Gun Control Bill Splits Buchanan, Steube

Todays News


The U.S. House passed the first gun control legislation it has considered in years, and the region’s Congressional representatives were ultimately split on the bill.

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, was among just eight House Republicans to support the Bipartisan Background Checks Act.

“Our laws cannot be effective if there are gaping loopholes that allow criminals and deranged individuals to purchase firearms at gun shows or over the Internet without being subject to background checks,” Buchanan said. “Today I voted for HR 8 to close these loopholes—a proposal supported by over 90 percent of gun owners in America, according to respected polling organizations.”

On the other hand, U.S. Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, voted against the legislation. The freshman representative since his years in the Florida Legislature developed a reputation as a supporter of gun rights.

“As written now, the current House gun control proposal would have done nothing to prevent many of the tragedies with firearms we’ve witnessed in recent years,” he said. “Our Second Amendment rights are at stake. House Democrats want to rob us of our constitutionally guaranteed protections in the name of violence prevention, all while doing nothing to actually prevent violence.”

The bill mandates background checks on all gun sales, including private and online sales. Sometimes referred to as “closing the gunshow loophole,” critics say it will put an undue burden on individual gun owners. The bill does include exceptions for gun transfers among immediate family members, and it allows firearms to be loaned for hunting or gun range use.

Steube had previously pushed for an amendment that would require sellers to notify law enforcement when someone failed a background check, and immigration enforcement if that individual was undocumented.

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