Senate Votes Down 4 Gun Control Measures After Fiery Debate

NBC News

Four gun policy measures failed to pass the 60-vote threshold to move forward in the Senate on Monday, following impassioned debate from both sides of the aisle.

The votes came just over a week after a deadly shooting spree in a gay nightclub in Orlando — the nation’s worst mass shooting in modern history — and a subsequent 15-hour filibuster by Senate Democrats who demanded action on gun control.  

The four amendments — two filed by Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, and Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, and two other, less restrictive measures filed by Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and John Cornyn, R-Texas — addressed background checks of prospective gun buyers and the sale of guns and explosives to people on terrorist watch lists.

It was always unlikely that any of the Democrat-backed proposals would move forward, since 60 votes were needed to pass — more than the number of that party’s members in the Senate.

Still, Monday’s votes forced lawmakers to take a stand on the controversial gun policy reform issue in a very public way. This is especially key for politically vulnerable lawmakers in tough re-election fights.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire, voted with fellow Republicans for Cornyn and Grassley’s measures, but against Murphy’s. She broke with party lines to vote for Feinstein’s amendment.

Another embattled Republican, Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois, voted in favor of the two Democratic-backed amendments. Kirk, who co-sponsored Feinstein’s amendment, was the only Republican senator to vote in support of barring those on the terror watch list from buying guns in December 2015.

With Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, returning for his second vote of the year, all 100 senators voted for the first time this year.

Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said in a statement following the vote, “Shame on every single senator who voted against these life-saving amendments and protected the rights of terrorists and other dangerous people to buy guns.”

Feinstein’s so-called “no fly, no buy” amendment would have blocked people on a terrorist watch list banned from flying while under investigation from buying a gun. The measure would also have empowered the attorney general to prevent a gun purchase if there was “reasonable belief” the person could use the weapon for terrorism.

Republicans blocked a similar measure last year.

Cornyn’s amendment would have allowed the attorney general to delay a gun purchase for up to 72 hours by a suspected terrorist or a person investigated for terrorism in the last five years. A court order could also have been sought to prevent the sale.

Senate aides believe there could be room for compromise by extending the review period for those previously on the watch list who were later removed.

Dueling amendments on improving background checks for gun sales echoed debates of years’ past when, in the year following the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, a bipartisan bill on background checks failed.

“I know at a deep personal level what Orlando is going through,” Murphy said on the Senate floor. “For all of the scarring, psychological harm that comes with losing a loved one or a neighbor, more harm is piled on when you find out that the people you elected to run your country just don’t care. It hurts something awful when you lose someone, but it gets worse when your leaders are silent, are totally silent in the face of your personal horror.”

The amendment by Murphy, who led last week’s filibuster marathon, would have expanded the background check system, mandating that sales at gun shows and over the internet be subject to closing the so-called “gun show loophole.” Federal agencies would have had to certify that they submitted to the National Criminal Instant Background Check System all records identifying individuals prohibited from buying a gun and penalize states that failed to make data electronically available to the background check system.

Grassley’s amendment would have improved the NICS system by better funding the program and providing additional resources. Additional incentives would have encouraged the sharing of mental health records.

Prior to the vote, Grassley argued, “Time and again, the other side says they support Second Amendment rights. We have every reason not to believe them. The terrorist watch list amendment that they now propose violates the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, and it violates the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause.”

As the night wore on, the debate was mired in politics, as Democrats hammered Republicans on the issue. Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Senate Democrats see a great benefit to politically pursuing gun reform, said Kristin Goss, associate professor of public policy and political science at Duke University and co-author of “The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know.”

“Voters’ positions on gun policy have pretty well lined up with their party’s position,” Goss said. “Democratic candidates used to have to worry about their pro-gun men, and Republican candidates used to have to worry about their pro-control women, but those swing constituencies just aren’t as much of a factor as they once were. I think, too, that the Democrats recognize that their base is galvanized by the endless mass shootings and much better organized than ever before.”

