Senate Democrats officially unveil gun legislation

Taking the first official step to set up a full Senate debate in April on gun legislation, Democrats on Friday formally unveiled a package of gun bills, featuring a plan to require background checks "for every firearm sale," but the bill does not include two key gun control provisions on assault weapons and ammunition magazines that had been supported by the White House and President Obama.

The bill was introduced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as he began the parliamentary work to bring the issue to the Senate floor after an Easter break; it also includes provisions on gun trafficking and a safe schools section; Democrats named it the "Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013."

The legislation does not include an assault weapons ban or any limits on ammunition magazines - two of the items that had been featured prominently in calls for action by the White House on gun control; it's still possible both could get a vote in the full Senate.

The preamble of this bill describes the legislation this way: "To ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the national instant criminal background check system and require a background check for every firearm sale, and for other purposes."

Here is the basic table of contents:


Sec. 101. Short title.
Subtitle A — Ensuring That All Individuals Who Should Be Prohibited From Buying a Gun Are Listed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System

Sec. 111. Reauthorization of NICS Act Record Improvement Program grants.
Sec. 112. Penalties for States that do not make data electronically available to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Sec. 113. Clarification that Federal court information is to be made available to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Subtitle B — Requiring a Background Check for Every Firearm Sale

Sec. 121. Purpose.
Sec. 122. Firearms transfers.
Sec. 123. Lost and stolen reporting.
Sec. 124. Effective date.


Sec. 201. Short title.
Sec. 202. Hadiya Pendleton and Nyasia Pryear-Yard anti-straw purchasing and firearms trafficking amendments.
Sec. 203. Amendments to section 922(d).
Sec. 204. Amendments to section 924(a).
Sec. 205. Amendments to section 924(h).
Sec. 206. Amendments to section 924(k).
Sec. 207. Limitation on operations by the Department of Justice.


Sec. 301. Short title.
Sec. 302. Grant program for school security.
Sec. 303. Applications.
Sec. 304. Authorization of appropriations.
Sec. 305. Accountability.
Sec. 306. CAMPUS Safety Act of 2013.

Among the details in the fine print - the Justice Department could withhold 3 percent of a state's anti-crime grant money, if that state does not provide certain information to the instant background check system.

The background check would not have to be completed for what the bill describes as "bona fide gifts" of a weapon in a family, including between grandparents and grandchildren; also included in the exceptions are transfers made from an estate pursuant to a will.  Temporary transfers are also allowed for hunting and sporting purposes.

The bill would also make it a crime not to report the theft or loss of a firearm, within 24 hours of the discovery of that theft or loss.

You can see  the full text of this bill here.