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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Giffords Back on Capitol Hill Pushing Background Checks

Former Representative Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly were back on Capitol Hill yesterday pushing for expanded background checks for private sales.  But, as the Washington Post notes, the chances of getting a bill through congress is not so good.
The new House bill, the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2015, has bipartisan support. Rep. Bob Dold (R-Ill.) appeared Wednesday with the Democratic authors of the bill, and three other Republicans -- Mike Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Peter T. King (N.Y.) and Pat Meehan (Pa.) -- are also authors.

But Dold and Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), the bill's lead author and chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, offered little besides blind hope that the bill would make it through committee and through House leadership to the floor.
This appears to be slightly different than the 2013 proposal that was defeated in the Senate.  That bill applied to all private transfers.  But as Dave Kopel has testified, expanded background checks on private sales are unenforceable without gun registration.  Further, while such checks are promoted as allowing transfers among family members, it would have prevented transfers without background checks between friends, "significant others", roommates, gun club members, or extended family members (i.e. cousins, uncles, etc).  The bill unveiled yesterday would impact private transfers at gun shows and those posted on the Internet by a private individual seeking to sell from their private collection.  Background checks are already required for sales on the Internet from popular sights like, and Gallery of Guns.

As the Washington Post accurately predicts, don't look for this bill to go very far.

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