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5 Gun-Control Bills You Haven’t Heard of Yet

Sue the NRA for gun violence, get a debit card for your high-crime gun, let Holder shut down gun dealers, and more.

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

April 1, 2013 - 6:08 pm

A CBS News poll last week suggested gun-control advocates have missed their moment of momentum to pass stricter regulations, with support down to 47 percent compared to 57 percent in the wake of the December massacre at Sandy Hook elementary.

Despite the administration’s attempts to keep the strictest measures, like a renewal of the assault weapons ban that not even Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) thought could overcome procedural hurdles, in the spotlight — President Obama even had Newtown families at today’s Easter Egg Roll — Democrats are in for a challenge when Congress returns next week from recess.

Still, the debate is just around the corner. Before leaving for the Easter break, Reid began procedural motions to pick up a package of gun-control legislation when the Senate returns. It promises to bring high drama with a group of Republican conservatives threatening to filibuster any new gun bills.

The flurry of gun-control bills introduced at the beginning of the 113th Congress in January, many reactive to the Sandy Hook tragedy, just scratched the surface. Lawmakers continue to introduce new regulations, and many of these move forward in the shadow of more famous cousins such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) assault weapons ban. Still, control of congressional chambers may change, and there’s no guarantee these bills and others won’t have a life if reintroduced in a future Congress.

H.R. 236: Crackdown on Deadbeat Gun Dealers Act of 2013

Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) introduced this bill to increase the number of annual Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) at gun dealers from one to three and increase to five years the term of imprisonment for knowingly making a false statement or representation in required firearms records. Dealers selling or otherwise disposing of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person is prohibited from possessing a firearm could face up to 10 years behind bars.

The bill would also give Attorney General Eric Holder authorization to suspend a dealer’s license and assess civil penalties for firearms violations, including failure to have secure gun storage or safety devices.

“Getting rid of these deadbeat gun dealers is an important complement to an effort that I hope will also include universal background checks, closing the gun show loophole, a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and improving mental health services,” said Langevin, who became a quadriplegic after he was paralyzed in a gun accident at age 16.

H.R. 332: Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act

Rep. Adam Schiff’s (D-Calif.) bill would remove barriers to civil liability for gun manufacturers, dealers and gun-rights interest groups, overriding 2005′s Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. Schiff theorizes that if gun manufacturers, shops, and even the NRA cared more about being sued, they’d promote more gun-control measures. He worked with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence to draft the legislation.

“Good gun companies don’t need special protection from the law, and bad gun companies certainly don’t deserve it,” said Schiff. “Other industries across our country like automotive manufacturers, pharmaceutical firms and even cigarette companies don’t enjoy special protection under the law, and there is no reason to give the gun industry the right to act negligently.  As part of our larger effort to stop gun violence in the country, everyone – including gun companies – should be held accountable for their actions.”

H.R. 868: Safer Neighborhoods Gun Buyback Act of 2013

Rep. Donald Payne (D-N.J.) is proposing a two-year $360 million grant to the Department of Justice that would give gun owners prepaid debit cards in return for turning over firearms. The qualifying guns would be ones, according to the bill, most used in crimes: Smith and Wesson .38 revolver, Smith and Wesson .40 semiautomatic pistol, Haskell Hi-Point JHP 45 semiautomatic pistol, Iberia Firearm JCP40 pistol, Ruger 9 mm semiautomatic pistol, Hi-Point CF380 .380 semiautomatic pistol, Raven Arms .25 semiautomatic pistol, Mossberg 12 gauge shotgun, Smith and Wesson 9mm semiautomatic pistol, Smith and Wesson .357 revolver, Bryco Arms 9mm semiautomatic pistol, Bryco Arms .380 semiautomatic pistol, Davis Industries .380 semiautomatic pistol, and Cobra FS380 .38 semiautomatic pistol.

The debit card given in exchange for the gun would “clearly and conspicuously” say “‘THIS CARD MAY NOT BE USED TO PURCHASE A GUN OR AMMUNITION’ in capital and raised letters on the card,” states the bill — the card even comes with an alert that will be triggered if the purchaser tries to use it to buy a gun. The amount is supposed to be 25 percent above market value of the gun; the congressman estimated that would usually result in a $40 to $400 debit card.

“Since the massacre in Newtown, there has been greater attention on the need to reduce violence in our neighborhoods,” said Payne. “Although no one piece of legislation will eliminate all gun violence, this bill is unlike any other in that it targets the most widely used guns in violent crimes.  Many of these guns are old, they’re sold for little to nothing on the streets to young kids, and so they are very easy for criminals to get their hands on. Because these guns are sold at a higher value than market price, gun owners have an even greater incentive to trade in their old guns.”

“This bill truly is a win-win for states and municipalities because it will get guns off the streets, stimulate local economies, and provide an environmentally friendly use for the recycled materials,” he said.

H.R.965: To prohibit the possession or transfer of junk guns, also known as Saturday Night Specials

“It shall be unlawful for any person to possess or transfer a junk gun which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce,” states this bill. What does Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) mean by a “junk” gun? “A handgun that is not a sporting handgun,” the brief text of the legislation says. Sporting handgun would mean “a type generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.”

