February 26, 2019; The Hill
As it passed a resolution rejecting the president’s declaration of a national emergency, the House kept moving—more quickly than usual—on a pair of bills that may usher in a new era of gun control legislation.
Starting today, with a bipartisan-backed bill that would require universal background checks, the House is set to vote on and pass two pieces of gun control legislation this week. This, writes Christina Marcos for The Hill, “demonstrates the shift in politics surrounding gun control from as recently as a decade ago, when they last controlled the House.”
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) says that the number of Democrats opposed to gun control has declined while public support for it has risen in the wake of a long line of mass shootings. The combination, he says, has freed Democratic Party leaders to move faster on the issue than they might have otherwise.
“It was controversial within our own party, and we didn’t have much confidence that it would be able to pass,” he continued, referring to the years between 2007 and 2011, when Democrats last held the gavel. “And there are still differences within our party as to how far you want to go. But we think this piece of legislation [background checks] and the ‘Charleston loophole’ closing is something that the overwhelming majority of the American people will want us to support.”
Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association stands firmly against both bills, and many members of the GOP are standing with it. Trump has declared he will veto them if they ever get to his desk.—Ruth McCambridge