House Passes Harsh Anti-Gun Laws as Republicans Waffle in Senate
The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a whopper of a gun control package that would strip millions of their Second Amendment rights.
In a partisan 223-204 roll call, with most Democrats voting in favor of the anti-gun package and most Republicans either voting against or not voting, the House passed H.R. 7910. Two Democrats-- Jerry Golden of Maine and Adam Smith of Washington, crossed the aisle and voted with Republicans against the measures, while five GOP members-- Brian K. Fitzpatrick (Penn.), Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio), Chris Jacobs (NY), Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), and Fred Upton (Mich.)-- returned the favor and cast their lot with the Dems.
The bill was rushed through in lightning speed, having just been introduced eight days before.
As reported by Guns.com last week H.R. 7910 is a sweeping omnibus gun control measure that:
Raises the purchasing age for most semi-auto centerfire rifles and shotguns to 21-- impacting an estimated 13 million Americans aged 18 to 20.
Bans often standard-capacity magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds, codifies a federal ban on bump stocks. Grandfathered magazines in circulation would be eligible for taxpayer-funded "buybacks" and require date codes to be legally retained.
Institutes a nationwide mandatory gun lock law backed up with the potential for seizures and fines.
Establishes new federal crimes for gun trafficking and straw purchases in addition to those that already exist.
Establishes a federal definition of "ghost gun" including "3D printing a frame or receiver" mandating background checks for such self-manufactured firearms.
Changes the federal definition of what constitutes an "undetectable firearm."
Changes the legal definition of "firearm" to include gun kits and partial receivers.
Prior to the overall vote on the package, each of the massive bill's six sections was brought up for a roll call, which largely reflected the final vote. A notable departure was Title V of the bill, outlawing bump stocks, which saw a 233-194 vote that included 13 Republicans and every single Democrat in support.
U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) Wednesday, prior to the vote on the package, stumped on the House floor on the categorical importance of the right to keep and bear arms and eviscerated each of the measure’s six parts in turn.
Senate in play on 'commonsense' reforms?
Meanwhile, in the Senate, a small group of Republican Senators led by John Cornyn of Texas and Thom Tillis of North Carolina have been discussing a range of issues including a bipartisan gun control effort. In a floor speech in the chamber on Monday, Cornyn, who has the blessing of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to negotiate on the subject said he was open to "commonsense, targeted reforms" but fell short of endorsing bans and prohibitions.
"We're not talking about banning a category of weapons across the board, a ban for certain high-capacity magazines, or changing the background check system by adding additional disqualifying items," said Cornyn. "If we're actually serious about finding common ground and building consensus, those sorts of things will stand no chance of passing the Senate."
However, colleagues of Cornyn and Tillis once thought a solid "no" on gun restrictions have been swaying in the breeze this week. Wyoming Senator Cynthia Lummis is reportedly now open to some suggestions on gun control. Fellow Republican Senators Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Pat Toomey (Penn.), and Susan Collins (Maine) have also been mentioned as soon to be in talks on gun control.