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How The Omnibus Bill Handles Gun Control

by Countable | Updated on 3.22.18

What’s the story?

Gun control has been at the center of national political news since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida on Valentine’s Day. And the attention has allowed some gun control measures to advance through Congress and make it into the omnibus spending bill set to pass this week. What new gun controls will be enacted as a result of the bill’s passage?

  • Fix NICS: The Fix NICS Act, which has been stalled in Congress since December is finally getting its day. The bipartisan Act aims to strengthen participation in the national gun background check database, by requiring state and federal agencies to submit data on relevant criminal convictions and mental health history.

  • Clarification of the Dickey Amendment: The Dickey Amendment, signed into law via a spending bill in 1997, dictated that no money given to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for "injury prevention" could be used for to "advocate or promote gun control." The omnibus doesn’t repeal the Dickey Amendment, but it does clarify that it doesn’t prevent CDC money from being used for gun violence research. The nonexistence of government-backed gun violence research has prevented gun control legislation from advancing in Congress.

  • STOP School Violence Act: The STOP School Violence Act passed the House, but hadn’t yet passed the Senate on its own. It authorizes an additional $20 million annually for ten years to fund school violence prevention measures, including training, security assessments and security equipment, like metal detectors.

What do you think?

Are you glad to see these measures included in the omnibus appropriations bill or not? Do you think they go too far, or not far enough? What, if any, gun control measures would you have liked to see included?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Countable

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(110)
  • John.Nutt
    03/22/2018
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    I only had to read a few comments to see how many anti gun people we got here. “Assault style weapons” don’t exist because “assault” is a verb and a gun is an object and an object cannot assault anyone. What you hate are semi auto rifles and pretty much every gun for that matter. If all you guys are so anti gun then why don’t you post a giant sign on your front yard saying “this is a gun free home” and see how that turns out for you. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun and if you don’t believe just look at the most recent school shooting in Maryland (which didn’t get any coverage.... wonder why). Also make sure when you call the cops tell them not to bring their gun because guns are always bad.

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  • John
    03/22/2018
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    Ban assault style weapons. Ban large capacity clips/magazines. Ban bump stocks. Severely limit the amounts and types of ammunition available. Institute universal background checks. Raise the age to purchase and/or possess a gun to 30. Put the NRA on a terror watchlist and brand them a terrorist organization. Charge any and every politician who parrots the NRA propaganda with accessory to murder charges for every gun death. Then, start to get serious about ending gun violence and deaths.

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  • Amy
    03/22/2018
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    Glad they finally took some steps towards admitting there is a problem and trying to address it. I wish it wasn't stuffed into a 2000 page bill that might cause it to lose votes for some other reason. And by Golly, most of us want Universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons of all kinds. Congress, what will you do to take these bold steps?

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  • ZacZamora
    03/22/2018
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    Guns don’t jump off of store shelves and decide to go kill people. Just the same for bombs and knives and cyanide and every over dad-blamed freaking article out there that had been used to kill or cause harm. You were actually on the ball recently, when you said that we need more mental health care and that’s all it really is. There’s a bunch of loonies out there period. The Florida kid quit his mental care a year before he did his evil. The FBI was alerted to him and didn’t do their jobs. I feel like this is all a bunch of tomfoolery to lead us more into the Orwellian totalitarian dystopia that we started building somewhere during the 4th Reich (The Bush Presidency).

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  • drlonline8
    03/22/2018
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    We don't need to fund training of school teachers and administrators on the use of firearms to protect students. We need to fund training of students on civic engagement so they can lead the way for school teachers, administrators, and parents to bring about political change that will meaningfully address gun violence in our society.

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  • Chester
    03/22/2018
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    Gun control is infringement on our 2nd amendment inalienable rights! There needs to be more control of people with mental issues and Doctors that prescribe wrong medicine and too much medicines. So I guess if guns kill, then I guess Pencils misspell words, cars drive drunk and spoons make people fat! Gun control is not the solution of our problem. Criminals don’t follow the law and taking away guns make it even easier for Criminals. Politicians especially the Democrats and Hollywood have been desensitizing and demoralizing our nation for many years. They first take God, prayer and the Bible out of our schools, then they tout Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender is ok and should be accepted! They condone immorality and Political Correctness so this is the product of the Governments inconsistency’s! Also medicines and treatments used today for the mentally ill are much different than it was 50 or more years ago. It seems the only place we are having these mass shootings are in gun free zones. It’s time to train and arm our Principals, Teachers and Staff. In today’s culture that is going to be the only solution!

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  • OlderNWiser
    03/23/2018
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    This is a first small step to be applauded. School funding is a beginning though education doesn’t change behavior as much as we would wish, especially with a government purposely terrifying and enraging usnwith an aim to blocking all rational thought. Fix should be helpful. We need to ban assault weapons, track weapons, have strict requirements for licensing. Most of all, we need to eliminate the NRA ownership of most of our elected representatives and need a competent capable White House and Administration—not insane elderly war mongers acting out macho delusions to compensate for their weaknesses and aging. Provoking nuclear wars will end all life on the planet including yours and mine.

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  • Douglas
    03/22/2018
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    It appears that once again our supposed representatives in Congress are afraid to tackle any aspect of gun control-and risk losing their lucrative support from the NRA. There is no action on assault rifles, and nothing addressing what will happen if states do not report information for the supposed data base.i also do nor see anything addressing background checks for people purchasing guns at gun shows. The NRA wins again, and we the American people remain at risk for mass slaughter just as we always have.

