U.S. gun control legislation

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The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The interpretation of this amendment has long been the subject of debate, as some believe restrictions on the right to purchase, own, or carry firearms are constitutional, while others do not. The U.S. Congress first passed legislation restricting gun rights in the early twentieth century, though the debate has continued to the present day as issues such as background checks, trigger locks, and the legality of assault weapons have come to the political forefront. This page deals with congressional actions relating to gun control.

Contents

Current legislation (110th Congress)

Gun Show Loophole Closing Act of 2007 (H.R. 96)

The bill (H.R.96)[1] was introduced in the House on January 4, 2007 by Rep. Michael Castle (R-Del.). It would provide for the regulation of firearms transfers at firearms events at which 75 or more firearms are offered or exhibited for sale, exchange, or transfer if one or more of the firearms have been shipped or transported in, or otherwise affects, interstate or foreign commerce.[2] The bill would also prohibit any person from operating a special firearms event without notifying the Attorney General, and set forth the responsibilities of special firearms events operators.[3]

Main article: Gun Show Loophole Closing Act of 2007

Domestic Violence Victim Protection Act (H.R. 203)

The bill (H.R.203)[4] was introduced on January 4, 2007 by Rep. Steven Rothman (D-N.J.) with no co-sponsors and referred that date to the House Committee on the Judiciary and on February 2, 2007 to its Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. The measure is a piece of gun control and domestic violence legislation which would amend federal crime grant programs relating to domestic violence to encourage states and localities to implement gun confiscation policies, reform stalking laws, create integrated domestic violence courts, and hire additional personnel for entering protection orders.

Main article: Domestic Violence Victim Protection Act

Child Gun Safety and Gun Access Prevention Act of 2007 (H.R. 256)

The bill (H.R. 256)[5] would amend the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act in an effort to prevent children's access to firearms. It was introduced by Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee(D-Texas) with no co-sponsors on January 5, 2007, and the measure was referred that day to the House Committee on the Judiciary and on February 2, 2007 to its Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.

Main article: Child Gun Safety and Gun Access Prevention Act of 2007

NICS Improvement Act of 2007 (H.R. 297)

The bill (H.R.297) was introduced in the House on January 5, 2007 by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) with co-sponsor John Dingell (D-Mich.). It would amend the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 to require the head of each federal agency that has records relating to persons for whom receipt of a firearm would violate federal or state law to provide that information to the Attorney General for inclusion into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). In addition, it would require the agency, upon being made aware that the basis under which a record was made available no longer applies, to correct the record and notify the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security. It would also have to make available to the Attorney General records relevant to a determination that a person is disqualified from possessing or receiving a firearm and information about a change in such person's status for removal from NICS, where appropriate. [6]

Main article: NICS Improvement Act of 2007

Assault Weapons Ban Reauthorization Act of 2007 (H.R. 1022)

The bill (H.R.1022) was introduced in the House on February 13, 2007 by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.). The measure would reinstate for ten years repealed criminal provisions regarding assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices. It would revise the definition of "semiautomatic assault weapon" to include kits for converting a firearm to such a weapon and any semiautomatic rifle or pistol that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and that has specified characteristics, including a telescoping stock. It would prohibit the transfer of such a weapon except through a licensed dealer or a state or local law enforcement agency who would be subject to requirements.

The bill would direct the Attorney General (AG) to establish and maintain a record of the make, model, and date of manufacture of any such weapon which the AG is made aware has been used in relation to a crime, and of the nature and circumstances of the crime involved. Also, the AG would be required to annually submit the record to Congress and make it available to the public. In addition, the measure would prohibit the transfer of any assault weapon with a large capacity ammunition feeding device, the transfer of such a weapon or device to a juvenile, and the importation of such a device.

Main article: Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2007

Foreign Felon Gun Prohibition Act of 2007 (H.R.1168)

The bill (H.R.1168)[7] was introduced by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) on February 16, 2007. It was referred to the House Judiciary Committee and on to its Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. The measure would would amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to extend the firearm and ammunition prohibitions applicable to convicted felons to those convicted in a foreign court.

