20-day waiting period for gun purchase absurd

Congressman Daniel Webster

I voted against two bills that restrict law-abiding citizens second amendment rights while doing nothing to prevent gun violence.

One bill, H.R. 1112, would increase the waiting period for a gun purchase up to 20 business days. This wait period is absurd. The National Instant Criminal Background Check (NCIS) is currently designed to be done instantly and quickly. This background check is only valid for 30 days. However, the wait periods under H.R. 1112 could prevent innocent citizens from obtaining firearms indefinitely should the 20 business days (subject to weekends and federal holidays) exceed the 30 calendar days a check is valid. Current law already requires that firearms not be transferred until a background check determines that the transfer would not violate applicable federal or state laws. The existing 3-day timeframe for conducting a background check was instituted in 1998 following technological improvements that allow these checks to be conducted in a timely manner.

The other bill, H.R. 8, would not prevent criminals from acquiring firearms. It creates more safety risks for vulnerable citizens. For example, a victim of stalking will no longer be able to acquire a gun from a friend for protection without a lengthy and expensive wait process.  

More government regulation on law abiding citizens is not the answer. We should enforce existing law, which already prohibits:

Transferring a firearm to anyone known or believed to be prohibited from possessing one
Anyone without a Federal Firearm License (FFL) from acquiring a handgun, shotgun or rifle outside their state of residence or without an FFL.
Individuals from transferring handgun across state lines to someone without a firearm license
Anyone from providing a handgun to a juvenile
Dealers from selling rifles or shotguns to individuals under 18. 

We must enhance FBI and federal intelligence-sharing with local law enforcement. Eroding American’s Second Amendment rights will not solve the problem. My heart breaks for victims of gun violence. H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112 would not have prevented any of the horrific mass casualty shootings we’ve seen, including the Pulse Nightclub Shooting and Parkland High School Shooting in our own backyard. I will continue to fight for our Second Amendment rights and work towards sensible solutions that will prevent further gun violence

Congressman Daniel Webster represents The Villages in the U.S. House of Representatives.