A new reports claims that Senate insiders are saying that the National Rifle Association will not oppose new gun control measures that will require universal background checks on all gun sales, including those between private citizens, but only if certain records keeping requirements are removed.
NBC reports that unnamed Senate aides say that the NRA will not oppose Senator Chuck Schumer’s (D, NY) universal background check proposal (S. 436) if the bill does not require private gun owners to maintain records of the background checks filed with the government.
Officially the NRA is denying the claims of these unnamed Senate aides. “We do not take positions on hypotheticals,” said NRA lobbyist Chris Cox. “We will make our position known if and when legislation is introduced.”
“To be clear, the National Rifle Association does not support legislation that would criminalize otherwise lawful transfers of firearms between law abiding Americans,” Cox said.
This provision is a key sticking point between the opposing sides lined up over Schumer’s bill. Anti-gun groups such as Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the group heavily funded by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence are opposed to removing the records keeping requirements from the bill. On the other side, pro-Second Amendment supporters say that such record keeping would result in a defacto national gun registry, something they oppose over fears that it could lead to gun confiscation.
There are other criticisms of the bill, too. Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, for instance, criticized the bill saying it would levy an “unnecessary burden” on private individuals and that criminals would just ignore the law anyway making the whole thing quite ineffective.
As it is, Senator Schumer’s bill barely made it out of the Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
The bill received a close 8 to 10 vote in committee and is now cleared to go on to the full Senate where further debate will certainly occur.