Skip to comments.NRA, Democrats reach gun law deal
Posted on 06/10/2007 7:39:59 AM PDT by holymoly
The gun lobby wrests some concessions as it agrees to back stronger background checks.
WASHINGTON - Senior Democrats have reached agreement with the National Rifle Association on what could be the first federal gun-control legislation since 1994, a measure to significantly strengthen the national system that checks the backgrounds of gun buyers.
The sensitive talks began in April, days after a mentally ill gunman killed 32 students and teachers at Virginia Tech University. The shooter, Seung Hui Cho, had been judicially ordered to submit to a psychiatric evaluation, which should have disqualified him from buying handguns. But the state of Virginia never forwarded that information to the federal National Instant Check System, and the massacre exposed a loophole in the 13-year-old background-check program.
Under the agreement, participating states would be given monetary enticements for the first time to keep the federal background database up to date, as well as penalties for failing to comply.
To sign on to the deal, the powerful gun lobby won significant concessions from Democratic negotiators in weeks of painstaking talks. Individuals with minor infractions in their pasts could petition their states to have their names removed from the federal database, and about 83, 000 military veterans, put into the system by the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2000 for alleged mental health reasons, would have a chance to clean their records.
The federal government would be permanently barred from charging gun buyers or sellers a fee for their background checks. In addition, faulty records such as duplicative names or expunged convictions would have to be scrubbed from the database.
"The NRA worked diligently with the concerns of gun owners and law enforcement in mind to make a ... system that's better for gun owners and better for law enforcement, " said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell, D-Mich., a former NRA board member, who led the talks.
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., had been pushing similar legislation for years. But her reputation as a staunch opponent of the gun lobby - she came to Congress to promote gun control after her husband was gunned down in a massacre on the Long Island Rail Road - ruined any chance of a deal with the NRA.
By contrast, this agreement is a marriage of convenience for both sides. Democratic leaders are eager to show that they can respond legislatively to the Virginia Tech rampage, a feat that GOP leaders would not muster after the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado. Meanwhile, the NRA was motivated to show it would not stand in the way of a bill that would not harm law-abiding gun buyers. Even so, it drove a hard bargain to quiet its smaller but more vociferous rival, Gun Owners of America.
Chris W. Cox, the NRA's chief lobbyist, said Saturday that the organization will strongly support the legislation as written. "We've been on record for decades for keeping firearms out of the hands of the mentally adjudicated. It's not only good policy, it's good politics, " he said. But Cox warned that if the legislation becomes a "gun-control wish list" as it moves through Congress, the NRA will withdraw its support.
Requiring clean mental health in order to obtain a weapon appears to address the problem, but doesn't. Just another bandaid. The only way these rare incidents can be prevented (or minimalized) is to allow citizens to be able to respond immediately with force, wherever necessary.
The chicken-s**ts who plan these things would think differently- were citizens armed and capable of ending such attacks instantly.
Its a good deal. But if the Democrats renege on their agreement, the NRA will oppose it.There are some real problems with the data now - people who've done nothing wrong but have been dogged by incorrect paper trails. It looks the the NRA is using the metal records effort to push for some meaningful technical reform. I don't think there's anyone out there who thinks that raging lunatics should be running around with guns. But most of us look at proposals for automatically triggering a lifetime firearms disability because of some past psychological evaluation with a great deal of scepticism. Where is the due process? What is the standard of evidence? How is the decision appealed? What does it take to have the disability removed? It looks the NRA is agreeing to a compromise that includes mental health records in the database, but contains provisions that address these issues - not only with regards to the mental health issues, but in other areas of the database where similar problems exist. If that is what is going on, I'm all for it.
Sell-outs all; its a far cry from when C. Heston ran the organization “when the pry it from my cold-dead body!”.
I’d recommend the GOA instead (I’ve heard they’re much better; and don’t really “compromise”).
South Carolina’s trying “the opposite way”: the leg is pushing for a “bill” allowing concealed cary permit holders to own firearms on school campuses. Which would really make it safer from the “massacre” types..IMO
So 49% of the population should be behind bars, based on the possibility from some actuarial table that says that they might harms others at some point in the future?!? How much do you despise Freedom and the Constitution... and why?
If Chris Cox actually asserted that, he should be removed from his position at the NRA.
It's patently ridiculous. Of course the Democrat leadership will paste all kinds of gun control nonsense in the bill --- has he forgotten the "Firearms Owners Protection Act" that also became a machine gun ban?
The NRA should not be giving the Democrats any chance to pass gun control legislation. Withdrawing assent if something goes wrong is akin to closing the barn door after the horse runs away.
The definition of bi-partisan is the the ‘Rats get what they want. They also renege on all deals. Principles matter. The NRA has gone RINO.
Since then I have purchased all my firearms from individuals - cash only. As far as the federal government knows I don't even own a gun and that's the way I intend to keep it.
As far as I know I'm not in any of the banned databases and don't see any reason why I would ever be. But I would rather not take the chance that some low level government functionary might mistakenly add my name to a list.
All NRA members need to get involved with electing board members. They are leaning more and more liberal with board members like open borders Grover Norquist.
All great questions. The answer is the the federal government is treading into water where they need not be.
A lot of people are going to be ‘railroaded’ into these government databases... some will just be perfectly normal and others may or may not be wacky. The federal government screws up almost everything they touch.... this has to be left alone.
The power to regulate v. the power to prohibit
The thread above answers many of those questions.
The DA wanted to charge him with unlawful imprisonment, (a felony), and he plead it down to a misdemeanor charge punished by home monitoring and probation. Had it been me, I would have fought it out in court, but he was in the middle of a divorce and wanted to be able to still see his son. Unfortunately for him, he'll probably never be able to own a gun again.
So these are the kinds of minor infractions that are already included in the federal database. If this new legislation allows people like my friend to get their rights back and keeps a few documented psychos, like Seung Hui Cho, from buying guns, then I'm for it.
Catch 22. - Residents of Calif are felons if they try to opt out.
Coming soon to a State near you.
It would make them work harder at planning their sick directive, however the drive in their intent would make it possible for them to accomplish their feat of destruction of life with or without firearms.
Sickness may be an excuse, however the outcome is the same.
Meanwhile, ALL rights given to us who don't tote this directive of destruction are lost and as it is proved to be not enough to stop those who are mindfully set on death and destruction, we are placed in a cocoon of mandated protection which leaves us unable to defend ourselves individually.
Thus, freedom is lost.
It's going to happen, guaranteed. You can't make a binding deal with a liar and you never want to make a deal with the devil. Democrats are both.......
It’s too late. No matter what the Dems pile onto it, any opposition the NRA could mount now would make as much difference as peeing in the ocean. I think they’ve gotten my last money.
Additionally people convicted of misdemenor gun infractions such as illegally carrying concealed weapons, carrying a gun unlocked or loaded firearms in a vehicle, etc. have been consdered guilty of “firearms violations” and put on the banned list. If this allows them to be removed that would be a very good thing.
I don't support criminalizing the keeping and bearing of arms. Neither the Senator nor the aide deserve to be denied the protection of the Second Amendment.
And the band plays on....