June 10, 2022
A very restrictive gun control package passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, representing a major threat to the Second Amendment and America’s law-abiding gun owners. The mostly party-line vote on the multi-part measure was 288-199.
Among other things, the measure, HR 7910, would:
√ Raise the age limit for purchasing a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21 years old. Such a move is extremely problematic because it would make the Second Amendment the only freedom protected (along with handgun purchases at an FFL already in place) by the Bill of Rights that is delayed until the age of 21.
As Judge Kenneth Lee of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals put in a concurring opinion in the court case Jones v. Bonta, where the court found a ban on ownership of semi-auto rifles for 18- to 20-year-olds to be unconstitutional: “We … do not typically limit constitutional rights based on the age of adults. Young adults have the same constitutional rights as the middle-aged or the elderly—even if some of them may not necessarily have the wisdom or judgment that age and experience can bring—for the same reason that we do not limit fundamental rights based on supposed intelligence, maturity or other characteristics. We thus allow 18-year-olds to join the military and lay down their lives in defense of our freedoms.”
√ Ban firearm magazines that hold more than 15 rounds. As most Firearms News readers likely remember, the Clinton gun ban that ran from 1994 to 2004 included a magazine restriction banning those that held more than 10 rounds, and it was a dismal failure. A congressionally mandated study of the federal ban, which ran for 10 years before Congress allowed it to sunset, found that the ban had no impact on crime. It concluded, “Should it be renewed, the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best.”
√ Enact new federal criminal offenses for gun trafficking and straw purchases. Both are already felonies that carry stiff penalties, including time in federal prison. Making them doubly illegal doesn’t change anything as far as criminals are concerned.
√ Require background checks on non-serialized firearms. The federal government has been using “ghost guns” as a boogeyman to scare non-gun owners for some time now. In truth, such a move would simply ban lawful Americans from making their own firearms—a time-honored practice since the country was founded—and not affect criminals at all.
√ Ban bump stock devices [EDITOR’S NOTE: …and possibly all other rapid-fire mechanisms which involve trigger assemblies]. This part of the measure goes beyond guns and bans an object used to make firearms shoot faster. Many people enjoy using these devices on the range, and as far as I can tell through my research, only one U.S. mass murderer has used a bump stock in his carnage.
√ Set a standard for firearms storage. Of course, responsible gun owners already practice safe storage practices. Once the government is allowed to set a standard, however, it can then make that standard more and more stringent until it might become impossible to keep a firearm handy for home defense.
While the vote on the measure was largely along party lines, five House Republicans jumped ship and voted for the measure, according to a report at thehill.com. They included Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Chris Jacobs of New York and Fred Upton of Michigan.
In truth, the measure was more of an election-year publicity stunt than a serious attempt at protecting lawful Americans since it likely has little chance of passage in the U.S. Senate. U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, even suggested that when speaking on the measure after its passage.
“We can't save every life, but my God, shouldn't we try?” Escobar said. “America, we hear you, and today in the House, we are taking the action you are demanding. Take note of who is with you and who is not.”
Pro-gun U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, put it best after the vote was held when he said, "The answer is not to destroy the Second Amendment, but that is exactly where the Democrats want to go."
About the Author
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.