Politics: Where the gun control debate stands in Congress - - PressFrom - US
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Politics Where the gun control debate stands in Congress

16:35  27 february  2018
16:35  27 february  2018 Source:   vox.com

Schumer demands votes on multiple gun-control proposals

  Schumer demands votes on multiple gun-control proposals Senate Democrats are demanding a wide-ranging gun control debate, including votes on multiple proposals such as the dramatic expansion of background checks for gun purchases.Schumer, who met earlier Tuesday with the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida, said the students are pressing for the adoption of unive rsal background checks in the wake of the massacre."We in Congress have an obligation to pass meaningful gun safety legislation that will save lives and tackle as many of the loopholes and problems with our gun laws as we can," Schumer told reporters.

Here’s what Congress is talking about on gun control . With every mass shooting, Congress racks up an even longer list of gun control ideas. Since the Parkland shooting, several bipartisan proposals have dominated the conversation in the House and Senate

gun control laws. There are a number of legislative actions that have been proposed but have yet to see the light of day on the House floor. "Despite the public’s lack of trust in Congress , the American public has not given up hope that change can happen." A majority of Americans believe that access to

a group of people holding a sign: Activists hold up signs at the Florida State Capitol as they rally for gun reform legislation© Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images Activists hold up signs at the Florida State Capitol as they rally for gun reform legislation

As Congress returns from recess this week, the big question is whether the shooting in Parkland, Florida, which killed at least 17 people, and injured more than a dozen others, will push Congress to actuallydo something on guns?

Republicans are talking about background checks, raising age limits on buying assault-style rifles and maybe even beefing up the federal background check system — ideas that seemed unfathomable just a few months ago.

Last year, after what became the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history in Las Vegas, Congress didn’t act.

The gun control debate in Congress is no longer about guns

  The gun control debate in Congress is no longer about guns Congressional Republicans are looking for the narrowest possible action on gun violence prevention. President Donald Trump said he wanted Congress to pass “comprehensive” gun control. Congress isn’t so keen.

To pass any significant gun control legislation through the United States Congress , President Trump would have had to exert the full power of his office. Trump would have had to twist the arms of his Republican colleagues and burn through significant political capital with his conservative base.

Congress has protected gun companies from lawsuits. Threats from the NRA have blocked the Centers for Disease Control from researching These ten lies have confused the public and diffused the political momentum of gun control advocates. A clearer understanding and concentrated focus

This time, student survivors sparked a movement that’s put Republicans, like Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, on the spot over campaign donations from the National Rifle Association.

This time, aRepublican White House seems to want to see a vote on some gun control legislation this week. President Donald Trump tweeted his support for comprehensive background checks — though he has since pivoted to supporting arming school teachers.

Lawmakers have yet to coalesce behind a bill. They’ve booked no time to take it up this week. So while pressure mounts, Congress isn’t making it clear: Is this like last time, and we’ll just wait until the next?

Here’s what Congress is talking about on gun control

With every mass shooting, Congress racks up an even longer list of gun control ideas. Since the Parkland shooting, several bipartisan proposals have dominated the conversation in the House and Senate:

Gun control dominates conversation as Congress returns

  Gun control dominates conversation as Congress returns Eleven days after 17 people died at a school shooting in South Florida, gun control continues to dominate the national conversation as lawmakers return to Washington, D.C. this week.Lawmakers and President Trump have proposed a number of controversial ideas, but so far only a handful of specifics.

“ Congressman O’Rourke is a vocal proponent of gun control and restricting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens,” Cruz said in a call with There hasn't even been a discussion allowed in Congress on common-sense gun safety laws. Let's have a debate . We owe our country that much

WASHINGTON — The Orlando, Fla., massacre reignited on Monday the debate over whether Americans like Omar Mateen who have appeared on the government’s terrorist watch lists, or who were otherwise suspected by the authorities of ties to terrorist groups, should be allowed to buy a gun .

1) A bill that would strengthen existing rules around the national background check system has garnered the most attention

Many agencies consistently fail to report criminal records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) — the system gun sellers use to verify if someone is eligible to buy a gun. This bill would increase enforcement, step up requirements for federal and state agencies to update records, give states financial incentives to report to NICS, and penalize agencies that don’t upload their records.

