House Republicans Choose Carrot Over Stick in Gun Safety Debate

Greg Nash/Pool via AP

Here’s an interesting one for you. House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY) is introducing a proposal designed to promote gun safety in the aftermath of two tragic mass shootings that occurred over the past three weeks. Unlike her Democratic counterparts, the lawmaker, along with a number of her colleagues, is putting forth a proposal that would reward positive behaviors when it comes to guns.


Stefanik’s approach involves using the carrot rather than the Democrats’ stick, when it comes to reducing gun violence. She, along with Reps. Richard Hudson (R-NC) and Carol Miller (R-WV), is set to introduce the “Firearm Proficiency and Training Act” in response to the Democrats’ bid to further restrict law-abiding gun owners.

The representatives argue that their bill would encourage better “training, safety, and storage” of guns, instead of “forcing” them to take the steps Democrats seek to compel through the state. “As Democrats rush to push their radical gun control agenda, I am proud to lead the charge in introducing legislation to promote gun training and safety,” Stefanik said in an interview with Fox News Digital.

She continued:

“This bill will empower gun owners by incentivizing them to purchase gun safety and storage equipment as well as training and safety courses. Congress should enable all Americans to safely exercise their Second Amendment rights, rather than infringe upon the Constitutional rights of law-abiding American citizens.”

Fox News reported:

The legislation would offer tax deductions for Americans who enroll in concealed carry firearms courses, or other gun safety classes, or buy secure gun safety devices to store weapons. The tax incentives would not exceed $250 for each deduction.

In addition, the text of the bill states that “no taxpayer shall be required, as a condition of any deduction allowed under this section, to provide any information with respect to any firearms owned by the taxpayer” and no government official may keep any record of the deduction after three years.


Of course, in a lower chamber dominated by Democrats, the measure has about as much of a chance of passing as Rep. Liz Cheney does of going more than an hour without bloviating about how horrible Trump is. Still, it is an interesting proposal, one that would likely be acceptable to conservatives–given that it does not include extra government spending in providing incentives.

Democrats, on the other hand, are hard at work trying to craft policy intended to punish law-abiding gun owners for the actions of evil men. Even worse, the measures they have put forth would not stop mass shootings like what occurred in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas. One proposal was titled the “Protecting Our Kids Act,” which is a slew of eight bills to tamp down on gun ownership and impose new restrictions. “The bills contain proposals to raise the minimum age for purchasing a semi-automatic weapon from 18 to 21, ban ‘high capacity magazines,’ establish a registry for bump stocks and more,” according to Fox News.

Over 20 House Democrats have urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to break the package down into separate bills to increase the chances they will pass.

In the Senate, a group of Democratic lawmakers is hoping to persuade at least 10 Republican senators to sign on to additional restrictions on firearms. They seem to realize they will not be able to swing enough votes for their more radical gun legislation, but the bipartisan group of senators seem to believe they can come to an agreement on a measure that would mirror Florida’s red flag law. But even this might be a hard sell for those with constituents who might be enraged at any such concession to the anti-gunner crowd.


The idea of incentivizing gun safety might be far more appealing to those who favor gun rights, most of whom already believe that learning how to use a firearm responsibly is of the utmost importance. But would it actually save lives? It is possible – but it would be nearly impossible to quantify how many lives it saved. Moreover, it would likely do nothing to stop mass shootings and curb gun violence.

However, it might be useful for further ensuring that accidental gun deaths are less common. There is also a chance it could reduce the number of illegally-owned guns on the street. A significant chunk of these weapons are stolen from homes and cars because the rightful owner did not lock them up properly. Either way, it is a better solution than what Democrats are proposing. Perhaps when the GOP retakes the House and maybe the Senate, they could revisit the proposal.


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