WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Neal Dunn (Florida-02) released the following statement after voting to support Floridians’ constitutional right to legally own and purchase firearms.
“Legally buying and owning a firearm is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Instead of strengthening and enforcing existing laws, Speaker Pelosi’s Democrats are instead seeking to make criminals out of law-abiding gun owners. And nothing they have proposed will keep guns out of the hands of criminals who aren’t concerned with following the law to begin with. These bills will not stop gun violence and will in practice only harm America’s responsible gun owners.”
H.R. 8, seeks to criminalize the private transfer of firearms and would necessitate the creation of a national gun registry in order to ensure enforcement of the new law. Federal law already strictly prohibits transferring firearms in certain situations to ensure firearms are not transferred to prohibited individuals. Firearm dealers are currently required to hold a Federal Firearm License and to run a background check, including a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check on any firearm purchaser. H.R. 8 would subject law-abiding gun owners to criminal penalties for simply loaning his or her firearm to a friend for self-defense or hunting. He or she could face a year in prison and a $100,000 fine. It passed the House by a vote of 227 to 203.
Current law allows the sale of a firearm to an individual to proceed if the NICS does not return a denial within 3 full business days. H.R. 1446 changes that period to 10 days and requires a purchaser to petition the federal government for permission to complete their firearm purchase if a NICS background check is not returned within that time period. The purchaser would then be subject to another 10-day waiting period before the firearm can be transferred. Under current law, in over 90 percent of cases, NICS processes a background check immediately, and most delayed cases are resolved within the permitted 3 business day period. For those that are not, the FBI has 90 days to continue the investigation and determine whether the purchaser should or should not possess the firearm. H.R. 1446 passed by a vote of 219 to 210.