GOP lawmakers are trying to cut off all federal funds for gun control


QAnon Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has already found six co-sponsors for her bill to upend all gun safety regulation.

Seven House Republicans are pushing to completely defund all enforcement of federal gun regulations. Their bill would likely eliminate the existing system for criminal background checks for gun purchases — an idea that enjoys almost no popular support whatsoever.

A week ago, the House of Representatives voted to strip Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), a racist, antisemitic, Islamophobic adherent to the dangerous QAnon conspiracy theory movement, from all of her committee assignments for her inappropriate conduct.

On Thursday, Greene announced that she had filed a "Second Amendment Protection Act" to "eliminate federal funding for gun control." If enacted, it would prohibit any federal funds being used for "implementing, enforcing, or advancing any measure, law, regulation, or guidance relating to the lawful use, purchase, sale, possession, or transportation of firearms" by any U.S. citizen for the 2021 fiscal year.

In practice, this would likely eliminate the operation of the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which is used by licensed firearm dealers to prevent dangerous criminals from buying guns. It could also halt enforcement of other rules, such as the National Firearm Act restrictions on machine guns.

A spokesperson for Greene did not immediately respond to an inquiry for this story. But the first-term lawmaker told a right-wing media outlet on Thursday that "D.C. Democrats and the Biden administration are hell-bent on destroying our gun rights," and this bill "would cut off all funds they can use to enforce gun control on the American people."

Chelsea Parsons, vice president of gun violence prevention at the Center for American Progress noted in an email that in the current Democratic-controlled Congress, this bill was going nowhere.

"This is not a serious attempt at legislating — this is a transparent stunt by a new member trying to keep her name in the headlines," she said. "The vast majority of Americans support measures that will protect communities from gun violence and I look forward to working with leadership in Congress to advance those measures."

Greene has attracted some support from GOP right-wing colleagues for the idea. According to the announcement press release, her proposal is co-sponsored by Reps. Paul Gosar (AZ), Madison Cawthorn (NC), Thomas Massie (KY), Scott Perry (PA), Chip Roy (TX), and Randy Weber (TX).

Since its inception in the late 1990s, the federal instant background system has kept people from illegally purchasing firearms more than 1.9 million times. More than half of those are were attempted purchases by people have been convicted of serious crimes.

But the current system contains significant loopholes that, in many states, allow people to circumvent background checks by through "private sales." This is known as the "gun show loophole."

Though a 2018 Gallup poll found Americans back requiring background checks for all gun purchases — by a 92% to 7% majority — congressional Republicans have resisted efforts to expand the law.

In February 2019, just eight GOP representatives voted for the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, while 188 opposed it. It passed the House, but was blocked without a vote by then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

A late 2020 Gallup survey found almost no support for weakening the existing gun regulations like these Republicans are proposing.

Just 9% of Americans said they'd like "the laws covering the sale of firearms" to be made less strict; 57% said they'd like more strict laws and 34% wanted to keep the existing laws as they are.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.