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Republican and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy pledged opposition to the Senate’s bipartisan gun grab Wednesday after 14 GOP lawmakers in the upper chamber joined Democrats Tuesday night to usher major gun legislation through Capitol Hill.
The bill, now expected to pass the Senate by the end of the week with a filibuster-proof majority, makes it more difficult for 18- to 21-year-olds to own a firearm and encourages state “red flag” laws enhancing the power of the government to confiscate weapons from American citizens.
“I will oppose the Senate bill because provisions in it would place additional unnecessary impediments and burdens on [a] law-abiding citizen’s right to own a firearm,” McCarthy told The Federalist in an exclusive statement. “We must not have knee-jerk reactions in how the federal government approaches red flag laws, where Congress strong-arms states into passing laws that may violate the Second Amendment and deprive citizens their right to due process.”
“House Republicans support increased resources for school safety and mental health,” McCarthy added. “That’s why we recently supported Rep. Richard Hudson’s STOP II Act on the House Floor, that could help address these deadly shootings. This bill, however, goes beyond those contours.”
While the 80-page “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act” moving through the Senate offers some resources for school safety and public health, the text of the legislation revealed hours before lawmakers voted in a procedural measure to move it forward is littered with ambiguous language taking aim at American gun ownership.
“The bill’s numerous vague, open-ended provisions will almost surely be abused by prosecutors, cops, aggrieved family members, exes, and political opponents,” explained Federalist Senior Editor and gun author David Harsanyi about the “‘Do-Something’ Gun Control Bill.”
“And, in the meantime, the likelihood that any of its provisions will help mitigate mass shootings is very small,” he continued.
Moreover, there is scant evidence that red flag laws do much to prevent violence. Most studies that contend to prove red flag laws work, do so by drilling into the consciousness of those who’ve lost their guns and predicting their behavior. The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler, certainly no NRA champion, went through every mass shooting since 2015 and came up with only two instances where red flag laws might have potentially stopped a shooter. In one of them, the Parkland massacre, the police had ignored outright threats made by the shooter that would already have allowed them to take away his guns.
The bill’s Republican supporters in the upper chamber, however, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have almost ensured its passage to the Democrat-controlled House by next week. Republicans who voted for one of the largest firearm packages since 1994 are already facing blowback in their own states. Sen. John Cornyn, a lead negotiator on the bill, was booed at the Texas GOP convention last week, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s Alaska primary opponent, Kelly Tshibaka, blasted the incumbent lawmaker over support for the measure on Newsmax.
“This is just more of Lisa Murkowski, pretending she supports the Second Amendment when she comes back to visit Alaska, but when she is with her friends, she’s doing everything she can to betray Alaskans,” Tshibaka said on the conservative network.
The “good-faith” negotiations over the Senate gun bill all happened while the White House was reportedly developing potential plans to choke the nation’s ammo supply with a shutdown of a major manufacturer in northwestern Missouri. The Lake City ammunition plant provides 30 percent of the nation’s 5.56mm ammo now in jeopardy of being cut off by government animosity towards civilian-owned firearms.
Tristan Justice is the western correspondent for The Federalist. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan graduated from George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at Tristan@thefederalist.com.