Lawmakers’ Retreat To Political Corners Was Swift, But Background Checks And Red Flag Laws May Gain Traction
Congress failed to pass significant reforms following mass shootings in the past, but action following this weekend's events is especially unlikely considering lawmakers just left Washington, D.C. for a five-week recess. However, President Donald Trump and leading Republicans hint at support for strong background checks and red flag laws.
The Associated Press:
After Shootings, Congress Again Weighs Gun Violence Response
Newtown. Charleston. Orlando. Parkland.And now after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, Congress again is confronted with the question of what, if anything, lawmakers should do to combat the scourge of gun violence afflicting the country. While both parties are calling for action, the retreat to familiar political corners was swift. Democrats demanded quick approval of gun-control legislation — some of it already passed by the House — while Republicans looked elsewhere for answers, focusing on mental health and violent video games. (8/5)
Mass Shootings: What Is Congress Doing About Gun Control?
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called on McConnell to cancel the Senate's summer recess and reconvene to pass gun control legislation. "@SenateMajLdr McConnell must call the Senate back for an emergency session to put the House-passed universal background checks legislation on the Senate floor for debate and a vote immediately," wrote Schumer on Twitter. The Kentucky Republican has blocked gun control legislation in the Senate that had previously passed the House by wide margins. McConnell had the bills placed on the Senate calendar, rather than having them referred to a committee to potentially be passed by the full Senate. Here's what that legislation would do. (Wu, 8/4)
The Wall Street Journal:
Gun Measures Would Face Familiar Hurdles In Washington
Major gun-control legislation faces major challenges. Beyond the longstanding Republican opposition to past proposals, the timing of the most recent mass shootings also means that any sort of legislative debate soon on gun violence is unlikely. Lawmakers have just left Washington for a weeks long August recess. The national conversation may move on from the tragic deaths in El Paso and Dayton by the time they return—just as it did after 20 kindergartners were slaughtered at school in 2012 or 11 people were shot and killed at their synagogue last year. (Duehren, 8/5)
Republicans Hide Behind Trump In Gun Debate
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he would introduce legislation encouraging more states to adopt red flag laws, which allow local law enforcement officials to temporarily seize guns from people who may pose a risk to themselves or others. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had cited video games on Sunday as a potential cause of violence in the country. On Monday, the California Republican praised the president for condemning racism, bigotry and white supremacy in his Monday morning address. “Couldn’t agree more, Mr. President,” McCarthy said in a tweet that marked his only response to Trump’s comments. (Zanona, Levine and Ferris, 8/5)
Congress Is Looking At Gun Control After Shootings In El Paso And Dayton. Here’s How They’ve Failed In The Past
After dozens of people were gunned down across two mass shootings over the weekend, pressure is on Congress to address gun violence. If recent history is any guide, it will not. “You can track every mass shooting that’s happened in the last five or six years and look to see what Congress has done, and the answer is probably nothing,” said Robin Lloyd, managing director at gun control advocacy group Giffords, named for the congresswoman who was shot along with 12 others in a Safeway parking lot in Arizona in 2011. (McLeod, 8/5)
Two Gun Control Proposals Are Already Being Discussed In Congress. Will They Move Forward Now?
President Trump mentioned “strong background checks” and “red flag laws” as he condemned the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio that left 30 dead and dozens wounded. Proposals for both have been discussed in Congress. But do they have a better chance now that the divisive, controversial Republican president has mentioned them in a speech and promised to act with “urgent resolve”? (Finucane, 8/5)
The Next Big Vote On Gun Control May Be In The Supreme Court
After this weekend’s mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, pressure to reform gun laws has focused on Congress—and, as usual, Congress seems stymied about what to do. But with far less attention, an important strand of the debate has now landed in the Supreme Court. Last week, the gun-maker Remington, which had annual sales of approximately $600 million in 2017, asked the Supreme Court to overturn a Connecticut decision that gave Sandy Hook families the ability to sue the company over the way it marketed the weapon used in the 2014 school massacre. (Mariotti, 8/5)