WASHINGTON — The congressman whose district includes Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., site of a mass shooting last Feb. 14, said he believes gun control legislation can make it through the 116th Congress as senators realized they can be “replaced by a gun safety majority” like the House.
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), along with Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Dina Titus (D-Nev.), unveiled Tuesday legislation along with Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) to prohibit the transfer, importation, or possession of magazines able to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
Menendez told reporters that he believes “the reality of a Democratic majority sending legislation” from the House, including on expanding background checks, “creates an impetus and a challenge for the Republican leader in the Senate.”
“Are you going to silence the voices of that want to see reasonable gun safety measures? Are you going to give it a up or down vote on the Senate floor? We are going to test in every way we can that proposition,” he said. “…The combination of having action by the House and then creating a focus here in the Senate is going to create the type of pressure and we will look for the right moment to see if we can actually draw a vote to some procedural process, if we cannot get a simple up or down vote by the majority leader, but I think the American people will know who stands on the side of reasonable gun safety measures and who does not.”
Deutch added that “there are two houses of Congress, but there’s only one electorate and the dozens of new members of the House who now form a gun safety majority, the House of Representatives, were elected in large part because they were willing to stand on the side of their families and safety in their communities over the side of the gun makers.”
“And the senators from their states represent the same people,” he said. “And the hope, our hope on our side is that those senators will come to that realization themselves and understand that just as all of those House members who, for years, thought they could sit back and pretend that the voices coming from their communities advocating for change weren’t going to affect them, those voices have been silenced and they’ve been replaced by a gun safety majority. The senators who represented them should recognize that the same possibility exist for them. They should stand with families and their communities for commonsense measures that can help keep people safe.”
Titus said she believes momentum from state capitals, such as Nevada “set to pass an anti-bump stock bill,” will start “to wash ashore here in Washington as well.”
Blumenthal declared that “gun violence was on the ballot and it won,” noting newly elected representatives in the House “actually proactively campaigned on it.”
“I think in the United States Senate our colleagues on the other side of the aisle are going to at some point go to their leadership and say ‘we need to do something.’ We need to do something because the overwhelming cry of the American people is, can’t you do something?” Blumenthal said. “It’s that simple.”