Earlier today the National Shooting Sports Foundation sent out an Action Alert asking their members and supporters to push their Senators to vote against the Manchin-Toomey amendment and in favor of the Grassley proposal. Unfortunately, they didn’t explain the Grassley proposal nor was there a release on it from Senator Grassley.
It took a bit but I finally found some information on the Grassley proposal in the Washington Free Beacon. It is officially titled the “Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act of 2013”. Its sponsors include Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND).
Senators have been tight-lipped about the bill, but according to a fact-sheet obtained by the Free Beacon it would “reauthorize and improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, increase resources for prosecutions of gun crime, address mental illness in the criminal justice system, and strengthen criminal law by including straw purchasing and illegal firearm trafficking statutes.”
The bill would establish a high-level federal task force to increase prosecution of gun violence in the country. It would also create a nationwide version of Project Exile, which shifts prosecution of gun crimes from state to federal courts.
Additionally, the act would “reauthorize and improve” the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Federal courts would be required to submit relevant information to NICS, and it would “ensure relevant mental health records” are submitted by states.
The bill would also call for the study of mass shootings and limit the Justice Department’s ability to conduct gun trafficking stings like “Operation Fast and Furious.”
“Sen. Grassley, with Sen. Cruz, is considering an alternative that emphasizes support for the Second Amendment and might include fixing the NICS system, providing resources to help address mental health and school safety, protecting veterans from false health determinations and addressing gun trafficking and straw purchasing,” a spokeswoman for Grassley told the Free Beacon.
The replacement amendment seems to me to be an amalgamation of amendments dealing with the NICS system, mental health issues, gun trafficking, Second Amendment protections for veterans, ATF operations like Fast and Furious, and the lack of straw purchases prosecutions. Here is a link to a fact sheet on it.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) is also reported to be planning to offer a national right to carry reciprocity amendment to the S. 649.
Having read the fact sheet, I don’t see the words “background checks” except for FFLs who want to check on their employees unlike the Manchin-Toomey amendment which would mandate background checks for all guns sold at gun shows or through Internet and other classified advertising.
Of course, nothing gets my backing until I have read and studied the actual language of the amendment.