House ‘Will Pass’ Bipartisan ‘Common Sense Gun Violence Prevention Legislation Soon’ Says Pelosi
Following promises in recent weeks that gun control legislation will be a top priority when the next House meets in January, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi assured voters that gun violence prevention legislation would be on the table very soon.
Speaking the day after the six-year anniversary of the Newtown shooting, Pelosi told the press and voters, “I made a commitment that we will pass common-sense gun violence prevention legislation soon and that it will be bipartisan”, adding, “we are very proud of that”.
She did not specify what the legislation would look like, however, her previous comments following the midterm elections indicate that it could be an expansion of the existing background check system for gun buyers.
The Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act aims to expand background checks to include private sales that are commercially advertised, including those advertised at gun shows, online, or in classified ads.
The midterms demonstrated the existence of a mobilized pro-gun control base among Democratic supporters. Candidates who ran on a pro-gun control platform enjoyed overwhelming success as public appetite for gun control has surged following the occurrence of several high-profile mass shootings.
However, there are concerns that expanding existing background checks will not go far enough. The LA Times reported that an FBI study carried out on cases of mass shootings between 2000 and 2013 found that in 75% of cases, the weapon was already owned by the shooter, or the shooter passed the background checks in place, indicating that an expansion of the existing background check legislation would not have prevented the atrocity.
The public will have to wait to see if Pelosi’s efforts pay off. While expanding existing legislation may not be the landmark piece of gun control legislation many Democratic voters are craving, it will keep the public appetite for gun reform high, ensuring hungry voters demand it stays on the table in the run-up to 2020.