Samuel Case, FISM News
Living up to the fears of Second Amendment advocates, the Democrat-run legislature has set their gaze on gun control legislation. Last week, the House of Representatives passed a pair of gun control bills, both designed to expand the background check process.
H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, passed 227-203 with eight Republicans siding with the Democrats. This bill applies background checks to online transactions, gun shows, and even certain private transactions. If passed in the Senate, Democrats will have practically achieved one of their long standing goals of universal background checks.
The second bill , H.R. 1446 or the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021, passed 219-201 with only two Republicans siding with Democrats. This legislation gives federal officials 10 days to complete a background check before the sale can go through. Currently officials only have three days.
Gun rights advocates have attacked these laws, H.R. 8 in particular, as an attempt by the government to track every gun in the nation and work towards establishing a national gun registry. They also argue that these new pieces of legislation would not have stopped any of the major mass shootings the United States has seen over the past several years. Many mass shooters have passed background checks, because they had never been arrested, even though many had shown signs of being dangerous.
In addition to the House’s two bills, last week, 35 Democrat Senators introduced a bill banning “assault weapons” including the AR-15. Senator Diane Feinstein cited an increase in domestic terrorism as the rational for the legislation. “We’re now seeing a rise in domestic terrorism, and military-style assault weapons are increasingly becoming the guns of choice for these dangerous groups.”
While the AR-15 has become the face of mass shootings, and indeed has been used in many high profile shootings, the majority of mass shooting are perpetuated with hand guns. According to Statista hand guns were used in 95 mass shootings between 1982 and February 2020, while rifles were used in 47.
H.R. 8 and H.R. 1446 move on to the Senate where they will likely die. Democrats have narrower control in the Senate, and it is extremely unlikely they’ll be able to persuade enough Republicans to get to the 60 vote threshold on either bill.