HR 321 — Firearm Safety and Public Health Research Act of 2013

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced HR 321 – Firearm Safety and Public Health Research Act of 2013 – last Friday. As of today, it has 32 co-sponsors. The intent of the bill is to get around the restrictions in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 on the promotion of gun control by National Institutes for Health and the Center for Disease Control.

HR 321 would provide the funding for the implementation of President Barack Obama’s Presidential Memorandum issued on January 16th which directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct research into the causes of “gun violence” (sic) and ways to prevent it.

Therefore, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby direct the following:

Section 1. Research. The Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary), through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other scientific agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services, shall conduct or sponsor research into the causes of gun violence and the ways to prevent it. The Secretary shall begin by identifying the most pressing research questions with the greatest potential public health impact, and by assessing existing public health interventions being implemented across the Nation to prevent gun violence.

Sec. 2. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

The text of HR 321 is rather simple as might be expected of a bill that amends one section of an appropriations bill.

To amend the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013 (Public Law 112-175) to permit research on firearms safety and gun violence.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


The Act may be cited as the `Firearm Safety and Public Health Research Act of 2013′.


The Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013 (Public Law 112-175) is amended by inserting after section 155 the following:

`Sec. 156. Notwithstanding section 101, sections 218 and 503(c) of division F of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (Public Law 112-74) shall not apply to amounts made available by this joint resolution insofar as such sections relate to any activity to conduct research on firearms safety or gun violence.’.

This bill’s sole intention is to subsidize with our tax dollars junk research that will be used to promote more gun control. In my opinion there is no such thing as “gun violence”. There is violence and the tool chosen is immaterial when you are looking for the causal factors. We don’t speak of “hammer violence”, “blunt object violence”, or “fist violence”, so why should speak of “gun violence” as if it is some weird permutation of a violent act.

Two New Bills Introduced In Congress; One Good, One Bad

Two more pieces of Federal legislation dealing with firearms were introduced in the House of Representatives on Friday.

The first bill was introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and seeks to remove the budget restriction that prohibits the Center for Disease Control from doing “research” that promotes gun control. It has 31 co-sponsors all of whom are Democrats.

HR 321 – Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
Rep Blumenauer, Earl [D-OR]
Rep Capuano, Michael E. [D-MA]
Rep Chu, Judy [D-CA]
Rep Cicilline, David N. [D-RI]
Rep Doyle, Michael F. [D-PA]
Rep Ellison, Keith [D-MN]
Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [D-AZ]
Rep Himes, James A. [D-CT]
Rep Holt, Rush [D-NJ]
Rep Jackson Lee, Sheila [D-TX]
Rep Johnson, Eddie Bernice [D-TX]
Rep Lee, Barbara [D-CA]
Rep Levin, Sander M. [D-MI]
Rep Lofgren, Zoe [D-CA]
Rep Markey, Edward J. [D-MA]
Rep Matsui, Doris O. [D-CA]
Rep McCollum, Betty [D-MN]
Rep Moore, Gwen [D-WI]
Rep Moran, James P. [D-VA]
Rep Norton, Eleanor Holmes [D-DC]
Rep Pingree, Chellie [D-ME]
Rep Quigley, Mike [D-IL]
Rep Rangel, Charles B. [D-NY]
Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [D-IL]
Rep Schiff, Adam B. [D-CA]
Rep Schwartz, Allyson Y. [D-PA]
Rep Shea-Porter, Carol [D-NH]
Rep Slaughter, Louise McIntosh [D-NY]
Rep Speier, Jackie [D-CA]
Rep Van Hollen, Chris [D-MD]
Rep Wasserman Schultz, Debbie [D-FL]
To amend the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013 (Public Law 112-175) to permit research on firearms safety and gun violence.
Referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee

The second bill was introduced by Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL). It would reinforce and clarify that the Environmental Protection Agency has no authority to regulate lead bullets, ammo, or fishing tackle under the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976. It has 67 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle.

