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House Planning to Vote on Package of Gun-Control Bills Thursday


The House Judiciary Committee is planning a vote on Thursday on a new wide-ranging package of gun control measures after multiple mass shootings across the country.

The bill package, known as the “Protecting Our Kids Act,” was first reported by Punchbowl News.

The package reportedly doesn’t have the 60 votes it would need to advance in the Senate.

From Punchbowl News:

We have some news this morning: The House Judiciary Committee will be holding an emergency hearing on Thursday to mark up a package of gun-control bills as Congress wrestles with the twin massacres in Uvalde and Buffalo, as well as soaring gun violence nationally.

The panel will consider a robust package of eight gun-related bills which Democrats are calling the “Protecting Our Kids Act.”

The omnibus package includes bills to raise the purchasing age for semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21; ban the import, sale, manufacture, transfer or possession of high-capacity ammunition magazines, although existing magazines are “grandfathered” in; requires existing bump stocks be registered under the National Firearms Act and bars the manufacture, sale, or possession of new bump stocks for civilian use; amends the definition of “ghost guns” to require background checks on all sales, as ATF is trying to do through rulemaking; beefs up federal criminal penalties for gun trafficking and “straw purchases”; and establishes new requirements for storing guns at home – especially with minors present – while providing tax credits for storage devices.

House Democratic leaders plan to bring the bills to the floor early next week and are confident they have the votes to pass them. There’s still a debate, however, about whether members will vote on the bills individually or as one package. Several members want to vote on the bills individually, we’re told.

As NBC News noted, the omnibus guns bill faces an uphill battle to gain enough support to pass the Senate.

Most, if not all, of the bills face long odds in the Senate, where Democrats control a 50-50 majority and require 60 votes to break a filibuster to pass gun-related legislation. They will run up against fierce opposition from Senate Republicans, who have broadly rejected any new gun restrictions; it’s unclear the latest shootings will move them.

Still, Senate leaders have encouraged a negotiation between Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, as Republicans face pressure to support some gun safety measures.

“It’s inconceivable to me that we have not passed significant federal legislation trying to address the tragedy of gun violence in this nation, especially because since Sandy Hook … the pace of everyday gun violence has dramatically escalated over the past two years,” Murphy said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

“We need federal legislation. And my hope is that this time is different,” Murphy said. “These are serious negotiations. And we are going to continue to meet through early next week to try to find some common ground.”

A congressional aide familiar with the Senate talks said issues on the table include red flag laws, some sort of expanded background checks, enhanced school security measures, additional money for mental health service and safe storage laws. The aide said it’s too early to know the details of the various items.


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