The Fix NICS Act has bipartisan support, in both chambers of Congress; it’s sponsored in the Senate by John Cornyn (R-TX), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Tim Scott (R-SC), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Dean Heller (R-NV), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).

Reps. John Culberson (R-TX), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Elizabeth Esty (D-CT), Ryan Costello (R-PA), and Pete Aguilar (D-CA) are sponsors in the House, where the bill has already passed in some form.

House to debate bill to reduce violence in schools

  House to debate bill to reduce violence in schools The U.S. House of Representatives will debate bipartisan legislation next week aimed at preventing violence at schools following the shooting deaths of 17 people at a Florida high school on Feb. 14, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Tuesday.McCarthy, the second most powerful Republican in the House, did not outline any other bills the chamber might consider that are urged by gun control groups, such as raising the minimum age for buying semi-automatic rifles or banning them altogether.

The Peace Monument stands in front of the U.S. Capitol where an American flag flies at half-staff following a mass shooting in Las Vegas late Sunday Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who has become one of the most vocal advocates for gun control legislation in Congress . He was a member of the House in

In an article first published in December 2015 in the wake of a mass shooting in an Oregon college, two experts explore the history of the gun control debate , examining the underlying concerns fuelling both sides

Last week, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that Trump is supportive of the bill, which is a notable change from his position last year. However, Sanders also noted that discussions about the bill are ongoing and the text may be revised.

Even a bipartisan bill like Fix NICS faces an uphill battle in the Senate. In 2017, for example, Republicans largely voted along party lines to do away with an Obama-era regulationdesigned to keep guns out of the hands of some people with severe mental illness (Republican senators were joined by four Democrats in this vote). The regulation required the Social Security Administration to disclose information about some of its beneficiaries with mental illness to the national gun background check system.

a group of people holding wine glasses: Congress To Hold Vote On Budget Bill As Shutdown Deadline Looms© Provided by Vox.com Congress To Hold Vote On Budget Bill As Shutdown Deadline Looms

2) The 2013 “Toomey-Manchin” proposal expanding background checks could see yet another revival

After the Sandy Hook Massacre, Republican Sen. Pat Toomey (PA) and moderate Democrat Joe Manchin (WV) proposed an expansion of the current background check system for gun sales to gun shows. It failed when it was put up for a vote in 2013, and lost even more support in 2015 when it was put up for another vote.

Four obstacles for Congress on gun legislation

  Four obstacles for Congress on gun legislation As pressure mounts for congressional action on gun control, it's unclear just how much can be done given the thick political fog that shrouds any major legislative effort on Capitol Hill -- especially in an election year. President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday that Congress "is in a mood to finally do something on this issue," but lawmakers are at home on a weeklong recess and it's too soon to tell if there's enough appetite to tackle gun legislation when they return next week. Republican leadership in the House and Senate have been silent on the question.

Congressional Republicans are looking for the narrowest possible action on gun violence prevention. President Donald Trump said he wanted Congress to pass “comprehensive” gun control . Congress isn’t so keen. In the immediate aftermath of the shooting in a Parkland, Florida

Gun control in Congress state of play: Familiar obstacles arise. The Senate GOP conference closed door lunch Tuesday is where Republicans will discuss their next steps on the gun issue -- whether they want to pursue something more expansive, either on the policy side or just the debate

Currently, only federally licensed gun dealers need to conduct background checks before making sales, and sales between family members, friends and neighbors go unchecked — including online, or at gun shows.

The Toomey-Manchin proposal would expand background checks to internet sales and gun shows, while maintaining exceptions for family and friends, as long as there’s no online posting. The proposal, which does not have the support of gun rights groups, has repeatedly failed on the Senate floor. But with a renewed energy to act, Manchin and Toomey think their proposal could have another life — but not without Trump’s blessing.

“We’re not going to bring it back unless the president signs on,” Manchin said during a radio interview with West Virginia’s MetroNews. “I think it’s imperative that he has to get on board with what he feels he’s comfortable with.”