5 thoughts on “Senate Votes Down 4 Gun Control Measures After Fiery Debate

  1. Well that settles it. Obama will be forced to take executive action, and that’s why all four were voted down.

    They didn’t orchestrate the Orlando debacle for nothing.

  2. It’s fine that the bills were voted down, but it’s rich to hear the “pro-gun” Senators talk about defending the Second Amendment. How about all the other unconstitutional gun laws on the books? And what about all the other ways the Bill of Rights is violated on an industrial scale every day in this country?

    *** Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said in a statement following the vote, “Shame on every single senator who voted against these life-saving amendments and protected the rights of terrorists and other dangerous people to buy guns.” ***

    Up yours, Jewboy.

  3. This link gives more details as to Senator names(tells which ones broke ranks) and vote counts:

    “These amendments were projected to fail on mostly party line votes. You have a handful of pro-gun Democrats and Republican senators in tight re-election battles this year. Yet, given that these amendments were expected to fail, it’s not like they’ll reap political dividends back home for breaking with their respective parties. The most telling gauge from this pro-gun control push in the Senate is Feinstein’s no-fly, no-buy amendment, which only garnered two more votes from the last time a similar measure was up for a vote after the San Bernardino attack last December. It shows that the needle hasn’t moved much on this issue—and it shouldn’t. There was literally no law that would’ve prevented the Orlando killer from buying firearms. He had a firearms license issued to him from the state of Florida. He had no prior criminal history. He went through background checks to purchase his firearms legally.

    As for the terror watch list narrative, are we willing to set the Constitution on fire to curb gun rights? Or worse—ban a class of rifles that aren’t used in the vast majority of gun crimes? Oh, and Republicans aren’t safe from blame either. They really pushed for terror watch lists until Democrats decided to utilize it to attack the Second Amendment. Again, as far as I can remember, we strip American citizens of their rights after being charged, tried, and convicted of a crime. This debate isn’t going away. The anti-gun Left’s nonsense isn’t going away either. Hillary Clinton and President Obama want to reinstate the assault weapons ban, so this fight is far from over. But for today, the line was held in the Senate.”

  4. Would someone care to explain to me what these egg sucking dog, commie pinko liberals are trying to insinuate when they whine that there is a ‘loophole’ that prevents background checks from being conducted when ordering a firearm on the internet?

    I have purchased firearms online, and they are always sent to a licensed, FFL dealer at a gun shop of my choosing in my local area. When the firearm arrives, I receive a phone call – telling me that the firearm has arrived and ready for pickup. I then have to drive to the gun store, and am required to fill out all of the same federal forms, showing proper identification, and before the gun store owner will turn over the firearm – he runs my name through the FBI NCIS background check system and I am charged a fee for that process. If I fail the background check, I am denied the right to take possession of the firearm.

    So, just what in the heck are these lying, scheming and conniving, gun grabbing Commie pinkos talking about there being a ‘loophole’ when purchasing a firearm online? Am I missing something here?

    BTW: Craigslist does not allow people to advertise firearms. There may be some trader-like newspapers that do accept ads for private sales, but in those cases, the citizen who places the ad has an obligation to require proper identification and to document the details of the sale – name, address, driver’s license #, etc. (state laws vary on this) and keep that record on file in the event that the purchaser of the firearm uses it to commit a crime and the cops come knocking at his door. Whereupon, the seller can provide the cops with the necessary information that shows them who purchased the firearm.

    I have a very, very strong suspicion that the primary reason why these gun grabbers are trying to force background checks on private sales – is because these sneaky rats are compiling lists of people who are probable gun owners. Databases that they can consult on the day they decide to kick off their wet dream of massive gun confiscation.

  5. My guess is that the Zionist’s and their “Bullshit show of theater” is soon to come to a town near you.
    I have a question: How many Craig’s List applicants actually get paid and how many get murdered by their Employer.

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