to veto both, with the White House stating that the bills are “incompatible with the Second Amendment’s guarantee of an individual right to keep arms.”

Once again in the name of “protecting children,” the Democrats’ latest Second Amendment limiting legislation would have little to no impact on preventing future school shootings (at least based on the fact that neither would have stopped any recent massacre), while further burdening law-abiding citizens. Furthermore, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) astutely noted the real reason behind the Democrats push for these bills was to create “a situation where they couldn’t be enforced, ultimately, without a federal gun registry.” Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) mirrored Cheney, reasoning, “It’s one more step toward federalized gun registration and ultimately gun confiscation.”

Update: HR 1112 passed on Thursday by a vote of 228 to 198.

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