We’ve noted before that both parties seem to be making calculated moves in an attempt to become less popular with voters in advance of the midterm elections. Now two Democrats, who were apparently worried that some gun owners might not vote Republican, have proposed a national gun registry.
Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) introduced the Blair Holt Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act in the House and Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) introduced a companion bill in the Senate. The Washington Examiner reports that the bill would make it illegal to own an unlicensed gun and would require a firearms license and federal background checks for all sales and transfers of guns. The bill would also require the attorney general to create a federal system to record gun purchases.
The bill is one of several gun control proposals named for Chicago honor student, Blair Holt, who was murdered in 2008. Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in the country as well as one of the highest crime rates.
Rush’s office claims that the gun registry would protect the public from “unreasonable risk of injury and death” from private gun sales. Second Amendment advocates would also point out that a gun registry would make gun confiscation easier in the event of a ban. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Cal.) proposed such a ban just last month.
Gun owners have nothing to fear from the Democratic proposals. With Republicans in control of both houses of Congress, most gun control bills are dead on arrival. An exception would be the bump stock ban being pushed by President Trump and many Democrats.
Even a large number of Democrats from conservative-leaning states would oppose strict new gun laws. It’s fitting that the new anti-gun proposals originate with members of Congress from California and Illinois, two of the states most out of touch with the rest of the country with respect to gun rights.
In spite of the recent school shootings, guns registered a distant third on a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll behind health care and jobs/economy. Only 13 percent of voters considered guns the most important issue. There was no breakdown between the pro- and anti-gun factions in the poll.
The largest impact of the Democrat bill will be to mobilize gun owners to resist the attempt to erode gun rights. Democratic proposals that confirm the worst fears of gun owners will drive Second Amendment voters to the polls where defending Donald Trump might not.