House set to pass post-Virginia Tech gun bill


PDA






glockman19
June 12, 2007, 09:56 PM
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Spurred by the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history, the Democratic-led House of Representatives is expected to approve a bill to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, lawmakers said on Tuesday.

The legislation -- which the House is to take up on Wednesday -- was drafted in consultation with the 4-million-member National Rifle Association, the country's biggest gun rights group, after a deranged gunman killed 32 others and himself in April at Virginia Tech University.

The NRA generally fights legislation that restricts gun ownership.

Negotiators reached agreement in recent days on the measure, which would be the first major gun control bill enacted into law since 1994. It would provide financial incentives for states to provide mental health and criminal records to a data base used for federal background checks on gun buyers.

"It's going to pass," said Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, a New York Democrat and a chief sponsor of the bill, echoing the sentiment of many on Capitol Hill. "It's a good deal, and it's going to save lives."

Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's executive vice president, agreed -- provided lawmakers do not try to attach a lot of other gun control amendments to it.

"We've always been vigilant about protecting the (gun) rights of law-abiding citizens, but we have been equally vigilant about keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and mental defectives and other people who shouldn't have them," LaPierre said in a telephone interview.

'PREDICT IT WILL PASS'

"If this bill is kept in its present form, I predict it will pass the House and Senate and be signed into law" by President George W. Bush, LaPierre said.

"But if they turn it into a gun-control wish list, we will withdraw our support," LaPierre said, adding he believes such a sweeping measure would be rejected.

"I think chances are very good this will pass," said a Senate Republican aide said.

McCarthy and Democratic Rep. John Dingell of Michigan, who is a former NRA board member, began conferring with the NRA shortly after the Virginia Tech shootings.

The two lawmakers unveiled details of the legislation at a closed-door meeting of their Democratic colleagues on Tuesday.

Congress has long been reluctant to tackle the politically explosive issue of gun control. Lawmakers acted after it was disclosed that a judge earlier had deemed the Virginia Tech gunman as dangerous, but the information never reached a background check system for gun buyers.

The 1968 Gun Control Act prohibits anyone adjudicated to be "a mental defective" from possessing a gun. It also bars eight other groups, including felons, fugitives, drug addicts and wife abusers.

But because of state privacy laws and fiscal restraints, most states have failed to fully report such records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

The effort has draw bipartisan support but some mental health groups warn it would discourage the mentally ill from seeking help and fail to take into consideration that people can be cured.

What bill is this?

If you enjoyed reading about "House set to pass post-Virginia Tech gun bill" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Car Knocker
June 12, 2007, 10:24 PM
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=281694

gc70
June 12, 2007, 11:28 PM
Note that the June 9th Washington Post article (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19146984/) said:This time, Democratic leaders dispatched Dingell and Rep. Rick Boucher (Va.), a pro-gun Democrat who represents Virginia Tech's home town, Blacksburg, to reach a deal.

This Reuters article (http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN1229926420070612?) claims:(Carolyn) McCarthy and Democratic Rep. John Dingell of Michigan, who is a former NRA board member, began conferring with the NRA shortly after the Virginia Tech shootings.

Somehow, I don't see the NRA and McCarthy being on speaking terms.

BTW, here is the new bill, HR 2640 (http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=110_cong_bills&docid=f:h2640ih.txt.pdf).

Fletchette
June 13, 2007, 02:16 AM
Watch for "mentally ill" to be defined to include anyone who wants a gun.

:mad:

The NRA should NOT be supporting this. WTH are they doing?!?

baz
June 13, 2007, 12:11 PM
The NRA should NOT be supporting this. WTH are they doing?!?What they think they are doing is throwing the dog a bone, so as keep it from doing anything worse. Whether that is good judgment is open to dispute, I guess. Given political reality, I'm okay with it if they pull it off.

Fletchette
June 13, 2007, 12:40 PM
I am definitely NOT fine with it. We have been down this road this road before; we know what will happen: the libs (oh hell, let's call them what they really are: communists who believe in communial philosophy) will immediately redefine what "mentally ill" means.

People who will not be able to buy a guy:

Anyone who is on an anti-depressent

Anyone who has ever sought counciling

Anyone who has a family member die

Anyone going through a divorce

Anyone eccentric

You get the point...the communists will intentionally abuse this definition like they abuse "assault rifle", "cop-killer bullets" and the like so they can grab more power. The current system allows for barring someone from purchasing a gun if they are "adjudicated to be mentally insane". This requires judicial review and also removes other rights, in essence lowering a citizens status to that of a minor due to a mental health issue. Nothing needs to be changed!

:fire:

Erebus
June 13, 2007, 12:44 PM
They can just keep broadening the definition until it encompasses everyone.

jselvy
June 13, 2007, 12:57 PM
Funny thing is that the mentally ill are most dangerous when they are not being treated. All this bill will do is cause the paranoid to not seek treatment thereby producing the very effect that are trying to eliminate. Unless a "mental health" screening will be required for every purchase. It would weed out the unstable but is it an acceptable invasion of privacy?

