House Democrats Plan Vote to Criminalize Private Gun Sales

A US made AR-15 magazine-fed Armalite Rifle in a Helsinki weapons store Armalite Rifle on
Rex Features via AP

House Democrats plan a floor vote to criminalize private gun sales and add an indefinite extension to the time to complete a NICS instant background check.

The criminalization of private gun sales is being achieved via H.R. 8, a universal background check bill that will make it a crime for a friend to sell a gun to a lifelong friend without government permission. The bill will also make it a crime for a neighbor to sell a gun to a neighbor he has known for decades, unless government permission is sought.

The House Democrats named their universal background check bill H.R. 8 to honor Gabby Giffords for her eight years of survival since being shot during a constituent meet-and-greet in Tucson. Ironically, the bill they are pushing in her honor would not have prevented the attack she suffered because the gunman who came after her acquired his gun via a background check.

The other bill for which the Democrats plan a vote, H.R. 1112, will add an indefinite extension to the instant background check already in place.

H.R. 1112 is being pushed to close the “Charleston Loophole,” but since such a loophole does not exist the reality is that H.R. 1112 will serve to allow an indefinite extension of the background check process. This extension can be used to deny firearm sale after firearm sale.

The NRA-ILA explained:

H.R. 1112 would eliminate the 3-day safety-valve provision under the federal firearms background check system that prevents the government from enacting an indefinite delay of firearm purchases for law-abiding Americans.  …The 3-day safety valve would be eliminated and replaced with a procedure that provides gun buyers with no protection. If an FFL initiates a check and does not receive a response from NICS after 10 business days, the prospective purchaser may petition the FBI to permit the transfer to proceed. The FFL may not proceed with the transaction until an additional 10 business days have elapsed from the date of the petition.

Existing federal law limits the validity of a NICS background check to 30 calendar days from the date it is initiated. Because H.R. 1112 uses business days and the NICS validity provision is in calendar days, in practice, H.R. 1112 would have no default proceed available. 

This means that would-be gun buyers on Black Friday 2019–November 29–would not be able to file a petition on their languishing gun purchase until December 14. An additional 10 business days would bring the calendar to December 31, which is beyond the 30 calendar days for the background checks. This will negate the process and force the would-be gun purchaser to begin the initial background check process all over again.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at


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