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Grassley, Cruz Introduce Alternative Gun Legislation


Senators Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) and Ted Cruz (R., Texas) today released an amendment to the gun bill.

There is no expansion of background checks in the Grassley and Cruz legislation. Instead, there is funding devoted to increasing gun prosecutions: $50 million over five years for prosecution of felons and fugitives who try to buy guns (in 2009, according to the NRA, 77,000 people failed the NICS background check, yet fewer than 100 were prosecuted). An additional $45 million will be distributed over three years to hire assistant U.S. attorneys and Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearm agents in especially violent areas.

Straw purchasing and gun trafficking would both be criminalized, though in a “responsible way that doesn’t sweep in innocent conduct” and “that doesn’t turn minor gun offenses into arms-trafficking offenses,” according to the summary of the amendment.

There would be $200 million spent over five years on resources devoted to helping the mentally ill. The legislation also works to ensure that states pass on to NICS records of mental illness.

There are also measures in the legislation that would make it easier to buy guns across state lines, and for members of the military to buy them outside their home state. Furthermore, in order to prevent another Fast and Furious scandal, the legislation would require that the head of DOJ approve any operations involving the sale of guns to straw purchasers.

Over ten years, schools would receive $300 million to spend on safety measures, and a study led by the National Institute of Justice and the National Academy of Sciences would look at how to end mass shootings.