WASHINGTON — Republican House leaders formally opposed the dual gun law Wednesday and forced lawmakers to vote against the measure.
Democrats control the House and can probably pass the bill without any support from Republicans. In the Senate, the deal garnered enough Republican support on Tuesday to clear a procedural hurdle, raising the odds the measure will pass the chamber.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., told House Republicans they oppose the measure at a closed-door meeting on Wednesday.
Later in the day, Scalise urged all House Republicans to vote no in an official message. “This legislation is taking the wrong approach to curb violent crime,” he wrote. “House Republicans are committed to identifying and resolving the root causes of violent crimes, but this must not infringe on” Second Amendment rights.
The legislation is likely to get support from some moderate Republicans. A GOP lawmaker who spoke on condition of anonymity to give an honest assessment of Republican deliberations predicted that 10 to 15 House Republicans will defect and vote for the bill, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.
Former President Donald Trump, who still holds sway over his party, announced his opposition and encouraged Republicans to oppose the legislation.
Rep. Tony Gonzales, a Republican from Uvalde, Texas, announced on Wednesday that he will vote in favor of the bill. It was made after the mass shooting in his district last month that killed 19 children and two teachers, and another in Buffalo, New York that killed 10 people.
“I am a survivor of domestic violence, my stepfather would come home drunk and beat me and my mother. One night he decided that was not enough and shoved a gun in my mother’s mouth. I was 5 at the time and not strong enough to ward off the wolves,” wrote Gonzales on Twitteradding that school was his refuge from the chaos at home and that he served his country in the navy for 20 years, including fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As a member of Congress, he said: “It is my duty to pass laws that never violate the Constitution while protecting the lives of innocents,” he added: “I look forward to it in the coming days. to vote YES to the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.”
At least 10 Republicans in the Senate have expressed support for the bipartisan bill, meaning it is expected to exceed the filibuster threshold of 60 votes. Majority leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., is aiming to hold a final vote by the end of the week, before Congress leaves for a two-week recess on July 4.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she plans to put the bill to a vote once it is passed in the Senate.
Pelosi said in a statement that while more is needed to tackle gun violence, the legislation contains favorable provisions.
“Communities across the country will benefit from the House Democrats’ proposals in this package, which will help keep deadly weapons out of dangerous hands by encouraging states to enact laws for extreme risk protection and ending purchases.” of straw,” she said. “This legislation will also close the boyfriend loophole, which marks strong progress to prevent known abusers from acquiring a firearm.”
The House passed legislation this month that included tougher gun-related restrictions† The room approved the Protecting Our Children Act in a vote of 223-204, with five Republicans backing all but two of Democrats. Democrats Jared Golden of Maine and Kurt Schrader of Oregon opposed the bill. The five Republicans who opposed their party were Chris Jacobs of New York, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Fred Upton of Michigan, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.
The Senate package contains stricter restrictions. The bill would provide “red flag” grants to any state, including those that do not pass red flag laws, that could be used for other crisis prevention programs designed to prevent people in crisis from resorting to violence; it would close the so-called “boyfriend loophole”; and it would increase the number of background checks for people ages 18 to 21. The bill would impose tougher penalties for gun sales and “clarify” which sellers must register as federal firearms licensees, which would force them to conduct background checks. The bill would provide more money for mental health and school health care.
In his message urging opposition from House Republicans, Scalise said the “vague language” in the red flag provision does not contain enough “guardrails to ensure that the money is actually used to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals or to mass to prevent violence.”
The bill would also convert people under 21 into second-class citizens by creating a de facto waiting period of up to 10 working days for legal, law-abiding firearms purchases and consideration of whether an adult firearms buyer’s juvenile criminal record should include a ban. the purchaser of the purchase of a firearm,” he added.
The National Rifle Association was quick to announce its opposition, arguing in a statement on Tuesday that the legislation “does little to really tackle violent crime, while opening the door to undue burdens of law-abiding law-abiding people’s exercise of Second Amendment freedom.” gun owners.”
It is the closest Congress has come in nearly 10 years to passing major legislation to tackle gun violence. After the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, Sens. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., struck a deal on background checks, but it was defeated in 2013.