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Conservative Review

Vote Alert: Mandate universal background checks for gun purchases

This was a vote on H.R. 8, a bill to mandate universal background checks for gun purchases.

Conservatives believe the words of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution speak clearly for all Americans in all times: “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 right of all Americans to keep and bear arms is protected by those words. It shall not be infringed by the U.S. government. But a bipartisan group of lawmakers has shown in this vote that they do not respect the Constitution’s authority.

The so-called “Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019” would require background checks for nearly all gun purchases, including private transactions, with narrow exceptions for transfers between family members or for borrowing a gun to go hunting. Federal law already requires background checks for firearm purchases from licensed dealers and prohibits gun sales across state lines. What this new bill will do is make a gun transfer to your friend a felony.

Proponents of gun control measures argue sensible regulations are needed to stop crime and prevent gun violence. But the federal background check database has already demonstrated its ineffectiveness, with millions of records reported missing due to lax state reporting. Background checks that do succeed cannot predict future behavior and cannot catch a potential criminal who has no history of crime or mental illness. Further, the bill is unenforceable. It relies on individuals engaged in private gun sales to self-report their actions, which criminals will not do. Even the Obama-era Department of Justice concluded universal background checks are ineffective without “requiring gun registration.”

This bill will impose burdensome and unnecessary regulations on law-abiding firearms owners who want to sell their guns to other law-abiding citizens.

The House of Representatives voted to pass the Bipartisan Background Checks Act on February 27, 2019, at 3:44 p.m. in a roll call vote of 240 – 190.

To see how your elected officials stack up or other votes that compose the Liberty Score, view our full scorecard here.

CR position: NO

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