In the wake of the Orlando shootings, there has been a renewed push by lawmakers to show their constituents that they are actually working on strengthening gun control measures - now if only anyone could agree on anything.
On the same day that the Supreme Court turned away two separate appeals challenging assault weapon bans in New York and Connecticut, the Senate rejected four total proposals centered around gun control. As The Hill reports, the Senate couldn't agree on two proposals to block suspected terrorists from being able to buy a gun, nor could the Senate agree on two gun background background check proposals. All of the proposals would have been an amendment to the commerce, justice and science appropriations bill.
Background Check Proposals
The background check proposals, one from Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and one from Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Chris Murphy (D-CT), were both rejected largely along party lines.
Grassley's proposal would reauthorize funding for the National Criminal Instant Background Check System (NICS) and incentivize states to share mental health records with the federal system. The proposal would also crack down on preventing government agencies from selling guns to criminals as part of undercover sting operations such as Operation Fast and Furious, unless DOJ officials sign off that "sufficient safeguards" are in place.
The Grassley vote was 53-47, however the proposal failed to gain the necessary 60 votes needed to move forward. Democrats argued that the measure would do little to make sure criminals and terrorists couldn't buy a gun. "It's a shield for members who don't want to do the right thing." said Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT).
On the other side, the Democrats proposal would require an expanded background check for most sales or transfers of guns - this proposal failed in a 44-56 vote.
Blocking Of Suspected Terrorists From Being Able To Buy Guns Proposals
The two proposals pertaining to blocking suspected terrorists buying guns were brought by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) respectively, and both fell short of the required 60 votes to move forward.
Feinstein's amendment would have allowed the attorney general to block the sale of a gun or explosive if there is a "reasonable suspicion" an individual has or will be involved in a terrorist attack. It would have allowed the AG to block the sale of a gun to anyone under a terror investigation in the past five years. The vote failed 47-53, as the Republicans argued the measure was too broad. "We all agree that terrorists should not be able to purchase a weapon. That is not up for debate. Anybody who suggests that is simply misleading. The question before us is whether we're going to do so in a way that's constitutional" Cornyn said.
Cornyn's measure, which called for the AG delay suspected terrorists from obtaining a gun for up to 72 hours to give the Justice Department time to investigate the prospective buyers and secure a court order to stop the transfer. The vote came in at 53-47.
"We've offered proposals to help connect the dots with respect to terrorist communications. We've offered proposals to help address the threat of lone wolf attacks like the one we saw in Orlando" Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said.
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What is clear is that no matter how loud American citizens are regarding the need for congress to act on measures to help stem gun violence, whatever they may be, congress will continuously get in its own way, for better or worse. And worst still, Congress has dsappointed none other than Kim Kardashian...
The fact that anyone can so easily access guns is so scary & after all of the devastating loss the Senate should have not failed us!!!— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 21, 2016
So sad! The senate voted against background checks being needed to buy guns. So terrorists on fbi's wanted lists can legally still buy guns— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 21, 2016
Oh & mentally ill people can buy guns without a background check too.— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 21, 2016
Kardashian has expressed support for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, tweeting a selfie with the former secretary of State last year. The reality TV star was among a number of celebrities earlier this month who wore orange as part of a campaign to bring attention to gun violence.