gun control

Senate Democrats prepare marathon floor session on gun violence
Late night is expected as 22 senators are prepared to call for legislation

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., will lead nearly two dozen senators in a marathon of floor speeches on gun violence Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Nearly two dozen Senate Democrats plan to make it a late night on Tuesday, speaking out on the Senate floor about the impact of gun violence and legislative proposals Congress could explore.

The speeches are expected to begin around 5:30 p.m. and run late. Connecticut Democrat Christopher S. Murphy is leading the effort, spurred by mass shootings in Texas and Ohio during the August recess and the lack of clear response from the White House on what, if any, gun control measures they could agree to.

House Judiciary Committee sends gun control bills to the floor
Lengthy, contentious markup highlights how Republican opposition could stall effort in Senate

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., center, said the committee was "acting because of the urgent need to respond to the daily toll of gun violence in our communities." (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee advanced three more gun control bills Tuesday during a lengthy, often contentious and sometimes emotional markup that highlighted how Republican opposition could stall the efforts in the Senate.

The committee considered the legislation in the wake of an August in which 53 people were killed in mass shootings in the U.S., according to Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York. The shootings prompted a national address from President Donald Trump and intensified calls for Congress to act.

8 Democratic presidential candidates advocate for gun safety in new video
Sanders, Warren and other rivals partner with Giffords on series of ads highlighting gun safety in America

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is one of the eight Democratic presidential candidates who appear in an ad from former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ organization’s Gun Safety President ad campaign. (Giffords via YouTube)

Eight of the top Democratic presidential candidates are appearing in a series of videos on gun safety. Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ namesake gun control group, Giffords, launched the video series on Monday.

The candidates in the video series include former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke; California Sen. Kamala Harris; former Vice President Joe Biden; South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar; New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker; Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

House Judiciary panel to dive into gun debate upon return
Background checks, assault weapons ban, ‘red flag’ laws and more could be on the table

People hold candles at the end of the prayer vigil in Odessa, Texas, for victims of a mass shooting there Saturday in which seven people were killed. (Cengiz Yar/Getty Images)

The House Judiciary Committee will meet next week to jump-start legislation addressing firearm ownership, an issue that has languished before Congress for more than two decades but faces new urgency in the wake of recent mass shootings that rattled the country.

Supporters of the legislation have scrambled over the summer recess to cobble together support and advance various proposals before the political will withers after recent shootings in Gilroy, California; Dayton, Ohio; and El Paso, Texas. A rampage in the West Texas community of Odessa over Labor Day weekend added to the concern. House Democrats have struggled with how far to push in the face of a GOP-controlled Senate and White House.

Democrats weighing new gun legislation in wake of mass shootings
CQ on Congress, episode 167

People gather at a makeshift memorial honoring victims outside Walmart, near the scene of a mass shooting which left at least 22 people dead, on August 7, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. A 21-year-old white male suspect remains in custody in El Paso which sits along the U.S.-Mexico border. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Updated 7:33 p.m. | The House Judiciary Committee had planned to return early from Congress’ summer break next week to mark up gun safety legislation. After this podcast previewing the proceedings was recorded, the committee announced it was postponing the markup until the week of Sept. 9 due to Hurricane Dorian, which is expected to hit Florida. Five of the panel members represent districts in the state. 

Will any House bills pressure Senate Republicans to respond to recent mass shootings? At a time when a majority of the country supports enhanced background checks and other measures to curb gun violence, House Democrats hope so.

Background checks are still on the table for Trump, Chris Murphy says
Connecticut Democrat has doubts about a deal, calling the chances ‘less than 50/50’

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., is in talks with the White House on background check legislation for gun purchases. (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Chris Murphy is working with the White House to keep alive conversations about a potential deal on expanded background checks for gun purchases.

The Connecticut Democrat said Friday he is willing to work with President Donald Trump because lives are at stake, but admits that he sees the chances of passing broad gun control legislation as “less than 50-50.”

Hoyer cautions Senate against ‘cop-out’ approach on gun safety legislation
Red flag law bill, more narrow background check expansion not enough, House majority leader says

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer is calling on the Senate to act on a House-passed bill requiring background checks all gun sales. Above, Hoyer speaks at a news conference in the Capitol on Tuesday, joined by, from left, Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell, Christian Heyne of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and Virginia Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is cautioning the Senate against taking up narrowly focused gun safety legislation instead of a more comprehensive House-passed bill to expand background checks on gun purchases. 

In the weeks following three recent deadly mass shootings, House Democrats have issued a steady drumbeat of calls for the Senate to return early from its summer recess to consider HR 8, which the House passed in February. The bill would expand background checks conducted for in-store firearm purchases to include online and gun show sales. 

The House passed 2 gun control bills, but Democrats aren’t in a rush to do more
Judiciary chairman expects to take up more gun legislation but not until after June

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D- N.Y., says his panel will mark up more gun safety legislation but likely not until after June. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats took a victory lap this week as their new majority passed two priority gun control measures that the previous Republican majority had blocked for years, but they appear to be in no rush to pass more. 

“Yes, not immediately, but this session,” Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler told Roll Call on Thursday when asked if his panel would be marking up more legislation designed to prevent gun violence. Not immediately, the New York Democrat said, is likely “after June sometime.”

Two protests in Hart end in Valentine’s Day arrests

Demonstrations for gun control and against a West Virginia factory project resulted in 19 arrests Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Passion was in the air in the Hart Senate Office building on Valentine’s Day. Demonstrations for gun control and against a West Virginia factory project  resulted in 19 arrests Thursday.

A group called Gays Against Guns staged a demonstration in the Hart Atrium in the afternoon. They chanted “Guns are breaking America’s heart,” and “Stronger background checks now” as they lay on the floor enveloped in a massive swath of shiny red fabric.

Pelosi says threats outlined by Trump left out gun violence

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, noticed an omission in Trump’s State of the Union address. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Many of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s reactions to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address were displayed clearly on her face Tuesday night, but her disappointment wasn’t just about what the president said — but what he didn’t.

After the speech, Pelosi said that with all the emphasis on security, the president skipped over a major issue impacting communities: gun violence.