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Rep. Biggs: Background check bill will allow lawmakers to take away guns

FILE - This Jan. 17, 2013 file photo shows Michael Kiefer of DeFuniak Springs, Fla., checking out a display of rifles at the Rock River Arms booth during the 35th annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

PHOENIX — An Arizona congressman said legislation designed to tighten gun control laws by expanding federal background checks will allow Democrats to take away guns in violation of the Second Amendment.

U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday that H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, is “designed to ultimately get to the point where they can take away guns because when they create the registry connected to this…then they want to start finding out whose got guns.”

The bill would require a background check for every firearm sale in order to “utilize the current background checks process in the United States to ensure individuals prohibited from gun possession are not able to obtain firearms.”

The House approved the bill Wednesday afternoon, 240-190. It will now move to the Republican-controlled Senate, where it faces dim prospects.

While Biggs said he believes the bill will pass through the House, he argued that the vote is a “show vote” because the bill does not call for a national firearms registry.

“The bill itself is unworkable, because in order to have it, you have to have a registry. They’re gunning for basically creating a registry so they can then go in and take away guns,” Biggs said.

“By the same token, they wouldn’t even let us say, ‘Look, if an illegal alien is applying to get a gun’ — which is illegal in the country — ‘You should notify ICE, so ICE could then apprehend and deport the person.’ But they wouldn’t even let you do that.”

If the bill were to pass through Congress, President Donald Trump has already threatened that he would veto it, arguing it wouldn’t sufficiently protect gun owners’ Second Amendment rights.

The White House said in a veto message that the bill would impose unreasonable requirements on gun owners and said it could block someone from borrowing a firearm for self-defense or allowing a neighbor to take care of a gun while traveling.

Another Democratic bill aimed to tighten gun control measures by extending the review period for a background check “would unduly impose burdensome delays on individuals seeking to purchase a firearm,” the White House said.

The bill would close the so-called Charleston loophole used by the shooter in a 2015 massacre at a historic black church to buy a gun.

But the White House said allowing the federal government to “restrict firearms purchases through bureaucratic delay would undermine the Second Amendment’s guarantee that law-abiding citizens have an individual right to keep and bear arms.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jeremy Foster and the Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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