HR 322 – Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL)
Rep Alexander, Rodney [R-LA]
Rep Bachus, Spencer [R-AL]
Rep Bishop, Rob [R-UT]
Rep Black, Diane [R-TN]
Rep Blackburn, Marsha [R-TN]
Rep Bonner, Jo [R-AL]
Rep Boustany, Charles W., Jr. [R-LA]
Rep Broun, Paul C. [R-GA]
Rep Cassidy, Bill [R-LA]
Rep Chabot, Steve [R-OH]
Rep Coffman, Mike [R-CO]
Rep Conaway, K. Michael [R-TX]
Rep Crawford, Eric A. “Rick” [R-AR]
Rep DesJarlais, Scott [R-TN]
Rep Duncan, Jeff [R-SC]
Rep Fincher, Stephen Lee [R-TN]
Rep Franks, Trent [R-AZ]
Rep Graves, Sam [R-MO]
Rep Griffin, Tim [R-AR]
Rep Hanna, Richard L. [R-NY]
Rep Hartzler, Vicky [R-MO]
Rep Hastings, Doc [R-WA]
Rep Huelskamp, Tim [R-KS]
Rep Huizenga, Bill [R-MI]
Rep Hunter, Duncan D. [R-CA]
Rep Jones, Walter B., Jr. [R-NC]
Rep Jordan, Jim [R-OH]
Rep King, Steve [R-IA]
Rep Kinzinger, Adam [R-IL]
Rep Kline, John [R-MN]
Rep Latta, Robert E. [R-OH]
Rep Luetkemeyer, Blaine [R-MO]
Rep Lummis, Cynthia M. [R-WY]
Rep Matheson, Jim [D-UT]
Rep McIntyre, Mike [D-NC]
Rep Michaud, Michael H. [D-ME]
Rep Miller, Gary G. [R-CA]
Rep Nugent, Richard B. [R-FL]
Rep Nunnelee, Alan [R-MS]
Rep Olson, Pete [R-TX]
Rep Palazzo, Steven M. [R-MS]
Rep Pearce, Stevan [R-NM]
Rep Peterson, Collin C. [D-MN]
Rep Pitts, Joseph R. [R-PA]
Rep Pompeo, Mike [R-KS]
Rep Roe, David P. [R-TN]
Rep Rogers, Harold [R-KY]
Rep Rogers, Mike D. [R-AL]
Rep Ross, Dennis A. [R-FL]
Rep Scott, Austin [R-GA]
Rep Sessions, Pete [R-TX]
Rep Shuster, Bill [R-PA]
Rep Simpson, Michael K. [R-ID]
Rep Smith, Adrian [R-NE]
Rep Southerland, Steve II [R-FL]
Rep Stivers, Steve [R-OH]
Rep Stutzman, Marlin A. [R-IN]
Rep Terry, Lee [R-NE]
Rep Thompson, Bennie G. [D-MS]
Rep Thompson, Glenn [R-PA]
Rep Thornberry, Mac [R-TX]
Rep Tipton, Scott R. [R-CO]
Rep Walden, Greg [R-OR]
Rep Westmoreland, Lynn A. [R-GA]
Rep Wittman, Robert J. [R-VA]
Rep Womack, Steve [R-AR]
Rep Young, Don [R-AK]
To amend the Toxic Substances Control Act to clarify the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency with respect to certain sporting good articles, and to exempt those articles from a definition under that Act.
Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce


Representatives Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and Carolyn McCarthy say they want to give ATF more tools to stop smuggling and straw purchases. More tools? Reading their release you can’t help coming to the conclusion that the only tools in question are the aforementioned representatives.

Straw purchases are already illegal. Smuggling of arms is illegal under the Arms Export Control Act as Dave Hardy makes clear. Possession of a firearm (or ammunition) by a felon is a felony in and of itself. If a drug cartel or other organization is conspiring to buy guns by using straw purchasers, you have RICO as a tool to combat it. This bill is nothing but a means to get some airtime and glowing accolades in the New York Times and Washington Post.

