House Democrats are taking the next step to pass Universal Background Checks in the US House of Representatives.
H.R. 8, the House’s Universal Background bill, is expected to receive a vote in the House Judiciary Committee on February 13, 2019 and then be sent to the House floor for a full vote.
The current legislation has 230 House co-sponsors, which include 5 Republicans Peter King (N.Y.), Brian Fitzpatrick (Penn.), Brian Mast (Florida), Fred Upton (Mich.), and Chris Smith (N.J.).
This gun control scheme would have the government snooping in on all private firearm transactions, thereby building a quasi-gun registration scheme under the Brady law which was passed in 1993.
In other words, nearly all firearms purchase made in the United States would have to go through the Brady-NICS registration system.
For those who gift guns to others, H.R. 8 is a bureaucratic nightmare waiting to happen.
H.R. 8 requires that loans, gifts, and firearm sales be processed at a gun store. The same bureaucratic hoops—fees, paperwork, and record-keeping—apply to the purchase of new guns at stores as well.
If an individual skips going to the gun store when loaning out a gun to a friend, they can still be subject to the same penalty as someone who knowingly sells a gun to a convicted felon.
With Democrats in firm control of the House and a handful of moderate Republicans jumping on the gun control bandwagon, the likelihood of gun control passing the House is very high. H.R’s 8 potential passage would mark the first time since the Clinton era that a massive gun control was passed out of a chamber of Congress.
That being said, H.R. 8 will have a hard time making its way to the Republican-controlled Senate.
UBCs are the law in eleven states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington) and the District of Columbia. Maryland and Pennsylvania impose background checks for handguns, whereas long guns, such as rifles and shotguns are not covered by background checks.
Economist John Lott has found that UBCs have very little impact on fighting crime, and actually create another layer of gun control that makes it harder for disadvantaged groups like minorities to exercise their gun rights.
However, when emotions run high, sound public policy goes straight out the window.
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