Paul Ryan drops an ‘unconstitutional’ gun bill on the House that has conservatives fuming

A gun bill that was originally favored by Republicans is now seeing defections from the right as House Speaker Paul Ryan struggles to gather enough GOP votes to pass the legislation.

With threats from Democrats of another House floor protest, Ryan is now facing the prospect of defections from his own party as conservatives complain about the GOP gun bill they think is unconstitutional, The Hill reported.

The bill, backed by the National Rifle Association, was part of a larger anti-terrorism package by Republicans that was  seen as an alternative to gun control proposals by Democrats. But opponent of the bill,  Rep. Thomas Massie R-Ky., said: “I think it’s dead,” according to the Hill.

The vote, originally scheduled for Wednesday, was postponed to allow Republicans more time to study the package, according to Rules Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas.

“Enough members don’t have enough information,” Sessions said. “What we’re trying to do is work toward resolution where we’re all on the same page.”

According to the Hill:

“The House GOP gun proposal would give the Justice Department three days to convince a judge there’s probable cause that the prospective buyer would use the weapon in connection with terrorism and stop the sale.

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,” said Freedom Caucus member Justin Amash, R-Mich., on his Facebook page. This bill, he added, “is the actualization of dystopian fiction.”

Another Freedom Caucus member, Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., said “If it is a suspected terrorist and we have evidence to that extent, then Logic 101 [suggests] that person should either be in jail or out of the country.”

Ryan met with Democratic Reps. John Lewis of Georgia and John Larson of Connecticut on Tuesday but no compromise on gun legislation was achieved.

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