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JUNE 16, 1999  3:07 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Violence Policy Center
Bill McGeveran of the Violence Policy Center, 202-822-8200, ext. 105

House Gun Bill Weakens Current Law VPC Fact Sheets Expose "Step Backward for Gun Control"
 
WASHINGTON - June 16 - The Violence Policy Center today warned that—unless amendments pass to remove loopholes—the overall impact of the House leadership's gun bill would be to weaken current gun laws. The rollback would be even more serious if the bill includes an amendment sponsored by Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) and supported by the National Rifle Association.

"At first, we were worried about a lost opportunity for real gun control—but now this bill would actually roll back current gun laws," said VPC Director of Federal Policy Kristen Rand. "The NRA has turned this legislation into a wolf in sheep's clothing. If this bill passes with no amendments, it is a step backward for gun control. If it passes with the Dingell Amendment, it is a giant step backward."

The VPC has issued several fact sheets explaining the loopholes in the bill and the Dingell Amendment. Among the most serious problems:

  • The broad definition of a gun show guts the background check requirement.

  • The bill undermines the 30-year-old ban on interstate gun sales—a cornerstone of current gun law—and the Dingell Amendment weakens it further.

  • The bill reduces the amount of time in which law enforcement must complete a gun show background check, and the Dingell Amendment shrinks it further.

  • The definition of a child safety device renders the "gun lock" requirement null and void, while the lack of standards allows "junk locks" to qualify.

  • The bill's child access prevention section, holding adults liable for the misuse of guns by children, weakens the law in at least 11 states.

Follow this link to view the fact sheets.

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