Feinstein Amendment Fails, and Heller Helped

Feinstein Amendment

Senator Feinstein’s (D-CA) amendment (S.Amdt 4720 to S. Amdt 4685) to H.R. 2578 failed on a 47 to 53 vote June 20, 2016.   In contrast with many pieces of legislation, the Feinstein Amendment was short and relatively simple:

At the appropriate place, insert the following:
      Sec. ___.  Hereafter, the Attorney General may deny the
    transfer of a firearm if the Attorney General determines,
    based on the totality of the circumstances, that the
    transferee represents a threat to public safety based on a
    reasonable suspicion that the transferee is engaged, or has
    been engaged, in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in
    aid of, or related to terrorism, or providing material
    support or resources therefor.
For purposes of sections
    922(t)(1), (2), (5), and (6) and 925A of title 18, United
    States Code, and section 103(g) of Public Law 103-159 (18
    U.S.C. 922 note), a denial by the Attorney General pursuant
    to this provision shall be treated as equivalent to a
    determination that receipt of a firearm would violate section
    (g) or (n) of section 922 of title 18, United States Code, or
    State law. A denial described in this section shall be
    subject to the remedial procedures
set forth in section
    103(g) of Public Law 103-159 (18 U.S.C. 922 note) and the
    intended transferee may pursue a remedy for an erroneous
    denial of a firearm under section 925A of title 18, United
    States Code. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, such
    remedial procedures and judicial review shall be subject to
    procedures that may be developed by the Attorney General to
    prevent the unauthorized disclosure of information that
    reasonably could be expected to result in damage to national
    security or ongoing law enforcement operations, including but
    not limited to procedures for submission of information to
    the court ex parte as appropriate, consistent with due
    process. The Attorney General shall establish, within the
    amounts appropriated, procedures to ensure that, if an
    individual who is, or within the previous 5 years has been,
    under investigation for conduct related to a Federal crime of
    terrorism, as defined in section 2332b(g)(5) of title 18,
    United States Code, attempts to purchase a firearm, the
    Attorney General or a designee of the Attorney General shall
    be promptly notified of the attempted purchase.
[text] (emphasis added)

It’s simple – Been under investigation for suspicious activity related to terrorism? Been investigated or under investigation for aiding abetting terrorists – the purchase of a gun can be delayed.  If a person thinks they have been unfairly denied such a purchase – there’s an appeal process.

And Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) couldn’t bring himself to vote for it.  There will be some excuse offered – was the wording not perfect? Was the appeal process not made clear? Was it not going to exactly prevent the last couple of terrorist related mass shootings? Will it not prevent all gun violence? Or, the silliest reason yet offered, WE have to fight them over there so they don’t come here.  (Hint: some are homegrown here) No matter – The Senate Has Spoken – the terrorists cannot take a full bottle of shampoo on a commercial airliner but they can walk into any gun store at any time and buy any gun to kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time.

Sad.  Just who is looking out for our national security?

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