Capitol Ink | No Place for Debate


Congress Likely to Defer to Firearms Bureau on Bump Stock Ban
'There’s a big regulatory question,' Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Thursday

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., speaks at a news conference in Maryland on Thursday. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call)

CHESTERTOWN, Md. — Don’t expect Congress to take a quick vote banning bump stocks, the device that allowed the Las Vegas gunman to shoot his semi-automatic rifles at a rate resembling the rapid fire of a fully automatic weapon.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Thursday at a press conference here that he and many other lawmakers are just learning of the existence of bump stocks.  Congress first needs to examine how they are even allowed under current law, the Wisconsin Republican said, suggesting that a regulatory fix may be preferred over congressional action.

One Dollar, One Name to Recognize Gun Violence Victims
Robin Kelly wants a vote on gun control legislation

Illinois Rep. Robin Kelly says pressure from the National Rifle Association is keeping House Republican leadership from allowing votes on gun violence. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When Rep. Robin Kelly rose to speak on the House floor Thursday morning, she carried a list of 50 names — all victims of gun violence.

“I’ve begged — I’ve pleaded — I’ve screamed — I’ve cried and I even ground the people’s House to a halt with last year’s historic sit-in,” the Illinois Democrat said.

NRA Hits Cortez Masto as Another Harry Reid
Group spends $1 million on new ad in Nevada Senate race

The NRA says in a new ad that Nevada Democratic Senate hopeful Catherine Cortez Masto would vote like retiring Sen. Harry Reid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The National Rifle Association dropped $1 million on a new ad hitting Nevada Democratic Senate candidate Catherine Cortez Masto as being a repeat of retiring Sen. Harry Reid.

The ad highlights Reid's leadership in the Senate when he was majority leader and his votes for gun control and for judges whom the ad called "anti-gun." The ad then says Reid is trying to force Nevada to elect Cortez Masto, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Obama Vows 'Justice,' Condemns 'Despicable' Attack on Dallas Police
President warns more mass shootings likely due to access to 'powerful weapons'

President Barack Obama speaks about the attack on police in Dallas, Texas, on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland, on Friday. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama early Friday called the attack in Dallas that killed five police officers “vicious, calculated and despicable,” and promised city leaders the full resources of the federal government to ensure “justice will be done.”  

The goal of securing tighter limits on access to firearms , especially the kind of guns designed for combat, has proved elusive for Obama, as congressional Republicans have blocked many Democrat-pushed bills to that end. He did not overtly call for gun control legislation in two statements Friday, but in the second he did say more mass shootings are likely as long as Americans have access to “powerful weapons.”  

Ep. 13: Chaos in Congress Over Guns
The Big Story

Show Notes:

Gun Compromise Faces Challenges From Right and Left
The NRA is already opposed, the White House is reviewing

Sen. Susan Collins turns the podium over to Sen. Heidi Heitkamp during Tuesday's press conference on bipartisan gun control legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Susan Collins and her fellow senators supporting a compromise proposal to make it tougher for terror suspects to buy guns have some work on their hands.  

The Maine Republican earned praise from both sides of the aisle for stepping up to find consensus, unveiling her proposal to the press with bipartisan supporters by her side after Tuesday's caucus lunches.  

After Gun Votes, White House Says Republicans 'Scared' of NRA
Top Obama spokesman: 'Cowardice' led to defeat of Senate measures

Hours after Senate Republicans defeated four gun measures, the White House hit back hard by accusing them of “cowardice” and being “scared” of the National Rifle Association.  

The four measures, two Republican-crafted and two Democrat-written, would have tied gun purchases to various federal terrorism watchlists , increased funding, and closed the so-called “guns show loophole.” None received the requisite 60 votes needed to end debate.  

Will Firearm Filibuster Bring Progress?
Consensus emerged behind the scenes as the 14-hour session progressed

Wednesday's filibuster didn't have as dramatic an ending as the movie version.

Whether Sen. Christopher S. Murphy's filibuster to promote gun legislation Wednesday yields much more than "sound and fury signifying nothing," might well depend on what happened away from the cameras.  

A number of senators from both parties were circulating proposals into Wednesday evening intended to curtail the ability of suspected terrorists to buy guns.   

Democrats Call on House to Pass Gun Control Bill This Week
'No fly, no buy' legislation is just a start, they say

California Rep. Xavier Becerra calls for 'no-fly, no-buy' legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats are calling on their Republican counterparts to allow a vote before they go home for the weekend on legislation that would ban people on the no-fly terror watch list from being able to buy guns.  

"This Congress should not leave this week without giving us a vote on something very simple: 'no fly, no buy,'" Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra of California said Wednesday morning.