Democrat’s lemonade stand fails to sell GOP on gun background checks

The House Civil Justice Subcommittee quickly shot down a bill to require background checks on most private gun sales Wednesday despite efforts of the sponsor, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Stewart, to promote the measure by offering to sell a weapon along with lemonade and cookies.

The move was something of a repeat from last year, when Stewart brought a gun to the committee after buying without a background check – and saw his bill similarly rejected. (Previous post HERE.)

From WSMV-TV’s report on this year’s effort:

“I’m selling lemonade, cookies and an AK-47,” Stewart said, sitting at a makeshift lemonade stand outside of the Ben West Library in downtown Nashville. Stewart told anyone who would listen that it’s as easy to buy an assault rifle as it is a glass of fresh lemonade.

“I bought this weapon yesterday in a parking lot for $700, and that included over 500 rounds of ammunition,” Stewart said. “With no planning at all, I was able to pick up a weapon, no background check, no ID check, no nothing.”

Stewart said that exchange was perfectly legal. To him, that’s a problem. Current Tennessee law doesn’t require background checks for private gun sales.

…Stewart’s message seemingly fell on deaf ears in the Civil Justice Subcommittee as lawmaker shot it down with a quick “no” without debate…Stewart said he will continue to bring up the bill every year until it passes.

Stewart said the gun he purchased is a knock-off AK-47. He said he will be selling it at discount for anyone who agrees to first pass a background check.

Note: The two Democrats on the sub both had themselves recorded as voting yes on Stewart’s bill (HB1319) when it was killed by the Republican-dominated panel on voice vote.

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