On December 29, Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton responded to a question on guns by outlining seven specific new gun control laws she wants to institute if elected.
The gun question was asked by a male student who appeared to be 13 or 14 years old. Reading from a large index card, the boy said, “When you become president, what is your plan to connect mental health problems and guns to make sure that me, my brothers, and my friends are safe from violence at school?”
According to C-Span, Clinton responded, “I’m going to do everything I can do, and I’m never going to stop trying.” She talked of how many people she believes are killed annually because of guns, then said, “I think we need to pass some laws that I have been advocating for.”
She then listed those laws:
1. “Comprehensive background checks” – These are expanded or universal background checks. The same kind of checks that exist in California and Colorado where our country’s last three high profile shootings have taken place: San Bernardino on December 2, Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood on November 27, and Colorado Springs on Halloween Day.
2. Close “gun show loophole” – Democrats have been trying to place new regulations on gun shows for decades because some individuals go to a gun show to sell their shotgun, the pistol they inherited from the father, or the rifle they bought from their neighbor. Such sales do not have a background check on them and have not had a background check on them since 1791. By framing such freedom as a “loophole,” Clinton is angling to bring all gun sales under the purview of the government.
3. Close “online loophole” – There is no online loophole. What Clinton is referencing is the same thing Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) referenced in 2013 when his post-Sandy Hook gun control push went down in flames. Both Clinton and Manchin allude to online advertisements for gun sales, and new regulations on such advertisements would necessarily cover print advertisements as well. She is actually going after the advertisement, not the sale.
4. Close “Charleston loophole” – There is no Charleston loophole. Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts espoused one after the heinous Charleston, South Carolina, church shooting, but the FBI made clear that Dylann Roof’s passage of a background check was due to a clerical error, not a loophole.
5. Add no-fly list to background checks – The push to add the no-fly list to background checks was taken up in earnest following the San Bernardino terror attack. Then it was learned that neither attacker–Syed Farook and Tashfreen Malik–was on the list to begin with, so adding it to background checks would not have stopped that attack. Moreover, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, and CNN criticized efforts to add the no-fly list to gun control, chiefly because the list is imprecise and is a list of accused persons, not convicted ones. The LA Times in particular found it a violation of due process to deny constitutional rights to an individual based on accusations rather than convictions.
6. Allow gun makers to be sued for gun crime – Simply put, Clinton wants victims of gun crime to be able to sue Smith & Wesson, Glock, Ruger, H&K, Kimber, Springfield Armory, Sig Sauer, and any other gun manufacturer for crimes committed with their products.
7. Allow gun sellers to be sued for gun crime – Clinton wants to open the door for victims of gun crime to sue gun sellers over the criminal misuse of guns.
Clinton said, “I know we can do this in a constitutionally consistent way.”
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