House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has long advocated for new gun control legislation — and at a news conference this week, she again touted what she sees as the benefits of a controversial new reform bill.
Although she proclaimed that the measure would protect children, some of Pelosi’s critics contend that it would actually leave certain victims of violent crime helpless. The bill in question, H.R. 8, passed in the Democratic-controlled House and, if it becomes law, would require all firearm transactions to be conducted through a federally licensed dealer.
“There is nobody in Congress whose political survival is more important than the survival of our children,” Pelosi told reporters on Thursday, according to Breitbart.
The speaker went on to share her belief that support for the legislation “should be bipartisan to Congress, as it is in the country.”
Gun rights advocate Dave Kopel, however, offered a much different assessment of this type of regulation in a piece published by Reason in 2019.
“If you loan a gun to a friend without going to the gun store, the penalty is the same as for knowingly selling a gun to a convicted felon,” he proclaimed at the time. “Likewise, when the friend returns the gun, another trip to the gun store is necessary, upon pain of felony.”
Kopel further dismissed a “minuscule exemption for self-defense” that he contended “does not cover stalking victims.”
“Harder for law-abiding citizens”
Also not covered by the regulation, Kopel wrote, are “farming and ranching, sharing guns on almost all public and private lands, or storing guns with friends while on vacation.”
Perhaps most troubling was his assessment of the impact this legislation could have on individuals trapped in abusive relationships.
“For example, a former domestic partner threatens a woman and her children,” Kopel wrote. “An attack might come in the next hour, or the next month, or never. The victim and her children cannot know. Because the attack is uncertain — and certainly not ‘immediate’ — the woman cannot borrow a handgun from a neighbor for her defense.”
Nevertheless, Pelosi declared this week that “there is broad support for background checks legislation, so we hope with the big, strong bipartisan vote we have today to send it over the Senate, the drumbeat across America, that the change will come.”
A number of prominent House Republicans also spoke out in opposition to the Democratic-backed measures, including Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who accused the other party of “making it harder for law-abiding citizens to buy a gun.”