As gun-control proponents work to expand background checks on private sales of firearms, a House member angling for the Senate has introduced an expansion of excluded weapons to be classified as antique firearms.
Rep. Bill Cassidy’s (R-La.) bill would strike the year 1898 from U.S. Code and instead make the cutoff for an antique firearm 1913.
This would allow gun collectors to sell and purchase these guns without going through a federally-licensed firearms dealer, Cassidy’s office said.
Cassidy is currently in a three-way GOP primary for the Senate nomination against state Rep. Paul Hollis and Tea Party retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness. The latest Real Clear Politics poll average shows Cassidy with a 2.2 point advantage on Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), a steady gain over the past year.
“Changing the definition of an ‘Antique Firearm’ strengthens the Second Amendment and protects our right as citizens to bear arms. I remain committed to protecting these rights,” Cassidy said in a statement. “By fixing a law that should have been updated years ago, Americans can collect and share these items that are an important part of our nation’s history.”
Cassidy’s office also highlighted a statement from National Rifle Association Director of Federal Affairs Jim Baker.
“On behalf of the NRA’s five million members, we thank Rep. Cassidy for his leadership in introducing a bill that will benefit gun owners and firearms collectors by expanding the definition of antique firearms to include those manufactured before 1913,” Baker said. “This bill addresses an outdated definition in the law that needs improvement.”
Landrieu voted against last year’s Toomey-Manchin effort to expand background checks. The senator’s strategy to appeal to independents and GOPs, though, appears to be a push to pressure the Obama administration to build the Keystone pipeline.
“The construction of the Keystone pipeline is very important to create thousands of high-paying jobs, push our economy forward and send a signal to the world that North America intends to step up to the competition and become an energy powerhouse. The review process has been thorough. The five studies that have been conducted, as required by law, are complete. It is time to stop studying and start building. We cannot lose this opportunity to create tens of thousands of jobs and $20 billion in economic activity,” Landrieu said last week as a co-sponsor of a new Keystone XL bill. “The legislation Sen. Hoeven and I have introduced will green-light the construction of the pipeline immediately. This pipeline is clearly in our national interest, and I urge all senators to join Sen. Hoeven and me to support this bill.”