It is once more time for a new edition of Policy Watch, where we bring you the latest on important bills and laws in Congress to keep you informed!

For updates from last month’s edition, The Veterans Care Financial Protection Act was passed and signed into law on March 9th. The ADA Education and Reform Act is still waiting for introduction to the Senate, the Comprehensive Regulatory Review Act passed in the House, and despite some public opposition, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act passed the Senate on March 21st.

Here are some of the bills we found that may prove important, and in the wake of the March For Our Lives, there is a noticeable trend of firearm legislation.

 

Assault Weapons Ban of 2018

Introduced by Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island, the bill amends the federal criminal code to make it a crime to knowingly import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon or large capacity ammunition feeding device.

The prohibition does not apply to a firearm that is: “manually operated by bolt, pump, lever, or slide action; permanently inoperable; an antique; or a rifle or shotgun specifically identified by make and model.”

The bill allows for continued possession, sale, or transfer of a grandfathered weapon, which must be securely stored. A licensed gun dealer must conduct a background check prior to the sale or transfer of a grandfathered firearm between private parties.

This bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations on March 20th, though due to the highly controversial nature of gun reform, it is incredibly unlikely to be brought to vote.

 

STOP School Violence Act of 2018

 Introduced by to the House of Representatives by Florida’s John Rutherford, this bill would reauthorize the grant program for school security in the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968. This includes funds for training local law enforcement officers, school personnel, and students, the development and operation of anonymous reporting systems for threats of school violence, and acquisition and installation of expedited notification systems for local law enforcement during school emergencies.

The Act was passed in the House on March 14th, and was sent to the Senate. Due to its overwhelming bipartisan support in the House (407 yes votes to 10 no votes) it is likely to see support in the Senate as well.

 

Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act

Senator Mike Crapo from Idaho introduced this act in November 2017, which removes several forms of regulation for lending institutions and banks with less than $10 billion in assets. This would likely in many circumstances be seen as dangerous, and perhaps as a conciliatory move the bill includes enhanced requirements on credit consumer protection for minors and veterans.

The Act passed on March 14th, but as of yet has not been sent to the House of Representatives.

 

Gun Violence Prevention and Safe Communities Act of 2018

 Introduced February 27th by Representative Danny Davis of Illinois, It amends the Internal Revenue Code, with respect to the excise tax on the sale of firearms by manufacturers, producers, or importers, to: increase the rate of such tax to 20% on pistols, revolvers, and other firearms and on any lower frame or receiver for a firearm; and impose a 50% tax on shells and cartridges. The revenue from this bill would be allocated for law enforcement and public safety programs including “ including programs for research on gun violence and its prevention.”

It was referred to the House subcommittee on Federal Lands on March 5th, and will likely not receive a vote on the House floor.

Do you support or oppose any of these bills? Let us know! And make sure to let your representatives know as well.