Tuesday, 17 October, 2017

Dems push for gun safety bills; legislation in limbo

David Becker  Getty Images David Becker Getty Images
Connie Andrews | 07 October, 2017, 01:57

Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, returned to the Capitol last week after he was shot and critically wounded in June as he and fellow Republicans practiced for a congressional baseball game.

The events were expected to feature former Democratic congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who has pushed for stronger gun control after she survived a gunshot wound to the head in 2011.

The bill, known as the Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act, is a large package that nominally serves to "enhance opportunities" to hunt and fish on federal land.

The bill is "not scheduled right now".

A more controversial bill to ban assault-style weapons also collapsed.

With a Republican-controlled Congress already considering loosening federal gun laws, gun control advocates insisted this latest debate should not mirror the ones after mass shootings in Orlando, San Bernardino and Newtown, Connecticut.

"Hunters need armor-piercing bullets?"

Duncan said he has not talked to top GOP leaders personally about when the House would consider the bill, but said he anticipated the bill would be on the floor next week and his staff believed it would come up sometime this month. "If you can hear, you can run to where the tragedy is emanating from".

But listening in Washington to Republicans, who traditionally align closely with the powerful pro-gun lobby the National Rifle Association, it appeared gun control measures were off the table in the days after the massacre.

Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia said at the rally that thoughts and prayers were not enough. Duncan said. "The thing is, and the thing he probably realized is, it doesn't make any difference - it's still loud". With that in mind, Schumer also singled out another bill sponsored by many Republicans allowing concealed carry permits in one state to be recognized in others. But those bills have not proceeded as far as the silencer legislation.

Trump, who travels Wednesday to Las Vegas, may have provided hope for gun-control groups when he signalled that a debate was possible. Law enforcement officials have not released details about the types of weapons that were used or whether they were obtained legally.

It's unclear how the Las Vegas gunman, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, got his weapons. Weapons of that type manufactured after 1986 generally can not be privately owned.

While that will certainly garner the support of many Democrats, there has been no expectation that Republican leaders in Congress would pick up on such a suggestion, leaving the matter in a familiar and frustrating position for Democrats. "And so the notion of passing another bill to make it illegal would be of little outcome".

DETROW: Flake was on a Virginia baseball field in June when a shooter opened fire on a team of Republicans and almost killed House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

"In this tragic moment, I encourage people across America to stand together in solidarity, and to support the Las Vegas community and all of those affected, especially by giving blood and encouraging others to do the same", he said.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Monday she wants Speaker Paul Ryan to create a select committee on gun violence.

Even among California Democrats, there were disagreements Monday about the best course of action. Pelosi, for instance, called on Ryan to impanel a bipartisan special committee to write "common sense legislation to help end this crisis". "I am praying they find the courage it will take to make progress on the challenging issue of gun violence". But the speaker has shown no interest in legislation to tighten up gun laws.

Giffords, whose ability to speak has been limited since the shooting, told her former colleagues, "The nation's counting on you".

Michelle & I are praying for the victims in Las Vegas.

"Those hundreds of people and their thousands of family members and friends are not going to let this go", he said.

DETROW: The last serious push to change gun laws came in 2013 in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that left 20 children dead.

"Right now they're going in the wrong direction", Kelly said. Murphy blasted what he called hollow thoughts and prayers of politicians and "continued legislative indifference".

Working in his third consecutive term in Congress, Nolan has repeatedly called on the House of Representatives to get back to "regular order", the traditional process of give and take within the body that has been largely ignored in recent years as partisanship has prevailed. Still, Congress refuses to act. Each time an incident occurs, there is massive outcry over gun laws.

"I think it's particularly inappropriate to politicize an event like this", McConnell said, noting the investigation into the shooting is still ongoing.

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