Gun Control

New Gun Bill Urges Everyone to Obey the Other Gun Bills

The legislation mostly reminds federal agencies to follow the laws already on the books.


Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
om Williams/CQ Roll Call/Newscom

A new bipartisan bill aimed at fixing the holes in the federal background check system was introduced today. Sponsored by an unlikely collection of senators that includes Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas), the "Fix NICS Act" promises to "enforce current law regarding the National Instant Criminal Background Check System" (NICS) by giving money to states that do a good job of getting records into the system, and by penalizing federal agencies that do a bad job of it.

The proposal is a response to the Air Force's failure to report Sutherland Springs shooter Devin Kelley's assault conviction to the NICS, which would have prevented him from passing any federal background check.

As far as legislative responses to mass shootings go, this one at first glance seems pretty harmless. For evidence, look at the air of disappointment with which its Democratic sponsors unveiled it. "It's no secret that I believe much more needs to be done. But this bill will make sure that thousands of dangerous people are prevented from buying guns," said sponsor Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).

Murphy had introduced a bill in late October to actually expand background checks. Feinstein likewise demanded more background checks after the Vegas shooting to compliment her proposed ban on bump stocks. The Fix NICS Act does none of this.

Instead it would require every federal agency, within a year, to create a plan to do better job of handing over records to the federal background check system. The bill would deny bonuses to these agencies' political appointees should they fail to come up with a plan or otherwise fail to comply with it.

The bill would also prioritize certain grants to states that draft similar plans.

This is pretty weak sauce, so it's far from clear that it'll be effective at encouraging more compliance. A similar effort 10 years ago—the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007—obviously failed to prevent the murders in Sutherland Springs.

Ineffective as it might be, the Fix NICS Act is far preferable to some of the other gun control measures bandied about since the October 1 shooting in Las Vegas. Several days after that shooting, a bipartisan House bill was introduced that would retroactively criminalize not only bump stocks—the obscure weapon modification used by Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock—but also any device that increases a semiautomatic weapon's rate of fire. A few weeks after that, another bipartisan House bill was unveiled that would require background checks for the purchase of bump stocks.

Neither has gone anywhere so far. As Reason noted when that second bill was introduced, the outrage machine that is the modern news cycle seemed to have moved on from bump stocks. The November 5 Sutherland Springs shooting sparked renewed interest in some form of gun control regulation, but that second wave appears to have subsided too.

What does that leave us with? A bill so bland that both hardcore gun controllers like Feinstein and relatively solid Second Amendment advocates like Cornyn can publicly support it.

NEXT: House Republicans Just Passed a Major Tax Reform Bill

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  1. Ix-nay on the Ix NICS act-fay.

  2. Legislation is not needed to reaffirm existing law. Ironically, this appears to be executive order territory. You know, a directive from the executive body to tell agencies to enforce existing law. Something else is afoot here.

    1. Legislation is needed to assuage the tender sensibilities of those precious souls who are shocked and outraged that legislation was unable to prevent this tragedy.

  3. Need to know when they are going to make NICS checks into an app.

    Asking for a friend.

  4. but also any device that increases a semiautomatic weapon’s rate of fire.

    Like an index finger?

    1. Technically, recoil springs and gas pistons/tubes increase a semiautomatic weapon’s rate of fire.

    2. Like an index finger?

      ^ This.

      I’ve been playing guitar for 30 years. I’ll bet I can move my index finger faster than a bump stock.

  5. And if you don’t, we’ll pass ANOTHER saying that you’ll have to sit in the corner if you still don’t!

  6. Good to see Congress has finally decided to get serious and ban crime. God these people are morons.


    A Franken has lost Slate.

    1. Relatively good news toward the end of the day at least.

      1. Read the comments. The Progs are tearing each other apart over this.

        1. That’s far more consistency than I gave them credit for. And it’s fun as hell to watch so win-win, for me at least.

          1. Some of them are being very consistent. Some of them are in full “but he is a party member in good standing and its not like he is a Republican” mode.

    2. Los Angeles radio host Leeann Tweeden wrote a disturbing article alleging that Sen. Al Franken sexually harassed her on a 2006 USO tour

      There is no rational reason to doubt the truth of Tweeden’s accusations

      The best part is, this is all it takes anymore.

