U.S. House of Representatives passes two bills curtailing firearm transactions

by the Shoot On staff

We knew it was coming because they told us it would come—aggressive initiatives issued by the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives to place tighter restrictions on American citizens’ ability to acquire firearms and to further expand the Federal bureaucracy’s assumption of authority to infringe upon our uninfringeable 2nd Amendment right.

Two bills passed the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday that represent the first engagement in what has been promised by the Biden administration and the Democrat majority in Congress to be an ongoing effort to further gun control legislation at the Federal level.

The first bill is H.R. 8. Called the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, H.R. 8 intends to make unlawful the transaction of firearms between private citizens without first transferring possession of the firearm to a federally licensed firearm dealer (FFL) and then receiving approval to complete the transfer by the federal government (FBI) through the NICS background check.

Following is the summary of H.R. 8:

Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021

This bill establishes new background check requirements for firearm transfers between private parties (i.e., unlicensed individuals).

Specifically, it prohibits a firearm transfer between private parties unless a licensed gun dealer, manufacturer, or importer first takes possession of the firearm to conduct a background check.

The prohibition does not apply to certain firearm transfers, such as a gift between spouses in good faith.

What this means in practical terms is that you, as an American citizen, may not sell, trade, or barter a firearm between a friend or other citizen, may not give a firearm to a family member, or be permitted to acquire a firearm through such private transactions without first transferring possession of the firearm to an FFL and without you or the recipient of the firearm first being subject to the required FBI background check and approval.

This law, if passed by the U.S. Senate and ultimately signed by the President, would set the parameters for the second anti-2A bill also passed by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives yesterday—H.R. 1446.

Aside from being legislation that explicitly infringes on a Constitutional right that [“…shall not be infringed.”], H.R. 1446 opens an equally troublesome front on the larger 2A assault by loosening restrictions on the Federal government’s ability to interfere with American citizens’ right to acquire a firearm. This is due to the bill’s expansion of the time the FBI can take to conduct a background check and to relay “approval” or denial of a firearm transaction—from up to three business days (current) to a MINIMUM of ten days. We say “minimum” because as best as we can determine from reading the bill, the time to complete a firearm background check and transaction could be as much as 30 days.

Following is the official summary of H.R. 1446:

Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021

This bill revises background check requirements applicable to proposed firearm transfers from a federal firearms licensee (e.g., a licensed gun dealer) to an unlicensed person.

Specifically, it increases the amount of time, from 3 business days to a minimum of 10 business days, that a federal firearms licensee must wait to receive a completed background check prior to transferring a firearm to an unlicensed person. (This type of transaction is often referred to as a default proceed transaction.)

If a submitted background check remains incomplete after 10 business days, then the prospective purchaser may submit a petition for a final firearms eligibility determination. If an additional 10 days elapse without a final determination, then the federal firearms licensee may transfer the firearm to the prospective purchaser.

With the passing of H.R. 8 and H.R. 1446 out of the House of Representatives, the bills will now go to the U.S. Senate for approval, modification, or rejection. Given the current make up of the Senate, with the majority’s historical ideological leaning favoring gun control measures, there is a real possibility that these bills will pass the Senate and move to the Executive branch for final approval.

The responsibility of ensuring the sanctity of our 2nd Amendment rights falls squarely on us. The fight is ours.

We encourage everyone to contact their Senators and to voice their opposition to these onerous bills. Just follow this link to contact your representative and let them know you do not support H.B. 8 and H.B. 1446. You can also call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and be connected directly to your Senator’s office.

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