Senate unveils bipartisan gun control bill text after Uvalde school shooting
Biden wins red flag law and boyfriend loophole; NRA opposes vote
The bill voted on Tuesday includes red-flag laws, boyfriend loophole measures, enhanced background checks on gun buyers under 21 years old and more, which all led to immediate opposition from the NRA. But it looks like Pres. Biden will be happy about this, even if he wanted it to go further.
I told you nine days ago as this bipartisan thing was brewing on Capitol Hill, that we needed to read through the bill to know what they have put in it before passing it. Well, we did not get to do that today because the Senators dropped the bill text and did a quick procedural vote to move it along.
The bill is 80 pages long. They also released a 10-page section-by-section summary. I uploaded both at the bottom for my paid subscribers to read directly.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer at 6:30 p.m. stated, “I will now put this life-saving legislation on the Senate floor for a vote, with an initial procedural vote as soon as tonight and, following that, we will move to the final passage as quickly as possible.”
The Tuesday night vote for the “vehicle” for the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act passed 64 to 34.
The Republicans who voted in favor were Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) plus the 10 who had already been part of the deal: Senators John Cornyn (TX), Roy Blunt (MO), Richard Burr (NC), Bill Cassidy (LA), Susan Collins (ME), Lindsey Graham (SC), Rob Portman (OH), Mitt Romney (UT), Pat Toomey (PA) and Thom Tillis (NC).
The new GOP votes came from Senators Shelly Capito (WV), Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Todd Young (IN).
Red flag laws
But Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) was booed loudly at the Texas Republican Party Convention over it last weekend.
I noticed that the term “red flag” is nowhere in the bill. They refer to it as an “extreme risk protection order.” That is deliberate politically— along with provisions for due process — to try to get Republicans to vote for it.
It says in the bill (page 33) that states can implement“crisis intervention court proceedings” through mental health courts; drug courts; veterans courts; and extreme risk protection order programs” — which is those “red flag laws.”
The NRA’s opposition is partly due to how it will use “federal dollars to fund gun control measures being adopted by state and local politicians,”
The bill says that if a state enacts “deprivation” (that means taking away your gun) it has to follow strict “due process rights that prevent any violation or infringement of the Constitution of the United States, including but not limited to the Bill of Rights.”
More specifically, it says if you’re accused of being a danger and the state tries to take away your gun, the court cannot rely upon “evidence that is unsworn or unaffirmed, irrelevant, based on inadmissible hearsay, unreliable, vague, speculative, and lacking a foundation.”
It also says the government will pay for your lawyer if you can’t afford one.
Cornyn made a floor speech Tuesday (below) to defend the provision:
“One of the things that we've agreed upon is they have to have robust due process protections because we're talking about a constitutional right. So if the new law does not include due process protections, it will not be eligible for these grants, no matter what form that crisis intervention program takes.”
The so-called boyfriend loophole — which I’ve explained here because Pres. Biden has been calling for it nonstop — is part of this bill. It means that misdemeanor convictions of domestic violence against someone you’re in a romantic relationship with, but not married, can prevent you from legally possessing a gun.
The bill (page 52) defines a “dating relationship” as individuals “who have or have recently had a continuing serious relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.” They wrote in the bill that:
A casual acquaintanceship or ordinary fraternization in a business or social context does not constitute 26 a dating relationship.
They wrote this dating law will be different than the one for domestic abusers of spouses or a parent of your child because it’s not permanent. The dating person’s gun rights are restored after five years if he doesn’t commit any other crimes (page 54.)
Gun buying before 21 years old
The bill will do extra FBI NICS background checks for buyers under 21 years old. It changes the background check to include state records and local law enforcement to see if there is a juvenile record that would disqualify him from buying a gun (page 28.)
There is the normal 3-day NICS waiting time, but if the juvenile records need more investigating, the government can have seven more days to determine the sale.
Universal Background Checks:
Biden did not get this one in the bill. The summary of the bill says that the feds are not going to start mandating people get a federal background check when selling to family and friends.
Maintains protections for hobbyists and gun enthusiasts to privately sell their firearms without having to register as an FFL.
National gun registry:
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