      1. Identity politics is truly a sword without a hilt.

        1. Sword Without Hilt was my nickname in college.

          1. Huh, hilt without a sword was mine. (All lowercase)

            1. Get a room you two.

      2. She does have a picture of him groping her while she is asleep. So this is more than just an allegation. Regardless, yes, this is all it takes. The pictures helps but she didn’t need it. But hey, these are the rules people like Franken and his supporters wanted. Karma is a bitch sometimes.

        1. but unlike Moore who is being told to resign Al is going to get an ethics review, where are the calls for resignation from his fellow senators? Crickets

      3. This whole business is surreal. I’m sure a good number are bullshit, motivated by politics, personal animus, or psychobitchism, but some are plausible and even have photographic evidence! Wow. Where does this end?

        1. With a lot of people both innocent and guilty alike losing their careers is my guess.

        2. With a lot of people both innocent and guilty alike losing their careers is my guess.

        3. In ashes, and I ain’t pissing on it to put it out.

          1. Maybe the optimists are right after all? Technology to the rescue!

          2. new form of cleaning out the swamp, and this might be one of the best ways to get old school boys out of congress that the rest of us don’t get to vote out. I have no sympathy for these lechers and I’m sure there are more may all of them be removed

            1. Brilliant. We can get rid of the entire government this way.

        4. With the beheading of Robespierre?

      4. Apparently there is her word about Franken giving her tongue without her consent, but also a pic of her asleep on a plane and him fondling her boobs. Color me shocked and awed

    3. Well, he said he was sorry and the woman accepted the apology. *shrug*

      1. Next time you fly somewhere, why don’t you rub a sleeping woman’s breasts through her clothes without her consent and see if the FBI and TSA shrug. I doubt they will think the fact that you said you were sorry means much.

        1. This sounds like a law school question–assault?

            1. Yeah, it’s battery (talking common law here), but is it assault if the victim is asleep?

              1. It is battery but the term “Sexual Assault” today means “sexual battery”. It doesn’t mean the same as common law battery.

                1. The reason I brought it up is that we had a similar discussion in law school. Assault: Apprehension of Imminent Harm. The victim must have a reasonable apprehension of imminent injury or offensive contact. This element is established if the act would produce apprehension in the mind of a reasonable person. … Moreover, if a victim is unaware of the threat of harm, no assault has occurred.

                  1. This is battery. Same reason unauthorized surgery is treated as a battery in tort law.

                    1. I know it’s battery. It’s just not common law assault. I wasn’t saying anything other than I was having a law school flashback.

          1. Sexual assault all day and twice on Sunday. You rub some sleeping woman’s boobs on a plane and you will end up on a list that says you can’t live near schools.

            1. That’s why i don’t fly on Sundays.

              1. Some people like get all of their sexual assaults over with in one day.

        2. Next time you fly somewhere, why don’t you rub a sleeping woman’s breasts through her clothes without her consent and see if the FBI and TSA shrug.

          But that wasn’t at all the situation. It wasn’t some random woman on a commercial flight.

          I’m not saying what he did was ok. Obviously not. But the woman in question accepts his apology and isn’t pressing charges.

          1. He still committed sexual assault. We have a picture of a sitting senator committing sexual assault on a sleeping women. That is a big fucking deal, even if the woman did accept his apology.

            Let me ask you this, what is she were your wife? What if your wife went on a USO tour with Franken and when she got home the picture CD from the trip showed Franken grabbing her tits while she was asleep. Would you think that was no big deal just because your wife accepted his apology? I wouldn’t. I would go find him and kick his sorry ass.

            This woman is someone’s wife or daughter.

            1. He still committed sexual assault. We have a picture of a sitting senator committing sexual assault on a sleeping woman.

              Well, then file charges. And then go kick his ass.

              1. Or kick him out of the Senate. He needs to be expelled from the Senate or people need to shut up about this stuff because they clearly don’t mean anything they are saying.

                1. Ok, kick em all out. They’re all crooks and criminals. But then, we kick their asses.

            2. The picture I’ve seen going around looks to me like he’s not actually touching her. Have you got another angle I haven’t seen yet?


            3. Not sure which branch, but her husband is military and was deployed. They also have two kids.

          2. Man in power.

            *drops microphone*

            1. You dropped the thing you need to explain what you mean.

              1. The acceptance of the apology isn’t real, because man in power. Women don’t have agency in the presence of men in power.

