The 112th Congress will come to a close on January 3, 2013 when the 113th Congress is sworn into office. Thus, introducing a bill into the House of Representatives in mid-December is all about appearance and has nothing to do with substance. Of course this doesn’t stop politicians from doing just that knowing that these newly introduced bills will never get enacted.
A case in point are three bills introduced on December 18th, 19th, and 21st that all deal with some aspect of gun control or call for gun bans. This was just days after the shootings in Newtown, CT. The congressmen in question are all Democrats who will now be able to say “they did something” but it was those “evil Republicans in the pocket of the NRA” who refused to act on their bills.
The first bill, HR 6680, is by Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL). Rush is a former Black Panther who’s claim to fame seems to be that he beat then-State Senator Barack Obama in the primary for the 1st Congressional District. The title of HR 6680 is “To provide for the implementation of a system of licensing for purchasers of certain firearms and for a record of sale system for those firearms, and for other purposes.” No other information is available on the bill and the text of it hasn’t been sent to the GPO. If any text is ever sent to them I’d be surprised.
The bill, HR 6685, is from Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) which would ban the FN Five-seveN pistol and its associated ammunition. Ostensibly the purpose of this ban is to protect law enforcement officers.
To protect the Nation’s law enforcement officers by banning the Five-seveN Pistol and 5.7 x 28mm SS190, SS192, SS195LF, SS196, and SS197 cartridges, testing handguns and ammunition for capability to penetrate body armor, and prohibiting the manufacture, importation, sale, or purchase of such handguns or ammunition by civilians.
Again, like with Rep. Bobby Rush, no text has been received by the Government Printing Office and none probably will be received. It is a bill for show and not meant to actually be enacted.
The final bill was introduced by Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY). HR 6704 would “reauthorize the ban on undetectable firearms”. While I don’t know how you would create an “undetectable firearm”, Rep. Israel must have some special knowledge that I don’t possess. Otherwise why would he seek to ban firearms that don’t currently exist? I can’t read the text of the bill to get some idea as – again – it doesn’t exist.
While this end of the session grandstanding is not limited to anti-gun Democrats, most of the other bills concern stuff like the naming of post offices or federal buildings.The real threats will come in January when the gun prohibitionists such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) start introducing their new bills.