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house Bill H.R. 6624

Should it be Easier to Buy Guns From Licensed Dealers Across State Lines?

Argument in favor

Severely restricting interstate gun sales made sense in the past, when background checks weren’t comprehensive at a national level. However, given the robustness of the FBI’s current federal background check database, it’s no longer necessary to ban interstate gun sales.

Shari's Opinion
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08/19/2018
You can buy a vehicle across state lines. You can do 100’s of other things across state lines. None Of Which Are Protected By The CONSTITUTION!! Get over yourselves. If your Drivers License is good across a state line, Your Constitutionally Protected Right of the 2nd Amendment TRUMP’s that. The US Constitution supersedes States Rights as pertains to the actual articles & Amendments. ie-The 2nd Amendment. Grow up
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Karan's Opinion
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09/21/2018
It says licensed dealers. So yes. It’s Second Amendment Rights
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Jim2423's Opinion
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09/21/2018
Once a person passes a federal back ground check there should be no problem. Weapons do not go directly by mail to the buyer. It would have to go through a licensed gun dealer to the local licensed gun dealer for delivery.
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Argument opposed

Many states have their own firearms control laws which differ from federal laws, and it’s impossible to expect that firearms sellers will know each state’s law to ensure that their purchasers are eligible to own guns in their home state.

Chickie's Opinion
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08/18/2018
Gun control should be just that ~ controlled. I will say upfront, I am not advocating for the removal of the second amendment. However, as citizens we must come together to figure out how we can all coexist, without the killing of children or families by semi~ or automatic weapons. Our country has lost too many young lives, usurped too many families, to tragedies by the use of these weapons that should be used only by our military. Therefore my answer is no, it should NOT be easier to buy guns from licensed gun dealers over state lines.
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Nancee's Opinion
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09/21/2018
The purchase of guns should be harder not easier. 3 workplace shootings in the last 24 hours with legally acquired firearms should be a testimonial as to why making gun purchases easier is not a good idea on any level.
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Gordon's Opinion
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09/21/2018
This is America. The easiest place in the world to buy guns and now they want to make it even easier. Come on. Stop the insanity!
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What is House Bill H.R. 6624?

This bill — known as the Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act — would reduce restrictions on gun purchases across state lines by law-abiding citizens, members of the military, and U.S. government employees outside the country. It’d allow licensed firearms importers, manufacturers, dealers, or collectors to sell or deliver any firearm to a buyer in another state as long as the transaction is conducted in compliance with the laws of the purchaser’s state of residence (currently, only rifles and shotguns can be sold across state lines). It’d also eliminate the restriction that a licensee can only conduct business at gun shows in the state specified on their license.

Nothing in this bill would prohibit the sale of a firearm or ammunition between licensed firearms dealers at any location in any state, or by a licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer to any unlicensed person at a temporary location in any state.

This bill would also amend federal firearms provisions to: 1) revise the definition of “member of the Armed Forces on active duty” to include a member (or member’s spouse) who is a resident of the state in which the person maintains a legal residence, or in which the member maintains a living place where they commute from to get to their permanent duty station; and 2) provide that an officer or employee of the U.S. (other than a member of the Armed Forces) stationed outside the U.S. for a period exceeding one year, or a spouse residing with such officer or employee, is a resident of the state in which the person maintains legal residence.

Impact

Gun purchasers; gun sellers; interstate gun sales; National Instant Criminal Background Check System; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 6624

A CBO cost estimate for this bill is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) introduced this bill to remove statutory burdens on law-abiding gun owners and improve the legal firearm purchase process for active-duty military and law-abiding U.S. citizens:

“As a staunch supporter and defender of the Second Amendment, I’m committed to eliminating the archaic red tape burdening gun owners who legally purchase firearms across the nation. For decades now, our gun laws have made it harder and more costly to legally purchase guns in other states and then safely bring them home. [This bill] remove[s] these burdensome and unnecessary restrictions so we can bring firearm laws into the 21st Century.”

