The latest unauthorized story making the rounds in Washington says Attorney General William Barr is “quietly” circulating a proposal to the Senate that proposes expanding background checks for firearms purchases.
Not everyone in the Senate has seen it, but those who have including Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania (a proponent of those expansions), describe it as “an idea that has a lot of merit and is a very thoughtful contribution to this whole conversation.”
“This whole conversation” is the idea of expanding backgound checks and red flag laws.
Note that while the AG is circulating his thoughtful proposal, no one is saying for a second that the President is supporting it.
President Trump, after all, has already walked back his original position on background checks, saying he’s not certain they would do anything to curb violence. And he has promised to veto a House bill extending background checks to private sales between individuals.
North Dakota Republican Kevin Cramer says he’s not been briefed, but would certainly prefer something “more modest” than expanding background checks. “Back home,” he told reporters, “when you start talking about more background checks, they just bristle.”
Other Senators are doing their best to straddle the line, saying that gun rights backers might best be served by “some expansion” on background checks. Otherwise, they say “nothing will be done to combat gun violence.”
Nothing they’re proposing is likely to do anything, either, because criminals don’t care about rules they don’t plan to follow. Terrorists, regardless of their domestic or imported status, are even less concerned, and crazies are completely out of touch with everyone.
But it seems our “elected officials” have once again decided that another layer of paint will hold up the leaning barn. Or at least get them through the next election cycle
So what’s really up?
Something. That’s for certain.
Yesterday afternoon, I reached out to Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation to ask his insight.
Turns out I wasn’t the only one interested in his insight.
He had “just now” gotten off the phone with the White House, he told me. And, I was assured, “Trump has still not finalized anything.”
So, I asked, do we breathe that collective sigh of relief?
“The devil’s in the details,” he said, “and we have not seen the details yet. I expect the White House to support something on background checks and emergency protection orders.”
“My hope,” he continued, “is it includes fixing the NICS database so the vast majority of delays and denials are no longer false positives and give gun owners more due process protections.”
He’s right. No one quibbles with accurate information keeping someone who’s no longer legally entitled to firearms or a legitimate menace to others from getting guns. But anyone who has experienced the interminable delays in correction of erroneous information realizes the NICS system has issues.
Seems only appropriate that with the Second Amendment again under pressure that I remind you that Alan Gottlieb and many other 2A advocates and experts will all be together under one roof this weekend in Phoenix, Arizona for the thirty-fourth annual Gun Rights Policy Conference.
Gottlieb will be joined at the Sheraton Crescent Hotel by 90 speakers who will be talking on everything from grassroots activism to the crucial national election next year. And there appears to be lots of interest. Gottlieb tells me t more than 1,100 have registered to attend the free event, the cost of which is supported by the SAF’s corporate partners and other organizations.
Topics will cover state and national political issues, legal battles (there are several major cases pending), suicide prevention and the broader culture war being fought against gun owners.
Interestingly, the sessions kick off with a session called “NRA- The Elephant in the Room”.
If you’re interested, but unable to attend, the entire event is set to be live-streamed on the Second Amendment Foundation’s website. You can check out their agenda here:
Education on the issues is important. Everyone being educated on them is critical.