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House Passes Universal Background Checks After Republicans Rip Measure

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Article first appeared on Ammoland.com

U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- The House of Representatives on a 227-203 vote, passed a measure to expand background checks to nearly all gun sales in the country, according to the Wall Street Journal, on the morning after a sometimes fiery and frequently emotional floor debate that brought out traditional arguments on both sides.

According to Vox, “Universal background checks are the top legislative priority for Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control advocacy group and network that includes Moms Demand Action, and are supported by President Joe Biden.

Reaction from gun-rights groups to the House votes was swift.

“These bills are a transparent attempt by gun control advocates in Congress to restrict the rights of law-abiding Americans under the guise of addressing the violent criminal culture in America,” said Jason Ouimet, executive director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action. “The truth, however, is that neither of these bills will do anything to solve that problem. By giving full power to unelected government bureaucrats to indefinitely delay and prevent lawful firearm transfers, H.R. 1446 could ultimately destroy the Second Amendment rights guaranteed to every law-abiding American by turning it into a privilege enjoyed by a select few.  H.R. 8, so called “universal” background checks, cannot be enforced without a federal gun registry, will not prevent crime, and will turn otherwise law-abiding citizens into criminals for simply loaning a firearm to friends or family members.​  If Congress is serious about the safety of law-abiding citizens, it should have passed concealed carry reciprocity so that Americans can safeguard themselves and their families across state lines and throughout our country during these dangerous times.”​​​”

Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, warned this would open the floodgates to an even more ominous measure.

“With Thursday’s House passage of two extremist gun control measures covering so-called ‘universal background checks’ and closing the so-called ‘Charleston loophole,’ it opens the pathway for Congress to focus on H.R. 127,” he stated.

H.R. 127 is the sweeping gun control bill sponsored by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. It calls for gun owner licensing and registration, mandatory psychological examinations of gun owners, mandatory gun owner insurance, mandatory minimum prison sentences for gun owners who do not comply, and bans on whole classes of firearms and original capacity magazines.”

CCRKBA is currently running a national TV campaign warning gun owners about H.R. 127.

Declaring the Second Amendment “does not give Americans a right, it protects a pre-existing right and that right shall not be infringed,” Arizona Congressman Andy Biggs essentially set the tone of opposition to H.R. 8—a bill mandating so-called “universal background checks”—during a one-hour floor debate in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Opponents led by Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan repeatedly attacked the bill as a danger to individuals and the Second Amendment. Introduced by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), H.R. 8 has 210 co-sponsors, only three of whom are Republicans. This allows Democrats to declare the measure to be bipartisan and in the end, the vote found eight Republicans voting for the measure and one Democrat voting against it.

Perhaps not surprisingly, as the House was taking up the “Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021,” and H.R.1446, the “Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021,” a look at leading stories on gun control revealed the “big push” is on, with gun prohibitionists declaring the background check legislation to be the proverbial “first step in comprehensive action.”

But the debate over H.R. 8 revealed the stark divide that exists between pro-rights Republicans and anti-gun Democrats.

Asserting that “more than 90 percent of Americans support universal background checks,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) insisted H.R. 8 and H.R. 1446 “will keep guns out of the hands of those who aren’t allowed to have them in the first place.”

Countering that argument, Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) argued H.R. 8 will not accomplish what supporters claim.

“We all know that, by definition, criminals don’t abide by the law,” he stated. “This bill will not make our communities safer. In fact, what it will do is cause law-abiding citizens to lose more of their Second Amendment rights.”

California Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell supported H.R. 8 along with fellow Democrats. (Screen snip, C-SPAN)

Liberal Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell of California insisted H.R. 8 “takes the most dangerous weapons out of the hands of the most dangerous people.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) told his colleagues, “We are told yet again that this will save lives, and yet, there is not one single mass killing that’s been brought up here today that would have been prevented by this bill.”

A former judge, Gohmert recalled his time on the bench.

“I think we had thousands of cases, felony cases that came through my court,” he said. “Over and over you hear the criminals, they’re not obeying the law. They’re not going to follow the law. They got their guns illegally. This will not change at all any of those people we tried and convicted for getting guns. They steal them. They buy them from other people that stole them. They don’t obey the law. That’s why they are criminals.”

