The Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022 was enacted in the middle of the night by the United States Senate (VAWA). When this bill cleared the US House of Representatives with Republican support last year, some gun rights groups raised red flags. Republicans like Dan Crenshaw indicated at the time that the bill’s anti-gun measures would be deleted, accusing Gun Owners of America (GOA) of fearmongering to garner money.
The bill’s anti-gun provisions were negotiated by Democrats and Republicans led by Senator Jodi Ernst.
Many Republican senators who said they wouldn’t vote for the package if it had anti-gun elements ended up voting for it. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MI) voted in favor of the bill, after previously stating to Ammoland News that she would never vote for such a plan.
Her office wrote: “The position of Senator Hyde-Smith on the Second Amendment has not changed. The Senate was presented with a bill to keep the government running and assist the people of Ukraine in their battle against an unstable foreign ruler. Senator Hyde-Smith opposes the VAWA measures described above and will continue to fight for Second Amendment rights.“
Here is a full list of the Republican senators who voted for the bill:
To begin with, it contains the NICS Denial Notification Act. When someone try to buy a gun or get a carry permit, federal officials would have to refer them to state and local law enforcement if their background checks are denied. This would almost certainly lead to these organizations looking into the person who was rejected, regardless of whether or not there was evidence of misconduct.
Given that the vast majority of NICS denials are bogus, it’s easy to see how this could be an issue.
Another provision of the bill allows the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to deputize local law enforcement officers to do its dirty work. According to Ammoland News, “this clause is a direct strike against states having Second Amendment Protection Acts (SAPA).” State and local law enforcement authorities are prohibited from enforcing federal gun laws under these statutes. The ATF can effectively turn local police officers into federal authorities under this provision, allowing them to circumvent SAPA restrictions.
Another provision would fund research on gun violence, which sounds nice, but is far more insidious than it appears. Ammoland News explains:
In the past, gun violence research has always been flawed. The government has been found utilizing a preconceived result rather than employing evidence-based science to reach a judgment. The federal agency would first decide on a desired outcome and then work backwards, utilizing evidence to support their position while suppressing facts that contradicted it. The practice was highlighted by whistleblower Dr. Miguel Faria whose testimony in front of Congress ended funding for gun violence research by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
The fact that Republican senators would vote for such a bill shows either that they don’t care what you think or that they didn’t think you’d find out. This is an excellent example of how many ostensibly conservative members of Congress are willing to compromise their values for the sake of political expediency. Regrettably, they will not stop until they are held accountable for their deception during primary season.