House Conservatives Urge Boehner To Kill Universal Background Check Deal

Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) and 40 Republicans are passing around a Dear Colleague letter asking Republicans in the House to pressure Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) not to take up a bill expanding background checks for gun purchases “without the support of a majority of the conference.” Boehner has brought measures to the floor that are not backed by a majority of Republicans several times in the past, breaking the Hastert rule and outraging conservative members.

“The so-called “universal background check” system would be a violation of Constitutionally-guaranteed rights on an unprecedented scale,” the letter, obtained by ThinkProgress notes, even though 60 percent of gun sales are already subject to a background check at federally licensed gun stores. It goes on to claim that “such a law would apply to transfers between family members, friends and neighbors.” The background check proposal being considered by the Senate would only apply to sales at gun shows and online and exempt people-to-people transfers.

Boehner has not committed to taking-up the gun bill, should it pass the Senate, telling reporters on Wednesday that “As I’ve made clear, any bill that passes the Senate, we’re going to review it.”

The letter also notes that background checks are “opposed by the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, the National Association for Gun Rights, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and other national and state level pro-Second Amendment organizations.” It does not mention the overwhelming public support for the measure, however.

Co-signers of the letter include: Bachmann, Barr, Bentivolio, Bishop, Boustany, Bridenstine, Broun, Carter, Collins, Daines, DeSantis, DesJarlais, Duncan, Farenthold, Fincher, Fleming, Franks, Gardner, Gohmert, Gosar, Harris, Jones, Kingston, LaMalfa, Lamborn, Lummis, Marchant, Massie, Messer, Mullin, Pearce, Radel, Roby, Rokita, Salmon, Schweikert, Stockman, Stutzman, Weber, Wenstrup, Yoho.