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Gun Legislation: Movement in the Congress
03/27/2019 116th Congress Anita W
keywords: gun legislation 2nd amendment background checks red flag laws

The Democrat leading House wasted no time after reconvening in January in approaching gun control after years of Republican leadership. Expanding background checks, budget lines for gun violence research, and red flag laws that protect people that are a danger to others and themselves is the platform in which the Democrats are sticking to in 2019.

Deciphering Democratic's View on Gun Culture

Election day was a significant win for gun control. The movement started long before 2018 but gained traction because of a series of school shootings. Thirty GOP held House seats are now in possession of the Democratic party. Firearm control remains an urgent issue and helps the candidates win their seats. 

Republicans took the House in 2014, minimizing gun control as a non-issue and ignoring any bipartisan teamwork towards new bills or mandates. The House is now in Democrats' hands (2019). The Senate remains in Republicans' hands.

Planning Priorities — Democrats' Five-point Action Plan

The Democrats set out their platform's framework for the 116th Congress, and the beginning of movement and traction is starting to become a reality.

  1. Improving Background Checks — Over the last twenty years, over three million people considered dangerous and unable to purchase a firearm.  Making up half of the gun owners, criminals find loopholes in laws or live in states with loose laws so that they can own a gun. H.R.8 — Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 is the House Bill passed that the Senate has held four roll calls on and yet, no vote.
  2. Red Flag Laws — Over 40,000 people, annually commit suicide.  It is double the number of gun-related homicidesThe Responsible Access to Firearms Act has yet to come to fruition on a Federal level.  
  3. Reducing Gun Related Domestic Violence — American women are five times more likely to face domestic violence with a gun in the home. Half of the American women murdered are done so by their domestic partner. H.R.8. is the current bill that would make it more difficult for them to obtain guns.
  4. Supporting Law Enforcement with Research — Funding for gun research is still not available. However, in the 2019-2020 session, it is up for discussion. The likelihood the House will see and pass it is likely, while the Senate is not expected to hold a vote.
  5. Holding the Gun Industry at Accountable  — Current legislation protects the gun industry. However, part of the H.R.1263 — National Firearms Amendments Act of 2019 that is in committee is the removal of laws shielding responsibility. 

The movement of gun laws in the 116th Congress is apparent. It is a matter of tracking votes and remaining knowledgeable about the legislature's beginnings in committee to the vote on the floor.

By Anita W
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