In the aftermath of the Newtown massacre, the issue of gun control has been all over the news. Last month, President Obama outlined a series of gun control legislative proposals which have become pivotal talking points. While the president’s solutions have been lauded by gun control advocates, other say they violate second amendment freedoms and don’t address the real problems behind mass shootings.
Though it doesn’t look like every one of the president’s proposals will make it through Congress, what would happen if they did and what would it mean for Texans?
One of Obama’s largest agenda items is to reinstate and strengthen a ban on the sale and production of assault weapons that passed in 1994 and expired in 2004. He has also called for a ban on the sale and production of magazines with more than 10 rounds. If either of these measures passes, Texans would no longer be able to buy certain types of guns and high-capacity magazines.
Obama has also asked for universal criminal background checks for all gun sales. This proposal would close the long-standing loophole that allows buyers to avoid screening by purchasing weapons from unlicensed sellers at gun shows or in private.
In Texas, whenever you buy a gun from a federally licensed gun dealer, your name is checked in a database. If you’ve been convicted of a felony or a violent domestic crime, or you’ve been determined by the courts to be dangerously mentally ill, the gun dealer can’t sell you the weapon. Under Obama’s proposal, this current Federal background check would be extended to all gun purchases—not just those made by federally licensed dealers.
The president’s other legislative initiatives include banning the sale of armor-piercing bullets and cracking down on “straw purchasers,” those who pass background checks, buy weapons and then sell them off to criminals. In Texas, it’s already illegal to sell or give a handgun to anyone who you know intends to use it unlawfully. A federal law would simply make it illegal to purchase a gun for anyone who wouldn’t otherwise pass a background check.
At Carroll Troberman Criminal Defense, we’ll be watching these proceedings carefully over the coming months. We hope that lawmakers can come to a solution which both protects innocent lives and upholds our constitutional freedoms.
If you’ve been charged with a weapons crime, you need experienced legal representation that can get to the bottom of the case and reduce your charges. Contact Carroll Troberman Criminal Defense today to speak to one of our Austin criminal defense attorneys.