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Gun-Control on the Move, Expanded Background Check Bills Sail Through House

Gun-Control on the Move, Expanded Background Check Bills Sail Through House

by S.H. BLANNELBERRY | Guns America Digest  |  Published on March 12, 2021

Well, that didn’t take long.

Just a week or so after their introduction, the House of Representatives passed two key pieces of gun-control legislation: H.R. 8 and H.R. 1446.

The Bipartisan Background Checks Act (H.R. 8) is a universal background check bill that would criminalize private transfers.

Meaning, sales or transfers between anyone who is not immediately related would be outlawed.

In order to transfer or sell a firearm lawfully to another individual, the transaction would have to be facilitated via a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL).

The FFL would run a background check on the prospective buyer (or transferee). Many FFLs charge fees for running background checks.

Failure to comply could result in criminal prosecution for both buyer and seller.

“This is the moment to act on gun safety, and that starts with background checks on all guns sales,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, in a press release obtained by GunsAmerica.

“Our grassroots army of nearly six million supporters is proud to stand behind Speaker Pelosi, Rep. Thompson, and gun safety champions in the House as they pass this bill with bipartisan support and overwhelming support from the American people,” she continued.

The Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 (H.R. 1446) would close the so-called “Charleston Loophole” by eliminating the policy that a firearm can be transferred to an individual if the FBI has not completed a background check within three days.

The bill gives the FBI a full 10 business days to complete a background check that has been delayed. Once those 10 days are up, a prospective buyer can petition for “escalated review to spur the FBI to complete its investigation.”

The sale may proceed if the escalated review has not been completed within an additional 10 business days, allowing the FBI to delay without reason a person’s Second Amendment rights for a full four weeks.

“We could have addressed this deadly loophole years ago, but then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stood with the NRA to block this bill from ever getting a vote on the Senate floor,” Watts said in reference to H.R. 1446. “Fortunately, there’s a new majority in the Senate –– and we look forward to working with that majority to pass this bill into law.”

Gun-rights groups were quick to condemn the news.

“Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi have never met a gun control proposal they didn’t immediately want to take to bed. Given the chance, they will rape our gun rights,” said Alan Gottlieb, the founder of the Second Amendment Foundation in an email to GunsAmerica.

Mark Oliva, the director of public affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, offered a warning for what universal background checks portend: a national firearms registry.

“H.R. 8 does nothing to address the criminal misuse of firearms, but would put every law-abiding gun owner on a federal gun registry which is currently forbidden under federal law,” he told GunsAmerica.

“The firearm industry has grave concerns about our customers being profiled on government watchlists for simply exercising their fundamental Second Amendment right to purchase a firearm,” Oliva said.

Everytown for Gun Safety has repeatedly stated that background checks on all gun sales are its “top legislative priority.” While it won’t publicly admit it, the truth is that universal background checks will be unenforceable and ineffective without a nationwide gun registration requirement.

Gun-rights advocates know this and gun-control advocates know this because (a) it’s plainly obvious (b) Democratic lawmakers recently introduced national gun licensing and registration legislation (H.R. 127), and (c) the Obama administration told us so in a government-funded analysis titled, “Summary of Select Firearm Violence Prevention Strategies,” authored by NIJ Deputy Director Greg Ridgeway.

The “Twitter Summary” from the document reads as follows (emphasis added), “Universal Background Checks: Effectiveness depends on the ability to reduce straw purchasing, requiring gun registration and an easy gun transfer process.”

Plainly stated, outlawing private transfers and giving the government more latitude to delay one’s fundamental right to keep and bear arms are only the tip of the iceberg of what the anti-gun Left has in store for the 2A. As Shannon Watts confessed, this is where it “starts…”

Both bills now head to the Senate where Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has promised to bring them up for a vote.

“H.R. 8 will be on the (Senate) floor and we’ll see where everybody stands,” Schumer said Thursday during a press conference with Pelosi. “No more hopes and prayers.”

Stay tuned for updates.

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