The Omnibus Appropriations Bill: Pro-gun or Anti-gun?
On Friday, Congress sent a $1.1 trillion government funding bill to the President, who promptly signed the legislation into law.
Like every “omnibus,” the bill has a number of gun-related provisions — some pro-gun, some anti-gun. And we suspect that a majority of our members will probably oppose this bloated monstrosity.
That being said, there were some key victories in this bill. So briefly, here are the pros and cons.
THE “OMNIBUS” KILLS THE ARMS TRADE TREATY. In the 113th Congress, we believe we have about twenty votes more than we need to stop ratification of the UN Arms Trade Treaty. This is extremely important because, if implemented, this treaty — signed by the Obama administration — could, without further legislation, result in massive semi-auto and handgun bans, magazine bans, gun registration, and microstamping.
Even though we felt comfortable that we could stop the treaty’s ratification, we were concerned that Obama would attempt to implement it by administrative fiat. For this reason, we drafted language defunding its implementation. With your help, we have spent the last year pushing incessantly for the adoption of this amendment defunding the ATT.
That language is contained on the “Omnibus.” For many of our members, killing the ATT is more important than any other issue.
IT CUTS A LITTLE OBAMACARE MONEY. This is a good thing, since the anti-gun ObamaCare mandate threatens to centralize our medical data, thus resulting in gun bans for millions of people (similar to what’s already been done to more than 150,000 military veterans). While some cuts are certainly welcome, by and large, we are relying on our amendments to bills like the unemployment bill to put a stake through the heart of ObamaCare.
IT CONTAINS A HOST OF (GENERALLY BOILERPLATE) PROVISIONS DEFUNDING OBAMA’S ANTI-GUN ACTIONS. These include a repudiation of the shotgun import ban, other import bans, and changes in various definitions (such as “curios and relics”) which have been eyed by the ATF.
It outlaws programs like Fast & Furious and requires the Congress to report on alleged efforts by our federal government to buy up ammunition.
Finally, while it does contain more money for the Center for Disease Control’s violent crime studies, it continues to prohibit this federal health research money from being used to advocate gun control.
FUNDING FOR ANTI-GUN AGENCIES. The bill contains increased money for a number of programs we don’t like, including:
* $60 million more for NICS (although we succeeded, last year, in preventing the FBI from using NICS to screen every gun purchase in the country);
* $58.5 million for states to submit NICS records;
* $70 million more for the ATF.
CONTINUATION OF ANTI-GUN BOILERPLATE. The bill continues anti-gun boilerplate such as the Senator Schumer amendment defunding the McClure-Volkmer disabilities relief program. This means that thousands upon thousands of Americans who are disqualified from owning firearms because of non-violent federal felonies have no way to get their gun rights back.
REFUSAL TO STICK IN SOME PROVISIONS WE WERE FIGHTING FOR. We would have liked to see language defunding HHS’s new regulations that repeal the HIPAA privacy laws that protect gun owners. This Executive Action means that tens of millions of Americans could lose their gun rights without a court order.
We also would have liked to see a provision defunding the ATF’s efforts to register multiple handgun purchases in the Southwest.
The HIPAA issue is fairly new, and we will continue to fight for these on the regular appropriations bills when they begin to move in May.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Gun control fanatic Michael Bloomberg is trying to do a “victory lap” on the “Omnibus.” In the narratives we have seen, Bloomberg carefully ignores the provisions of the bill which go against him, particularly the provision killing the ATT.
This is certainly a desperate effort by a defeated man to appear “relevant,” rather than a legitimate assessment of who won or who lost.