Politics, United States

Gun Control Debate Reignited by House of Representatives

Gun Control Debate Reignited by House of Representatives

The US House of Representatives is controlled by the Republicans, but has been under considerable pressure to advance gun-control legislation. A vote will be conducted by the House of Representatives next week on a measure for keeping guns out of the hands of people who are on the terrorism watch list of the government. Paul Ryan, the House Speaker announced the plan during a conference call with lawmakers. This announcement comes a week after a 25-hour sit-in was staged by the Democrats on the House floor to push for gun control measures after the mass shooting massacre in Orlando.

Democrats have vowed that they will continue to push for tighter gun restrictions next week when Congress makes its return from its US Independence Day break. They also warned that if watered-down measure was opted for by the Republicans and the National Rifle Association backed it, they wouldn’t accept it. No details were provided by the Republican leadership aides. One of them said that things were still being worked out and nothing was clear as yet. Pressure for legislation was ratcheted up by gun-control proponents after the mass shooting on June 12th that claimed the lives of 49 people at a gay nightclub called Pulse in Orlando.

Harry Reid, the Senate Democratic leader said that they were going to accomplish something this year and were going to take a bite out of the NRA. He added that he was hopeful or a bill introduced by Maine’s Republican Senator Susan Collins and also for a bipartisan House companion bill backed by Florida’s Republican Representative Carlos Curbelo and other Republicans for preventing gun sales to any individual who was on the ‘No Fly List’ for suspects of terrorism or to those on the ‘Selectee List’ for extra screening at the airport.

A source revealed that Ryan had said that the House would take action next week on a gun measure as part of a larger package for terrorism and he called gun control as common sense. Before the announcement on Thursday, a Republican backer of the Curbelo bill, Illinois’s Representative Bob Dold urged Ryan and Kevin McCarthy, the House Majority leader, to go for the bipartisan measure. This information was provided by one of Dold’s aides. Alternatively, a Republican bill can also be chosen by Republican leaders like the one from Representative Lee Zeldin of New York as a companion to a Senate measure by John Corryn of Texas, the Senate Republican Whip.

Last week, the Corryn measure had failed in the Senate as it was opposed by the Democrats who claimed that the NRA had written the measure. An aide of Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, said that while gun violence legislation was important for all House Democrats, they will not accept a bill authored by the NRA. The officials will have three days for deciding if the gun sale should be blocked under the Corryn-Zeldin measure. It is argued by Democrats that the timing is insufficient and a gun sale could only be blocked if the would-be buyer had or intends to commit an act of terrorism.

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