                1. Thanks for picking your mic back up. So she accepted his apology only because she’s intimidated by him? That’s what you’re going with? And careful with that thing. It’s not cheap.

                  1. Juice,

                    Paul is just giving the feminist line on these kinds of things. It is ridiculous. But that is what the feminists have claimed in other cases like this. So, they need to be claiming it now.

                  2. Are you asking for an explanation of the rules or a justification of them. I didn’t make them, you know.

                    1. Oh, I see. So your mic drop had nothing to do with me.

                    2. No. Not sure how got that. I was channeling Kathleen McKinnon

          3. she said if other women come forward then she will not accept his apology and others are already coming out. normally with these type of creeps its never a one time incident

            1. she said if other women come forward then she will not accept his apology

              Really? That’s weird. But I think I heard him say no backsies. And since he’s a man in power, it sticks.

        3. Not sure about the FBI, but the TSA would probably be mad at you muscling in on their territory.

      2. Now there is this

        I made a statement about the budget numbers, Franken challenged me, I challenged him back. It was about spending priorities, actually just a mundane discussion. But he obsessed over it.”
        After the show, Morgan said Franken wouldn’t leave her alone, insisting on continuing the argument.
        “He approached me backstage, angrily called me out on those numbers and insisted he would prove he was right. He wouldn’t leave me alone, he kept following me. As a woman, his presence and proximity to me felt very threatening and intimindating.
        “I didn’t realize his creepy behavior after the show meant it would continue in the days to come.
        “He approached Carol, the show’s producer and demanded my home phone number, which was a clear violation of network protocol. I had thought that was the end of the story and was shocked when he started calling my home, badgering me repeatedly.
        “I became fearful and called Carol to complain and asked her to tell him to back off. But he made another call after that. I thought that he might end up stalking me at my home in Northern California, it was that bad.
        “By the third phone call I was outraged and terrified, as he is really disturbed,” Morgan recounted.
        Morgan said Franken finally left her alone, but only after she pushed back and threatened “to call the police and make a report that he was harassing me.”

      3. It will be interesting to see if that’s sufficient to coax the outrage genie back into its bottle. Probably not!

        1. Then there is this

          He recalled writing a skit called “Seamen on Broadway” that was rejected from the Hasty Pudding show “by some preppie so they could take some other preppie’s skit.” Franken started to smile again, but his tone was serious, too serious. “It’s not preppies, cause I’m a preppie myself. I just don’t like homosexuals. If you ask me, they’re all homosexuals in the Pudding. Hey, I was glad when that Pudding homosexual got killed in Philadelphia.” The smile became so broad it pushed his eyes shut. He couldn’t stand it any longer. “Put that in, put that in,” Franken laughed, leaning over the desk. “I’d love to see that in The Crimson.”


          It is 40 years old but God damn this is going to be fun to watch. It appears he wasn’t very gay affirming.

        2. And this

          During the meeting, writers are brainstorming about how to develop a sketch in which one of the actors plays “60 Minutes” commentator Andy Rooney, who finds an empty pill bottle in his desk.

          According to the article, Franken’s suggestion includes Rooney saying: “I give the pills to Leslie Stahl. Then when Leslie is passed out, I take her to the closet and rape her. Or ‘That’s why you never see Lesley until February. Or, ‘When she passes out. I put her in various positions and take pictures of her.’ “


          That is not a crime or even misconduct, though it would be to most Progs. It does reveal what a weird little creep he is. Who thinks that is funny? That he thought that was a good idea for a skit is a bit creepy.

        3. I’d like to see the outrage genie opening up all the stories of ugly men. great way to drain the swamp on both sides.

    4. Nah, its still just simple politics.

      They just know that the Democrat governor will appoint another lefty resulting in no change to the Senate composition.

      If MN still had a Republican governor, they’d probably be saying his contrition is sincere and he won’t ever ever do it again.

      1. I don’t think so. Progs fucking worship that little weirdo. This is going to cause a lot of angst in the hive.

        1. Because he will be replaced by someone who is politically his carbon copy, there’s no real cost associated with calling for him to resign.

          If he would be replaced by a Republican though, then there is a cost.

          Which costs more? Looking bad about temporarily forgiving an unwanted boob grab for the two years until the next election when he can be replaced, or the assurance that a white supremacist (in prog-mind) will be appointed to replace him for two years?

