• Richard Easson

Democrats Go After Guns with New Bills Passed in House

Today, the House passed two gun control bills originally blocked by last year’s Congress, something Democrats have been pushing for quite some time now.

On Monday, the Biden administration expressed its readiness to work with Congress saying that it was “looking forward” to working toward strengthening the background check process and implementing “commonsense” steps to reduce gun violence. The administration also urged the House to pass the two resolutions that it did today.

A 227-203 vote on a measure to expand background checks to almost all gun sales passed with eight Republicans backing it and one Democrat opposing it.

A second measure extends the window for background checks to 10 days from 3 days, allowing more time for law enforcement agencies to perform background checks on individuals before they can purchase guns. That measure passed 219-210 nearly along party lines. Two Republicans voted in favor while two Democrats voted against.

Similar measures presented in H.R. 8 cleared the House in 2019 after Democrats won back the chamber during midterms elections but failed to clear the 60 vote hurdle to avoid a filibuster in the Senate. At the time, Sen. Mitch McConnell (KY) was the Senate Majority Leader.

Newly minted Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY) said during a press conference, "In the past, when they sent it over to us last time, it went into Mitch McConnell's legislative graveyard. The legislative graveyard is over. H.R. 8 will be on the floor of the Senate, and we will see where everybody stands. No more hopes and prayers, thoughts and prayers. A vote is what we need, a vote, not thoughts and prayers."

Republican opponents of the legislation said that the bills would bring about bureaucratic burdens on law-abiding citizens without actually closing up the roads those who misuse guns take.

They also believe the background checks would pave a way to establishing a national registry the federal government could use sometime down the road to locate gun owners and confiscate their firearms, although the legislation prohibits the creation of such a registry.

Rep. Bob Good (R., Va.) said, “This bill creates a de facto gun registry by involving the federal government in every gun transfer, including private transfers and gifts, or else how will we enforce these requirements? For my Democrat friends who suggest that conservatives and gun owners are paranoid about a national registry, you bet we are.”

The good thing for Republicans is that the Senate filibuster could prove to be the thorn in Democrats’ sides. The left is trying to ram through as many progressive priorities as they can, as quickly as they can including controversial bills on voting rights through H.R. 1, policing, and now guns.

Sadly, many Democrats have expressed their intent on eliminating the filibuster, the very tool in the Senate that separates us from a majority-rules tyranny. All 50 Democrats in the Senate would need to back such an elimination or reformation of the filibuster. Luckily, a few centrists in the Democratic Party have expressed their belief that it should remain.

What else?

Here's Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) blasting Democrats on the gun bills during a House hearing on Wednesday. "You want my guns, I know it, we all know it. Well, Mr. Speaker, you can come and take them."