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NAT’L – GUN POLITICS – What Senate Democrats Say They Can (Maybe) Get Done on Gun Reform

NOTE FROM THE EDITORS AT GUNPROPLUS: Occasionally we will receive a note from a pro-gun advocate complaining about a story in GunProPlus appearing to be anti-gun even in its subtle approach. We’re on to those who try to sneak anti-gun rhetoric through the impenetrable walls of this publication. That said, however, we want to know what the gun grabbers are planning and, sometimes, to do that we find a story from a left-leaning source that gives away some of their gun control strategy. Such is the case with the story that follows this introduction. Well written, it provides a preview of not just what but how the Biden Administration may have decided to strategize their Gun Control objectives. As such, we have decided to present the story to our readers in full view. We only ask that you recognize our pro-gun journalism passion and, for your own preparation efforts, be aware of how to use your read-between-the-lines ability to store in your mental bank of defense planning.

THE TRACE.COM – FEBRUARY 10, 2021 – In January, when Democrats assumed control of both chambers of Congress for the first time in nearly a decade, they gained the ability to bring gun reform bills up for a vote, something former GOP Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to do.

But the party is still nine votes short of the 60-vote supermajority needed to pass legislation in the Senate in the event of a filibuster. Unless Democrats in the upper chamber move to abolish the 60-vote rule — a prospect that appears increasingly unlikely — gun reform could remain a casualty of partisan gridlock.

Nevertheless, lawmakers and anti-violence advocates remain hopeful, buoyed by President Joe Biden’s aggressive gun policy platform and broad public support for tighter gun laws. Key Senate Democrats tell The Trace that a lot has changed since a universal background check measure failed after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School — and they’re banking on the belief that it’s become politically risky for Republicans to oppose gun reforms.

“Fighting gun violence has become not only good policy, but good politics,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, who’s pushing several pieces of gun reform legislation.

While Democrats hold a majority in the Senate, it’s as slim as it can be, with only one vote. There’s no guarantee that they will vote along party lines. In 2013, four Democrats bucked their party and voted against a bill that would have expanded background checks to private gun sales, known as Manchin-Toomey. Four Republicans crossed party lines to vote yes, but only two of those lawmakers remain in the Senate. “It’s going to be hard to pass much of anything,” Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut tells The Trace.

A more formidable obstacle to gun reform is the filibuster, which allows lawmakers to delay a vote on a bill. If the filibuster were abolished, Democrats could pass gun reform with a simple majority. But not every Democrat is on board — including West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, a longtime proponent of expanding background checks. As long as the filibuster stands, Democrats need 60 votes for most legislation — 59 senators and the vice president.

“If they lose the filibuster [battle], they’re lost,” John Donohue, a Stanford Law School professor, said of Democrats’ prospects of passing reforms. “I think it’s the only way that Biden can have an effective presidency.”

For now, though, it’s here to stay. “The filibuster is unlikely to be eliminated anytime soon,” said Blumenthal. “Right now, there simply aren’t the votes to eliminate it. That’s not to say we can’t make progress on gun violence.”  [full article source]

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