3) Discussion around raising the minimum age to buy AR-15s from 18 to 21

Last week, Flake announced he and Feinstein were working on a Senate bill that would raise the minimum age to buy an AR-15 rifle to 21 for buyers who aren’t in the military.

Currently, federal law prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from purchasing a handgun from a licensed dealer, but allows adults 18 or older to buy rifles. Trump has both said that he’s willing to support raising the minimum age, and that the National Rifle Association would support it.

Congress faces old gun debate with new pressure to act

  Congress faces old gun debate with new pressure to act Lawmakers returned to Washington amidst a new atmosphereWASHINGTON — Congress continued to grapple with how to move forward on the issue of gun violence after returning to Washington this week for the first time since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Gun violence and gun control are the topics of a series of hearings currently being held in the U.S. Senate. Since the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., the White House and gun control advocates have pushed for stricter gun laws to help reduce gun violence, but many congressional Republicans

Pro gun control : The Oregon community college where nine recently died wasn't a gun -free zone. Umpqua Community College allowed anyone with Pro gun control : Yeah, but many other times this question has been brought up in a court of law, there's been a clear and consistent pattern, according

The NRA, however, is opposed:

“Legislative proposals that prevent law-abiding adults aged 18- 20-years-old from acquiring rifles and shotguns effectively prohibits them for purchasing any firearm, thus depriving them of their constitutional right to self-protection,” Jennifer Baker, the NRA’s spokesperson said in a statement.

The White House has since said they are “not going to speak to potential legislation that doesn’t exist.”

4) The “bump stock” ban is back — maybe

In the wake of the tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas, which left 59 dead and injured hundreds more, Democrats and Republicans in both the House and Senate proposed banning bump stocks — a device the Las Vegas shooter likely used to make his semiautomatic weapon function as a fully automatic one.

Feinstein sponsored the proposal in the Senate last October and in the House, Reps. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Seth Moulton (D-MA) did the same.

At the time, the bump stock ban seemed narrow enough that Republicans could explain supporting it: Automatic weapons are mostly banned in the United States, and this device is essentially a loophole to that regulation. But the push eventually petered out.

The National Rifle Association, which originally said bump stocks should be “subject to additional regulations,” but clarified that any action should come from the Trump administration — not from Congress — a distinction that muddied hopes of any action in the legislative branch.

Trump told reporters Monday that he is open to taking action on bump stocks without Congress. But in 2013, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives — which many Republicans are calling on to ban bump stocks, said it did not have the authority to do so, as bump stocks on their own aren’t classified as firearms.

Florida House Republican won’t seek reelection

  Florida House Republican won’t seek reelection "After what will be 10 years in the United States Congress representing the good people of Florida's Heartland, it's time to ‘hang em up’ as my old football coach used to say,” Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) said in a statement.The announcement is just the latest in a recent wave of GOP House retirements, which come as Democrats seek to take back control of Congress in the 2018 mid-term elections.

The House is now scheduled to vote on an unspecified gun measure next week -- here's what you need to know about the gun control fight on Capitol Hill. Only a few weeks after a gunman shot and killed 49 people in an Orlando nightclub, the battle over gun control is still raging in Congress .

Writers from across the political spectrum on the predictable debate over gun control in the wake of a mass shooting. Forget legislation regulating gun magazines and automatic weapons, Mr. Zornick writes. President Trump and Republicans in Congress are not even willing to “put their money where

There are rumors of other less formed ideas

Outside of the proposed bills, there are reports of other less concrete ideas, from increasing funding for police departments, to giving law enforcement the authority to confiscate guns for a short period of time after reports of mental illness, domestic violence or threats, according to Politico.

Trump said on Monday he supported the idea of making it easier for law enforcement to take away guns from mentally ill people, and of revitalizing mental institutions, implying states’ budget cuts were to blame.

“We’re going to have to start talking about mental institutions,” Trump said, adding that “in the old days” it was easier to commit people who acted “like a boiler ready to explode” to mental institutions.

Donald J. Trump, Wayne LaPierre sitting at a table: President Trump Holds Meeting on Supreme Court Nominee Gorsuch© Provided by Vox.com President Trump Holds Meeting on Supreme Court Nominee Gorsuch

Congress is looking for the narrowest possible gun control legislation

The bill with the best chance of becoming law doesn’t make new gun laws — it enforces existing ones. That’s the Fix NICS Act, which aims to fix a disturbing trend in multiple mass shootings: There were existing gun laws that were poorly enforced.