          1. I understand what you are saying but it is not that simple. People like him and are going to be really butt hurt over him going down. A new shiny empty suit from Minnesota isn’t going to make them any happier. A lot of Progs cannot tolerate Republicans being right about anything. This is going to be a long and ugly fight that Franken might survive.

    5. From Franken’s second statement:

      I am asking that an ethics investigation be undertaken, and I will gladly cooperate.

      LOVE that! He knows how Congressional locker room talk sounds, and knows his colleagues would never censure him.

      1. We are discussing actions he took. He knows what he did. What is there he thinks needs to be investigated? He is saying “we need to look into what I did here”. Don’t you know that Al? How about you just tell us so we don’t have to investigate.

    6. “This isn’t supposed to happening to our noble progressives, damn it!”

      It’s their monster and now it’s spiraling out of control, as anybody with sense could have predicted.

  8. Why not a bill urging everyone to obey currently extant laws against murder? It makes as much sense as anything else.

    1. Wait a second, there’s a law against murder?

      1. I thought so, but people still kill each other sometimes, so i guess not.

        1. I mean, what is murder, anyway? Oh, I know.

          Murder is killing another human being while not wearing a uniform.

          1. That explains killer schoolgirls.

            1. Looks CAN kill.

            2. That explains killer schoolgirls.

              as in this one or this one?

    1. That video. I could never get boomerangs to come back, either.

      1. They only come back if you miss. He scored a direct hit to the neck.

    2. charged with common assault Thursday in Australia after throwing a boomerang at fellow fighter

      When in Rome…

  9. Menedez trial ends in mistrial

    The federal corruption trial of New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez ended in a mistrial Thursday after the jury reported it was hopelessly deadlocked.

    The mistrial is a blow to the Justice Department, which has been investigating Menendez for nearly five years, and will be a sigh of relief to Democrats worried about possibly losing his Senate seat to Republicans.

    1. Remember the same people who keep yelling about how it doesn’t matter that Roy Moore could never be convicted in any fair trial of the things he is accused of because “this is not a court of law” will take the fact that Menendez wasn’t convicted as absolute proof of his innocence such that anyone who even mentions it is just a racist who wants to kick a Hispanic out of the Senate.

      1. Menendez is as innocent as Roy Moore. So there’s that.

        1. How many jurors have ever voted to convict Roy Moore of anything? Less than have voted to convict Menedenez. A mistrial means the jury could not agree which means at least some of them thought he was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

          1. Are you trying to refute my statement, or are you just adding additional commentary?

            1. Since Moore has never had a juror conclude he was guilty of anything and Mendendez has, Moore is most certainly more innocent than Menendez.

              1. I’ll make note of that. Thanks for the legal analysis.

                1. You were wrong. You should make note of it so you won’t be wrong again.

                  1. I was wrong that they are both equally innocent? Are you sure about that?

                    I have this acquaintance named John from DOJ (won’t name the division) and I just really really hope you are him. I don’t even know if your real name is John, and DOJ is such a huge organization, but it would make my day because he is the nicest guy and it would be so funny if he was this Jekyll and Hyde character.

                    1. A hung jury doesn’t mean you are innocent. It is not an acquittal. You can be tried again. It means that at least one juror thinks you are guilty allowing you to be tried again.

                    2. Hung Jury: Somewhere between 1 and 11 think you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and somewhere between 1 and 11 think you were not proven guilty.

                      The ruling are Guilty or Not Guilty. Innocent is a moral not legal term.

  10. No ends to how stupid these statist assholes get. A law to enforce another law that wasn’t followed! Almost as fucking asinine as Joe Biden’s response to “why shouldn’t the former NRA instructor have been armed”

    These people are pure evil.

  11. Dear reason, what’s your current backlog on sexual harassment stories?

    1. There isn’t enough fruit sushi in the world to get Robby through them all.

  12. California has an existing law of removing funs form those who commit domestic violence and like most laws was of little use this week and using the failure of existing laws to solve problems does not mean more laws or money will further solve the same problem

    1. removing funs form those who commit domestic violence

      Now THAT is real punishment.

      1. well guns are fun

  13. I’d like them to explain why we only learned certain details about Sandy Hook almost 5 years later.

    At a minimum, the 2013/2014 gun control debates would have been very different had we all known that the police didn’t follow up on reports that Adam Lanza had made threats about killing his mom and students at the school.

