Will Pandemic Fears Grease the Way for Authoritarian Gun Controls?

Lawmakers are peddling restrictions on self-defense and other rights to a frightened public.

by J.D. Tuccille

Draconian bills to restrict self-defense rights have a life of their own in Congress. There’s always one lurking in the background, individually unlikely to become law, but ready to be deployed if a suitable high-profile crime or convenient crisis emerges to ease its passage. And that brings us to the “Gun Violence Prevention and Community Safety Act of 2020,” a far-reaching bill hovering in the legislative shadows as the COVID-19 pandemic fuels fears around the globe and breaks down barriers to authoritarian measures.

Introduced in the Senate and the House at the end of January by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), the bill would impose federal licensing for guns and ammunition, require universal background checks, ban so-called “assault weapons,” outlaw normal-capacity magazines, regulate DIY firearms, and otherwise impose the full wish list of restrictions sought by those who envision armed government ruling over disarmed subjects.

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