It’s good to look at least some movement on astute gun measures in the wake of the Parkland, Fla., horrors — nationally and, we hope, in New York.
In Washington, President Trump has come out conditionally for a bipartisan drive to fix holes in the background-check system, by pushing federal bureaucrats to do better at reporting criminal records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS. It also blocks bonus pay for political appointees in agencies that fall down on uploading info to the database.
The House passed such a bill late last year, albeit pairing it with the insane Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. But it stalled (as almost everything does) in the Senate. Trump’s support for the FixNICS Act from Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) could break that freeze.
It’s a start, Mr. President. How about following up with a shout-out for the bill to ban bumpstocks from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)? These gadgets helped the Vegas shooter run up his death toll, and few in Congress or even the NRA are willing to publicly oppose the ban — but there’s been no motion to actually do it.
Movement conservatives and even libertarians are also displaying some imagination on the gun front: On Page 8, David French of National Review points to Gun Violence Restraining Orders as a way to empower concerned family or friends to keep firearms out of the hands of troubled individuals.
Notably, a leading libertarian legal scholar, Prof. Randy Barnett of Georgetown Law and both the Cato and Goldwater institutes, says French is on to something.
New York is not one of the three states to allow GRVOs, though bills have been introduced in both chambers. Perhaps Gov. Cuomo can do something to get past the Senate’s caution on everything to do with guns, and the Assembly’s reluctance to let courts limit anyone’s rights.