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Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013--Motion to Proceed--Continued

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GRASSLEY. I strongly oppose this amendment.

Expanded background checks would not have prevented Newtown. Criminals do not submit to background checks now; they will not submit to expanded background checks.

The Deputy Director of the National Institute of Justice has written background checks will work only if they are universal and are combined with gun registration.

This amendment would start us down the road to registration. It would open, not close, loopholes.

It would require background checks when people advertise a gun for sale in their church bulletins or Farm Bureau newsletter. It subjects people to Federal criminal liability up to 5 years for violations of State or local law, which is unprecedented.

The pro-gun provisions would actually reduce existing protections for law-abiding gun owners.

I urge my colleagues to reject this dangerous and misguided approach.

I yield back the remainder of my time, and I yield the floor.


Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I strongly oppose this amendment. This would result in the largest ban of guns in the history of our Republic.

Three studies that the Justice Department sponsored during the previous ban found no evidence it was effective in reducing multiple victim shootings or wounds per victim. It did not stop Columbine. It would not stop Newtown. The ban does not apply to existing weapons such as those used at Newtown, and criminals who would steal such guns would not care the least if they were banned.

We never received an opinion from the Justice Department that such a ban would satisfy the Second Amendment. I surmise they are not able to conclude it is constitutional. A ban on guns based on their looks when more powerful guns are exempt would not satisfy any standard of review. These guns are commonly used, in the words of the Supreme Court, for self-defense. They cannot be constitutionally banned.

This is a slippery slope of compromising the Second Amendment, and if we go down that road, we are going to find it easier to compromise other things in the Bill of Rights.

I yield the floor.


Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I oppose the amendment. In 2004, we had a study by the Department of Justice, which is the last time we had the large-capacity magazine banned. It found no evidence banning such magazines has led to a reduction in gun violence. The study also concluded it is not clear how often the outcomes of the gun attack depend on the ability of offenders to fire more than 10 shots without reloading.

The report found no evidence more people would be alive if a magazine over 10 rounds was banned.

Secondly, there is no evidence banning these magazines has reduced the deaths from gun crimes. In fact, when the previous ban was in effect, a higher percentage of gun crime victims were killed or wounded than before it was adopted.

Additionally, tens of millions of these magazines have been lawfully owned in this country for decades. They are in common use, not unusually dangerous, and used by law-abiding citizens in self-defense, as in the case of law enforcement.


Mr. GRASSLEY. I urge its defeat.


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