Last Thursday, two bills were presented to the Senate… one that would “permit the federal government to place people on a problem-ridden, secret terrorist watch list without due process or recourse thereby preventing them from exercising their constitutional rights protected by the Second Amendments.” And another that would expand the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to include all gun transfers—online sales, private sales, in retail shops, and in gun shows.
“The List” Bill:
The former bill clearly states that the ultimate goal is to refuse the sale of firearms and explosives to known or suspected terrorists or affiliates. In theory, GREAT! But in execution, there are simply too many holes.
Firstly, how do people qualify for the list, and what is “suspicious”? If “suspicion” is the only qualification… it is concerning as to how many innocent Americans would be put on this damning list. What if “suspicious” includes having multiple firearms? Or just one firearm? Who determines what is “suspicious”? The bill is simply too broad.
Secondly, if you ended up on this list (because qualifications for the list are undisclosed, and could frankly include anything) they may not have to tell you why. But you could be denied your right to bear arms. Denial is simply “at the Attorney General’s discretion”. So, in the years to come, how many innocents would lose their 2nd Amendment right?
The bill was simply too problematic, so thankfully, it was not passed.
“Background Checks” Bill:
The second bill is one that we are all familiar with… it would require background checks on all gun transfers.
Now, in Colorado, we are already required to submit background checks for private gun transfers, but this is actually not a nationally-recognized law. In fact, only eight states require universal background checks (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington State). Ten other states have laws that extend beyond the federal law.
In most states, however, private and gun show sales do not require background checks. And with this kind of bill, comes a common fear of gun owners: what will happen, in the future, if the government knows of every firearm that is owned, and their owners? Could my firearms be confiscated?
This too was voted down.
Tell us your thoughts! Were these to bills small steps toward gun-control? Or simply measures that could reduce terrorist attacks?