I’m all for gun control, but I agree the Democratic amendment, and the GOP amendment, were both poor amendments.
I think you mischaracterize both, though.
Let’s start with the Democratic amendment (see https://www.congress.gov/amendment/114th-congress/senate-amendment/4720/text). It keeps a set of suspected terrorists from buying guns. It allows people on the lists to request judicial review (“A denial described in this section shall be subject to the remedial procedures set forth in section 103(g) of Public Law 103–159 (18 U.S.C. 922 note) and the intended transferee may pursue a remedy for an erroneous denial of a firearm under section 925A of title 18, United States Code.”). However, as we know, that process is hard.
The impact of the Democratic amendment is that suspected terrorists would not be allowed to acquire a firearm unless they could prove they were not a danger.
The GOP amendment (see https://www.congress.gov/amendment/114th-congress/senate-amendment/4749/text ) takes much the same path but, in contrast to the Democratic amendment, assumes that someone on the list should be allowed to acquire a firearm unless the government can prove it should be denied. Once that proof is made, there is no provision in the amendment for confiscation of the weapon.
If the GOP amendment passed the suspected terrorist would get the gun. There would be no delay. The government would have 72 hours to prove to a court that s/he shouldn’t have the firearm. Then they’d have to track the person down and confiscate the gun.
The Democratic version fails to persuade me only because it doesn’t include any language about priority hearings for those that are blocked from acquiring a firearm.
The GOP version fails because it doesn’t solve the problem. The suspected terrorist still gets the gun. S/he will disappear before the court is even convened.
If we had to have one of the other, the Democratic one is better because at least it keeps guns out of the hands of suspected terrorists and it can be modified to add rapid review of denials.