The Gun Control Battle in Washington Heats Up

By Lydia Goerner Published on June 16, 2016

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy and other Democrats completed an almost 15-hour filibuster this morning to push for stricter gun control measures, spurred on by the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida over the weekend that killed 49 and injured 53.

The shooter in the Orlando massacre, Omar Mateen, purchased his weapons legally, prompting Democrats to push for tighter restrictions. “For those of us that represent Connecticut, the failure of this body to do anything, anything at all in the face of that continued slaughter isn’t just painful to us, it’s unconscionable,” Murphy said.

The National Rifle Association pushed back, tweeting that Americans’ second amendment rights are at risk with the proposed changes.

The NRA Institute for Legislative Action posted a call to action, saying “One amendment will attempt to strip the Second Amendment Rights from those on secret government lists while another could lead to federal registration of all gun owners. They’re also planning to push for increased federal funding of anti-gun research.

The NRA also accused Democrats of a “depraved attempt to politicize a tragedy.”

“They’d rather blame you as a law-abiding gun owner than make Obama answer for his failures in the global war on terror,” the statement reads.

On Wednesday afternoon Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton tweeted her support for Murphy’s filibuster.

The filibuster ended at 2:11 a.m. when Republicans agreed to vote on amendments for stricter background checks and to ban gun sales to terrorist suspects on the no-fly list, according to The Guardian.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa said legislative proposals would not have stopped Mateen from obtaining a gun and would give the government dangerous powers, The Daily Signal reported. “The no-fly list relies on unilateral decisions by the executive branch to put people on the list without notice or opportunity to be heard,” Grassley said. “It alone is not an acceptable basis on which to infringe on someone’s Second Amendment rights.”

In his speech Tuesday, President Barack Obama also called for action through “common sense steps” that are “consistent with the Second Amendment.” “People with possible ties to terrorism, who are not allowed on a plane should not be allowed to buy a gun,” Obama said. “Enough talking about being tough on terrorism. Actually be tough on terrorism and stop making it easy as possible for terrorists to buy assault weapons. Reinstate the assault weapons ban, make it harder for terrorists to use these weapons to kill us.”

Grassley said that the deadly terrorist attacks in France show that tough gun control laws do not stop terrorists, since France has extremely tight gun regulations that didn’t stop the terrorists from obtaining and using guns to kill.

According to The Daily Signal, Grassley has requested that the Department of Homeland Security release Mateen’s criminal record, if he has one, watch lists he may have been placed on, his travel records to the Middle East and other pertinent information. “We need to make sure our law enforcement, military and intelligence communities have the tools to identify and apprehend terrorists before they commit their heinous acts,” he said.

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