An activist holds a sign depicting an assault weapon as he demonstrates outside the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on August 6, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky. Luke Sharrett / Getty Images hide the caption
Luke Sharrett / Getty Images
Luke Sharrett / Getty Images
The House of Representatives legislature passed two bills aimed at strengthening the country’s gun laws, including a bill that would require background checks on all gun sales and transfers.
The Supreme Senate Democrat promised to put laws to expand background controls to the vote, but does not have the 60 votes required in the chamber to move forward.
With Democrats in full control of Congress, lawmakers are hoping the legislation will gain more support after Democratic-led efforts to pass stricter gun laws have failed repeatedly since the 2012 shootings at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School.
“The gun violence crisis in America is a challenge to our country’s conscience – one that requires us to act,” said House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi.
The House also voted to pass laws that would close the so-called “Charleston Gap” that gave Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who killed nine people in a historically black church in Charleston, SC, a pistol in 2019 to buy although he should be excluded from buying one. The measure extends the review period for background checks from 3 days to up to 20 days.
“The Charleston loophole was exploited more than ever in 2020, putting thousands of guns in the hands of people whose possession is prohibited by law,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “We could have filled that deadly loophole years ago, but then Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stood with the NRA to prevent this bill ever getting a Senate vote. Fortunately, there is a new Senate majority – and we’re looking forward to it look forward to working with that majority to bring this law into effect. ”
The National Rifle Association condemned the House’s action on Thursday, arguing that Congress should approve gun rights measures instead.
“These bills are a transparent attempt by gun control advocates in Congress to restrict the rights of law-abiding Americans under the guise of fighting the violent criminal culture in America,” said Jason Ouimet, director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, in a written statement.
While both laws had Republican co-sponsorships, both were passed with little GOP support.
North Carolina Republican MP Virginia Foxx spoke on the House floor Thursday of the gun laws as “attempts by the federal government to increase violence against law-abiding citizens who want to protect themselves and their families.”
Similar legislation passed the house in 2019After youth activism following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the Democrats united on gun control. However, it came to a standstill in the Senate.
Senate Democrats have already introduced their own version of both gun laws, but it’s unclear whether Republicans will have enough support to pass new gun laws. It would take you 60 votes to do this. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said this week that background review legislation “will be on the floor of the Senate and we’ll see where everyone stands”.
“A vote is what we need,” added Schumer. “Not thoughts and prayers.”
Connecticut Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, a sponsor of Senate legislation, said that while gun legislation “has a reputation for being controversial, it is controversial only within the Beltway”.
“Outside Washington, Republicans, Democrats, gun owners, non-gun owners, NRA members and non-NRA members all agree. We should tighten our gun laws to ensure that criminals and people with severe mental illness cannot buy guns,” Murphy said . “This is a common theme.”
Gun control advocates vow to make the problem a factor in the medium term, saying that gun violence remains an urgent problem.
“By 2022, Brady PAC will ensure that every voter knows and does not forget who voted for this life-saving bill, which 90% of Americans support,” said Brian Lemek, executive director of Brady PAC’s political arm for the prevention group Gun violence, said NPR.
Biden administration officials held listening sessions with supporters to discuss the issue. Candidate Biden pledged to take action during the 2020 campaign.