The public’s support for Democratic policies has declined over the last several years on many issues, including gun control.
The Democrats failed to force through massive gun control legislation during Barack Obama’s presidency.
In order to regain Democrats’ dismal midterm prospects, turning gun ownership into a privilege rather than a right is a questionable plan.
If you buy a new gun, would you like Merrick Garland to determine whether you’re eligible to own one?
That may be the case soon.
The Senate Democrats proposed gun control legislation on Thursday in the run-up to the midterms.
While gun control laws in New York did not stop the gunman from attacking unarmed grocery shoppers, they are using the Buffalo shooting as a political tool.
The Federal Firearms Licensing Act is being introduced by Sens. Cory Booker, Richard Blumenthal, and Bob Menendez, according to Politico.
As a result of the law, gun ownership will move from being a right of citizens to being a privilege granted by the government.
Every time you purchase a firearm, you would have to go through a lengthy licensing process with the Department of Justice.
NICS background checks are already required by licensed firearms dealers. Guns are prohibited from being purchased or owned by felons according to current law.
According to Politico:
Democrats have not leaned into gun control measures in the wake of the racist shooter’s deadly attack in Buffalo over the weekend, but Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) is taking on the issue despite long legislative odds.
Booker, along with Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), is introducing legislation today that would require people trying to get a firearm to get a license from the Department of Justice before they can buy or receive a gun.
The DOJ license would require both a written firearm safety test and hands-on training, a criminal background check and submission of fingerprints and proof of identity.
The license would only be available to people over 21 years of age, essentially raising the age of gun ownership to 21.
“This is the moment to enact ambitious legislation – as a nation, we must rise to it, or we are fated to witness the deadly scenes of this past weekend and years past over again,” Booker said in a statement. Read the bill text.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a leading advocate for gun safety legislation shares Booker’s sense of urgency and told The New York Times’ Annie Karni that even if legislation cannot clear Congress, Democrats need to talk more about guns, especially with voters.
According to Booker’s bill, the Attorney General has discretion to approve or revoke a federal firearms license, even for those without a criminal record.
It is possible for the Attorney General to deny a firearms license to a person if they determine that the individual poses a significant threat to themselves or others by owning a firearm.
If an American has been arrested or uses drugs or alcohol, he or she may not be allowed to possess a firearm. It is even possible for them to be denied because of their “unsafe storage or handling of firearms.”
Additionally, firearms could be denied to some applicants if they have “recent acquisition of firearms, ammunition or other deadly weapons.”
It would be egregious if you were denied access to a firearm by the government because you previously owned one.
For federal approval, applicants would also be required to demonstrate that they took extensive safety classes. Taking firearms lessons from your parents will not suffice.
Despite the fact that the gun control package may be all but dead in a 50-50 Senate, Republicans hoping to boost their midterm campaign may wish liberals to highlight the federal gun license proposition frequently.
Democrats said they weren’t going to take messaging votes while they control both Congress and the White House, but Dems in the House are trying to see what sticks as they try to tackle a constellation of crises — and convince voters they’re working to solve problems.
The House is taking up bills this week on gas prices, domestic extremism and the infant formula shortage — issues that are alarming constituents across the country. House lawmakers head home for a two-week recess to try to convince constituents that they are taking action, even if much of the legislation faces insurmountable odds in the 50-50 Senate.
“We gotta show the people that we’re working our asses off,” is how one progressive, Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), described the party’s recent push for floor action.
The NRA published an article this week which shows what happens when government overreaches in relation to gun ownership and crime. It shows government mandates fail, yet politicians keep trying to infringe on our 2nd Amendment rights.
Researchers in California have published the results of a study evaluating the effectiveness of so-called “gun violence restraining orders” (a.k.a. “extreme risk protection orders” or “red flag” orders). Assembly Bill 1014, was enacted in California in 2014, and since then, 19 states and the District of Columbia have adopted similar laws.
Authors of the study, Firearm Violence Following the Implementation of California’s Gun Violence Restraining Order Law, include Garen Wintemute, the director of the University of California Firearm Violence Research Center and a “key contributor” who helped draft AB 1014.
Very briefly, these laws create a mechanism that allows a family member, police officer, or some other third party (in California, this includes coworkers, school employees, and teachers) to file a petition in court, supported by allegations that the person named in the petition, at some point in the future, poses a danger to themselves or others by possessing or having access to a firearm. If the court is satisfied that there is some potential of future harm, it issues an order authorizing police to take away all firearms the person owns or controls, and prohibiting the person from possessing or acquiring firearms while the order is in effect. The initial court process may be “ex parte” (without any notice to, or an opportunity to respond by, the affected person) or a full hearing on notice. In California, the ex parte order has a minimum duration of 21 days. Once confirmed in a full hearing, the “temporary” order is in effect for up to five years, although orders may be renewed indefinitely.
The researchers examined whether implementation of the California gun violence restraining order (GVRO) law was associated with decreased rates of “firearm assault” or firearm self-harm between 2016 (when AB 1014 took effect) and 2019. They compared the post-GVRO rate of firearm violence in San Diego County (chosen because it had a “high GVRO uptake” or incidence of GVROs) with the estimated outcome in a synthetic control unit (a combination of California control counties weighted to match the firearm violence trend in San Diego, 2005-2015, as closely as possible). The researchers “hypothesized that the GVRO law would be associated with a reduction in firearm violence.”
The results, though, showed that the GVRO law had no impact – “we found no evidence that GVRO implementation was associated with decreased firearm assault or firearm self-harm at the population level in San Diego.” The researchers sought to qualify this result by noting that the findings could be “partially explained by access to firearms through the underground market,” or “could reflect a true absence of association or limitations of our study; further research is needed to determine which of these is the case.”
A 2,000 word editorial authored by another set of researchers, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concurrently with the Wintemute study, repeated this “telling caveat” and sought to downplay the findings, expressing the hope that “this will deter gun industry lobbyists from spinning the study’s results as definitive evidence that ‘gun laws do not work’…”
“Spin” is a remarkable word to use here. The editorial authors are self-described “collaborators” in another, ongoing study on GVROs, “funded by the National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research, which includes [the 2022 study researchers] Dr’s Pear and Wintemute.” One of the editorial authors is a “founding member” and serves on the Executive Steering Committee of a consortium that was “influential in developing the Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) law in California,” the very law under review.
The palpable spin – and spin it surely is – is the attempt to diminish, or dismiss entirely, the findings as “premature,” or affected by “unobserved contextual factors specific to San Diego County,” or due to the small number of GVROs compared to the “theoretical pool” of “suicide-planners in gun-owning households and angry gun-carriers in San Diego County,” resulting in “too small a pebble to make much of a ripple in such a big pond.” Would these same elaborate justifications and qualifications be advanced as forcefully or at all had the study results reflected the promises that this legislation was predicated on?