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  • Michael
    03/22/2018
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    I think school security should not be in a Omnibus bill. It’s too important. I also think this should be left up to the states to decide how they proceed with securing the schools, but secure the schools we must. No law or ban can stop lunatics from getting guns and walking into a school, but you can sure as hell stop him from succeeding. Let’s not start by restricting the rights of law abiding Americans on a national level as a knee-jerk reaction that completely misses the mark, and facilitate the deaths of millions a year for the sake of 17 tragic deaths. https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/cdc-study-use-firearms-self-defense-important-crime-deterrent

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  • David
    03/23/2018
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    What laws would stop a killer from murdering? The laws that they have in California? Chicago? Baltimore? New York? France? Turkey? Mexico? Gun-free zones? Really? Gun control disarms the law-abiding and only the law-abiding — by definition! Self-defense is a basic human right and guns are the only reasonable means for the average citizen to exercise that right.

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  • James
    03/22/2018
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    Just like we saw last week in Maryland! And armed on site official took out a would be mass shooter! That’s the right answer! That’s how you handle the problem!

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  • Monica
    03/22/2018
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    This is our government dancing around the issue..stricter laws only work if communication and enforcement occurs. We are already aware that cross reporting among agencies does not happen, that some law enforcement officers don’t think that the person who owns a gun is dangerous. It is purely subjective reporting. We need to ban all assault weapons, limit the purchase of ammunition and more importantly review what the second amendment means in today’s society. We as a country already have a “formed militia”and have no need for citizens to arm themselves except for sport.

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  • CombatVeteran
    03/22/2018
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    Do not ban any type of "assault weapon," as they are no more a threat than any other type of weapon. Those who say we need to ban them are uneducated and need to do some research. Background checks are always a good idea. Place security, police or other armed personnel in the schools to prevent future tragedies. Train and arm teachers that want to do so to increase the level of security in the building. That's all that needs to be done. I don't hear anyone on the left crying out against bombs. I wonder why that is? Because it doesn't fit their agenda. It's not the weapon, it's the user. Without an evil heart, weapons are powerless to take a life.

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  • BeStrong
    03/22/2018
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    The Dickey amendment ‘clarification’ will reinstate research by the CDC into gun violence. Sounds timely to me. Facts are part of any solution. Fix Nix is a start. An increased budget to enable public school campus security, i.e: metal detectors is reasonable. I support these items.

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  • Nicholas
    03/22/2018
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    To the folks saying gun control is an infringement on the Second Amendment, (a) appellate courts have said that the Second Amendment doesn't apply to high-powered assault rifles, and (b) the Second Amendment includes the phrase "well-regulated", and for a reason. This allows for regulations, making sure that nobody can own a bazooka, or a machine gun

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  • Roger
    03/23/2018
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    I’ll say it again. Everyone of you anti-gun soap box heroes needs to take some history courses on what happens to unarmed citizens when their governments go bad. There are several examples in recent history. Did you forget what started in Tiananmen Square in 1989. The 2nd amendment is not about hunting or all the other idiot reasons you come up with but keeping us free from a tyrannical government. I don’t care what side of the aisle you are on but if you are not happy with the freedoms we have in our great country I invite you to go live in a gun free communist, or socialist country to experience the real world. And see how fast reality smacks you in the face. Reality does not operate on how you ‘feel’ it should.

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  • Leon
    03/22/2018
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    Disappointed in our Congress. Once again signing away our freedoms for more spending.

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  • Greg
    03/22/2018
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    This is merely a bill to appease emotional $tupid people. Before you take exception to this comment, read it, please. Then research the Constitution and federalist papers. Then read everything you can from more than just one or two news sources about the recent examples of the crimes it's meant to discourage. Then apply critical logic to determine if it really can do what they say it will do. Political answers to every crisis are always the same. Ignore blatant and numerous failures of bureaucrats to do their jobs and take more freedom from you, thereby accumulating more power for themselves to control you. People willing to break the law and murder people will be willing to get a gun illegally to do it, and if they can't find one they'll find another way, such as what we saw happening in Austin. What they really want to accomplish is to insure that their power over good Americans persists no matter how authoritarian they become. It's obvious. It's only the deceived minions who truly believe gun control is about public safety. The deceivers in charge of their indoctrination know.

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  • S
    03/22/2018
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    I’m not glad, this is going too far. There could still be school shootings even with metal detectors, take a school parking lot for example. Also, 20 million extra a year?! Who the hell wants to pay more for taxes a year? For something that can’t be stopped. Take away guns and then more people start making bombs. The Boston Marathon Bombers made a bomb out of a crockpot. A crockpot. Another thing, the fbi also considers shootings that happened within a close range to a school campus as a school shooting...

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  • Truly
    03/22/2018
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    For those of you that have never read the constitution, but still insist the 2nd amendment says no gun control, let me clarify. The first part (never mentioned by the NRA) starts with “A WELL REGULATED militia... It was interpreted as such until the NRA began bribing politicians to say otherwise. If we are going to hold it as immutable, then the same can be said of the first amendment. I guess a religion that includes human sacrifice should also be protected. Or maybe that is the gun culture in a nutshell.

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