    I’ll be around in 4 or 5 years when we get the report about Stephen Paddock being reported for one blatant thing or another and some agency just shrugging it off.

  14. What does that leave us with? A bill so bland that both hardcore gun controllers like Feinstein and relatively solid Second Amendment advocates like Cornyn can publicly support it.

    Well, we have to do *something*!

  15. I will not rest until America is grope-free.

  16. How about a new gun bill to require the government to obey the constitution?


  17. How about requiring Reason to obey the lynx laws?

  18. it would require every federal agency, within a year, to create a plan to do better job of handing over records to the federal background check system.

    Oh, FFS! How about requiring every federal agency, now, to do their job of handing over records to the federal background check system?

    1. Man Stabs Brother 4 Times At Funeral In Argument Over Attire

      It . . . it wasn’t Gilmore . . . was it?

  19. Marxists and Islamists who infect our federal government plus the media prostitutes who protect them will gleefully lie, falsify, fabricate, slander, libel, deceive, delude, bribe, and treasonably betray the free citizens of the United States into becoming an unarmed population. Unarmed populations have been treated as slaves and chattel since the dawn of history.

    The Second Amendment foes lying about gun control – Firearms are our constitutionally mandated safeguard against tyranny by a powerful federal government.

    Only dictators, tyrants, despots, totalitarians, and those who want to control and ultimately to enslave you support gun control.

    1. No matter what any president, senator, congressman, or hard-left mainstream media hookers tell you concerning the statist utopian fantasy of safety and security through further gun control: They are lying. If their lips are moving, they are lying about gun control. These despots truly hate America..

      These tyrants hate freedom, liberty, personal responsibility, and private property. But the reality is that our citizens’ ownership of firearms serves as a concrete deterrent against despotism. They are demanding to hold the absolute power of life and death over you and your family. Ask the six million Jews, and the other five million murdered martyrs who perished in the Nazi death camps, how being disarmed by a powerful tyranny ended any chances of fighting back. Ask the murdered martyrs of the Warsaw Ghetto about gun control.

      1. American Thinker

  20. Their single agenda is to control you after you are disarmed. When the people who want to control you hold the absolute power of life and death over your family, you have been enslaved.
    Will we stand our ground, maintaining our constitutionally guaranteed Second Amendment rights, fighting those who would enslave us?

    American Thinker

  21. Some of them may be evil totalitarians, but most are just ‘sputniks’ (‘useful idiots’). Whether it’sthe First Amendment, the Second Amendment, or Confederate statues, they are ignorant, and there seems to be no way to reach them and teach them. I particularly like the ones that sneer, “The National Guard is ‘a well regulated militia’. A bunch of Yahoos with guns isn’t.” I have found that they don’t even know that the militia includes two groups: the ‘organized militia’ (National Guard et al.) and the ‘unorganized militia’ (all able bodied men 18 – 45 years old). If they hold still, I inform them of this, agree that our unorganized militia is less well regulated than it was in the 18th Century, and offer to join them in a campaign to require every 18-year-old man to present his legally owned AR15, loaded magazines, and bayonet for inspection when he registers with the Selective Service Administration, and at least once every year after that until his 45th birthday. If they haven’t stomped out in disgust, I point out that this is exactly why those Union Generals started the National Rifle Association, and that the NRA would probably be most supportive of our efforts. Oddly, none of them has ever thanked me for this elucidation and promised to consider it. Or even hung around to hear it. Oh well, “Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.” (Thomas Gray, ‘Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College’ [1742]).

  22. the concept is fine, but using OUR money stolen at gunpoint to play carrot/stick with the federal donkeys is unacceptible. NO Fed money should accure to those agencies for simply doing what every other agency in the land does. On the other hand, setting up a ssytem of significant fines, and other pentalties holding incompetent INDIIDUALS who SHOULD but fail to report such things accoutnable would be some vERY good sauce.

    WHO IS the Air Force operative who SHOULD have seen to it that FBI/NICS got the word about the Sutherland Springs shooter’s domestic assault court martial and his bad conduct discharge, EACH of whichwere disqualifying incidents? THAT MAN”S head needs to be on the block. Twenty six people are DEAD because of his incompetence. Or failure to perform according to the mandates of his authority.

  23. They may pay attention if there was a felony conviction attached, with a prison sentence of a year and a day, plus forfeiture of all government pensions, for failure to comply.

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