Scalise-Mooney bill seeks to ease federal interstate gun sales regulations
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV.) on May 11 introduced federal legislation that would make it easier for licensed gun dealers to sell guns to out-of-state buyers.
The proposed Scalise-Mooney Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act would allow the following:
—Licensed dealers would be able to transfer firearms (rifles, shotguns and handguns) to out-of-state buyers as long as the transaction complies with the laws of the states where the buyer and seller live.
—Licensed dealers would be able to sell firearms at out-of-state gun shows, provided that the laws of the states where the buyer and seller live are followed.
—Face-to-face transfers of firearms between licensed dealers would be allowed. Currently, dealers must ship firearms to other dealers in transactions, significantly increasing the risk of theft in the process.
—Members of the armed forces and their spouses would be able to purchase firearms as residents of their states of legal residence, the state in which their permanent duty station is located and the state in which they maintain a residence while serving at their permanent duty station. Currently, members of the armed forces may only purchase firearms as residents of the state in which their permanent duty station is located
Scalise, a long-time supporter of gun rights, told reporter Bruce Alpert of the New Orleans Times-Picayune that the legislation is designed to eliminate “archaic red tape burdening gun owners who legally purchase firearms across the nation.” He said the proposed bill does nothing to interfere with state laws, including specific background checks required by some states.
In a May 13 statement, Josh Horwitz, director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, said the law would allow someone who lives in a state with tougher background checks — such as Virginia and California — to purchase a gun in a state that relies solely on the less comprehensive databases deployed by the FBI to purchase a gun.
This, he said, “would make it even more difficult for federal and state law enforcement to identify individuals who are already prohibited from purchasing firearms.”
Untrue, says Chris Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislation Action, who praised the proposed Scalise-Moody bill in a May 13 statement, saying it only streamlines a dangerous “patchwork of incredibly confusing and antiquated regulations for law-abiding gun owners across the nation.”
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‘MOSTLY FALSE’ AGAIN
PolitiFact: Bloomberg goose-steppers lie to ‘allow political debate to shape facts’
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun Everytown For Gun Safety routinely runs afoul of facts and reality in its emotional, knee-jerk crusade to cripple the Constitution, as every gun-owner and observant attorney knows.
But when Everytown is repeatedly red-flagged by non-partisan PolitiFact for spewing “Mostly False” nonsense, it becomes apparent that this front group has no interest in engaging in intelligent discourse but has chosen, instead, to incite hysterics among a gullible, uniformed public.
The latest PolitiFact “Mostly False” rebuke of Everytown rhetoric stems from the group’s well-publicized alleged “facts” regarding the fatal shooting of New York City police officer Brian Moore in early May.
“Once again, a police officer has been killed with an illegal gun from Georgia — a state that last year did the NRA’s bidding and weakened its already lax gun laws,” Megan Lewis, the group’s vice president, said in a May 6 press release.
The NYPD said the suspect’s weapon was one of 23 guns reported stolen from a pawnshop in Perry, Ga., in October 2011. Nine of those 23 stolen guns have since turned up at New York crime scenes, including the silver Taurus .38-caliber revolver seized in connection with Moore’s slaying, NYPD officials said.
Everytown insists at least two other NYPD police officers — Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos in December — were killed by illegal guns traced to Georgia. Is that true? PolitiFact’s Nancy Badertscher and April Hunt examined the statement in a May 12 analysis. Their conclusion:
“Everytown For Gun Safety overreaches in suggesting that an earlier fatal shooting of two officers involved an ‘illegal gun from Georgia.’ That weapon was sold according to federal law and therefore legal, until it found its way to someone who used it to commit a horrific crime,” they write. “Such overreaches allow political debate to shape facts. We rate the statement ‘Mostly False.’”
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STATE LEGISLATURE ROUNDUP
Oregon is sixth state in two years to expand background checks on all gun sales
Democratic Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill on May 11 that makes Oregon the sixth state to expand criminal background checks to include all private gun sales, even transactions on the Internet, since the December 2012 Sandy Hook shootings. The law exempts sales between immediate family and siblings.
According to Michele Richinick of Newsweek, Brown’s signing of the law is “a big win” for gun-reform activists after Second Amendment advocacy groups, including the National Rifle Association (NRA), for years successfully blocked previous attempts to tighten firearms laws.
What Richinick doesn’t mention is the influence of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s big bucks campaign to demonize the fundamental individual right to own a firearm. Similar Oregon measures failed in 2013 and 2014. The difference in 2015 was the infusion of money from Bloomberg’s blithering, dithering Everytown For Gun Safety front group that, despite itself, was apparently taken seriously by lawmakers in this instance.
According to OregonLive, Bloomberg-funded Everytown began setting up “robust” field staffs in April 2014 to help gun control candidates navigate the last months of the election cycle, leading up to November. Bloomberg did this same thing in “10 other states,” but chiefly realized gains from this tactic in Oregon and Washington.
In addition to these staffs, Bloomberg-funded Everytown gave money to Sen. Chuck Riley, who then unseated Sen. Bruce Starr and vote “yes” for expanded background checks on April 14. OregonLive estimates Everytown spent at least $100,000 in lobbying for the bill – far more than the NRA did, or could, spend in trying to defeat it.
A total of 18 states now require background checks for some — but not all — gun purchases.
Critics say the bill, formally approved on April 25, will fail to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and people who are mentally ill. Republican leaders called the law “deeply flawed” and “unenforceable” because law-abiding residents are being targeted without increasing mental health services.
The signing of the bill “represents another milestone in what is already becoming the most partisan and misguided session in recent memory,” Oregon House Republican Leader Mike McLane wrote Monday in a statement.
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The most liberal 2016 candidate for president opposes strict gun control
It’s very early in what will be a long and savage 2016 Presidential campaign so there’s no sense in sifting through the assorted potential candidates seeking party nods. Not yet. Please, not yet.
But Max Ehrenfreund of the Washington Post on May 13 offers a Wonkblog analysis of Bernie Sanders, “an avowed democratic socialist,” who has announced that he will challenge the pre-anointed Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.
“In many ways, his policies are what you’d expect from a liberal lawmaker who has said he’s running ‘to take on billionaire class which controls our economy and increasingly controls the political life of this country,’”Ehrenfreund writes. “When it comes to guns, though, the socialist is a moderate who has voted against gun-control advocates on several major bills during his time in Congress. That record may offer a hint of how the senator has managed to appeal to more moderate and conservative voters despite his hardcore liberal agenda.”
Sanders’s overall stance on gun rights isn’t too surprising, he writes, given that he’s represented Vermont as an independent in Congress for 24 years, first in the House and now in the Senate. Hunting is a way of life in Vermont, and so are guns. Anyone can carry a concealed weapon there without a permit. Other Democrats from the state, such as Sen. Patrick Leahy and former governor Howard Dean, have also sought the middle ground on guns, according to Ehrenfreund.
While Sanders protected his constituents’ right to bear arms, he’s never accepted any contributions from the National Rifle Association or other gun-rights groups, according to the Center for Responsive Politics and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
So, there will be a thoughtful, pro-Constitution alternative to the Hillary Express’s staid, stupid gun control rhetoric during next summer’s Democratic convention, but it’s likely to be drowned out by bread-and-circuses distractions, which now serve as discourse in contemporary political culture.