Despite the Democrats push for extremely restrictive gun laws in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting, not much has changed in the way of federal gun laws. If anything, we have seen the more relaxed gun law states pass legislations further loosening gun restrictions. However, the antis in Washington D.C. are relentless. They continue to introduce gun control and anti-gun legislations even as more Americans are expressing their support of gun rights.
The Shooter’s Log covers all the most important threats to our 2A rights, for example, the Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act of 2015. However, some stories fall through the cracks, which I image these antis prefer it that way. If the NRA, pro-gun lobby and gun owners don’t hear about it, we can’t protest it, right?
Gun owners, the firearms industry and 2A supporters united to form one very loud voice opposing the ATF’s recent proposal to broaden the meaning of “armor piercing,” which would have banned citizens from purchasing M855 .223 Remington/5.56mm NATO ammo. Pro Second Amendment forces did a good job of letting the ATF know that we will not stand for or accept laws that strip us of our rights. It didn’t take long for the ATF to retract its proposal. In fact, legislation has now been introduced to protect this commonly used AR-15 ammunition.
There are many times that news like the proposed ban on M855 ammo gets so much attention that gun owners may lose sight of what else is going on in Washington. As one of Cheaper Than Dirt!’s Facebook fans said about one recent bill, “…watch the other hand.”
Since the beginning of the year, there have been plenty of major anti-gun bills introduced. And even though, as my headline suggests, these purposed laws have a very slim chance of passing a Republican-controlled Congress, it is important to keep a close eye on what our lawmakers are doing.
Here are six gun control bills introduced in the House and Senate in chronological order from oldest to newest:
Support Assault Firearms Elimination and Reduction for our Streets Act
And the winner for most ridiculous title of a bill ever is Rep. Rosa DeLauro’s (D-CT) “Support Assault Firearms Elimination and Reduction for Our Streets Act.” Not a bill introduced for the first time, DeLauro’s recent attempt was read to the House Ways and Means Committee on April 13, 2015. The bill is a proposal to amend the Internal Revenue Code giving people a tax credit up to $2,000 if they hand in an “assault weapon.” The bill also defines “assault weapon” as all AK and AR variants, as well as the Hi-Point Carbine, M1 Carbine, Saiga, SKS with detachable magazine, FN FAL, HK 91, Ruger Mini-14 and more. The law would give lawful owners of such rifles a credit—based on the market value of the gun—if they surrender it to police. DeLauro says, “Assault weapons are not about hunting or even self-defense. There is no reason on earth, other than to kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible, anyone needs a gun designed for the battlefield.” Govtrack.us gives this bill a zero percent chance of passing. Read the whole bill here.
Gun Show Loophole Closing Act of 2015
Gun show “loophole” laws are nothing new. Since 2001, various politicians have introduced one for seven consecutive sessions. Besides magazine capacity restrictions, gun show “loophole” laws have actually been the most successful in passing at the state level. Since 2012, 17 states now require background checks on individual sales at gun shows.
Introduced by Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) on May 15, 2015, the latest version of this law expands the requirements of persons who may run a gun show, requires record keeping on gun shows, increases the punishment for violating the new rules, as well as requiring background checks on anyone buying a gun at a gun show. Read the entire bill here.
The Firearm Risk Protection Act of 2015
On May 21, 2015, for the second time, Rep. Maloney introduced a bill requiring gun owners carry liability insurance. The bill would amend the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act prohibiting the sale of a gun unless the person buying it proved they had liability insurance covering the firearm—like we do when we buy new cars. Gun owners who fail to comply could face fines up to $10,000. Maloney said, “We require insurance to own a car, but no such requirement exists for guns. The results are clear: car fatalities have declined by 25% in the last decade, but gun fatalities continue to rise.” (Never mind that auto insurance is mandated through state law not federal and has been mandatory in some states since 1927. Or that data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention actually reports that gun fatalities have declined.) She believes firearm liability coverage would “encourage cautious behavior and help save lives,” as well as be necessary for compensation if an accident were to happen. Read the bill here.
Handgun Trigger Safety Act of 2015
Another bill introduced by Rep. Maloney is a revision of Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) failed attempt in February 2014 requiring handguns to be “personalized.” The latest version was introduced June 2, 2015, which requires all handguns to incorporate “smart gun” technology. The bills states, “…to require that all handguns manufactured or sold in, or imported into, the United States incorporate such technology.” Also in the bill is an allowance of federal funding to develop “smart gun” technology. Senator Markey said, “These bills will keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them and provide better information about what is causing gun violence and what can be done to prevent it.” Read the entire language of the bill here.
Handgun Purchaser Licensing Act of 2015
Focusing on controlling handguns specifically, Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), along with three other politicians from Connecticut introduced the Handgun Purchaser Licensing Act of 2015 on June 11, 2015. The purposed law would expand background checks, raise the legal age limit to own a firearm to 21, and give states a financial incentive to require a license to purchase a handgun. The Handgun Purchaser Licensing Act is not a law enacting federal firearm licenses to purchase a handgun, however it essentially gives states a strong incentive to enact such laws so they will get federal money. These licenses to purchase a handgun would be granted from local police stations and require a background check, photographs and the submission of fingerprints.
Van Hollen’s website states, “The Handgun Purchaser Licensing Act authorizes a grant program at the Department of Justice to encourage states to establish permit-to-purchase requirements for all handguns—including those sold at gun shows and sales between private parties. This grant would help offset the costs associated with the development, implementation and evaluation of these programs.” Van Hollen said, “Of the thousands of Americans murdered every single year by firearms, nearly 90% of those deaths occur with a handgun. With mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and friends dying every day because of guns, there is no question that gun violence is tearing at the fabric of our communities.” Read the entire bill here.
Airport Security Act of 2015
On June 15, 2015, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) introduced The Airport Security Act of 2015. It is the third time Rep. Johnson has introduced the bill. It bans the carrying of loaded firearms anywhere at an airport. Currently, there is no federal law banning legal carry of loaded firearms in airport areas before TSA screening and security. Johnson says, “It defies logic that we would allow anyone other than law enforcement officials to carry a loaded gun within an airport. This bill is simple common sense.” Currently, gun owners who legally carry firearms are allowed to do so per their individual state’s laws in unsecured areas of airports, which may include baggage claim, ticketing and parking lots. Johnson’s office said the purposed law would declare all airports in the country “gun-free zones.” Read the full bill here.
There are still plenty of lawmakers and politicians on our side. As with the anti-gun proposals, there are pro-guns laws as well; examples include the Collectible Firearms Protection Act, Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act, The Fairness in Firearms Testing Act and Lawful Purpose and Self-Defense Act of 2015. It is just as important to write your Representatives in support of these pro-gun measures as it is to write and call in opposition to gun control laws. To find your representatives, visit the NRA-ILA’s website.
Do you think any of these bills have a chance of passing? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comment section.
In the wake of last week’s tragedy, I suspect we will see stricter gun laws introduced in the coming days. Subscribe to the Shooter’s Log to get updates delivered to your email inbox. To subscribe, enter your email address in the gray box to the right that says, “Connect Now!”