Fourteen Republicans sided with Senate Democrats Tuesday to advance a gun control bill opposed by the National Rifle Association. The 64-34 vote was the first procedural hurdle facing the legislation.
“We will oppose this gun control legislation because it falls short at every level,” the NRA said in a statement. “It does little to truly address violent crime while opening the door to unnecessary burdens on the exercise of Second Amendment freedom by law-abiding gun owners.
“This legislation can be abused to restrict lawful gun purchases, infringe upon the rights of law-abiding Americans, and use federal dollars to fund gun control measures being adopted by state and local politicians. This bill leaves too much discretion in the hands of government officials and also contains undefined and overbroad provisions – inviting interference with our constitutional freedoms,” the NRA said.
But that was not how Republicans supporting the bill saw it.
The GOP supporters were: Sens. John Cornyn of Texas; Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky; Lisa Murkowski of Alaska; Todd Young of Indiana; Joni Ernst of Iowa; Bill Cassidy of Louisiana; Susan Collins of Maine; Roy Blunt of Missouri; Thom Tillis and Richard Burr of North Carolina; Rob Portman of Ohio; Lindsey Graham of South Carolina; Mitt Romney of Utah; and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia.
“Some think it goes too far, others think it doesn’t go far enough. And I get it. It’s the nature of compromise,” Cornyn said, according to Newsweek. Cornyn led the Republicans working with Democrats to craft the bill.
“I believe that the same people who are telling us to do something are sending us a clear message, to do what we can to keep our children and communities safe. I’m confident this legislation moves us in a positive direction,” he said.
McConnell, according to Newsweek, called the bill “a commonsense package of popular steps that will help make these horrifying incidents less likely while fully upholding the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”
“As a long-time gun owner and strong supporter of the Second Amendment, I have been horrified by the recent spate of mass shootings and the link between mental health and gun violence,” Graham said in a statement, the station reported.
“I believe the legislation announced today has a very good chance of saving lives while at the same time protecting the rights of responsible gun owners. Unless you’re adjudicated mentally ill or a convicted violent criminal, your Second Amendment rights won’t be affected.”
Republicans opposing the bill said it crossed a line.
Stopping gun violence starts with more funding for police and tougher sentences for the criminals who violate gun laws—not taking away due process from law-abiding gun owners.
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) June 22, 2022
Tonight, I opposed the gun control legislation — released only an hour before the vote — that would infringe on law-abiding Americans’ Second Amendment rights.
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) June 22, 2022
The bill calls for tougher background checks for gun buyers between 18 and 21 and banning domestic abusers from owning guns, among other provisions.
Republican Sens. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania did not vote on the bill, Newsweek noted.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he hoped to pass the bill this week.
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