Bipartisan anti-gun legislation is bulldozing its way through Congress as Republicans and Democrats resume their plan to destroy the Second Amendment.
First introduced in 2019, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act (dubbed H.R. 8 in recognition of the eighth anniversary of the shooting of former Rep. Gabby Giffords on Jan. 8, 2011) will require federal background checks on all gun sales, including private transactions.
Pelosi made no secret about her intention to advance the anti-gun agenda near and dear to her progressive heart, but as I wrote shortly after the 2018 midterms, Trump and the GOP supported her agenda. From background checks to seizing guns without due process in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, Republicans love gun control as much as Democrats.
The bill failed to become law in 2019, but with Joe Biden’s new emphasis on gun control, Democrats controlling Congress, and Republicans as spineless as ever, H.R. 8 could become law in 2021.
Last month (February 14) was the third anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shootings, and to commemorate the event, Joe Biden called on Congress to “enact commonsense gun law reforms.”
Biden recognized the tragic event with a statement declaring that his administration “will not wait” for another mass shooting like the Parkland, Florida tragedy to happen before taking action.
“Today, I am calling on Congress to enact commonsense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets.
“We owe it to all those we’ve lost and to all those left behind to grieve to make a change. The time to act is now.”
That same day, Pelosi specifically mentioned H.R. 8 as a priority for the current Congress.
“On this solemn remembrance, Democrats join the American people to renew our commitment to our unfinished work to ensure that no family or community is forced to endure the pain of gun violence. We will not rest until all Americans, in schools, in the workplace, in places of worship and throughout our communities are safe, once and for all.”
Right on cue, House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Chairman Mike Thompson (D-CA) announced the reintroduction of H.R. 8 (Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021), and just like the 2019 edition, it has Republican support according to a March 2 press release on his website:
Washington – Today House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Chairman Mike Thompson (CA-05),along with original cosponsors House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and Representatives Fred Upton (R-MI), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Christopher Smith (R-NJ), Robin Kelly (D-IL), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Lucy McBath (D-GA), announced the introduction of the H.R. 8, Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021. This landmark gun violence prevention legislation requires background checks on all firearm sales.
While it’s standard operating procedure for the “vote Republican because Democrats are worse” crowd to use a situation like this for political advantage, a few Democrat-sounding quotes from the Republican co-sponsors of this anti-gun legislation might give them a reason to reconsider going down that road:
“After every tragic shooting, we say, ‘Enough is enough.’ But nothing changes. It’s pass time for change. Sadly, while we cannot prevent every act of violence, certainly we can prevent many more. We owe it to our communities to try. The legislation we’re introducing today closes loopholes using technology that will make our southwest Michigan communities safer and still complies with the Second Amendment.” ~ Rep. Fred Upton
“Reasonable laws that protect Second Amendment rights while ensuring that felons, fugitives, domestic abusers and other dangerous individuals do not have access to guns help prevent violence and save lives. This common-sense legislation would ensure that firearms are purchased, owned and used by responsible, law-abiding citizens by closing the ‘private sale loophole’ and listing all those prohibited from buying a firearm in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).” ~ Rep. Christopher Smith
“Background checks are a proven, effective measure in keeping our communities safe. This legislation protects the constitutional rights of law abiding Americans while seeking to prevent felons, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill from lawfully purchasing a firearm. Congress owes our nation’s families and children bipartisan gun safety reform, and the introduction of H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021 brings us closer towards fulfilling that obligation.”
Not only does the BBCA require a federal background check on all gun sales, including private sales, it also requires one for the private transfer of firearms. Have a friend or relative who would like to borrow your firearm for an upcoming hunting trip? That will no longer be legal without a federal background check under this anti-gun legislation.
By the way, the House passed a companion bill to BBCA in 2019 sure to get a second look called the Enhanced Background Checks Act (EBCA) of 2019 (H.R.1112). EBCA eliminates the current requirement that background checks be completed in three days and extends the time frame up to twenty business days.
Due to some confusion with the fine print in this bill, along with some mushy provisions in the Fix NICS law, EBCA would give the federal government unfettered power to block public and private gun sales and transfers.
Speaking of Fix NICS, this little-reported law was hidden by Trump and the GOP as a rider to the March 2018 omnibus. Introduced by Republican Sen. John Cornyn, this so-called “improvement” to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System gave the government power to deny gun rights to individuals for something as minor as a traffic ticket, and it laid the groundwork for the establishment of a FBI database of the names of every gun owner in the country.
Republicans will try to use H.R. 8 and other anti-gun legislation as campaign talking points heading into the 2022 midterms despite the fact that Trump and the Republican Party have openly supported Pelosi’s anti-gun agenda ever since she became Speaker after the 2018 midterms.
Do you remember banning bump stocks? In March 2018, Trump held a bipartisan meeting at the White House where he promised to ban bump stocks by executive order, an order he signed in December that year. Trump endorsed expanded background checks for gun purchases. Additionally, he told the gathering of party leaders that government should “take the guns first, go through due process second” as a way to end gun violence.
The fate of H.R. 8 is irrelevant. The real issue we should be focusing on is how such anti-gun legislation is being considered in the first place … and how there is so little resistance to gun confiscation in Washington.
If Republicans and Democrats in Washington have their way — and with no Constitutional conservative coalition to stop them, they might — America will soon know the reality of living in a country without a Second Amendment . . . and without liberty.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.