gun-violence

Hurdles to Passing Spending Bills
CQ Budget, Episode 76

House and Senate leaders like to brag about their respective chambers' progress on passing spending bills but not one has won final passage, CQ budget and appropriations reporter Kellie Mejdrich says. She unpacks the reasons behind the bottleneck that now includes a new hurdle:President Trump's freeze on federal workers' wages.

Show Notes:

Democrats on DeVos Gun Proposal: ‘A Fountain of Bad Ideas’
Comes after report Education Department considers letting states use federal funds to buy guns for schools

Democrats criticized a report Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is considering allowing states and localities to buy guns for schools. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats are slamming Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos over a report that the Department of Education is considering allowing states to use federal dollars to purchase guns for schools.

The New York Times reported Thursday that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have the discretion to approve state or local plans to purchase guns for teachers.

Giffords Backing New Jersey Republican Lance’s Re-Election Bid
Former Democratic congresswoman and gun control advocate endorses Lance over stance on guns

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., center, is greeted by, from left, Reps. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., Jackie Speier, D-Calif., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., at a ceremony in the Capitol in November to name the House Democratic Cloakroom in honor of Giffords and the late Rep. Leo Ryan, D-Calif., who were victims of gun violence. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords is backing Rep. Leonard Lance in his bid for for a sixth term in New Jersey.

It’s a notable endorsement because it crosses party lines: Giffords, one of the nation’s leading gun control advocates and a former Democratic congresswoman from Arizona, vacated her seat in 2012 after she was shot in 2011 in an apparent assassination attempt.

Tim Scott’s Former Intern Shot in Chicago
South Carolina senator says DaQuawn Bruce is “full of joy despite the pain”

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., visits his former intern, DaQuawn Bruce, after he was wounded in a drive-by shooting. (Courtesy Sen. Tim Scott’s office)

After DaQuawn Bruce wrapped up his summer internship in Sen. Tim Scott’s office earlier this month, he returned home to Chicago for a quick break before heading to graduate school.

But less than two weeks later, the 23-year-old finds himself in physical therapy, recovering from a gunshot wound. Bruce was in his front yard on Friday in Chicago’s Riverdale neighborhood when he was hit by a stray bullet from a drive-by shooting. The bullet entered through his lower abdomen, traveled across his abdominal wall and fractured his pelvis. No vital organs were hit or damaged.

Three Men Sentenced in 2015 Killing of Intern for Rob Portman
Matthew Shlonsky was caught in crossfire shooting

Three men who pleaded guilty to killing Matthew Shlonsky were sentenced in D.C. Superior Court on Monday. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

The three men who pleaded guilty to the 2015 killing of 23-year-old Matthew Shlonsky, a former Sen. Rob Portman intern, were sentenced in D.C. Superior Court on Monday.

Andre Dudley, 22, Marcus King, 22, and Christopher Proctor, 28, each were sentenced for single counts of voluntary manslaughter while armed and two counts each of assault with a dangerous weapon. The sentences carry 18.5 years, 15-20 years and 12-14 years, respectively.

Man With Gun and Ammunition Arrested Near Capitol
Police spotted firearm in car during parking enforcement

Officers spotted what appeared to be a firearm in a parked car near the Capitol and arrested the owner when he returned to his car. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Capitol Police arrested a man with a gun and ammunition in his vehicle near the Capitol Thursday morning.

Robert Wesley Combs, 23, of Monroe, Georgia, has been charged with having an unregistered firearm and unregistered ammunition, Capitol Police said.

Downloadable Guns Would Pose Unique Risk to Capitol, Gainer Says
‘Even the most technologically advanced security cannot neutralize all possible threats,’ Ex-Senate sergeant-at-arms writes

Former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance W. Gainer says not permanently stopping downloadable plastic guns “will increase the challenges of protecting the security of members of Congress, their staffs and visitors to the Capitol.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 3:26 p.m. | The only person to hold both top law enforcement roles at the Capitol says downloadable plastic guns would pose an added challenge of “detection and defense” for those who protect Capitol Hill.

Terrance W. Gainer, who served as Senate sergeant-at-arms for seven years and before that as the chief of the Capitol Police, said he is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, but elected officials must recognize the “unique threat downloadable firearms pose to public safety.”

Democratic Candidates Should Be Bolder on Gun Control, Poll Finds
“The center has shifted on this issue,” gun control advocate says

Students march to the Capitol on Pennsylvania Avenue to call on Congress to act on gun violence prevention during a national walkout on April 20 to mark the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting in Colorado. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Gun control has been a third rail of Democratic campaigns, but a new poll suggests that Democratic candidates should embrace a bolder approach to restrictions on guns, even in general elections.

Up to this point, Democrats have been decidedly defensive on guns. The most famous instances of Democratic candidates using guns in television ads include West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III shooting the so-called cap-and-trade bill, former Georgia Rep. John Barrow talking about his granddaddy’s pistol and Missouri Senate candidate Jason Kander assembling a rifle blindfolded. The ads were meant to reassure voters that Democrats didn’t want to take away their guns.

Democratic Ads Show Gun Violence Remains Salient Primary Issue
Candidates in at least three different primaries are running TV ads on the issue

Democratic candidates are continuing to talk about gun violence ahead of their primaries. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A gun control activist won her Democratic primary in Georgia on Tuesday, and she’s not the only Democrat talking about gun violence on the campaign trail even though the issue has largely faded from the headlines.

Lucy McBath, a spokeswoman for Everytown for Gun Safety, won a runoff to take on GOP Rep. Karen Handel in the suburban Atlanta-based 6th District. And Democratic candidates in at least three different districts have spent their campaign funds on television ads focused on gun violence, bringing the issue to the forefront ahead of their primaries next month.

With Kavanaugh, Court Could Take Aim at Gun Control Laws
New justice could be key fourth vote to take up cases and strike down laws

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s views on gun control appear to align more with the court’s conservatives. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In February, less than a week after a gunman opened fire and killed 17 students and staff in a Parkland, Florida, high school, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas complained that the court was allowing too many gun control laws to go into effect across the nation.

For the past eight years, the high court has avoided major cases addressing the extent to which Congress or state lawmakers can pass laws that restrict firearms — and Thomas and other conservative justices have noted their objections. This time, it was a challenge to a California law that required an average person to wait 10 days after buying a gun to get it.