Jan 152015
 

Most people think it’s a good idea to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICBCS) is a point-of-sale system for determining the eligibility of a person wishing to purchase a firearm. Licensed firearm dealers are required to use this system before selling a gun. The NICBCS system has blocked more than 2 million gun purchases attempted by prohibited buyers. These hopeful buyers included felons, dishonorably discharged veterans, domestic violence and stalking offenders, substance abusers, undocumented immigrants, those who have renounced their citizenship and the mentally ill. In 2012, the FBI conducted nearly 20 million background checks for prospective firearm buyers. Advocates say this number is but a fraction of the total number of people who purchased guns. An estimated 40% of all arms transfers take place between private parties who are not required to perform background checks. Advocates claim states that require background checks for private handgun sales had nearly 40% fewer women are shot to death by their intimate partners. They also had nearly 50% fewer firearm suicides and gun trafficking offenses than states which do not require these checks. Other advocates worry background checks could create a gun-owner registry that could be someday used to confiscate weapons. Other opponents claim background checks are ineffective because our Justice Department declines to prosecute criminals who try to buy guns. In 2010, more than 76,000 firearm purchase applications were denied. Of these denials, 62 were referred for prosecution and only 13 resulted in guilty pleas or verdicts. Background check supporters acknowledge these shortcomings need to be fixed but say that checking the backgrounds of only about half of those attempting to buy a gun does nothing to improve public safety.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.137 – Fix Gun Checks Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current firearm background checks policy and wish to defeat H.R.137

I support prohibiting a person who is not a licensed firearms importer, manufacturer, or dealer from transferring a firearm to, or receiving a firearm from, another unlicensed person, except: through a licensed dealer, which shall conduct a background check through the NICBCS; prohibits an individual adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution from applying for relief from disability under the NICS Act on the basis that the individual does not meet the requirements under such definition, and wish to pass H.R.137

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Gun buyback programs purchase privately-owned firearms to make homes safe from gun accidents and reduce the chance these weapons could be stolen in burglaries or otherwise lost. These programs are operated by both police and private parties. Recent studies show our nation has by far the largest number of legally owned firearms in the world. At 310 million guns, we are very near the point where there is one gun for every American. At least 100 people including 10 children are killed with firearms each day. Guns are used to kill more than 90% of all police officers murdered in the line of duty. Over $4 billion is spent each year on gun-related medical costs. Supporters claim gun buyback programs are successful in reducing the number of these tragedies. However, recent studies have questioned whether gun buyback programs are effective in lowering the number of guns in the communities they serve. Some studies have found there are just too many weapons in circulation for a difference to be made by removing a few. Undeterred, gun buyback supporters say that a life could be spared with “each gun, each bullet” that is removed from circulation.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.227 – Buyback Our Safety Act

I oppose reforming current gun buyback programs policy and wish to defeat H.R.227

I support making grants to assist in funding gun buyback programs carried out by state, local, and Indian tribal law enforcement agencies which will adequately advertise the program to the public, such program will be administered by law enforcement personnel, all guns received will remain in the possession of law enforcement personnel, adequate safeguards will be established and followed to prevent fraud, the agency will have in place a process to test on site a gun purchased before payment is provided, and an adequate process will be in place to destroy all guns received; directs the Assistant Attorney General to enter into an arrangement with the National Academy of Sciences to: develop standards for identifying guns that are the most likely to be used in violent crimes; and establishing a pricing scale for purchasing such guns through gun buyback programs; authorizes the Assistant Attorney General to waive all or part of the matching funds requirement for a program that provides for obtaining only such guns, and wish to pass H.R.227

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

A gun show is a temporary exhibition where firearms, accessories, ammunition, knives and literature are displayed, bought, sold, traded and discussed. Most gun shows are sponsored by hunting or sporting organizations. Except in a few states, background checks and sales transaction records are not required for guns purchased at these events. This situation is often referred to as the “gun show loophole.” In some years there are as many as 5,000 gun shows, flea markets and other organized events occurring around our country. Large shows may accommodate 1,000 dealers and draw up to 15,000 visitors. However, nearly half the time these gun shows are investigated, felons are associated with buying or selling guns. Juveniles purchase at least 10% of the guns they use in crimes at gun shows or flea markets. Studies have shown that representatives of the Irish Republican Army and Hezbollah terrorist organizations have shipped guns purchased at our gun shows to their native countries. Critics claim these events give felons, domestic abusers, the mentally ill and others easy access to firearms. These buyers would not be able to purchase firearms if they had to pass background checks.

