Congressional Gun Debate Looming

The 2014 Congressional elections saw major Republican victories across the United States. Republicans have long been the party of gun owners’ rights, and they are looking to push a pro-gun agenda during their time in Congress this year. There are a number of new legislative items on the docket, and several of them deal directly with firearms. While several Democrats have introduced gun control legislation, measures related to gun control are typically expected to fail. Even after the tragedy in Newton, Connecticut, the NRA and pro-gun advocates were able to defeat a bill that would have expanded gun background checks, banned assault weapons, and limit high capacity ammunition clips. Instead, the pending legislation that is likely to pass through Congress will probably be mostly pro-gun. However, it is unlikely that any pro-gun legislation will get signed into law, because President Obama is opposed to most pro-gun measures and the Republicans likely won’t have the votes in Congress to override a Presidential veto. Below are some of the bills that will likely be under consideration this year by Congress:

  • Legislation sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn R-Texas that would allow any American with a concealed weapon permit to travel freely with their weapon to any other state that allows concealed weapons. In this sense, concealed weapons will operate like a drivers’ license, applicable in all states with similar laws on the books.
  • Legislation sponsored by Sen. Marco Rubio R-Florida, which would repeal Washington DC’s gun control laws. This bill is particularly interesting because Senator Rubio has also announced that he is running for President.
  • An anti-gun bill sponsored by several Democrats that would expand background checks on guns sold at gun shows and in private sales online. The background checks would specifically look at a buyer’s mental health.

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