House Democrats will be only firing blanks if they pass a pair of gun control bills that are scheduled for a vote this week, the White House warned Monday, suggesting that President Donald Trump would veto both pieces of legislation if they ever get as far as the White House.
The two bills — H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112 — are being advanced by the Democratic majority in the House. Passage there is likely, given that several Republicans have joined forces with Democrats. The legislation faces a less certain future in the Republican-controlled Senate, which may end up not considering the measures. Only if the Senate were to approve the bills would they go to Trump.
If Trump vetoes the legislation, Congress could attempt an override. That would require a two-thirds vote in the House and the Senate.
H.R. 8 seeks to expand the reach of federal background checks. H.R. 1112 requires gun dealers to hold off on selling anyone a gun for 10 days to give the background check system enough time to process the request, Fox News reports.
The White House released the foundation of the argument Trump would use in any veto message.
“The Administration opposes H.R. 8 because it would impose burdensome requirements on certain firearm transactions,” the White House said in a statement. The law would “impose permanent record-keeping requirements and limitless fees on … everyday transactions.”
“H.R. 8 contains very narrow exemptions from these requirements, and these exemptions would not sufficiently protect the Second Amendment right of individuals to keep and bear arms,” the statement said, adding that “The extensive regulation required by H.R. 8 is incompatible with the Second Amendment’s guarantee of an individual right to keep arms.”
H.R. 1112 “would unduly impose burdensome delays on individuals seeking to purchase a firearm,” the statement continued.
By interfering with the existing timing for background check results, H.R. 1112 “would effectively prohibit some firearms purchases from being processed because the initiated background check would be considered invalid before the end of the second ten-business-day waiting period.”
The bottom line?
“Allowing the Federal Government to restrict firearms purchases through bureaucratic delay would undermine the Second Amendment’s guarantee that law-abiding citizens have an individual right to keep and bear arms,” the statement said. “If H.R. 8, or H.R. 1112, are presented to the President, his advisors would recommend he veto the bill.”
Congressional Republicans are also speaking out against the legislation.
“This bill turns law abiding citizens into criminals and it’s one more step towards federalized gun registration and ultimately gun confiscation,” said House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana. “That’s been the intention of many of the people bringing this bill for a long time. They want true gun control and this is the first step and surely not the last.”
One other GOP congressman said H.R. 8 is not only bad policy, but it will not make anyone safer.
“Frankly H.R.8 is taking the fears and concerns of a nation over gun violence and perpetrating a fraud upon them,” said Republican Congressman Doug Collins of Georgia.
“They are preying upon the very victims they are supposedly trying to help by putting a bill out there that will not help them. By constantly bringing up the mass violence instances such as schools and theaters and others. They are saying this will help. The reality is nothing in this bill would have stopped Parkland and nothing in this bill would have stopped the violence we have seen,” he said.
According to Politico, South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said that when the Senate turns to gun control, his focus will be on “red flag” legislation through which individuals who are deemed a danger to themselves or others could be forced to temporarily surrender their weapons.
“We’re going to have a hearing about ‘red flag’ legislation,” Graham said. “I just want to work on the red flag stuff and maybe the background check stuff. We’re kind of going our own way.”
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