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If the CPSC Would Ban Gas Stoves, Imagine How it Would Treat Guns

Monday, January 23, 2023

If the CPSC Would Ban Gas Stoves, Imagine How it Would Treat Guns

The Consumer Product Safety Commission, the federal agency dedicated to saving the world from lawn darts and toy magnets, has been in the headlines recently. This time the busybodies at the CPSC are out to protect Americans from well-prepared meals, by banning the ubiquitous gas stove.

On January 9, Bloomberg News reported that the CPSC “says a ban on gas stoves is on the table amid rising concern about harmful indoor air pollutants emitted by the appliances.” Speaking with the outlet, CPSC Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. stated, “Any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.”

Public backlash to the agency’s effort was swift and harsh. Further, more than one commentator noted how the proposed ban appeared to be a way to advance a climate change agenda under the guise of consumer protection.

The response prompted the CPSC to deny any plans to ban gas stoves, with CPSC Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric claiming, “I am not looking to ban gas stoves and the CPSC has no proceeding to do so.”

With timing that should raise some eyebrows, three days after the initial Bloomberg article, the Washington Post ran an opinion piece from former CPSC Chair Ann Brown arguing that the agency should have the authority to regulate firearms. Titled “Guns are consumer products. They should be regulated as such,” the article argued for a CPSC-led gun control campaign, along with the enactment of waiting periods and bans on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms.

So, three days after the CPSC made headlines for a move that led to credible allegations of using consumer protection as a front to advance a broader political agenda, a former chair of the commission essentially signaled her desire for the agency to operate in just such a manner.

Back when the CPSC was founded in 1972, astute gun rights supporters anticipated this type of gun control effort. Lawmakers explicitly excluded firearms from the definition of “consumer products” under the agency’s purview.

However, this did not stop the anti-gun lobby from using the CPSC to attack gun owners at the earliest opportunity.

Following its founding, the CPSC was given the authority to administer the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. In 1974, the anti-gun group Committee for Handgun Control petitioned the CPSC to consider a ban on handgun bullets as a hazardous substance under the FHSA.

The CPSC sensibly refused the initial petition. However, the Committee for Handgun Control sued the agency in federal court, which resulted in a ruling requiring the CPSC to consider a ban. The court’s reasoning was, despite firearms being explicitly outside CPSC’s jurisdiction, that because the FHSA did not also exclude ammunition explicitly the agency must examine a ban.

In light of this gun control campaign, and at the urging of the newly-formed NRA-ILA, Congress reiterated its decision to exclude firearms and ammunition from CPSC’s authority, adding new language to federal law. The Consumer Product Safety Commission Improvements Act of 1976 provided,

The Consumer Product Safety Commission shall make no ruling or order that restricts the manufacture or sale of firearms, firearms ammunition, or components of firearms ammunition, including black powder or gunpowder for firearms.

As evidenced by Brown’s column, this hasn’t stopped disgruntled gun controllers from trying to use the CPSC for their anti-gun agenda.

In the early 1990s, longtime gun control advocate Sen. Howard Metzenbaum (D-Ohio) prodded the General Accounting Office to produce a report on how the CPSC could be used to enact gun control. The report recommended that the CPSC be given authority to regulate firearms and for a requirement that firearms be equipped with mandatory “safety” features that many gun owners deliberately reject.

A Shooting Times item from the same year addressed the CPSC’s potential foray into firearms, half-jokingly stating that the agency’s “perfect handgun will light up like a Christmas tree, have a 30-pound trigger and a 14-inch barrel.” That’s, of course, if the CPSC would permit handguns to be sold to American consumers at all.

It has long been anti-gun Violence Policy Center’s goal to submit firearms to consumer regulation in order to outright ban them. In its 1994 publication “Cease Fire: A Comprehensive Strategy to Reduce Firearms Violence,” the gun control group argued that ATF should be given CPSC-like authority to regulate firearms as consumer products. This, according to VPC, would result in a ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms it terms “assault weapons” and all handguns.

As for Brown, she’s willing to use the current CPSC rules to ban whatever guns she can get away with.

In late 2001, two weeks before the Clinton-appointed Brown was set to resign, the CPSC announced a suit to force the mandatory recall of between 7.5 and 9 million Daisy air guns. At the time, NRA-ILA pointed out that Brown’s attack on air guns appeared to be less about any supposed “defect” and more about the inherent nature of the product. An NRA-ILA alert noted that Brown’s anti-air gun “defect” claim “is so broad that it could not only affect virtually every air rifle, but it could also be used in future reckless lawsuits against firearm manufacturers.”

In November 2003, a wiser CPSC voted to drop the Daisy recall. Chronicling the episode, the Wall Street Journal reported,

Commissioner Mary Sheila Gall, who was the sole dissenting vote against the initial filing, declared that in 30 years of government service, she had “never seen a more outrageous miscarriage of justice and abuse of the processes of public policy” than the CPSC action against Daisy.

