Today, the House passed H.R. 7910, the Protecting Our Kids Act—a package of sensible gun violence prevention measures aimed to help prevent future mass casualty shootings.
“There are common-sense, meaningful steps we can take to protect our children and innocent Americans from the enduring tragedy of mass shootings in our country—and we can do so in a way that respects the Second Amendment and protects the rights of law-abiding gun owners,” Rep. Greg Stanton said.
Tomorrow, the House will consider and is expected to pass H.R. 2377, the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act—a federal “red flag” law. Stanton is an original cosponsor of the bill, which would allow family members and law enforcement to obtain an extreme risk protection order to temporarily remove access to firearms for those who are deemed a danger to themselves or to others by a federal court.
Stanton also worked to shape the Protecting Our Kids Act on the House Judiciary Committee.
The bill would:
- Raise the lawful age to purchase certain semi-automatic rifles and shotguns from 18 to 21 years old. Currently, handgun purchasers must be 21 years old, but semi-automatic centerfire and shotgun can be sold to purchases at the age of 18.
- Establish new federal offenses for gun trafficking and for the use of “straw purchasers.” A straw purchaser is someone who purchases a gun for someone else, typically for someone who cannot pass a background check such as a convicted felon or a minor. Under current federal law, it is unlawful to make false statements on certain gun purchase forms, but these forms are only required for some firearms purchases.
- Close the ghost gun loophole by amending the definition of “firearm” under federal law to include gun kits and partial receivers and by changing the definition of “manufacturing firearms” to include assembling firearms using 3D printing technology. Ghost guns are firearms that lack serial numbers and are therefore untraceable. In recent years, the increased presence of ghost guns in our communities has made it harder for law enforcement to find and prosecute violent criminals.
- Require and encourage the safe storage of firearms. The presence of unsecured firearms in the home increases the risk of unintentional and intentional shooting, particularly with minors in residence. Over 75 percent of firearms used in youth suicide attempts and unintentional firearm injuries were stored in the residence of the victim, a relative, or a friend.
- Close the Bump Stock Loophole. A bump stock is a device that, when added to a semi-automatic firearm, allows the firearm to shoot more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger. Under the National Firearms Act, it is already unlawful for Americans to own fully automatic firearms and machine guns manufactured after May 19, 1986. However, due to a loophole in the law, bump stocks – devices attached to semi-automatic rifles that increase their rate of fire to that similar to machine guns – were unregulated, until a 2018 ATF rule added them to the definition of “machine gun.” This bill builds on the 2018 rule by defining bump stocks and listing them under the National Firearms Act so that they are regulated the same as machine guns.
- Prohibit the importation, sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession of a magazine that holds more than 15 rounds of ammunition, unless an individual falls under a particular exception, including law enforcement. A grandfathering provision exempts possession of large capacity magazines lawfully possessed on or before the date of enactment, but sales and transfers of grandfathered magazines are prohibited.
- Require the Attorney General to submit an annual report that contains demographic data of persons who were determined to be ineligible to purchase a firearm based on the background check performed by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to the House Judiciary Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The bill now heads to the Senate.