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Repeal of Social Security Gun Ban. On February 15, 2017, the Senate voted to repeal Barack Obama’s social security gun ban (H.J.Res. 40) by a 57-43 vote. Obama’s executive rule would have resulted in the federal government trolling the Social Security rolls and identifying recipients whose checks were processed by a guardian. Once these people were identified, their names would be inputted into the NICS system, and their guns would be taken away. Both the House and Senate, having passed the repeal language, the President signed it into law on February 28, 2017. A vote in favor of H.J.Res. 40 is a pro-gun vote and is rated as a “+”.
Cloture Vote on Neil Gorsuch. On April 6, 2017, the Senate invoked “cloture” (ending any potential filibuster) on the nomination of the pro-gun Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. The margin was 55-45. An “aye” vote to invoke “cloture” (or end the filibuster) is considered a pro-gun vote and is rated as a “+”.
Senate Confirmation Vote on Neil Gorsuch. On April 7, 2017, the Senate confirmed the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. As a federal judge, Gorsuch had sometimes gone out on a limb on behalf of the right to keep and bear arms. And given that he has recognized that the Second Amendment is an individual right, it is expected that he will follow the Heller decision and the legacy of Justice Antonin Scalia. A vote to confirm Justice Gorsuch is a pro-gun vote and is rated as a “+”.
Preventing a Gun Owners’ Privacy Amendment. On January 16, 2018, a Senate “cloture vote” effectively prevented Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) from offering an amendment to prohibit the wiretapping of American groups like GOA, merely because they mentioned the name of a targeted person -- or were mentioned by a targeted person on a wiretapped phone call. The amendment would have also limited the government’s ability to use wiretapped information in prosecuting Americans for purely domestic offenses by first requiring a warrant. The cloture vote was on whether to shut off debate on the reauthorization of the government’s massive wiretapping program (called “Section 702”). The effect of shutting off debate was to disallow amendments by Senator Rand Paul and Senator Mike Lee to put some limits on the government’s wiretapping authority. A vote against “cloture” -- which would have allowed the continuation of debate and would have allowed amendments to limit the government’s wiretapping authority -- is a “pro-gun” vote and is rated as a “+”.
Veteran/Senior Gun Ban, Part 1 (Rule). On March 22, 2018, the House of Representatives approved the “rule” for the anti-gun omnibus spending bill by a 211-207 vote. (The "rule" sets forth the terms of debate on the underlying bill.) Embedded in this $1.3 trillion budget-busting monstrosity was a so-called Fix NICS provision which would send hundreds of thousands of additional law-abiding veterans and seniors -- or even those with outstanding traffic tickets -- to the NICS “gun ban” list. In addition, the bill would prohibit new “school safety” funds from being used to arm teachers and staff. Plenty of anti-gun Democrats were willing to vote against this rule, and then turn around to provide the “final passage” votes for this anti-gun piece of legislation. But Republicans should have been able to kill this bill. As it was, only 25 pro-gun Republicans voted against the “rule,” which means that if only two more Republicans had joined them, it would have resulted in a 209-209 tie and would have buried this anti-gun legislation. A “no” vote against the rule is a pro-gun vote and is rated as a “+”.
Veteran/Senior Gun Ban, Part 2 (Final Passage). On March 22, 2018, the House of Representatives passed the anti-gun omnibus spending bill by a 256-167 vote. This $1.3 trillion budget-busting monstrosity featured a so-called Fix NICS provision which would send hundreds of thousands of additional law-abiding veterans and seniors -- or even those with outstanding traffic tickets -- to the NICS “gun ban” list. In addition, the bill would prohibit new “school safety” funds from being used to arm teachers and staff. A “no” vote against the bill is a pro-gun vote and is rated as a “+”.