This is the biggest change to gun laws in recent decades…and it isn’t looking good for people who believe in the Second Amendment.
The House has officially passed new legislation extending the time frame for background checks on new gun owners. It also significantly expands who has to screen backgrounds for purchasers.
This is a devastating blow to the Right to Bear Arms…
- The new bill, called the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, passed with a 240 to 190 vote. There was support from both Democrats and Republicans, although more of the Left opposed it than the Right (something we’ve seen time and time again).
- The BBCA adds screening requirements for private transactions, including those that take place at gun shows and exhibitions. Previously, these transactions were often exempted. The Left likes to claim this made the events a hotbed for criminals, but there’s no proof that’s true.
- In a surprising twist of events, Republicans managed to get an amendment to the bill. Sellers must contact U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement if someone they screen fails a check or is in the country illegally.
- A second bill is expected to pass shortly. It will significantly extend the time frame for securing a background check, – far more than than what the current federal law requires.
- It used to be that if the check wasn’t processed within three business days, it would automatically go through. This ensured that purchasers weren’t left waiting to pick up their products while also ensuring sellers didn’t lose money because a customer changed their mind due to the wait.
- Now, sellers will have a much longer time frame to secure background checks before they can automatically approve the purchase – 10 days in total. Should there be an issue with identifying the buyer in the system (something that happens all the time in background screening) that time frame extends to 10 business days (or about two full weeks).
- The potential for lost sales here is enormous. Would you wait weeks to buy a product if you could go somewhere else (the black market) and buy it in seconds? It seems more likely to push people toward the street where criminal activity runs rampant than a positive attempt to keep Americans safe.
- At first glance, it admittedly seems wise to prevent criminals from accessing guns. In fact, there is massive bipartisan support for background checks across most of the GOP and the DNC. In a recent Quinnipiac poll, nearly 92 percent of all respondents agreed the screening system needs improvement.
- Furthermore, there have been incidents in the past where a lack of screening may have contributed to mass shootings. The shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal in Charleston in 2015 is a good example.
- In the 2015 shooting, 21-year-old Dylan Roof, a self-identified “white supremacist” and known felon, was able to purchase a gun. Despite having a criminal record for drugs and a history of mental health issues, Dylan’s background check time frame expired before it could be completed.
- This is a bit problematic for a few different reasons. One, the background check system wouldn’t have made any difference; as of right now, it only disbars people who are committed or declared mentally incapacitated. His drug charges may have qualified him for denial, but even this is questionable.
- This issue also takes us back to the same age-old problem: criminals don’t buy guns legally. They get them on the black market, from relatives, or even on the street where background checks don’t exist.
This new bill isn’t likely to benefit anyone – it will only make it harder for responsible owners to engage with the system and buy guns. At best, it feels misguided and as if the people responsible misunderstand the real issue. At worst, it feels like a punitive attempt from the Left to take away gun rights with a bit more subtlety.
You have the RIGHT to bear arms. It’s built into our constitution and no one should take that away – especially our own government.