Lawmakers in both parties are beginning talks on gun legislation, with “red-flag” laws at the forefront, one day after a gunman killed 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, reports Axios.
In an announcement Wednesday afternoon, House Democrats indicated they'll bring up a vote on red-flag legislation early next month. Such measures are designed to keep firearms out of the hands of potentially dangerous people.
The proposal coming up in June is sponsored by Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Ga., said The Hill. It would nationalize several laws empowering courts to issue protective orders keeping people from possessing or acquiring guns if a judge finds them a threat to others or even themselves.
As per The Hill's report, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., announced the decision to push the legislation forward via Twitter, targeting the first week of June, when the House returns to D.C. after a Memorial Day holiday recess.
The likelihood of adoption by Congress is unclear, even amid the drive to take action following Tuesday's mass shooting in Uvalde.
Several senators see red-flag legislation, which already exists as law in at least 19 states, as having the best chance of securing enough bipartisan support to pass through both chambers of Congress, though a bipartisan solution may be difficult since many Republicans say red-flag laws should be within the purview of states than the federal government.
“If we can’t get 70 or 75 senators to vote for common-sense protection of your children or grandchildren, what in the world are we here for? What’s your purpose for being in the United States Senate if it’s not at least to protect the children?” Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said Wednesday.
“[My colleagues and I] talked about the red flag. It’s worked. It’s works in states such as Florida. It’s been very effective,” he said.
President Joe Biden on Tuesday night expressed outrage at lawmakers blocking “common-sense” gun laws and called on them to “stand up” to gun lobbyists.
"These kinds of mass shootings never happen with the kind of frequency they happen in America. Why? Why are we willing to live with this carnage?" Biden said with outrage. "Where in God's name is our backbone to have the courage to deal with and stand up to the lobbies?"
Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, on Wednesday told Axios that they discussed potential yellow- and red-flag laws while Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., told the news outlet he was OK with supporting a red-flag law at the federal level.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., told reporters she was “going to start having conversations again, with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to determine whether or not there's something we can actually do to help increase safety.”
Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., told Axios he is also having bipartisan discussions.
Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said he wouldn’t support a red-flag law, while Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, suggested having each state pass red-flag laws “if they’d like to.”
Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., wasn’t optimistic about any movement.
"Several different times we've had conversations among members and at mark-ups about the desirability and the relevance of having [red-flag] laws," Coons said. "That should be enactable, but in the several years since, despite repeated efforts ... we haven't been able to get to 10 on that."
Newsmax's Jeffrey Rubin contributed to this report.
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