The other thing of note in this release is where it says that they have released the testimony of Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson given on July 4th. You have to ask yourself if this was to build support for their bill or to alert Eric Holder and his minions in the DOJ just what Melson had to say. My guess it is the latter as Rep. Cummings has been a synchophant of the Justice Department throughout the whole investigation.

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) introduced the “Stop Gun Trafficking and Strengthen Law Enforcement Act.” The legislation establishes a dedicated firearms trafficking statute to empower law enforcement to keep high-powered firearms out of the hands of dangerous criminals, including Mexican drug cartels.

“This legislation gives law enforcement the tools they need to do their job,” Rep. Maloney said. “It prohibits the transfer of a gun when an individual knows the gun will be transferred to a person who is prohibited by law from carrying a gun or to a person who intends to use the gun illegally. This is a sensible solution to a severe problem and will ensure that weapons do not end up in the hands of criminals– and drug cartels– by specifically prohibiting firearms trafficking in the criminal code.”

“We have to move beyond the all-or-nothing rhetoric of the current gun debate and work toward common-sense measures to help our law enforcement authorities combat the Mexican drug cartels without infringing on anyone’s right to own a firearm,” Cummings said. That’s exactly what this bill does.”

“Straw purchasers represent a significant problem in the United States. It is long past time that we take concrete steps to fight back against these individuals who funnel weapons into the hands of criminal and terrorist organizations. I’m proud to join Representative Maloney in taking this step to make our country safer,” Rep. McCarthy said.

“This legislation will provide Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms with the tools to keep illegal firearms from making their way into the hands of convicted felons who move guns across the southern border, utilizing a network of straw purchasers in the United States. These straw purchases act as an intermediary party for organized crime networks and the cartels by purchasing guns on their behalf”, according to Chris Schoppmeyer, FLEOA’s Vice President for Agency Affairs. The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) is the largest professional police organization that represents over 26,000 federal agents and officers from 65 agencies in the United States Government, including the ATF.

“This legislation would give law enforcement a strong, new tool to fight the gun trafficking that feeds lethal violence in Mexico, and American communities as well. There is no Second Amendment right to supply drug gangs with the firepower of an army,” said Dennis Henigan, Acting President of the Brady Campaign. “Mexican families, and American families, have the right to live in peace. That’s what this valuable legislation is all about.”

“The U.S. civilian gun market is stocked with military-grade weapons—both domestically manufactured and imported—and has extraordinarily weak controls on their sale. This has transformed the United States into a virtually unregulated bazaar of military-style firearms. Traffickers can stock up on their weapons of choice: AK-47 and AR-15 assault rifles and pistols, 50 caliber sniper rifles, and high-capacity armor-piercing pistols. The ‘Stop Gun Trafficking and Strengthen Law Enforcement Act of 2011’ is a crucial step in meeting the United States’ responsibility to address cross-border gun trafficking,” said Kristen Rand, legislative director of the Violence Policy Center, a national non-profit gun violence prevention organization.

The Members released testimony by Acting Director of ATF, Ken Melson, which was obtained as part of the Oversight Committee’s investigation of ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious, stating that law enforcement officials “absolutely” need a firearms trafficking statute to effectively attack these criminal trafficking rings. Additionally, the Members released a letter from the Mexican Ambassador to the United States that stated his support for firearms trafficking legislation.
As a part of the Oversight Committee’s investigation of ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious, law enforcement agents on the ground have warned Congress that the lack of a dedicated firearms trafficking statute means that criminals who supply Mexican drug cartels with weapons of war are typically charged with mere paperwork violations – dealing in firearms without a license – and often only receive a sentence of probation.

This legislation is narrowly tailored to fill that void and help law enforcement stop illegal firearms trafficking.

Beware The Ides Of July

Katie Pavlich of who has been done really good reporting lately on Project Gunwalker posted that Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) plan to introduce a new gun control bill on July 15th. According to the ancient Roman calendar, the 15th of July – just like the 15th of March – is the Ides of the month.

