A trio of Capitol Hill anti-gun Democrat Senators—Cory Booker and Bob Menendez, from New Jersey, and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut—are pushing new legislation requiring federal licensing in order to purchase or acquire firearms.
It has ignited a firestorm within the Second Amendment community. Gun owners contend the proposal is unconstitutional and that the three senators are trying to capitalize on the recent mass shooting in Buffalo, N.Y.
The proposed “Federal Firearm Licensing Act” mandates licensing of gun owners and buyers from the Department of Justice. The license would require renewal every five years, “at which point the applicant will have to go through a background check and undergo firearm safety training again,” according to a press release from Booker’s office.
The 11-page bill may be read here.
According to Booker’s press release, in order to obtain a federal firearm license, the bill would require the following:
- Certification that the individual completed firearm safety training, which must include a written test and hands-on training to ensure safe use and accuracy.
- Completion of a criminal history background check.
- Submission of fingerprints, proof of identity, and verification that the individual is at least 21-years-old.
- The federal firearm license must be renewed every five years at which point the applicant will have to go through a background check and undergo firearm safety training again. The bill contains a mechanism for the DOJ to revoke the license if the individual poses a danger to themselves or to others. It would require the Federal Bureau of Investigation to regularly conduct checks to ensure that individuals are in compliance with federal license requirements and keeps in place requirements that all people purchasing firearms from a federal firearms licensee undergo a background check.
A report in the Western Journal asserts the sponsors are “using the Buffalo mass shooting as a political tool.”
According to Ammoland News, the legislation contains two paragraphs that reduce a constitutionally-protected fundamental right to the level of a heavily-regulated government privilege:
“The Attorney General shall issue or deny a license under this section not later than 30 days after the date on which the application for such license is received.
“Each license issued under this section shall be valid for the purchase of a single firearm, which shall be purchased not later than 30 days after the date on which the license is issued.”
Opposition is already gaining traction. Some sources say with a 50-50 split in the U.S. Senate, it is not likely the measure will go anywhere, especially if control of Congress flips to Republicans in November.
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