Already dealing with threats of another Democratic floor protest, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is now facing defections from the right on a GOP gun bill that conservatives complain is unconstitutional.
The handful of Republican naysayers has raised doubts about whether Ryan can muster enough votes from his own party to pass the gun provision. Backed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), the GOP legislation was favored by Republican leaders as a more acceptable alternative to Democratic gun-control bills.
But Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), an opponent of the GOP provision, said: “I think it’s dead.”
But conservative lawmakers, including several who belong to the far-right House Freedom Caucus, argued that the legislation could violate an individual’s Second Amendment rights, based on what the government anticipates that person might do in the future.
“If the bill becomes law, it will mark a massive expansion of the government’s ability to restrict gun rights on the basis of precrime—a crime not yet committed,” Freedom Caucus member Justin Amash (R-Mich.) posted in a lengthy diatribe on his Facebook page. This bill “is the actualization of dystopian fiction.”