With a Democrat-controlled House and Senate, there’s a lot of gun control bills flying around. Gun-control advocacy groups, including Moms Demand Action, have been pushing President Joe Biden and his administration for stricter gun laws and universal background checks since he entered office. Despite opposition for further legislation in gun licensing, this would be the first federal gun control law passed in more than 25 years.
In a recent vote that passed 227-203, the H.R.8, “Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021,” would criminalize firearm sales between unlicensed private persons and extend the number of days you have to wait while purchasing a firearm. In 2019, the House previously passed the “Bipartisan Background Checks Act” but then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not bring it to the Senate for a vote.
House Democrats suggested that the bill would quash the “Charleston loophole” and force dealers to verify checks before sending an individual off with a firearm. They also said the bill would aim to “close the loophole” on gun transfers or sales being done without background checks and “ensure” that fewer dangerous people would obtain firearms. It would require a “licensed gun dealer, manufacturer, or importer” to first take possession of the gun while the background check is being conducted, extending the current time from three days to 10.
“This bill is so partisan, that even the scientific studies it commissions are tainted by politics. If Republicans commissioned a pro-gun group to conduct a ‘study’ on the effect of, say, concealed carry permits, Democrats would be up in arms. And they’d have every reason to be,” Rep. Jim Banks said.
Many lawmakers have noted that this “extremely partisan piece of legislation” would require governments to work with gun control groups and require unlicensed and private sellers to conduct background checks.
Rep. Thomas Massie has pointed to gun research from Giffords that shows only 22% of all guns, including 45% of those acquired online, were sold without a background check. He noted that the majority of gun-related crimes are not committed by people attempting to “legally” purchase firearms and said the new regulations could hinder victims of abuse from purchasing or borrowing a gun for protection in a timely manner.
“What have background checks accomplished? Well, the DOJ [Department of Justice] said there were 112,000 denials in a year. Who are those 112,000 people? Well, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle would have you think those were felons — they saved you from those felons. But how many of those 112,000 were prosecuted for the crime of trying to acquire that gun? According to the DOJ, 12 one to 12 in a year. Who were the other 100,000?” Rep. Massie asked.
Other GOP members also criticized the bill for leaving out revisions that would require gun dealers to alert Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the event that an undocumented immigrant attempts to purchase a firearm.
The bill violates the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens and strips away their protection from criminals who break the law. As always, Democrats push the narrative that criminalizing private gun ownership will solve mass shootings and violent crimes we’ve witnessed throughout the years. Instead, shouldn’t we hold personal accountability for those who committed violence in the first place?
It’s the person, never the gun.