'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

House passes emergency funding bill for migrant care crisis
House passes emergency funding bill for migrant care crisis

It took last-minute changes and a full-court press by top Democratic leaders, but the House passed with relative ease Tuesday a $4.5 billion emergency border aid package to care for thousands of migrant families and unaccompanied children detained after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. The bill passed

'You're scaring the children': Pelosi reveals what she told Trump before he delayed ICE raids
'You're scaring the children': Pelosi reveals what she told Trump before he delayed ICE raids

"You're scaring the children of America, not just in those families but their neighbors and their communities," Pelosi said she told Trump.

U.S. lawmakers threaten to subpoena Trump aide Conway
U.S. lawmakers threaten to subpoena Trump aide Conway
  • US
  • 2019-06-24 01:46:18Z

A U.S. House of Representatives panel warned in a letter it could subpoena the testimony of Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, if she does not appear at a scheduled hearing this week. The House Oversight Committee, chaired by Democrat Elijah Cummings, said it would vote on a potential subpoena if Conway does not testify before lawmakers at a scheduled Wednesday session focused on her alleged violations of the Hatch Act. The hearing was scheduled after the Office of Special Counsel, a U.S. government watchdog agency, earlier this month recommended Conway be fired for repeatedly violating the Hatch Act by disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while...

Partisan Gerrymandering: Courts Should Keep Out of the Debate
Partisan Gerrymandering: Courts Should Keep Out of the Debate

For the past few years, liberals have been pushing the courts to declare that partisan redistricting -- the consideration of politics when drawing the boundaries of legislative districts -- violates the Constitution. In fact, we are awaiting a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on this issue in two cases out of Maryland and North Carolina.We hope that the Court will refuse to involve itself in the political thicket of the redistricting process. Engaging in politics does not violate the Constitution. Besides, the solution to gerrymandered districts should come from state legislatures, not the courts.The allocation of representatives in a state legislature or in the U.S. House of...

Trump Sets Deadline for Asylum Changes, Vows Deportation Raids
Trump Sets Deadline for Asylum Changes, Vows Deportation Raids

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump gave Democrats two weeks to work on immigration reform and stem the flow of migrants at the southern border, but cast doubt on getting action from Congress and vowed to go ahead with a roundup of people facing deportation."I want to give the Democrats every last chance to quickly negotiate simple changes to Asylum and Loopholes," Trump said in a tweet on Sunday, referring to laws he's seeking to change. "Probably won't happen, but worth a try. Two weeks and big Deportation begins!"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke by telephone with Trump Friday night, asking him to call off the raids, according to a person familiar with the discussion. Pelosi said the...

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.