Main article: Foreign Felon Gun Prohibition Act of 2007

Anti-Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act of 2007(H.R.1859)

The bill (H.R.1859).[8] would reinstate and strengthen the prohibition on the possession or transfer of large capacity ammunition feeding devices. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) introduced the measure on April 16, 2007, in response to shootings at Virginia Tech. It had collected no co-sponsors as of May 2.

Main article: Anti-Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act of 2007

The Anti-Gun Trafficking Penalties Enhancement Act of 2007 (S.77)

The bill was introduced by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on January 4, 2007 with no immediate co-sponsors. The measure, referred that date to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, would overturn the Tiahrt Amendment, which had been included in each Justice Department appropriations bill since 2003. Essentially, the amendment restricted local government access to data on firearms used in crimes.

Main article: Anti-Gun Trafficking Penalties Enhancement Act of 2007

Past legislation

109th Congress (2005-2006)

Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2005 (H.R. 1312)

Anti-Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act of 2005(H.R. 3348)

Assault Weapons Ban Reauthorization Act of 2005 (S. 620)

Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2005 (S. 645)

Amendment to prohibit the confiscation of a firearm during an emergency or major disaster (S.AMDT. 4615)

On July 12, 2006, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) introduced an amendment during the debate over the fiscal year (FY) 2007 Homeland Security appropriations bill. The amendment would have prohibited officials from confiscating legally owned firearms during an emergency or disaster. The amendment was proposed in response to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, in which police confiscated a numer of guns from New Orleans residents.[9]

On July 13, the amendment passed in the Senate, 84-16.

Senate record vote:
To pass the amendment

July 13, 2006
Passed, 84-16, view details
Dem: 28-16 in favor, GOP: 55-0 in favor, Ind: 1 in favor

The amendment survived in the conference committee and became law (along with the Homeland Security appropriations bill) when President George W. Bush signed it on September 30, 2006.[10]


108th Congress (2003-2004)

Bill to Reauthorize the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988--18 U.S.C. 922 (H.R. 3348)

Assault Weapons Ban Reauthorization Act of 2004 (S. 2498)

Bill to Extend the sunset on the assault weapons ban for 10 years (H.R.3831)

Assault Weapons Ban Reauthorization Act of 2003 (S. 1034)

Assault Weapon Ban Enhancement Act of 2003 (H.R. 143)

Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2003 (S. 1431)

Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2003 (H.R. 2038)


107th Congress (2001-2002)

Assault Weapon Ban Enhancement Act of 2002 (H.R. 3751)


106th Congress (1999-2000)

David Chetcuti Firearm Modification Act (H.R. 1428)

Assault Weapon Ban Enhancement Act of 1999 (H.R. 1809)


105th Congress (1997-1998)

Bill to ban the importation of firearms that have been cosmetically altered (H.R. 2702)


104th Congress (1995-1996)

Handgun Control and Violence Prevention Act of 1995 (H.R. 1321)

Bill to prevent handgun violence and illegal commerce in firearms (S. 631)

103rd Congress (1993-1994)

Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act

This bill was originally submitted as H.R.4296 [11] to amend the federal criminal code to prohibit the manufacture, transfer, or possession of a semiautomatic assault weapon. It passed the House, but became Subtitle A (Assault Weapons) of H.R. 3355, The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. The subtitle expired 10 years after its passage.

Main article: Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act

Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act Federal Firearms License Reform Act of 1993 (H.R. 1025)

Main article: Brady bill

Articles and resources

Sources

  1. Thomas page on the bill
  2. Thomas page on the bill
  3. Thomas page on the bill
  4. Library of Congress Thomas legislative information website
  5. Library of Congress Thomas legislative information website
  6. Library of Congress Thomas legislative information site
  7. Library of Congress Thomas legislative information website
  8. Thomas summary of the bill
  9. "Senator Vitter To Force Vote Prohibiting Future Gun Confiscations," Gunowners.org, July 13, 2006.
  10. Thomas page on FY 2007 Homeland Security appropriations bill (H.R. 5441)
  11. Library of Congress Thomas legislative information site for H. R. 4295, 1994

Resources

SourceWatch/Congresspedia resources

Articles

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