Proposed Legislation Could Eliminate Background Check 3-day “Safety Valve”
Democratic 2020 residential hopefuls campaign for more gun control in the wake of Aurora, Illinois shooting
NRA: Stealth Bill Is Ploy To Impose ‘Licensing Scheme’ To Empower Bureaucrats
H.R.8 – The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, introduced by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) with more 230 co-sponsors, including five Republicans, has generated a great deal of media attention, especially after its February 6 hearing before the House Judiciary Committee.
But the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), however, is alerting gunowners about a below-the-radar bill that doesn’t just “criminalize the private transfer of firearms,” like HR 8 does, but is an “insidious attack on gunowners.”
According to the NRA-ILA, H.R. 1112, used the “inappropriately-named” ‘Charleston loophole’ to eliminate the three-day “safety-valve provision” under the federal firearms background check system that prevents the government from indefinitely delaying law-abiding Americans’ gun purchases.
All Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL gun dealers) must conduct a background check on prospective purchasers to determine if transferring the firearm would violate state or federal law.
As the NRA-ILA explains, under current law, if an FFL initiates a background check, but does not receive a determination from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System within three business days, the FFL may proceed with the firearms transfer.
After the three-day window, the FBI has up to 90 days to determine if a person initially “dinged” is actually prohibited from possessing firearms. If so, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is notified and agents retrieve the firearm.
Under H.R. 1112, introduced on February 8 by Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) with two co-sponsors, including Republican Rep. Peter King of New York, eliminates the three-day “safety valve” and replaces it with a procedure in which an FFL initiates a background check and does not receive a response from NICS after 10 business days, the prospective purchaser must petition the FBI to permit the transfer to proceed rather than it being automatic with the 90-day onus on the government to say why it is nixing the transaction.
“Gun rights supporters have spent the last 30 years successfully working to remove may-issue licensing schemes that empower those in government to indulge their political biases and general prejudices to control the exercise of a constitutional right,” the NRA-ILA states. “Gun owners and civil liberties supporters across the political spectrum must recognize H.R. 1112 for what it is, a measure that would subject the exercise of a constitutional right to the unfettered discretion of federal bureaucrats.”
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Illinois Shooting Spurs Dog-And-Pony Calls For More Laws That Won’t Be Enforced
The shooter who gunned down five at a manufacturing plant in Aurora, Illinois, on February 15 did do with a pistol that, by Illinois’ strict firearms laws and regulations — in fact, by most state’s laws and regulations — he should not have legally been in possession of.
But local and state law enforcement agencies, despite clear notification after the shooter was denied a concealed carry permit, failed to follow-up and he retained possession.
Despite yet another example of failing to enforce existing laws, the same cast of characters are, again, orchestrating the same gun-control dog-and-pony show, calling for more laws that won’t be enforced as a non-solution to an issue they politically benefit from by perpetuating.
Several of the ever-growing cadres of Democratic 2020 presidential candidates raced against each other in the wake of the shooting to find a microphone and TV cameras.
The winner: California Sen. Kamala Harris — the former state attorney general who effectively turned the Second Amendment into a “second-class” amendment in the Golden State.
Campaigning in South Carolina, she even had the perfect backdrop after visiting the site of the 2015 mass shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.
“We’re not waiting for another tragedy to figure out that we need smart gun safety laws because we’ve seen every tragedy that we can imagine,” Harris said. “We’ve seen assault weapons kill babies and police officers. There’s no need for assault weapons in a civil society. We don’t need them. Let’s ban them. These are reasonable, good ideas.”
Potential contender Beto O’Rourke came in second, but had a wider audience. In a Friday interview with CNN’s Leyla Santiago, he vowed that there will be “actions that we take going forward to make sure we do more to save more lives and do everything we can to support those families who have lost so much.”
Others weren’t so quick. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren couldn’t find a microphone and TV cameras until Saturday, but at least she made it to South Carolina.
“We need to treat gun violence like the public health emergency that it is, and do real research about what works, what we could do to make this better, safer,” Warren said at an event in Greenville. “The NRA holds Congress hostage. And the only way that is going to change is if we get out there and say, ‘enough is enough, we’re not doing this anymore.’ So, I am ready to fight back against the NRA. Ready to fight for some change.”
Saturday night in New Hampshire, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand — out-done in alacrity but not in rhetoric — blamed the Aurora shooting on the failure to adopt new laws that won’t be enforced on the old, reliable boogieman, the NRA.
“It’s not about the Second Amendment or hunter’s rights,” she lied. “Let me be really clear: It’s about the gun manufacturers that fund the NRA that want to sell more weapons. They don’t care that they’re selling a gun to a teenager, an assault rifle, a military assault rifle, to a teenager in Wal-Mart.”
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‘Second Amendment Sanctuary’ Movement Spreads To New Mexico
Several Illinois counties have declared themselves “Second Amendment Sanctuaries” in response to what constituents fear is an over-reach by the state legislature, and sheriffs in several counties in Washington have vowed not enforce an the onerous I-1639 because their constituents say it violates their fundamental rights.
Now, the New Mexico Sheriffs’ Association is circulating a “Second Amendment Sanctuary County” resolution before dozens of counties with at least four county commissions pondering adoption with one — Quay County — doing so on February 13.
The resolution was adopted in opposition of a proposed bill filed for the 2019 legislative session — House Bill 8 — which extends required background checks to sales between private citizens.
As stipulated in the bill, anyone trying to privately sell a gun would first have to get it cleared through a FFL dealer — via a background check — where it was initially purchased.
Sheriffs within the state and gun owners from rural areas are criticizing such bills.
“The laws are ill-conceived, unenforceable, and punish law-abiding citizens,” the New Mexico Sheriffs’ Association told KRQE in Albuquerque.
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IN THE COURTS
Enforce ‘Unconstitutional’ I-1639 And Get Sued
Sheriffs in at least seven Washington counties say they will not enforce some components of Initiative 1639, adopted in November by state voters, until lawsuits challenging the measure determine if it is unconstitutional.
That lawsuit continues to evolve with its initial iteration citing the state and State Attorney General Bob Ferguson as defendants revised to target those who are enforcing provisions of the law, including Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl.
The revised suit lists Meidl and Clark County Sheriff Charles Atkins as defendants because they have the authority to revoke licenses for gun dealers who violate state laws regarding firearms, according to the suit.
Two of the plaintiffs reside in Clark County, which includes Spokane, including Robin Ball, who owns Sharp Shooting Indoor Range and Gun Shop in Spokane.
The suit also names Teresa Berntsen, who is the director of the Washington Department of Licensing.
According to the suit, I-1639 creates some of the strictest gun laws in the country, including a provision that restricts certain gun sales to people under the age of 21.
“Plaintiffs allege that a reasonable opportunity for discovery will show that Meidl intends to enforce relevant state laws governing the sale of firearms, including revoking the licenses of dealers, including Ball, who will sell self-loading rifles in violation of I-1639,” the case claims.
The suit claims Ball could not sell a rifle to Nathaniel Casey because he’s only 19. “Casey is unable to exercise his right under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution to purchase a firearm that is in common use for lawful purposes in Washington and the United States,” it states.
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