HR 8 and HR 1446 Gun Control Bills Passed in House
Believe it or not, the media and congress hyper-focus on anything related to COVID and comrade Faucci is starting to subside. Legislators, aided by their media mouthpieces are shifting their efforts to making good on President Biden's and Vice President Harris's promise to push more gun control. Just yesterday the US House of Representatives passed two gun control bills, HR 8 and HR 1446. While the House of Representatives passed the bill, it still must be passed in the US Senate.
You may be surprised to see just how these bills were voted on, and some of the statements the representatives made to substantiate their positions.
UPDATE: On April 8th, 20221 President Biden gave a speech outlining his desire for gun control. If you want to know what the president said, you can check it out here.
Let's break it down one at a time:
What is the reasoning behind HR 8 – The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021?
Just as the bill's title would suggest, HR 8 is designed to force all gun sales to go through a licensed firearms dealer so a background check can be conducted. It is current law that a background check must be completed on the buyer of a firearm when the seller is a licensed dealer. This applies to gun stores, gun shows, or online gun dealers. In each instance, the buyer must pass a background check to see if they are legally restricted from possessing a firearm. If you want to take a deep dive into understanding background checks, check this post out.
Currently, 33 states allow private individuals to sell guns to other private individuals without performing a background check. And federal law requires a background check on the buyer of a firearm when the seller is a licensed dealer. This mandatory background check would apply to sales in a gun store, gun show, or purchases through an online gun dealer. In each instance, the buyer must pass a background check to see if they are legally restricted from possessing a firearm.
As a side note, even in states that allow for private party sales, federal law prohibits the private party sale of handguns to individuals across state lines.
How does HR 8 affect background checks?
So in essence, the bill creates federal law that requiring universal background checks for all gun purchases, nullifying any state law allowing private party sales. There are many issues with the universal background check premise.
The legal private party sales mentioned above are what people sometimes refer to as “street sales”. There has been no data that suggests that prohibiting private party “street sales” has an effect on prohibited people's ability to obtain guns. They would still conduct ‘street sales' regardless of there being a law against it or not. What it would do is force those who are selling and buying a single gun to someone else the added fees of background checks. This may not seem like a big deal to most people. However, this will absolutely, disproportionally affect poor people who tend to live in more crime-ridden places. Of course, they are getting the guns via ‘street sales', however prohibiting ‘street sales' does not seem to be a deterrent to people who are not concerned with violating the law.
We discussed many more issues with universal background checks on the podcast back in 2017.
Back in 2019 this same bill passed the House of Representatives but failed to pass in the Republican-controlled Senate. Yesterday the bill passed the House with 227 yeas and 203 nays. Eight republican representatives voted FOR the bill, while 1 Democrat voted against the bill. Of course, the bill still must pass the Senate, but there is no longer a Republican majority. Can this bill make it through the Senate this time around?
Lawmakers made the following remarks:
Senate Majority Leader Schumer said:
We'll have the good sense to have had this bill twice and in the past when they send it over to us last time, it went into Mitch McConnell's legislative graveyard. The legislative graveyard is over. H.R. 8 will be on the floor of the Senate and we will see where everybody stands. No more thoughts and prayers. A vote is what we need.
Republican Adam Kinzinger said:
Following the shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas in August 2019, I said publicly that should the H.R. 8 legislation come before the House again, I would vote in its favor. And today, I did just that. This legislation by itself will not stop the violence, it will help.
Along with Kinzinger, the following Republicans voted in favor of HR 8. Those in Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Michigan, remember their names when it comes time to vote.
Republicans who voted for the Gun Control Bill HR 8:
Vern Buchanan of Florida
Carlos Gimenez of Florida
Maria Salazar of Florida
Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania
Andrew Garbarino of New York
Chris Smith of New Jersey
Fred Upton of Michigan
Democrat voted against HR 8:
Jared Golden of Maine
HR 1446 Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021
As noted above, federal law requires a gun buyer to pass a background check when purchasing from a dealer. Occasionally the result of the query does not come back right away. In these instances, the seller does not proceed with the sale and must wait for the FBI's system to respond. However, if 3 days have passed and the NICS background check system does not return with a response that the sale can proceed or that the person is prohibited, the sale can go through. This is often referred to as the “Charleston Loophole.”
The law's prescribed time limit is important because if the FBI can arbitrarily delay a person from purchasing a firearm, their right is subjectively diminished.
What is the reasoning behind The Gun Control Bill HR 1446?
What HR 1446 would do is extend this waiting period from 3 days to 10 days. The justification for this change is an incident in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015. A man purchased a firearm from a gun dealer. He submitted to a NICS check but that check did not return a proceed result and thus was delayed. After 3 days his NICS check still did not return a response that he was legally prohibited from possessing a firearm. Following the law, the gun purchase proceeded and the psychopath eventually killed 9 people who were having a bible study inside a local church.
The sponsor of the bill Rep Clyburn said:
These people who were practicing their faith, their faith that taught them to welcome in a stranger, a stranger came to their door and they welcomed into their Bible study, he sat with them for an hour. The stranger that they had welcomed in had opened fire and killed nine of them, one of who was the pastor, a former intern of mine. This law would have prevented that gentleman from getting a gun.
Would The Gun Control Written in HR 1446, a bill to address the Charleston mass shooting, have had any effect on the actual Charleston shooting?
It is absolutely senseless and horrific that these people were murdered, but lying about the facts to pursue gun control in no way honors the victims. The truth is this proposed 10-day fix would not have prevented the maniac from “getting a gun.” The murderer, in this case, was not legally prohibited from possessing a firearm. Even if the waiting period had been 10 days, it still eventually would have returned a result that he was not legally prohibited from possessing a firearm.
There were reports that he was facing a drug possession charge and that would have been a prohibiting factor. That is inaccurate as the specific drug charge he was facing was a misdemeanor and would not have precluded him from buying the gun.
The bill passed the House with a vote of 218 yeas and 210 nays.
Republicans voting for HR 1446 are:
Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania
Chris Smith of New Jersey
Democrats who voted against HR 1446 are:
Ron Kind of Wisconsin
Jared Golden of Maine
What is The Future of this Gun Control Legislation?
Sorry, we don't have a crystal ball, so we're not going to make any bold predictions on what happens in the Senate. Plus the last few years of politics have made it abundantly clear that predicting anything that will happen in Washington is a fool's bet. But we will leave you with an uplifting speech given by North Carolina Representative, Republican Madison Cawthorn. He said Americans
“have the right to obtain a firearm for lawful purposes, you will not take this right away from us…” He went on and said “If you think this bastardization of the Constitution will be met with silence, then you know nothing of the America I know.”
You have to hear the full speech so here it is!
If you are interested in keeping up to date with legal issues affecting the Second Amendment, check out our Concealed Carry Podcast. We dedicate one episode a month to discussing legal issues affecting the Second Amendment.