Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Semi-Auto and Private Sales Bans

Friday, March 15, 2013

On March 12 and 14, the Senate Judiciary committee held two working sessions to deal with gun-related bills.

The result of those hearings was the passage of Sen. Charles Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) S. 374, the "Fix Gun Checks Act of 2013"--which would criminalize virtually all private firearm sales, even temporary transfers--and Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) S. 150, the "Assault Weapons Ban of 2013."

Both of these bills pose a direct threat to our Second Amendment rights and both were passed on party-line votes, with committee Democrats supporting the bills and all Republicans voting no.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) offered four amendments to the gun ban bill, each of which would have created exceptions to its sweeping ban on standard magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition and on countless models of detachable-magazine semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic shotguns, and other guns.  The amendments--designed to expose ban supporters’ disregard for even the most extraordinary self-defense needs--would have given special protection to domestic violence victims, persons with orders of protection against aggressors, residents of southwestern border counties and residents of rural areas. Sen. Cornyn argued that the one group Feinstein provides an exception for in her bill--retired law enforcement officers--are no more deserving of the exception than others who face unique threats.  All four amendments were voted down along party lines.

The hearing on S. 150 also featured a terse exchange between pro-Second Amendment Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Feinstein.  Sen. Cruz questioned Feinstein if it would be proper for Congress to determine which books are appropriate for citizens to read, or which persons could be exempted from Fourth Amendment protections, as she wants to do regarding Second Amendment rights. Feinstein become angry, scolding Cruz for daring to ask the questions.

Later, in an attempt to support the gun ban, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) made the false claim that "assault weapons" are "commonly" used by criminals, ignoring the reality that only 2.5% of murders involve rifles of any sort, much less those defined as "assault weapons".  (Hands and feet are used more often.) Blumenthal’s assertion flies in the face of gun ban advocates’ repeated claim that a semi-auto ban is constitutional under the Heller decision, which said that commonly-owned arms are protected by the Second Amendment.  With over 4 million AR-15s (alone) legally owned by law-abiding Americans, they are clearly commonly owned, yet still rarely used in crime.

Earlier in the week, the committee passed Sen. Schumer’s S. 374, which is an attack on all private gun sales.  Under the guise of making improvements to the federal instant background check system, the bill also includes provisions to require all but a very few gun transfers to go through a dealer, and forcing dealers to keep records of each transfer. But the bill would go far beyond regulating actual gun sales; consider that all of the following situations (many of which were pointed out directly to Schumer by Prof. David Kopel in Senate testimony on a similar bill two years ago) would be illegal under S. 374:

  • Sharing a gun for self-defense anywhere outside the home, no matter how extreme the situation. For example, imagine that two women are driving at night and break down on a deserted road. The younger woman, whose handgun was in the car, walks a few miles to the nearest gas station. She gives her handgun to the older woman, so that the older woman can protect herself. That would be a "transfer" under S. 374, so not doing a background check through a dealer would be a federal crime. 

  • Lending a friend your gun while the two of you go target shooting on a farm, on public land, or in any other informal setting that isn’t on a range owned by an incorporated conservation or marksmanship group.
     
  • Teaching an NRA firearms safety class or hunter safety class in a classroom. Despite anti-gunners’ attempt to wrap themselves in the flag of gun safety, and their efforts in some states and localities to pass mandatory training requirements, the bill has no exception for training classes that don’t occur on a range.
     
  • Lending a firearm to a friend for hunting in any location where hunting is not permitted. A person living in a suburban or urban area where no hunting is allowed would break the law if he lent a gun to a friend who was going to use it for hunting in a permissible area in the countryside.


During committee debate on this bill, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) took strong exception to the bill and listed some of its many flaws, making the case that the bill sets up gun registration as the likely next step should S. 374 become law.

These bills now await action by the full Senate.  It is not known at this time which, if either, of these bills will reach the floor, but gun owners must take action now to be heard in opposition to these bills.
Contact your elected officials today, and respectfully urge them to protect our Second Amendment rights. To identify and contact your legislators in Washington, D.C., you can use the "Write Your Reps" feature at www.NRAILA.org, or you can reach your member of Congress by phone at 202-224-3121.

TRENDING NOW
Illinois: Committee Passes Bill to Allow Local Infringement of Second Amendment

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Illinois: Committee Passes Bill to Allow Local Infringement of Second Amendment

The Illinois state Senate could vote on legislation to allow localities to infringe upon Second Amendment rights as early as today.  Senate Bill 2314 was moved to third reading after it had passed the Senate ...

Dick’s Sporting Goods/Field & Stream to Destroy Firearms Inventory

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, April 20, 2018

Dick’s Sporting Goods/Field & Stream to Destroy Firearms Inventory

Dick’s Sporting Goods took their campaign to alienate law-abiding gun owners to an extraordinary new level last week. The beleaguered retailer announced that in addition to removing certain types of semi-automatic rifles from their stores, the company ...

New Jersey: Senate Committee Approves Gun Control Bills

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

New Jersey: Senate Committee Approves Gun Control Bills

On Monday, the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee approved several gun control bills during a hearing that stretched over five hours. 

Unfriendly Skies: Delta CEO Claims Bashing NRA Members is Good Business

News  

Friday, April 13, 2018

Unfriendly Skies: Delta CEO Claims Bashing NRA Members is Good Business

In the wake of the Parkland, Florida, murders, there has been an unusual amount of anti-gun and anti-NRA commentary by private corporations with plenty of problems of their own.   In February, Delta announced it was ending a ...

Washington: Seattle to Consider Legislation to Make Firearms Unavailable for Self-Defense

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Washington: Seattle to Consider Legislation to Make Firearms Unavailable for Self-Defense

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Councilmember M. Lorena González have announced their intention to introduce legislation to impose a one-size-fits-all method of storing firearms as well as punishing victims of theft by requiring reporting of lost or ...

Pennsylvania: Semi-Auto Ban Legislation to be Introduced

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Pennsylvania: Semi-Auto Ban Legislation to be Introduced

This week, Senator Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny) started circulating a co-sponsorship memorandum soliciting members of the Pennsylvania state Senate to support a proposal to ban commonly owned semi-automatic firearms and standard capacity magazines in Pennsylvania.  Please ...

Another Group of Anti-Gun Celebrities Forms!  In Other News, The Sun Rose Today.

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, April 20, 2018

Another Group of Anti-Gun Celebrities Forms! In Other News, The Sun Rose Today.

In case you were worried there were not enough anti-gun organizations working to eradicate the rights of law-abiding gun owners, a new one has formed, and it’s called NoRA.  Get it?  The name implies that the ...

NRA backs Challenge to Vermont Magazine Ban

News  

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

NRA backs Challenge to Vermont Magazine Ban

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today announced support for a lawsuit brought by Vermont citizens, sporting-goods stores, and shooting clubs to challenge the state¹s recent ban on many of the most ...

UK Officials Continue to Push Knife/Gun/Cleaning Products Control

News  

Friday, April 13, 2018

UK Officials Continue to Push Knife/Gun/Cleaning Products Control

The UK’s descent into absurdity continued this week as officials announced new efforts to crack down on knives and other potentially dangerous objects. The renewed interest in banning sharp objects stems from a recent spate of killings in London. ...

Bailed-out Banks Launch Coordinated Attack on Law-abiding Gun Owners

News  

Friday, April 13, 2018

Bailed-out Banks Launch Coordinated Attack on Law-abiding Gun Owners

There is growing evidence that some of America’s financial elite want to create a world in which America’s public policy decisions emanate from corporate boardrooms in Manhattan rather than from citizens and their elected officials.  ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.