Senate Reaches “Framework” Deal on Gun Legislation

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonder and Home. Andrew is the host of Heard Tell podcast.

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40 Responses

  1. Dark Matter
    Ignored
    says:

    Sounds way more reasonable that what I expected. Maybe we’re into “Congress decided to do something” and past the political theater.Report

  2. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Awesome!

    Do we already have a law like this?

    Because, if we do, this isn’t a victory but a distraction.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      I’ll be honest, I’m willing to be distracted in this particular manner.Report

      • Philip H in reply to DensityDuck
        Ignored
        says:

        My read is federal law doesn’t contain these ideas, and only some state laws do. So the Senate is both trying to federalize something it needs to so as to achieve state level consistency, and expand the overall requirements beyond what federal law says.

        Its not perfect, not by a long shot, but I don’t think its a distraction either.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Have you seen this?

      From Grid.News:

      Crime rose during the pandemic, especially homicides, which shot up by nearly 30 percent in 2020, according to FBI data. The jump troubled criminologists who see homicides as a key indicator of violence. Other forms of violent crime like aggravated assault also increased, and carjackings surged in many cities.

      Democrats — especially those who hail from big cities — may have to confront concerns over crime so they can address policy issues like the economy, said Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic political consultant who made ads about the 1994 crime bill for President Bill Clinton.

      “The issue of public safety — and sense that things are out of control — may be what Democrats are facing in the fall. And it may be an impossible situation to get out of because Democrats have been trying to avoid a confrontation on either side” politically, Sheinkopf said. “If you’re a Republican, you can say that police reform isn’t working — because we’re not safe.”Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        Crime rose? From what I understand, you have to zoom out until 1993 is also in the graph.

        Then we can point to 1993 and say “no, Crime is still down.” And just yell that again and again and again and again.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          Sure, go right ahead and yell about crime being up, and then people look at the outtacontrol in rural areas and wonder why they should still vote Republican.

          And then hear Republicans tell us to just lie back and accept periodic slaughter of children.
          And hear Republicans tell us how nothing, absolutely nothing, can be done about gun violence.

          So yeah, lets yell some more about outtacontrol crime. Louder, this time maybe.Report

  3. Damon
    Ignored
    says:

    “It would also expand background checks for firearms buyers under 21, by requiring an investigative period to review juvenile and mental health records. ” and does this law pierce the seals when those records have been sealed?

    “people subject to domestic violence restraining orders would also now be included in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, closing what is called the “boyfriend loophole.” ie, people ACCUSED but not convicted of anything-which happens a lot during divorce cases.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to Damon
      Ignored
      says:

      “It happens a lot during divorce cases,” for a damn good reason in most divorce cases.Report

      • Damon in reply to DensityDuck
        Ignored
        says:

        Please explain how you recommend that the CLAIMS of abuse to justify restraining orders, when they are false and are part of the woman’s divorce strategy (because we know this happens) get screened out of this new gun regulation process? Or are you just fine with someone’s rights being taken away?Report

        • DensityDuck in reply to Damon
          Ignored
          says:

          “are you just fine with someone’s rights being taken away?”

          yes.jpg

          “Please explain how you recommend that the CLAIMS of abuse to justify restraining orders”

          I’m sure you can go through court records and This Totally Happened Bro stories and find examples of dudes getting screwed over by vengeful vicious bitches who just wanted to fuck up their lives.

          I’m sure I can find ten examples where someone said “she’s gonna leave me? fuck THAT” to match each of your stories.Report

          • Damon in reply to DensityDuck
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            says:

            Good to know. Me, I’m kinda opposed to limiting someone’s rights based on an accusation, especially if it hasn’t lead to an arrest, say in cases like this, and oh, say like sexual harassment. You’re totally cool with men being kicked out of college and such because they were accused of sexual assault right? No difference.Report

            • Kazzy in reply to Damon
              Ignored
              says:

              “Me, I’m kinda opposed to limiting someone’s rights based on an accusation…”

              How do you feel about law-abiding citizens having their right to life “limited” because someone felt unsafe around them?Report

              • Damon in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not exactly sure what you mean. I’m assuming you’re referring to police shootings. I’ve never believed that “feeling unsafe” is a justification for pulling a gun and shooting someone. Hell, I feel “unsafe” when I visit folks in Baltimore! But I digress. For civilians, I think there are differing standards, though, for different situations, i.e., the standard for confronting someone in your house is/should be different that if they are in your yard, and different if you’re in public, all other things being equal. As to cops, I think an identifiable threat, that the majority of people would agree poses a threat, is a reasonable standard to draw a firearm. But cops have other tools a well: baton, taser, etc. so the response force must be appropriate to the threat.Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to Damon
          Ignored
          says:

          Keep in mind that while it’s very easy to apply for a restraining order, a judge has to hear actual testimony and see actual evidence before the order sticks. The bar for such evidence is obviously lower than a criminal conviction, but it’s not simply s/he said so. And truth be told, most orders stick because the subject of the order never shows up in court to fight it.

