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Cristiana Verro browses for guns on sale at the National Armory gun store in Pompano Beach, Florida. (Image: Getty Images)
The “Second Amendment Guarantee Act” would overturn state assault weapon bans
The U.S. House of Representatives unveiled a sweeping bill on Monday intended to overturn all state assault weapon bans.
H.R. 3576, called “The “Second Amendment Guarantee Act,” would prohibit states and local governments from implementing restrictions on rifles and shotguns more than those already imposed under federal law. If adopted, the bill would overturn numerous gun bans implemented in states such as California and New York, restoring to the citizens in those states the same second amendment rights enjoyed by citizens in other states.
The bill reads:
“A State or a political subdivision of a State may not impose any regulation, prohibition, or registration or licensing requirement with respect to the design, manufacture, importation, sale, transfer, possession, or marking of a rifle or shotgun that has moved in, or any such conduct that affects, interstate or foreign commerce, that is more restrictive, or impose any penalty, tax, fee, or charge with respect to such a rifle or shotgun or such conduct, in an amount greater, than is provided under Federal law.”
In New York state, the bill would put an end to the New York’s Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act (the “SAFE Act”), which bans the sale or purchase of various types of rifles otherwise legal under federal law.
Predictably, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was critical of the bill. Cuomo was quoted as saying that the bill would put “millions of people at profound risk.”
Cuomo’s statement, however, is not supported by facts from reputable firearm safety organizations, who have consistently warned that restricting common features such as “pistol grips” do little to make a rifle more safe, and may actually make a rifle less safe by reducing the shooters ability to properly control the weapon.
Bill would eliminate convoluted state-by-state restrictions on rifle features
The bill would eliminate state-by-state restrictions that hinder interstate travel while in possession of one’s rifle. Under current California law, for example, rifles with everyday convenience features such as magazine release buttons, common safety features such as “pistol grip stocks”, and industry-standard magazines holding more than 10 bullets, are either banned or highly restricted.
An Arizona citizen who travels to California with an industry-standard AR-15 rifle in their possession becomes a criminal the moment they cross the California border, for possessing a rifle that is not “California legal”.
As a result of such state-by-state restrictions, rifle manufacturers have been forced to produce custom rifle products for different states that are difficult to use, unpleasant to carry, and in some cases, un-safe to shoot. The bill, if adopted, would eliminate such convoluted restrictions.
Example rifle with industry standard “pistol grip” stock (banned in California):
A “pistol grip” stock is standard on most personal defense rifles produced today. The stock permits the shooter to more-securely control the rifle while shooting, and the adjustable stock provides greater ergonomics, reducing injuries to the shooter’s shoulder and chin.
Example rifle with “California-legal” stock:
The angle of this “California-legal” stock makes the weapon difficult to hold and control, contributes to inaccuracy, and possible accidental drops by moving the center of balance forward of the shooter’s hand. In addition, the non-adjustable stock creates potential injury to the shooter’s shoulder and chin.
Bill is designed to protect second amendment rights from individual state abuses
“This legislation would protect the Second Amendment rights of New Yorkers that were unjustly taken away by Andrew Cuomo” – Rep. Chris Collins, bill sponsor, speaking of the bill’s impact in his home state of New York
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY-27), explained the reasoning behind the bill. Referring to restrictions imposed in his home state of New York, Collins said, “This legislation would protect the Second Amendment rights of New Yorkers that were unjustly taken away by Andrew Cuomo. I am a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment and have fought against all efforts to condemn these rights. I stand with the law-abiding citizens of this state that have been outraged by the SAFE Act and voice my commitment to roll back these regulations.”
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Keywords: Andrew Cuomo, AR-15 rifle, assault weapon bans, Chris Collins, H.R. 3576, pistol grip stock, Second Amendment, The Second Amendment Guarantee.