Thursday, 13 December, 2018

House weighs Republican bill easing gun restrictions

Missouri AG Josh Hawley urges Congress to support concealed-carry legislation House weighs Republican bill easing gun restrictions
Melinda Barton | 07 December, 2017, 10:01

The House passed legislation Wednesday that would force states to recognize concealed carry permits issued by other states, and strengthen the federal gun background check system. The push comes as many continue to call for stricter gun laws in light of several recent mass shootings, including Las Vegas and Sandy Hook.

Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), who introduced the bill, said he is a "big states' rights guy" and argued that under the legislation states would still retain the rights to limit the types of firearms and exactly where they can be carried.

Democratic Rep. Elizabeth Esty of CT called it "unspeakable" that Congress would expand gun owners' rights after the recent shootings and other deadly attacks.

"Instead of focusing on working to craft commonsense gun reform such as the banning of risky bump-stocks, Congressional Republicans continue to cater to the whims of the gun lobby at the expense of the safety of our people". Chuck Grassley and his Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that the agency expects to regulate bump-stock devices.

Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said the United States has had more than 300 mass shootings in 2017. This bill comes in the aftermath of the horrific shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas that left 25 people dead, with another 20 injured.

Manger also is president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association.

A woman who survived the Las Vegas shooting said she remained next to one of the victims as he died, even though she had never met him.

Heather Gooze tells the Senate Judiciary Committee that she didn't know 23-year-old Jordan McIldoon.

She says, "Then Jordan's fingers stopped holding mine". She says "that will be a good thing to do". "I am not that special".

The House vote came as the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said his agency expects to regulate bump-stock devices and could end up banning them.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department said Tuesday it is reviewing whether devices that allow semiautomatic rifles to fire faster should be banned.

Authorities in NY and Los Angeles, as well as activists in Morristown and across New Jersey, contend the measure will increase risks for police and make it easy for gun owners from places with lax gun laws, like West Virginia, to secretly tote weapons here, where restrictions are stricter. They are now legal and widely available. The shooter responsible for killing 58 people and injuring almost 500 more attending a Las Vegas concert in October used bump stocks to direct large amounts of ammunition on the crowd, and members from both parties have called for ban on them. "The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act is the culmination of a 30-year movement recognizing the right of all law-abiding Americans to defend themselves, and their loved ones, including when they cross state lines".

In the House version, GOP lawmakers added a measure aimed at strengthening tracking in the national background-check database of legal and mental health records that might prevent some gun purchases.

During debate in the House, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., said his state forces gun owners to meet an array of conditions before obtaining a concealed-carry permit in contrast to some states where "if you're 21 and have a pulse" you can get a gun permit.

Still, it's revealing that in the wake of two of the most horrific mass shootings in recent US history, Republicans are moving forward with legislation to expand gun rights. Republicans said the reciprocity measure would allow gun owners to travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state laws or civil suits.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi accused Republicans of doing the bidding of the National Rifle Association, which calls the concealed-carry law its top legislative priority.