Gun Legislation Pushed Through – But Will It Stand?
(UnitedVoice.com) – For nearly a month, many in Congress held out hope that a bipartisan group of 20 Senators would come together to pass new gun control regulations. It’s been nearly 30 years since Congress enacted new gun laws. On Tuesday, June 21, Senators ended a stalemate, voting 64 to 34 to clear the filibuster hurdle and pathed the way for a final vote on the 80-page gun law.
The Senate vote came after two 18-year-olds in two separate incidents in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, killed 31 people combined, including 19 children. The legislation still has some issues for GOP members. Soon after the Senate vote, the National Rifle Association (NRA) came out against the bill saying it would be too restrictive on the rights of law-abiding Americans.
Divided Senate Scores Victory, But at What Price?
It takes 60 votes to overcome a filibuster to advance legislation in the evenly-divided Senate. Even though 14 Republicans voted along with all 50 Democrats, the proposal still has several problems. Apparently, Republicans voted on the measure despite concerns about two provisions in the framework that delayed the consensus.
The Boyfriend Loophole would prevent those with domestic violence convictions from owning or purchasing a gun. Some believe red flag laws allowing law enforcement to confiscate personal property like a gun violate the Constitution because they violate due process rights. Still, Democrats didn’t get everything they wanted, including raising the age of those who can buy a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21 or an outright assault rifle ban.
The 14 Republicans voted in favor of moving the legislation forward despite misgivings. It’s virtually guaranteed to pass in the Senate and head to the House, where a vote is likely to send the bill to President Biden’s desk within a few weeks.
Who Voted for the Bill and Who’s Opposed?
Republicans who voted to end the filibuster include:
- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
- Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)
- Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC)
- Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)
- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
- Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA)
- Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO)
- Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)
- Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT)
- Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)
- Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)
- Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA)
- Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
- Sen. Todd Young (R-IN)
Soon after the vote and details of the bill were made available, the NRA announced its opposition to the proposal.
It argued that if enacted, law enforcement and the courts could abuse the law to restrict lawful gun purchases, restrict the Constitutional rights guaranteed to law-abiding Americans, and use federal taxpayer dollars to fund gun control measures enacted by liberal states and local governments.
The NRA added the change would not prevent mass shootings but would create an unnecessary burden on American gun owners. The NRA and other gun activist groups will likely sue, hoping federal courts will ultimately overturn the law.
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