Friday, December 1, 2017

House Combines National Carry with FixNICS, Bump Stocks Attract Renewed Attention in Senate

Second Amendment issues are taking center stage in Washington as the year comes to a close.  Politico has this story on the efforts in the House of Representatives to pass National Carry Reciprocity and make changes to the National Instant Check System (NICS) in the wake of the Texas church shooting where the perpetrator's domestic violence and mental health records had not been submitted by the U.S. Air Force.
House Republican leaders are preparing to move ahead with a package of gun legislation that would sharply expand concealed-carry rights but also address policies that came into play during two recent mass shootings. The proposal is expected to come to the floor as soon as next week.

GOP leaders conducted a full whip count of the plan Thursday and sensed enough support from colleagues to bring up the measure, a combination of three proposals that would include a major policy win for gun rights advocates but also seek to placate those clamoring for policy changes after two of the worst shooting massacres in American history — in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Sutherland Springs, Texas.

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, a bill initially offered by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), would permit anyone with a valid concealed-carry permit to transport firearms into any other state that also allows for concealed-carry permits. The measure is strongly favored by the National Rifle Association but has drawn fierce opposition from gun control advocates who say it effectively nullifies restrictions passed in states that want to limit the practice.

The measure would be combined with a bipartisan proposal to stiffen the National Instant Criminal Background Check System , the national system of criminal background checks managed by the FBI. Calls for an NICS revamp grew louder after the Nov. 5 shooting in Sutherland Springs that left 26 churchgoers dead. After the shooting, the Air Force revealed that it had failed to report the gunman’s conviction on domestic violence in 2012 to the database, which would have barred him from making a lawful gun purchase.

The proposal, a bipartisan bill offered by Reps. John Culberson (R-Texas) and Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), would require federal agencies and states to produce implementation plans for sharing data with the NICS system and to verify the accuracy of the data they provide. It would also reward states that comply with more funding and incentives, and would provide more resources to federal agencies working to comply.
Over in the Senate, California U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein's bill to ban "bump stocks" will gain renewed attention as a Senate committee holds a hearing on the firearm accessories.  McClatchy has the story here:
A week ahead of a long awaited Senate hearing on bump stocks, the district attorney from Las Vegas issued a powerful call to ban the firearm accessory, which enabled a gunman to kill 58 people in just minutes at an Oct. 1 concert along the city’s famed Strip. The renewed spotlight on the issue provides some much needed momentum for California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s legislation to ban the device, which has languished in the Senate as Washington’s attention drifted on to other matters.

Two events are now reigniting the debate over whether Congress ought to act on bump stocks. The Senate Judiciary Committee is slated to hold a hearing Dec. 6 on the regulation of firearm accessories like bump stocks as well as issues with the federal background checks database that gun dealers use to determine whether someone is allowed to purchase a gun. A second mass shooting this fall, at a church in Sunderland Springs, Texas, highlighted gaps in that system.
The article also features a video that explains how the bump stock is installed and works on a firearm. It helps put the lie to the narrative from the gun ban crowd that bump stocks turn a semi-auto into a machine gun. 

ATF will testify at the hearing.  Feinstein is hoping that hearing ATF tell the committee they don't have the authority to regulated bump stocks will clear the way to make the case that only legislation Congress is the solution.

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