June 08, 2022
By Mark Chesnut
A terrible piece of anti-gun legislation that was quickly rammed through the House Judiciary Committee last week and is headed for a vote on the House floor has pro-gun advocates worried—especially since some Republican U.S. senators seem willing to consider the measure.
Predictably called the "Protecting Our Kids Act," HR 7910 is a particularly bad measure that would make sweeping changes to current gun laws, all resulting in more restrictions on lawful gun owners, while violent criminals won’t follow the new laws anyway. Among other things, the proposal calls for raising the age for purchase of certain rifles, banning standard capacity magazines owned by millions of gun owners, banning so-called "ghost guns," banning certain firearms parts and even telling gun owners how they must store their firearms.
The section on gun owner age would ban law-abiding 18- to 20-year-olds from acquiring semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, despite them being able to practice their other Constitutionally protected rights. Currently, only five states have laws restricting 18- to 20-year-olds from acquiring long guns, and most of them face legal challenges.
The magazine ban section of the legislation would prohibit the manufacture, importation, sale or possession of magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds. As most Firearms News readers are well aware, what the anti-gunners call “high-capacity” magazines are just the standard magazines that come with most semi-automatic rifles and the majority of semi-automatic handguns used by millions for self-defense, sport, competition and concealed carry.
“These magazines are overwhelmingly popular with law-abiding Americans for self-defense with several hundred million currently possessed, and are without a doubt in ‘common use,’ which provides them with constitutional protection under current Supreme Court doctrine,” NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) pointed out in an action alert. “Indeed, two pending challenges to existing state bans are currently pending review before the Court.
The so-called “ghost gun” portion of the legislation actually goes far beyond what most people would consider a ghost gun to be. It bans the American tradition of building one’s own firearm, something free Americans have been doing since the country was founded.
Additionally, the “safe storage” provisions in the legislation are problematic because they seek to control how individual gun owners keep their privately owned firearms in their own homes. Of course, criminals would completely ignore such regulations.
Lastly, in a section actually called “Closing The Bump Stock Loophole,” the bill would ban “bump stocks,” a long-time pet project of the Biden administration that focuses on a device that is very seldom used in murders—mass or otherwise.
This latest anti-gun legislation comes on the heels of horrible mass murders in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas. Such Congressional reaction to calls to “just do something” is nearly always misguided, however. The Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) put it best in a recent news alert discussing knee jerk legislative reaction to horrible tragedies involving violent criminals misusing firearms.
“Those who oppose human liberty would have us choose between being disarmed or facing incarceration, locked in a cage for peaceably keeping and bearing arms, as is our right,” FPC wrote. “But fundamental rights are not subject to the tyranny of the majority, and thus, we reject this proposition.
“The government has no duty to protect you—you are, and always have been, your own first responder. There will always be weapons in the hands of evil. The only question is whether you are armed and ready to defend life and liberty against that evil.”
While the current legislation is distressing, the really scary part is that some in the U.S. Senate, where most gun legislation has gone to die of late, seems to be softening to the idea. In fact, some Republican senators have indicated they support President Joe Biden’s long list of restrictions, leading to high hopes for anti-gun Democrat leaders like Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut.
“I’ve never been part of negotiations as serious as these,” Murphy recently told CNN. “There are more Republicans at the table talking about changing our gun laws, investing in mental health than at any time since Sandy Hook.
“I’m more confident than ever that we’re going to get there, but I’m also more anxious about failure this time around.”
Such confidence by gun-ban advocates has many on the pro-Second Amendment side of the debate concerned, including Gun Owners of America (GOA).
“The emotional warfare being waged by the anti-gun lobby is like nothing we’ve seen for a long, long time,” the group said in an action alert to members. “RINO Republicans are now cowering in the corner, already waving the white flag of surrender.
“That’s why we need to fight fire with fire. Every RINO Senator needs to understand that while a vote for gun control may win them three seconds of praise from anti-gunners who hate their guts, it will cost them thousands and thousands of votes from their actual gun-owning constituents this November.”
GOA has provided a link for its members to add their name to a letter urging a
“No” vote on the sweeping piece of legislation. That link is accessible here.
NRA also has posted a link for its members to contact their representative and senators to voice their opposition to the measure. The link is available here.
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for the past 20 years.