Written by Marie Claire GalloniqueAnd the News agency
Democrats said they are pushing for a vote on expanded arms control measures as the nation shifts away from its second mass shooting in a week. President Joe Biden said, “We have to act,” but the prospects for any major changes were bleak, for now, in a closely divided Congress.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pledged Tuesday morning to introduce Senate legislation passed by the House of Representatives that would require background checks for most arms sales and transfers. He said the Senate “must face a devastating reality” after failing to act from Congress on the issue for nearly three decades.
“The Senate is going to be different,” said Schumer, DNY, a day after the shooting of a crowded supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, which killed 10 people, including a police officer. “The Senate will debate and address the epidemic of gun violence in this country.”
While the Senate vote on new gun control will be the first in several years, the Democrats do not have the votes to pass any major reform. They didn’t even challenge, like the Senator. Joe Manchin, DWVA, told reporters on Tuesday that he opposes House legislation on background checks.
The Senate Judiciary Committee was holding a hearing on gun control proposals on Tuesday.
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It’s unclear if any of the bills put out for consideration – most of which involve more restrictive background checks – would have made a difference in the case. A 21-year-old man accused of killing eight people in the Atlanta area last week bought a 9mm pistol hours before the killing, prompting advocates to push for longer wait times for purchases.
In brief remarks in response to the shooting, Biden urged Congress to act quickly to fill loopholes in the background-checking system and also to ban offensive weapons and high-capacity magazines – an effort that would be politically difficult to achieve. According to police testimony, a Colorado shooter bought an assault rifle just days earlier.
“It shouldn’t be a partisan issue,” Biden said. This is an American issue. It will save American lives. ”
Connecticut Sun. Richard Blumenthal, who has pushed hard for expanded gun control since the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that killed 20 children and six teachers, is optimistic about the chances of new laws being passed with Biden in White.
The House of Representatives and the Democrats control the House of Representatives and the Senate. I have called it the “dawn of a new era”.
The reality is likely to be more complex. Senate Democrats currently don’t have enough support among Republicans to pass new gun control legislation in the Senate 50-50, as they would need 60 votes to do so. While expanding background checks is generally common with the American public, even with some conservatives, Congress has not been able to find a successful compromise on arms in decades, making it one of the most difficult issues in American politics.
The firearms controversy also highlights the greater difficulty Senate Democrats face as they try to advance gun legislation and other policy priorities for Biden the White House. With stalling in place, and a 60-vote limit imposed for most legislation, bills passed by the House of Representatives on issues such as gun control and voting rights are virtually unstable unless the Democrats secure substantial support for the Republican Party.
However, Democrats say they feel the environment surrounding the gun legislation is different now, especially since their last big push in 2013, when they tried to pass new laws after the horrific shooting incident of Sandy Hook. They point to problems with the National Rifle Association, a longtime powerful advocacy group that poured tens of millions of dollars into electing Donald Trump in 2016. The organization has been weakened by infighting as well as legal entanglements over its finances.
“This is the moment to take our stand. Now,” the Connecticut senator tweeted. Chris Murphy also revealed details of the shooting in Colorado on Monday night. Today, our movement is stronger than the arms lobby. They are weak. we are strong. Finally, the President and Congress support gun reform. ”
Democrats hope there will be a gradual political shift among the electorate as well. A Pew Research Center poll in September 2019 showed that a large majority of Americans, 88%, supported conducting private arms sales and sales in weapons offerings subject to background checks, which the House bill passed would do. Ninety-three percent of Democrats and 82 percent of Republicans were in favor of this policy.
But change does not come easy in the Senate. Mansheen and the Republican Senator. Pat Tome of Pennsylvania has worked together for years to find a compromise on background checks, but has yet to win any of their proposals.
Mansheen said he opposes House legislation, which would apply more broadly to arms sales and transfers in a background check request than Manchen and Tommy’s proposals in the past. He did not say whether he would resume negotiations, only “we will try to do the responsible and reasonable thing.”
Tommy said he’d like to find legislation that passes, but “it might require something a little different. So, we’ll see if we can figure out how to sew that needle.”
Many in the Republican Party base are still fiercely opposed to any kind of gun control. At the Tuesday hearing, which was scheduled before the Colorado shooting, the Republicans showed no signs of hesitation. Texas Age. Ted Cruz said that every time there is shooting, the Senate is involved in a “ridiculous theater”, with Democrats proposing laws that he said could take guns from law-abiding citizens. Republicans argued that background checks will not stop most mass shootings and will prevent some legitimate gun owners from purchasing firearms.
“We already know this pattern is predictable, over and over again,” said Cruz.
Legislation passed by the House of Representatives two weeks ago would have filled loopholes to ensure background checks are expanded to include private and online sales that often go undetected, including in firearms displays. The legislation includes limited exceptions allowing for certain transfers of firearms that are gifts from the family, intended to prevent imminent harm or that are used in a targeted range, among other things.
A second bill would extend the review period for background checks from three to 10 days. Rep. Jim Clyburn, DS.C. , Legislation after a shooter killed nine people in the Church of Charleston, South Carolina in 2015. The FBI then said that a background-checking investigator never saw the previous arrest report because of the wrongful arrest The agency was listed on state criminal history records, and the gun dealer was allowed Legally close the deal after three days.
Associated Press writers Lisa Mascaro, Hannah Fingerhout, and Michael Balsamo contributed to this report.