CHN: Gun Control Measures Disputed in Congress

Several gun control measures are being debated in Congress and with the White House following the tragedy in Parkland, Florida. The House passed a bill to narrowly bolster enforcement of the federal background check system in December 2017, but House GOP leaders coupled it with an NRA-backed measure that would allow states to honor concealed carry permits issued by other states. Senate Democrats will not support such a measure and instead want to expand background checks for firearms purchased at gun shows and online. Sens. Toomey (R-PA) and Manchin (D-WV) have a proposal to close the “gun show loophole”; that proposal got 54 votes in 2013, 6 shy of the number needed for passage. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced a bill to ban the sale of bump stocks, but it has not moved after a committee hearing last December; she also introduced a bill to ban all assault weapons. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) has said he would work with Sen. Feinstein on a bill to raise the minimum age for purchasing certain firearms. Another proposal revolves around whether to reverse the prohibition put in place by Congress against research on gun violence by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is uncertain if any of these proposals have the 60 votes required to pass in the Senate, though there is some talk of trying to attach gun legislation to the must-pass omnibus spending package to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year.

President Trump has made conflicting remarks over the past weeks regarding his potential support for moves like raising the minimum age for purchasing some firearms, expanding federal background checks, and outlawing bump stocks. He has also proposed arming certain teachers and school staff with firearms. CHN supports stronger gun laws and programs to prevent the senseless violence that continues to threaten children’s safety and the safety of our communities.