Rand Paul vows to introduce amendments to gun bill, including ‘beyond a reasonable doubt,’ standard

Now that the bipartisan gun bill has cleared its first major legislative hurdle in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Rand Paul, a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, has vowed to introduce amendments to try to at least fix its “constitutional deficiencies.”

In a Twitter thread posted Wednesday afternoon, a day after the Senate voted 64-34 late Tuesday to advance the bill, the senator revealed that he supports some aspects of the bill — like including violent crimes committed as a juvenile in background checks — but is concerned about the “constitutional deficiencies” of other aspects.

For instance, he wrote, “I cannot support any legislation that funds or encourages laws that allow ex parte gun confiscation without legal representation, or even sometimes without prior notification to the defendant of any accusation at all.”

This tweet was in reference to the bill closing the so-called “boyfriend loophole.”

“I cannot support legislation that funds or encourages laws that allow gun confiscation with a standard lower than the constitutional criminal standard of ‘beyond a reasonable doubt,'” he added, this time referencing the bill’s funding of “red flag” laws.

View the whole thread below:

His amendments seem unlikely to pass, as they would change the fundamental nature of the bill. However, he does have something going for him.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is reportedly trying to pass the bill quickly. But doing so “requires an agreement from all 100 senators, so Paul could delay the final vote if he doesn’t give way,” according to The Hill.

But that’s all he could do — delay it.

“Paul, who has often broken with party leadership over civil liberties and constitutional rights issues, has in the past made similar efforts to slow or stall progress on bills that he considers unconstitutional or ill-advised. However, many of these efforts have floundered in bipartisan votes rejecting Paul’s amendments or proposals, as seems likely to happen with any amendment he offers to the gun bill,” The Epoch Times noted.

His primary obstacle to preventing the bill’s passage, period, are the 14 Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who’ve thrown their support behind the bill.

Never mind that it, as one example, “prohibit[s] the appropriated funds from being used for firearms or firearms training for any school personnel.”

Arming teachers so that they’re prepared to deal with mass shooters is supposed to be a Republican goal, but apparently not in the Senate.

Over in Ohio meanwhile, earlier this month Gov. Mike DeWine signed into law a bill that allows teachers to wield guns in class after receiving 24 hours of training.

It’s not clear why Senate Republicans are signing along with the Democrats’ dubious gun control plans instead of pursuing legislation such as this.

What’s known is that unless enough Senate Republicans change course, the gun bill WILL eventually make it through the legislative body, without or without Paul’s support. And once it does, it’s destined to be signed into law by President Joe Biden thanks to the majority held by Democrats in the House …

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Vivek Saxena

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