The widely-reported and somewhat heralded tentative “deal” on new gun control legislation announced earlier in the week is, perhaps by no surprise to Second Amendment activists, taking on the appearance of one more legislative fishing expedition with tenets that have nothing to do with the crimes that inspired the negotiations.
Chief among these, according to published reports Wednesday, is language that may be buried in the final bill draft to close something known as the “boyfriend loophole.” According to the Washington Post, “The loophole refers to the fact that while federal law bars firearm purchases for those convicted of domestic violence against someone they have been married to, lived with, or with whom they have a child, it omits other dating partners.”
There has been no indication, not even a hint, that either of the killers responsible for mass shootings in Buffalo, N.Y. or Uvalde, Texas had problems with an “intimate partner.” Gun prohibitionists therefore seem eager to use this proposed new legislation as a vehicle to carry their own agenda items.
USA Today is reporting, “Gun control activists have tried to close the loophole for years, but like most gun legislation, the efforts fizzled out. After massacres in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, as well as other mass shootings, there is fresh momentum for gun control, including ensuring that all domestic abusers are barred from acquiring guns.”
Add to that continuing due process concerns within the firearms community about so-called “red flag” laws which can be used to seize firearms from someone in cases where family, intimate/domestic partners or authorities believe the person is a threat to themselves or others. Such laws, critics argue, could violate one of the bedrock principles of American law, that a person must be considered innocent of a crime until he/she is convicted in court, and that citizens may be safe from unreasonable searches and seizures, as mandated by the Fourth Amendment.
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
According to Yahoo News, “critics say it’s a mistake to treat the deal as anything other than a laughably insufficient response to the gun crisis. They argue that the provisions in the bill, though they may make some difference on the margins, will have no measurable impact on the extraordinary levels of gun violence in the U.S.
“Gun rights groups,” the story adds, “oppose any gun control measures, and some conservatives also worry that enforcement of the plan could infringe on due process rights of gun owners.”
The National Rifle Association issued a statement following the announced breakthrough, explaining, “The NRA will continue to oppose any effort to insert gun-control policies, initiatives that override constitutional due process protections, and efforts to deprive law-abiding citizens of their fundamental right to protect themselves and their loved ones into this or any other legislation.”
Media excitement over the announcement from the working group of 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans was obvious as reports mentioned “gun reform” repeatedly.
But gun rights activists are wary because “reform” and “gun safety” are considered disguises for “gun control.” And they are troubled that the media has adopted such phrases in the process of reporting. Many call it “camo-speak.”
But there is no camouflage about what the gun prohibition lobby and its allies on Capitol Hill seem to be after. Regardless of talk about compromise and framework, anti-gunners are determined to get all they can before the end of this year, since it is looking increasingly likely power is going to shift dramatically Nov. 8 and that will likely bring a halt to the gun control agenda.