In the wake of the Orlando terrorist attack on a gay nightclub, four different gun bills are headed for a vote in the Senate on Monday. Two of the bills are sponsored by Democrats and two are sponsored by Republicans. The bills are being offered as amendments to the commerce, justice, and science appropriations bill and will need 60 votes to pass.
One Democrat bill, supported by gun-control advocate Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), will mandate universal background checks and deny firearms purchases to people on the terror-watch list. Another of the Democrat bills is sponsored by compulsive gun-controller Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who tried to pass the same bill in December.
“We’re just asking for people to come into this country and go out and buy a gun,” Feinstein said to reporters, later saying, “Even if you’re a suspected terrorist, you can go out and buy a gun. And that’s just not right. So I hope there will be a change.”
The Orlando shooter was not on the “no-fly list” and successfully passed a background check to purchase his weapons, so neither of these bills would have stopped the Orlando shooter should they have been in place at the time of the attack.
The government “lists” include people identified by government bureaucrats for one reason or another. “Suspects” have not been found guilty of any crime by a court of law and yet the Democrats are proposing a law that would deny them their constitutional rights.
The Republican bills preserve some element of due process, by allowing the law enforcement officials to freeze a gun sale for 72 hours and make a case for a court order if probable cause can be shown to a judge. One bill is from Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who has introduced an altered version of the SHIELD Act, which was voted down last year.
The second Republican bill comes from Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), who wants the government to create yet another list that would ban suspected terrorists from purchasing weapons.
“We don’t want terrorists to be able to walk into a gun store and buy a gun, and we don’t want innocent, law-abiding citizens to be denied Second Amendment rights because he’s wrongly on the list with a bunch of terrorists,” Toomey said on the Senate floor last week. Does Toomey think a new list will be more accurate than the other lists?
Gun-control icon Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) said the GOP proposals were “wolves in sheep’s clothing” during a press conference, and claimed “every terrorist will get a gun” under Cornyn’s bill.
“If the FBI had that evidence, they would’ve arrested them in the first place,” he said. “It’s a fake. It’s a way to say they’re doing something when they’re doing nothing.”
Another bill, introduced by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), would inform the FBI if a terrorism suspect was trying to buy a weapon but would not stop the suspect from doing so. Anyone who had been under investigation during the last five years would be entered into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and law enforcement would be notified when the suspect went to purchase a firearm.
Keep your eye on the Senate today; there should be lots of fireworks.