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Lawmakers Introduce 10 Firearms Bills in 10 Days

In the opening days of the 113th Congress, lawmakers from The House of Representatives introduced 10 bills designed to address gun violence.

While most of the measures aim to control ammunition or access to automatic weapons, two bills take the opposite approach and would allowconcealed weapons on school grounds.

Four bills were introduced by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY).H.R. 137 would require a background check for every new gun sale. The bill would also penalize states that failed to update the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and would mandate that those “adjudicated as a mental defective” be added to the system.

Another McCarthy bill (H.R. 138) would prohibit the possession or transfer of large capacity ammunition feeding devices. The bill provides exceptions for law enforcement, protection of nuclear facilities, or for government testing. Similarly, H.R. 142 would require licensing of ammunition dealers and would require those dealers to report bulk sales of ammunition. The measure would also require purchasers to buy ammunition in person with a valid ID.

McCarthy’s fourth bill (H.R. 141) would close the so-called gun show loophole. Currently, those purchasing guns at gun shows do not have to submit to a background check. H.R. 141 makes such checks mandatory at gun shows. Rep. James P. Moran (D-VA) introduced a similar bill (H.R. 21). The measure closes the gun show loophole and would also require gun owners to report the theft of firearms to police.A bill (H.R. 117[6]) introduced by Rep. Rush Holt (D-NY) would require that handguns be registered in each state. For states that do not currently have a handgun registration system, the federal system would apply. The system would be required to have a way to easily retrieve information and would apply penalties to those handgun owners who fail to complete firearms training. A similar bill (H.R. 34[7]) was introduced by Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-IL). H.R. 34 would create a consistent registry system for handguns and semi-automatic weapons. The measure would also require that gun owners undergo safety training.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) introduced a bill (H.R. 65[8]) that would raise the legal age of gun ownership from 18 to 21. The bill would also prohibit sales or transfers of guns unless the new owner is provided with secure gun storage or a gun safety device. H.R. 65 would also prohibit the storage of firearms or ammunition where a child could gain access.

Two bills,H.R. 35[9] andH.R. 113[10], introduced by Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) respectively, would repeal the Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1990. The lawmakers argue that the lack of guns in schools make them attractive targets for shooters.