Gun Laws & Legislation

Democratic Presidential Hopefuls Hoping For Gun Control

LEFT: Ethan Miller/Getty Images CENTER: Scott Olson/Getty Images RIGHT: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Guns and Gear Contributor

By Larry Keane

Democrats running for the White House are full of, well, ideas. Not good ones mind you, but they’ve got ideas.

Even though gun control firebrand U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) dropped out of the race and is no longer threatening mass confiscation and criminal enforcement with the threat of nuclear war on U.S. citizens, that hasn’t slowed the others from concocting their own wild-eyed schemes for denying law-abiding Americans their Second Amendment rights.

California Dreaming

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) doubled down in a tweet on her threat to use executive action to force gun control if Congress doesn’t send her the bills she likes, should she be elected. Sen. Harris announced during a CNN townhall earlier this year that she would give Congress 100 days to send her gun control legislation that would include mandatory background checks for anyone who transfers more than five guns and a ban on modern sporting rifles and standard-capacity magazines. She also promised to revoke federal firearms licenses for any retailer who “breaks the law,” but didn’t explain if that meant an administrative record-keeping error or those who willingly and knowingly sell firearms to a prohibited person, which is an exceedingly rare event. She would also fine gun manufactures $500,000 for violations of the law.

Garden State Gun Control

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) wasn’t about to be left out of the gladiatorial arena of gun control politics. Sen. Booker again called for the federal gun licensing program. That would mean every American who wanted to exercise their gun rights would need to attain permission from the federal government and pay a fee to exercise that right. Sen. Booker would also limit the number of handguns a person could buy each month and require nonexistent and technically-impossible microstamping in firearms. He also would require universal background checks, which criminalizes private transfers and ban modern sporting rifles and standard-capacity magazines.

New York State Of Mind

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) debuted her gun control platform, which includes a ban on modern sporting rifles, which she labels as “weapons of war.” She would also repeal the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which keeps frivolous lawsuits from harassing manufacturers by blaming them for the crimes committed by individuals. Sen. Gillibrand would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which limits access to law enforcement sensitive firearms trace data to just law enforcement. This restriction of wide-open access is supported by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Fraternal Order of Police. Even former New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly opposed the release of firearms trace data because it interferes with ongoing investigations and doesn’t provide an accurate picture of how criminals obtain firearms. Lawyers for gun control groups want access to the data so they can again use it as a substitute for actual evidence in lawsuits against members of the industry just like they did before Congress passed the Tiahrt amendment to protect law enforcement.

None of these ideas address criminals, criminal misuse of firearms or initiatives that would make the public safer. Instead, they only look to limit and outright eliminate the ability of law-abiding Americans to purchase the firearms of their choice, which is a right protected by the Second Amendment.

National Shooting Sports Foundation knows blame-shifting and baseless rhetoric to satisfy the most outlandish gun control supporters isn’t what our nation needs. America deserves real solutions for safer communities and the industry has a plan for that.

Larry Keane is Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association.