Gun control is a top priority for House Democrats as a result of Tuesday’s elections in which 15 Republican members of Congress with “A” ratings from the National Rifle Association were bounced out of office, according to a new report.
The Democrats replacing those 15 all have “F” ratings, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Although Republicans still control the Senate, the House plans to use the mass shooting this week in California as the foundation for an aggressive campaign to put new limits on gun rights.
“This new majority is not going to be afraid of our shadow,” said California Democratic Rep. Mike Thompson, chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. “We know that we’ve been elected to do a job, and we’re going to do it.”
Thompson said he will introduce legislation requiring universal background checks after the new Congress convenes in January.
Thompson blamed Republicans for failing to stop gun violence, according to KQED.
“They just continued to sweep this under the carpet,” Thompson said.
“I can guarantee you this will not be the case under Nancy Pelosi’s leadership,” he said. “We will take up these issues. We will have hearings. We will pass legislation out of the House in an effort to prevent gun violence.”
The Senate is a different story. A Bloomberg report quoted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as saying it was “highly unlikely” there would be new restrictions approved on gun ownership.
Mitch McConnell, asked if the Senate will act after the CA shooting, says it’s “highly unlikely there will be restrictions passed” at the federal level on gun ownership.
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) November 9, 2018
Fellow California Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell said the election showed Americans want gun control.
“The American people in the last couple of days have spoken. They’ve elected a majority of Democrats in the Congress. Many of them ran on passing sensible gun legislation,” Swalwell said.
“Now we have an opportunity, at least in the House of Representatives, to do more than nothing,” he said.
NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said that was not the message she heard.
“The biggest Second Amendment implication of the election is that the pro-Second Amendment majority in the U.S. Senate will continue to confirm pro-Second Amendment judges to the lower courts all the way to the Supreme Court,” Baker said.
But House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who will seek to become Speaker when the House convenes with its Democratic majority, said House Democrats will be seeking restrictions on high-capacity magazines and so-called “red flag” laws to remove guns from individuals who can be declared at risk to themselves or others, according to CNBC.
“The American people deserve real action to end the daily epidemic of gun violence that is stealing the lives of our children on campuses, in places of worship and on our streets,” she said.
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