Perennial anti-gun Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) apparently didn’t listen to such details, insisting that background checks “take 90 seconds; 90 seconds to prevent firearms from ending up in the wrong hands, 90 seconds to prevent more of our loved ones from being killed by gun violence.”

Jayapal professed pride in the voters of Washington State who “have consistently tackled gun violence with commonsense reforms, passing one of the first, most comprehensive background check laws in 2014 and raising the legal age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle to 21 in 2018.”

She failed to mention how the 2014 background check law didn’t prevent a triple slaying at a teen party in Mukilteo in 2016 by a young man who passed a background check. Nor did Jayapal acknowledge how the number of murders in Seattle—the state’s most populous city and home to a billionaire-backed gun prohibition lobbying group—soared last year by more than 50 percent.

Jayapal’s apparent oblivion to how criminals get firearms was repeatedly refuted during statements before and after she spoke.

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) testified, “A ten-year study by Johns Hopkins and U.C.-Davis concluded that California’s background check law had no effect on gun homicides or suicides. None. The purpose of this bill is not public safety…Its purpose is to make gun ownership so legally hazardous, too fraught with booby traps that no law-abiding citizen would want to take the risk.”

Texas Rep. Chip Roy (Screen snip, C-SPAN)

Congressman Chip Roy (R-TX) asserted, “My Democratic colleagues after opening up our borders want to take away our God-given rights to defend ourselves under the Second Amendment. That’s what this is about. This is about creating a gun registry that track guns of the American people. There is no way to implement what the Democrats are trying to implement without doing that…We have a God-given right to defend our families against tyranny and do it regardless of what this Democratic Congress tries to jam through.”

And feisty freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) came out swinging: “Talk about women’s rights; don’t take away my right to protect myself. I mean, seriously, what are we doing here? I ask supporters of this legislation, who do you think you are to disarm Americans and leave them vulnerable without help?

“You want to defund our police and yet leave us without a way to protect ourselves. Our founding fathers gave us a list of items and said ‘Don’t touch these things.’ And I’m telling you, keep your hands off of our Second Amendment.”

The chair scolded Boebert for directing her comments at House members rather than the chair.

The floor debate unfolded against the backdrop of what might seem like a concerted effort to make gun control the front-burner issue of the day. In an editorial calling for more Second Amendment restrictions, the Chicago Sun Times bemoaned loose gun laws in neighboring states “contribute to the flood of gun son the streets of Chicago,” and the surge of “gun violence” in the Windy City.

“Last year,” the editorial states, “gun violence increased by 52% in Chicago, and 65% more women were killed in acts of gun violence. Domestic violence increased by 16% in Illinois, and the risk of homicide in domestic violence incidents is five times higher when a gun is present.”

In the Seattle-based Crosscut online magazine, an Op-Ed calling for passage of state-level gun control laws, “Collectively, the proposed legislation seeks to modestly reign in gun violence. Senate Bill 5078 would ban “high-capacity magazines”; SB 5038 would ban “open carry” of weapons at demonstrations and the state Capitol; SB 5217 would ban “assault weapons.”

However, the magazine ban legislation appears to have died in the Senate, and an effort to ban “assault weapons” also failed to pass before a legislative deadline.

Back in “the other Washington,” Georgia Congresswoman Lucy McBath was looking forward to pushing H.R. 8 and other gun control measures, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. McBath lost a son in a shooting incident eight years ago.

“It’s not going to be easy, but I truly believe that now is the time,” McBath said. “And the country is really, really ripe. I cannot tell you how many people every week I’m talking to that are anxiously waiting for us to pass legislation. They are tired; they are afraid.”

She reiterated that position during the House debate, stating, “Our vote today is (a) beginning and it’s definitely not the end.”

Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) concurred, but hardly in the same sense.

“H.R. 8 is an assault on our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms,” she stated. “This bill is just the first of many steps to take away our Second Amendment rights.”

RELATED:

House Dems Launch Full Court Press on Background Checks


About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

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