- June 9 - The Violence Policy Center (VPC) today denounced the gun control provisions
in the House leadership's new proposed juvenile justice bill as a tangle of loopholes
designed by the National Rifle Association.
"This isn't gun control,
it's spin control. The House leadership wants to appear concerned about guns but
do nothing," said VPC director of federal policy Kristen Rand. "The House bill
takes a giant step backwards from the Senate bill, on the direct orders of the
The most dramatic weakening
of the legislation came in the Senate-passed requirement for background checks
on sales at gun shows. A new definition of a "gun show" sharply limits the number
of sales that would be covered by the law. Under the Senate bill, any show where
over 50 guns are sold would be subject to the background check requirement. The
House adds a condition that at least 10 vendors must also be involved potentially
allowing organizers to exempt their shows by combining sellers together as "vendors."
"You could be selling thousands
of guns, but as long as there's only nine so-called exhibitors in the room, there
are no background checks required," Rand said.
Other problems with the
House gun show language include the elimination of the ban on interstate gun sales
in many cases and greatly expanded immunity from civil liability for gun show
The House bill would also
require that firearm dealers provide safety locks with new handguns, but sets
no standards for the devices, allowing "junk locks" to qualify. At a press conference
yesterday, Rand showed how one of the most common trigger locks can be smashed
from a gun with one swing of a hammer, illustrating the bill's shortcomings. The
Senate bill also omitted standards.
"Even without the loopholes,
this bill would be small potatoes, offering no regulation of the gun industry
whatsoever," Rand said. "With these NRA-designed loopholes, the modest Senate
bill unravels completely.