Josh Horwitz, director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, criticized this bill when it was introduced in a previous Congress, saying it would allow someone who lives in a state with tougher background checks — such as Virginia or California — to purchase a gun in a state that relies solely on the FBI’s less comprehensive databases, thereby doing an end-run around their home state’s background check process. He also argued that it would be tougher for a state to enforce illegal gun purchases for guns bought outside their boundaries. Horwitz said:

"Using state databases, point-of-contact states such as Virginia and California have State Police run background checks on would-be buyers. These checks do a better job accessing records for state prohibitions than the FBI databases, whereas other states solely rely on the FBI. By allowing buyers to circumnavigate these systems, we are allowing criminals and prohibited purchasers more opportunities to access deadly weapons."

In July 2018, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court narrowly held that the longtime ban on selling handguns over the counter to out-of-state residents is in the public interest. A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit held that handguns often have additional regulatory pitfalls (in addition to federal regulations) in many states, and gun dealers cannot be expected to be familiar with the laws of distant areas, and therefore may be unable to comply with other states’ gun regulations.

Judge James Ho, who dissented from the 5th Circuit’s ruling, argued that the ban on interstate handgun sales effectively creates a federal waiting period and de facto tax on pistol and revolver sales for those seeking to buy guns outside of their home state that would never pass Constitutional muster:

“Imagine that, to help states enforce their anti-obscenity laws, Congress outlawed the interstate sale of books. No court would uphold such a law. After all, laws that impose broad, categorical bans—rather than narrow, precise restrictions—are by definition not narrowly tailored. And that is so whether the Government bans books or handguns… The Government’s proposed prophylaxis—to protect against the violations of the few, we must burden the constitutional rights of the many—turns the Second Amendment on its head. Our Founders crafted a Constitution to promote the liberty of the individual, not the convenience of the Government.”

The National Rifle Association (NRA) supported this bill in a previous Congress. At the time, the organization praised this bill as a measure to bring firearms regulation and control into the 21st century:

“It’s high time Congress recognizes that today’s systems of interstate commerce and information sharing are far more advanced and well-developed than in the late 1960s, and federal regulation of firearms sales (products that are legal and constitutionally-protected in every state) should keep pace with these developments.”

There are four cosponsors of this bill, all of whom are Republicans.


Of NoteSince 1998, all people buying firearms from dealers in the U.S. have been subject to computerized background checks under the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), either by the dealer contacting NICS (directly or through a state "point of contact" agency) or by the buyer presenting a state firearms permit issued after a NICS check. Any of these systems are far more advanced than anything available in 1968 – and proponents of loosening restrictions on interstate gun sales argue that the robustness of contemporary background checks for gun purchases mitigates the need for strict controls on interstate gun sales.

Rep. Scalise was the Congressman shot when a gunman opened fire on Republicans practicing for the annual Congressional baseball game in June 2017. Despite being a victim of gun violence, Scalise is one of several congressional leaders who has continued to vigorously defend the Second Amendment in legislation this Congress.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / Alex Potemkin)

