A House proposal does not criminalize gun owners for performing maintenance on their guns


Publish Date:
June 17, 2022
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John Donohue, professor of law at Stanford University and statistical analyst on topics such as guns and crime, said the Gun Owners of America suggests the worst possible scenario of what could happen under the bill. The definition of what manufacturing a gun means may be vague, he said, but the scenario that a gun owner would be criminalized for cleaning their weapon would be unlikely.

Ultimately, the bill’s goal is to prevent people who could not pass a background check from skirting around the law and buying gun parts to assemble into a working firearm.

“Obviously, if you bought the gun and went through a background check, there wouldn’t be any problem about taking it apart and putting it back together,” Donohue said. “Judges would understand this and would presumably apply the law appropriately.”

If there was any fear about ambiguity in the law, Donohue said, a simple tweak would solve it.

“Of course there is plenty of opportunity to provide that tweak because the House bill would not go into effect unless the Senate passed a similar bill,” he said.

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