House Committee Advances 3 Gun Control Bills

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House Committee Advances 3 Gun Control Bills

New gun control bills are headed to the House of Representatives this month. On Tuesday, the Judiciary Committee approved three bills that advance key Democratic priorities on firearms.


The three bills passed by the Judiciary Committee tackle different aspects of federal and state gun laws:


H.R. 1186 – To ban the import, sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession of an ammunition device that holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Such devices that are already in the possession of an individual could be retained but could not be transferred to anyone else.


H.R. 1236 – To create a federal grant program for states to use to support activities concerning extreme protection orders. These orders, sometimes called "red flag" orders, allow law enforcement to seize someone's firearms if a court determines that a person poses a danger to himself or others. Such orders can be issued without conducting a hearing with the person in question under some circumstances.


H.R. 2708 – To prohibit anyone who has been convicted of a misdemeanor hate crime from possessing a firearm.


Each of the bills passed along a party-line vote. Republicans on the committee offered amendments that they said would approve the bills. Democrats rejected them, then passed the bills over Republican objections.


Gun control has become a hot topic in Congress and on the 2020 campaign trail. Democrats are pushing for stronger federal laws that they say will prevent gun crime, especially mass shootings. They argue that the federal government needs to strengthen its gun laws, which have gone decades without revision. Republicans, however, argue that these laws are ineffective to address the real causes of crime and mass shootings. They also say that the laws may infringe upon a individual's constitutional right to keep and bear arms.


With the Judiciary Committee's approval, all three of these bills are headed to the House floor for a vote. Speaker Pelosi will likely schedule them for consideration at some point in September. Given the Democratic majority in that chamber, they are almost certain to pass. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is unlikely to schedule any of the bills for a vote in that chamber unless President Trump signals his support.


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