House Dems Eye Quick Action on Guns in New Congress
Those who cherish the 2nd Amendment and think the only election that matters is the one for President should look at the new House of Representatives of 2019. Now that Democrats control the House, congressional Democrats have promised swift action in pushing forward several “gun-control” measures.
Favored among Democrats and centrist Republicans is a ban on assault-style weapons and expanded assault-style weapons. Nancy Pelosi told reporters, “The American people deserve real action to end the daily epidemic of gun violence that is stealing the lives of our children on campuses, in places of worship and on our streets,”
On Pelosi’s agenda are enhanced restrictions on high-capacity magazines and enacting a law that allows for the temporary removal of guns from people considered being an imminent risk to themselves or others.
Though the Republican-controlled Senate and President Trump will stand in the way of any such actions becoming law, gun-control advocates say they have the momentum needed to make guns ‘THE’ issue in 2020.
The new Democrat majority includes representatives who support radical gun control measures, including Lucy McBath of Georgia. Her 17-year-old son was killed by gun violence in 2012.
Along with McBath are 17 newly elected Democrats in the House who publicly back much stricter gun laws. That group includes Elaine Luria (D-VA), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), and Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) who defeated incumbents backed by the National Rifle Association.
Democrat Jason Crow of Colorado defeated Republican Mike Coffman, who received campaign donations of more than $37,000 and who had an A rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Kris Brown, co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence told reporters that he believes his base is “worked up”. Brown worked alongside three Virginia Democrats in the final week of their campaign. She said: “large number of folks showed up and knocked on doors and said they finally have a candidate who will do something about gun violence.”
McBath, whose son was mortally wounded at a gas station by a man who said he was playing his music too loud, said her defeat of Republican Rep. Karen Handel was a resounding message that “absolutely nothing — no politician & no special interest — is more powerful than a mother on a mission.”
This doesn’t mean that all is lost for gun-rights advocates, however. Advocates of more gun-control know that Republicans gained numbers in the control of the Senate and President Trump is a gun owner himself and an ally of the NRA.
Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch, whose Florida district includes Parkland high school where the 17 people were killed in February predicted an immediate acceleration of gun-control bills throughout the spring.
GOP lawmakers have thought they could avoid talking about gun control for years while receiving an A rating from the NRA. Deutch said, “that just won’t work anymore.”
Failed Republican presidential hopeful, Governor John Kasich got in the act after the Parkland shooting when he told CNN’s State-of-the-Union that he supported both stricter background checks for people trying to buy guns and a ban on bump stocks.
Kasich is a good example of the fickleness of those running for office. In 2014, the Ohio governor won a National Rifle Association’s endorsement but just after the 2018 CNN interview his staff removed a page on his website that claimed Kasich had “signed every pro-Second Amendment bill that crossed his desk.”
Universal background checks will headline Congressional activity this year. California Rep. Mike Thompson, head of a Democratic “gun violence prevention task force” said he will introduce such a bill early in the year.
Thompson, who is a close Pelosi ally, said the bill will have bipartisan sponsorship, although he declined to name Republican lawmakers who’ll sign onto it. Rep. Peter King (D-NY), has co-authored background-checks bills with Thompson and promises to back this one as well.
Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee plans to move “very quickly” in getting the background checks bill to the floor. He told POLITICO, “It’s very important to us; it’s one of our top priorities. We told the American voters that we do mean to do this, and we do mean to do it.”
“[Democrats] will overreach like they always do,” said a source close to the NRA. “They will push this too far, and it will backfire on them.”
Perhaps, but conservatives cannot depend on Democrats to fail. They need Republican allies in Congress determined to win.