Late yesterday evening, the U.S. Senate released one of the most radical gun control proposals seen in the chamber in the last thirty years. The Senate voted 64 to 34 to advance the bill mere hours after it was introduced, and final passage within the coming days is all but certain.
The 80 – page gun bill is costly and goes too far in its proposals.
While the legislation does include some rational measures, the restrictions on law-abiding citizens are too great.
The two most glaring violations of Second Amendment rights are the expanded background checks on would-be purchasers between the ages of 18 and 21 and the millions of dollars in funding that states would be provided with to enforce “red flag laws.”
Would-be buyers in the 18-21 age group could be subject to a waiting period of up to 10 business days – potentially up to two whole calendar weeks – before being able to purchase a firearm.
Through funding provided by Byrne JAG grants, states will be given additional dollars to support “extreme risk protection orders” (ERPO’s). Those orders – known colloquially as “red flag laws” – temporarily require a person to surrender their firearms to law enforcement officials and also do not allow individuals to purchase or possess firearms or ammunition.
“This legislation can be abused to restrict lawful gun purchases, infringe upon the rights of law-abiding Americans, and use federal dollars to fund gun control measures being adopted by state and local politicians. This bill leaves too much discretion in the hands of government officials and also contains undefined and overbroad provisions – inviting interference with our constitutional freedoms.”
When Senators take their oath of office, they promise to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Last night, the 64 Senators who voted for the bill failed to do that. The bill is a clear violation of Second, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
Ten Republican senators had already pledged their support for the legislation based on a “framework” of ideas released last week, so their affirmative votes were less of a surprise, albeit disappointing.
Those senators – whom I have called out previously for supporting this legislation – are Mitch McConnell (R-KY), John Cornyn (R-TX), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Richard Burr (R-NC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Mitt Romney (R-UT).
Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania was not present to vote last night but has also indicated support for the legislation, bringing the total number of the bill’s Republican backers to 15.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of American Liberty News.