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
Beto Going All-In on Confiscation

News  

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Beto Going All-In on Confiscation

Democrat Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke continues to struggle to gain any sort of traction for his campaign. With some polls putting him in 10th place, and his average sitting around 7th, some might say that it is desperation ...

NRA Names Jason Ouimet to Head NRA Institute for Legislative Action

News  

Hunting  

Thursday, September 19, 2019

NRA Names Jason Ouimet to Head NRA Institute for Legislative Action

The National Rifle Association’s executive vice president and CEO, Wayne LaPierre, has named Jason Ouimet to serve as executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA). The NRA Board of Directors unanimously affirmed ...

California: Carson City Council Fails to Pass Unconstitutional Resolution Targeting Lawful Firearm Possession and Sales

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

California: Carson City Council Fails to Pass Unconstitutional Resolution Targeting Lawful Firearm Possession and Sales

Yesterday, September 17, the Carson City Council failed to pass anti-gun Resolution 19-1693.  ​The resolution was being pushed by Mayor Albert Robles in an effort to prohibit firearm dealers and firearm possession in the City of Carson to the ...

Tell Your Lawmakers: No Semi-Auto and Magazine Ban!

News  

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Tell Your Lawmakers: No Semi-Auto and Magazine Ban!

The Democrat Party is now so aligned with gun control that every major candidate running for its 2020 presidential nomination recently appeared in a propaganda video produced by one of the nation’s most active firearm prohibition groups. ...

U.S. Supreme Court Schedules NRA-Supported Second Amendment Case for Argument

News  

Friday, September 20, 2019

U.S. Supreme Court Schedules NRA-Supported Second Amendment Case for Argument

In January, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a Second Amendment challenge to a gun control law for the first time in nearly 10 years. The case arose from a New York City regulation that banned ...

NRA Files Suit Against San Francisco for Violating First Amendment

News  

Sunday, September 15, 2019

NRA Files Suit Against San Francisco for Violating First Amendment

On September 3, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors smeared millions of law-abiding Americans by unanimously adopting a resolution that designated NRA a “domestic terrorist organization.” Less than one week later, on September 9, NRA filed a federal lawsuit ...

New Hampshire: House to Vote on Gov. Sununu's Vetoes of Anti-Gun Bills

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

New Hampshire: House to Vote on Gov. Sununu's Vetoes of Anti-Gun Bills

On Wednesday, September 18th, the New Hampshire House of Representatives will vote on Governor Chris Sununu's vetoes of three anti-gun bills sent to his desk by the General Court.  Anti-gun Representatives who remain stubbornly committed to ...

House Democrats Continue Unprecedented Push for More Gun Control

News  

Sunday, September 15, 2019

House Democrats Continue Unprecedented Push for More Gun Control

As was continually threatened while Congress was on its six-week Summer break, House Democrats hastily convened a hearing on Tuesday to promote their latest batch of anti-gun bills.  The House Judiciary Committee’s markup of three bills, ...

California: Carson City Council to Hear Unconstitutional Resolution Targeting Lawful Firearm Possession and Sales

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

California: Carson City Council to Hear Unconstitutional Resolution Targeting Lawful Firearm Possession and Sales

Today, September 17 at 5pm PST, the Carson City Council will be considering a late addition to this evening’s City Council meeting, Resolution 19-1693.  ​The resolution is being pushed by Mayor Albert Robles in an effort to prohibit firearm ...

NASCAR Takes a Hard Left

News  

Friday, August 30, 2019

NASCAR Takes a Hard Left

After decades of NASCAR drivers literally turning left for hours every race day (road course races excluded, of course), the governing body appears to be taking a figurative left turn, politically. K-Var, a retailer in outdoor and ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

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.