Senate Advances Gun Reform – What’s In It?
Breaking News: In a 64 – 34 vote, the U.S. Senate just advanced a new gun reform bill.
The bill, called the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, could become the first gun violence legislation to pass Congress in decades. It was backed in the Senate by all 48 Democrats, two allied independents and 14 Republicans, in a 64 to 34 vote.
We’ve been analyzing the bill to find out what’s really in it, and if it’s constitutional. It includes multiple provisions on gun safety, including a few which actually could change who is eligible to purchase a firearm.
Opponents to the bill such as Marco Rubio have said they were only given one hour to review the 80-page bill. It does beg the question, why are the authors of the bill afraid to give lawmakers ample time to read the full bill before taking a vote? What’s in there that they’re worried will cause a log jam?
The bill did receive support from 14 Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Some opposing Senators stated they liked much of what they were able to read before the vote, but did not vote in favor because they simply weren’t given enough time to get through the full document.
There are some truly life-saving provisions in the bill, including closure of the so-called “boyfriend loophole” that made it possible for some individuals with a record of domestic violence against a partner - to whom they weren’t married - to still buy a gun. Right now only those charged with abuse of a spouse are barred from purchasing firearms.
It will also make it more difficult for “straw” gun purchasers to buy guns for other individuals who knowingly would not pass a background check.
The bill would add additional background checks for gun purchasers between 18 – 21 years old.
There’s no language that mentions taking away guns from legal gun owners.
And it increases funding for mental health programs and increased school security.
But there are also some concerning provisions included in the bill that are indeed raising red flags.
As my dad ACLJ Senior Counsel Jay Sekulow explained:
In a situation like this, the general concept of red flag laws, I think there’s a lot of agreement that it’s a good idea, and some states have put them in place, Florida for instance, where it’s been very successful. Those are good things. So what you hope would happen here is the states would in a very real way follow the model of states that are working. But as you said, there’s going to be some playing the joints. Some states are going to want to do it differently. So the biggest thing here is going to be then, to make sure as this money’s allocated, and the laws are put in place, that we look at the states to make sure they are not violating due process.
While I fully support rational, commonsense gun reform, I can’t just take the Left at its word. Forcing a vote on a bill without giving all sides enough time to really analyze what’s in it only creates more resistance and suspicion. And maybe for good reason.
It really feels like the Left’s go-to strategy when pushing one-sided legislation is “You don’t have to read it, just trust us.” Remember how when trying to force the Obama Affordable Care Act, Nancy Pelosi famously said: “[W]e have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it.”
That’s not how this works, Madame Speaker.
Today’s full Sekulow broadcast includes even more in-depth analysis of the 80-page Bipartisan Safer Communities Act by the Sekulow team.
Watch the full broadcast below: