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What Senate Democrats Say They Can Get Done on Gun Reform


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https://www.thetrace.org/2021/02/congress-democrats-gun-laws-policy-filibuster-ethans-law/

 

 

What Senate Democrats Say They Can (Maybe) Get Done on Gun Reform

Their razor thin majority means passing new laws won’t be easy, but here’s what the caucus will be pushing.

 

By Jennifer Mascia Feb 10, 2021 Updated Feb 10, 2021

 

In January, when Democrats assumed control of both chambers of Congress for the first time in nearly a decade, they gained the ability to bring gun reform bills up for a vote, something former GOP Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to do.

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Moderates like Manchin and Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey, who sponsored the failed post-Sandy Hook background check legislation, haven’t given up on the legislation that bears their name. Of the four Republicans who voted for Manchin-Toomey in 2013, two are still in office: Toomey and Susan Collins of Maine. Plus, Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, who assumed office in 2019, has come out in favor of universal background checks.

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Laws that don’t restrict gun ownership but instead seek to incentivize responsible behavior might be particularly appealing in the current climate, lawmakers and experts said. One example is Ethan’s Law, introduced by Blumenthal and Murphy on February 3, which would penalize gun owners who have unsecured guns around children and adults who can’t legally possess them. “There’s a reason why we are moving first on this bill as part of an overall strategy: it’s noncontroversial,” Blumenthal said. “It’s not about gun ownership, it’s simply about safe storage.”

 

T. Christian Heyne, the vice president of policy at the gun reform group Brady, said a federal red flag law, which would allow law enforcement and family members to petition a judge to disarm potentially dangerous people, has a decent chance of gaining bipartisan support in the Senate. “In the last four or five years, we’ve seen five Republican governors sign these into law,” he said. “Lindsey Graham held a hearing on [red flag] laws that was really powerful. And the Republican witnesses were seemingly all in support of this policy.” Nineteen states have already passed some form of a red flag law; Graham’s plan would incentivize additional states to adopt them.

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(Professor Steven) Smith says a criminal justice reform bill, which Democrats have advocated for, “could provide a vehicle for some action on guns: ‘While you’re reforming the FBI and the Justice Department activity in that area, you might as well do something on background checks.’”

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Senate Democrats could advance gun reform legislation via the budget reconciliation process, which allows the Senate to pass tax and spending bills with a simple majority vote. Blumenthal says Ethan’s Law has a good chance of passing that way.

 

Budget reconciliation has never been used to pass a gun measure before, so it would set a precedent if Democrats go this route. As Smith put it: “Democrats are thinking far more creatively about this process than they have in the past.” There are also things President Biden can do, as we reported in November. He can appoint a permanent director for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for the first time in nearly a decade. He can also use executive action to create an interagency task force on gun violence prevention, and the ATF can use its rulemaking authority to regulate certain types of weapons and accessories, like ghost guns. Murphy said the White House could also consider “executive actions regarding the definition of licensed gun dealers that could expand the number of sales that are subject to background checks.”

 

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So they admit it that there is NO consensus in the senate to pass any of these but they are willing to cheat and use something not even allowed to so call pass it! We always knew they would go after anything they could, now they are not even trying to hide their agenda and methods.

 

And they will be back for more, and more, and more and more !

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...

Laws that don’t restrict gun ownership but instead seek to incentivize responsible behavior might be particularly appealing in the current climate ...

"Incentivize responsible behavior" means rewarding good behavior, as opposed to punishing bad behavior. For example, allowing people to write-off the purchase of a gun safe on their taxes if they also have children, as opposed to charging them with a misdemeanor if they have children and don't have a gun safe.

 

I strongly suspect they're using some alternate definition of "incentive" that really means "avoiding punishment."

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which would penalize gun owners who have unsecured guns around children and adults who can’t legally possess them. “There’s a reason why we are moving first on this bill as part of an overall strategy: it’s noncontroversial,” Blumenthal said. “It’s not about gun ownership, it’s simply about safe storage.” pass tax and spending bills with a simple majority vote. Blumenthal says Ethan’s Law has a good chance of passing that way.

 

 

 

IMO based on Heller that sould easily be found unconstitutional because if trigger locks are unconstitutional it's hardly a long shot that any other type of 'locking' away is also unconstitutional as it prevents immediate use.

 

"Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional."

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So how are they going to know a person has unsecured guns in their house?

 

Surely you know the answer to that. They will have to do "safety inspections" which will naturally be "unannounced".

 

which would penalize gun owners who have unsecured guns around children and adults who can’t legally possess them. “There’s a reason why we are moving first on this bill as part of an overall strategy: it’s noncontroversial,” Blumenthal said. “It’s not about gun ownership, it’s simply about safe storage.” pass tax and spending bills with a simple majority vote. Blumenthal says Ethan’s Law has a good chance of passing that way.

 

IMO based on Heller that sould easily be found unconstitutional because if trigger locks are unconstitutional it's hardly a long shot that any other type of 'locking' away is also unconstitutional as it prevents immediate use.

 

"Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional."

Agreed and well put.

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