In addition to the President’s issuance of executive actions to expand background checks, Congress was also a beehive of activity this week on the gun issue working on 11 bills. Many of the bills gained support while others addressed action’s proposed by President Obama.
DC Personal Protection Reciprocity Act – Rep. David Schweikert, a Republican representing Arizona’s 6th congressional district, introduced a measure so non-residents with a valid state-issued concealed carry permit could carry a firearm in the District of Columbia.
Upon introduction, H.R. 4348 gained 34 co-sponsors, all Republicans, and has been referred to the House Oversight and Government Reform committee.
Second Amendment Defense Act of 2016 – The mostly symbolic bill, H.R. 4319, was introduced by Rep. Scott Perry, a Republican from Pennsylvania’s 4th district.
According to the excerpt, the bill is designed to “eliminate the authority of the executive branch to further restrict the conduct of individuals in relation to firearms or ammunition.”
Details in the two-page bill say no federal officer or employee may take action that would limit an individual’s Second Amendment right.
Upon introduction, the bill received 28 sponsors, all Republican, and was assigned to the House Judiciary committee.
Gun Violence Reduction Resources Act – Introduced by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat representing Texas’s 18th district, on Jan. 5, the Gun Violence Reduction Resources Act of 2016 will provide the hiring of an additional 200 agents and investigators to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for the better enforcement of federal gun laws.
The two-page bill, H.R. 4316, acknowledges details listed in Obama’s executive action. If passed, the bill would approve the hiring immediately.
Upon introduction, it gained four co-sponsors, all Democrats, and was assigned to the House Judiciary committee.
NICS Denial Notification Act – The bill, H.R. 4320, was introduced by Rep. Mike Quigley, a Democrat from Illinois’s 5th district, on Jan. 5.
The measure would ensure that state and federal authorities are notified if a prohibited person tries to buy a gun and in turn authorities would then pursue criminal charges.
Also, the bill would require the Justice Department to issue a practical report to Congress about charges brought and prosecutions against prohibited persons.
Upon introduction, the bill gained three cosponsors, including two Republicans and one Democrat. It was assigned to the House Judiciary committee.
Firearms Manufacturers and Dealers Protection Act of 2015 – Another bill introduced by Schweikert was updated this week. H.R. 1413 gained a new co-sponsor, putting support at 41 Republicans.
The bill would terminate Operation Choke Point, a Justice Department initiative that was announced in 2013 to investigate banks and the business they do with payment processors, payday lenders and other companies deemed higher risk.
The list of high risk businesses included those that deal in arms, ammunition, porn, escorts, get-rich-quick schemes among other endeavors. However, many raised issues of due process.
The bill was introduced in March 2015 and has been assigned to the House Financial Services committee.
The Gun Show Loophole Closing Act of 2015 – The 12-page bill, H.R. 2380, gained additional co-sponsors for a total of 46, which consists entirely of Democrats. It was introduced in May 2015 by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who represents New York’s 12th congressional district.
If passed, the bill would require criminal background checks on all firearm transactions at gun shows. Details of the bill would define the term “gun show” to mean any event 50 or more firearms are on display for sale or trade in addition to the record keeping process for gun sellers.
The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary committee.
Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2015 – The second of Maloney’s bills was addressed this week, H.R. 3455 gained three new co-sponsors putting the total to 36, including 31 Democrats and five Republicans.
The bill would amend current federal law and define the offense of “trafficking in firearms” selling guns across state lines. An earlier version was introduced in February 2013 and then reintroduced in September 2015.
After introduction, the bill was assigned to the House Judiciary committee.
Establishing the Select Committee on Gun Violence Prevention – The bill, H.R. 467, gained two co-sponsors this week, putting the total to 113, which is made entirely of Democrats.
Rep, Mike Thompson, a Democrat representing California’s 5th district, introduced the bill in October 2015. The measure would appoint a committee to investigate and report on the causes of mass shootings, methods to improve the federal background check system, and research efforts for gun violence.
Upon introduction, the bill was assigned to the House Rules committee.
Safer Communities Act of 2015 – Another bill introduced by Thompson gained new co-sponosors, putting the total at 40 representatives consisting entirely of Democrats.
The 60-page bill is designed to strengthen the nation’s mental health system, improve the understanding of violence, strengthen firearm prohibitions and protections for at-risk individuals, and expand mental health records reporting to the federal background check system.
H.R. 2994 was introduced in July 2015 and assigned to the Health subcommittee in the House and Energy and Commerce committee as well as the House Judiciary.
Mental Health and Safe Communities Act of 2015 – The National Rifle Association-supported bill gained co-sponsors for a total of 20, including 15 Republicans and five Democrats.
The bill, designated H.R. 3722, was introduced on Oct. 8 by Rep. Martha McSally, a Republican from Arizona’s 2nd district, and is identical to a Senate bill of the same name. The proposal would reform the process to adjudicate a person considered dangerously mentally ill.
The bill has been assigned to the House Appropriations committee.
Hearing Protection Act – The popular pro-gun measure to loosen restrictions on silencers, which are heavily regulated under National Firearms Act, gained four new co-sponsors. The measure now has a total of 45 co-sponsors, which consists of 44 Republicans and one Democrat.
The bill, H.R. 3799, adopts sentiments shared by industry representatives who are trying to redefine silencers as safety devices. The measure would loosen restrictions on silencers so they are treated the same as long guns.
Rep. Matt Salmon, a Republican from Arizona’s 5th district, introduced the bill in October and it was assigned to the House Judiciary committee.