Case in point: the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Under current law, all federal agencies, including the Defense Department, are supposed to upload certain conviction records into the system. That check is then run every time someone buys a gun to ensure they are eligible to buy a gun and don’t have a serious criminal conviction on their record.

But agencies don’t always submit the records, and have failed to do so before a number of mass shootings. Cornyn once characterized the number of records sent to the FBI as “staggeringly low.” This is in part due to staffing issues; as Vox’s German Lopez wrote, “the federal background check system is also notoriously underfunded, understaffed, and underresourced, allowing red flags to slip through.”

Father of Florida shooting victim: Rubio never reached out to offer condolences

  Father of Florida shooting victim: Rubio never reached out to offer condolences “Every single elected official in this state who represents me, as well as some on a national level and from other states, called me in the aftermath to offer condolence Senator Rubio? Not even a tweet, not even a text, not a phone call.”Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime Guttenberg was one of 17 people killed by a gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month, has been a vocal critic of Rubio's handling of gun control following the shooting.

gun control laws. There are a number of legislative actions that have been proposed but have yet to see the light of day on the House floor. Despite the public’s lack of trust in Congress , the American public has not given up hope that change can happen.77% of Americans think that the students from

Military conviction records are supposed to file into the system, but they frequently — even systemically — fall through the cracks. As ProPublica reported, a 2015 Pentagon reportfound the military failed to provide key records to the FBI in “about 30 percent of a sample of serious cases handled in military courts.”

The bill was introduced last year after a gunman killed 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. In the aftermath, the Air Force admitted that it had failed to submit criminal records that could have blocked the Texas shooter, Devin Kelley (an Air Force veteran), from buying a gun.

Under federal law, Kelley shouldn’t have been able to buy a gun because he’d been convicted in military court of assaulting his spouse and their child while in the Air Force. But the Air Force didn’t hand the records over to the FBI, and Kelley managed to slip through the system. Similar problems occurred before the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre and the 2015 church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.

The Fix NICS Act was drafted by Republicans and Democrats. Its main sponsors are Cornyn and Democratic Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. Both Connecticut senators are fierce advocates of gun control, as they represent the state where the Sandy Hook massacre took place.

Cornyn is a fierce advocate for gun rights. He even has anA-plus rating from the National Rifle Association. But last week, he took to the Senate floor and said Congress members needed to do more than simply offer thoughts and prayers to victims and family members, as they have done so many times.

“We need to not only think about and pray for the families and teachers and support staff affected by this terrible act, I think we need to conduct hearings and talk to the experts and find out what kind of tools might be available to us,” Cornyn said. “I personally am unwilling to face another family member who’s lost a loved one as a result of these mass shootings that could be prevented by making sure the background check system works as Congress intended.”

A version of the Fix NICS Act has already passed the House, but despite Cornyn’s high-ranking leadership position, it hasn’t seen any movement in the Senate. Senate Democrats have been frustrated by a lack of movement by Cornyn and other Republican leaders, and say GOP leadership in the House and Senate are the reason Congress has not been able to act to prevent another mass shooting like Parkland.

“It’s certainly been the Republican leadership that do not want their members having to vote on this, because I think they recognize if there’s a vote on it, it’s going to pass,” Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) told Voxin February.

Congress has been in this position before, a cycle of negotiations that often ends in inaction.

Despite there being energy on the outside, on Capitol Hill lawmakers seem otherwise occupied. The House is here for two days this week — a “knock-off session week,” one congressional Republican aide described, and the Senate, which is in session all week, has only scheduled debate on judicial nominations.

Father of Florida shooting victim: Rubio never reached out to offer condolences .
“Every single elected official in this state who represents me, as well as some on a national level and from other states, called me in the aftermath to offer condolence Senator Rubio? Not even a tweet, not even a text, not a phone call.”Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime Guttenberg was one of 17 people killed by a gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month, has been a vocal critic of Rubio's handling of gun control following the shooting.

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