On June 3, Breitbart News reported that GOP Representatives were adding riders to a Department of Jutice appropriations bill to block—and in some cases roll back—DOJ efforts to implement backdoor gun control.
These gun controls included new limits on who can legally buy a guy, new reporting requirements for dealers, new regulations for certain types of firearms, new background check requirements for trusts holding guns regulated under the National Firearms Act (NFA), and rollbacks of extant gun control related to trusts, among other things.
Gun control proponent Gabby Giffords reacted to the GOP’s efforts to block the DOJ by suggesting that attempts to stifle backdoor gun control actually “make our communities more dangerous places to live.”
Giffords focused on the GOP’s move to roll back gun control on trusts.
It’s disappointing to see a bill so saddled with special interest gun riders that make it harder to enforce existing federal gun laws and that make our communities more dangerous places to live…
We are especially disappointed to see the House adopt an amendment that makes it easier for civilians who set up gun trusts to acquire firearms without the certification of a law enforcement officer in their community. Make no mistake: the net effect of this gun trust rider is to hamstring our law enforcement officers and make it easier for dangerous people to acquire machine guns – a result no legislator should be proud of.
Note how she threw in the word “machine guns” to make the situation seem more ominous. Yet NFA firearms include short-barreled shotguns and rifles—even semiautomatic ones (vs. full auto)—and silencers.
To be fair, it does indeed include machine guns as well.
Question: When was the last time you heard of a criminal using a real machine gun to commit a crime?
Answer: It doesn’t happen.
Sure, gang members illegally alter semiautomatic rifles to make them full auto, but those are not NFA weapons—they are illegal weapons.
According to the ATF, “there is no mechanism for a possessor to register an unregistered NFA firearm already possessed by the person.” In other words, if someone possesses a type of NFA firearm that they did not register because they owned it prior to be being required to do so, then there is “no mechanism” in place to force them to register it now.
GOP efforts against backdoor gun control prevent the government from creating the paper trail they want so badly to create regarding these weapons. That is ultimately what drives gun control proponents like Giffords to try to shame the GOP into reversing course.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.