Gun Control Legislation in the 113th Congress

Gun Control Legislation in the 113th Congress

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The December 2012 Newtown, CT, tragedy, along with other mass shootings in Aurora, CO, and Tucson, AZ, restarted the national gun control debate in the 113th Congress. The Senate considered a range of legislative proposals, including several that President Barack Obama supported as part of his national gun violence reduction plan. The most salient of these proposals would have (1) required background checks for intrastate firearms transfers between unlicensed persons at gun shows and nearly any other venue, otherwise known as the "universal background checks" proposal; (2) increased penalties for gun trafficking; and (3) reinstated and strengthened an expired federal ban on detachable ammunition magazines of over 10-round capacity and certain "military style" firearms commonly described as "semiautomatic assault weapons," which are designed to accept such magazines. On March 21, 2013, Senator Harry Reid introduced the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013 (S. 649). As introduced, this bill included the language of several bills previously reported by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary: (1) the Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2013 (S. 54), (2) the Fix Gun Checks Act of 2013 (S. 374), and (3) the School Safety Enhancements Act of 2013 (S. 146). However, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 (S. 150) was not included in S. 649. From April 17-18, 2013, the Senate considered S. 649 and nine amendments that addressed a wide array of gun control issues, ranging from restricting assault weapons to mandating interstate recognition (reciprocity) of state handgun concealed carry laws. By unanimous consent, the Senate agreed that adoption of these amendments would require a 60-vote threshold. All but two of these amendments were rejected. A final vote was not taken on S. 649. Although Members of the House of Representatives introduced similar proposals, none were approved by Committee, nor considered on the House floor. On May 8, 2013, however, the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs approved a bill, the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act (H.R. 602), that would have addressed veterans, mental incompetency, and firearms eligibility. This bill would have narrowed the grounds by which beneficiaries of veterans' disability compensation or pensions are determined to be ineligible to receive, possess, ship, or transfer a firearm or ammunition because a fiduciary had been appointed on their behalf. The Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs approved a nearly identical bill (S. 572) on September 4, 2013. In addition, in December 2013, Congress approved a 10-year extension of the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 (H.R. 3626; P.L. 113-57). The House passed and the Senate considered bills (H.R. 3590 and S. 2363) intended to promote hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting in February and July 2014, respectively. Both bills arguably included several gun control-related provisions. The House Committee on Appropriations approved an FY2015 Interior appropriations measure (H.R. 4923) on July 9, 2014, that included provisions which were similar, but not identical, to those included in H.R. 3590 and S. 2363. The House passed an FY2015 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill (H.R. 4923) on July 10, 2014, that included a provision that would have addressed civilian carry of firearms on public properties managed by the Army Corps of Engineers. In addition, the House amended and passed an FY2015 District of Columbia appropriations bill (H.R. 5016) on July 16, 2014, with a provision that would have prohibited the use of any funding provided under that bill from being used to enforce certain District gun control statutes. Some, but not all, of these provisions were included in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (P.L. 113-235). This report reflects the final update for the 113th Congress.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 46 pages
  • 215.9 x 279.4 x 2.79mm | 172.36g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1507735979
  • 9781507735978