Democrats pushing new gun laws

Legislative Alert: Democrats Pushing New Gun Laws

Encouraged by their majorities in the House and Senate, Democrats at the federal level are pushing major new gun control laws, starting with expanded background checks, enlarging the time period for the ATF to conduct background checks, and significant changes to the NICS system.  

On March 4, 2021, the House passed HR-8, which would require background checks on all firearms transfers. The House also subsequently passed HR-1446, a bill that would eliminate the “safety valve” feature of the current NICS system. Similar bills were passed by the house in 2019 but languished in the Republican controlled Senate. While Democrats now control the Senate, both of these bills need significant bipartisan support to overcome the Senate filibuster rule.

HR-8, which would eliminate private sales without background checks, does include limited exceptions allowing temporary transfers to prevent imminent harm, for firearm use at target ranges, and for gifts from certain family members.

HR-1446 increases the amount of time from 3 business days to a minimum of 10 business days that a federal firearms licensee must wait to receive a completed background check prior to transferring a firearm to an unlicensed person. This is referred to as “default proceed transaction.” Under HR-1446, if a submitted background check remains incomplete after 10 business days then the burden falls upon the prospective purchaser to submit a petition to the ATF for an eligibility determination. If an additional 10 days elapse without final determination, then the federal firearms licensee may transfer the firearm to the purchaser. This represents a significant change in the law in that under the current NICS system, if the ATF fails to act on a background check within 3 days, the transaction is allowed to legally proceed without further action by the purchaser or licensee.

MCRC membership should be aware that there are currently 29 pending firearms related bills in the US Congress. While a few of these bills might find support from those who support the 2nd Amendment, most would impose significant new restrictions on firearm purchasing, ownership, and use.

An important resource to track these various pieces of legislation can be found at the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) federal bill tracker at:

On the local front, in mid-May, the Kansas Legislature gave final approval to Emergency Powers Legislation, Senate Bill 40.  The measure now heads to the desk of Governor Laura Kelly for her consideration.  

Senate Bill 40 provides protections for gun stores, ranges, or any other entity that engages in the lawful selling or servicing of firearms, components, or accessories. SB 40 also prevents the prohibition, regulation, or seizure of citizens’ Second Amendment rights during a declared State of Emergency.

Also, the Kansas House will hold a final vote tomorrow on gun safety education legislation, Substitute House Bill 2089. This bill directs the state Board of Education to establish grade-appropriate curricula guidelines to teach firearm safety to K-12 students based on NRA’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe® program, and/or the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism’s existing Hunter Education In Our Schools. Individual school district boards are to have the choice whether they wish to provide gun safety education under these standards. This gives the flexibility to school boards and parents to decide what gun safety education is appropriate for their communities and school children. Developing these standards by drawing from proven, existing programs, results in cost savings for the taxpayers.

The MCRC Board would encourage members to stay up to date on such pending legislation and to contact representatives as each member deems appropriate.


"The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
- Thomas Jefferson

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