Pending Legislation:

S.22 – Gun Show Background Check Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current gun show policy and wish to defeat S.22

I support providing that if any part of a firearm transaction takes place at a gun show, each licensed importer, manufacturer, and dealer who transfers one or more firearms to a person who is not licensed shall, within 10 days after the transfer, submit a report of the transfer to the Attorney General; requiring registration of gun show promoters and to set forth the responsibilities of promoters, licensees, and other transferors; grants the Attorney General authority to enter the place of business of any gun show promoter and any place where a gun show is held, during business hours and without a showing of reasonable cause or a warrant, for purposes of examining records and the inventory of licensees conducting business to determine compliance with this Act; increases penalties for serious record-keeping violations by licensees, and violations of criminal background check requirements, and wish to pass S.22

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Many people believe the number of tragic youth shootings and suicides in our nation could be significantly reduced by making guns less accessible to children. Each year, about 1,500 American children under 18 are killed and thousands more injured in accidental shootings. About a third of all families with children now keep a gun in the house. Gun safety advocates warn us that guns should be kept unloaded and stored in safes or securely locked away at home. Many parents believe their children are unaware of where they keep their guns. However, studies have shown that most children over 11 know where their parents store their guns and ammunition. We often hear of small children tragically shooting themselves or their siblings with family-owned guns. In Kansas, a seven-year-old boy fatally shot himself in the head with his father’s handgun during a shooting trip. A six-year-old Florida girl was critically wounded after being shot by her 13-year-old brother while they were home alone. A three-year-old toddler in Arizona fatally shot himself in the face with a gun he had found in his grandmother’s handbag. Safety advocates say gun manufacturers should provide storage and lock devices when selling a firearm. Technology has now made available personalized firearm locks to prevent unauthorized use. These locks, built into the weapon, include push-button combination locks and locks that identify fingerprints, voice or a bracelet worn by the weapon’s owner. One manufacturer offers guns equipped with this type of lock but when a dealer attempted to market it, second amendment supporters quickly convinced him not to.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.65 – Child Gun Safety and Gun Access Prevention Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current child access to guns policy and wish to defeat H.R.65

I support raising the handgun eligibility age to 21 and prohibiting those under 21 from possessing semiautomatic assault weapons or large capacity ammunition feeding devices; increasing penalties for a second violation by a juvenile for an act that, if committed by an adult, would be a serious violent felony; prohibits any licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer from transferring a firearm to any consumer unless the transferee is provided with a secure gun storage or safety device; prohibits keeping a loaded firearm or an unloaded firearm and ammunition within any premises knowing or recklessly disregarding the risk that a child is capable of gaining access to it, and wish to pass H.R.65

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

The ATF’s National Trace Center (NTC) is our nation’s only firearms tracing facility. It provides gun ownership and trafficking information to law enforcement agencies and tracks the intrastate and international movement of firearms. The 2004 “Tiahrt Amendments” is a law that drastically limits the ability of ATF and other law-enforcement agencies to use and disseminate trace data. Trace data is used to link guns found at crime scenes to manufacturers, dealers that originally sold the weapon and the identity of the weapon’s owner. Tiahrt barred ATF from disclosing any trace data to the public, shielded trace data from subpoena in civil actions and prohibited this data from being admissible as evidence in legal proceedings. Gun safety advocates say this information is basic to analyzing gun crime data and trends. They say it could help police departments track down sellers of illegal guns and reduce crime. Gun group advocates say that repealing the Tiahrt Amendment would lead to a rash of lawsuits against gun dealers.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.431 – Gun Transparency and Accountability (Gun TRAC) Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current firearms reporting policy and wish to defeat H.R.431

I support declaring that the contents of the Firearms Trace System database maintained by the National Trace Center shall not be immune from legal process, shall be subject to subpoena or other discovery, shall be admissible as evidence, and may be used, relied on, or disclosed on the same basis as other information in a civil action in any state or federal court or in an administrative proceeding; amending the federal criminal code to prohibit national instant criminal background check system records from being destroyed until after 90 days after the system assigns and provides a firearms licensee with a unique identification number for the transfer, set forth penalties for the willful violation of an inventory reporting order by a firearms licensee, and prohibiting, and wish to pass H.R.431

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

By law, all manufacturers must make their products as safe as possible. This is especially true if their products are likely to come into contact with children. However, our gun industry may be the only exception to this rule. In 2005, we passed the ‘Protection of Lawful commerce In Arms Act’ which gave our gun industry immunity from negligence and product liability claims. Critics say we need to hold gun makers to the same standards as other industries, making them responsible for bad practices and negligence. This negligence includes repeated customer complaints about a popular pump-action shotgun which has been accused for many years of inadvertently discharging -despite having the safety on. This condition has been responsible for injuring and killing several people. While publicly blaming these “accidents” on the operators, this manufacturer reportedly duplicated the problem in its own tests and identified a simple solution to correct it years ago -but still has not implemented this solution. Advocates say this delay would not have occurred if the manufacturer had been held responsible for allowing such a dangerous situation to continue. Gun industry critics say that for many years these companies have made their firearms more powerful, able to shoot faster, carry more ammunition and easier to conceal. They say gun makers should also have been improving their product’s safety and limiting those who have access to them. They claim gun manufacturers have the ability to make guns safer but having amnesty from lawsuits gives them little motivation to do so. Critics also accuse the gun industry of deliberately distributing firearms in a way that gives criminals and juveniles easy access to guns. They claim the treat of lawsuits is the only way to compel this industry into behaving more responsibly.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.332: Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act

I oppose reforming current gun manufacturer liability policy and wish to defeat H.R.332

I support prohibiting a court from dismissing an action against a manufacturer, seller, or trade association for damages or relief resulting from an alleged defect or negligence with respect to a product, or conduct that would be actionable under state common or statutory law in the absence of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, on the basis that the action is for damages or relief from the criminal, unlawful, or volitional use of a qualified product, and wish to pass H.R.332

 Posted by at 12:00 am