Kaine, Cummings introduce gun bills targeting illegal firearms trafficking
U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) introduced a bill—the Responsible Transfer of Firearms Act—on Sept. 8 that would require all gun dealers take action to ensure buyers meet federal standards.
The proposal “raises the bar” for commercial and private dealers who are now protected from criminal prosecution unless they knew or had reasonable cause to believe a customer had a criminal record, history of mental institutionalization or other disqualifying factor.
“As recent tragedies in Virginia and across the country have shown, the gun laws in our country have done little to stem senseless gun violence,” Kaine said in a written statement. “These numbing incidents in urban, rural and suburban communities are made worse by the lack of accountability in those instances where the tragedy might have been prevented.”
The standard would apply to both commercial dealers and private sellers.
Kaine’s proposal faces an uphill climb in the Republican-controlled Congress, as does the Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2015, introduced recently by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), which would make gun trafficking a federal crime and provide tools to law enforcement to get illegal guns off the streets, away from criminal networks and street gangs, and to prosecute those who traffic firearms.
The irony in Cummings introducing the bill, according to AWR Hawkins of Brietbart News, is he is among those who have “done everything in his power to assist the Obama Administrationís stonewalling of the House Oversight Commiteeís investigation into Operation Fast and Furious, one of up to ten gun-walking plots carried out by Obamaís Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.”
Hawkins notes that Cummings, along with President Barack Obama, then Attorney General Eric Holder, and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were pushing “the 90-percent lie.î
These politicians, Hawkins writes, repeatedly told the American people that 90-percent of the guns found in cartel violence in Mexico had their origins in the United States, primarily from gun shops in southwestern border states.
As was later revealed and confirmed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive (ATF) 18 percent of the firearms recovered from cartels came from the U.S., and less than half of those (7,900) came from dealers, many of whom were providing guns to the cartels as part of the Obama Administration’s “gunwalking plots.”
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THE RETAIL RESPONSE
2015 summer firearm sales smash previous records
As anti-police riots and rhetoric fostered civil unrest in Baltimore and elsewhere across the nation this summer, Americans flooded into gun stores and set records for the number of background checks conducted in May, June, July and August.
According to the FBI, there were 1,580,980 background checks in May 2015, which is nearly 100,000 more than the previous record of 1,485,259 in May 2014.
The trend continued through August.
—There were 1,529,057 background checks in June, nearly 150,000 more than the previous record of 1,382,975 in June 2014.
—There were 1,600,832 background checks in July 2015, nearly 200,000 more than the previous record of 1,402,228 in July 2014.
—There were 1,745,410 background checks in August 2015, nearly 200,000 more than the previous record of 1,546,497 in August 2014.
“The bottom line,” writes AWR Hawkins in Breibart News, “amid the unrest, the war on cops, and the public attacks on innocents that Democrats seized upon to push gun control bill after gun control bill. Americans went another way—choosing more guns instead of more government control.”
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Another city using 14th Amendment as gun-control tool
In yet another example of how balancing gun rights with gun control is becoming a 14th Amendment debate, not a 2nd Amendment battle, the Tucson City Council voted unanimously on Sept. 9 to require licensed gun dealers to abide by the non-binding “Brady Bill Code of Conduct.”
The city’s measure addresses alleged “loopholes” that allow gun dealers to sell guns to those who have not cleared the NCISD federal background check.
“Are guns getting into the wrong hands every day? They are, we see it—there’s tragedies every day,” said Chris Kitaeff, board member for Arizonans for Gun Safety. “Then there’s dozens of others we don’t see in the media that are happening.”
The “Brady Bill Code of Conduct” includes the following:
—Asking gun dealers prevent sales to straw purchasers or those buying guns for others.
—Asking dealers not to sell guns until results of a background check are back. Right now, in Arizona, dealers can sell at will if background check results are delayed.
—Asking dealers to train workers to spot risky buyers and work with police to prevent criminal access to firearms by doing things such as recording all transactions.
An NRA spokesman called this move by city council a big waste of time.
“It’s just nonsensical distraction,” said Todd Rathner, NRA spokesman. “We got a city full of potholes, we’re losing cops, we have a Sun Tran strike and they’re fiddling around with nonsensical memorial resolutions that does absolutely nothing about crime.”
Despite the non-binding nature of the measure, the resolution is significant in that there is a growing trend among municipalities to adopt their own gun control measures.
Last month, Los Angeles passed strident restrictions on private ownership of certain types of firearms and ammunition and Seattle imposed a “gun violence tax” on ammunition.
The shift in tactics, which will be challenged in courts, will focus on states rights and regulatory responsibilities under the 10th Amendment and municipalities’ regulatory purview under the 14th Amendment.
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IN THE COURTS
Alabama Supreme Court rules open carry ban is unconstitutional
The Alabama Supreme Court on Sept. 3 ruled a state law that banned the open carry of a gun on someone else’s property is unconstitutional.
The ruling came in an appeal by Jason Dean Tulley, 38, of his conviction for openly carrying a pistol on his hip while inside the First Educators Credit Union on March 31, 2011.
An off-duty police officer working security at the credit union told Tulley to leave the credit union and put the gun in his car. Tulley, who at the time also had a conceal carry permit, argued his rights but eventually complied.
Tulley was then charged with a crime days later and convicted in a city court of illegally carrying a firearm in public.
“This is definitely a victory for gun rights advocates,” J.D. Lloyd, one of Tulley’s appellate lawyers, told the Associated Press. “More importantly, it’s a victory for folks who believe in Due Process and don’t want to see the Legislature passing vague criminal statutes.”
Lloyd said business owners who don’t want people carrying guns inside their premises can still prohibit people from doing so, but “open carry advocates shouldn’t fear criminal prosecution under 13A-11-52 going forward.”
On the same day, a Shelby County voter was convicted for openly carrying a holstered .357 magnum revolver on his hip at the poll during last November’s general election. The man’s attorney said he will certainly seek to have the conviction overturned in the wake of the state’s Supreme Court ruling.
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