          Additionally, most orders are temporary, a permanent order has a higher bar to cross, and (IIRC) can often be rescinded if the subject satisfies a judge that they are no longer a danger.

          And the restriction only applies while the order is in effect. Once the order expires or is rescinded, the right returns (unlike a criminal conviction).

          PS Ask me how I know…Report

          • Damon in reply to Oscar Gordon
            Ignored
            says:

            Good info to know Oscar, ty. Tell me, given your nuanced response, how exactly is this new legislation going to interface with the facts on the ground? So, let’s say, a husband has a temp restraining order and it’s in place when he tries to buy a gun, he’s denied, but if he waits until it expires, he’s in the clear?–assuming he doesn’t buy it from a private individual who is under no requirement to do a check?Report

            • Philip H in reply to Damon
              Ignored
              says:

              So, let’s say, a husband has a temp restraining order and it’s in place when he tries to buy a gun, he’s denied, but if he waits until it expires, he’s in the clear?–assuming he doesn’t buy it from a private individual who is under no requirement to do a check?

              That’s how I read it.Report

            • Oscar Gordon in reply to Damon
              Ignored
              says:

              Working in Greg’s response below, I figure the short term TROs (< 30 days) probably won't ever make it into the system, since there is not (TTBOMK) a way to quickly input such information into the system, so by the time it gets in there, it'll be time to pull it back out again. Probably the best those kinds of orders can hope for is a bulletin to go out to local FFLs warning them that a given person has a protection order against them.

              As for the longer term orders, yeah, once the order expires, it should clear the system. If it doesn't, then the person would need to send proof to the system that the order was lifted (if an order is denied or lifted, you get paperwork showing that). IIRC, there is a number of the ATF form to call if you feel you were denied mistakenly. They'll tell you what the problem is.Report

              • Greg In Ak in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Agreed. DV/Family violence is prob the biggest waviest red flag out there so we need to focus on it . But there are due process concerns about taking guns w/o a judge making a finding and hearing both parties. Long term RO”s should result in losing guns. The legal issues are present there but lesser.Report

          • Greg In Ak in reply to Oscar Gordon
            Ignored
            says:

            There are, generalizations abound, short term 20 day orders which people can get w/o the other party being present. There will be a hearing with both parties for a long term order where the judge can make a finding. There are big rights issues with taking guns based on a short term order where only the victim is present. Same with long term orders where there isnt’ a beyond a reasonable doubt standard. Long term orders tend to be 1 year while very few become permanent. It take A LOT to get a permanent RO. RO’s should part of the discussion around getting guns away from maniacs but it will require a lot of changes and cops being more proactive. Which isn’t great to rely on.Report

  4. DensityDuck
    Ignored
    says:

    I will say that I’d want to take a hard look at the guy who had a kid walk into a gun shop on his 18th birthday with no parent in tow and buy an AR with cash, and said “this is fine, I’m just here to sell ’em, it’s all legal, this is fine”.

    This is one of the cases where I’m willing to go with “this makes your job as a seller of goods harder? tough titty, you should already have been taking the care that this law makes into a formal requirement, and it’s appropriate for the items you sell to have care taken in the selling.”Report

    • Damon in reply to DensityDuck
      Ignored
      says:

      There is no way a FFA could do now what this law would require. No FFA does anything but run the name against the system and wait. That’s all he’s going to do AFTER this law is passed (assuming it is) The state and the local gov’t is going to have to do the leg work, as will the doctors and care givers. That have to log that stuff.

      Frankly, if I was going to buy an AR or such, I’d use cash too. I don’t want that record on my CC where anyone who wants to, can see it. It’s be a little harder if I was buying the stuff the recent Texas kid shooter bought. Several thousand dollars of high end gear is a LOT of cash.Report

  5. Marchmaine
    Ignored
    says:

    I’ll wait for the actual law rather than the teaming agreement; at the end of the day, background checks (which already happen) aren’t fixed by making more of them, they are only fixed by better data and a unified data platform that integrates 50-states, thousands of local records and potentially hundreds of thousands of private practices. And passes muster for privacy/civil liberties checks.

