Sen. Ted Cruz claims no one has read the text of S. 649, the Safe Communities and Safe Schools Act of 2013.
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Thursday, April 11, 2013
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) released the following statement regarding the pending vote on the motion to proceed to new gun control legislation:
This morning the Senate will vote on the motion to proceed to the firearms bill (S.649). It is expected that the Toomey-Manchin provision announced yesterday will replace the current language regarding background checks. Yet, as of this morning, not a single senator has been provided the legislative language of this provision. Because the background-check measure is the centerpiece of this legislation it is critical that we know what is in the bill before we vote on it. The American people expect more and deserve better.
Unfortunately, the effort to push through legislation that no one had read highlights one of the primary reasons we announced our intention to force a 60 vote threshold. We believe the abuse of the process is how the rights of Americans are systematically eroded and we will continue to do everything in our power to prevent it.
He’s an idiot, I know.
Amendments to the original text are pending — but here is the text of the proposed law as introduced in the U.S. Senate on March 22; amendments will be available at several places as they are proposed or approved, including the Library of Congress’s Thomas legislative tracking site.
Sen. Toomey published a quick summary of the bill as amended — this is what Cruz really fears: Legislation that might make public schools safer (never forget Cruz opposes public education):
Bottom Line: The Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act would require states and the federal government to send all necessary records on criminals and the violently mentally ill to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The bill extends the existing background check system to gun shows and online sales.
The bill explicitly bans the federal government from creating a national firearms registry, and imposes serious criminal penalties (a felony with up to 15 years in prison) on any person who misuses or illegally retains firearms records.
TITLE ONE: GETTING ALL THE NAMES OF PROHIBITED PURCHASERS INTO THE BACKGROUND CHECK SYSTEM
Summary of Title I: This section improves background checks for firearms by strengthening the instant check system.
• Encourage states to provide all their available records to NICS by restricting federal funds to states who do not comply.
• Allow dealers to voluntarily use the NICS database to run background checks on their prospective employees
• Clarifies that submissions of mental health records into the NICS system are not prohibited by federal privacy laws (HIPAA).
• Provides a legal process for a veteran to contest his/her placement in NICS when there is no basis for barring the right to own a firearm.
TITLE TWO: REQUIRING BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR FIREARM SALES
Summary of Title II: This section of the bill requires background checks for sales at gun shows and online while securing certain aspects of 2nd Amendment rights for law abiding citizens.
• Closes the gun show and other loopholes while exempting temporary transfers and transfers between family members.
• Fixes interstate travel laws for sportsmen who transport their firearms across state lines in a responsible manner. The term “transport” includes staying in temporary lodging overnight, stopping for food, buying fuel, vehicle maintenance, and medical treatment.
• Protects sellers from lawsuits if the weapon cleared through the expanded background checks and is subsequently used in a crime. This is the same treatment gun dealers receive now.
• Allows dealers to complete transactions at gun shows that take place in a state for which they are not a resident.
• Ensures that sales at gun shows are not prevented by delayed approvals from NICS.
• Requires the FBI to give priority to finalizing background checks at gun shows over checks at store front dealerships.
• Authorizes use of a state concealed carry permit instead of a background check when purchasing a firearm from a dealer.
• Permits interstate handgun sales from dealers.
• Allows active military to buy firearms in their home states.
• Family transfers and some private sales (friends, neighbors, other individuals) are exempt from background checks
• Adds a 15 year penalty for improper use or storage of records.
TITLE THREE: NATIONAL COMMISSION ON MASS VIOLENCE
Summary of Title III: : This section of the bill creates a commission to study the causes of mass violence in the United States, looking at all aspects of the problem, including guns, school safety, mental health, and violent media or video games.
The Commission would consist of six experts appointed by the Senate Majority Leader and six experts appointed by the Speaker of the House. They would be required to submit an interim report in three months and a completed report in six months.
WHAT THE BILL WILL NOT DO:
The bill will not take away anyone’s guns.
The bill will not ban any type of firearm.
The bill will not ban or restrict the use of any kind of bullet or any size clip or magazine.
The bill will not create a national registry; in fact, it specifically makes it illegal to establish any such registry.
The bill will not, in any way at all, infringe upon the Constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.
Sen. Cruz, you have money in your office budget for training for you and your staff in tracking legislation — I’ll be pleased to come show you how to track down such language.
Below the fold, the current text of the bill (as of 4:26 p.m., April 11, 2013).
Update: Below the fold, the text of the bill as proposed to be amended, published by Sen. Toomey late yesterday; then, below that, the original bill as introduced by Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada — compare them if you like.