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2020 Governor Featured Greg Gianforte Guns Montana Politics Steve Daines

Where Do Daines and Gianforte Stand On the Trump Administration’s Ploy to Keep More Guns in the Hands of Criminals?

Given their complete devotion to the NRA and its radical gun agenda, one has to wonder whether Representative Greg Gianforte and Senator Steve Daines support the decision by the Trump Administration to purge almost half a million people listed as fugitives from justice from the federal background check system.

From Popular Information:

In an April 2019 speech to the NRA, Trump presented himself as an uncompromising defender of gun rights. He said that the way to make America safer is to give more people access to guns.

Every day, citizens across America exercise their constitutional right to defend themselves, their families, and their communities. That’s a constitutional right. They want to take it away from you. They will take it away. You let these maniacs get into office, they will take that right away…We know that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

Trump’s record on guns matches this rhetoric.

Federal law bans anyone who is a “fugitive from justice” from owning a firearm. For years, this meant that anyone with an outstanding arrest warrant was not legally allowed to possess a gun. Trump narrowed the definition of “fugitive from justice” to people who: “(1) fled a state, and (2) did so with the purpose of avoiding prosecution, and (3) were subject to imminent criminal prosecution.”

Trump purged 500,000 records from the federal background check system concerning individuals considered “fugitives from justice.” Only about 2300 have been restored.

Trump rolled back an Obama-era rule that would have made it more difficult for people with severe mental illness to purchase guns.

Trump threatened to veto legislation that would have expanded background checks to “all sales and transfers of firearms” and extended the background check review “from three to 10 days.”

“Women for Trump,” however, don’t hear about any of this. Instead, they are presented with ads claiming that Trump enacted policies to “improve the federal background check system and keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals.”

The ad refers to legislation that was tacked onto a March 2018 spending bill. It encouraged state governments to upload records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System more consistently. The bill sets aside a modest amount of funding ($125 million) to encourage states to do so.

But the legislation does not fix the fundamental problems with the background check system and is dwarfed by the regulatory steps Trump has taken that make it easier for criminals to obtain guns.

This post is shared with permission from Judd Legum’s Popular Information, one of the best sources of well-researched content you’ll find online. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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