Sen. Mitch McConnell, the minority leader and one of 15 Senate Republicans who voted for gun safety legislation last year, has made no public statements about the mass shooting. In a sign of how low expectations have been for Congress to act to address the recent violence, the questions were not even asked at his weekly news conferences.
Democrats conceded they did not have the 60 votes needed to overcome the Republican filibuster and pass a new assault weapons ban. Even if they did, Speaker Kevin McCarthy is unlikely to bring up such a measure for a vote in the House, where Republicans staunchly oppose an assault weapons ban or any measure seen as a violation of gun rights.
Tuesday night, sir. McCarthy told reporters that his home state of California already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. He said he would not commit to any new gun laws until he had more information about the two shootings, which he called atypical because of the older age of the shooter.
Last year, when Democrats still controlled both houses of Congress, Mr. McCarthy, then the minority leader, spurred his members to vote against the bipartisan legislation that became law in June that strengthened background checks for potential gun buyers between the ages of 18 and 21. It also inspired states to pass “red flag” laws allowing the temporary confiscation of guns from people judges deem too dangerous to own. The measure also ensures for the first time that no-nonsense dating partners will be included in federal laws prohibiting domestic abusers from buying guns, a longstanding priority that gun safety advocates have ignored for years.
In the new Congress, Republicans aren’t just opposing Democrats’ additional gun safety measures; they’re proposing legislation to protect those who sell, own and manufacture guns.
Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., on Opening Day of the new Congress introduced the “Anti-2A Corporation Act Ban Smart Payments” legislation that would penalize payment processors that list gun retailers as a separate payment category Advocates of the bill say it could lead to the creation of a national registry of gun owners.
Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., introduced a resolution that would announce a new law in New York state with strict restrictions on guns outside the home, to be signed by the governor. Kathy Hochul was unconstitutional last year.