Saturday, April 13, 2013

Gun Lobby Lines Up Killer Amendments

The New York Times, in "The Rugged Road for Gun Control," makes it clear that the NRA and its congressional minions want to attach amendments to gun control bills that would render them meaningless and pose new threats to public safety, including making weapons available to more of the mentally unstable. So much for the gun lobby's rhetoric about mental health; its only aim is to increase gun industry profits:

That lobby has lined up several senators to do its bidding by offering amendments that will pose a real threat to the background-check bill. The worst — a huge priority of the N.R.A. — would require every state to honor the concealed-handgun permits of other states, overriding their own restrictions. That would allow a resident of Florida, where deliberately lax laws have given out such permits to hundreds of felons, to carry a concealed gun in New York or Connecticut, where the laws are much more strict and sane.

If this amendment were to be attached to the background-check bill — and there may be enough votes to make that happen — the underlying bill would no longer be worth passing.

Another potential killer amendment, sponsored by Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, would reverse current law and allow people who have been involuntarily committed to mental institutions to own guns, a ludicrous undermining of the background-check system. Only those who are found to be an “imminent danger” would be prevented from owning guns, even though that standard isn’t required in many states to commit people to institutions.

Other proposed amendments would lift the ban on gun ownership by mentally ill veterans; supersede some existing state bans on assault weapons; and declare that all weapons restrictions violate the Second Amendment.

Image: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

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