The deadlock in Congress over guns may be on full display Monday evening on Capitol Hill, as four different plans – two from each party – could run aground, both sides basically staying in their partisan corners on the legislative response to mass shootings and terrorism in the aftermath of the attack on a nightclub in Orlando.
For Democrats, while they know they are short on votes to push forward with gun control measures in the House and Senate, they feel like their effort is one that will win them votes for November.
For now, just a handful of Republicans have joined that push – the main one in the Senate, is Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois:
For Republicans, the worry is that once you start raising new hurdles to stop people from buying a gun, that may ensnare Americans who are law-abiding:
As for the details of these four proposals, let’s start with their sponsors:
+ 2 of the plans are from Democrats
+ 2 of the plans are from Republicans
The first Democratic measure is from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Her plan would “authorize the Attorney General to deny requests to transfer a firearm to known or suspected terrorists.”
The Feinstein plan is also known as “no-fly, no-buy” – but it does a little more than just block people on the terror watch list from buying a firearm in the U.S.
The second plan from Democrats comes from Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT); he led the filibuster last week in the Senate that forced Republicans to hold some gun votes in the Senate. His plan expands background checks to all private sales.
Murphy’s plan is described this way – “To ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the national instant criminal background check system and require a background check for every firearm sale.”
The GOP will also have two plans – basically they are alternatives to what the Democrats are offering.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) offers the “SHIELD Act” – which translates to the “Secure our Homeland from radical Islamists by Enhancing Law enforcement Detection.”
This plan says the feds could block a gun sale to someone on the no-fly list – or if that person has been under investigation for terrorism in the past five years.
The second Republican plan is from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) – it focuses on getting states to submit mental health data to the instant background check system.
Votes are due to start around 5:30 pm on Monday evening in the Senate Each plan must get at least 60 votes in order to proceed – that seems unlikely, but we’ll wait for the final numbers.