Politicians on the left are all in for gun control – but their aim gets shaky when it comes to illegal aliens arming up.
The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives recently passed a gun control bill, H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, which would tighten background checks of individuals who purchase weapons.
Rep. W. Gregory Steube, R-Fla., introduced a commonsense amendment to integrate the database of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) list of immigration violators. When a match indicating that an alien illegally in the country is attempting to buy a firearm, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would be notified so the attempted purchaser could be apprehended and prosecuted and/or removed.
Steube’s amendment was shot down by a majority of Democrats. Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., led the charge, warning that it would “expand” ICE powers. Similarly overheated, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., blasted Republicans as “xenophobic” for insisting on the provision.
Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed.
Using an obscure rule called a “motion recommit,” which permits last-minute introduction of floor amendments by the minority party, Republicans got a re-vote. Twenty-two Democrats, representing districts carried by Donald Trump in 2016 and now worried about blowback from constituents, switched sides and the amendment was resurrected on a 220-209 vote.
It shouldn’t have been that close.
“It’s already against the law for illegal aliens to purchase or possess firearms (see 18 U.S.C. Sec. 922(g)),” notes Dan Cadman at the Center for Immigration Studies. “All the amendment does is require the marriage of existing electronic systems to protect the public and prevent the sale of guns to aliens who, in addition to being illegally in the United States, might also be gang members or drug or weapons traffickers who have no prior arrest records.”
Though the number of illegal aliens possessing firearms is not known, the list of shootings and other violent crimes committed by them lengthens daily.
Cadman said Democrats’ knee-jerk opposition to Steube’s amendment “put lie to their claim that border security and immigration control can be accomplished solely using ‘smart technology.’”
“How could this possibly be true when they are so inconstant in their approach to public safety that they couldn’t get behind existing technology to keep guns out of the hands of violence-prone illegal aliens?”