Congress Proposes Voluntary ‘Gun Purchase Delay’


The United States Constitution with firearm | Image by Shutterstock

A bipartisan bill has passed out of the House Judiciary Committee that would ban future firearm purchases by individuals who voluntarily surrender their Second Amendment rights.

The proposal offered by Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and John Curtis (R-UT) would create a database in which Americans can enroll to block themselves from buying a firearm in the future.

The measure is being pitched as a suicide-prevention mechanism, as the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claim that nearly 25,000 Americans die by self-inflicted gunshot wounds each year.

While the bill is supported by Democrat and Republican coauthors, the vote in the House Judiciary Committee fell strictly along party lines. With Democrats retaining control of the committee until the end of the year, their majority on the committee was enough to pass the proposal.

Ranking Republican — and possible future chairman of the committee when Republicans take over — Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) was incredulous when debating the bill.

“Do we really need a federal statute to permit a person to volunteer to give up their fundamental liberty?” he asked. “That’s what this bill does.”

“My bill would create a new tool that gives people experiencing the challenging swings of mental health illness to have the power to proactively and voluntarily protect themselves by putting themselves on a do-not-sell list for a firearm,” primary author Jayapal declared.

Calling the bill “just another attack from the Democrats on the Second Amendment,” Jordan chided Jayapal, “Mental health is important, we all understand that, especially as it relates to suicide, but this … I mean, really? This is what we’re going to do?”

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) also raised the issue of how this law would impact a well-meaning individual who gave someone who voluntarily enrolled into this database a firearm as a gift, questioning whether they would be committing a crime.

If passed into law, the bill would formally create a system overseen by the U.S. attorney general and the Department of Justice (DOJ) known as the “voluntary purchase delay database.”

The bill allows an individual to remove their name from the database upon submitting a declaration of mental fitness from a mental health professional, clearly articulating that the individual poses “no risk of self-harm.”

But Jordan was reluctant to agree that the removal process would be easy or that the DOJ would play fair with individuals requesting to be removed.

“We know that’s going to be tough,” Jordan said. “You can be assured that getting your name removed from the database will be as difficult as possible and will be a deterrent for anyone to put their name on the list, to begin with.”

The bill now moves to the floor where it has an opportunity to pass; however, a passage in the U.S. Senate would require the support of 10 Republican senators, which appears to be a high hurdle after the proposal’s first test in committee fell on hard party lines.

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Gun owner forever
Gun owner forever
1 month ago

Every Democrat that votes for this must be the 1st people to sign and turn in any firearms they themselves currently own. Just more proof that Democrats lie every time they swear to uphold our Constitution.

1 month ago

It’s indisputable we have a mental health crisis, but this seems insidious. Would all anti-gun advocates revoke their rights? How do you juxtapose “inalienable rights” with actually alienating yourself from those rights? Maybe it’s time to treat mental health instead of creating a life in a virtual padded room.