Gutierrez announced the bill last month before holding a community meeting with Chicago clergy, community leaders and others to discuss gun-violence prevention strategies, where he distributed a fact sheet on guns most often recovered in crimes by the Chicago Police Department.

“We have had for many years a set of basic design and safety standards to regulate handguns that are imported to the United States. What has been absent are similar standards for domestically manufactured handguns, essentially allowing an unregulated market to flourish for these weapons,” Gutierrez said. “That is why my bill would ban junk guns and require that these handguns manufactured in the U.S. meet the same standards of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as the handguns we import.”

“When we regulate standards for cars and cribs and a whole host of products to ensure they are safe for public consumption – how does it make sense that we do not have basic safety standards for dangerous handguns made right here in America?”

H.R.538: Protect Law Enforcement Armor (PLEA) Act

Rep. Eliot Engel’s (D-N.Y.) bill is seemingly weapon-specific, vowing “to protect the Nation’s law enforcement officers by banning the Five-seveN Pistol and 5.7 x 28mm SS190, SS192, SS195LF, SS196, and SS197 cartridges.”

But it also prohibits “any other handgun that uses ammunition found to be capable of penetrating body armor.” Body armor would mean anything that “meets minimum standards for the protection of law enforcement officers.”

Within a year after the legislation would take effect, the attorney general would release standards for what qualifies as body-armor penetrating ammunition, which “shall take into account, among other factors, variations in performance that are related to the type of handgun used, the length of the barrel of the handgun, the amount and kind of powder used to propel the projectile, and the design of the projectile.”

“Law enforcement has been often outgunned from the deadly weapons and ammunition which is easily obtained over the internet and due to oft-abused loopholes. One such mass shooting took place at Fort Hood – targeting armed service members,” Engel said. “The madman who attacked them did so with a Five-seveN handgun, and he murdered 13 people and wounded 30 others.”

The accused Fort Hood shooter, Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, was active-duty at the time, though, and Engel’s bill excludes military, law enforcement and intelligence agency use.

“I proudly wear the ‘F’ grade I receive from the NRA whose craven opposition to every measure to stop the violence is maddening and offensive,” Engel said. “No one involved in this discussion has called for any measures to take weapons away from the vast majority of gun owners. We want to take them away from those most likely to murder children and teachers in class, movie goers in a theater, shoppers in a shopping mall and people in their place of worship.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
So, if your car is stolen and used in a hit and run, you should be fined for failing to secure your vehicle.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment


Rep. Eliot Engel’s (D-N.Y.)...... “I proudly wear the ‘F’ grade I receive from the NRA ........"

How much do you want to bet that he owns a firearm for his personal protection? If he doesn't would he state so publically? He wouldn't lie about it...surely not.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Let it not be missed that most of the bills listed here do not address the two main sources of "bad" gun violence: 1) insane noncriminals with legal access to guns, and 2) sane criminals with illegal access to black market guns. Note there is such a thing as "good" gun violence, as when a gun is used to dissuade or disable a criminal attacking an innocent victim.

However, putting on the tin foil hat, imagine, just hypothetically, that the government's real concern was armed resistance to government oppression. What would that gun control pogram, er, program look like?
First, you wear down the whole gun industry by exposing them to a constant stream of frivolous lawsuits, which they must constantly be settling, which gives you tons of great anti-gun propaganda (look at all those poor victims of the evil gun industry), and which puts serious financial strain on everyone in the business, including the consumer, who will be paying higher prices on everything to offset the new legal costs.

Second, you strangle the small gun shop, the true center of the retail end of the business. You do this by raising the stakes to unacceptably high levels for the kind of innocent error any small business might experience. And if good people start leaving that business for safer ventures, the ranges will start shutting down, the flow of legal weapons to the citizenry will shrink to a dribble, and the gun manufacturers will have to start opening up new markets overseas just to stay alive.

Third, you want to create a precedent for the eventual elimination of all pistol class firearms, so you poke your nose under the tent with a ban on certain pistols you can propagandize as weapons of the criminal class, even if such a ban is an unconstitutional infringement on the Second Amendment. Later, when you’ve shrunk the industry, you can go take the next class of firearms from the law-abiding citizens, based again on the powerful propaganda psychology that no decent person would want to use what the criminals are using.
Meanwhile, you’d want to keep on confiscating guns on a voluntary basis by using the taxpayer’s own money to strip low information citizens of their weapons. As this kind of appeal works best with your most naïve and law abiding citizens, it accomplishes far more toward a general civilian disarmament than trying to get the criminal culture to give up the tools of their trade. Good citizens leading peaceful lives can barely imagine why anyone would need a gun, and in a tough economy, who couldn’t use a little extra (taxpayer hard earned) cash?

