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Dingell, NRA Working on Bill to Strengthen Background Checks

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Connecticut Yankee, Apr 20, 2007.

  1. Connecticut Yankee

    Connecticut Yankee New Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    Gun Control
    Dingell, NRA Working on Bill to Strengthen Background Checks

    By Jonathan Weisman
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Friday, April 20, 2007; Page A10

    With the Virginia Tech shootings resurrecting calls for tighter gun controls, the National Rifle Association has begun negotiations with senior Democrats over legislation to bolster the national background-check system and potentially block gun purchases by the mentally ill.

    Rep. John D. Dingell (Mich.), a gun-rights Democrat who once served on the NRA's board of directors, is leading talks with the powerful gun lobby in hopes of producing a deal by early next week, Democratic aides and lawmakers said.
    Under the bill, states would be given money to help them supply the federal government with information on mental-illness adjudications and other run-ins with the law that are supposed to disqualify individuals from firearms purchases. For the first time, states would face penalties for not keeping the National Instant Criminal Background Check System current.

    The legislation, drafted several years ago by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), has twice passed the House, only to die in the Senate. But Cho Seung Hui's rampage Monday has given it new life.

    Since 1968, individuals deemed mentally ill by the legal system are not supposed to be able to buy guns. A court's ordering Cho into treatment in late 2005 should have been reported to the federal background check system, congressional aides said. Instead, his background check came up clean, and he legally bought the two handguns used to kill 32 students and teachers before he committed suicide.
    The states are not putting records into the system," McCarthy said yesterday.

    The measure could be the first gun control law to pass Congress since enactment of the now-lapsed assault weapons ban 13 years ago. But, McCarthy said, the deaths at Virginia Tech are not enough to propel the bill to passage. That is why the NRA is being brought into the process.

    Multiple gun control measures were introduced after the Columbine High School shootings eight years ago, but the NRA helped thwart them all, then helped defeat Vice President Al Gore's 2000 bid for the White House. With that in mind, Democratic leaders are anxious to bring the NRA aboard as they try to respond to this week's shootings.

    The gun lobby stayed relatively neutral during past efforts to pass the measure, but this time Dingell is pushing for an endorsement, or even for the NRA to make it a "key vote" for its supporters.

    McCarthy, whose husband was killed during a gunman's rampage on the Long Island Rail Road, admits her crusades for far more stringent gun control measures have made her toxic in gun circles.

    So Dingell is handling negotiations with the NRA, said an aide participating in those talks. Dingell is also in talks with Sens. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) and Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner (Wis.), the senior Republican on the House Judiciary Committee.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has asked Dingell to broker a deal by Tuesday. But the aide said Dingell and NRA negotiators are skeptical they can reach an accord that quickly.

    "We'd rather get a good bill than a quick bill," he said.

    But pitfalls remain. The NRA must balance its desire to respond to the worst mass shooting by a lone gunman in the nation's history with its competition with the more strident Gun Owners of America, which opposes any restrictions on gun purchases.

    An NRA lobbyist said last night that the group would not comment on the effort.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/19/AR2007041902437.html [Source URL}
  2. Soybomb

    Soybomb Senior Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    What an interesting pair of sentences. I remain relatively unimpressed with the NRA.
  3. 1 old 0311

    1 old 0311 member

    Jun 26, 2005
    Planet Earth
    As a shooter for 40 years, and a NRA member for 30 I see NO PROBLEM in any legislation that would keep weapons out of the wrong hands. Where the problem WOULD lie however is if a weapon were obtained from a private party. When you get into the second part of this equation is when things start to cross the line.:confused: :confused: :confused:
  4. dave_pro2a

    dave_pro2a Member

    Oct 28, 2006
    Let's see if the sell out again.
  5. eliphalet

    eliphalet Participating Member

    Apr 16, 2007
    Worse than a simple sell out!

    E-gad I am a life member of this origination, have they become fools or fooled themselves? more laws are going to do nothing! How about easing what BS we gotta go through now? Come on NRA more laws are NOT the answer, Hasn't almost 40 years of new laws proved that point.

    They should be working on less infringed rights not more restrictions. Man am I gonna send them a letter in the morning.

    PILMAN Participating Member

    Dec 4, 2005
    Florida Panhandle
    So what happens if someones been diagnosed bipolar? They can no longer obtain a gun?
  7. camacho

    camacho Active Member

    Aug 20, 2006
    If in the aftermath of this tragedy the only thing that happens is strengthening of the background checks to include better reporting on the mentally ill, we are way ahead of the game. Folks, I know some of you are quick to jump with accusations of selling out, but remember that politics is a game and whoever plays it smart wins. Based on what I am reading, this will have zero impact for great majority of us. What will happen is that we will end up with a law which will make the regular Joe on the street feel good and in my mind will raise the stock of the NRA in the eyes of the non-gun public. The last thing is important since the NRA is viewed by many of the non-gun folks almost as an extreme, right wing organization.

    Also, we do not know what kind of negotiations are going behind the scenes between the NRA and the Dems. I am pretty sure if the NRA puts its name on this it will ask for some big consessions on the Dem side. Maybe H.R.1022, maybe something else.

    Again, let's look at the big picture here which is preservation and less infringement on our rights in the future.

    Just my .02 cents.
  8. El Tejon

    El Tejon Elder

    Dec 24, 2002
    Lafayette, Indiana-the Ned Flanders neighbor to Il
    Anyone remember the NRA slogan "No more gun laws"?

    Remember when the NRA used to call background checks what they were unconstitutional prior restraint?

