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Posted By FFL Dealer Network on 03/15/2021 in Firearm News

A Look at the Two House Bills on Gun Control

A Look at the Two House Bills on Gun Control

The US House passed two bills that promise changes to gun ownership in the US. 

Both bills face serious opposition in the Senate. As things stand right now, it will take a 60-vote majority to pass either bill. Why? The filibuster rule in the Senate. 

The filibuster means one senator can bring any legislation to a dead stop. Used to be the senator had to keep speaking, but now all a senator has to do is object and invoke the filibuster. No more words are needed.  

It takes 60 votes to override the filibuster. Yes, the Senate can change that rule to a simple majority at any time, but so far, the Democrats do not have enough votes to do that. 

Democrats, and Republicans, who understand the political process know how important filibuster is to both sides. While the Ds currently have a 1-vote majority in the Senate (Vice President Kamala Harris), they understand that can change overnight. They want to hang on the ability to stop what they see as offensive Republican legislation when they go back to being a minority party. The same applies to the R party. 

H.R. 8

This is the bill that seeks to stop private gun sales. Right now, depending on the state, a person can sell a gun to another person without doing any background check paperwork.  

I called BATF about this. I asked if I, as a private citizen, could run a background check on someone before I sold that person a gun. I was told explicitly, "No." 

Here are the relevant parts of the bill: 

1 - "It shall be unlawful for any person who is not a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer to transfer a firearm to any other person who is not so licensed, unless a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer has first taken possession of the firearm for the purpose of complying with subsection (s)." 

In other words, if you want to sell a gun, you have to transfer it through someone who has a federal firearms license (FFL). 

 The FFL treats it like a gun he bought to resell, which means he keeps paperwork and BATF can inspect that paperwork.

 Does this include a Collector of Curios and Relics license (CRUFFLER)? Probably not. The CRUFFLER is not a dealer license. BATF tries to be clear that this is not a license to buy & sell commercially. It also covers guns that are at least 50 years old so a new Gen 4 Glock is excluded from this license. 

2 - "If a transfer of a firearm described in subparagraph (A) will not be completed for any reason after a licensee takes possession of the firearm (including because the transfer of the firearm to, or receipt of the firearm by, the transferee would violate this chapter), the return of the firearm to the transferor by the licensee shall not constitute the transfer of a firearm for purposes of this chapter." 

If the background check is denied, the gun goes back to the person trying to sell it. The gun is handed back without a background check on that person. 

3- Exceptions are granted. They are: 

• Guns sold to law enforcement, military or an "armed private security professional" if the gun is used as part of the job. 

• Guns loaned or a gift between spouses, domestic partners, parents and kids to include step-kids and step-parents and grandparents and grandkids. Exceptions are also for aunts and uncles to nieces and nephews. 

• Transfer as part of an estate. Your kids can get your guns when you die. If you will a gun someone else, they can get it. 

• A transfer in case of an emergency to prevent harm. This smacks heavily of the Red Flag laws. 

• Temporary loans for shooting or hunting 

H.R.1446

"[N]ot fewer than 10 business days (meaning a day on which State offices are open) has elapsed since the licensee contacted the system, and the system has not notified the licensee that the receipt of a firearm by such other person would violate subsection (g) or (n) of this section, and the other person has submitted, electronically through a website established by the Attorney General or by first-class mail, a petition for review…" 

This sets a 10-day waiting period for buying a gun. You put your money down. You pass the background check. You wait 10 days to get the gun. 

It does not apply to FFL-to-FFL transfers. 

This is a gun show killer.  Likely few people who go to a gun show and buy a gun, filling out the paperwork et al, are willing to wait 10 days to get their gun. Given the distance gun show vendors travel to get to the show, a buyer might have to travel a long distance to get his new gun. 

Guns can be shipped, at least within a state, from an FFL holder in that state to a buyer within the same state without going through another FFL. If the gun crosses a state line, it has to go through another FFL.


Ben Baker

Ben Baker | Author

Ben Baker is a longtime gun journalist and 2A advocate. He regularly contributes to FFL Dealer Network. If you have questions about federal firearms licenses, the Second Amendment or gun laws, contact him at ben@ffldealernetwork.com

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