Jefferson

xd9fan
June 13, 2007, 01:01 PM
In time I'm sure it will be if your are against the "state"...you will be declared mentally ill.

Sir Aardvark
June 13, 2007, 01:06 PM
Let's see if I got this straight...

Now it is even more illegal for those people who illegally possess firearms to possess those firearms illegally.

LAR-15
June 13, 2007, 01:16 PM
I read the bill and I support it

Henry Bowman
June 13, 2007, 01:33 PM
"But if they turn it into a gun-control wish list, we will withdraw our support," LaPierre said, adding he believes such a sweeping measure would be rejected.I have to say deep down I hope this happens.

You don't have to be very old to remember how things were before the Brady Act. Now it is considered the very definition of "reasonable gun control." If the Brady Bill was worth opposing then (and it was) it's worth opposing any measure that expands, enforces, or legitimizes it now.

Whirlwind06
June 13, 2007, 01:49 PM
Next push will be to close the gun show loop hole.
Then start tacking on more misdemeanor charges to the list that will exclude you from buying a firearm.

jr81452
June 13, 2007, 01:58 PM
the bill has been passed

WASHINGTON - The House Wednesday passed what could become the first major federal gun control law in over a decade, spurred by the Virginia Tech campus killings and buttressed by National Rifle Association help.
ADVERTISEMENT

The bill, which was passed on a voice vote, would improve state reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to stop gun purchases by people, including criminals and those adjudicated as mentally defective, who are prohibited from possessing firearms.

Seung-Hui Cho, who in April killed 32 students and faculty at Virginia Tech before taking his own life, had been ordered to undergo outpatient mental health treatment and should have been barred from buying two guns he used in the rampage. But the state of Virginia had never forwarded this information to the national background check system.

If it moves through the Senate and is signed into law by the president, the bill would be the most important gun control act since Congress banned some assault weapons in 1994, the last year Democrats controlled the House. In 1996, Congress added people convicted of domestic violence to the list of those banned from purchasing firearms.

The bill was the outcome of weeks of negotiations between Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., the most senior member of the House and a strong supporter of gun rights, and the NRA, and in turn, with Rep. Carolyn McCarthy , D-N.Y., a leading gun-control advocate.

"This is good policy that will save lives," McCarthy said.

The NRA insisted that it was not a "gun control" bill because it does not disqualify anyone currently able to legally purchase a firearm.

The NRA has always supported the NICS, said the organization's executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre. "We've always been vigilant about protecting the rights of law-abiding citizens to purchase guns, and equally vigilant about keeping the guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally defective and people who shouldn't have them."

Under a gun control act that passed in 1968, the year Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. were killed, people barred from buying guns include those convicted of a crime punishable by more than one year in prison, illegal drug users, those adjudicated as mentally disabled, and illegal aliens.

The legislation approved Wednesday would require states to automate and share disqualifying records with the
FBI's NICS database. The bill also provides $250 million a year over the next three years to help states meet those goals and imposes penalties, including cuts in federal grants under an anti-crime law, to those states that fail to meet benchmarks for automating their systems and supplying information to the NICS.

The NRA did win some concessions in negotiating the final product.

It would automatically restore the purchasing rights of veterans who were diagnosed with mental problems as part of the process of obtaining disability benefits. LaPierre said the Clinton administration put about 80,000 such veterans into the background check system.

It also outlines an appeals process for those who feel they have been wrongfully included in the system and ensures that funds allocated to improve the NICS are not used for other gun control purposes.

"It was necessary to make some accommodations to address the concerns of gun owners," said
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., adding that he would be closely monitoring the provision on restoring gun rights to veterans judged to have mental disabilities.

Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said his group supported the legislation, noting that the Virginia Tech shootings "tragically demonstrated the gaps in the system that allowed a dangerous person to be armed."

He said he hoped Congress and the gun lobby would go a step further and extend background checks to all gun sales, not just those licenses dealers covered by current law.

The only dissenting vote in the short House debate on the bill was voiced by GOP presidential aspirant Ron Paul of Texas. He described the bill as "a flagrantly unconstitutional expansion of restriction on the exercise of the right to bear arms protected under the 2nd Amendment.

McCarthy, in an emotional speech, said that "this has been a long, long journey for me." She ran for Congress on a gun control agenda after her husband was gunned down on a Long Island commuter train in 1993.

RealGun
June 13, 2007, 02:33 PM
The bill, which was passed on a voice vote

Interesting:scrutiny:

Note that a voice vote cannot be tracked for either NRA or GOA ratings. An absence of debate also puts nothing in the Congressional record by name. Maybe we'll have to start marking the whole group down for avoiding a roll call vote.

Note that trigger locks were also represented as a no brainer by both parties. Implications will sneak up on you later.

My own concern about this current bill was that the final form explicitly and realistically provide for the process of getting ones name removed, no regulatory discretion by NICS. Removal of mental deficiency status should be based solely on State request and subject to confirmation.

