Despite the evergrowing controversies associated with lawmakers and powerful individuals in the Beltway, policymaking was not put on hold. Gun policy was at the top of the list.
“The Bill of Rights is not a philosophical exercise,” Georgia GOP Rep. Doug Collins, a proponent of pro-Second Amendment policy, said in a statement to CNN online when asked about a benchmark gun reform bill that was passed recently. “I don’t think that right should be undermined simply because I travel to another state.”
Collins was speaking in regard to the bill, of which now grants law-abiding gun owners to carry their firearms across state lines without facing state to state barriers and potentially criminal enforcement action.
The legislation was voted along almost-pure party lines with a 231-198 final vote. Surprisingly, six Democratic members of the lower chamber added their hand in a debate with support for the pro-National Rifle Association (NRA) piece of legislation. Consequently, 14 Republicans voted against the legislation. Some of the members, like Colorado’s Ken Buck–a far-right conservative–voted against the immediate bill because he believes that an earlier version of the bill–known as the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act–was a better fix to the issue of interstate concealed carry rights.
This immediate version of the legislation that was kicked to the Senate for procedural analysis, amendment, and final votes. In this legislation, the rules were reformed in the aforementioned capacity while also being attached to national criminal background check system changes so that purchasing firearms can offer streamlined methods for background checks.
“I strongly supported the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, but could not vote for it in this combined bill,” Buck said in a statement to a Denver-based news station. “I have concerns that the NICS portion of the legislation places Americans at risk for having their Second Amendment rights stripped without due process.”
“Today, the House took action to protect our citizens’ Second Amendment rights,” Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said in a statement via his office. “The truth is that concealed carry laws save lives. Right now, current law creates confusion for people who cross state borders with a lawful concealed carry permit. The legislation passed by the House today ensures that people who carry their legal firearm across state borders are protected under the law. Furthermore, I am encouraged that the House has voted to take a serious look at the definition of bump stocks and its usage in violent crime, as well as strengthen compliance with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Curbing gun violence in our society is paramount for public safety.”
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