It could be a long shot so far as odds of passage, but the proposed Second Amendment Guarantee Act (H.R. 3576) is already raising eyebrows in two states with tough gun laws, Connecticut and New York.
Coverage of the measure, introduced July 28 by Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) seems a bit on the alarmist side, with the Greenwich Patch observing:
“Strict gun-control laws enacted by Connecticut state politicians in 2013, after more than two dozen school kids and staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary were shot dead by a crazed gunman, may soon be lifted by the federal government…That is, if one gun-loving Republican congressman from upstate New York has his way.”
The Rochester, NY Democrat and Chronicle likewise reported:
“Collins announced Monday that he has proposed new federal legislation that would make illegal key parts of New York’s SAFE Act. Collins’ bill is called SAGA — the Second Amendment Guarantee Act — and if it is enacted, much of (New York Gov. Andrew) Cuomo’s controversial SAFE Act would become void. It would do the same in other states that have tough anti-gun laws, as federal laws would take precedence over state law.”
This kind of reportage makes gun prohibitionists hysterical, and they use it to raise funds. But does this measure have a chance of passing?
The Second Amendment Guarantee Act (SAGA) is the kind of bill that initially gets the juices flowing on both sides of the gun rights debate. As currently written, the legislation applies only to rifle and shotguns. It mentions pistol grip stocks.
Gov. Cuomo came out talking tough, and alarmist, with his reaction. According to the Democrat and Chronicle, the perennially anti-gun Cuomo issued a statement that said the SAGA Act would put “millions of people at profound risk,” and called it a “political ploy.” He may be correct calling it a “ploy” but one thing is certain. The measure got the governor’s attention.
According to the Patch, if the legislation does pass, critics contend it will have an impact on state laws that ban so-called “assault weapons.” Here is what the bill says, in part:
“A State or a political subdivision of a State may not impose any regulation, prohibition, or registration or licensing requirement with respect to the design, manufacture, importation, sale, transfer, possession, or marking of a rifle or shotgun that has moved in, or any such conduct that affects, interstate or foreign commerce, that is more restrictive, or impose any penalty, tax, fee, or charge with respect to such a rifle or shotgun or such conduct, in an amount greater, than is provided under Federal law.”
Regardless of its chances on Capitol Hill – concealed carry reciprocity and the proposed National Hearing Protection Act are languishing in committee – the legislation at least keeps Second Amendment interest from fading until next year’s mid-term election campaigns begin.