AKA

Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act

Official Title

To amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to update certain procedures applicable to commerce in firearms and remove certain Federal restrictions on interstate firearms transactions.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
    IntroducedJuly 26th, 2018
    You can buy a vehicle across state lines. You can do 100’s of other things across state lines. None Of Which Are Protected By The CONSTITUTION!! Get over yourselves. If your Drivers License is good across a state line, Your Constitutionally Protected Right of the 2nd Amendment TRUMP’s that. The US Constitution supersedes States Rights as pertains to the actual articles & Amendments. ie-The 2nd Amendment. Grow up
    Like (91)
    Follow
    Share
    Gun control should be just that ~ controlled. I will say upfront, I am not advocating for the removal of the second amendment. However, as citizens we must come together to figure out how we can all coexist, without the killing of children or families by semi~ or automatic weapons. Our country has lost too many young lives, usurped too many families, to tragedies by the use of these weapons that should be used only by our military. Therefore my answer is no, it should NOT be easier to buy guns from licensed gun dealers over state lines.
    Like (182)
    Follow
    Share
    The purchase of guns should be harder not easier. 3 workplace shootings in the last 24 hours with legally acquired firearms should be a testimonial as to why making gun purchases easier is not a good idea on any level.
    Like (103)
    Follow
    Share
    This is America. The easiest place in the world to buy guns and now they want to make it even easier. Come on. Stop the insanity!
    Like (88)
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    Most of these assholes doing mass shootings obtain their murder weapons through legal means, and we are the only industrialized nation where this happens, but we want to make it EASIER to get guns across state lines? This sounds like about a dozen different types of stupid.
    Like (69)
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    No this is crazy. It should be harder. What is so wrong with a thorough background check?
    Like (52)
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    Does anyone else find it ironic this bill was introduced by Steve Scalise, the member of Congress who almost lost his life due to a shooting at a baseball practice? Apparently, like so many of his colleagues, campaign donations and gun-lobby support is more important to him than his own life. That may be true for him, but it is no longer true for a majority of Americans. The second amendment is not absolute just as the first amendment does not give anyone the right to go into a crowded movie theater and yell FIRE or stand in a long, slow-moving TSA line at an airport and talk about bombs in your checked luggage. Isn't it about time we had a SERIOUS discussion about the easy access to guns in this country? I have been waiting since Columbine, just down the road from my office at the time. That was almost 20 years ago and I am still waiting. How many more innocent human beings have to die before the legislators in this nation pass sensible laws to make it harder to get a gun, not easier? I bet Scalise views himself as pro-life, until the death occurs at the hands of someone with a gun. Then he is pro-gun.
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    The majority of gun violence here in NJ is committed with guns from other states. We need to make it HARDER to circumvent our state’s gun laws—not easier.
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    Absolutely not!!!!
    Like (33)
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    It says licensed dealers. So yes. It’s Second Amendment Rights
    Like (31)
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    Once a person passes a federal back ground check there should be no problem. Weapons do not go directly by mail to the buyer. It would have to go through a licensed gun dealer to the local licensed gun dealer for delivery.
    Like (30)
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    NO!! NO!! NO!! Guns are ALREADY WAY TOO EASY to buy! We need to CLOSE loopholes in background checks for gun shows/ dealers. Our gun-crazed nation is AWASH in guns!! We need to promote another, much more positive way to “Be a man”, NOT with guns!
    Like (26)
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    Yes, as long as they are a licensed business, as long as they pass the background check, and State and Federal guidelines are met. There are no restrictions in the 2nd Amendment. #MAGA #Protect the 2nd Amendment
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    Of couse. No infringement. #2ndAmendment
    Like (19)
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    Do you know what each State gun laws allow for in each State? If not keep your guns in your own State.
    Like (19)
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    What would be the point of state gun control then? This is an attempt for yet another loophole.
    Like (19)
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    There’s a process in place now. Why does it need to be easier?
    Like (17)
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    No to easy murder weapon access.
    Like (16)
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    It should be almost impossible to buy guns, period!
    Like (16)
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    We should not be able to buy guns across state lines. We should not be able to by guns within state lines. We should not be able to by guns in our home city. We should not be able to buy guns. Guns are made specifically with the intention to kill someone or some animal. The argument for "responsible" gun owners is thrown out the window when "responsible" gun owners "legally" by guns and then open fire on concerts, parks, shopping areas, and schools. We as a nation clearly are not responsible enough to legally own weapons of murder and destruction. I don't care if this violates your second amendment rights. I don't care if it's written in the fucking constitution. We have one of the highest ratings of gun deaths in the world, if not the highest, because as a nation we have made our second amendment rights more important than the lives of innocent civilians and children. We citizens should not own guns, and even law enforcement continue to show even more evidence that THEY cannot handle guns responsibly when officers who are meant to protect us murder innocent civilians, especially minorities, for minor offenses, or for the offense of their existing. We should not own guns. We should not be able to buy means of murder like we buy milk at the fucking grocery store.
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