President Obama just wrapped up remarks at the White House pushing for more "common sense" gun control measures as public support for new legislation wanes.
"What we're proposing is not radical, it's not taking away anyone's gun rights," Obama said.
Flanked by a dozen mothers, Obama called on members of Congress to get on board with support for universal background checks, otherwise known as the criminalization of private firearms transfers. The President claimed proposals on the table will keep guns out the hands of criminals, but a deeper look at background check legislation (which will be voted on next month in the Senate) tells a different story.
Iowa Senator Charles Grassley cast a committee vote in opposition to the Protecting Responsible Gun Sellers Act today on Capitol Hill. The bill passed out of the Judiciary Committee along party lines and criminalizes all private firearms transfers, otherwise known as universal background checks. Grassley indicated in a statement today that the legislation was rushed and lacked bipartisanship.
"The first point I want to make goes to process. When this bill was first listed on the Committee agenda to be marked up, it was just a list of findings. It was not ready to be marked up. The language has changed. It is still not ready to be marked up. But we are marking it up anyway. We were told there was such widespread support for universal background checks that a bipartisan bill would be on its inevitable way to passage. Instead, three of the four senators involved in those discussions do not endorse this bill. The bill is somewhat similar to a bill Senator Schumer introduced in the previous Congress. So let’s start with the big picture problems," Grassley said. "And this bill would eliminate private sales. Talk about unintended consequences."
As has been pointed out by many pro-gun advocates already, Grassley reiterated that universal background checks cannot be enforced without universal gun registration and eventually gun confiscation.
"There is no way to enforce a requirement of universal background checks without implementing gun registration. I know Senator Schumer says that federal law prevents such a registry. But federal law can be changed by federal law. And this would-be federal law requires the federal licensed dealer to keep a registration record of the transfer," Grassley said. "Mass shootings would continue to occur despite universal background checks. Criminals will continue to steal guns and buy them illegally to circumvent the requirements. When that happens, we will be back here debating whether gun registration is needed. And when registration fails, then the next step is gun confiscation.""
President Obama also claimed current gun control proposals, like Dianne Feinstein's assault weapons ban legislation which will be offered as an amendment to a larger gun control package next month, don't violate the Second Amendment.