    Given that I suspect the law will not do this; nor – to be frank – do I think the Federal/State governments have the technological capabilities to build this… I’d simplify.

    Semi Automatic handguns: Age 25 (currently age 21)
    Semi Automatic Long-guns: Age 25

    All other handguns: Age 21 (no change in Virginia, at least)
    All other long-guns: Age 18 (currently no age restriction in Virginia)

    [Possible exception for Shotguns with magazines, which I’d consider for Age 21]

    Exception: Married persons over age 18 may purchase anything restricted to domicile or supervised range (i.e. can’t plink at friend’s property until 21 or 25 as above). My pro-natalist bona-fides for the day.

    Doesn’t stop the Las Vegas shooter … but then, we have no idea why he did what he did and no one seems interested in finding out… so.

    Of course, I’d probably do this for voting too… so maybe not the best guy to make age based policies. But hey…Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to Marchmaine
      Ignored
      says:

      I’m good with that.Report

    • Slade the Leveller in reply to Marchmaine
      Ignored
      says:

      The married person carve out seems a bit strange. Care to expound? Also, I don’t know how you’d restrict where he/she could fire the gun once purchased.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Slade the Leveller
        Ignored
        says:

        Mostly a castle doctrine carve-out. If you have a firearm on your person (i.e. not travel configured) in any other circumstance, that’s a violation.

        I also think that 18-yo Military personnel should be able to drink on-base too. But then, I don’t think Military brass wants drinking on-base… so it’s not really an age issue, mostly a public order / resource issue.Report

        • Slade the Leveller in reply to Marchmaine
          Ignored
          says:

          In theory it might make sense, but I think the simpler this bill is, the better chance of passage.Report

        • Fish in reply to Marchmaine
          Ignored
          says:

          The military brass absolutely SHOULD want drinking on base! My data are 20+ years old, but the high incidences of DUI’s among the junior enlisted made our First Sergeant and Commander very happy indeed when we opened up what was basically a “BYOB Pub” in our dormitory in England. We had music and a dance floor and darts–you just had to bring the booze. They’d stop in occasionally to see how things were going, but overall were pretty happy that we weren’t out terrorizing the English countryside and ruining their evenings with calls from the local constabulary.Report

    • InMD in reply to Marchmaine
      Ignored
      says:

      I wouldn’t have a problem with this.

      The b—- of an issue is really setting some kind of data and systems standard then getting everyone to connect to and feed it. One of the under appreciated challenges in all of this is just how low tech a lot of these judicial and law enforcement entities are. And the more local you get the worse it becomes, which is unfortunate because those are the agencies and institutions that would theoretically have the most relevant information.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        Agreed. Plus we’re way beyond police record and certified nutter — people are looking for pre-cog ‘red flag’ stuff that’s unfortunately not possible or (if I must say it) not even a good idea. All of us are somebody’s red flag.

        I’ve ‘joked’ in the past that you might be able to build a citizen ‘Regsistry’ if you tied it to voting and gun issues… but the people who want a voting registry don’t want a gun registry and the other people the other way ’round.

        I’d be good with both… but I’d want a much better civil liberties Govt/Culture than we have… so maybe none of us can have nice things.Report

        • InMD in reply to Marchmaine
          Ignored
          says:

          Yup, and that right there is another unstated aspect of it. You’ll never hear it said in anything official but there are a lot of people who feel it is in their ideological interest for these things not to be particularly well run.Report

        • PD Shaw in reply to Marchmaine
          Ignored
          says:

          On the mental health side, I start with the question of whether the records even exist currently. Primary purpose of note-taking for therapists is for the benefit of the therapist to help remember things discussed. In non-institutional settings there are probably a lot that are handwritten. In institutional settings there are drop-down menu-driven apps which provide little information not geared towards making sure the client is getting all of the services they may need. I assume that a mental health registry would need the creation of a federal form that all licensed therapists must fill out with each session or other event. Should the client sign the form before its entered into the database so that the contents cannot be reasonable questioned?

          I assume gun owners will mostly be ok with a mental health registry because they are sturdy, self-reliant individuals who do not need mental health services and if they had any doubts before, they will be certain about it now.Report

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