Here's a fascinating one. House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY) has introduced the idea of promoting firearm safety following the aftermath of two horrific mass shootings that took place over the last three weeks. In contrast to her Democratic colleagues, the lawmaker, together with a few Republican members of the House, is offering a plan that would reward good behavior regarding guns.
Stefanik's strategy is to use the carrot instead of the Democrats' stick in the fight to reduce gun violence. She, together with Reps. Richard Hudson (R-NC) and Carol Miller (R-WV), will unveil the “Firearm Profession and Training Act,” also known as the “Firearm Proficiency and Training Act,” in response to the Democrats' plan to limit law-abiding gun owners.
The lawmakers believe that their bill will help improve “training, safety, and storage” of firearms, in lieu of “forcing” them to take the measures Democrats are seeking to force on the states. “As Democrats rush to push their radical gun control agenda, I am proud to lead the charge in introducing legislation to promote gun training and safety,” Stefanik told Fox News Digital.
She added, “This bill will give gun owners through incentives to buy guns that are safe and storage equipment, in addition to education and safety classes. Congress should empower everyone, Americans to enjoy your Second Amendment rights, rather than infringement on constitutional rights. Constitutional protections of law-abiding American citizens.”
Fox News reported that this bill would provide tax-free deductions to Americans who sign up for concealed carry firearms classes as well as other gun-safety classes or purchase guns and safety devices for storing weapons. The tax incentives would not exceed $250 per deduction. Furthermore, the legislation's text states the following: “No taxpayer shall be required, as a condition of any deduction allowed under this section, to provide any information with respect to any firearms owned by the taxpayer,” and no official of the government will keep any records of the deduction beyond three years.
Of course, in a chamber dominated by Democrats, the bill has almost the same likelihood of passing as Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) does of going for more than an hour and not ranting about how terrible Donald Trump is. However, it's an intriguing idea, one that is likely to be acceptable to conservatives, provided it does not include additional government expenditures in providing incentives.
Democrats, for their part, are busy drafting policies to penalize lawful gun owners for the misdeeds of criminals. And, what's more, the plans they've proposed will not stop mass shootings like those that took place in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas. One proposal was dubbed the “Protecting Our Kids Act,” which is a collection of eight bills that aim to clamp down on gun ownership and place new restrictions. “The bills contain proposals to raise the minimum age for purchasing a semi-automatic weapon from 18 to 21, ban ‘high capacity magazines,' establish a registry for bump stocks and more,” according to Fox News. More than 20 House Democrats have asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to divide the bill into separate bills to increase its chances of passing.
In the Senate, a group of Democratic lawmakers hope to convince a minimum of 10 Republican senators to commit to further restrictions on guns. They're aware that they won't be successful in getting enough votes for more radical gun legislation. However, the bipartisan group of senators is claiming they could come to an agreement over a proposal that is similar to the Florida red flag law. This could be difficult to sell to those who have constituents who could be furious about any concessions to the anti-gunners.
The idea of promoting guns' safety could be more attractive to those who are in favor of gun rights, the majority of whom think that learning to handle a firearm safely is vitally important. But will it actually save lives? It's possible; however, it's nearly impossible to estimate how many lives it has helped save. In addition, it will likely have no effect on stopping mass shootings and reducing violence from guns.
It could help to ensure that gun accidents are less frequent. There is also the possibility that it could reduce the number of illegally owned guns on the streets. A significant portion of these guns are taken from cars and homes because the gun owner did not secure them properly. Whatever the case, it's an alternative to what Democrats propose. If the GOP is able to regain control of the House or perhaps the Senate, they might reconsider the idea.