Thursday, June 16, 2022

The Senate "Outline" on Gun Control, June 12, 2022

On June 12, 2022, a group of 10 Republican and 10 Democrat senators agreed on an "outline" on a proposed gun control bill. 

Significantly, 10 Republicans are needed to overcome the filibuster in the Senate, if all 50 Democrats join to pass a particular bill.

Few details have been seen about the "outline". 

The details are critical. 

Broad "outlines" are not legislation, and have no force of law.

Senator Murphy of Connecticut appears to be the prime mover on this push. He is quoted by voanews.

He said the agreement would provide unspecified “major funding to help states pass and implement crisis intervention orders (red-flag laws) that will allow law enforcement to temporarily take dangerous weapons away from people who pose a danger to others or themselves.”

Murphy said there would be “billions in new funding for mental health and school safety, including money for the national build-out of community mental health clinics.” He said the legislation would “close the ‘boyfriend loophole,’ so that no domestic abuser — a spouse or a serious dating partner — can buy a gun if they are convicted of abuse against their partner.”

He said the legislation would include a prohibition against people buying guns for others and enhance background checks for gun buyers under 21. Both the Buffalo and Uvalde mass shootings were carried out by 18-year-olds.

In addition, Murphy said the law, if approved by Congress, would clarify “who needs to register as a licensed gun dealer, to make sure all truly commercial sellers are doing background checks.” 

Red-flag laws do not appear to produce measurable results. They can be very effective at undercutting fundamental Constitutional rights.  The wording used in this reporting, does not bode well:

will allow law enforcement to temporarily take dangerous weapons away from people 

Once taken, it can be very difficult to regain possession of firearms from "law enforcement". All weapons are "dangerous". All people are potentially dangerous. 

Temporarily often becomes indefinite, which often becomes permanent.

What is a "boyfriend loophole"?  It is not a legal term, but rather Orwellian propaganda meant to deceive. There is no "boyfriend loophole" in federal law. 

The term is meant as a way to expand the prohibited status of people who commit domestic violence, to people who are in casual relationships. It is a way of expanding the list of people prohibited from exercising their Second Amendment rights. 

Misdemeanors are inherently less serious than felonies. The details here are important, and unspecified so far.

Prohibition against a person buying guns for others.

There is already a prohibition against people purchasing guns for others in federal law. Watch for this to be expanded so than no one is allowed to buy a firearm for anyone else. This may be a way to push for a ban on private sales.

Enhanced background checks for those under 21. Almost certainly unconstitutional, this appears to be a waiting period measure. Watch for this to be used as justification to ban private sales.

Clarification of who is a gun dealer.  This is a double edged sword. A clear definition of what constitutes "doing business" has been sought for decades. It seems unlikely a good definition can come from this administration. Watch for a definition where it is hard to obtain a Federal Firearms License, but easy to be prosecuted for not having one. 

The Senators who signed on to this "outline" are, from the Epoch Times (Phone numbers have been added):

Republicans who signed on.

Linsey Graham, South Carolina 202-224-5972

Mitt Romney, Utah 202-224-5251

John Cornyn, Texas 202-224-2934

Thom Tillis, North Carolina 202-224-6342

Richard Burr, North Carolina 202-224-3154

Roy Blunt, Missouri  202-224-5721

Bill Cassidy, Louisiana 202-224-5824

Susan Collins, Maine 202-224-2523

Rob Portman, Ohio 202-224-3353

Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania 202-224-4254

The Democrats who signed on are:

Chris Murphy, Connecticut 202-224-4041

Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut 202-224-2823

Corey Booker, New Jersey 202-224-3224

Kyrsten Sinema, Arizona 202-224-4521

Mark Kelly, Arizona 202-224-2235

Chris Coons, Delaware 202-224-5042

Martin Heinrich, New Mexico 202-224-5521

Joe Manchin, West Virginia 202-224-3954

Debbie Stabenow, Michigan 202-224-4822

Senate Majority leader, Chuck Schumer, is pressing for a vote as soon as possible, before people are able to understand what is in the bill. 

Crises legislation is a hallmark of bad legislation. 

It is legislation which cannot be passed when subjected to rational thought and debate. 

Senators listen to input. It may not sway their vote, but it may make them less enthusiastic.  

©2022 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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