Hearing Protection Act, ‘assault weapon’ ban top list of 2016 most viewed bills

Two of the top three most-viewed bills on Congress.gov last year involved proposals centered around gun politics.

While gun legislation failed to make the top 10 most viewed bills in 2015, last year saw a proposed Democrat-backed renewal of the federal assault weapons ban top the charts while a bipartisan measure to deregulate firearm suppressors from National Firearm Act restrictions ranked #1 and #3, respectively.

House Resolution 4269 – The Assault Weapons Ban of 2015, was introduced by 123 chamber Democrats in Dec. 2015. The measure aimed to prohibit the sale, transfer, production and importation of new semi-automatic rifles, handguns, and shotguns capable of holding more than a 10-round magazine or with a single “military-style” feature.

In the end, though it picked up 149 Dems– but not a single Republican– it never left the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.

House Resolution 3799 – The Hearing Protection Act of 2015, was introduced in October 2015 with 11 GOP co-sponsors. The bill would have treated suppressors and silencers as regular firearms which would allow their transfer through any regular federal firearms license holders to anyone not prohibited from possessing them after the buyer passed an FBI instant background check.

The HPA garnered 82 co-sponsors including a smattering of Democrats (U.S. Reps. Gene Green of Texas and Peter DeFazio of Oregon) but died in the same committee as the rebooted assault weapon ban attempt.

Republicans have promised to reintroduce suppressor deregulation to the new Congress while Rhode Island Democrat David N. Cicilline, the author of the AWB, promised last month on the anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting to continue to fight for gun control.