Gun Safety

Opinion: In Praise of Congressional Openness
Why the tension at the core of American democracy is worth it

An FBI evidence response team gathers outside of the Aldi grocery store near Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Va., where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot during baseball practice on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In the tear-stained hours after the baseball field shootings, House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy sounded the right note as he said in his opening prayer, “We are blessed by a free and open society. … But once again, we are reminded there is a vulnerability that comes with that openness.”

That is the tension at the core of American democracy as we stumble through this terror-soaked century. How do we maintain the close connection between the government and the governed without elected officials having to don bulletproof vests every morning along with their American flag pins?

Partisan Lines on Gun Safety Shift ... Subtly
Could some Republicans keep their jobs by embracing new controls?

Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa., may be the highest profile Republican changing the political calculus on guns, writes Patricia Murphy. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ-Roll Call File Photo)

For anyone following gun control (or gun safety) as a political issue, it would be easy to dismiss 2016 as just another year when a whole lot happened, but nothing changed. 

There have been more than 200 mass shootings in the United States so far this year, including the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando and the July attack on Dallas police officers. After every major incident, Washington followed the now-familiar script of outrage, calls from Democrats for gun restrictions, denial from Republicans that guns are the problem, and then, as usual, gridlock.

Poll: Most Say Terror Suspects Shouldn't be Able to Buy Guns
Poll shows broad support for stricter gun laws

The national poll , conducted by Quinnipiac University, also found broad — and growing — support for more far-reaching gun control legislation. It comes as Congress is showing the first signs in decades of coming to a consensus on a small but symbolic gun control measure — prohibiting suspected terrorists from buying guns — spurred by the massacre of 49 people with an assault rifle at an Orlando gay nightclub this month, and the closely watched political demonstrations by Democratic lawmakers that followed.  

[ House Plans Vote on Guns Next Week ]  

Gun Control Votes Become a Litmus Test for Political Giving
Stakes are high for candidates as Senate weighs amendments

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, locked in a tough re-election fight, has been a beneficiary of National Rifle Association giving in the current campaign cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As senators prepare to vote on divisive gun measures on Monday, lobbying organizations such as the National Rifle Association, as well as high-dollar K Street donors, have ratcheted up pressure campaigns on lawmakers.  

Senators will vote Monday on a proposal to prohibit firearms sales to people on terror watch lists, as part of a larger Commerce-Justice-Science spending bill. Other amendments would extend background checks on gun sales.  

Democrats Say GOP Like 'Deer in the Headlights' on Gun Legislation
Renew calls for gun bills to prevent terror suspects from buying weapons

Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman Joseph Crowley blasted Republican House members for failing to take up gun legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats on Tuesday renewed their call to take up legislation aimed at gun control calling the Republican leadership “deer in the headlights” when it comes to the issue.  

The comments came the morning after a Democratic uproar following a moment of silence on the House floor Monday where legislators protested stalled gun control bills after the mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub that left 49 club goers dead and 53 wounded.  

Orlando Massacre Renews Gun Debates Already Raging in States
Bills in California and several other states expected to be closely watched on the Hill

Joshua Knight pays his respects to the Pulse nightclub shooting at a memorial in front the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The Orlando nightclub massacre is expected to bring renewed attention to debates over proposed gun safety measures already raging in California and a handful of other states.  

California lawmakers will vote today on a dozen bills that would tighten the state's gun restrictions, which are already among the toughest in the country. A Washington state measure that would allow judges to temporarily block people with violent tendencies from buying handguns is expected to appear on the ballot in November. And voters in Maine and Nebraska will vote on measures meant to close loopholes in background checks required for gun purchases.  

Watch Live: Senate Hearing on Obama Gun Control Actions

Lynch will testify on the White House's gun actions on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies holds a hearing on President Barack Obama’s executive actions on gun control earlier this month.  

Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange and former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli are among the witnesses expected to testify.