House Democrats Push New Gun Control Bills
The House of Representatives has passed two new bills that would expand background checks for gun purchases.
According to Reason’s Jacob Sullum, the bills:
…would require background checks for nearly all firearm transfers and dramatically increase the amount of time allowed to complete those checks. Both changes would impose substantial new burdens on law-abiding gun owners and unjustly deny people their Second Amendment rights without doing much of anything to frustrate criminals.
That’s not new. A great deal of gun control legislation has the effect of punishing the law-abiding while doing little, if anything, to curb illegal behavior. Sullum writes that:
To the extent that a uniform background check requirement actually blocks sales, it will mainly affect buyers who pose no threat to public safety. Federal law prohibits gun possession by absurdly broad categories of people, including anyone with a felony record, no matter the nature of the offense or how long ago it happened; anyone who has ever undergone involuntary psychiatric treatment, whether or not he was ever deemed a danger to others; and cannabis consumers, even in states that have legalized marijuana.
The Wall Street Journal notes that among those who will unnecessarily be caught up in the proposed federal net are “women and minorities.”
“Forty percent of 2020’s buyers were women and the biggest increase of any demographic category was among African Americans, who bought guns at a rate of 58 percent greater than in 2019,” says the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which tracks the data.
Such trends are irrelevant to those intent on regulating away Second Amendment. But they should be paying closer attention to what’s happening outside their ideological bubble:
Philip Smith, the president of the National African American Gun Association, said that he had a massive influx of members in two waves: Once, in 2016, following President Donald Trump’s election, and again during the recent racial justice protests. He said a year ago, NAAGA was getting maybe 10 new members a day; now, its seeing 10 new members an hour. He said there are many factors pushing Black people to buy firearms, including “the politics right now, the pandemic and the racial tone: Those three things together act as kind of a three-headed monster that is driving folks to come to us.”
Image Credit: By KAZ Vorpal (Flickr: Declaration of Independence, with Firearm) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons