rain
Wednesday November 14th, 2018 9:09PM

Democrats promise congressional action on gun control

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Newly ascendant Democrats are promising congressional action on gun control amid a rash of mass shootings, including a late-night assault at a California bar that killed 12 people.

Measures including expanded background checks and a ban on assault-style weapons are likely to reach the House floor when Democrats retake control after eight years of Republican rule.

"The American people deserve real action to end the daily epidemic of gun violence that is stealing the lives of our children on campuses, in places of worship and on our streets," said Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader who is running for a second stint as House speaker.

Pelosi vowed to push for a range of actions to stem gun violence, including restrictions on high-capacity magazines and a measure allowing temporary removal of guns from people deemed an imminent risk to themselves or others.

The measures could win approval in the Democratic-controlled House next year but will face opposition from the Republican-controlled Senate and the White House, where President Donald Trump has promised to "protect the Second Amendment."

Still, gun control advocates believe they have the political momentum to make guns a central issue next year.

The political calculus on guns is changing, said Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch, whose Florida district includes the Parkland high school where 17 people were killed in February.

"We saw it start on Tuesday and we're going to see it accelerate in January," he said.

Gun control was a major issue even before the most recent shootings. Lawmakers debated action following the Parkland attack and a 2017 shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 dead, and ultimately took modest steps to boost school safety funds and improve compliance with the federal background check system for gun purchases.

The Democrats' new majority includes dozens of candidates who support gun control, including Lucy McBath in Georgia, whose 17-year-old son was fatally shot in 2012 and who made gun violence the centerpiece of her campaign

At least 17 newly elected House Democrats back stricter gun laws, including Jennifer Wexton, Abigail Spanberger and Elaine Luria in Virginia, who defeated incumbents backed by the National Rifle Association. In Colorado, Democrat Jason Crow beat GOP Rep. Mike Coffman, who received an A rating from the NRA and more than $37,000 in campaign contributions from the group.

"I do think there's new energy" on gun issues, even before the California assault late Wednesday night and an Oct. 27 shooting that killed 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue, said Kris Brown, co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

"Our base is worked up, and people are reacting in a positive way at the ballot box," said Brown, who campaigned with the three Virginia Democrats in the final week alongside a stream of volunteers. "A large number of folks showed up and knocked on doors and said they finally have a candidate who will do something about gun violence," she said.

Wexton, Spanberger and Luria all made gun violence a central issue in their campaigns — disproving the notion that gun control is a "third rail" of politics that Democrats should not talk about, Brown said. "We're finding candidates who aren't afraid to talk about this issue," she said.

Spending to support candidates backing tougher gun control surged this year, even as campaign spending by the NRA declined. Everytown for Gun Safety, a group founded by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, pledged $30 million for this year's elections and continued to put new money into competitive races in the final days. A political action committee formed by Gabby Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman wounded in a shooting, spent nearly $5 million.

Sixty-one percent of voters who responded to VoteCast, a survey of the electorate conducted by The Associated Press, said they support stricter gun laws, compared with 8 percent who said they should be loosened. Eighty-six percent of those supporting Democratic candidates backed stricter gun laws, along with 34 percent of those who supported Republicans.

McBath said her victory over Republican Rep. Karen Handel sent a strong message to the country. "Absolutely nothing — no politician & no special interest — is more powerful than a mother on a mission," she said in a tweet.

McBath, an African-American, became a spokeswoman for Everytown for Gun Safety after her son was slain at a Florida gas station by a white man angry over the loud music the black teenager and his friends had been playing in their car.

While encouraged by the election results, gun control advocates know that getting any kind of weapons or ammunition ban signed into law will be difficult if not impossible in the next Congress.

Republicans expanded their Senate majority Tuesday and Trump remains a favored ally of the NRA.

But if the House votes to approve gun control and a bill is pending in the Senate, "it's harder to ignore," Brown said. "We can keep the pressure on."

Deutch said gun control opponents would be wise to heed Tuesday's results.

