The text of the Democrat’s universal background check bill has been released. The bill will be HR 8 which has been reserved for the Speaker and which number was chosen to represent the day that then-Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) was shot. I think Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) will be the official sponsor of the bill and I presume most Democrats will be on board as co-sponsors. Gotta get that Bloomberg money, ya know.
As to the “Bipartisan” part of the title, I presume that is because Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and maybe a few others will be co-sponsors of the bill. One Republican or 20 really doesn’t make it “bipartisan” any more than a Republican bill that has one or two Democrats as sponsors.
Here is the text of the bill:
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Mr. THOMPSON of California introduced the following bill; which was referred
to the Committee on January 8, 2019.
To require a background check for every firearm sale.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019’’.
SEC. 2. PURPOSE.
The purpose of this Act is to utilize the current background checks process in the United States to ensure individuals prohibited from gun possession are not able to obtain firearms.
SEC. 3. FIREARMS TRANSFERS.
Section 922 of title 18, United States Code, is
(1) by striking subsection (s);
(2) by redesignating subsection (t) as subsection (s); and
(3) by inserting after subsection (s), as redesignated, the following:
‘‘(t)(1)(A) It shall be unlawful for any person who
is not a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer to transfer a firearm to any other person
who is not so licensed, unless a licensed importer, licensed
manufacturer, or licensed dealer has first taken possession
of the firearm for the purpose of complying with subsection (s).
‘‘(B) Upon taking possession of a firearm under subparagraph (A), a licensee shall comply with all requirements of this chapter as if the licensee were transferring
the firearm from the inventory of the licensee to the unlicensed transferee.
‘‘(C) If a transfer of a firearm described in subparagraph (A) will not be completed for any reason after a
licensee takes possession of the firearm (including because
the transfer of the firearm to, or receipt of the firearm
by, the transferee would violate this chapter), the return
of the firearm to the transferor by the licensee shall not
constitute the transfer of a firearm for purposes of this chapter.
‘‘(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to—
‘‘(A) a law enforcement agency or any law enforcement officer, armed private security professional, or member of the armed forces, to the extent
the officer, professional, or member is acting within
the course and scope of employment and official duties;
‘‘(B) a transfer that is a loan or bona fide gift
between spouses, between domestic partners, between parents and their children, between siblings,
between aunts or uncles and their nieces or nephews,
1or between grandparents and their grandchildren;
‘‘(C) a transfer to an executor, administrator,
trustee, or personal representative of an estate or a
trust that occurs by operation of law upon the death
of another person;
‘‘(D) a temporary transfer that is necessary to
prevent imminent death or great bodily harm, if the
possession by the transferee lasts only as long as immediately necessary to prevent the imminent death
or great bodily harm;
‘‘(E) a transfer that is approved by the Attorney General under section 5812 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; or
‘‘(F) a temporary transfer if the transferor has
no reason to believe that the transferee will use or
intends to use the firearm in a crime or is prohibited
from possessing firearms under State or Federal
law, and the transfer takes place and the transferee’s possession of the firearm is exclusively—
‘‘(i) at a shooting range or in a shooting
gallery or other area designated for the purpose
of target shooting;
‘‘(ii) while reasonably necessary for the
purposes of hunting, trapping, or fishing, if the
‘‘(I) has no reason to believe that the
transferee intends to use the firearm in a
place where it is illegal; and
‘‘(II) has reason to believe that the
transferee will comply with all licensing
and permit requirements for such hunting,
trapping, or fishing; or
‘‘(iii) while in the presence of the transferor.
‘‘(3)(A) Notwithstanding any other provision of this
chapter, the Attorney General may implement this subsection with regulations.
‘‘(B) Regulations promulgated under this paragraph
may not include any provision requiring licensees to facilitate transfers in accordance with paragraph (1).
‘‘(C) Regulations promulgated under this paragraph
may not include any provision requiring persons not licensed under this chapter to keep records of background
checks or firearms transfers.
‘‘(D) Regulations promulgated under this paragraph
may not include any provision placing a cap on the fee
licensees may charge to facilitate transfers in accordance
with paragraph (1).
‘‘(4) It shall be unlawful for a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer to transfer possession of, or title to, a firearm to another person who is
not so licensed unless the importer, manufacturer, or dealer has provided such other person with a notice of the
prohibition under paragraph (1), and such other person
has certified that such other person has been provided
with this notice on a form prescribed by the Attorney General.’’.
SEC. 4. TECHNICAL AND CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.
(a) SECTION 922.—Section 922(y)(2) of title 18,
United States Code, is amended in the matter preceding
subparagraph (A) by striking ‘‘, (g)(5)(B), and
(s)(3)(B)(v)(II)’’ and inserting ‘‘and (g)(5)(B)’’.
(b) CONSOLIDATED AND FURTHER CONTINUING APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2012.—Section 511 of title V of division B of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012 (18 U.S.C. 922 note) is amended by
striking ‘‘subsection 922(t)’’ each place it appears and inserting ‘‘subsection (s) or (t) of section 922’’.
SEC. 5. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.
Nothing in this Act, or any amendment made by this
Act, shall be construed to—
(1) authorize the establishment, directly or indirectly, of a national firearms registry; or
(2) interfere with the authority of a State,
under section 927 of title 18, United States Code,
to enact a law on the same subject matter as this
SEC. 6. EFFECTIVE DATE.
The amendments made by this Act shall take effect
180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
UPDATE: Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned notes that those of us who have Curios & Relics licenses would have to go through a licensed dealer for our transfers. Notice that the wording in the bill makes no mention of “licensed collectors” but only importers, manufacturers, and dealers.
UPDATE II: Attorney and scholar David Kopel has a textual analysis of the bill on the Volokh Conspiracy. Dave notes that it would also ban the transfer of a handgun to those 18-20 years old which is now legal in many states in private sales. You can’t have a FFL transfer a handgun to you unless you are 21 years of age or older.