“We are on the right side of the Constitution and the right side of history,” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) said about anti-gun measures supported by Democrats on Wednesday.
President Joe Biden has called for Congress to strengthen gun laws, and on Wednesday House Democrats answered. The House passed H.R. 8, which requires that all loans, gifts, and sales of firearms be processed by a gun store, and H.R. 1446, which allows for the FBI to indefinitely delay background checks.
Despite what these measures actually do, Rep. Jackson Lee proudly boasted, “Nothing in H.R. 8 or 1446 violates any part of the Bill of Rights, it does not violate the First Amendment. It does not violate the right to due process. And it does not violate the Second Amendment.”
The National Rifle Association and others have noted that H.R. 8 would make it a crime, other than in certain limited exceptions, to simply hand a firearm to another person. If a gun owner loaned a weapon to another they would be exposing themselves to criminal penalties unless they made a visit to a gun dealer.
At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic some jurisdictions that had criminalized the private transfer of firearms also shut down access to gun stores or their state criminal background check system. This lethal combination of misguided policies made it impossible for millions of Americans to exercise their Second Amendment rights by acquiring, or even borrowing or lending, firearms during the crisis.
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Under the bill an AG is allowed to require that every gun store charge a fee for a gun transfer, as long as they don’t put a limit on how high it can go.
“Regulations promulgated under this paragraph may not include any provision placing a cap on the fee licensees may charge to facilitate transfers in accordance with paragraph (1)."
The House also passed H.R. 1446.
Under current law, the FBI can delay a gun transaction for 3 business days in order in to perform additional records research. The burden of proof remains on the government to affirmatively deny a transfer, if it can not do so in 3 business days, the transfer goes through.
The bill, however, would eliminate the current automatic default transfer option for the FFL. If the intended recipient didn’t file the follow-up petition, and the FBI didn’t resolve the NICS check, the transfer could NEVER proceed.
During debate in the House, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) called out Democrats for wanting to violate the Second Amendment.
"Let me remind my Democratic colleagues that the Second Amendment explicitly states that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Maybe they would remember that if they carried a pocket copy of the Constitution with them like I do every single day. Apparently not," Foxx said.
"Make no mistake, these bills are created in bad faith. They're partisan shams that rob us of our freedoms."