For years, GOP lawmakers thought they could avoid talking about gun control while accepting campaign contributions from the NRA and promoting an A rating from the group, he said. "They learned this week that just won't work anymore," Deutch said.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Heroism, harrowing escapes as fire destroys California town
Harrowing tales of escape and heroic rescues as a fast-moving wildfire destroys a Northern California town
4:12AM ( 28 minutes ago )
AP NewsBreak: Michelle Obama rips Trump in new book
Former first lady Michelle Obama blasts President Donald Trump in her new book
4:05AM ( 35 minutes ago )
White House braces for Mueller's next steps
Special counsel Robert Mueller lay low for the last month. The White House worries that's about to change.
4:00AM ( 40 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Possible recounts loom in tight Florida gov, Senate contests
Possible recounts loom in Florida races for governor, US Senate as Republicans hold razor-thin leads in both contests
2:57AM ( 1 hour ago )
Court hearing set in Arizona Senate race vote count dispute
As the Arizona Senate vote count starts to tip into Democratic terrain, a judge Friday will hear a lawsuit by the GOP seeking to limit the tally
2:17AM ( 2 hours ago )
US, China holding security talks amid trade tensions
Even as the United States and China butt heads over trade, their top diplomats and defense chiefs will be meeting in Washington Friday looking to tamp down tensions on other issues.
1:23AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Imelda Marcos convicted of graft, court orders her arrest
Former first lady Imelda Marcos convicted in one of many corruption cases against her; she's likely to appeal to avoid jail and losing her seat in Congress
12:13AM ( 4 hours ago )
Florida faces prospect of recounts in governor, Senate races
Florida faces prospect of recounts in razor-thin races for governor and the U.S. Senate, potentially prolonging battle in two the nation's most closely watched midterm races
11:31PM ( 5 hours ago )
Florida staring at possibility of recounts in key races
Democrat Andrew Gillum's campaign says it's prepared for a recount in the Florida governor race he conceded to Republican Ron DeSantis on Tuesday night.
9:51PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Indictments? Final report? White House braces for Mueller
Special counsel Robert Mueller kept a low profile for the last month. The White House worries that's about to change.
10:36PM ( 6 hours ago )
After Kansas loss, Kobach could join Trump administration
After failed bid for Kansas governor, Kobach could land next job in Trump administration
6:30PM ( 10 hours ago )
Trump triggers massive midterm turnout
Not on the ballot, but Trump triggers massive midterm turnout
6:15PM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Elections
Midterms offer clues for Trump, Dems in '20 presidential bid
This week's midterms are offering lessons for both parties as the battle for the 2020 presidential nomination unfolds
1:12PM ( 15 hours ago )
Handel concedes long-red US House seat to Democratic rival
GOP Rep. Karen Handel concedes long-red House seat in Atlanta suburbs to Democratic rival
10:29AM ( 18 hours ago )
Trump, Democrats can take 2020 clues from midterm elections
This week's midterm elections offer revealing lessons for both major political parties as battle lines begin to emerge for the 2020 presidential election
6:05AM ( 22 hours ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
Heroism, harrowing escapes as fire destroys California town
Harrowing tales of escape and heroic rescues as a fast-moving wildfire destroys a Northern California town
4:12AM ( 28 minutes ago )
AP NewsBreak: Michelle Obama rips Trump in new book
Former first lady Michelle Obama blasts President Donald Trump in her new book
4:05AM ( 35 minutes ago )
White House braces for Mueller's next steps
Special counsel Robert Mueller lay low for the last month. The White House worries that's about to change.
4:00AM ( 40 minutes ago )
No. 8 Buckeyes face another test from No. 24 Michigan State
No. 8 Ohio State faces No. 24 Michigan State in a matchup that should have the Buckeyes' attention
3:21AM ( 1 hour ago )
California gunman was volatile but passed mental assessment
Neighbors of Ian David Long have described the man who shot and killed 12 people at a country music bar as distant in public but combative with his mother inside the suburban Los Angeles home the two shared
3:18AM ( 1 hour ago )