The Senate’s “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act,” which was drafted in secret and only released hours before the Senate vote on the motion to proceed, would undermine the fundamental Constitutional rights of Americans.
This bill criminalizes routine firearm transactions, needlessly singles out law-abiding citizens under the age of 21 for heightened scrutiny, and would allow states to use federal taxpayer dollars to implement state-level gun confiscation orders, or “red flag” laws.
OPPOSE THE SENATE’S “BIPARTISAN SAFER COMMUNITIES ACT” (Courtesy of House Judiciary Committee Republicans)
- This crisis intervention programs will trample firearm owners’ due process rights. While paying lip service to rights guaranteed to Americans under the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the bill erodes due process by undermining evidentiary standards, and by not guaranteeing that the right to counsel is provided to the respondent in these proceedings. Congress should not deprive Americans of their Second Amendment rights without, at minimum, an opportunity to be heard, to confront his or her accuser, to be represented by counsel, and to be subject to robust evidentiary standards.
- Federal law already prohibits dangerous and unfit individuals from purchasing or possessing firearms. An individual with a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction, an individual involuntarily committed to a mental institution or adjudicated “mentally defective,” or an individual who is an unlawful user of a controlled substance are all already prohibited from possessing or purchasing a firearm.
- A study conducted by the Crime Prevention Research Center in 2018 found that “red flag laws had no significant effect on murder, suicide, the number of people killed in mass public shootings, robbery, aggravated assault, or burglary.” Furthermore, data shows many extreme risk protection orders have been overturned when the respondent finally has an opportunity to be heard.
- The bill contains a backdoor universal background check. Under current law, to be considered “engaged in the business” of dealing firearms, an individual must have the “principal objective of livelihood and profit.” This bill changes that “to predominantly earn a profit.” By lowering the threshold, this change will have the effect of criminalizing routine gun transactions between law-abiding Americans.
- This bill makes 18 to 20 year-olds second class citizens. The enhanced background checks on 18 to 20 year-olds will amount to an imposed waiting period for Americans between those ages to exercise their Second Amendment rights.