I would also play the vagueness game with the citizens. How that works is you make up some rules about what kinds of pistols/rounds citizens can have, and these rules are so vague and difficult to nail down that you can use them to sneak up on more and more weapons until nothing is left. Just hypothetically, we could make a rule that sounds great, let’s protect our cops from armor piercing shells. Who could say no to that? But we wait till AFTER the law is passed to define key terms, like is the “armor” tissue paper (the minimal protection stuff)? Then almost any round from any weapon might, under the right circumstances, penetrate that “armor.” But I’m probably giving them too much credit. Surely they aren’t clever enough to come up with a sneaky deal like that. Are they?

I’m sure I’ve left things out, but if I was wanting, not to stop violence, but to kill the gun industry and disarm the citizenry at large, these are some of the things I would do. By no means am I saying that’s why the current legislation is being put forward. It’s probably all just one big weird coincidence. No, really. I totally trust our government. What could possibly go wrong?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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What I find interesting about all these arguments is the occult power firearms have for supposedly enlightened, rational people. In no other type of violence is the instrument used in the act vilified more than the actor who commits it. Timothy McVeigh is the monster, not the nitrogen fertilizer he used. Julio Gonzalez, who killed 87 people at the Happy Land Club is vilified, not the gasoline he used in the arson. Firearms violence is the product of firearms to these informed souls; there is an intrinsic evil in firearms that influences otherwise peaceful persons into dark acts of bloodshed. Firearms are an evil Talisman to these (post)modern, connected, enlightened folk.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"H.R. 332: Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act.... He worked with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence to draft the legislation."
Why anyone would work with an orginazation that blatently lies and manipulates facts to further their anti rights agenda is something I find quite strange. Last I checked those who serve the people took an oath to uphold and defend the constitution, not work to undermine and destroy that sacred document.
SO if that bill passes, can victims families sue the Brady campaign for actively working with local governments and LEA to keep the best personal defense tools out of the hands of innocent crime victims?
"H.R.965: To prohibit the possession or transfer of junk guns, also known as Saturday Night Specials"
So that means if all your able to afford for home protection is a High Point 45 or a cheap Mossberg 12 ga shotgun, can you sue the federal government or make them buy you a nice Sig 220 or perhaps a Scattergun Technologies modified Remmy 870? It's tough enough with this crappy Obama engineered economy and your health care costs spiking 80% do to the "Affordable" health care act, just to pay for food. Only to be told your guns are too cheap and are now illegal to possess and your family is worthless.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Are you saying that if your family was slaughtered in a gun violence event, you would not want to have your voice heard or your voice protected?

"Saturday Night Specials" earned their name largely because they are unsafe for use and thus violate gun manufacture laws -- or should, right out of existence! Food or guns shouldn't be a hard decision for anybody, let alone a family man!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Power of the Majority in the House allows these five preening peacocks a lot of room for screeching their superiority, but will never penalize them for their stupidity.
These five bills will most likely die in committee from neglect, never getting the hearing none of them deserve; which, understanding the content of them, is a well deserved fate.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
These bills have zero chance of passing the full House and will probably die in committee. However, the Republican majority probably gains a political advantage of letting vulnerable Democrats take the heat for these bills without giving them the opportunity to vote against them.

I wish there was a website that filtered congressional bills and resolutions so it's easier to find the important bills in among all the useless posturing.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
H.R. 332: Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act

Would that include the family of Brian Terry finally getting access to justice?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Funny the specific mention of the "Five-seveN Pistol and 5.7 x 28mm SS190, SS192, SS195LF, SS196, and SS197 cartridges." Not all of the rounds for the 5.7x28 are capable of piercing armor, and the ones that are have been illegal for anyone but Law Enforcement and the government to buy, use and possess for ages. I'd sure love people who know what the hell they are talking about to actually come up with ideas rather than these willfully ignorant wastes of DNA. The whole armor piercing thing always gets me. Even pistol rounds when fired out of long guns/rifles are capable of defeating body armor. It's all tricks, ploys and deceptive wording...lies to fool the unwashed ignorant masses.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Notice the Orwellian names given to each of those bills.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And we all know the government has just TONS of money floating around to enforce these new laws, right?

How much do they spend on the War on Drugs every year? Now on top of that they want to start the War on Guns or the War on Ammunition? Can anybody say "black market?"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The 'domestic' gun black market has been around for a very ling time -- supplied mostly by legal gun owners who fail to secure their guns from loss properly -- approximately 500,000 PER YEAR on a running ten yer average.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yep. It's insane. There should be a law - a person who has his gun stolen because it's not secured should be considered a possible accessory to any crime committed with that gun. Or at least liable in some sense.

500,000 guns. Wow. And I think if gun and ammunition laws/taxes get too restrictive, there will be even more illicit weapons floating around - not from stupid gun owners but from smugglers and underground reloaders.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The smuggling and reload black markets can be handled easily under new expanded 'mfg' legislations.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Five-seveN Pistol? My brother is a law-enforcement officer, and he owns one of those.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I am sure criminals everywhere, particularly in Connecticut, are applauding brain dead liberal/"rino" legislation banning all sorts of evil gun stuff for law abiding citizens. Any "rino" that voted for this legislation is exactly that: republican in name only....... "little 'r'".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"No one wants to take your guns away", is the refrain we hear from gun control advocates, continually. Yet that 's precisely what they end up trying to do.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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