Gun Laws & Legislation

Gun bill championed by Democrats sharply limits rights of gay gun owners

Mike Piccione
Editor, Guns & Gear

Gay couples living in states that do not recognize their marriage will now be unable to transfer firearm ownership to their partners without undergoing a background check, should federal gun legislation recently proposed by Democratic Sen. Harry Reid become law.

According to the “Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013,” which was introduced in the Senate this week, only couples in a government-sanctioned relationships will be allowed to privately transfer ownership of their firearms without first having to pass the federal background check.

“It shall be unlawful for any person who is not licensed under this chapter to transfer a firearm to any other person who is not licensed under this chapter, unless a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer has first taken possession of the firearm,” the bill reads.

Some provisions in the bill do account for familial relationships. The bill states that the restrictions against transfers do not apply to “bona fide gifts between spouses, between parents and their children, between siblings, or between grandparents and their grandchildren.”

Gay gun owners who want to transfer a gun to a partner, however, must first physically turn their guns in to an entity holding a federal firearms license so that a background check can be performed on the partner. The checks are conducted by the FBI’s National Instant Background Check System.

Gwendolyn S. Patton, a spokesperson for the gay gun-rights group Pink Pistols, ripped the proposed legislation in an interview with The Daily Caller.

“It is little more than a scheme to convert law-abiding citizens into criminals for the purpose of confiscating their guns and destroying their rights,” Patton said.