While it may seem like it takes Congress forever to get anything done, they are at least always talking about doing something. Not a session of Congress goes by where members from both major political parties propose some form of legislation related to guns. Some of these never gain any support, while others pick up momentum and eventually become law.
If you’re a gun owner – or someone concerned about gun control – you’ll want to know what Congress is considering, so that you can either prepare yourself, or contact your representatives to let them know your position. If you wait until the proposals turn into laws, it becomes much harder to have them changed. Here are just a few of the recent proposals made in Congress related to guns.
Strengthening the Background Check System
One proposal that seems likely to progress further – thanks to support from both parties – is one that looks to strengthen the Federal background check system. A recent mass shooter in Texas was able to purchase a firearm because he slipped through the cracks of the current system. Proponents of this measure say that if the Federal background check system was stronger, instances like the mass shooting in Texas would occur less frequently.
As it currently stands, you cannot purchase a firearm if you have a history of violence or mental health issues. The new measure would ensure that these provisions are more broadly enforced. While this is unlikely to fix all of the issues related to gun violence in this counter, members of Congress feel it is a step in the right direction. As long as you don’t have a criminal record or a history of violence, this law would likely not impact your ability to purchase a gun.
Changing the Concealed Carry Laws
The laws regarding the ability to carry a concealed weapon vary from state to state. Under a new measure going through Congress, state’s would have to allow a concealed carry license issued from another state. As it currently stands, you are not allowed to carry a concealed weapon into certain states that have provisions against it. Opponents of this bill argue that it infringes upon their State’s rights, and undermines actions they have taken to protect their citizens. On the other hand, proponents say that we should treat concealed carry licenses like other licenses, in that they are valid across all states.
If you’re the owner of a concealed carry license, this proposal would impact whether or not you can bring your weapon into certain states. For others of you, it could mean the undermining of your state’s laws regarding the prohibition of concealed carry.
Assault Weapons Ban
Finally, another proposal made in the aftermath of several recent mass shootings is a ban on assault weapons. Congress has passed an assault weapons ban before back in 1994, but that legislation expired in 2004. This new bill would block the sale, purchase and production of military-style assault weapons. It would also ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
The bill would not take away any guns currently owned, as it would only impact future sales and production. If you’re the owner of one of these weapons, you can keep it, but there would be restrictions on how you can sell or transfer the weapon going forward. In addition, you may notice some changes when it comes to bulk ammo purchases.
This bill as of yet does not have bipartisan support, and remains supported by Democrats while opposed by Republicans. Only time will tell if this changes, and eventually turns into a law.
Know How Gun Proposals Affect You
Whether you’re a gun owner or not, the laws that Congress passes affect you. They could limit whether or not you are able to buy a gun, what type of guns you are able to purchase, whether you can purchase bulk ammo, or where you are able to bring your gun. For non gun owners, the laws impact those around you. It’s important that you keep abreast of what Congress is discussing, so that you can decide where you land on the issue, and let your Congressperson know.
New gun proposals happen all the time, but if you wait until it’s law to make your voice heard, it will likely be too late. Hopefully the above summaries will help you get to know the most popular proposals made today, and going forward you’ll know what Congress is up to regarding guns.