News & Politics

Gun Control Flops in the Senate

This frame grab provided by C-SPAN shows Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. speaking on the floor of the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 15, 2016.

The four firearms-related bills flopped in the Senate yesterday, failing to reach the necessary 60-vote threshold to move forward.

The two Democrat-sponsored bills included a “no fly, no buy” proposal that would prohibit firearm purchases by those who have been placed on a secret government watch list. One bill also would have given the attorney general unilateral power to deny a firearm sale if there was “reasonable belief’ a weapon could be used for terrorism.

The four amendments — two filed by Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, and Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, and two other, less restrictive measures filed by Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and John Cornyn, R-Texas — addressed background checks of prospective gun buyers and the sale of guns and explosives to people on terrorist watch lists.

The NRA called the amendments “an embarrassing display.”

“We all agree that terrorists should not be allowed to purchase or possess firearms,” executive director Chris Cox wrote. “We should all agree that law-abiding Americans who are wrongly put on a secret government list should not be denied their constitutional right to due process. These are not mutually exclusive ideas. It is shocking that the safety of the American people is taking a backseat to political theatre.”

Brady Campaign propagandist Dan Gross said of the votes, “Shame on every single senator who voted against these life-saving amendments and protected the rights of terrorists and other dangerous people to buy guns.”

The votes broke down along party lines with two exceptions. Mark Kirk (R-IL) voted in favor of both of the Democrats’ proposals and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) voted in favor of Feinstein’s gun control amendment.

One purposes the Senate gun control bonanza did serve is to get politicians on the record regarding the Second Amendment — which should make for interesting re-election campaigns in November.