The battle for the right to bear arms has become a hot button issue in the political community and recent developments have given Second Amendment supporters hope, but a victory is far from their grasp.
On March 18, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, said he would not allow Senator Dianne Feinstein’s proposed ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines to be included in the Democratic Party’s comprehensive gun bill. This means that the ban will have to be brought forth separately or as an amendment, limiting its chances of passing.
Reid has stated that the firearms legislation that will be debated next month in the Senate will not include the bill that would ban weapons like the ones used in the Newtown school shooting. The Majority Leader is aware of the fact that the bill would not have enough votes in order to be passed into law and is worried that bringing it forward may crush the chances of any kind of firearms legislation to pass.
The worry that many people have concerning the ban on certain firearms is that once this type of legislation starts being put into law, which limits the rights of citizens guaranteed in the constitution, where does it stop? Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss said in an email correspondence, “I have always been a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights, and I will continue to ensure the rights of gun owners will not be further infringed upon.” President Obama has already done as much as he can without the support of Congress and the Senate by implementing twenty-three executive orders that are centered on background checks and mental health with regard to firearms.
Georgia Congressman Phil Gingrey is another supporter of the right of the people to keep and bear arms. “In its announcement on Jan. 16, 2013, the Obama Administration’s attempt to implement radical gun control policies through executive order is a gross violation of our Second Amendment rights,” Gingrey stated in an email correspondence. The recent setbacks that Feinstein has encountered have allowed the Obama administration to see that the people of the United States may not support the strict gun restrictions that were initially introduced after the Newtown tragedy.
Denying the vote for the assault weapon and high capacity magazine ban does not guarantee that the measures Feinstein wishes to sign into law will fail. There have been talks of trying to bring more moderate measures to the Senate in order to win over some of the votes of Republican senators standing in the way. These measures would include things like universal background checks and mandatory gun registration. This would make it illegal to sell a firearm privately. One would have to transfer the weapon through someone with a Federal Firearms License and would insure the government has documentation on who owns each firearm.