by Marty Hayes, J.D.
Wow, what a month it has been! I have a lot to cover, so let’s get to it.
First on my April agenda was making plans and putting together all the details of the Network attending the NRA member meeting in Houston. It all worked and we are probably headed to the meeting as you read this. Then, of course, there was the great gun control debate in the U.S. Senate, on which I have a few comments. I watched a lot of the proceedings—the speeches and the voting.
Gun Owners Defeat
Obama, Schumer and Feinstein
Of course, there were also several other bit players, the VP, the AG and the Senators who voted for one or another form of new gun control legislation. They all went down in flames…but the threat of the filibuster by Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and several other Senators is the only reason American gun owners won. They bargained with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to allow up and down votes on all the gun bills and amendments sitting in the hopper, requiring a 60-vote majority to pass any of them.
Several bills, including the Manchin-Toomey bill to expand universal background checks, would have passed and gone to the U.S. House of Representatives if a simple majority had been required. The problem with that bill was that it went WAY too far, creating loopholes that could lead to gun registration by the federal government. Manchin and Toomey should have drafted a simple bill to close the so-called “gun show loophole,” making it a felony to transfer a firearm at a gun show without either the buyer or seller confirming the individual is not a prohibited person, and then the bill likely would have passed.
Of course, a workable definition of what comprises a gun show would have been necessary, but that shouldn’t have been too difficult.
In Washington State, the Washington Arms Collectors (WAC), a club of 17,000 people with a primary mission to hold gun shows, has a rule that states ONLY MEMBERS of WAC can buy or sell guns at a WAC gun show. To become a WAC member, the individual must pass a background check. I have no problem with that, and I am a member of WAC.
I recently purchased a handgun at a WAC gun show. Beyond my WAC member credentials, no paperwork was done, and the seller knew he was selling his gun to a legitimate good guy. I could support legislation that set up something similar. Frankly, I am concerned that prohibited persons do in fact frequent gun shows and buy their guns at unregulated gun shows. Of course, none of this would be an issue, if all people who sell guns privately made sure the buyer was legally allowed to own guns. For now, I am pleased the gun control bills went down to defeat, especially the Feinstein assault weapons ban. The Democratic Senators who voted against it should be applauded for standing up to their party’s leadership.
Ammo Still in Short Supply
The ammo shortage has not eased up any, at least as far as I can tell. People are stalking the UPS trucks, waiting for them to drop a shipment off at the local Cabela’s or Wal-Mart store, then hitting the gun counter buying up all the handgun ammo they are allowed. My local Cabela’s has a two-box limit, but I am told whatever ammo is set out overnight is sold immediately the next morning. As you know, I run a training school, and this shortage is starting to affect our students’ ability to attend training. I am aware of other trainers in the industry suffering the same problem.