A new bill in Congress will expand the list of disqualifiers that bar Americans from owning guns.
The biggest group to be added to this list is those convicted of violent misdemeanors. If this bill were to pass today, anyone who has previously been convicted of a violent misdemeanor will no longer be allowed to purchase or own a firearm for a period of time following their conviction.
The legislation is being referred to as the End Gun Violence Act of 2021(H.R.5877) and it was introduced by Colorado Democrat Joe Neguse, the Vice Chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.
Neguse announced the following in his statement:
Currently, 22 states and the District of Columbia prohibit handgun purchases by persons convicted of certain misdemeanor crimes. However, these individuals are still eligible to purchase firearms in the remaining states, creating a patchwork of eligibility and increasing the risk of firearm-related violence. Establishing a federal law to prohibit the sale of firearms to those who have been convicted of violent misdemeanor offenses will legally protect vulnerable populations not currently covered by state law and create a national standard. In June, the Colorado state legislature enacted similar legislation barring those convicted of violent misdemeanor crimes from purchasing guns for five years.
“While our local law enforcement seek justice for the senseless act of violence perpetrated against our community on March 22nd, we are working to change the law to prevent future tragedies,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “Ensuring that firearms cannot be sold to violent individuals is crucial to preventing gun violence and saving lives. This law is common-sense and would keep guns out of the hands of those likely to use them to perpetrate violence.”
“I applaud Representative Neguse’s leadership and his continued commitment to reducing gun violence in this country. This bill represents a strong step forward,” said Boulder District Attorney Michael Dougherty. “By preventing gun purchases for those with violent criminal convictions in the preceding 5 years, this bill focuses on those individuals who have just recently proven to be a real danger to other people. The bill is exactly what we need — a focused effort to keep guns away from those who present an immediate danger to others in the community. The District Attorney’s Office strongly supports Representative Neguse’s work to reduce gun violence.”
This bill has already received a lot of push back online and by figures in the 2A space.
Many point to the definition of a “violent misdemeanor” as evidence that this bill is bogus. John Petrolino of Bearing Arms pointed out the following when it comes to this point:
Going forward, if we had this infringement in place as law, one of the things we need to pay attention to is their definition of what a “violent misdemeanor” is. Imagine an argument that boils over and someone “threatened [the] use of physical force”. While an arrest for something like that may seem like a fairy tale to many, it’s not. What if the arrest involved someone saying “I’m gonna kick your @$$ if you don’t get outta my face!” Turns out the person has bad luck and ends up convicted. Bam! Five years barred from firearm ownership. The point here with brining this up is for you to use your imagination. Don’t think the anti-freedom caucus is not using their imaginations. They are. Thinking of all the ways to foul someone up through overzealous policing and prosecution.