December 2017

Grading the News

The New York Post reports that gun ownership in New York City (such as it is) could soon come with a warning — it’s dangerous to the gun-owner’s health. The City Council Public Safety Committee voted 6-1 Monday to require the NYPD to hand out written warnings about the risks of gun ownership to new applicants for firearm permits.

todd woodard

“Just like the [Surgeon General’s] warning that you see on the side of cigarette packs has changed the perception of smoking, these gun warnings are the first step to changing the public’s conversation,” said Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson, a co-sponsor of the gun bill. “We would be one of the first major jurisdictions to enact this type of legislation.”

Gun Tests Grade: F

The Washington Free Beacon reports that a pair of Democrats and Republicans introduced a new bill that would subject bump-fire stocks and other devices to the same regulations as machine guns and other highly regulated firearms. The bill, named the Closing the Bump-Stock Loophole Act, would add “a reciprocating stock, or any other device which is designed to accelerate substantially the rate of fire of a semiautomatic weapon” to the purview of the National Firearms Act, which currently regulates machine guns, short-barreled rifles or shotguns, silencers, and other firearms. The bill does not define what a “reciprocating stock” is or set a standard for what constitutes a substantial increase to the rate of fire of a semiautomatic weapon. The bill would give those who already own devices covered under the new regulations a year to comply with them by completing the background checks, registration, and pay the tax stamp required by the National Firearms Act. Those caught with unregistered devices after that point would be subject to federal prosecution.

A big concern for gun owners would be how widely “other devices” is defined. A better trigger, for instance, can “accelerate substantially the rate of fire of a semiautomatic weapon,” as could tuning an action, or changing out the stock grip on an AR-15.

Gun Tests Grade: D

On ESPN.com, the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers football team, 0-7 at the time of this writing, are known for spawning the first “kneeling protests” across the NFL with former team quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to first sit, then kneel, during the pre-game tradition of singing the national anthem. Now the 49ers are targeting the Second Amendment and advocating for gun-control legislation. The 49ers team is pledging $500,000 toward a campaign “which will advocate for legislation banning ‘bump stocks’ and other mechanisms that allow semiautomatic weapons to become automatic weapons, as well as silencers and armor-piercing bullets.”

Gun Tests Grade: (N)F(L)

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