'Come together': US Dems introduce gun background check bill





Washington (AFP) - Democrats unveiled landmark gun safety legislation Tuesday five days after regaining the US House majority, seeking swift action on a measure to expand background checks on firearm sales.

A similar bill was introduced last year by Democrats, but Republican leaders declined to bring it to a vote.

The new bill -- which has the backing of former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who survived being shot in the head eight years ago to the day and is now one of the nation's leading gun control advocates -- has a handful of Republican co-sponsors, and is likely to pass the chamber.

But it is not expected to advance in the Senate, which is under Republican control.

Giffords joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and congressman Mike Thompson, who heads a Democratic task force on gun violence, in introducing the bill, calling for "courage" among lawmakers.

"Now is the time to come together, be responsible. Democrats, Republicans, everyone," she said. "We must never stop fighting."

Pelosi said that by introducing the legislation early in the new congressional session, Democrats are saying "enough is enough, by finally bringing commonsense bipartisan background check legislation to the floor."

Thompson said nearly 250,000 Americans have died from gun violence, including suicides, since the Giffords shooting in 2011, "all the time while Congress stood by and did nothing."

"But today is a new day," he said, adding that the vast majority of Americans support the measures.

The bill would expand background checks to all gun sales, closing loopholes in federal law requiring criminal background checks when firearms are sold by licensed dealers but allowing private citizens to sell and transfer guns to one another without any background check.

Democrats have savaged congressional Republicans for repeatedly failing to take action to prevent gun violence after tragedies like the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in Connecticut in 2012, or the massacre at a Las Vegas concert in October 2017.

After a murderous rampage at a Florida high school last February left 17 students and staff dead, some Democratic congressional candidates campaigned on pledges to enact gun safety reform.

One of them, Georgia's Lucy McBath, whose son was murdered in 2012, won a congressional seat in November's election.

"By closing these loopholes and expanding background checks, we will make our communities safer," she said.

"States that have already expanded background checks have lowered their homicide rates, their murder rates and their gun trafficking."

Last month, President Donald Trump's administration moved to ban bump stocks, devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire like machine guns and that were used in the Las Vegas shooting.

COMMENTS

More Related News

In Defense of the Electoral College
In Defense of the Electoral College

Senator Elizabeth Warren has joined a growing chorus within the Democratic party in calling for the abolition of the Electoral College. Speaking at a forum in Mississippi on Monday night, Warren said that she hoped to ensure that "every vote matters" and proposed that "the way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting, and that means get rid of the Electoral College."Warren's lofty rhetoric notwithstanding, a large portion of the Democratic party's present animosity toward the Electoral College is rooted in rank partisanship. Since they watched their supposed "blue wall" evaporate in the small hours of the 2016 presidential election, many Democrats have felt sufficient...

Concern raised over SKorean treatment of Bloomberg reporter
Concern raised over SKorean treatment of Bloomberg reporter

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - International journalists' organizations are criticizing the status of press freedom in South Korea after the country's ruling party singled out a Bloomberg reporter with South Korean nationality over what it claimed was a "borderline traitorous" article insulting President Moon Jae-in, resulting in threats to the reporter's safety.

Warren embraces underdog role as she faces 2020 challenges
Warren embraces underdog role as she faces 2020 challenges

BOSTON (AP) - Elizabeth Warren has spent much of the last decade as a leader of the Democratic Party's liberal wing.

Beto O
Beto O'Rourke says nothing in his past will hinder 2020 run

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke told supporters Sunday that he's never taken LSD and there's "nothing" he hasn't already revealed about his past that could come back to hurt his run for office.

GOP uses Beto O'Rourke's 1998 mug shot in St. Paddy's Day Twitter attack
GOP uses Beto O'Rourke's 1998 mug shot in St. Paddy's Day Twitter attack

On Twitter, the GOP plopped a cartoonish leprechaun hat atop O'Rourke's mug shot from his 1998 arrest for drunken driving.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.