Democrats have made the latest move into making gun control laws stricter. The U.S. House of Representatives has approved two gun control laws on March 11, 2021, that have the potential to change the entire face of private gun sales and ownership.
The first bill to be passed by the House of Representatives strengthens the background check policy for customers buying guns online. These background checks will also be extended to people buying guns through private transactions and from gun shows. This bill was passed 227-203, with only eight Republicans backing the Democrats.
The purpose of this bill is to ensure that private gun sales are regulated as well since most of these transactions go undetected.
With only a total of three, even fewer Republicans supported the second bill. This bill will allow authorities to take ten business days to undertake thorough federal background checks before a gun is licensed to any citizen. The current background check period is three days, which has been proven adequate in the past.
President Joe Biden is an ardent supporter of measures for expanded gun control. With these two bills passed in the House of Representatives, the Democrats are willing to go one step ahead and ban some of the military-style, high-capacity rifles with the capacity to fire ammunition rapidly.
The Democratic party follows the devastating mass shootings observed in the country in the past. However, Republicans argue that stricter gun laws cannot make streets safer for the general public. Moreover, more stringent gun control laws breach every citizen’s right to self-protection and to carry licensed firearms.
Jim Jordan, a senior Republican, brought the issue to Twitter by writing that the Democrats are “making it harder for law-abiding citizens to buy guns,” which is a threat to political, national, and personal safety.
While running adequate background checks is necessary to week out the potential criminals from the law-abiding citizens, extending the period by over 75% is not the answer. Moreover, such laws will only oppose the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment, in which citizens have a guaranteed right to bear arms.
Gun control laws can do only one thing – make it difficult for people to buy guns legally. However, they do not guarantee anybody’s safety on the streets and in school.
Guns are manufactured, and firearms are sold, but increasing the background check period from three days to ten days might not make much of a difference because what is hidden can stay hidden for an extra week. However, doing so can make a person feel unsafe without personal firearm protection for an additional week.
A combination of both the bills essentially outlaws private gun sales. Any number of background checks cannot stop mass shootings in America. Moreover, as Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry argued, the bills will lead to “fewer people out there defending themselves.”
Even though the bills have been passed in the House of Representatives, the tougher battle to be fought is in the U.S. Senate. While the House of Representatives has a majority of Democrats, the Senate is split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats. The bill will require at least 60 votes to pass.
Republicans can use their equal divide of strength to block the gun control measures to make purchasing guns for most citizens next-to-impossible. The same happened to the bipartisan gun control bill of 2013. It has failed on 54-46 votes in the Senate while the requirement to pass was at least 60 votes.
Dick Durbin, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, mentions the plans to hear on the bills in the coming weeks. Democrats will use these hearings to test the waters and see the Senate’s sentiments regarding gun control laws.