Not chastened by the failure of her anti-gun legacy project, the former CPSC bureaucrat was back to touting gun control in 2016. In a piece for the Washington Post, titled “We regulate lead paint – so why not lead bullets?” Brown argued that the CPSC should have the authority to regulate bullets, due to their lead content. Dropping any pretense that the goal of such a policy would be to protect ammunition consumers from a purportedly hazardous substance, Brown went on to make clear that the lead issue was merely an entrée to enact gun control policies. Sound familiar?

As for all the chefs out there, be warned. Once the CPSC, or those who would use the CPSC for their political agenda, get the idea to ban a useful product, it can be hard to get them to stop. For more than 50 years the NRA has been battling to ensure the CPSC can’t be used to trample on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners. There’s a lesson for chefs and gun owners about the value of political organization in that.

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Louisiana: Senate Passes Constitutional Carry - Take Action Now!

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Louisiana: Senate Passes Constitutional Carry - Take Action Now!

Today, the Senate passed Senate Bill 1, NRA backed constitutional carry legislation, on a 28-10 vote. The bill will next be considered in the House. Please contact your state representative and ask them to SUPPORT Senate Bill 1.

Ontario Latest Province to Snub Trudeau’s Gun Grab – “Ontario Should Not Be Spending Taxpayers’ Money Towards the Program”

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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Ontario Latest Province to Snub Trudeau’s Gun Grab – “Ontario Should Not Be Spending Taxpayers’ Money Towards the Program”

The wheels are coming off the mandatory “assault weapon” gun ban and confiscation scheme that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau launched four years ago.

Hawaii Justices “Declare War” on U.S. Supreme Court, to the Cheers of Anti-Gun Media

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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Hawaii Justices “Declare War” on U.S. Supreme Court, to the Cheers of Anti-Gun Media

In Hawaii, a man who was peacefully carrying a pistol for his own self-protection while on a nature hike was arrested and subject to felony prosecution under state laws that generally confine the possession of ...

Minnesota: "Assault Weapons" Ban Referred to the Committee on Public Safety Finance and Policy

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Minnesota: "Assault Weapons" Ban Referred to the Committee on Public Safety Finance and Policy

On Monday, House File 3570 was referred to the House Committee on Public Safety Finance and Policy and would ban so called “assault weapons” by expanding upon an existing statute used to define these firearms. The bill ...

Colorado: Semi-Auto Ban Introduced in General Assembly

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Colorado: Semi-Auto Ban Introduced in General Assembly

Anti-Gun extremist State Reps. Tim Hernandez (D-04) and Elisabeth Epps (D-06) introduced House Bill 24-1292, a bill banning the manufacturing, importing, purchasing, selling, offering to sell, or transferring ownership of so called “assault weapons”. 

South Carolina: Permitless Carry Passes the Senate, Waiting on Concurrence by the House

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

South Carolina: Permitless Carry Passes the Senate, Waiting on Concurrence by the House

Last week, South Carolina moved one step closer to becoming the 28th state to enact Permitless/Constitutional Carry! This effort has been years in the making, clearing a major hurdle by passing the Senate, which has been ...

Virginia: Mandatory Waiting Period and Other Anti-Gun Bills Headed to the Governor's Desk

Friday, February 23, 2024

Virginia: Mandatory Waiting Period and Other Anti-Gun Bills Headed to the Governor's Desk

Contact Governor Youngkin today and urge his veto!  Anti-gun extremists in the Virginia General Assembly have made diminishing your Second Amendment Rights a top priority this legislative session. This week a slew of gun control ...

Louisiana: House Committee to Hear Constitutional Carry Monday - Take Action Now!

Friday, February 23, 2024

Louisiana: House Committee to Hear Constitutional Carry Monday - Take Action Now!

Monday, February 26, at 10:00 AM, the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee will hear Senate Bill 1, the NRA-backed constitutional carry legislation. SB 1 was passed by the Senate earlier this week with overwhelming support. Please contact committee members ...

2024 SESSION OF THE NEW MEXICO LEGISLATURE COMES TO AN END

Thursday, February 15, 2024

2024 SESSION OF THE NEW MEXICO LEGISLATURE COMES TO AN END

The New Mexico Legislature concluded its 30-day session on Thursday at noon.  Gun control dominated the discussion during what was supposed to be a "budget session". NRA-ILA was at the Roundhouse every single day, fighting extremist gun ...

New Hampshire: House Advances Critical Gun Owner Privacy Legislation

Friday, February 23, 2024

New Hampshire: House Advances Critical Gun Owner Privacy Legislation

On Thursday, February 22nd, the New Hampshire House of Representatives held floor votes on gun related bills.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.