U.S. Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) will join other members and a leading law enforcement organization for an event Friday, July 15th, 11:00 a.m. at the House Triangle to introduce the “Stop Gun Trafficking and Strengthen Law Enforcement Act,” which establishes a dedicated firearms trafficking statute to empower law enforcement to keep high-powered firearms out of the hands of dangerous criminals, including Mexican drug cartels.

Frankly, other than getting glowing tributes from the opinion pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post, I don’t see much of a future for this legislation. It will gain a quick handful of Democrats as co-sponsors and then languish in committee just like Carolyn McCarthy’s HR 308.

As Katie notes,

So let me get this straight, democrats want to punish law abiding Americans and impede on Second Amendment rights with new legislation “to prevent gun trafficking to Mexico,” however, aren’t willing to focus on the ATF and DOJ’s role in deliberately putting high powered firearms into the hands of criminals including Mexican drug cartels?

Katie was the one who broke the story yesterday on the email from Assistant Director for Operations Mark Chait to Bill Newell which suggests that one aim of Project Gunwalker was to build support for the multiple-rifle reporting requirement.

Fisking The Obfuscators

The Obfuscators, otherwise known as the Democrats on the House Oversight Committee, issued a report today entitled Outgunned which sought to shift the blame for Operation Fast and Furious from ATF to gun control laws. As I said yesterday, they are merely diversionary tactics to divert attention from the Obama appointees in the Department of Justice (and maybe DHS) who more than likely authorized this project in order to build support for more gun control in America.

It looks like CNN and the LA Times are buying into it which doesn’t say much for the intelligence and integrity of much of mainstream journalism. CNN took much of what Rep. Elijah Cummings and the rest of Democrats at the “forum” said as gospel and then reported that:

Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the committee, told a forum on illegal firearms trafficking he organized Thursday that he knew the recommendations of the new report “will face stiff resistance in Congress and beyond.”

“Before today’s forum even began, it was criticized as a conspiracy to confiscate the firearms of law-abiding citizens, which is ridiculous,” he said.

Cummings also said he and Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-New York, would introduce legislation on the reforms called for in the report.

Christine Mai-Duc of the LA Times Washington Bureau ran with an story entitled “Democrats seek crackdown on gun trafficking”. 

Cummings and Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) said that although the investigation into Fast and Furious was “very important,” they were looking for solutions to the broader problems of gun trafficking in Mexico. In an accompanying report released by Cummings, the Democrats said authorities from the Mexican federal police had told them that as many as 80% of the weapons recovered at Mexican crime scenes are traced to the United States.

On a side note, Carolyn Maloney – not be confused with the Queen Bee of gun control, Carolyn McCarthy – is a Greensboro, North Carolina native and graduate of Greensboro College. While my hometown is well rid of her and the people of New York were stupid enough to elect her, she supposedly plans to introduce legislation to “combat trafficking” despite the fact that everything involved in Operation Fast and Furious was already a Federal offense. Go figure.

Fortunately, Bob Owens in an article Pajamas Media tears down the Democrats’ report part by part. He fisks the obfuscators.

Bob notes that Rep. Cummings and the rest of his panel ignore what is at the heart of Project Gunwalker: the deaths of Brian Terry and Jaime Zapata and the weapons that were allowed to be walked by ATF. Briefly summarizing, the report downplays the serious penalties for engaging in straw purchases, it ignores the role of Obama-appointed U.S. Attorneys and their offices in not wanting to prosecute these crimes, and then they repeat the 90% myth again. They also insist on calling semi-automatic AR-15s and AK-47s “military-grade” weapons based upon their cosmetics and not their performance.

Bob concludes:

“Outgunned: Law Enforcement Agents Warn Congress They Lack Adequate Tools to Counter Illegal Firearms Trafficking” is a purely political document created to advance a dishonest gun control agenda, even in the face of 152+ deaths caused by this same sort of duplicity.

Rep. Elijah Cummings should be ashamed to have issued this report, and he should be pressed to answer for it.

 Indeed he should as should all that are associated with it.