And so naturally the NRA is demanding that this legislation be changed, making it harder on law enforcement and easier on the straw purchasers. Because you know, they're all about keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, except when the NRA chooses to defend the criminals.
So, this is what's happening to the first legislative measure that passed muster in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Increased penalties on straw purchases of guns sailed through the Senate Judiciary Committee and looked like a safe bet to win Senate approval even as other provisions — including the expanded background checks that remain a goal for gun control supporters — ran into trouble.This was the first one out; this was the one proposal that actually picked up a vote from a Republican, Chuck Grassley (R-IA). But he's now on record not supporting the bill he voted for.
Now the straw-purchasing bill could be in danger because of NRA demands to change the language so law enforcement officials would have to prove that a straw purchaser intended to commit a crime or further the commission of a crime by buying a gun for someone else.
“I voted for the trafficking bill in the Judiciary Committee, but it was far from a perfect piece of legislation,” Grassley said.“At the time, I explained that there were changes that needed to be made before I would support it on the floor.”Senator Grassley hasn't said what changes he is looking for, perhaps because he hasn't received his instructions from the NRA as of yet. Since he's made his opposition clear against background checks and an assault weapons ban, however, Grassley's vote for the eventual legislative package is looking like a 'no' right now. As it happens, I know the phone number for Senator Grassley's Washington office is (202) 224-3744, and he's on Facebook and Twitter @ChuckGrassley.
As for the NRA, they're busy trying to make it tougher for this crime to stick, and they're even trying to take out a provision to confiscate the guns and ammo of convicted straw buyers. Even those who manage to get convicted of this crime -- should any aspect of that survive the NRA's assault and become law -- even those convicted and facing 25 years in prison ought not have their guns taken away, according to the NRA.
On the one hand it's ridiculous, outrageous; and yet for the NRA, this seems natural for them, expected. This is the NRA's predictable response to any stricter gun law: opposition. Even when they say they want to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. That's proven false by this; they're shown (yet again) to be liars and hypocrites. Their only interest here is the facilitation of gun sales. And they achieve this new low after being caught defending domestic abusers, and defending felons from being disarmed. So, again, it's only natural that the NRA would fight for straw purchasers as well.
Even the gunmakers ought to be ashamed of the NRA's spirited defense of criminal straw purchasing of their products, but I expect not a peep of protest from them. And their silence gives consent.