President Joe Biden has now signed new gun-control legislation into law thanks largely to 15 Republicans in the Senate, and 14 GOP lawmakers in the House, who voted in favor of the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.”
In addition to less-controversial provisions that pour millions of dollars into mental health and school safety, the new law also changed the gun-purchasing process for 18-to-21-year-olds. The new law also dangles federal funds to states that enact so-called “red-flag” laws, which are criticized for violating the targeted person's due-process rights.
During floor debate over the bill, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky) said state-level red-flag laws are not the same as involuntary commitment laws that address mental illness, because a mental health expert is involved in that legal proceeding.
"These laws are different than the ones that are proposed today in one very important aspect: they involve due process," Massie said.
"You know who didn't have due process? You know who didn't have their constitutional right to life respected?" Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) lectured during a House hearing. "The kids at Parkland, at Sandy Hook, in Uvalde, in Buffalo, and the list goes on and on. So spare me the [expletive] about constitutional rights."
The legislation passed 65-33 in the Senate and 234-193 in the Senate, CNN happily reported.
Democrats 'quick to celebrate'
From a political perspective, Republicans handed the poll-challenged Biden and his struggling political party a victory just months before Election Day. To understand the political impact, consider that CNN story which reports Biden has signed the “first major federal gun safety legislation in decades,” since the 1994 assault-weapons ban signed by Bill Clinton.
“Democrats in particular,” the CNN story says, “have been quick to celebrate the bipartisan gun deal since action to address gun violence is a major priority for the party.”
Mike Hammond, who is legislative counsel to Gun Owners of America, tells AFN it appears the Republican leaders in Congress want to be the minority party for years to come.
“You can't take a major-major-major component of your base, perhaps the major component,” he says of the Second Amendment, “and basically try to destroy it at the behest of your political opposition.”
Republicans, however, did just that by handing Democrats a victory which the CNN story makes clear.
Some of the same GOP leaders who worked with Democrats to pass the "Safer Communities Act" have been meeting with Democrats on another issue: illegal immigration. It appears that issue won't come up for a vote soon, Roll Call reported in a June 9 story, until Congress returns for an August recess.
Hammond says GOA plans to challenge portions of the new law in court to defend the Second Amendment rights of all Americans.