After the Democrats staged a theatrical sit-in over the GOP failure to institute “meaningful gun control” following the Orlando massacre, Speaker Paul Ryan and GOP leadership caved in and now they will bring a bill to the floor this week. The bill is part of a larger “anti-terrorism” package on which the House will be voting.
The House’s gun bill is similar to GOP Senator John Cornyn’s bill, which allows the government three days to show “probable cause” to block a gun sale.
Cornyn’s proposal failed in the Senate, along with there other firearms-related bills.
The Democrats are pushing for a bill that would prevent people from purchasing a firearm if their name appears on a bureaucrat-generated, extra-judicial, secret list that would violate several constitutional protections.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R) of New York told The Daily Signal, “This isn’t a debate over whether terrorists should be able to purchase guns or explosives. This a debate over whether there should be due process for Americans.”
And the Democrats will not back the GOP bill precisely because the “probable cause” standard is too difficult to meet. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) blamed the NRA for the bill. “Republicans are again putting the NRA ahead of their responsibility to keep the American people safe,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said of the Republican proposal in a statement.
According to The Daily Signal:
The Republican measure, which is based on the language of Zeldin’s Protect America Act, would permit the Department of Justice to deny a gun purchase to someone who is being investigated as a known or suspected terrorist, or has been investigated in the last five years.
Law enforcement, however, would have to obtain a court order to prevent a terrorist suspect from buying a gun, and the government would have three business days to prove it has enough evidence of terrorist activity to block the sale.
If the government does successfully prove the suspect “will commit an act of terrorism,” the sale is blocked. If it doesn’t, the government has to pay the legal costs of the suspect, and the sale can go through.
The suspect is also granted an automatic right to a hearing, and to an attorney.
“This isn’t the NRA bill,” Zeldin said. “Members of Congress wrote this bill, not the NRA. I don’t think members should make their determination as to whether or not to vote for or against the bill based on any outside groups support or opposition. It should simply be based on the merit of the proposal and the reality it keeps us safe.”