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The right to keep and bear arms is a cornerstone of American freedom, but today it is at a crossroads due to the actions of Socialist Democrats in Congress. Under the guise of “universal background checks,” they want to make it harder for Americans to keep themselves and their families safe—from behind the walls of a Capitol fortified with armed security forces.

Federal law already mandates instant background checks on all commercial and interstate firearm sales, and these checks, which are run through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System by the FBI, most in a matter of hours, have proven to be very effective. According to the Office of Management and Budget, they are “a proven tool to reduce gun violence and save lives” that have “kept millions of guns out of potentially dangerous hands.”

But Democrats seem to have forgotten this, along with the fact that the Constitution protects law-abiding citizens’ right to keep and bear arms. The bills that Democrats passed today infringe on this constitutionally-protected right in multiple ways:

  1. Penalizes temporary transfers. Under H.R. 8, gun owners could face up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine simply for handing a firearm to another person without running a background check. That’s because the law extends NICS to all private and non-commercial transfers. That means you can’t loan your rifle to a friend or family member to go hunting. This law won’t stop felons from getting firearms, but it will create felons out of law-abiding citizens.
  2. Creates national gun registry. H.R. 8 requires the creation of a de facto gun registry to enforce background checks. This unconstitutional idea would give the government unprecedented access to private information and could be used to stage a confiscation drive, which anti-Second Amendment progressives euphemistically call a “mandatory buyback.”
  3. End three-day-process-to-sale. Under H.R. 1446, the FBI would no longer be required to complete NICS checks on firearm purchases within three days. Without the statutory requirement to complete these checks in a timely manner, millions of law-abiding citizens would likely face arbitrary delays to their purchases, curbing their ability to protect and defend themselves and their families.

These bills further demonstrate how Democrats are soft on crime but hard on law-abiding citizens. Today, they voted to limit your right to own a firearm. Last week, they voted to defund the police. As violent and property crime rates rise to levels not seen since the 1990s, this is exactly the wrong way to make our communities safer.

Republicans unequivocally reject these misguided bills, and will always follow the Constitution so that the right to keep and bear arms, the cornerstone of our freedom, is not infringed.