And the reasons why those measures will most definitely fail.
(UPDATE: A few minutes after this article went live, to no surprise, all four measures died on the Senate floor. As expected, all four of the bills were voted down party lines.)
Fun fact. Based on the most recent Pew Research study, currently around 85% Americans – which include a large majority of Republicans (79%) – support expanded background checks. Specifically those that deal with closing the loophole on gun shows and Internet sales. Another fun fact, regarding the banning of gun sales for those on the federal no-fly watch list, according to a recent Gallup Poll, 71% of Americans are behind that measure.
Interestingly enough, those are the types of gun control measures that will be introduced on the Senate floor today by both Democratic and Republican lawmakers.
- The first piece of legislation comes from Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy which would enforce ALL gun sellers to do background checks, essentially closing the loopholes on gun shows and Internet purchases. As you may have guessed, the National Rifle Association (NRA) along with Republicans are completely against it saying it infringes on 2nd Amendment Rights.
- The second in regarding to background checks is from Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley in which he wouldn’t expand the background check program, but his legislation would allow states to include mental health records that would be processed into the system. Some Republicans and veteran’s rights advocates have expressed opposition to this measure because VA records could potentially block veteran’s access to legal firearms.
There are another two pieces of legislation that will be introduced tonight which deal with gun control measures – again presented by both Democrats and Republicans – but they specifically deal with blocking of gun sales to terror suspects.
- From the Democrats, Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s measure would give the US Justice Department the authority to block gun sales to suspected terrorists that are on the “terrorist watch list.” In other words, the feds could block the sale of a firearm due to a person being “a threat to public safety.” Conservatives and gun rights activists (like the NRA) remain wary of the measure due to the lack of judicial review within the process.
- So for that reason, Republican Sen. John Cornyn will introduce a similar measure today, in the Senate, that would still block gun sales to individuals on the “terrorist watch list”, but would force federal authorities to prove in court that there is probable cause to the denial. Democrats however say by adding judicial review to the measure is at best unnecessary and at worst putting additional strain on the federal government to do their job effectively. Many have complained the 72-hour turnaround for the federal government to make a case on why an individual should not be sold a firearm – which is present in the measure’s language – is unreasonable.
So with the public overwhelmingly behind both types of gun control measures, requiring background checks to all gun purchases and banning access to guns on the “terrorist watch list”, you would think the proposals tonight would be a slam dunk!
NONE of the four proposals have any chance of passing the Senate tonight! Even though all four proposals are extremely modest on gun control and have overwhelming public support, the Democrats belief that the GOP’s gun control measures don’t go far enough and the NRA having such a pull on Republicans make these pieces of legislation almost impossible to pass.
The only thing the Democrats will show for their 15 hour filibuster last week is that there was a standoff in Congress over gun control. For Democrats in Congress, that itself is a major victory that’ll make a great campaign ad during election time. For the majority of Americans that call for common sense gun control proposals however, this is all:
Plain and simple.
(Photo Credits: Pixabay.com, Google Images)