Democrats push gun issue

Blog Post

In the wake of the terrorist attack in Orlando on Sunday Democrats and gun control advocates are once again pushing for new restrictions on gun ownership. After a 15-hour filibuster by Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), a leading gun control advocate, and allies, the Senate is now poised to vote on Monday on four separate gun proposals (two offered by Democrats and two offered by Republicans).

All four will be offered as amendments to the Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill and none of the four are expected to garner the 60 votes necessary to proceed in the Senate.

One amendment is authored by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) that would ban gun sales from a suspected terrorist or someone who has been suspected of terrorism in the past five years. It would also provide an avenue for appeal if someone were erroneously denied a gun purchase.

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) is proposing an alternative to the Feinstein amendment that would give the Justice Department a 72-hour timeline to go through the court system to bar a gun sale.

Murphy himself is offering an amendment to expand background checks for gun purchases. In particular, the Murphy amendment would enhance background checks for guns purchased online as well as at gun shows.

An alternative to the Murphy amendment is being offered by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA). The Grassley amendment would increase the authorization for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and give law enforcement a notification if a person who was on a terrorist watch list up to five years ago tries to purchase a firearm.

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