Time Running Out? Quick, Pass A Gun Bill!

Congress doesn’t have time before recess to get much done-except, apparently, to push through an National Rifle Association (NRA)-backed bill that would undermine the ability of the federal government to crack down on gun dealers who violate the law. The bill has the the support of several members of the Colorado congressional delegation.News reports this week tell how Congress won’t have time to finish the majority of the spending bills that fund federal agencies or to complete immigration reform. But today the House voted 277 to 131 to approve H.R. 5092, a bill that the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence says would allow gun stores, “even those with hundreds of violations of federal law” to continue to continue doing business without having their licenses revoked.

Co-sponsors of the bill include Colorado Reps. Bob Beauprez, Marilyn Musgrave, Tom Tancredo, all Republicans, and Democrat John Salazar. As previously reported, all have gotten support from the NRA and other gun rights groups in their elections for Congress. Musgrave has gotten $32,659 in support; Beauprez, $29,747, Tancredo, $20,572, and Salazar, $9,900.

So far this election cycle, the NRA Political Action Committee, one of the nation’s largest, has collected $8.7 million and spent $5.7 million.

The NRA argues that the legislation is needed because the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) pursues gun dealers for trivial violations. But a recent report from the Brady Campaign that examines 21 federal court decisions over the past five years demonstrates that instead the agency has focused on cases involving dealers who sell guns to straw buyers, to juveniles, and who lack records for sale of hundreds of thousands of firearms, among other issues.

Campaign contribution analysis is of Federal Election Commission data supplied by the Center for Responsive Politics. Data include Political Action Committee contributions and independent expenditures and communciations costs in favor of candidates during their tenure in Congress.

(crossposted at Colorado Confidential)

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