Fletchette
June 13, 2007, 02:35 PM
The only dissenting vote in the short House debate on the bill was voiced by GOP presidential aspirant Ron Paul of Texas. He described the bill as "a flagrantly unconstitutional expansion of restriction on the exercise of the right to bear arms protected under the 2nd Amendment.

Well, that takes moxie! It is a very good sign when someone is willing to stand alone on the basis of the Constitution!

Jorg Nysgerrig
June 13, 2007, 02:37 PM
Let's see if I got this straight...

Now it is even more illegal for those people who illegally possess firearms to possess those firearms illegally.

Nope, you don't have it straight at all. It has nothing to do with making it "more illegal".

Fletchette
June 13, 2007, 02:42 PM
Note that a voice vote cannot be tracked for either NRA or GOA ratings. An absence of debate also puts nothing in the Congressional record by name. Maybe we'll have to start marking the whole group down for avoiding a roll call vote.

I think that the Congressional rules need to be changed to eliminate voice-voting. It was originally put in place to speed up government but now we have electronic voting. Today, voice-voting is only used to conceal how your representative voted- not good for a representative government.

Note that trigger locks were also represented as a no brainer by both parties. Implications will sneak up on you later.

I saw them as "brainless".

My own concern about this current bill was that the final form explicitly and realistically provide for the process of getting ones name removed, no regulatory discretion by NICS. Removal of mental deficiency status should be based solely on State request and subject to confirmation.

A gun purchase can be denied right now if the purchaser has been adjudicated mentally insane. There is no reason for this bill (other to allow a process other than judicial review to declare you "insane"). :barf:

Glockman17366
June 13, 2007, 02:51 PM
Basically, all this bill did was add funding to a previously passed bill.
When you fill out the form (is it 4473???) before purchasing a gun, you certify that you have never been adjudicated as mentally defective. The bill requires such adjucation as being involuntary (you aren't disqualified if you voluntarily commit yourself) and does have checks and balances to ensure your rights are restored when you are cured.

I do expect malpractice suits over mental health issues if any shrinks pull hank panky.

I do wish the Lautenberg amendment (disarming "domestic abusers" had been repealed though...that's a real piece of crap bill and easily abused by vindictive spouses and shifty lawyers.

Chad
June 13, 2007, 02:56 PM
You don't have to be very old to remember how things were before the Brady Act. Now it is considered the very definition of "reasonable gun control." If the Brady Bill was worth opposing then (and it was) it's worth opposing any measure that expands, enforces, or legitimizes it now.
That's quite true.
And it seems around here that all the 'rational' gun rights proponents are the ones that favor this bill, while those of us who spend our efforts trying to repeal the Brady Act are "all or nothing" and "tin foil hat" types.

Ah well...it makes things harder, but we'll keep at it.

Geno
June 13, 2007, 02:58 PM
No legislation will ever reduce such acts. I am not cinvinced that the guy was "mentally ill". Some people here in the US seem to have a need to label every evil deed as mental X. I personally believe the person was just plain and simply evil. He had a bitter streak a mile wide and hated America and American culture. Period. Evil and cultural hatred are not mental illness. Ergo, no law re: mental illnesses will not decrease evil acts such as this. It seems little more than feel-good legislation.

budney
June 13, 2007, 03:04 PM
The premise is asinine: Cho was not adjudged mentally defective or forcibly committed. The law would not have stopped Cho from doing what he did. So what's the point of an empty gesture that merely reiterates an already-existing restriction?

LawBot5000
June 13, 2007, 03:09 PM
It hasnt created any more categories of prohibited person and it doesn't give any agency the power to expand existing categories.

What it does do is give funding to states to provide their mental ill adjudication records to the feds (sort of fixing the Cho problem, except for how he wasn't involuntarily committed).

More importantly it provides the ATF with funding to lift federal disabilities. There are tens of thousands of vets who came back from Vietnam with PTSD and have been denied firearms ownership for years because of this.

This is actually a big win for gun rights being sold as a big win for gun control. That anti-gun website gunguys initially went ballistic about this and were subsequently told to STFU by their Joyce Foundation bosses. They are going to try to spin this as a gun control win even though it is a big loss.

Brady is currently operating at a huge loss due to lack of donations. They are drying up and blowing away because no one believes in them anymore. What we are seeing is the beginning of the end of the gun control movement. They are now at the point of adopting our victories as their own, but everyone who cares about the issue knows the score. That puts even more of a hurt on their funding.

jr81452
June 13, 2007, 03:18 PM
i agree with lawbot. while any gun control is bs i don't see the downside in this perticular bill. if this is the worst "gun control" bill we have to deal with after VT then i would say we win this round. all they are doing is providing funding for the existing laws, and in exchange disabled vets get off the black list, and we get a clearly defined appeals process.

If you enjoyed reading about "House set to pass post-Virginia Tech gun bill" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!