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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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Politics

Congress doubts it can pass gun reform legislation in wake of Tennessee shooting

Mar 28, 2023

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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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A day after six people were killed at a private Christian school in Tennessee, congressional lawmakers are expressing doubts about the potential for gun reform legislation. The doubts come despite bipartisan victories in recent years. 

“We need to act. I don’t know if we have the support or not. But we have to try,” Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., told Straight Arrow News. 

“This is madness. To think that some people rationalize this as part of the Second Amendment is beyond me. I can’t believe our Founding Fathers would make America sign a suicide pact,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said.

The attack happened Monday, March 27, when a shooter used semi-automatic rifles to kill three children and three adults. Police rushed in and killed the suspect on scene.

“We have to work to protect children at school and that means increasing security. And I have, and I have had, legislation that would allow for training and hiring of veterans and former law enforcement officials to serve as school safety officers,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he owns an AR-15 and does not support an assault weapons ban. He thinks mental health is the problem and enhanced school security is a solution.

“I don’t care what the magazine holds, the goal is to get guns out of the hands of people that are mentally unstable or criminals. So at the end of the day, I don’t know if there’s much space to do more, but I’ll certainly look and see,” Sen. Graham said.

Congress has approved multiple gun reform laws over the last few years.

In June 2022, lawmakers passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which:

  • Expanded background checks for people under 21.
  • Created new criminal offenses for people who buy guns for someone who is ineligible, also known as straw purchases.
  • Extended federal firearms restrictions for people convicted of domestic violence.

There could be congressional support for helping states implement red flag laws. The laws allow family members or law enforcement to petition a court to take weapons away from an individual deemed to be a high risk for committing a crime.

“We’ve heard before that gun violence prevention is impossible. And yet we’ve made progress as we come together. I’m not taking no for an answer,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal D-Conn., said.

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“We need to act. I don’t know if we have the support or not. But we have to try,” Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., told Straight Arrow News. 

This is madness. To think that some people rationalize this as part of the Second Amendment is beyond me. I can’t believe our Founding Fathers would make America sign a suicide pact,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said. 

Senator Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn: “We have to work to protect children at school and that means increasing security. And I have, and I have had, legislation that would allow for training and hiring of veterans and former law enforcement officials to serve as school safety officers.” 

Senator Lindsey Graham, R S.C., said he owns an AR-15 and does not support an assault weapons ban. He thinks mental health is the problem and enhanced school security is a solution. 

Sen. Lindsey Graham: “I don’t care what the magazine holds, the goal is to get guns out of the hands of people that are mentally unstable or criminals. So at the end of the day, I I don’t know if there’s much space to do more, but I’ll certainly look and see.”

Congress has approved multiple gun reform laws over the last few years. 

In June 2022, lawmakers passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which:

  • Expanded background checks for people under 21 
  • Created new criminal offenses for people who buy guns for someone who is ineligible, also known as straw purchases 
  • Extended federal firearms restrictions for people convicted of domestic violence 

 

There could be Congressional support for helping states implement Red Flag Laws. They  allow family members or law enforcement to petition a court to take weapons away from an individual deemed to be a high risk for committing a crime. 

 

Sen. Richard Blumenthal D-Conn: “We’ve heard before that gun violence prevention is impossible. And yet we’ve made progress as we come together. I’m not taking no for an answer.”