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U.S. Democrats pressure Senate Republicans for gun control action

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U.S. Democrats pressure Senate Republicans for gun control action

By David Morgan

 

2019-08-13T180329Z_1_LYNXNPEF7C1FN_RTROPTP_3_USA-GUNS.JPG

Students and gun control advocates attend the "March for Our Lives" event after recent school shootings, at a rally in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott/Files

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Democrats sought to gain the upper hand in the gun debate with President Donald Trumpand Senate Republicans on Tuesday by demanding quick action on background checks and suggesting that money forTrump's border wall could go instead to fighting domestic terrorism.

 

Five Democrats in the House of Representatives held a news conference with relatives and friends of mass shooting victims to pressure Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell to call the upper chamber back from its August recess for a vote on gun control legislation that has already been approved by the House.

 

In a related move, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer was preparing to ask the Trump administration in the coming days to withdraw its request for $5 billion for a border wall with Mexico and direct the funds to initiatives to combat white supremacy beliefs and gun violence, according to a person familiar with his thinking.

 

U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer urged Senate Republicans to take up gun violence legislation already passed by the House, requiring background checks on all firearm sales. Jillian Kitchener has more.

 

Schumer wants the money to go to FBI domestic terrorism investigations, Department of Homeland Security initiatives to counter violent extremism, and federal health agency research on gun violence, the source said.

 

The Democratic push on gun control comes after back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, propelled the wide availability of guns in the United States back to the forefront of political debate. Democrats said that more than 250 mass shootings have occurred in the United States this year.

 

According to the Gun Violence Archive, a non-profit research and data collection organization, there have been 257 mass shootings so far this year in the United States. The group defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are shot or killed, not including the shooter.

 

With opinion polls showing a majority of Americans in favour of gun restrictions but Trump and his fellow Republicans unlikely to give in on tough measures, Democrats in Congress and those vying for their party's presidential nomination are making it a key plank in their 2020 election contests.

 

Congress has failed to pass meaningful gun control measures despite multiple mass shootings over the years, mostly due to lobbying by the National Rifle Association and other pro-gun groups. Those groups have tapped into a deep-seated suspicion of government efforts to interfere with gun ownership, which is protected by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

 

Democrats are currently pressing for Senate action on a House bill known as H.R. 8 that would expand background checks by closing a loophole that allows as many as one-fifth of gun sales over the internet and at gun shows to go unchecked. The measure passed the Democratic-led House in February, getting only eight Republican votes.

 

"Is it the solution to all this violence? It is not ... it is a significant and important step to take in the face of this violence," House majority leader Steny Hoyer told reporters. "Not to act is a refusal to meet our responsibilities to the American people," he added.

 

Hoyer said the House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over gun control, will return to Washington early to consider new "red flag" legislation that would help states keep guns away from people deemed a threat to themselves or others, and ban both assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. A committee aide said a final decision to return has not been made, however.

 

McConnell told a radio interviewer last week that calling the Senate back into session early would only lead to political posturing. Instead, he has instructed the chairs of three Senate committees to work on legislation that can be debated when lawmakers return from their recess on Sept. 9.

 

Legislation sought by McConnell would need to garner enough bipartisan support to pass the Senate and secure Trump's signature.

 

The White House, which originally threatened to veto the House legislation, is now reassessing the package, according to sources familiar with the matter.

 

A Senate version that would exempt from background checks all gun transfers, including sales between close family members, was also under consideration, the sources said. The House version exempts only loans and gifts between relatives.

 

The Senate's bill, sponsored by Republican Senator Pat Toomey and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, failed in 2013 in the aftermath of the murder of 20 children and six staff members at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012.

 

The White House is also considering red flag measures and proposals to notify states nationwide when someone is denied a gun purchase, the sources said.

 

The president failed to mention toughening background checks in an address last week that focused on mental illness, the internet and video games as potential causes of shootings. But he took a different tack when the issue came up again on Tuesday.

 

McConnell "wants to do background checks. I do too, and I think a lot of Republicans do," Trump told reporters in New Jersey. "I don't know frankly that the Democrats will get us there. ... We'll see what happens."

 

(Reporting by David Morgan; additional reporting by Jeff Mason; editing by Sonya Hepinstall, Jonathan Oatis and Leslie Adler)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-08-14
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6 minutes ago, Pique Dard said:

the land of freedom and of the second amendment!

It has always cost lives, from the very beginning. 

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1 hour ago, Bluespunk said:

Pass the current democrat gun legislation proposals for a start. 

I guess you don't know what they are.  Not every thing marked democrat has a even a slim chance doing anything.  Democrats want to cut off a source of Republican funding.  Criminals are the only ones buying those kind of guns and they don't buy guns legitimately.  First question is asking who is buying those and who are they killing in America.  Get off the political ideas and consider something that works.  Call the congress bask from their long vacation and research something that might work. Police cars stop anyone they think might be considering a crime.  That will get a million guns off the street in a year.  Think that is discrimination?   What a shock.  Lemme tell ya.  Gramps in the Upper Peninsula is not shooting people or robbing banks.   

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Just now, marcusarelus said:

I guess you don't know what they are.  Not every thing marked democrat has a even a slim chance doing anything.  Democrats want to cut off a source of Republican funding.  Criminals are the only ones buying those kind of guns and they don't buy guns legitimately.  First question is asking who is buying those and who are they killing in America.  Get off the political ideas and consider something that works.  Call the congress bask from their long vacation and research something that might work. Police cars stop anyone they think might be considering a crime.  That will get a million guns off the street in a year.  Think that is discrimination?   What a shock.  Lemme tell ya.  Gramps in the Upper Peninsula is not shooting people or robbing banks.   

Let the legislation through and see.

 

Though, to be honest, I’m all for more draconian measures and would applaud measures to ban gun ownership. 

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Bluespunk said:

Let the legislation through and see.

 

Though, to be honest, I’m all for more draconian measures and would applaud measures to ban gun ownership. 

OK by me.  You'll never get a lazy Senator of House member to come back from vacation to save lives.  Do a gun crime put them in jail for life.  

Edited by marcusarelus

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Trump and the Republicans will never do anything to stop gun ownership. America is the worlds largest arms manufacturer and it must sell guns and ammunition to keep the industry alive and I believe that this is the reason why Trump has torn up a lot of agreements because he wants the world to be scared so that they will buy weapons and other military equipement from them. He does not care if he starts a war because America will make and sell more weapons and that would be a good business venture. He does not care about any lives that are lost as long as they are non of his family and America keeps selling their death weapons. 

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4 hours ago, marcusarelus said:

I guess you don't know what they are.  Not every thing marked democrat has a even a slim chance doing anything.  Democrats want to cut off a source of Republican funding.  Criminals are the only ones buying those kind of guns and they don't buy guns legitimately.  First question is asking who is buying those and who are they killing in America.  Get off the political ideas and consider something that works.  Call the congress bask from their long vacation and research something that might work. Police cars stop anyone they think might be considering a crime.  That will get a million guns off the street in a year.  Think that is discrimination?   What a shock.  Lemme tell ya.  Gramps in the Upper Peninsula is not shooting people or robbing banks.   

"Police cars stop anyone they think might be considering a crime.  That will get a million guns off the street in a year."

 

So you want to let the police stop anyone who they think might be considering a crime?  That might get millions of illegal guns a year off the street, but only if the US required people carrying guns to be licensed and the guns registered.  Then let the police stop anyone they think might be carrying illegally and check licenses and registration.

 

Sounds good doesn't it?

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