Dem gun efforts run into Senate GOP bulwark

Dem gun efforts run into Senate GOP bulwark

Gun Rights

Democratic efforts to pass new gun restrictions in the early months of their new majority are running repeatedly into obstacles from the GOP-controlled Senate. The latest fight concerns the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which contains a provision to ensure that people convicted of stalking or abusing their dating partners — rather than only spouses or family members — cannot own guns. The National Rifle Association’s (NRA) opposition to the provision is unlikely to affect House passage of the bill on Thursday. But it increases the likelihood it won’t be part of a final measure to reauthorize VAWA that must also pass muster in the Senate, where NRA-friendly Republicans hold the majority. House Democrats also passed a bill earlier this year to require universal background checks for gun purchases, a top legislative priority, that has yet to receive action in the Senate. The gridlock underscores the challenges for gun reform. Freshman Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-Fla.), a gun safety advocate who lost her father to gun violence, said it would be hard for Democrats to accept a VAWA measure without the provision opposed by the NRA. “I doubt that we’ll take that version if it’s not included,” she said. VAWA programs have been in limbo since late December as a result of the government shutdown. A bill to reopen the government a month later did not include an extension of the law, since House Democrats wanted to push for their bill that expands the current law’s scope. “Our calculation was, […]

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