Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The First Gun-Related Bill the Senate Will Pass Since Sandy Hook Will Expand Gun Rights

Since a failed attempt in April 2013, gun control legislation in the US Congress has been stillborn.
That, however, doesn’t mean that all gun-related policy will face such a fate. In fact, the Senate will soon pass gun-related legislation for the first time since Sandy Hook…and it expands gun rights.

The bill—the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014—would open more federal land to hunting, fishing, trapping, and recreational shooting, and it would require the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service to ensure they are promoting such activities on public lands.

The bill, although it contains several positive conservation measures, has faced opposition from many environmental groups because it prevents the EPA from regulating lead in ammunition or fishing tackle under the Toxic Substances Control Act and it allows hunters to import a few dozen polar bear carcasses they shot outside the country before the bears were federally protected.

The bill is intended as a boost to red state Democrats up for re-election like Mark Begich (D-AK), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Mark Pryor (D-AR), and John Walsh (D-MT).
The motion to proceed on the bill passed easily yesterday: 82-12.

11 Democrats objected to the cloture vote. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) explained their logic well:
“I cannot vote for a measure that makes owning, possessing or using guns more readily or easily usable when we have failed to act and we have failed to act on common sense, sensible measures that would stop gun violence,” Blumenthal said ahead of the vote. “First things first, let’s reduce gun violence.”
The 10 other Democrats who voted against cloture were the following: 

Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Diane Feinstein (D-CA)
Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
Ed Markey (D-MA)
Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
Chris Murphy (D-CT)
Jack Reed (D-RI)
Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

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