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CORRECTS TO MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL, NOT PARKLAND - In this Feb. 21, 2018, photo, school students from Montgomery County, Md., in suburban Washington, rally in solidarity with those affected by the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, at the Capitol in Washington. Member of Congress return from a 10-day recess under enormous pressure to respond to gun violence after the Parkland high school shooting. Despite a long list of legislative proposals, including many flowing from President Donald Trump, few ideas seem poised for passage. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Gun debate: Here are the proposals that Congress is considering

(PhatzNewsRoom / The Hill)     —-    Lawmakers are offering a range of measures to respond to the Florida high school shooting last month that left 17 people dead.

Despite the flurry sparked by President Trump’s call for new legislation, there’s no sign of a bill that can pass both chambers.

But that hasn’t stopped members from outlining a number of options.

Here’s a look at the competing proposals.

Fix NICS Act

This bill is aimed at bolstering records in the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) and was introduced after a shooting last year in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

It has gained new momentum, but also new opposition, since the shooting in Parkland, Fla.

The bill enforces existing laws by ensuring that authorities report criminal records to the system and penalizing agencies that don’t.

Despite its bipartisan origins – it was introduced by Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)-Democrats have rejected the bill as too narrow.


The 2013 background check bill got a burst of new life after President Trump suggested it be used as the base for Congress’s new gun push.

The legislation spearheaded by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) in the weeks after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting failed to overcome a filibuster, mostly by Republicans.

Five Democrats also opposed it, but only one, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), remains in the Senate. She is up for reelection this fall.

The legislation would have expanded background checks for internet and gun show sales, while also including exemptions for friends and family.

Toomey told the Associated Press that he spoke on the phone with Trump, who was supportive of using Manchin-Toomey as the “core legislative vehicle.”

But the bill would likely face an uphill battle.

Twelve Democrats who supported the legislation are no longer in the Senate and half of them were replaced by Republicans.

Background checks:

Senate Democrats are demanding more extensive background checks on gun purchases.

Schumer, outlining his caucus’s three-part plan, said Trump should “at a minimum” support closing “loopholes” by requiring background checks for all firearms sold at gun shows or over the internet.

“I think the president knows he could show real leadership by bucking the NRA, providing cover for his Republicans and getting something actually done,” he told reporters.

Schumer didn’t say if Democrats would offer Manchin-Toomey as their background check legislation or file a separate piece of legislation.

A Quinnipiac University Poll released late last month found that 97 percent of Americans – including 97 percent of gun owners and 97 percent of Republicans – support requiring a background check on every gun sale.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Friday that the president is “not necessarily” pushing for “universal” background checks.

“Certainly improving the background check system. He wants to see what that legislation, the final piece of it looks like,” she told reporters.

School safety

Trump has honed in on school safety in the wake of the shooting, saying campuses should be “hardened.”

“These include allowing people with a certified training, very talented people, to carry firearms,” Trump said during this week’s White House meeting with lawmakers.

While getting Congress to pass funding for his idea appears unlikely, lawmakers are offering, or preparing to offer, their own school safety legislation.

Republican senators, led by Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah), are expected to introduce legislation that would increase funding for Justice Department school violence prevention grants.

Meanwhile, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), arguing federal law “appears to discourage school systems from reporting dangerous students to law enforcement,” said he would introduce legislation to try to cut down on the delay.

In the House, Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) is offering legislation that would encourage local school districts to buy and install metal detectors.

And Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas) introduced legislation that would allow the Department of Education to create a grant for school districts to be able to conduct independent security assessments.

Assault weapons ban

House and Senate Democrats are pushing for a ban on assault weapons in the wake of the Florida shooting-a move supported by the party’s base but unlikely to pass Congress.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) raised the issue during the White House meeting and was openly giddy when Trump appeared open to including it in a broad bill.

A recent assault weapons ban bill won over 27 Senate Democrats, including Democratic Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Kamala Harris (Calif.), Cory Booker (N.J.) and Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)- all viewed as potential 2020 contenders.

Most of the House Democratic caucus is backing similar legislation.

Minimum age

Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Feinstein introduced legislation less than an hour after the White House meeting that would raise the minimum age for buying an assault rifle from 18 to 21.

The shooter in Florida, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, is said to have used an AR-15, which gun control proponents say is a form of an assault weapon. Many gun rights supporters disagree with that view.

Trump encouraged lawmakers to strongly consider the issue, though Sanders acknowledged that Trump “knows there’s not a lot of broad support for that.”

GOP Rep. Thomas Massie (Ky.) has introduced a bill that would lower the minimum age for buying a handgun from 21 to 18.

Bump stocks

Lawmakers are pushing forward with formal legislation to ban bump stocks even as Trump said he would “quickly” sign an executive order making the gun attachment illegal.

The device allows a semi-automatic weapon to function as an automatic weapon, with multiple rounds fired with the single pull of a trigger.

Flake and Democratic Sens. Martin Heinrich (N.M.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.) introduced the bill. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) separately said he is open to passing legislation if the Trump administration’s current effort to ban them through regulation fails.

A bump stock wasn’t used in the Florida shooting. But they skyrocketed onto the nation’s radar after they were reportedly used during a shooting at a concert in Las Vegas, where 56 people were killed.

“Red flags”

Both Rubio and Schumer have pointed to allowing law enforcement or close family members to use a court order to temporarily block an individual deemed dangerous from being able to buy or posses a gun as a priority.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) also said they are working on “red flag” legislation. The two senators are expected to introduce their bill next week.

“Our government encourages our citizens that if you see something, say something. We also need ‘do something,'” Graham said in a statement.

Straw purchases

Cracking down on straw purchases, when an individual who can pass a background check buys a gun for someone who can’t, appears to have support from across the Senate’s political spectrum.

Rubio said he is working on legislation that would provide more resources for prosecutors to go after the individuals who buy the gun. And Sanders name-dropped the issue during his floor speech outlining how Congress should respond to the Florida shooting.

Meanwhile, GOP Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced legislation last year that would make such gun purchases a stand-alone criminal offense.

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