    Remember when the NRA used to care about civil rights and not duck hunting?
  9. 30 cal slob

    30 cal slob Senior Member

    Mar 2, 2004
    Location, Location!
    ok, i confess to reading through my GOA newsletters too quickly when they arrive (sorry Larry, i get so much junk mail now).

    how is GOA going to piss in NRA's cornflakes on this one?
  10. Dan from MI

    Dan from MI Member

    Jun 4, 2003
    Livingston County, MI
    What do we get in return? How about ending the import bans or eliminating "sporting purposes" changing it to any "lawful purpose". How about ending the 1986 ban.

    I'll deal, but I damn well be ahead at the end of the deal.
  11. nobody_special

    nobody_special member

    Jan 3, 2007
    That's the way gun control works in this country; they nickel-and-dime us to death. That said, I'm all for keeping guns out of the hands of madmen... but another law isn't going to do that. And while I should probably withhold judgment until I can read the text of a proposed bill, well, I just can't resist... this is likely to be yet another government intrusion into people's personal lives and privacy, and also another hoop for some people to jump through when purchasing a gun.

    Not long ago, the NRA mailed me an unsolicited letter asking me to join. I'm not impressed with them, and they won't be getting my money. I'm not sure whose side they're on anymore.
  12. Kaylee

    Kaylee Moderator

    Dec 19, 2002
    The Last Homely House

    Well all.. time to call if you're in the NRA and insist they take a hard line. Camacho, I get your point, but the unintended consequences of such a bill really worry me - I don't trust judges (especially in the "if you want a gun at all you must be mentally ill" areas) to hand down those adjudications with just as much regularity as sign off on restraining orders in divorce cases. There had better be some strong restrictions to keep that from happening.

    Further, do we believe what we say or not? Heck with 1022, we killed that before, and it's not likely to pass now. The NRA should be holding out for nothing less than not only dropping the stupid mag restriction bills, but also national CCW and an end to "gun-free victim" zones.

    They want to talk compromise, they'd better be ready to gosh-darn do some compromising of their own.
  13. JohnBT

    JohnBT Elder

    Dec 26, 2002
    Richmond, Virginia
    Let's see, Congress appears to be in the mood to pass some gun legislation. Here's the question, should the NRA attempt to have some input on the final bill or sit back and let the gun control advocates have the only input?

    If the NRA refuses to participate then we'll all be sitting around after the bill passes demanding to know why they didn't do something. Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

  14. LAR-15

    LAR-15 Senior Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    Politics is about compromise.

    I think we need to get the NRA to say:

    "Look you want better NICS records, we want this gun control law repealed. That's the deal, take it or leave it."

    See in order to get this bill passed, the NRA should demand something in return.

    Heck load it up with a 922(o) repeal.
  15. flashman70

    flashman70 Member

    Mar 16, 2006
    Northern VA; 2nd home in SC
    I think a carefully worded modification to the NICS to keep nuts from buying guns doesn't do villence to RKBA. I just said on the NJ vs VA thread that there needs to be some way to keep guys like Cho from buying guns. I revere the 2nd amendment but think the NRA is right to work to get the most tightly worded provision possible. If someone is bipolar and goes off their meds and shoots themselves, does that advance gun ownership in America?

    We have to fight to the last breath to keep Bloomberg's crowd away from purchase records, etc. Good faith negotiating on this issue however, helps all gun owners.
  16. John Hicks

    John Hicks New Member

    Jul 7, 2004
    well said, flashman.

    I've been saying this in a few threads:

    It's up to us to lead the way in keeping guns out of the wrong hands. Every time something bad happens, the banners get fired up. We need to offer solutions that sound reasonable, so when the banners get into a hissy fit, they sound unreasonable.

    That said, it would be nice if NRA played hardball and tried to get something repealed in the process.
  17. LAR-15

    LAR-15 Senior Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    That's what I am saying.

    Getting something in return.

    I agree it should be harder for folks like Cho to get guns.

    I am also afraid they might try to regulate private sales.
  18. pcosmar

    pcosmar member

    Sep 9, 2006
    UP Michigan
    Backround Checks??

    Ok, I have a problem with back round checks. They don't really check anything accurately. There are many who are denied due to misinformation, and others who are approved due to lack of information.
    I am classed as a Felon. This does not in reality tell you anything about me.
    My rights have been restored, I can vote, or run for public office. I have spent the last couple decades as an honest citizen. Is this reflected in a back round check?
    All there is , is a note that I was convicted once.
    If someone has a breakdown, and sees a shrink, gets help and recovers to lead a normal healthy life, will that be recorded?
    It seems that the only check is for the negative input, with the goal of denial of rights. There is no provision for looking at any positive points that would restore rights.
    Also this does nothing to check any "flaws" that may not be recorded somewhere. Or prevent a future "breakdown" or lapse in judgment.

    Just 2cents, From one who IS there.
  19. romma

    romma Senior Member

    Jun 28, 2005
    While I advocate NRA membership on a yearly basis, this is exactly why I think life membership in the NRA might be a bad thing... You never know which way the wind might end up blowing.
  20. ATW525

    ATW525 Member

    Aug 8, 2006
    Colebrook, NH
    I would like to point out that being diagnosed bipolar is not the same thing as being abjudicated mentally defective. There is a significant difference between somebody who's been diagnosed with a mental illness (which includes a significant portion of the general population) and somebody who's been abjudicated mentally defective. Only people who have been abjudicated mentally defective or involutarily committed are prohibited from owning firearms for mental health reasons.

    It's extremely important to keep the focus to the narrow category of people that the law applies to. If you start expanding the laws, then where do you stop? If you start restricting the rights of bipolars, then what about people who were treated for depression? What about people diagnosed with ADD as a child? What about rape victims who sought help for PTSD? Should they never be able to own a firearm?

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