On the Sunday episode of GPS on CNN, Fareed Zakaria proposed America pass certain gun laws in response to the Las Vegas shooting without realizing those laws already exist.
While chastising the country for not more quickly adopting gun-control measures he favors, Zakaria said a ban on gun sales to domestic abusers or illegal drug users could make a big difference. "Given the Second Amendment, given America's gun culture, given the influence of the gun lobby, there isn't any simple answer but there are many small fixes that might make a big difference. Universal background checks. Restrictions on military-style weaponry—of which banning bump stocks would be a tiny first step," he said. "A ban on selling to people with a history of domestic violence or substance abuse."
Under federal law, it is already illegal to sell a firearm to anyone who has been convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense or an illegal drug user. It is also illegal for any user of illegal drugs or person convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense to own or possess a firearm. The prohibition extends to users of drugs that are legal at the state level but still illegal under federal law.
Selling a firearm to a person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense or who is a user of illegal drugs is punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison. Possession of a firearm by an illegal drug user or someone convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor is also punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison. Additionally, if an illegal drug user or person convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor has three or more prior convictions for violent felonies or drug trafficking felonies, they may receive a minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without the possibility of parole.
Federal law also prohibits felons, people awaiting trial for a felony, nonpermanent aliens, anyone subject to a domestic restraining order, fugitives from justice, and anyone dishonorably discharged from the military from buying, owning, or possessing firearms.
Zakaria ended his monologue by decrying America's "stubborn inaction" on gun control and turned President Trump's claim that the Las Vegas shooter was crazy back on the American public.
"But first, we have to stop the dodges and the diversions," he said. "When you consider America's stubborn inaction in the face of this continuing and preventable epidemic of gun violence, I sometimes wonder if it is all of us Americans who are crazy."